A ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ for family and civil society

While the federal government’s “war on poverty” achieved some progress towards meeting basic material needs, says Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary, it has no answers to the deeper dilemma of dependency and hopelessness faced by many Americans. Continue Reading...

‘Riches do not bring freedom’

The contrast between the treatments by David Bentley Hart and Dylan Pahman of the question of the intrinsic evil of “great personal wealth” this week pretty well established, I think, that in itself wealth is among the things neither forbidden nor absolutely required. Continue Reading...

Utopias Denied: Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon at 75

Arthur Koestler (1905-1983) “In the world of literature,” says Bruce Edward Walker in this week’s Acton Commentary, “perhaps only Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did more to expose the lies and cruelty of 20th century totalitarianism.” What makes Darkness at Noon such an enduring artistic work is Koestler’s firsthand knowledge of his source material. Continue Reading...

The soul of the polis

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Piety and Politics: The Church’s Social Responsibility,” I take up the Kuyperian distinction between the church conceived as organism and as institute and point out some ways in which such ideas can help us navigate the dangerous waters of social and political engagement. Continue Reading...

Justice, Torah and the Minimum Wage

This question of whether government should mandate a higher minimum wage is not a new one, says Curt Biren in this week’s Acton Commentary. In fact, it comes up in ancient Jewish texts — related to property rights, labor law and charity law: Economists have studied the idea, but they often disagree on its impact. Continue Reading...

A ‘house of cards’ in Nicaragua

“When Nicaragua is in the news, it is usually bad news,” says Paul J. Bonicelli in this week’s Acton Commentary, “and so it is once again as it descends into another dynastic dictatorship.” The man currently building the latest family-run state is the incumbent president Daniel Ortega, although apparently the irony is lost on him since he led a socialist revolution 40 years ago to overthrow the previous dynasty. Continue Reading...

Millennials should read Solzhenitsyn

“The appeal of Bernie Sanders’ socialism is a puzzle to many, but it shouldn’t be, not if we understand how most people think about economics,” says Rev. Johannes Jacobse in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

Technology seen, and unseen

Although not everyone see its, technological progress has meant progress in human flourishing, notes Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. To answer the Luddites, first of all we must acknowledge that there is truth to what is seen. Continue Reading...

Rediscovering the beautiful

“An emphasis on the need for practical use is beneficial when applied to goods in the market, so as to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer,” says Caroline Roberts in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...