Turning points in Catholic social teaching

In a recent Acton Line podcast I began by asking Father Robert Sirico the very large question, what is Catholic social teaching and why is it important today? He answered that the Church has always had a social teaching but that when we usually discuss Catholic social teaching today we begin with Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. Continue Reading...

China has a lawless government

There’s rarely a day when China isn’t featured prominently in the news. Once upon a time, most of that coverage was about China’s rise out of poverty. Now, however, greater attention is being given to some decidedly negative developments. Continue Reading...

Lord Acton on true liberalism

Early last month there was a great debate over the question “What is Liberalism?” on the Free Thoughts Podcast. The debate was between Helena Rosenblatt, professor of history at City University of New York and Daniel Klein, professor of economics at George Mason University. Continue Reading...

The Chicago Black Sox and baseball’s rule of law

Sports have already been an Acton topic in the past week, so another sports story can’t hurt: 100 years ago this month was the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, infamous ever since for the “Black Sox” scandal, in which eight members of the heavily favored Chicago team accepted money from gamblers to throw the series to Cincinnati. Continue Reading...

Rule of law crumbles — again — in Latin America

It’s no secret that most of Latin America has struggled for a long time with the idea, habits, and practices of rule of law. When one consults rankings such as the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom (which measures for rule of law), it’s a depressing picture, despite notable exceptions like Chile. 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...

2019 G20 Summit: Tariffs and forbearance

As world leaders from a select group of the largest national economies meet in Osaka at the end of this week, they face increasing volatility and uncertainty around some of the basic principles and institutions that bring together their various peoples in the global marketplace. Continue Reading...