Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

An Inferno for Our Times

Dante’s purpose in writing the Divine Comedy is placed in the mouth of Virgil a mere 76 lines into Canto I of the Inferno. The poet questions his charge’s malaise at his seemingly hopeless state: “But you, why are you turning back to misery? Continue Reading...

The Right’s Racial Suicide

“To be conservative,” wrote Michael Oakeshott, “is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery.” His definition of conservatism, not as a set of policy aspirations but as a deeper sensibility, explains the conservative respect for tradition and view of history as a source of norms—that’s the positive side. Continue Reading...

Bridging the Church-State Divide

In 2000, I didn’t realize until it was too late that my astronomically exaggerated proximity to presidential candidate George W. Bush would make me a target. For example, I had said in 1998 that women volunteers had run charitable enterprises in the 19th century, so women’s entrance into the corporate workforce had hurt the nonprofit world. Continue Reading...

Keep The Covenant on Your Moviegoing Radar This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, there is one movie in theaters that addresses directly the experiences of veterans. While American families are entertained by the Super Mario Bros. movie, now a billion-dollar proposition worldwide, people who prefer more true-to-life action can see the movie I recommend, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, which has barely made any money, even though it’s an exciting, gripping experience, and it’s got a star, Jake Gyllenhaal. Continue Reading...

Fear and the Feeble Foundations of Ideology

I recently read the monumental essay “The Power of the Powerless” (1978) by Soviet dissident Václav Havel and immediately began to draw parallels between how he describes socialist oppression and what I understand of diabolical oppression. Continue Reading...

You Can’t Erase the Past by Changing a Name

Early in January, the U.S. Department of Defense began a massive undertaking to change the names of nine military bases, two ships, and over 1,000 other items, including signs and roads, all of which are currently linked to Confederate figures. Continue Reading...

The Collapse of a Cryptocurrency Guru

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 beginning of a solution to the problem of healthcare costs. Continue Reading...

Andor Succeeds Where Other Star Warriors Fail

If there’s anything close to national mythology in America nowadays, it’s Marvel. This may be depressing, but we should nevertheless face the fact and make the best of it. Before that, it was Star Wars, which is still an incredibly profitable business, even as it is failing. Continue Reading...

Blonde at Its Best Highlights What’s Worst

Director Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, now available on Netflix and starring Ana de Armas as “blonde bombshell” Marilyn Monroe, is a long film. Not merely because of its almost three-hour run time but also because it feels long when you’re watching it. Continue Reading...