Acton Commentary http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2012/04/25/indian-country%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BDs-american-nightmare Acton Commentary is published weekly by the Acton Institute. en Determinism, Dependency, and the Irreducible Person http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/10/determinism-dependency-irreducible-person <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/ismael-hernandez">Ismael Hernandez</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sociological determinism informs our public policy. Those with a stake in the maintenance and expansion of government bureaucracies feed upon pathology and find a willing constituency among those who perceive the world in terms of victims and perpetrators. If men are not free, they are not responsible for their misdeeds and ought instead to be treated with pity for falling prey to tragic misfortunes. They are to be healed by those who understand their powerlessness.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/10/determinism-dependency-irreducible-person" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:59:16 +0000 rober6thom 6747 at http://www.acton.org Lessons of the Flint Water Crisis http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/03/lessons-flint-water-crisis <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/kishore-jayabalan">Kishore Jayabalan</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a native of Flint, Michigan, I am very saddened by the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis">contaminated water crisis</a> that has broken out in my hometown and has now gathered <a href="http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/flints-water-crisis-is-a-blatant-example-of-environmental-injustice1/17517">international attention</a>. What&rsquo;s even sadder is that I am not terribly shocked that such a crisis could take place there.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/03/lessons-flint-water-crisis" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 15:10:34 +0000 rober6thom 6745 at http://www.acton.org The EU: Something Completely Different http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/26/eu-something-completely-different <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/todd-huizinga">Todd Huizinga</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Current events have made it more crucial than ever to understand what makes the European Union tick. What are the ideological roots of the eurozone crisis? Why do so many EU leaders seem willing to risk exposing their people to more jihadist terror and to invite a potentially unmanageable de-Westernization of Europe by opening the floodgates to immigrants from a burning Middle East? To understand why these crises are affecting Europe, we need to look at the unique nature of European Union.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/26/eu-something-completely-different" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:19:34 +0000 rober6thom 6740 at http://www.acton.org The Moral and Economic Poverty of the Lottery http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/19/moral-economic-poverty-lottery <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><img alt="magazine stand image" class="img-responsive" height="303" src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/magazine_stand.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 20px;" width="450" /></p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/get-your-hands-dirty-essays-christian-social-thoug">Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action)</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/19/moral-economic-poverty-lottery" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:26:47 +0000 rober6thom 6739 at http://www.acton.org The Jedi Knights Templar http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/13/jedi-knights-templar <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>(For those who haven&rsquo;t seen the film, be warned that this essay contains spoilers.)</em></p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/13/jedi-knights-templar" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 16:01:31 +0000 rober6thom 6737 at http://www.acton.org Social Institutions, Scrutiny, and the 1 Percent http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/06/social-institutions-scrutiny-1-percent <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan&rsquo;s letter to their daughter may indeed be <a href="http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/03/mark-zuckerbergs-empty-letter-to-his-daughter/">substantively vacuous</a>, but the move to place $45 billion into an explicitly socially-conscious LLC is illuminating on a number of levels.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/get-your-hands-dirty-essays-christian-social-thoug">Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action)</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/06/social-institutions-scrutiny-1-percent" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:46:42 +0000 rober6thom 6734 at http://www.acton.org The End of Europe http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/06/end-europe <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/M%C3%A9moires-despoir-Charles-Gaulle/dp/2259191371"><em>M&eacute;moires d&rsquo;Espoir</em></a>, the leader of Free France during World War II and the founder of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, wrote at length about a subject on many people&rsquo;s minds today&mdash;Europe. Though often portrayed as passionately French to the point of incorrigibility, de Gaulle was, in his own way, quintessentially European.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/01/06/end-europe" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:44:34 +0000 rober6thom 6733 at http://www.acton.org Hot Fries and the End of Work http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/30/hot-fries-end-work <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/james-bruce">James Bruce</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;The end of work&rdquo; means at least two different things. The phrase can mean work stops. You had a job, but now you don&rsquo;t. But &ldquo;the end of work&rdquo; can also mean work&rsquo;s purpose or goal. This distinction is an important one.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/30/hot-fries-end-work" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:37:23 +0000 rober6thom 6732 at http://www.acton.org Keeping Watch over Their Flock at Night http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/22/keeping-watch-over-their-flock-night <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/abraham-kuyper">Abraham Kuyper</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>&nbsp;&ldquo;And there were shepherds in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flock at night.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em>Luke 2:8</p> <p><a href="https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/collection/SK-A-248" target="_blank"><img alt="kuyper image keeping watch over the flock at night" src="/sites/v4.acton.org/files/kuyper_image.jpg" style="width: 450px; height: 341px; float: right; margin-left: 20px;" /></a></p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/22/keeping-watch-over-their-flock-night" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 17:31:33 +0000 rober6thom 6731 at http://www.acton.org Social Justice and the Evangelical Church Today http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/16/social-justice-evangelical-church-today <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.clpress.com/publications/church%E2%80%99s-social-responsibility-reflections-evangelicalism-and-social-justice"><img alt="" class="alignright wp-image-84028" height="415" src="http://blog.acton.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/CSRMock-Front3-347x540.jpg" width="270" /></a></p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/get-your-hands-dirty-essays-christian-social-thoug">Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action)</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/16/social-justice-evangelical-church-today" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:32:17 +0000 rober6thom 6730 at http://www.acton.org Abraham Kuyper and the 'Bearer of Principle' http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/09/abraham-kuyper-bearer-principle <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/david-t-koyzis">David T. Koyzis</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://shop.acton.org/our-program-a-christian-political-manifesto.html" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://blog.acton.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/our_program.png" style="width: 289px; height: 300px; float: right;" /></a>What might Abraham Kuyper teach us as Americans prepare to go to the polls next year? I believe that he can help us to vote more intelligently by clarifying the true nature of representation in a democratic political community.<br /> </p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/09/abraham-kuyper-bearer-principle" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 09 Dec 2015 14:48:22 +0000 rober6thom 6729 at http://www.acton.org Black Friday and the Moral Goodness of the Market Economy http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/02/black-friday-moral-goodness-market-economy-0 <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/rev-gregory-jensen">Rev. Gregory Jensen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Consumer preference is shifting away from brick and mortar stores. Based on initial figures, more of us are doing our Christmas shopping online.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/02/black-friday-moral-goodness-market-economy-0" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:41:44 +0000 rober6thom 6723 at http://www.acton.org The Perversion of the Establishment Clause http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/02/perversion-establishment-clause <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/zack-pruitt">Zack Pruitt</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A football coach in Washington was recently <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/praying-football-coach-paid-leave-district-34816858">suspended</a> from his duties because he made a habit of praying at midfield following games.&nbsp; Players or students were never asked or required to participate but some did join him voluntarily for a post-game prayer that typically lasted fifteen to twenty seconds.&nbsp; Prior to his suspension, the coach was ordered to stop praying because school officials, citing the Supreme Court, said they did not want to be seen as endorsing religion.&nbsp</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/12/02/perversion-establishment-clause" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:35:11 +0000 rober6thom 6722 at http://www.acton.org Cheap Grace and Gratitude http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/25/cheap-grace-gratitude <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/jordan-ballor">Jordan Ballor</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week in the United States, and it&rsquo;s therefore an appropriate time to ponder the gifts we have been given and the gratitude we ought to have for them. It&rsquo;s easy to do these things at this time of year, but it is also appropriate to note that we ought to think about the gifts of God&rsquo;s grace throughout the year. That is, even as we acknowledge and are thankful for things this week, we should also come to a greater recognition of the divine origin of all good gifts all the time.</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/life-world">For the Life of the World</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/25/cheap-grace-gratitude" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:19:43 +0000 rober6thom 6719 at http://www.acton.org Acton and Burke: For the conservative wisdom of history and tradition http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/18/acton-burke-conservative-wisdom-history-tradition <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/gertrude-himmelfarb">Gertrude Himmelfarb</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What Lord Acton particularly admired in the later Edmund Burke was his empirical philosophy of politics, his refusal to give way to the metaphysical abstractions, the <em>a priori </em>speculations, that had been insinuated into public life by the rationalists of the French Revolution. Facts, Burke had admonished, are a severe taskmaster. They prohibit the idle vanities of philosophy and the bureaucratic pretensions of a logical, all-embracing political science, a <em>summum bonum </em>of mankind available to the benevolent legislator or administrator.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/18/acton-burke-conservative-wisdom-history-tradition" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:26:35 +0000 rober6thom 6718 at http://www.acton.org Lord Acton and the Idea of Liberty http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/10/lord-acton-idea-liberty <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/gertrude-himmelfarb">Gertrude Himmelfarb</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The opening words of Lord Acton&rsquo;s first lecture on the History of Freedom in 1877 set the theme: &ldquo;Liberty, next to religion, has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime, from the sowing of the seed at Athens, 2,460 years ago, until the ripened harvest was gathered by men of our race.&rdquo; In the course of time, constitutions were perverted, charters became obsolete, parliaments abdicated and peoples erred, but the idea of liberty survived.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/10/lord-acton-idea-liberty" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 21:09:40 +0000 rober6thom 6695 at http://www.acton.org The higher calling of the dismal science http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/04/higher-calling-dismal-science <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Economist and theologian Paul Heyne once asked the question, &ldquo;Are economists basically immoral?&rdquo; He asked this because economists have a frustrating tendency to interrupt the high moral aspirations of others with complications about how, in the real world, life is not so simple. When other people are concerned with social justice and love, they have a knack for focusing on things like costs and logistics, seemingly putting a price on doing the right thing. Is this just an annoying habit of a small subset of social scientists, or might it be a moral calling?</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/11/04/higher-calling-dismal-science" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:33:19 +0000 rober6thom 6692 at http://www.acton.org Why the Left Keeps Winning http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/27/why-left-keeps-winning <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s the rise to national prominence of Vermont&rsquo;s self-described democratic socialist senator Bernie Sanders, the election of a beyond-stereotypical 1970s sandal-wearing bearded-lefty, Jeremy Corbyn, as British Labour leader, <a href="https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/05/11/one-third-millennials-like-socialism/" style="line-height: 1.538em;">polls</a> estimating that 36 percent of Americans millennials have positive views of socialism, the breakthrough into mainstream politics by left-wing parties such as Syriza in Greece, the Scottish Nationalists in Britain, and Podem</p><div class="row"> <div class="col-md-12 field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-material"> <div class="field-label"><h2>You might also like...</h2></div> <div class="field-items" > <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/related-material/becoming-europe">Becoming Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/27/why-left-keeps-winning" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 19:04:28 +0000 John Couretas 6690 at http://www.acton.org The Frontier Spirit of ‘The Martian’ http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/22/frontier-spirit-martian%E2%80%99 <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">After the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to travel to outer space in 1961, Nikita Khrushchev </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin#Vostok_1" style="line-height: 1.5; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">remarked</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, &ldquo;Gagarin flew into space, but didn&#39;t see any god there.&rdquo; The Soviets would not pass up an opportunity to deride religion, even though, reportedly, Gagarin himself was a Russian Orthodox Christian.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/22/frontier-spirit-martian%E2%80%99" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 13:46:28 +0000 rober6thom 6688 at http://www.acton.org There is No Such Thing as ‘The Poor’ http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/14/there-no-such-thing-poor%E2%80%99 <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/victor-v-claar">Victor V. Claar</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the news this week that Angus Deaton of Princeton University had won the economics Nobel, the question of how best to help the poor in developing nations takes on a greater level of urgency. Honoring him with the <a href="http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/">The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences</a> also highlights the value of economics as a moral science.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/14/there-no-such-thing-poor%E2%80%99" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 16:17:38 +0000 rober6thom 6687 at http://www.acton.org Fear and Loathing Stalk the West http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/07/fear-loathing-stalk-west <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Civilizations come and civilizations go. While some prove capable of inner renewal, there&rsquo;s no guarantee that any given culture will maintain itself over long periods of time. Today we continue to admire the achievements of Greece and Rome. As distinct living cultures, however, they&rsquo;ve been dead for centuries.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/10/07/fear-loathing-stalk-west" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:36:00 +0000 rober6thom 6685 at http://www.acton.org The Economic Reeducation of Pope Francis? http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/30/economic-reeducation-pope-francis <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/kishore-jayabalan">Kishore Jayabalan</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>ROME -- To absolutely no one&rsquo;s surprise, Pope Francis&rsquo;s visit to the United States last week was a great success. The media mostly focused on the personality of &ldquo;this pope,&rdquo; comparing him favorably to his immediate predecessor and hinting that his more relaxed stance on Church teaching was the main reason for his popularity.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/30/economic-reeducation-pope-francis" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:35:54 +0000 rober6thom 6683 at http://www.acton.org Is Catholicism Compatible with the American Experiment? http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/23/catholicism-compatible-american-experiment <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/samuel-gregg">Samuel Gregg</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a much-cited 2014 <a href="http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2014/02/06/a-catholic-showdown-worth-watching/">article</a> in the <em>American Conservative</em>, the political philosopher Patrick Deneen argued that the real debate unfolding among American Catholics was not one of &ldquo;conservative&rdquo; versus &ldquo;liberal&rdquo; Catholics. That discussion, Deneen suggested, is <em>pass&eacute;</em>. This is partly because (as Cardinal John Henry Newman <a href="http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/biglietto.HTM">observed</a>) liberalism in religion is ultimately self-immolating.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/23/catholicism-compatible-american-experiment" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 19:14:50 +0000 rober6thom 6679 at http://www.acton.org The Bright Side of Sharia Law http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/16/bright-side-sharia-law <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/rev-jerry-j-pokorsky">Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky </a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The warnings of recent papal teachings on questions of social justice rarely &ndash; if ever &ndash; identify the dangers of a highly bureaucratized central government.&nbsp; Apparently most of the sinful and corrosive &ldquo;love for money&rdquo; comes from private sector capitalists, not government public sector agencies.&nbsp; Certainly corporate capitalistic greed can and does have serious economic consequences.&nbsp; But is it reasonable to ignore the negative economic consequences of Big Government, its centralized control and bureaucratic demands?</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/16/bright-side-sharia-law" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 16 Sep 2015 14:53:46 +0000 rober6thom 6678 at http://www.acton.org The Francis-Trump Populist Nexus http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/09/francis-trump-populist-nexus <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/kishore-jayabalan">Kishore Jayabalan</a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Populism and free markets have a strained relationship. On the one hand, free markets have raised the living standards of ordinary people beyond belief and given them opportunities their ancestors couldn&rsquo;t possibly imagine. So one would think any leader who wants the people on his side would promote market economics. On the other hand, actual populists around the world demagogue against capitalism any chance they get and the people often approve, even though soaking the rich rarely helps the non-rich and usually makes everyone worse off.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/09/francis-trump-populist-nexus" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:52:07 +0000 rober6thom 6665 at http://www.acton.org The Moral Dimension of Work http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/02/moral-dimension-work <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/james-v-schall">James V. Schall</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;The moral foundation of political economy,&rdquo; to use Lord Acton&rsquo;s phrase, rests on the connection of liberty with right, of right with duty, of duty with leisure and delight, and of all with transcendence.</p> <p>Our most unsettling economic problems are actually not economic but moral&mdash;moral ones that cannot be simply passed on from generation to generation. They need to be chosen and internalized by each person in each generation at the risk of deflecting material goods from their proper purposes.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/09/02/moral-dimension-work" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:16:44 +0000 rober6thom 6664 at http://www.acton.org The Real ‘Throwaway’ Culture http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/26/real-throwaway-culture <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/kishore-jayabalan">Kishore Jayabalan</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pope Francis is famous for his strident denunciations of a &ldquo;throwaway culture&rdquo; that ruthlessly discards human beings not considered useful in an economy that &ldquo;kills.&rdquo; His criticism is true in so far as our pragmatic age exalts what <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_should_you_live_for_your_resume_or_your_eulogy?language=en">David Brooks</a>calls &ldquo;r&eacute;sum&eacute; virtues&rdquo; over &ldquo;eulogy virtues.&rdquo; Technocracy and utilitarianism have made us cold and calculating, less respectful towards nature and neighbor.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/26/real-throwaway-culture" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:31:09 +0000 rober6thom 6660 at http://www.acton.org The Not So New Russian Orthodox Banking System http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/19/not-so-new-russian-orthodox-banking-system <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/rev-gregory-jensen">Rev. Gregory Jensen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While they have much to recommend them, the free market and the global banking system aren&rsquo;t without their shortcomings. The Orthodox Church in Russia has proposed a banking model that corrects what it sees as the most serious of that industry&rsquo;s moral failings. However the system the Church purposes is unlikely to foster economic growth. It also overlooks the convergence of the free market with key elements of the Orthodox moral tradition.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/19/not-so-new-russian-orthodox-banking-system" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:02:58 +0000 rober6thom 6652 at http://www.acton.org Show Me the Way to Poverty http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/12/show-me-way-poverty <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/staff/dylan-pahman">Dylan Pahman</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In <a href="http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/07/10/pope_francis_speech_at_world_meeting_of_popular_movements/1157291">a recent speech in Bolivia</a>, Pope Francis voiced his indictment of what he calls &ldquo;the globalization of exclusion and indifference.&rdquo; Speaking of what he believes to be problems universal to Latin America, he wishes, &ldquo;May the cry of the excluded be heard in Latin America and throughout the world.&rdquo; But who, I wonder, are <em>they</em> listening to?</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/12/show-me-way-poverty" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:53:45 +0000 rober6thom 6649 at http://www.acton.org How Do We Help the Poor? http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/05/how-do-we-help-poor <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> by <a href="/about/people/james-v-schall">James V. Schall</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bernard de Mandeville (1670&ndash;1733) famously (or infamously) suggested that the cause of wealth is vice. If everyone were perfect, Mandeville thought, no one would demand anything. Everyone would be content with little. With no aggregate demand, no production would arise to meet that demand. If no one drinks beer, no brewing industry would exist. No brewing industry would mean no growing of hops and barley, thus no farmers, no market for bottles or cans, no Clydesdales, nor anything refreshing to drink at baseball games.</p><p><a href="http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2015/08/05/how-do-we-help-poor" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:39:53 +0000 rober6thom 6642 at http://www.acton.org