Acton Essay Contest Winner Publishes Röpke Book


John Zmirak, recipient of an honorable mention in The 1994 Lord Acton Essay Competition, has recently released a book titled, Wilhelm Röpke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist , published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

The book examines the life history, economic philosophy, and social philosophy of Wilhem Röpke, who, in 1933, fled the Nazi regime for Geneva where he continued his academic work. Röpke is best known for developing a view of free-market economics that recognized the socialist and traditionalist objections to capitalism, and provided a method for distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate government interventions. His view was fundamental in aiding the reconstruction of the German economy following World War II. Röpke acquired celebrity status in Switzerland and was a key figure in the American conservative intellectual revival.

Zmirak's award winning Acton Institute essay titled Against the Servile State , discusses subsidiarity; the belief that needs are best met at the most local level. The essay argues that although power maintained in a large central bureaucracy is necessary in emergencies, power must be returned to local government when crisis is past. Zmirak notes that such a return of power to local authorities has failed to happen in America. He argues that while our Founders saw man as capable of reason and responsibility, man today is viewed as a frightened, victimized child, leaving the State to serve as supreme manager. His conclusion: the State–in this condition–cannot last.

About the Acton Institute
With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." For more on the Acton Institute, please visit www.acton.org.

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at jcouretas@acton.org.