Skepticism About Markets and Optimism About Culture

  • Henrique SchneiderEmail author
Part of the The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 20)


Schneider emphasizes that especially in A Humane Economy, Wilhelm Röpke’s distrust of the market is compensated for by his trust in culture. This can be contradictory, given Röpke’s general cultural pessimism. Röpke trusted the market as an organizational principle, but he dismissed assigning to it the main role in organizing society. For Schneider, Röpke very specifically meant bourgeois culture and was optimistic about this particular culture. However, Röpke left open questions: Was there ever a bourgeois culture? By which (epistemic) criterion did he assign this leading role to it? Could his appreciation of freedom clash with his appreciation of culture? Schneider finally claims that if Röpke had recognized the market as a process, it would have been much easier to reconcile market and culture.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (sgv)BernSwitzerland

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