The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Reminiscence and Reflection

Excerpts from remarks delivered at the Acton Institute annual dinner in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Oct. 29, 2009: Twenty years ago today, a growing tide of men and women in Eastern Europe and northern Asia were shaking off the miasma that had led so many to imagine that central economic planning could work. Continue Reading...

‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Acton adjunct scholar and sometime PowerBlog contributor Eric Schansberg links to a bit of background to Ronald Reagan’s remarks at the Brandenburg Gate provided by Anthony Dolan, Reagan’s head speechwriter, in today’s WSJ. Continue Reading...

Dems Cornered on Health Reform

As we appear to be nearing a climax in the many-months-long health care reform debate (maybe), opinion is remarkably divided on what the end result will be. Outright victory for left-wing reformers? Continue Reading...

Critiquing Fair Trade and Dead Aid

Cardus’ Robert Joustra rightly pillories “fair trade” along with the logic of foreign aid in a challenging article, “Fair Trade and Dead Aid: ‘My Voice Can’t Compete with an Electric Guitar.'” Joustra’s point of departure is sound: “The aid model is not working, and no large-scale cash infusion or debt forgiveness scheme is going to make it suddenly start working. Continue Reading...

The Market, School of Virtue

This week’s Acton Commentary: Does the market inspire people to greater practical virtue, or does it eviscerate what little virtue any of us have? Far from draining moral goodness out of us—as many think—the free market serves as a “school of the practical virtues.” Rather than elevating greed and self-sufficiency, the market fosters interdependence and cooperation. Continue Reading...

Machiavelli, the Prince, and the Tradition of Liberty

Machiavelli’s succinct and semi-diabolical advice to the prince is one of the most enduring works of political philosophy in the world. This man, writing in a time roughly contemporaneous with the Reformation, was less concerned with seeking the will of God than with winning at all costs. Continue Reading...

Finding the Right Charity

The Dave Ramsey Show appears on Fox Business Network and is also available for live streaming via Hulu. In last Thursday’s episode (at about the 18:00 mark), a Twitter follower of @ramseyshow asked, “I want to start giving. Continue Reading...

Recommended Post-Reformation Day Reading

In connection with the worldwide celebrations of the quincentenary of John Calvin’s birth in 2009, the Acton Institute BookShoppe recently made available a limited stock of the hard-to-find Light for the City: Calvin’s Preaching, Source of Life and Liberty (Eerdmans, 2004). Continue Reading...