A hopeful message in a time of crisis from Rev. Robert Sirico
In this episode, Acton's President and Co-Founder, Rev. Robert Sirico, offers some thoughts on what the role of the government should be during a crisis. When we're confronted with unique crises, especially like the Coronavirus pandemic the world is facing now, there are justified government interventions. We can't discount, however, the principle of subsidiarity as well as the division of labor and voluntary action. How can we wisely approach these principles in the reality of our current context? Rev. Sirico explains.
How Communist China's virus coverup caused a pandemic
As of March 18, 2020 Coronavirus, or COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected over 200,000 people worldwide, and has killed more than 8,000 people globally.What responsive measures should have been taken by China that weren't? How did the People's Republic of China put the world in danger by failing the people of Wuhan, and who in China risked their lives and even the lives of their family members to raise the alarm for your sake? Helen Raleigh, a senior contributor at The Federalist, answers.
Rebroadcast: Samuel Gregg on the life and impact of Michael Novak
It’s now been three years since Michael Novak passed away. Novak was Roman Catholic theologian, philosopher and author, and was a powerful defender of human liberty. In this episode, Acton's Samuel Gregg shares Novak’s history, starting with his time on the left in the 1960s and 70s and recounting his gradual shift toward conservative thought that culminated in the publication of his 1982 masterwork, "The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism." In this book, Novak grounded a defense for a free market in Judeo-Christianity, influencing how many Protestants and Catholics thought about economics. As Gregg recently wrote, “No religious intellectual can match Novak’s influence in facilitating this transformation through the written word in America and throughout the world.”
The biggest problems of national conservatism
In recent years, a rift has opened within American conservatism, a series of divisions animated in part by the 2016 presidential election and also by a right concern with an increasingly progressive culture. Among these divisions is a growing split between self-professing liberal and illiberal conservatives as some on the right scramble to give explanation for a culture which has become hostile to civil society and traditional institutions, most notably the family. One movement which has grown out of this divide is national conservatism, embodied by the launch of the first National Conservatism Conference last year and in the words of its proponents including Patrick Deneen, Yoram Hazony and Michael Anton. What defines national conservatism and what, ultimately, do national conservatives want? Stephanie Slade, managing editor at Reason magazine, breaks it down.
The man vs. the myth: who was John Foster Dulles?
If you've traveled to Washington, D.C. before, it's likely that you've flown through Washington Dulles International Airport, named after President Eisenhower's Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. In fact, over 60,000 people travel through Dulles airport every day, but not many people know much about its namesake. John Foster Dulles served in the early years of the Cold War and pursued a vigorous foreign policy meant to isolate and undermine international and expansionist Communism. Undergirding his foreign policy was a commitment to natural law, a realistic understanding of human nature and a clear vision of freedom. Since his death in 1959, Dulles has been characterized only as a dour, puritanical and simple man. Joining the podcast today to shed more light on the life of Dulles is John D. Wilsey, associate professor of church history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In this conversation, John brings perspective to Dulles' legacy, uncovering both his public and private life, and showing how simple explanations of Dulles just don't help us accurately understand the man or his times.
Yuval Levin on why trust in institutions is declining
It's not news that America's trust in public institutions is falling. Gallup polls reveal that confidence in the church is at an all time low, and similarly, Pew Research has found that Americans' trust in the federal government and in each other is "shrinking." In his new book, titled “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream,” Yuval Levin argues that the widespread lack of trust we're facing stems largely from weakened institutions – and the path forward rests in strengthening institutions rather than tearing them down. In this episode, he joins the podcast to help explain why our institutions have weakened and what we can do to address it. Yuval is an American political analyst and journalist. He is the founding editor of National Affairs and the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Responding to the pope's call for wealth redistribution
On February 5, Pope Francis addressed a crowd of economists and finance ministers that had gathered together for a seminar on "New Forms of Solidarity Towards Fraternal Inclusion, Integration and Innovation." During his speech, the pope addressed the economy, sin and finance, and he also called for wealth distribution in order to alleviate poverty. “The world is rich and yet the poor increase around us,” he said. “If extreme poverty exists in the midst of wealth (also extreme) it is because we have allowed the gap to widen to become the largest in history. ”The pope says it's a "fact" the poor have only grown poorer while the rich continue to get richer – but is this really true? Can poverty really be alleviated through wealth redistribution? Acton’s president and co-founder, Rev. Robert Sirico, comes on to the podcast to answer.