Can a big bad state deliver us from evil?

Thirty five years ago the American novelist Thomas Pynchon asked the question, “Is It O.K. To Be A Luddite?” The occasion was the then 25th anniversary of C.P. Snow’s Rede Lecture, “The Two Cultures of the Scientific Revolution,” which argued, way back in 1959, that our culture was increasingly polarized into “literary” and “scientific” factions unable to understand each other. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What you should know about federal deficits

What just happened? The White House Office of Management and Budget recently released a forecast that the federal deficit would exceed $1 trillion this year. As Fox News points out, this would be the first time since the four years following the Great Recession that the deficit reached that level. Continue Reading...

Minority views? Priceless

There’s something in our DNA to feel threatened by ideas that challenge our own. History is haunted by tragic examples of the suppression of minority views, whether it be Athens killing Socrates (399 BC), the Roman Inquisition’s placing Galileo under house arrest for advocating heliocentrism (1632), Nazi book burning (1933), or the persecution of many thousands of academics during the Cultural Revolution (1966). Continue Reading...

Corruption’s consequences

Walmart agreed last month to a $282 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, resolving charges of bribing foreign officials. While company leadership committed themselves to “acting ethically everywhere we operate,” reports indicate that Walmart allowed third parties in China, Mexico, India, and Brazil to make payments to government officials. Continue Reading...

Review: The Edge of Democracy

The documentary The Edge of Democracy is a personal memoir about the recent political scenario in Brazil. Released on June 19 on Netflix, it is directed by Petra Costa — a Brazilian filmmaker and actress who has close connections with leftist politicians. Continue Reading...

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...