Fusionism and Western Civ

Pope Leo XIII, writing in the midst of social crisis at the end of the nineteenth century, wisely observed: “When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang.” For the American experiment in ordered liberty, this means in large part going back to the Anglo-American tradition represented by Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Continue Reading...

Intellectuals vs Freedom

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark: By Frank Wolfe, White House Press Office (Public Domain). [Review of From Benito Mussolini to Hugo Chavez: Intellectuals and a Century of Political Hero Worship by Paul Hollander, Cambridge University Press, 2016, 325 pp.] My former boss and current president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed, used to begin seminars by asking members of the audience when they “caught the liberty bug.” What he meant by this was the personal epiphanies we experienced that led to our devotion to and advocacy for freedom and liberty. Continue Reading...

Why it’s high time to bury Lenin

In an article published today at The American Spectator, Acton Senior Editor Rev. Ben Johnson comments on the solemn centenary of the Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s ascendancy to power. Continue Reading...

What is the role of tradition in renewing Western civilization?

Does tradition harm progress? Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, in a recent article for Library of Law and Liberty, describes “tradition” as the handing down of beliefs, cultural molds, and historical ways of thinking and living, but also as a means to promoting human flourishing in renewing civilization. Continue Reading...

‘Instruction by which we may profit’: A guide to reading Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’ (Part 1)

When Alexis de Tocqueville authored Democracy in America, a two-volume treatment of America, he wrote it “to find there instruction by which we ourselves may profit.” By “we,” Tocqueville was referring to his fellow Frenchmen, but although he may have written those words in 1835, we as Americans of the 21st century also have plenty to profit from Tocqueville’s wisdom, if we’ll but receive it. Continue Reading...