The intellectual maverick behind Brazil’s conservative wave

The recent victory of the conservative populist Jair Bolsonaro in the Brazilian presidential elections brought the name of the philosopher Olavo de Carvalho to the center of Brazilian political debate. Many have since stated that Carvalho is an intellectual precursor to the populist candidate – as someone who was able to reshape the Brazilian political discussion in ways that cleared an intellectual path for Bolsonaro’s electoral victory. Continue Reading...

Bolsonaro versus Brazil’s elites

In his book Sovereignty (1955), the French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel observed that one of the significant phenomena in the construction of the modern state was the concentration of the means of communication in the hands of a few. Continue Reading...

Russell Kirk’s 100th Birthday

I’d like to join in the chorus of Russell Kirk memorials that have graced the PowerBlog these past few days to commemorate Kirk’s 100th birthday. Over at The Federalist today, I can only hint at the significant contributions Kirk wrote on behalf of conservatism, sound economics and Christian humanism. Continue Reading...

Review: Bradley Birzer’s Russell Kirk biography invites us to reconsider conservatism

This is the fifth in a series celebrating the work of Russell Kirk in honor of his 100th birthday this October. Read more from the series here. During the twentieth century, one man in particular took it upon himself to make a project of defining and perhaps re-invigorating an American conservatism which the prominent cultural critic Lionel Trilling dismissed as “a series of irritable mental gestures.” I remember picking up a copy of Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind many years ago. Continue Reading...

Video: Samuel Gregg on Russell Kirk’s contributions to conservatism

This is the fourth in a series celebrating the work of Russell Kirk in honor of his 100th birthday this October. Read more from the series here. On October 3, Acton’s Director of Research, Samuel Gregg, joined a panel at the American Enterprise Institute to commemorate the life and legacy of Russell Kirk, one of the leading American intellectuals of conservative thought.  Continue Reading...

Socialism dehumanizes the poor…and socialists: Socialist leader

Socialism claims that its collectivist economic plans “put people first.” But even the philosophy behind socialism dehumanizes everyone involved – according to one of the foremost socialist leaders. Marxism is rooted in the concept of dialectical materialism, the pseudo-scientific assertion that the endless churning of class conflict between the rich (bourgeoisie) and the poor (proletariat) eventually produces a worker’s paradise. Continue Reading...

Chafuen celebrates Catalan critic of socialism

Jaime Balmes was a young Catalan priest who died 170 years ago and is largely forgotten today. But Alejandro Chafuen, Acton’s Managing Director, International, believes that Balmes deserves more attention for his economic ideas and his critiques of socialism.  Continue Reading...

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