By Wilhelm Röpke
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Extra info for Against the tide
What gives the anti-capitalism of our intellectuals, and especially of the Tat circle, its distinctive flavor and, I frankly confess, makes it so peculiarly unpalatable is the wholesale rejection of all those values and ideals that we subsume under the, admittedly somewhat discredited, expression of liberalism. These circles, it seems, have lost all feeling for the infinite and absolute value of individual freedom, all understanding of the truth that what the Age of Enlightenment and liberalism fought for, what men like Hume, Voltaire, Wilhelm von Humboldt, John Stuart Mill, Jefferson, or Mazzini as well as our classical poets extolled, what our grandfathers and greatgrandfathers battled and suffered for, is ultimately mankind's oldest and finest intellectual heritage.
And the meaning of all this is that the transfer will be associated with painful readjustments and with disturbances of the economic equilibrium. This, I repeat, is the 6 The limiting case referred to in the text is one where the elasticity of demand for the goods in question is unity or less than unity. 20 WEIMAR REPUBLIC, BROWN TOTALITARIANISM, WORLD WAR II true aspect of the transfer problem: transfer is not impossible, but it leads to frictions and disturbances that add much to the burden of the debtor country and may well spoil the creditor countries' joy.
It follows that, in terms of the total volume of demand, regardless of its qualitative composition, the question of where additional German exports are to find a market without causing havoc to the economies of the creditor countries is irrelevant. If we use the term reception problem for the problem of the effects of the capital export on the economy of the receiving country, there admittedly is no reception problem in this quantitative sense. This explains the barely concealed sarcasm often encountered in the receiving countries in response to any attempt to win acceptance for the view that these countries ill serve their own interests by insisting on reparations payments.