Röpke wrote this book in the late 30s, and it was published in 1942. He explains how the world unraveled the 1930s from a combination of protectionism and monetary destruction. And while his analysis is robust, he also relays what seems to be an epiphany for him: there are non-economic reasons the world collapsed. The rise of nationalism frightened him, and what is its source? The old code of morals and manners, even the code of honor among people, seems to have been shredded. People long for more than prosperity; they want cultural and social coherence and stability, and states with a mission. The market cannot provide this. It must come tradition or religion or something else. Observing this, he seems to suggest that the old liberal creed failed. He proposes a new direction that unites freedom with a new concern for cultural coherence and morality.
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