Acton Commentary: Marxism’s Last (and First) Stronghold

My commentary on Western Europe’s fascination with Marxist symbolism was published today on the Web site of the Acton Institute. Excerpt: Marxism, we’re often told, is dead. While Communism as a system of authoritarian power still exists in countries like China, Marxism’s contemporary hold over people’s minds, many claim, is nothing compared to its glory days between the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia in October 1917 and the Berlin Wall’s fall twenty years ago. Continue Reading...

Speaking Truth to School Children

On the weekend I read the text of the talk Barack Obama gave on Tuesday to a public school in Virginia and through the medium of technology to students throughout the nation who wished to see and hear him on their school televisions. Continue Reading...

Stewardship, Soulcraft, Work, and Eternity

In what deserves to be considered a modern classic, Lester DeKoster writes on the relationship between work and stewardship. These reflections from God’s Yardstick ought to be remembered this Labor Day: The basic form of stewardship is daily work. Continue Reading...

Caritas in Veritate: The Truth about Humanity

I’ve begun a series of articles that take a close look at Pope Benedict’s new social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. In this first article, which focuses on the opening chapter, I examine the moral realism of this pope, a realism that transcends the easy categories of politics and social theory. Continue Reading...

Health Care and ‘Rights’ Talk

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the talk of health care as a ‘right’ is so vague as to border on willful and culpable obfuscation. I certainly advocate a rich and complex description of ‘rights’ talk, such that simply calling something a ‘right’ doesn’t end the ethical or political discussion. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Too Much Government Makes Us Sick

I take a look at the way corn subsidies skew our eating habits — and not always for the good of our health — in this week’s Acton Commentary. Excerpt: Government policy-makers regularly prove themselves to be unwise decision-makers by continuing to introduce arbitrary agricultural price distortions that create incentives for producing unhealthy food through farm subsidies. Continue Reading...

Health Rationing for the Greater Good

[UPDATE BELOW] I discussed the creepy side of President Obama’s “science czar” here. But there are more creepy things in the cabinet. The Wall Street Journal reports that the president’s health policy adviser, Dr. Continue Reading...

What Can the Church Do?

Ron Sider: “If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education to all the poor of the earth. Continue Reading...

‘Pro-Consumption and Pro-Environment’

Saleem H. Ali, a ‘pro-consumption environmentalist’ at the University of Vermont “argues that sometimes a nation has to extract a nonrenewable resource like oil, or tricky-to-recycle metals and gems, in order to leapfrog from dire poverty to a more diversified economy.” “Money from oil wealth can be used to invest in other sectors. Continue Reading...