The Social Market Economy Concept According to Alfred Müller-Armack
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Publication date: 2015-06-30
GNPJE 2015;277(3):107-132
The article focuses on the social market economy (Soziale Marktwirtschaft) theory developed by German economist Alfred Müller-Armack (1901-1978). The author analyzes Müller-Armack’s ideas in the context of socioeconomic developments in West Germany after World War II. The article outlines Müller-Armack’s diagnosis of society in 20th-century Europe and his criticism of laissez-faire capitalism and collectivism. Müller-Armack pursued ideas of social humanism and what is termed “social irenics,” a notion of working toward peace, moderation and conciliation in order to overcome existing differences in society. His idea of social market economy is seen as a holistic concept pursuing a complete humanistic societal order and a synthesis of seemingly conflicting objectives: economic freedom and social security. Müller-Armack’s social market economy concept called for a return to the market and competition, combined with an active economic policy and a social security system. The concept addressed the question of reconciling economic growth with freedom and social security. Janiszewska’s article highlights the cognitive value of the social market economy concept and its relevance to contemporary discourse on how economic systems should develop.
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