Pope Francis, Donald Trump and the Problem of Populism

“What would happen when these populisms collide at the first Francis-Trump summit?” asks Kishore Jayabalan in this week’s Acton Commentary. “We may shudder at the thought, but if Catholicism and strident nationalism are indeed so opposed, we may be left waiting for another St. Continue Reading...

Crossing the Waters of Freedom

“Although its roots are often attributed to Latin America, liberation theology was born in German schools of theology in the early twentieth century,” says Ismael Hernandez in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

Determinism, Dependency, and the Irreducible Person

“Sociological determinism informs our public policy,” says Ismael Hernandez in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Those with a stake in the maintenance and expansion of government bureaucracies feed upon pathology and find a willing constituency among those who perceive the world in terms of victims and perpetrators.” If men are not free, they are not responsible for their misdeeds and ought instead to be treated with pity for falling prey to tragic misfortunes. Continue Reading...

Lessons of the Flint Water Crisis

“As all the media attention attests, the sad story of Flint is not limited to itself,” says Kishore Jayabalan in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The entitlement mentality is like a drug ruining not just American cities but spreading to the country as a whole. Continue Reading...

The EU: Something Completely Different

“If the nation-state is passé,” asks Todd Huizinga in this week’s Acton Commentary, “why do “Europeans” cling to it?” Current events have made it more crucial than ever to understand what makes the European Union tick. Continue Reading...

The Odds are Never In Our Favor

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I take a look at “The Moral and Economic Poverty of the Lottery.” I take a look at the main parties involved: the winners, the players, and the government, and conclude, “Far from a force for good, lotteries are a danger to society.” The problems with lotteries and gambling more generally are various and sundry. Continue Reading...

The Jedi Knights Templar

The new Star Wars film embodies that ancient human striving for virtue and a higher spiritual order, says Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. The most recent installment in the Star Wars franchise, Episode VII “The Force Awakens” has blasted box-office records like the Death Star destroying Alderan, so far grossing over $1.7 billion. Continue Reading...

Cultural Stewardship and Institutional Scrutiny

In today’s Acton Commentary, I have some further reflections on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The basic thrust of the piece is to encourage institutional thinking. We should expect that humans are going to institutionalize their goals because humans are natural institution builders, or culture makers. Continue Reading...

Hot Fries and the End of Work

“There can never be a world without work,” says James Bruce in this week’s Acton Commentary. “We are made to work. We flourish when we do, and we suffer when we don’t.” Now, if we think about work’s purpose or goal, we will realize that work can never end. Continue Reading...

Keeping Watch over Their Flock at Night

For this week’s Acton Commentary, we have a Christmas meditation by the Dutch statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper. If we should ever be envious, shouldn’t we envy the shepherds out in Bethlehem’s fields? Continue Reading...