Rerum Novarum

Donald Trump and the Politics of Charity

“We are a working-class party now. That’s the future.” — Senator Josh Hawley I’ve held off on writing a post-election column, hoping against hope that the votes would be counted quickly and fairly. I suppose that was naïve. At this rate—and regardless of who “wins” in the end—half of the American people will feel cheated … Read more

Leo XIII’s Vision of Social Justice

Pope Leo XIII, born 210 years ago this year, is perhaps best known for his Marianism. He was one of the Church’s greatest promoters of the Holy Rosary, and was the first pontiff to embrace the title of Mediatrix for Our Lady. Yet Leo was one of the great thinkers of the modern age, having … Read more

Saint Joseph the Worker, Ora Pro Nobis

Each year on May 1, the Catholic faithful celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker. This feast day, instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955, was meant to provide downtrodden laborers with a spiritual patron, as well as an alternative to the communist labor agitation that was prevalent at the time. The Catholic … Read more

Towards a Catholic Politics

A recent survey commissioned by EWTN News shed light on political fragmentation among American Catholics. Reading through the poll prompts the question of whether a unified Catholic politics is possible. Declan Leary recently lamented in these pages that American Catholics apparently “have no interest strong enough to transcend party bonds and operate politically as Catholics,” and … Read more

The Prophets of Post-Humanism

Andrew Yang is a man ahead of his time. Mark my words: within our lifetime, his ominous-sounding “Freedom Dividend—basically a universal basic income, or UBI—will become a plank of at least one of our two major political parties. And how could it be otherwise? Mr. Yang argues (correctly) that the developed world is going through … Read more

The False Prophets of Climate Change

Due to teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s thunderous—and divisive—speech to the United Nations last week, climate change is getting another moment in the sun. It may be tempting to brush off her comments as youthful hyperbole, but Thunberg’s speech does not stand alone. She’s the most prominent figure in a worldwide movement of young people who … Read more

The Long War Against the Family (Part I)

The progressive cultural elite has long perpetuated prejudices against the family that, unchallenged, lead to its ruin. Among several I cite three: (1) the assertion that marriage makes men and women less free; (2) the assumption that children are a burden; and (3) the insistence that sexual differentiation is a fiction. These three ideas represent, … Read more

The Modern State Causes the Problems it Pretends to Fix

Pope Leo XIII affirms that a well governed State will promote the material and moral prosperity of its citizens, will honor private property and free association, and will protect the poor from abuse or depredation by the rich. How to do these things?  Leo lays down four principles. The first is what I’ll call the … Read more

Liberalism Brings Slavery When It Confuses License with Liberty

In my latest essays I’ve noted that there cannot be a “social teaching” unless we know what a society is.  Pope Leo XIII, in his many social encyclicals, expresses the constant wisdom of the Church when he affirms the reality of society—neither a numerical aggregate nor a collective—and when he sees this reality as rooted … Read more

Is Feminism a Heresy?

The following essay first appeared in Disorientation: How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind, ed., John Zmirak. It is reprinted with permission of the publisher.   You might be surprised to hear feminism described as a “heresy.” Like most Americans, you may assume that the feminist movement simply asserts that women are full … Read more

Dawson’s Usura Canto

It gives me no pleasure addressing Christopher Dawson’s views  on economics. I learned much from Dawson in my formative years, reading The Sundering of Christendom and The Crisis of Western Education back in high school, and many of his other books in later years. His synthesis of Catholic and Western history is so persuasive, and … Read more

Cooperation: A Free Market Benefits Everyone

The following will explain the most important idea in the history of social analysis. The notion (actually, it’s a description of reality that is all around us but rarely noticed) has been around for many centuries. It was first discovered by late-medieval monks working in Spain. It was given scientific precision in the classical period. … Read more

No Family, No Society

I begin by asserting a principle that, if one troubles to read Scripture, the encyclicals of the popes, and the decrees of ecumenical councils, is simply unassailable. It is this: There is an inner identity between Catholic teaching on sex and Catholic teaching on the society. Pope Leo XIII is quite clear on these matters. … Read more

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