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"Our only health is the disease / If we obey the dying nurse …"

Category: Capitalism

Recovering the ‘Duty of Care’

This piece first appeared at Aleteia My 27 year-old son Andrew recently alerted me to a “TED Talk” given last June by Lord David Puttnam, the British film producer (10 Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme d’Or) who retired in 1998 to work on public policy as it relates to education and media. The title [...]

Fed Up: How the Federal Reserve is Easing Out the Middle Class

This piece appeared first at Aleteia I know what you’re thinking: with far more interesting topics like crime, immigration, Obamacare, and NSA spying, why bring up such boring, eye-glazing stuff as the Federal Reserve? Why not discuss those delicious partisan questions bandied about on what passes for television “news” – questions such as “Is Barack [...]

Comfortably Numb

Read this piece at Aleteia Of all the deformations of character wrought by consumer society, perhaps none touches as many lives as addiction. New and recently updated studies show that Americans are self-medicating themselves in growing and alarming numbers.  In addition to the cumulative wreckage addiction wreaks on individuals and their families, there are huge [...]

Breaking Open the Liberal Echo Chamber

This piece appeared at Aleteia About a dozen years ago, in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal that descended on the Archdiocese of Boston, a group known as Voice of the Faithful (VOF) was formed. Ostensibly, its purpose was to work for greater accountability and justice for victims – all worthy goals. But VOF was [...]

Liberalisms, Left and Right

This piece was published at Aleteia In recent decades, the supposed divide in American politics has been between two irreconcilably opposed camps: “liberals” and “conservatives.” In the wake of Richard Nixon’s successful “southern strategy,” this imagined division has also been embedded in the identities and self-understanding of the two major political parties, with the Democrats [...]

Is Capitalism Conservative?

This piece originally appeared at Aleteia My wonderful Aleteia colleague, Fr. Dwight Longnecker, recently wrote an article asking the question, “Is Catholicism Conservative?” The piece was a favorable review of two new books by prominent Catholic intellectuals: Tea Party Catholic – The Catholic Case for Limited Government, A Free Economy, and Human Flourishing, by Samuel [...]

A Syllabus of System Failures

This article appeared at Aleteia Several years ago, I stood in line at a Hertz rental counter and pondered the breakdown of complex systems. I had just flown into an airport that serves a large, southeastern American city. It was midday, and the line at Hertz wasn’t particularly long; when I got there I was [...]

Why Liberal Arts Education is Dying (or Already Dead)

This originally appeared at Aleteia Here’s something to ponder: If you put one hundred American high school seniors together in a room, how many do you suppose could tell you who Pericles was? How about Cicero? Which of those students could describe the Pythagorean theorem or even fix the branch of mathematics to which it [...]

Boxed In

This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. A few years ago, my wife and I were assigned a case through our local conference of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. It involved a family – Dave, his girlfriend Ellen and their three small children* – who had fallen behind on their rent and electricity bill. [...]

Between State and Market: Robert Nisbet’s “Quest”

 This piece originally appeared at Solidarity Hall. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Robert Nisbet’s landmark book, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom. Over the years, Nisbet has sometimes been cited as a father of postwar American conservatism, and The Quest for Community hailed as [...]