Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Social philosophy'

Rationing by Rudeness

In an article in the Journal of Markets & Morality, Ryan Langrill and Virgil Henry Storr examine “The Moral Meanings of Markets.” They argue that “traditional defenses of the morality of the market tend to inadequately articulate the moral meanings of markets.” Such defenses tend to argue from practical, even pragmatic or utilitarian, grounds. Continue Reading...

How the Profit Motive Helps the Environment

On this Earth Day, says Pierre Desrochers, we should spare a thought for the profit motive, an unheralded but long-standing champion of the environment. “The search for increased profitability,” ntoes Desrochers, “has long delivered both economic and environmental improvements by promoting the evermore efficient use of material resources.” With Earth Day near (this Monday), we hear the usual annual litany of laments from environmentalists, urging us to mend the errors of our industrial ways. Continue Reading...

Marx Redivivus?

Ross Douthat (a scheduled plenary speaker at this year’s Acton University) has a noteworthy piece this week about the revival of sorts of Karl Marx: “Marxist ideas are having an intellectual moment, and attention must be paid.” He looks at Marxism among Millennials, who perhaps can be excused for not knowing any better given their relative youth and the education many have received. Continue Reading...

Liberals Acting Illiberally

“Liberal: not bound by traditional ways or beliefs.” A “liberal” then, would be a person who is open-minded, ready to listen to another point of view. “I’m not bound to any traditions; I’m open-minded. Continue Reading...

Lorde, Poverty, and Envy

At Reason Thaddeus Russell argues that Macklemore and Lorde embody a kind of progressive cultural critique of capitalism, captured in the attack on “conspicuous consumption” made famous by Thorstein Veblen. Russell traces the “progressive lineage” of this critique: “Their songs continue a long tradition, rooted in progressivism, of protests against the pleasures of the poor.” Having never listened to him, I have no opinion about Macklemore. Continue Reading...

Why Liberty Isn’t Enough

“It’s important to talk about liberty, but not in isolation,” says Samuel Gregg, Research Director for the Acton Institute. “Our language should reflect the truth that reason, justice, equality, and virtue make freedom possible.” At some point, for instance, those in the business of promoting freedom need to engage more precisely what they mean by liberty. Continue Reading...

Acton On Tap: The Threat to Religious Liberty With Ray Nothstine

James Madison called religious liberty the “lustre of our country” and a guaranteed right that is free from political authority. But some politicians are trying to redefine religious freedom in America, preferring instead to call it “freedom of worship.” The implication is that you are free to say and believe what you want as long as it is confined inside the walls of the houses of worship. Continue Reading...

Liberating Our Labor

“I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build!” At Slate Miya Tokumitsu writes that the motto “Do What You Love” really functions as a kind of capitalism-supporting opiate: “In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism.” While Tokumitsu singles out Steve Jobs, perhaps Howard Roark might agree. Continue Reading...