Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Senior Editor at the Acton Institute.

Posts by Rev. Ben Johnson

Is big government a near occasion of sin?

It happens every day: The news tells us of some new government scandal. The executive branch uses dubious powers to circumvent the constitutional strictures of oversight. The judicial branch, in turn, creates law out of whole cloth and styles its invention the “law of the land.” The legislative branch exempts itself from its most onerous legislation but forces taxpayers to fund secret payouts to the victims of its members’ indiscretions. Continue Reading...

Video: Dispelling myths about economic inequality

The lure of socialism lies in its promise of “equality,” a hazily defined concept that educational and political leaders transform into an even more ambiguous social goal. The word itself triggers the innate sense of fairness and equity cherished by everyone raised under the influence of Western culture. Continue Reading...

Why do Russian oligarchs hide their money in London?

Former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are clinging to life after being attacked with nerve gas in Salisbury. British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson plan to target the finances of Russian oligarchs in retaliation. Continue Reading...

The long road back from Communism

“In 1989, Communism finally collapsed,” writes Mihail Neamţu, a Romanian thinker and public intellectual, in this week’s Acton Commentary. “On our first official post-communist Christmas holiday, my family was hoping that the political landscape of Eastern Europe would quickly be shaped by healthy democratic institutions, secure private property and free trade, economic competition, as well as a robust sense of personal responsibility.” Nearly 20 years later, the anticipated reforms have been abandoned, the economy sputters, and Romanian society remains stubbornly statist: State monopolies still govern the transportation, healthcare, energy, and education sectors. Continue Reading...