Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'lord acton'

Men Seeking Absolute Power

David Lohmeyer turned up this excellent clip from the original Star Trek series: Kirk opens the clip by referencing the Nazi “leader principle” (das Führerprinzip). Soon after Hitler’s election as chancellor in 1933, the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave a (partial) radio address and later lectured publicly on the topic of the “leader principle” and its meaning for the younger generation. Continue Reading...

Speaking of a Principled Basis for Limited Government

My recent posts on politics and austerity and this week’s Acton Commentary refer to a principled basis for limited government. I speak of “the limits of government rooted in a rich and variegated civil society.” Here’s a good statement of that basis from Lord Acton: There are many things government can’t do – many good purposes it must renounce. Continue Reading...

An Analogy for Good Government

Riffing off of Lord Acton’s quote on liberty and good government, I came up with an analogy that was well-received at last month’s inaugural Acton on Tap. In his essay, “The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” Acton said the following: Now Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together; but they do not necessarily go together. Continue Reading...

What Government Can’t Do

NJ Governor Chris Christie: “Today, we come to terms with the fact that we cannot spend money on everything we want.” Lord Acton: “There are many things the government can’t do – many good purposes it must renounce. Continue Reading...

Join us for the launch of Acton on Tap

Politics, Liberty, BeerThose of you within striking distance of West Michigan won’t want to miss the inaugural Acton on Tap, a casual and fun night out on Feb. 25 to discuss important and timely ideas with friends. Continue Reading...

Psychologists confirm: Power corrupts

The Economist reports on a new study by psychologists that looks into the problem of abuse of power. The researchers attempt to “answer the question of whether power tends to corrupt, as Lord Acton’s dictum has it, or whether it merely attracts the corruptible.” These results, then, suggest that the powerful do indeed behave hypocritically, condemning the transgressions of others more than they condemn their own. Continue Reading...

Gladstone’s 200th Birthday

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)The Mackinac Center notes that today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of British parliamentarian and statesman William Gladstone, and links to a 2003 article from the center’s president, Lawrence W. Continue Reading...