Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'James Buchanan'

Corruption, Repentance, and Restoration in a Time of Scandal

Ray Pennings recently wrote a thoughtful reflection at The Cardus Daily on the recent surge in (exposed) political scandals, Canadian and American. He bemoans that “the current version of democracy isn’t looking all that attractive right now,” writing, It is discouraging to read stories regarding blatant ethical questions involving the President of the United States, Prime Minister of Canada, the Canadian Leader of the Opposition and the Mayor of Canada’s largest city on the same day. Continue Reading...

Check Your Rhetoric: What Common Good?

In the Winter-Fall 2012 issue of Modern Age (54, nos. 1-4), Jonathan Daly contributes a helpful exploration of what happens when desire for the common good goes bad. His article, “Bolshevik Power and Ideas of the Common Good,” focuses on the disastrously ill-conceived effort by the Russian revolutionaries to promote the common good through their self-proclaimed “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” Daly contends, “The horrors of Bolshevik governance stemmed directly from their repudiation of the precious fruits of Western political thought.” It is a classic example of the tendency of some to promote cheap moralisms while ignoring the empirical realities of any given context, what then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger termed in 1985, “the antithesis of morality.” In addition to fostering mass suspicion, starvation, and ultimately a despotic police state in Russia, the Bolsheviks also have the blood of literally millions on their hands, Orthodox Christians as well many Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and others—the rotten fruit of their noble quest for the common good. Continue Reading...

More on Constitutions and Culture

As noted already at the PowerBlog today, Sam Gregg has a fine piece on the complex relationship between law and morality, or constitutions and culture, over at Public Discourse. As a follow-up (read the piece first), I’d like to point to an interesting aspect of James Buchanan’s advocacy of a balanced-budget amendment. Continue Reading...