The end of black conservatism?

On December 27, 2016, at the age of 86, Thomas Sowell published his last column. After publishing dozens of books and hundreds of columns, Dr. Sowell’s retirement may mark the beginning of the end of an era of black intellectuals who were champions of political and economic liberty. Continue Reading...

How 2016 election turnout data encourages humility

The following graph, in various forms, is making the rounds: [Image removed.] The suggestion of the graph (and usually of commentary by those who share it) is that Sec. Hillary Clinton lost to President-elect Donald Trump because Democrats didn’t turn out to vote for her like they did for President Obama. Continue Reading...

Virtuous envy?

Edward Feser, with a nod to Thomas Aquinas, discusses whether there might be such a thing as virtuous Schadenfreude. As Feser puts it, “On the one hand, the suffering of a person is not as such something to rejoice in, for suffering, considered just by itself, is an evil…. Continue Reading...

Beware the post-election narratives

In his best-selling book The Black Swan, probabilist Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns against the need for easy narratives to explain the unexpected. Given how unexpected the result of this Tuesday’s election was, it is worth taking some time to review what Taleb calls “the narrative fallacy.” According to Taleb, The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship, upon them. Continue Reading...

Diverse voters, deep passions: what 2016 exit polls tell us

As, no doubt, many readers are getting flooded on social media with think pieces and hot takes (not to mention apocalyptic worry or celebration), the point of this post is simply to look at what the data seems to indicate about those who voted for President-elect Donald Trump and his opponent, Sec. Continue Reading...

Work is a gift our kids can handle

UPDATE: Given the recent attention drawn to this post, permit me to clarify that I do NOT endorse replacing education with paid labor, nor do I support sending our children back into the coal mines or other high-risk jobs, nor do I support getting rid of mandatory education at elementary and middle-school ages. Continue Reading...

Markets without limits?

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who is president of the Ruth Institute as well as a senior fellow in economics here at the Acton Institute, debated Peter Jaworski, a co-author of the recent book, Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests, at an event hosted by the Austin Institute. Continue Reading...

The paradox of flourishing: Where authority and vulnerability meet

In our discussions about politics, society, and culture, the vocabulary of “human flourishing” has become increasingly popular, moving dangerously close to the status of blurry buzzword. Yet at its best, the term captures the connective tissue between the material and the transcendent, the immediate and the eternal, pointing toward a holistic prosperity that accounts for the full complexity of the human person. Continue Reading...

Trump is the lewd American male

The implosion of Donald Trump’s campaign is a reminder that at the end of the day, character matters more than professional success or political commitments. At the beginning of the second presidential debate Donald apologized again for the lewd comments recorded during a private discussion with Billy Bush in 2005 in which he boasted of romantically pursuing married women and groping others. Continue Reading...