Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'materialism'

What ‘The Profit’ Teaches Us About Ethics and Enterprise

I’ve written before on how television can be a powerful tool for illuminating the deeper significance of daily work and the beauties of basic trade and enterprise. Shows like Dirty Jobs, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, and Restaurant Impossible have used the medium to this end, and today at The Federalist, I review a new contender in the mix. Continue Reading...

How Capitalism Humanized the Family

Capitalism is routinely blamed for rampant materialism and consumerism, accused of setting society’s sights only on material needs and wants, and living little time, attention, or energy for much else. But what, if not basic food, shelter, and survival, was humanity so preoccupied with before the Industrial Revolution? Continue Reading...

No, Socialism Wouldn’t Succeed ‘If Only Men Were Angels’

When arguing about the merits of a free economy, its defenders often give way to a peculiar line of reasoning that goes something like this: “Socialism would be wonderful if it actually worked, and it could actually work if only men were angels.” Such claims are meant to frame socialists as foolish idealists obsessed with their silly utopias. Continue Reading...

Real Life is Much More Than Economic

I think it is important to keep in mind that it is not the world of economics that is critical to human life on earth. When I left the field of economics for what I still believe to be a more important life agenda, it was because I regarded economics as driving cross-country at 80 mph with my eyes firmly fixed on the rear-view mirror. Continue Reading...

Black Friday: A Day of Hyper Generosity?

For many, Black Friday epitomizes everything nasty American hyper-consumerism. Stores everywhere are plagued with overly aggressive shoppers, each stuffed to the brim with carb-laden Thanksgiving chow and yet ever-more hungry for the next delicious deal. Continue Reading...

A Cultural Case for Capitalism: Part 12 of 12 — Beyond Marxism

[Part 1 is here.] That most colossal blunder of Marxist experiments, the Soviet Union, collapsed more than twenty years ago, and yet Marxist thinking still penetrates the warp and woof of contemporary culture, so much so that it’s easy even for avowedly anti-Marxist conservatives to think from within the box of Marxism when considering the problem of cultural decay. Continue Reading...

Video & Audio: Why Libertarians Need God

The 2014 Acton Lecture Series got underway last week with an address from Jay Richards on the topic of “Why Libertarians Need God.” In his address, Richards argued that core libertarian principles of individual rights, freedom and responsibility, reason, moral truth, and limited government make little sense in an atheistic and materialist context, but make far more sense when grounded in a theistic belief system. Continue Reading...

Celebrating the Things of the Spirit

Each Independence Day, I make a point of re-reading President Calvin Coolidge’s speech given on the 150th anniversary Declaration of Independence. I’d encourage you to do the same. Coolidge has a deep understanding of American history, and after contemplating what led the founders to write what they wrote, and what inclined Americans to follow their lead, he ultimately concludes that it was their spiritual inclinations, and the moral and spiritual orientation of the American people, that played the most important role: Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Continue Reading...