Ropke: Given Roots Again

“In all fields, mass and concentration are the mark of modern society; they smother the area of individual responsibility, life, and thought and give the strongest impulse to collective thought and feeling. The small circles – from the family on up – with their human warmth and natural solidarity, are giving way before mass and concentration, before the amorphous conglomeration of people in huge cities and industrial centers, before rootlessness and mass organizations, before the anonymous bureaucracy of giant concerns and, eventually, of government itself, which holds this crumbling society together through the coercive machinery of the welfare state, the police, and the tax screw. This is what was ailing modern society even before the Second World War, and since then the illness has become more acute and quite unmistakable. It is a desperate disease calling for the desperate cure of decentralization and deproletarianization. People need to be taken out of the mass and given roots again.”

– Wilhem Röpke, A Humane Economy


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