Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Nationalism and Populism

Lord Acton and the two types of nationalism

Kai Weiss, Research Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center, has a new essay on Law and Liberty exploring Lord Acton’s thoughts on nationalism: A little-known 1862 work called Nationality by Lord Acton can perhaps shed new light, too, on the topic. Continue Reading...

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...

Italy’s usual political turmoil

I appeared on EWTN News Nightly yesterday to talk about the collapse of the Italian government. Such turmoil is nothing new in Italy. Discontent with the political class is the main reason there was a populist coalition government in the first place. Continue Reading...

How ideologues devalue and dismiss economics

Economics is often dismissed as ideological, reductionist, and mendacious. In the United States we see these criticisms increasingly from both the political left and right. This should come as no surprise as the lessons of economics have implications for the prudential decisions that make up much of our political life. Continue Reading...

Is there such a thing as ‘good nationalism’?

In the world of Brexit, Trump, Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbán and all the rest, “nationalism” has become all too frequent a topic. In the 20th century the term became associated with fascism (the word “Nazi” comes from “national,” after all), but the story of nationalism goes back much farther than Nazism and isn’t nearly so one-sided a concept as it’s often made out to be. Continue Reading...