Is economics an ideology?

‘Ludwig von Mises’ by Ludwig von Mises Institute CC BY-SA 3.0 Richard H. Spady, research professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins, has recently published a piece at First Things entitled ‘Economics as Ideology’ in which he explores some contemporary trends among economists and their use of economics as a Procrustean bed to reshape society in its own image, A body of thought is “ideological” when it will­fully projects its own first principles on its subject matter and actively seeks, perhaps unconsciously, material changes to bring social realities into conformity with these first principles. Continue Reading...

The challenges of Islam and pluralism

Last week I had an essay exploring Abraham Kuyper’s interactions with Islam, focused particularly on his tour around the Mediterranean Sea in the early years of the twentieth century. As I argue, Throughout his travels, Kuyper was confronted by the diversity, vitality, and comprehensiveness of the Islamic faith. Continue Reading...

The self-defeating nature of sin taxes

Rev. Ben Johnson, senior editor at the Acton Institute, wrote a new article for CapX warning bishops of the dangers of encouraging sin taxes. Recently in Poland, a letter written by bishop Tadeusz Bronakowski was read aloud in many Catholic churches, stating that the “state has a ‘responsibility’ to pass laws limiting alcohol’s ‘physical and economic availability,’ and to back them up with ‘ruthless enforcement.'” Johnson, however, asks bishops to take a look at historical records regarding sin taxes and reconsider their stance, explaining how past and present sin taxes have resulted in a burgeoning black market. Continue Reading...

Pope Francis’s attack on ‘libertarian individualism’ not about libertarians

The following essay appeared Friday, May 5, 2017, at Crux. In a recent message by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Social Science he outlines some moral concerns about a phenomenon he sees as invading (his term) “high levels of culture and education in both universities and in schools,” namely “libertarian individualism.” On the first day of my philosophy classes, the professor admonished us that if we want to have an intelligent discussion or debate, we must begin by defining our terms. Continue Reading...