Are Protectionism and Patriotism Incompatible Principles?

This morning at Ethika Politika, I argue that “acting primarily for the sake of national interest in international affairs runs contrary to a nation’s highest ideals.” In particular, I draw on the thought of Vladimir Solovyov, who argued that, morally speaking, national interest alone cannot be the supreme standard of international action since the highest aspirations of each nation (e.g. Continue Reading...

Get an MBA, Save the World

If you want to work in international development, says Charles Kenny, go work for a big, bad multinational company: Kids today — they just want to save the world. But there is more than one way to make the planet a better place. Continue Reading...

Envy and Resentment Lead to Bad Law

When it comes to Swiss bank accounts, pop culture brings to mind wealthy people who hide assets from various groups, such as the IRS or their jilted family members. Our sympathies do not align with the type of people we imagine hold Swiss accounts. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Contagious Community

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Contagious Community,” I look at the positive as well as the negative aspects of coordination and cooperation between human beings on a global scale. The film Contagion provided the occasion for these reflections, and I argue that while the film is clear about the dangers of globalized human relationships, it also teaches a more subtle lesson. Continue Reading...

Fair Trade or Free Trade?

Is ‘fair trade’ more fair or more just than free trade? While free trade has been increasingly maligned, The Fair Trade movement has become increasingly popular over the last several years. Continue Reading...

Envy and Economics

“Charity rejoices in our neighbor’s good,” said Thomas Aquinas, “while envy grieves over it.” Unfortunately, grieving over our neighbor’s good has become a dominant part of recent economic discussions (“income inequality,” the “Buffett rule,” the “99%”). Continue Reading...

Does the Vatican think water should be ‘free’?

Not surprisingly, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (PCJP)’s latest document on water has garnered scant media attention. Why, after all, would journalists, already notorious for their professional Attention Deficit Disorder and dislike of abstract disputation, report on something named “Water: An Essential Element of Life,” especially when it is nothing more than an update of a document originally released in 2003, and then updated in 2006 and 2009, with the exact same titles? Continue Reading...

The Future of Fusionism

As promised in the context of yesterday’s discussion here and at First Thoughts, my piece on the future of fusionism is up over at the Comment site, “Small is Beautiful (Except When it Isn’t.)” I take my point of departure in the “crunchy” or “communitarian” conservatism of Rod Dreher, recently profiled by the NYT’s David Brooks. Continue Reading...