Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Senior Editor at the Acton Institute.

Posts by Rev. Ben Johnson

Denmark to American leftists: We’re not socialist

Democratic Socialists have presented Denmark as the elusive nation where socialism has been successful, and thus a model for the policies they would implement in the United States. Bernie Sanders regularly invoked Denmark during the 2016 presidential campaign, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez reassured 60 Minutes viewers that her version of democratic socialism would veer more toward Denmark than Venezuela. Continue Reading...

Is a no-deal Brexit a ‘moral failure’?

After a long postponement, the UK Parliament has resumed its debate leading up to the “meaningful vote” on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. As of this writing, the unpopular compromise is predicted to fail by an historically large margin – and some clerics consider this not just unfortunate but immoral. Continue Reading...

In Spain, collectivism is rising on the Right

Spain closed out 2018 by witnessing the rise of a new and growing populist party named Vox, writes Ángel Manuel García Carmona in a new essay for Acton’s Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website: Since 2016, right-wing populist parties have been on the rise in Europe: National Rally (formerly the National Front) in France, the League in Italy, the Party for Freedom in Netherlands, Vlaams Belang in Flanders, and the Alternative for Germany are but a few examples. Continue Reading...

What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets wrong about Europe

During her interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, newly sworn in Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez justified her vision of democratic socialism by invoking a caricature of Europe. When asked if she wanted to turn the United States into a version of Venezuela or the Soviet Union, Ocasio-Cortez demurred with an incredulous smile. Continue Reading...

Is capitalism making us fat?

As workers emerge from the holidays an average of one pound heavier, weight loss tops every list of New Year’s resolutions. Yet in 2019, physicians are asking politicians to classify obesity as a disease to be treated by taxing sugary foods – and some commentators are blaming our penchant for overindulgence on the capitalist system.    Continue Reading...

The great exchange: How returning Christmas gifts refutes socialism

“It is more blessed to give than to receive,” according to the scriptures – but so many people will return disappointing Christmas gifts to the store for an exchange or refund today that January 3 has sometimes been dubbed “National Returns Day.” While it may deflate our ego to know that our gift choices do not bring our loved ones the pleasure we had hoped, there are economic, political, and spiritual truths embedded in this unheralded holiday tradition. Continue Reading...