John D. Rockefeller’s Special Gift to the World

Whether derided as a devil of modern industry or hailed as a saint of modern philanthropy, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller remains a controversial figure. Although the reality of the man is surely complex, those who attack his legacy tend to indulge in more than a few historical errors and economic myths, painting him as a supreme symbol of all that is wrong with industrialization and capitalism. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Fear and Loathing Stalk the West

Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg, writing for The American Spectator, looks at the telltale signs of a great civilization in decline. Many of us think of civilizational failure in terms of a society’s inability to withstand sudden external encounters. Continue Reading...

Acton University Lecturer: Islam’s Fatalism

Longtime Acton University lecturer (and author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”) Mustafa Akyol discusses the recent tragic deaths at Mecca in The New York Times. More to the point, Akyol talks about the fatalism which seems inherent in Islamic theology. Continue Reading...

Video: Donald Devine On America’s Way Back

The Fall 2015 Acton Lecture Series kicked off on September 17 with an address from Donald Devine, Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies, and formerly – and most famously – Ronald Reagan’s Director of the Office of Personnel Management, where he earned the nickname “Reagan’s Terrible Swift Sword of the Bureaucracy” from the Washington Post. Continue Reading...

Was the Civil War About Slavery?

What caused the Civil War? That seems like the sort of simple, straightforward question that any elementary school child should be able to answer. Yet many Americans—including, mostly, my fellow Southerners—claim that that the cause was economic or state’s rights or just about anything other than slavery. Continue Reading...

The Same-Sex Marriage Decision: Ruling by Judicial Fiat

The U.S. Supreme Court decided today that it is unconstitutional for a state to declare that marriage is only between one man and one woman. There is nothing in the Constitution that requires states to redefine marriage, but the Court decided that the Due Process Clause prohibits defining marriage as it has been defined for millennia just as it found a right to an abortion in the same Due Process Clause over 40 years ago. Continue Reading...

Why Harriet Tubman Will Be on the $10 Bill

Last week the U.S. Treasury announced the $10 bill is next paper currency scheduled for a major redesign, a process that takes years because of the anti-counterfeiting technology involved, and will feature a “notable woman.” The new ten will be unveiled in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the nineteenth amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Continue Reading...