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Acton Institute Powerblog Blog
The PowerBlog is managed by the Acton Institute, a non-profit think tank dedicated to promoting a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.
2023-03-30 10:31
Guillermo del Toro’s career is evidence that the Oscars still favor the romance of the left. He has just won the Best Animated Feature award for his Pinocchio, which he set in Fascist… Read More
2023-03-28 11:44
When Judge Antonin Scalia was confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States on September 16, 1986, no senator voted in opposition. He was confirmed by a vote of 98-to-0, a ma… Read More
2023-03-24 11:30
Our journey through the 18th-century evangelical revival continues in the company of John Wesley (1703­–1791). Wesley was an extraordinary individual. First, he was a systematic or… Read More
2023-03-23 11:34
Despite its popularity, or perhaps because of it, Stoicism is a difficult thing to define. Is it a philosophy, a nuanced outlook, a mindset, a healthy lifestyle, or a conservative fad? Conti… Read More
2023-03-16 11:43
The notion of rising income inequality has permeated modern American discourse and is assumed as inherent to our economic system such that any claim to the contrary is easily dismissed as ig… Read More
2023-03-15 10:51
Part 3 of my series on poverty and the welfare state ended with a brief look at two community associations in South Dallas. As the Washington welfare-reform impasse in 1995 and 1996 dragged… Read More
2023-03-14 12:19
Some years ago, only tangentially related to the reading we were doing in our seminar class, the students and I got into a conversation about jobs we found especially unappealing. I began wi… Read More
2023-03-08 11:41
There are two reasons to read Glory M. Liu’s new comprehensive book, Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher Became an Icon of American Capitalism. The first is tha… Read More
2023-03-03 12:30
Sometimes God works and speaks to people in mysterious ways. At other times, He is as blunt and obvious as a slap in the face. The recent Asbury revival in Wilmore, Kentucky, qualifies as an… Read More
2023-03-01 11:53
One of this year’s Oscar darlings, Tár, also turns out to be the only major movie since #metoo to mount an attack on cancel culture. This is paradoxical, of course, as we see fr… Read More
2023-02-24 12:30
When I was four years old—and for many years later—my favorite pastime was frog hunting. There was no swamp pond or quagmire I was unwilling to traverse in the name of a robust… Read More
2023-02-22 12:30
Of all the writers in the limited universe of Reagan biographers (myself included), William Inboden is one I have never met. His Amazon page shows only one previous book. I was surprised by… Read More
2023-02-16 12:55
At the beginning of the final episode of Derry Girls, the British Channel 4 TV series that ran for three seasons and that was also carried by Netflix in the U.S., Continue Reading Read More
2023-02-15 11:58
While Washingtonians in 1995 fought welfare battles on Capitol Hill, a struggle initially below press radar began in San Antonio. The July 5 afternoon temperature was 90 degrees as James Heu… Read More
2023-02-07 12:45
The surprise hit of 2022 was Top Gun: Maverick, a man and machine heroic picture, sentimental and nostalgic, the sort of thing Hollywood just doesn’t do anymore. At first glance it see… Read More
2023-02-02 12:56
“You know what your life is worth to you. And mine is worthless,” said Mitchell Tremblay, a 40-year-old Canadian man battling severe mental illness and intent on using his countr… Read More
2023-01-25 12:30
As the producers of the venerable James Bond franchise come to ponder how best to refurbish their hero for the uncertain times ahead—a woman, perhaps, and/or a person of color?—a… Read More
2023-01-24 14:50
Being fully human is complicated. Having a foot in both the material and spiritual worlds and with an originally good but fallen nature, our thoughts, motivations, and desires often come int… Read More
2023-01-19 12:49
If a Christian scholar has figured out a way to wrestle with critical theory through a biblical lens, that would be an important book. Unfortunately, Christopher Watkin’s Biblical Crit… Read More
2023-01-18 12:45
Six decades after its celebrated communist revolution, Cuba remains a totem for America’s left. Yet the country is imploding into irrelevance. Fidel Castro is dead and Raul Castro is r… Read More
2023-01-17 13:02
It is not a point of dispute that the Christian faith, both in influence and number of adherents, is declining in the Western world. Every month, new books, articles, podcasts, surveys, and… Read More
2023-01-12 12:49
The point of departure for Protestant Social Teaching: An Introduction is an observation set forth by Stephen J. Grabill in the pages of the Journal of Markets & Morality: “Neither… Read More
2023-01-03 12:11
’Tis the song, the sigh of the weary, Hard Times, hard times, come again no more. Many days you have lingered around my cabin door; Oh! Hard times come again no more. Continue Reading… Read More
2022-12-21 12:49
Americans are an individualistic bunch. Our popular culture makes heroes of outsiders, loners, and disrupters. Our politicians emphasize their independence of entrenched institutions, party… Read More
2022-12-20 13:47
When it comes to evaluating C.S. Lewis’ engagement with medieval authors, Jason Baxter performs the heavy lifting with ease, almost with wings. The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis: How Gr… Read More
2022-12-15 13:12
Our current political reshuffling has been dizzying, perhaps even more in the Christian community than among Americans in general. The conservative shift toward populism under Trump empowere… Read More
2022-12-14 13:05
In his essay “The Philosophy of Medieval Art,” Bishop Fulton Sheen opens with the statement, “There is no such thing as understanding the art in any period apart from the p… Read More
2022-12-06 12:28
“You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Continue Reading Read More
2022-11-30 12:51
Free Market: The History of an Idea by Jacob Soll, a professor of history, philosophy, and accounting, attempts to trace the philosophical and theoretical evolution of the free market over 2… Read More
2022-11-23 12:48
Barry Levinson was one of the most successful directors in America around 1990, when he made Avalon, an immigrant Thanksgiving movie trying to sum up the transformation of the American famil… Read More
2022-11-17 12:51
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a piece for Acton on Elizabeth Holmes, the con artist behind Theranos, the fake tech startup promising a revolution in blood tests and, thus, the beginn… Read More
2022-11-09 13:22
Almost two-thirds of Americans believe that distrust of government is a major barrier to solving issues in public life. As we witness a marked decline of faith in both the government and the… Read More
2022-11-08 12:53
I recently wrote about what has come of Disney, whose new Pinocchio seems to be all about getting rid of morality as we have understood it. Instead of learning that actions have consequences… Read More
2022-11-03 12:17
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its 20th national congress to chart its future direction and anoint Xi Jinping as leader-for-life. At least that’s what Xi plans. Xi lauded… Read More
2022-10-21 11:31
Boris Johnson, though deeply flawed, was the glue that held the British Conservative Party together. His electoral reach, charisma, and commitment to deliver Brexit put together a huge major… Read More
2022-10-19 11:48
Let me start with my summary judgement of The Next American Economy: Nation, State, and Markets in an Uncertain World: Samuel Gregg has written an outstanding contribution to the theory and… Read More
2022-10-06 11:01
Just a few years ago, very few people knew or discussed the Jones Act. Now everyone is talking about it. In a colossal but somewhat predictable fiasco, while Puerto Rico was being pummeled b… Read More
2022-10-04 10:42
Is college worth it? This has been the question for the past few years, especially in the wake of dropping enrollment. This drop has largely been a response to many college campuses going fu… Read More
2022-09-29 14:12
Truck drivers are cowboys. I work at a food warehouse. Truckers show up with 40,000 pounds of primal-cut beef, equivalent to maybe 50 head of cattle, driven from Nebraska, by a team of horse… Read More
2022-09-28 12:14
Jean-Luc Godard died on September 13, 2022, and the news in the world of cinema and culture was received as confirmation that cinema itself was dead. Godard had a remarkable influence on cin… Read More
2022-09-16 12:08
For years, Africa has dominated the podium in the “bad healthcare” Olympics. For reference, the average cost for an established patient and Medicare recipient to make one visit t… Read More

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