Acton Institute Powerblog

The Social Muddle

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Over on The American Spectator website, Acton research fellow Jonathan Witt explains that contrary to the misunderstanding of many on the political and religious left, business, justice, and the Gospel are already social:

The adjective that economist Friedrich Hayek famously called a “weasel word” is alive and well in the feel-good phrases social businesssocial justice and the social gospel.

In all three of these phrases, the common weasel word sucks some of the essential meaning out of what it modifies by implying that business, justice, and the Christian Gospel are a-social, or even anti-social, until conjoined with a mysterious something else. If only the confusion were of merely academic interest. Unfortunately, the failure to see that business, justice and the Gospel are intrinsically social has led to all kinds of mischief in people’s efforts to organize society — most recently in the Circle of Protection promoted by Jim Wallis and his friends on the left.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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