“A very efficient way of producing human happiness.”

There’s an excellent little essay by Mark Mitchell at Front Porch Republic today that distills a lot of what that site/blog/movement is about. I especially liked this paragraph:

Wilhelm Röpke recounts a conversation he had with a prominent economist in the aftermath of WWII. As they strolled along the streets of a German town, Röpke pointed, with satisfaction, to the many small vegetable gardens kept by the residents of city. The economist shook his head disapprovingly and grumbled. “A very inefficient way of producing foodstuffs.” Whereupon Röpke responded, “But perhaps a very efficient way of producing human happiness.” This rejoinder takes us to the heart of the matter. Happiness is the proper end of life. By happiness I do not mean the glib and transitory pleasure that so often is confused with happiness today. Happiness, as described by classical and Christian thinkers, is a life of excellence in accordance with goods and standards (both natural and supernatural) that are suited to human beings. This sort of happiness is not achievable in isolation, for humans are creatures fit for community.

Efficiency and specialization are tools, to be set aside when they fail to promote human happiness. Too often, they are among the things that “are in the saddle and ride mankind.”

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
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