What does politics have to do with virtue?

One of the highlights of my summers working at the Acton Institute is leading discussions with our interns over major ideas, thinkers, and issues. This afternoon we had a spirited and thought provoking discussion about conservative critiques of liberalism. 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...

The reason women don’t enter STEM professions revealed

Conventional wisdom believes three things: Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); this is largely due to sexual discrimination; and the government must redress this imbalance. But multiple studies have discovered a much different reason behind the STEM gender gap. Continue Reading...