Rev. Ben Johnson

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

Posts by Rev. Ben Johnson

The one virtue personified by all good fathers and entrepreneurs

  It has become passe to accuse defenders of the free market of selfishness and atomization. Even Pope Francis recently denounced “libertarian individualism.” But Mihail Neamtu, in a new essay for Religion & Liberty Transatlantic, argues that open markets rely on one specific virtue, best exemplified by fathers and entrepreneurs, which requires them to care for others: Over nearly half a century, secular academia, pop culture, and the managerial welfare State have undermined an important moral quality of the West: individual responsibility, rooted in inherent human dignity. Continue Reading...

Brexit: From poultry to prosperity

An unusual debate – over chlorinated chickens, of all things – is showing how Brexit and free markets can lead the UK and the developing world to greater flourishing. The debate has been brewing for years. Continue Reading...

The most effective way to reduce child poverty

A vital fact lies buried in the recent IFS study on income inequality: the most effective way to alleviate poverty. This was true even though the IFS study, and UK government statistics, don’t actually measure poverty but rather inequality. Continue Reading...

The kind of ‘tolerance’ the West needs

In the modern lexicon, “tolerance” stands alongside “equality” as an unquestioned and absolute good, a cornerstone of transatlantic values. True tolerance has brought the West unparalleled prosperity. But what kind of “tolerance” should we advance, and what other cultural concepts must support it? Continue Reading...

Why did medieval monks preserve pagan literature?

Many educated people – though perhaps not enough – know that it was medieval monks who preserved classical culture. Between their daily offices, the monks huddled in their cells by candlelight to copy the great cultural artifacts of Western civilization. Continue Reading...

Macron’s African statement ignores human ingenuity

A French media outlet has captured an otherwise unnoticed comment from French President Emmanuel Macron that Africa is overpopulated. When asked about a possible “Marshall Plan for Africa,” Macron listed among the continent’s current problems the need for “demographic transition,” lamenting the fact that some African “countries still have seven to eight children per woman.” His concerns seem particularly worth examining today on World Population Day. Continue Reading...