Acton Line


Stephanie Slade on the biggest problems of national conservatism

Ep. 218

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.

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Matthew Continetti on Rush Limbaugh's legacy

Ep. 269
On February 17, 2021, conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh passed away at the age of 70.From his humble origins as a rock music DJ in Cape Girardeau, MO, Rush rose to become one of the most recognizable names and voices in radio history, media history and of the modern American political scene.Enabled by the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, The Rush Limbaugh Show went national in 1988, bringing Rush and his “Excellence in Broadcasting” network to radios from coast to coast. At its peak, the program was heard on over 600 radio stations and attracted more than 20 million listeners a week.A cheerleader for conservative causes, Rush was no stranger to controversy. Indeed, in many ways he courted it by, in his own words, illustrating absurdity by being absurd. In doing so, he inspired derision from his opponents as well as the loyalty of his listening audience.What is the significance of Rush Limbaugh to American conservatism and what influence did he have our modern political culture?In this episode, we talk with Matthew Continetti, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, about Rush’s legacy and his place in conservative history and conservative politics.Matthew Continetti - American Enterprise InstituteRush Limbaugh, RIP: 6 quotations on socialism, the Founding Fathers, and life - Rev. Ben JohnsonRush Limbaugh on clergy who accept socialism - Rev. Ben JohnsonRise of the national conservatives with Matthew Continetti - Acton LineRegister for Business Matters 2021Subscribe to Acton Institute Events podcast

David Hebert on profits during a pandemic

Ep. 268
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and governments across the country ordered most businesses closed, people have increasingly turned to online services like Amazon to meet their needs. As a result, Amazon’s sales soared as the company reported a 37% increase in revenue in the third quarter of 2020, with total revenues north of $96 billion. This, in turn, has led to some increased scrutiny on people like outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose personal net worth increased by at least $28 billion since the onset of the pandemic.Voices like former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich have pointed to this growth in personal wealth, complaining that despite this massive increase in their personal wealth, they haverefusedto provide paid sick leave, raises, hazard pay, and more to their employees, who are all suffering real hardships.But is this an accurate picture of what is happening?In this episode, we speak with David Hebert, director of the Center for Markets, Ethics and Entrepreneurship and chair of the economics department at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Hebert argues that people like Reich misunderstand, purposefully or not, what this “accumulation of wealth” means to both Bezos personally and to a company like Amazon, and how it has been a benefit to consumers and workers alike.David Hebert - Aquinas CollegeCOVID-19 pandemic economics - Acton LineCOVID-19 and crony capitalism - Noah GouldRegister for Business Matters 2021Subscribe to Acton Institute Events podcast

Brian Hooks on "Believe in People"

Ep. 267
As we look around the country and the world, we see towering barriers are holding millions of people back, and institutions that should help everyone rise that are not doing the job.We see crumbling communities and one-size fits all education. Businesses rig the economy. Public policy stifles opportunity and emboldens the extremes.As a result, this country is quickly heading toward a two-tiered society.People are looking for a better way.In the new book, “Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for the Top-Down World,” authors Brian Hooks and Charles Koch contend that today’s challenges call for nothing short of a paradigm shift – away from a top-down approach that sees people as problems to be managed, toward bottom-up solutions that empowereveryoneto realize their potential and foster a more inclusive society.Such a shift starts by asking: What would it mean to truly believe in people?In this episode, we speak with Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together and co-author of “Believe in People.” In the book, Hooks and Koch maintain that the only way to solve the really big problems – from poverty and addiction to harmful business practices and destructive public policy – is for each and every one of us to find and take action in our unique role as part of the solution.Brian Hooks - Stand TogetherBelieve in People - Charles Koch & Brian HooksRegister for Business Matters 2021Subscribe to Acton Institute Events podcast