The Library of Law and Liberty published a new compilation of essays that addresses the recent problematic claims made by First Things editor, Rusty Reno, about Michael Novak and his understanding of capitalism. In the compilation, Michael Matheson Miller, research fellow at the Acton Institute, writes that Reno’s view of Michael Novak is an inaccurate “caricature” and “misses the point.”
Reno was incorrect on several points he made about Novak and the present state of the economy, including his characterizing Novak as a liberationist and stating that the economy is now freer than ever before. “The biggest weakness of Reno’s analysis, however, is his assertion that capitalism is the driving force behind cultural and moral disintegration and his corollary argument that it is “patently absurd” for conservatives to worry about socialism,” says Miller. Reno’s reflections on the market economy are built on shoddy foundations.
Miller concludes that “Reno’s piece makes it clear that he disagrees with Michael Novak, and perhaps by implication Father Neuhaus, on the viability of a dynamic, open society—and the economic system that underpins such a system.”
Read Miller’s essay, “Novak-as-Liberationist Won’t Fly.”