Posts Tagged ‘Whilhelm Ropke’

There is as much to be learned about the present day by reading what was written years past as there is by reading today’s punditocracy. Case in point:

It is not the specter of totalitarianism which raises its Gorgon’s head in our midst. What we have to fear is a development  which, like inflation, is a creeping process and, as will be shown, is indeed closely connected with the creeping inflation of our times. Security and personal comforts are rated more highly than freedom, law, and personality. That which still goes under the name of freedom is, as often as not, license, arbitrariness, laxity, and unlimited demands. Free people today attach to the word “freedom” any clear meaning which might put them on guard against its demagogic abuse. The individual means less and less, mass and collectivity more and more – and so the net of servitude which hems in personal development becomes ever denser, more closely meshed, and inescapable. The center of gravity of decisions keeps shifting upwards: from the individual, the family, and the small, compact group up to anonymous institutions. The power of the state grows uncontrollably; yet, since powerful forces are at the same time eroding its structure and weakening the sense of community, there is less and less assurance that administration and legislation unswervingly serve the whole nation and its long-term interests. Demagogy and pressure groups turn politics into the art of finding the way of least resistance and immediate expediency or into a device for channeling other people’s money to one’s own group.


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