Mandeville, LA – [Editor’s note: The Modern World has produced such grave errors in philosophical thought that the very definition of words used in our incessant conversations are corrupted. Take the term “socialism”, the cousin of “communism”, it is defined by the corrupt as wholly an economic tyranny, the great Wilhelm Ropke explains the nonsense at work]. “One of the oversimplifications by which social rationalism distorts the truth is that Communism is a weed particular to the marshes of poverty and capable of being eradicated by an improvement in the standard of living. This is a fatal misconception. Surely everyone must realize by now that the world war against Communism cannot be won with radio sets, refrigerators, and wide- screen films. It is not a contest for a better supply of goods unfortunately for the free world, whose record in this field cannot he beaten. The truth is that it is a profound, all-encompassing conflict of two ethical systems in the widest sense, a struggle for the very conditions of man’s spiritual and moral existence. Not for one moment may the free world waver in its conviction that the real danger of Communism, more terrible than the hydrogen bomb, is its threat to wipe these conditions from the face of the earth. Anyone who rejects this ultimate, apocalyptic perspective must be very careful, lest, sooner or later, and perhaps for no worse reason than weakness or ignorance, he betray the greatest and highest values which mankind has ever had to defend. In comparison with this, everything else counts as nothing.
If we want to be steadfast in this struggle, it is high time to bethink ourselves of the ethical foundations of our own economic system. To this end, we need a combination of supreme moral sensitivity and economic knowledge. Economically ignorant moralism is as objectionable as morally callous economism. Ethics and economics are two equally difficult subjects, and while the former needs discerning and expert reason, the latter cannot do without humane values. ” – Wilhelm Ropke, On A Humane Economy