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Freedom with ResponsibilityThe Social Market Economy in Germany 1918-1963$
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A. J. Nicholls

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208525.001.0001

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The Struggle against Collectivism, 1933–1945

The Struggle against Collectivism, 1933–1945

Chapter:
(p.90) 4 The Struggle against Collectivism, 1933–1945
Source:
Freedom with Responsibility
Author(s):

A. J. Nicholls

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208525.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the different forms of anti-collectivist camps inside and outside Germany during Hilter's accession to power. Eucken and Böhm emphasized the need for a free-price mechanism and open competition protected by the state. Röpke and Rüstow stressed the advantages of small-scale producers and equal opportunities. Erhard considered credits for consumer industries, and Müller-Armack advocated government action to influence the market, even though the price mechanism as such was to operate freely. Neo-liberals emphasized that the key to a free society was the existence of the broadest possible class of people with economic independence. The overheating of the German economy caused by excessive public spending in the armed forces during World War II meant more and more direct interference by state authorities. Secure profits for entrepreneurs from lucrative government contracts seemed a more than adequate substitute for the uncertainties of a competitive market.

Keywords:   anti-collectivism, neo-liberals, free society, German economy, competitive market, Great Depression, price mechanism

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