Humans are not Economic Automata

Courtesy Evangelical Outpost and the always-interesting 33 Things, here’s a video on the strangeness of the economics of incentives and punishments: The lesson here is that people in real life, body and soul, are not simple rational economic actors who respond only to material realities. Continue Reading...

Privacy and Public Persons

This week’s Acton Commentary from Rev. Gregory Jensen, “Finding the Balance: Privacy and the Civil Society,” is a thoughtful reflection on the place of privacy in our modern life. I have recently made the claim that public persons, such as police officers and politicians, have a somewhat different claim to privacy than private persons. Continue Reading...

Finding the Balance: Privacy and the Civil Society

This week’s commentary by Rev. Gregory Jensen. Sign up for Acton News & Commentary here. Finding the Balance: Privacy and the Civil Society by Rev. Gregory Jensen Privacy in our culture has come to serve not a deepening of community life but an ever deeper sense of social isolation.  Even otherwise laudable behavior is increasingly justified not by the goodness of what is done but by the modern sense of privacy.  Even among those who ought to know better, the Gospel is presented in terms that are almost wholly personal without any sense of its public character and demands.   Our sense of isolation from each other has become so profound that even to suggest that there is a human nature and that true happiness is only possible when we live in conformity to our nature, is seen a provocation and an assault on the radical autonomy of the individual. Continue Reading...

Cardinal Pell on Global Warming, Western Civilization

His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, who delivered the keynote address at Acton’s 2004 annual dinner (full text here), has recently produced two notable commentaries: the first on global warming, the second on the Christian foundations of modern Western Civilization. Continue Reading...

The Context of Lutheran Ecumenical Social Activism

In the background of this month’s 11th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, it’s important to recall the recent history of global Lutheranism. The basic context is that Lutheranism has been self-understood as historically associated with social quietism, particularly as expressed in the church’s impotency in the face of the Nazi menace. Continue Reading...

The Greek Debt Song

The birth of a new genre: econo-psychobilly bouzouki music. Opa, you all! For more great Merle Hazard tunes, check out his website. They don’t call him “The Man in Beige” for nothing. Continue Reading...

LWF General Assembly Underway

Today marks the opening of the 11th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, held this time in Stuttgart. Today is also the 66th anniversary of the failed Stauffenberg assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler. Continue Reading...

Gregg on Gold: The Moral Case

The extent and persistence of the global economic and financial crisis has caused many people to start asking if there is any alternative to the current monetary system of fiat money overseen by central banks which enjoy varying — and apparently diminishing — degrees of independence from politicians who seem unable to resist meddling with monetary policy in pursuit of short-term goals (such as their reelection). Continue Reading...

Stop! Think! Go!

Wired magazine had a lengthy feature in 2004 on a new brand of transit design, specifically the kind that eschews signage and barriers, preferring instead more subtle signals. In “Roads Gone Wild,” Tom McNichol profiles Hans Monderman (now deceased), “a traffic engineer who hates traffic signs.” Monderman’s point of departure is that human interaction (e.g. Continue Reading...
Monderman's Drachten Intersection