Joseph Sunde

is an associate editor and writer for the Acton Institute. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, The Christian Post, The Stream, Intellectual Takeout, Foundation for Economic Education, Patheos, LifeSiteNews, The City, Charisma News, The Green Room, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.

Posts by Joseph Sunde

Sympathy as social virtue: Adam Smith’s solution for disruption

In our dynamic and disruptive economy, we see an increasing cultural anxiety about the automation and outmoding of all things, leading us to increase our focus on technical knowledge and “hard skills.” At the same time, we see increases in social isolation and declines in virtue and communal life, causing many to wonder what might be missing. Continue Reading...

Aldi and the virtues of ‘brutal efficiency’

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a food revolution of sorts, leading to expansive consumer choice and an increasing emphasis on healthy or specialty foods that are locally and ethically sourced. In turn, a flurry of grocery chains have capitalized on such trends, with some stuffing their aisles with countless brands as others focus on “socially conscious” goods at luxury prices. Continue Reading...

Why the ‘success sequence’ is not enough

We’ve seen a drastic shift in the social habits and behaviors of Americans, whether in work, education, or family life. Yet with an ever increasing range of “nontraditional” routes to success and stability, social scientists have begun to see how one particular pattern bears fruit. Continue Reading...

Advice to graduates: Reject the calls to ‘find yourself’ and ‘follow your passion’

Graduation season is upon us, and with it is sure to come a flurry of commencement addresses crammed with platitudes about self-actualization, self-indulgence, and self-fulfillment. Though accompanied by occasional urges to “change the world” and “make a difference,” all will still fit neatly within a much broader cultural aim: “finding ourselves,” “trusting ourselves,” and “being true to ourselves.” “It’s about living the life you want,” Oprah says, aptly capturing the spirit of the age, “because a great percentage of the population is living a life that their mother wanted, that their husband wanted, that they thought or heard they wanted…Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.” Meanwhile, the real and tangible needs of our social and economic contexts swirl around us—present and future, seen and unforeseen—each of them held captive to the whims of our “passions” and “the life we want.” Overwhelmed by the distraction, we look inward, neglecting the moral foundations and social bonds that are so critical for communities and institutions to flourish. Continue Reading...

Learning to love institutions in an age of individualism

In the wake of rapid globalization and widespread consolidation, many have grown weary of human institutions, whether in business, religion, politics, or beyond. Threatened by their structure and slowness, we have tended to detach ourselves, opting instead for more “organic” approaches to human interaction. Continue Reading...