Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'lord acton'

Calvin Coolidge’s Warning Against an Entrenched Bureaucracy

As we read about the increase of scandal, mismanagement, and corruption within our federal agencies, it is essential once again to revisit the words of Calvin Coolidge. Recent actions at the IRS, Veterans Administration, and the ATF gunwalking scandal all point to systemic problems that come from an entrenched bureaucracy. Continue Reading...

Crooked and Proud: Edwin Edwards Returns to Louisiana Politics

Edwin Edwards once declared that the only thing that could keep him from Louisiana’s governor’s mansion was getting caught in bed with a “dead girl or a live boy.” He’s been called “The Luca Brasi of the Bayou,” “The Silver Zipper,” and “The Pirate Kingfish.” When Edwards ran against and trounced former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in the 1988 governor’s race, he had bumper stickers printed up that read, “Vote for the Crook. Continue Reading...

Religious Liberty and the Loss of our Roots

If the American Founding got one thing right more than anything, it was its commitment to a broad and liberal religious liberty. In 1790, President George Washington told a Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, “The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy; a policy worthy of imitation.” Currently, the country faces a number of threats to religious liberty and America seems to be squandering its profound moral authority it can offer to a world starving for its example. Continue Reading...

Richard Weaver on Liberty and Christianity

Richard Weaver, one of the great intellectuals of the 20th Century, and author of Ideas Have Consequences, published an essay in the early 1960s on Lord Acton (pdf only). Much of Weaver’s essay is worth highlighting, but one excerpt in particular reminds us of the central significance of Christianity in the battle for freedom. Continue Reading...

Reformation and the Need for Truth

Martin Luther “did more than any single man to make modern history the development of revolution,” declared Lord Acton. (Lectures on Modern History) The Protestant Reformation profoundly changed the trajectory of Western Civilization. Continue Reading...

Senator Cornyn Quotes Lord Acton on Abuse of Power

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor yesterday and quoted Lord Acton’s well known dictum, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There’s a partisan bite to his words, but he mostly warns against the grave dangers and tyranny under concentrated and centralized power. Continue Reading...

Justice Scalia Echoes Lord Acton’s Warning on Corrupting Power

Reading through Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court’s Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice, I came across this gem: “No government official is ‘tempted’ to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Acton did not say ‘Power tends to purify.'” The comments from Justice Scalia emerged from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Continue Reading...

Review: A Free People’s Suicide

Below is my review of A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future by Os Guinness. A final version of this book review will appear in the Fall 2012 Journal of Markets & Morality (15.2). Continue Reading...