Thomas More’s Utopia suggests that a defense of property emphasizing material productivity, though valid, is inadequate. By probing classical reasons for and against private property, More goes deeper, addressing the objective needs of the human soul.
The fifth pillar, business and economics, is built upon concern for the common good and the ways in which the economic order contributes to—or detracts from—human flourishing. Public Discourse examines the ways in which the market is shaped by—and gives shape to—our understanding of the human person, the role of the family, the rule of law, and education and culture.
In conservation biology, a complex ecosystem whose health was slowly compromised over time can be revivified through a cascade of positive changes set in motion by reintroducing one of that system’s previous components. That’s exactly what today’s civil society needs, and conservative policymakers can help. We mustn’t shy away from using policy to achieve important ends—not just freedom, but the lessons, beliefs, and norms that make a free society succeed.
Business leaders are turning to the modern mindfulness movement to make their employees happier and more productive. But what is mindfulness? And do its practices really work if they are motivated by the desire for profit?
To serve the common good, private equity managers need the virtues of humility and magnanimity. If they exhibit these virtues, their companies will grow, increasing human capital and wealth.
“Economic piety” has led to an overemphasis on consumption, writes Oren Cass in The Once and Future Worker. If we value family and community life, we need a labor policy that is explicitly intended to sustain them.
The notion that tariffs are bad has been supported by world-renowned economists for centuries. Yet we are currently in the midst of a trade war. Maybe what we need is a Just Tariff Theory: a system to weigh the economic harms of tariffs against the political benefits they may have.
Eighty-five years ago, staunchly self-reliant American farmers encountered a crisis-the Dust Bowl-they simply could not overcome on their own. The story of the Dust Bowl is a story about American grit and perseverance, but also about the limits of libertarianism.
Thoughtful Catholics should integrate the discoveries and insights of economics and science with the principles of Catholic social teaching, and ultimately, with the natural moral law and revealed theology.
Reasonable people can claim that the government of the richest country in human history should provide certain things to its poorer citizens. But reasonable people cannot claim those things come without a price.
Americans today are anxious—not just financially, but socially. We despair even though we are materially better off than at any other time in human history. What happened? How did we get here?
A full vision of the social structures of human flourishing must include three elements: the economic, political, and moral-cultural.
According to sociologist Mark Regnerus, the birth control pill and the rise of internet porn decreased the cost of sexual access so substantially as to affect a fundamental shift from a world in which sex served higher goods to a world in which sex is the higher good.
How should we understand hierarchies, markets, freedom, happiness, anthropology, and spiritual formation? Three Christian thinkers respond to each other.
Market economies are not inherently hostile to Christian spiritual formation. And expanding the scope of Church authority into the temporal realm is no substitute for traditional spiritual practices such as prayer and fasting.
While the economic arguments for free trade remain compelling, the political rationale requires a long-overdue overhaul.
Leaders should get the facts straight before they start theorizing.
Young people today, especially the ones who are serious about religion and look to the editors of First Things for guidance, must resist the allure of an intellectual Fortress of Solitude where they can sit and feel superior to everyone. Griping about the state of society is a waste of time. Part two of two.
R.R. Reno’s manifesto on capitalism—in which he concludes, among other things, that expanding economic freedom leads to transgenderism—is based on empirically false claims. Part one of a two-part series.
The “real human person” was the persistent subject of Michael Novak’s life’s work. Novak wanted real, gritty, ordinary persons, in ordinary life, and he wanted a political and economic order for those real, gritty, ordinary persons.
Not only are there many forms of capitalism, but intellectuals exert great influence in determining what type of economy we embrace—for better and for worse.
Capitalism in practice is crony capitalism. Profit-minded firms use every trick they can, including pushing for government intervention and protection, to pursue their self interest. Capitalism and liberal institutions are tremendously powerful social forces that operate both with and through the individuals who engage in economic and political activity. One of their primary features is the continuous revolution in values.
More than ever, religiously informed conservatives should underscore the importance of market economies for ordered liberty.
Americans increasingly identify with our consumption. When combined with political tribalism, the result is the increasing refusal to do business with members of other political or cultural groups. In the end, an identity based on consumption will only consume itself.
The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics is a cautionary tale of what happens when medical ethics are grounded in social policy and personal intuitions rather than timeless, universal, and immutable moral truths.
Nathan Schlueter and Nikolai Wenzel’s book-length conservative-libertarian debate is a helpful tool for understanding an important conversation and provides the basis for a robust defense of liberty in the public sphere.