Quadragesimo Anno

Social Conservatism and the New Nationalism

Jack Fowler, a longtime publishing executive at National Review, sat alone and lonely in the way back of the conference. A National Review writer sat among the press and wrote a first-day story. She reported it as straight news, no comment. To be sure, National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke to the crowd and did [...]

What “Deep Christian Convictions” of “Democratic Socialism”?

I do my best to avoid The New York Times. Truly, I try not to read it. Doing so invariably ruins my day and wastes my time. It not only frustrates me but pains me. On countless thousands of occasions I’ve found myself reading a Times piece that leaves me barking at the page about [...]

Free Trade and Catholic Social Teaching

It is shaping up that one of the major issues this election year is going to be free trade and the international trade deals that the U.S. has negotiated over the past quarter-century. The major agreements that come to mind, which have generated so much controversy, are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and [...]

Israel and Judah

For some reason, I still seem to mystify people in my views on the American political scene. Indeed, the most mysterious criticisms I get are the ones illustrated in the comments here, for instance, which say (in mixed tones of bafflement, rage, and disappointment), "How can you simultaneously be a Catholic writer who respects the [...]

Practical Distributism: Looking at the Community Reinvestment Act

Those of us who have argued for alternatives to individualistic capitalism and the bureaucratic welfare state are often told that we are good at pointing out problems but come up short on solutions -- it's a charge distributists hear often. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate,challenges us to overcome the "market-plus-State" model, [...]

Socialist Propaganda against the Church

  My family was in England for the summer while I taught a law course at Cambridge University, and one afternoon my son and I happened upon an interesting program on the radio. It was a radio "play" featuring a self-confident young woman and Kenneth Lay, the now-deceased president of Enron who masterminded the company's [...]

A New Conservatism

The prospects for conservatism as a political force in the United States are arguably grim. The GOP's electoral prospects may be on the verge of drying up due to demographic shifts, particularly the growth of the Hispanic vote -- the kind of shifts that, in the past, have driven major political parties into extinction. There [...]

Why Catholics Should be Communitarians

    Modern communitarian political thought began as an academic reaction to the publication of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice in 1971, which sought to establish liberal philosophical assumptions as universally valid. Since then communitarianism has developed as a more penetrating critique of liberalism, though it has in turn been criticized for failing to [...]

Abortion and the Consumer Society

  Pro-life Catholics fall into two camps on the issue of abortion: those who see it first and foremost as an individual moral failing, and those who consider it primarily a social moral failing.   There is nothing mutually exclusive about the two positions, of course, but that isn't the problem. The real issue here [...]

Catholic Social Teaching and the Welfare State

It might surprise some to learn that the basic idea behind the "welfare state" did not originate with either Marxist revolutionaries or bleeding-heart liberals, but rather with a head of state usually identified with conservatism: Otto von Bismarck. Faced with a growing threat from the German socialist movement, in the 1880s Bismarck established four programs [...]

The Media and Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘Growth’

Two years ago, the mainstream media gathered in a special conclave in Rome to discuss the disastrous election to the papacy of Ratzinger the Enforcer, God's Rottweiler, the hardliner, inflexible, rigid, etc., blah blah. Some of us suggested to our television screens that the talking heads might want to wait more than a few seconds [...]

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