Acton Institute Powerblog

Religion & Liberty: The Moral Crisis of Crony Capitalism

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Today’s new rich is the “government rich” according to Peter Schweizer. Massive centralization of money, resources, and regulation has allowed our public servants and many big businesses to thrive. The poor, new business start ups, the taxpayer, and the free market are punished. Washington and corporate elites profit from the rules and regulations they create for their own benefit and their cronies. As daily news reports currently reminds us, Washington is a cesspool of corruption and abuse of power.

It’s a moral crisis, and it’s the title for our interview with author and Hoover Institute Fellow Peter Schweizer. “I would say some of the biggest enemies of the free market today in America are big corporations,” declares Schweizer.

Jordan Ballor looks at two different versions of religious liberty that expresses freedom from religion that was modeled in the French Revolution and freedom for religion within America’s revolution in his feature, “Principle and Prudence.” The article was also published in Renewing Minds, a publication of Union University.

Stephen Schmalhofer offers a review of Sam Gregg’s Becoming Europe. There is also an excerpt of Faithful in All God’s House titled “Work and Play” by Gerard Berghoef and Lester DeKoster. Faithful in All God’s House is newly edited and reissued by Christian’s Library Press. The book was originally published as God’s Yardstick in 1982.

The “In The Liberal Tradition” figure is Clare Boothe Luce. Kris Mauren, Acton’s executive director, offers an important explanation on why R&L publishes the “In the Liberal Tradition.”

You can read more about the issue in my editor’s notes and be sure to check out all of the content here.

Ray Nothstine is opinion editor of the the North State Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, he was managing editor of Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty quarterly. In 2005 Ray graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in Oxford.


  • RogerMcKinney

    “I would say some of the biggest enemies of the free market today in America are big corporations,” declares Schweizer.

    That has always been true. Adam Smith warned against it. Businessmen support free markets when their competitors might get a government benefit, but will throw free markets under the bus if they can get a favor.

  • RogerMcKinney

    I wouldn’t call it crony-capitalism. The socialist media coined the term in order to disparage capitalism. We haven’t had capitalism in the US since at least 1929. It would be more accurate to call the system crony-socialism, but that would be redundant.

    • RayNothstine

      Roger, in the interview Peter Schweizer agrees with your assessment. He uses the word “cronyism.”

      • RogerMcKinney

        Yeah I noticed he dropped “capitalism” from “crony” a few times. I think we should just call it what it is – corruption. It’s third-world banana republic style corruption.

        • RayNothstine

          I think one of the main reasons we decided to go with crony capitalism is for search purposes and recognition. Your point is a valid one and something we certainly thought a lot about. I think it was Jack Welch who referred to some of the goings on in the WH as “Chicago-style chicanery.”