in Europe, to communal autonomy. Itrnusually seeks to restrict immigration intornregions and nation-states in order to preservernthe cultural cohesion necessar forrnself-goernment. But the French NewrnRightist Alain de Benoist, showcased inrna recent issue of Telos, has moved awayrnfrom other European New Rightists byrncalling for the equal protection of allrnethnic communities in France. All peoples,rnBenoist explains, have the samernright to communal identity and face thernsame threat from the modern state andrnits “human rights-homogenizing ideologv.”rnThough European New Rightists, likernthe editors of Telos, make assertions thatrnbeg for further clarification, they do askrnprobing questions about governmentrnthat in America are viewed as unsuitable.rnThey criticize the mystique of humanrnrights and the identification of selfgo’rnernment with administrators andrnparty-run elections. They also debaternthe continued relevance of the nationstaternonce detached from culturallyrndistinct nations and nonmanufacturedrnpopular wills. And the’ insist that wernie\ our situation historically, withoutrnimagining continuities in our regimernthat are purely procedural or distillationsrnof happy talk.rnAs a scholar of the postwar conservativernmovement, I remain impressed byrnhow honest the Telos circle and the EuropeanrnNew Right are in asking the questionsrnthat American Movement Conser-rn’aties habitually avoid. Only in Americarndoes one become a conser’ative bv beggingrnthe state to enforce “human rights”rnand “democratic values.” Ever\vherernelse in the West it is the left that tradesrnfreedom for the hegemonic ideology ofrnthe ruling class, hi Europe the right isrnapplauded when it debates the issuesrnthat I see discussed in Telos, Chronicles,rnand in dozens of European periodicals.rnOnly in our corrupted nation-state,rnwhich is no longer the one conceived inrnlibert-, do the self-avowed traditionalistsrnleave it to former New Leftists andrnbiographers of Antonio Gramsci to holdrnunauthorized political discussions.rnOur official right and left, as Picconernquips, are too busy doing real things, likernselling and advertising indistinguishablernpublic policies to politicians in the Belt-rnva’.rnPaul Gottfried is a professor of humanitiesrnat Elizabethtown College inrnPennsylvania.rnECONOMICSrnThe Economist asrnHumanist—^WilhelmrnRoepkernby Ralph E. Ana’]rnIn his book The Ethics of Rhetoric,rnRichard Weaver explains differentrntypes of argumentation. The most effectiverntype is the argument from definition,rnwhich forces one’s attention onrnvalues and demands either assent or rejectionrnof those values. In Lincoln’s argumentsrnon slavery, to follow Weaver’srnexample, the Negro was either a man orrnnot a man. But if the former, then, byrnvirtue of what the dehnition entails, hernought not to be a slave. In this way Lincolnrnpinned his opponent, Stephen A.rnDouglas, on the horns of an either/orrndilemma—to Lincoln’s rhetorical ad-rnantage.rnMuch of the national policy debaterntoday also involves trying to avoid beingrnpinned on the horns of a dilemma. Forrnconservatives this means trying to avoidrnbeing labeled a “socialist,” a supporter ofrnexpansive government. As a result, conser’rnati’e policy positions are significantlyrninfluenced by conventional marketrnconsiderations and bv what ma’ berncalled a “market ideology,” the view thatrnassigns a disproportionate role to economicsrnand allows it to take the centerrnstage of public policy concerns.rnClearly, this poses a problem for therncultural conservative. While some defendersrnof culture have smelled a ratrnhere, all too many have felt compelled tornadopt the rhetoric, if not always the substance,rnof the market ideologue’s position.rnYet e’en yielding to the rhetoricrncan be damaging because it makes thernconservative play on his opponent’s turf.rnThe either-you-are-a-laissez-fairist-ora-rnsocialist argument divides issues uprnwrongly. It is a false dilemma. It is asrnthough the laissez-fairist confusedrnchastity with celibacy and so believed itsrnonly alternative was promiscuity. That arnthird alternative exists that retains chastityrnwithout celibacy or promiscuity—rni.e., marriage—remains inconceivable tornhim.rnAdherence to a “Third Way,” which isrnneither libertarian nor socialist, allowedrnGerman economist Wilhelm Roepke tornavoid the traps of false dilemmas in thernarena of political economy. He accomplishedrnthis by observing the sharprndistinctions between essentials and incidentals,rnbetween the enduring foundationsrnand the variable superstructurerndeformed by history in considering thernnature of the competitive market. He isrnconservative with respect to the formerrnand radical in jettisoning the latter.rnWhat are the essentials? Private propertyrnand free markets in the sphere ofrneconomies; the personal, the local, andrnthe small—a closeness to nature—in thernbroader sphere of sociology. The deformitiesrnof historical capitalism include:rnexcessively large industries and cities, thern”socially blind development of technology,”rnand a general commitment to thern”cult of the colossal.”rnRoepke’s basic question is much likernFrancis Schaeffer’s: How should we thenrnli’e? His answer is that we must decentralizernthe economy, not just government,rnand humanize it. That means wernhave to reform our societ according to arnhuman scale rooted in traditional values,rnwhich is different from the acceptablerncontent of modern economics. Hernunderstood that economics is not onlyrnone of means—often an excuse for promotingrnlicense and social irresponsibilityrn—but a moral discipline whose practitionersrnmust take account of ends. Therneconomist must recognize the spiritual,rnmoral, inner life of man. Bemoaningrnthe loss of this ability in the social sciences,rnhe writes: “The effects of this processrnof [moral and intellectual] disintegrationrnhave, however, been particularlyrnstriking and disastrous in the case ofrnscience, for, influenced by inward instabilityrnit has increasingly become a prey tornthe misunderstanding that all opinionsrnwhatsoever and all decisions based onrnconcepts of value are incompatible withrnthe dignity of science.” Not willing tornshare in this dereliction of duty, Roepkernuses economics and other social sciencesrnto analyze the disease of the West and tornoffer a therapy.rnRegarding the diagnosis, modernrnsociety is sick with the cancer of “collectivism,”rnwhich destroys the social structuresrnof genuine communities. It is anrnattack on all intermediary levels ofrnauthority in favor of direct national (orrninternational) control over otherwisernFEBRUARY 1995/45rnrnrn