Social Contract 2.0?

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ReginaF's picture
ReginaF
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Posts: 93
Social Contract 2.0?

Hi everyone!

First - all the best for a merry chrismas to all of you!

I'm currently on the search for literature or blogs or diskussions of the Topic "Social Contract 2.0" and stumbled about a book, published in 1942 by Wilhelm Röpke, one of the inventors of the "Soziale Marktwirtschaft" in Germany, which he has written in his exile in Switzerland. Here comes the link: http://mises.org/books/socialcrisis_ropke.pdf

If somebody has ideas or want to discuss the topic of Social Contract for our future society - it would be warmly welcome!

Best greetings from Germany

Regina

 

 

 

ReginaF's picture
ReginaF
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 16 2009
Posts: 93
Re: Social Contract 2.0?

Hey, I'm asking the people which are interested what a society in the future will be - why are no answeres coming? I don't think that it is of my poor english knowledge -:)))

So, all of you who are thinking about how society in the future will work are invited for a discussion!

Best greetings from a cold Hamburg

yours

Regina

 

 

akamai mom's picture
akamai mom
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Re: Social Contract 2.0?

I downloaded the book and saved it to my desktop to read.  It will take a little while before I can comment.  Thanks for sharing.

Aloha from warm Kauai.

Felicia

Vanityfox451's picture
Vanityfox451
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Re: Social Contract 2.0?

Hello Regina,

Wilhelm Röpke is a fascinating man, and a prolific philosophical writer of his time. He is recognised as an Ordoliberal, and an advocate of The Third Way (Centrism). His books are now in the public domain since there intellectual property rights have expired. His main works have been translated into PDF, and below are links to eight of them, a copy of Two Short Essays by Johannes Overbeek, with short descriptions of each : -

Crises And Cycles 1936 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

It's hard to say what is the most rare, most hard to find, most buried important book, in the history of the Austrian School. But this splendid and critically important treatise would certainly be among the nominees.

Until this edition, this book has been darn-near impossible to obtain short of stealing from the Library of Congress. As a matter of fact, it has been mysteriously missing off the shelves there for years, so the only copies extant have been photocopies of photocopies 50 times over.

So at last: we can present to you Crises and Cycles by one of the greats.

During the thick of the Great Depression, the same year as John Maynard Keynes came out with his treatise, Wilhelm Röpke made this contribution to macroeconomics: an excellent exposition of the Austrian Cycle theory in the tradition of Mises and Hayek.

He refutes Keynes before Keynes became popular, and also provides an argument against other prevailing theories. Röpke is not perfect: while his analysis is excellent, he recommends a reflation after deflation. Nonetheless, this is an important and much-sought-after treatise by an important member of the Austrian School.

International Economic Disintigration 1942 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

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 from either tradition, 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.

The German Question 1946 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

The German Question by Wilhelm Ropke is the book that inspired the postwar economic reform in Germany -- which Ropke himself did not believe had gone nearly far enough. It came out in 1945 in Switzerland, one year after Mises's Omnipotent Government and Hayek's Road to Serfdom. It is more sweeping than the former (in a policy sense) and more radical than the latter (in a policy sense).

It is more than a plea to get rid of price controls. It is a call for wholesale moral, political, and economic reform, for in his view it was not enough to get rid of corrupt leadership but to completely purge the principle that the central state is in charge of the whole of society. A thorough de-Hitlerization would require dismantling the central state and restore the old city states, completely ending the monopoly on industry and education and medical care, and a restoration of sound money, not to mention free trade with the world.

It becomes clear why Ropke's books were banned by the Nazis. What is not clear is why this wonderful book is not better known, except to say that it seems like most of Ropke's writings from this period haven't received the attention they deserve.

All these peculiarities of the structure of modern tyranny, whose ugliest and extremest form was Nazism, are marked by the entire dissolution of the values and standards without which our society, or any other, cannot exist in the long run: a pernicious anaemia of morality, a cynical unconcern in the choice of means, which in the absence of firm principles become ends in themselves; a nihilistic lack of principle, and, in a word, what may be described literally as Satanism and Nihilism.

The Social Crisis Of Our Times 1950 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

Roepke's The Social Crisis of Our Time is a series of blasts against the "malfor-mations" of economics: the Nazi and Communist forms of collectivism both come in for severe criticism. Roepke shows the process by which the Western liberal tradition itself makes possible these rebellions against open economic systems. The drive toward social welfare, full employment policies, and the state management of fiscal fluctuations all lead away from free societies no less than market economies.

International Order and Economic Integration 1959 {PDF}

Ludwig Von Mises Institute wrote:

{Link}

Some of Röpke's best work has remained long out of print, this book among them. With great sincerity and passion he explains how the generation of old liberals of his generation came to reject war as a first principle and then reject socialism as nothing but the domestication of the warfare state to economics. His focus here is Europe and the dream of a unified continent. He argues that trade and freedom form the basis of order, and warns with biting prescience against the formation of a European state, which he predicts will lead to economic disorder. More than anyone of his generation Röpke saw the relationship between trade and peace, and that it was possible to have tiny states and expanding unity via economic integration. This books represents some of his most extraordinary work on behalf of freedom and peace.

A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market 1960 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

An introduction to economic thinking which holds that the vital things in life are those beyond supply and demand, written by the chief architect of Germany's post-war social market economy. A Humane Economy offers an understandable and compelling explanation of how economies operate. A sweeping and brilliant exposition of market mechanics and moral philosophy, Röpke' masterwork cuts through the jargon and statistics that make most economic writing so obscure and confusing. Over and over, the great Swiss economist stresses one simple point: You cannot separate economic principles from human behavior.

Economics of the Free Society 1937 (First English Translation 1963) {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

Economics of the Free Society first appeared in Austria in 1937. Since then, nine German editions have been published, along with French, Swedish, Italian, Finnish, and English editions. The book's purpose is twofold: to provide a coherent description of the whole of the economic process, and to analyze current burning questions from an economic perspective. Written for the intelligent layman, as well as the student of economics, Economics of the Free Society is more than just an exercise in economic analysis, it is a masterpiece of economic wisdom and wit.

Against the Tide 1969; Postumous Essay Collection {PDF}

Ludwig Von Mises Institute wrote:

{Link}

Wilhelm Roepke was schooled in the tradition of the Austrians and made enormous contributions to the study of political institutions.

Here we have collected some of his most powerful anti-Keynesian writings, which, in particular, underscore what an outstanding economist he was and the extent to which he was influenced by Mises. He defends sounds money, free trade, and attacks welfare.

Those who have considered this author to be something of a doubter on free markets must deal with this book, which reveal him to be a passionate advocate of laissez-faire.

Two Essays by Wilhelm Röpke ~Johannes Overbeek 1987 {PDF}

Amazon.com wrote:

{Link}

Now that the prevailing drift of academic opinion has changed at the expense of Keynesian economics, interventionism and democratic socialism, the work of Professor Wilhelm Roepke is especially relevant. A useful supplemental text for students of introductory economics, as well as professional economists.

One person I feel highly worthy of mention is the life and work of Isaiah Berlin, particularly his thought provoking paper on the subject of Negative verses Positive Liberty. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you read this paper first, before you wade into the deep yet cleansing waters of Wilhelm Roepke :-

Two Concepts of Liberty ~ Isaiah Berlin 1958 {PDF}

Wikipeida wrote:

{Link}

Berlin is popularly known for his essay "Two Concepts of Liberty", delivered in 1958 as his inaugural lecture as Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford. The essay, with its analytical approach to the definition of political concepts, re-introduced the study of political philosophy to the methods of analytic philosphy. Spurred by his background in the philosophy of language, Berlin argued for a nuanced and subtle understanding of our political terminology, where what was superficially understood as a single concept could mask a plurality of different uses and therefore meanings. Berlin argued that these multiple and differing concepts, otherwise masked by rhetorical conflations, showed the plurality and incompatibility of human values, and the need for us to distinguish and trade off analytically between, rather than conflate, them, if we are to avoid disguising underlying value-conflicts.

I also recommend reading this online paper by Jacob Harold and Lee Drutman on the subject of Social Contract 2.0, but merely as a discusson piece, along with the comment below it that should be of interest to you: -

Social Contract 2.0: Organizational Survival in the Network Era

Finally, one of the most enlightening documentaries I feel you'll ever have the opportunity to watch would be The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom series by Adam Curtis, and in particular, the third and final episode below, though I strongly suggest you watch them from the beginning before attempting any of the body of work by both Wilhelm Röpke or Isaiah Berlin, as an introduction to the science and implementation of social philosphy.

"F*ck You Buddy"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085#

"The Lonely Robot"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=404227395387111085#docid=-108774...

"We Will Force You To Be Free!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7581348588228662817#

Hope this helps,

~ VF ~

ReginaF's picture
ReginaF
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 16 2009
Posts: 93
Re: Social Contract 2.0?

THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!

A lot to read & that helps me!

Best from Germany

yours Regina

 

David.a.Isaksson's picture
David.a.Isaksson
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Joined: Mar 29 2010
Posts: 17
Re: Social Contract 2.0?

Hi Regina,

I've been pondering about my own political standpoint and the values that I am trying to promote. As to what political affiliation that I find most suiting, I cannot really tell you. My own country of Sweden is and has been for the last century, highly socialistic. While this has had some benefits I cannot help to see the problems it brings as well. I have lived in eastern Europe as well and seen the type of society that has been left after the hardships of communism. And I have also been following the US political climate over a long time and have seen the pros and cons of that system.

I hope for a substantial change in the way we live our lives. A more sustainable lifestyle, away from greed and selfishness, transparency in leadership and education for the masses. Most of all I hope that what ever systemic change that occurs is of the making of the people and not the power elite (or what ever you might call it) that most probably are behind the mess that we find ourselves in at the moment.

Hope to hear more input on what values and social structure that could result in a more sustainable and prosperous future!

David

dshields's picture
dshields
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Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
Re: Social Contract 2.0?

You present a very difficult question.  I spend most of my time pondering the current and near term future.  The future future, as in 20 years or 50 years in the future, seems like a gray area to me.  So many huge things are going to happen.  Wars, a mother of an energy crisis, financial disasters, insufficient food and clean water, you name it - most of it either bad or very bad.  There will be major advances in technology.  Some of these advances will be very helpful.

I just want to still be standing 5 years from now.  However, I will give some more thought to the future future.  It deserves some thought.

 

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