harmon’ not as a result of a welding ofrntwo disparate parts but as a natural flowingrnof its organic nature. Roepkc’s ThirdrnWav is not fusionism, but it does fulfillrnthe needs that fusionists want to satisfy.rnBut for every benefit there is a cost.rnFor conservatives in general, the harmoniousrnintegration of private property andrnfree markets into the vision of the humanerneconomv and culture entails sacrificingrnsome of the secularizing tenetsrnthat for one reason or another have creptrninto their thinking. Foremost amongrnthese sacrifices is the m’th that free marketsrnnever fail except by government interference.rnAside from some technicalrnreasons for market failures, Roepke givesrna moral explanation for the general tendenc-rnof a free market system to fail ifrnbased strictly on self-interest and competition:rnit is not in the interest of anyrnparticular participant to remain faithfulrnto the rules of the game. Someone willrnalwavs vield to the temptation to manipulaternpublic policy in his favor. As ifrnwriting for the benefit of public choicernadvocates, Roepke writes: “But if onerntells the various group interest nothingrnelse than that loval observance of thernrules of the competitive price mechanismrnis in the interest of all and if nornstrong moral forces are at the same timernworking to curb their appetites, one mustrnnot be surprised by the disappointingrnresults.”rnA second sacrifice is the myth thatrntechnology and material “growth” arcrnalwavs consistent with traditional values.rnRoepke deplores as “disastrous” thern”blindness and even the smugness withrnwhich one gave free rein to an industrialrndex’clopment, which, with sovereign disdainrnfor the vital instincts of man and forrnhis most clementarv spiritual needs has,rnthanks to the forms of life and work inrnthe industrial giant cities, reduced thernexistence of the masses to somethingrneompletelv unnatural.” Nor is it likelyrnthat computers and videos will improvernthings.rnI luman nature can not bear a patternrnof life driven solely by supply and demand,rnmarket and technology, for therncost is too high: “The sum total of thernmaterial goods at our disposal may increasernthrough this process, and the oftenrncited living standard may reach thosernheights which intoxicate a naive socialrnphilosophy, but at the same time thisrnleads to a rapid diminution of the sum ofrnthat immeasurable and inexpressiblernsimple happiness which men feel in doingrnsatisfying work and leading purposefulrnlives.” And only through a proper balancernof private property, competitivernmarkets within small and stable communities,rnand a wide distribution of productivernland ownership did Roepke believernbasic happiness could be restored.rnThis is clearly similar in important waysrnto the Southern Agrarians and ChestertonianrnDistributists.rnUltimately, Roepke asks: Does a humanernsocial and economic order requirerna predominantly agrarian culture? Canrncharacter, honor, moral decency, etc.,rnbe uprooted from their native soil andrnflourish in the modern megalopolis?rnRoepke’s answer is clear. He shares therndeep-rooted experience and ancient wisdomrnextending from Xenophon, Horace,rnand Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson, AleksandrrnSolzhenitsyn, and all others whornagree that the relation of “culture” torn”agriculture” is not a merely philologicalrnone. A true culture has a physiognomyrnof social and economic particularitiesrnthat cannot be changed willy-nilly withoutrnadverse effects.rnThose modern, mainstream economistsrnwho disagree suffer from whatrnRoepke called “techno-scientific rationalism.”rnThey implicitly treat valuesrnand virtues the way economists treat supplyrnand demand and a few other variables:rnthese are subjected to a simplifyingrnmethod, excessively formalized and abstract,rnwhich removes them from thernparticularities of real-world connectionsrnand foundations. Other important dimensionsrnare lost as well. For example,rnRoepke differed from modern mainstreamrneconomists in insisting that agriculturernis not simply an industry just likernany other. Anyone who “restricts hisrnthinking to the rational and technicalrnfield of the agricultural engineer andrnconcentrates on artificial fertilizer, tractorsrnand maximum yield, is bound tornpass blindly by the sociological problemrnposed here.” He realized that there arernspecial problems peculiar to agriculturernthat have always made it the problemrnchild of modern capitalism.rnEconomics wrongly extends this conceptrnof interchangeability and substitutionismrnto include any number of socialrnstructures, habits, or patterns of living. Itrnis a kind of professional promiscuity thatrntreats its subject matter like those therapistsrnwho discuss human sexuality inrnpurely clinical terms while leaving outrnthe moral, the spiritual, and the poetic,rnso that, abstractly speaking, it makes norndifference which partner is doing whatrnwith whom. For this reason, Roepke—rnthe scion of generations of Germanrncountry physicians—speaks of societyrnnot as a machine with interchangeablernparts but as an organic whole with a distinctivernmorphology and biology.rnIt is this sin of substitutionism, aidedrnand abetted by science and technology,rnwhich, first applied to farming, laterrnspread like weeds to other objects of economicrninterest. It makes a differencernwhether the Sabbath is treated like anyrnother day of the week; it makes a differencernwho is the primary breadwinner inrnthe family; it makes a difference whetherrnparents or daycare centers take care ofrnchildren. These are not interchangeablernsubstitutes. But the doctrine of substitutionismrnin economic theory and in politicalrnpractice contributed to openingrnthe floodgates of commercializationrnfrom which nothing is safe, neither thernSabbath nor the human body, to whichrnunspeakable savageries are now performedrnin the name of reproductivernscience. This is the essence of the inhumanernthat creeps in through capitalismrnand a free market as well as through bigrngovernment or communism. WilhelmrnRoepke’s humane economics deliver usrnfrom such evils.rnRalph E. Ancil is president of thernWilhelm Roepke Institute in Kensington,rnMaryland.rnFor Immediate ServicernCHRONICLESrnNEW SUBSCRIBERSrnTOLL FREE NUMBERrn1-800-877-5459rnFEBRUARY 1995/47rnrnrn