Economics & Empire

Just Another Naked King

emperor July 30, 2015
What hath Athens to do with Main Street?  Why should an economic crisis in a small European nation shake up the world?  And can this possibly add up to freedom? If despite all you know about globalization such questions…
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Puritans and The Pope: The Conflicted Christian History of American Ecological Ethics

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The responses from American Christians to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ have fallen into two predictable categories: Economic conservatives push back against Francis’ critique of “technoscience,” claiming that capitalism and technical innovation have made billions of people more prosperous. On…
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The Incredible Industrial Egg

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The local library’s inventory reduction sale had progressed over several weeks from a buck a book and a dollar a DVD, to two dollars a flat, and finally to a free for all. There in the dregs was an egg.…
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Palmyra, Centurions, and Fighting ISIS from the Bottom Up

Gronlund-What-Do-We-Want-to-Save-in-Palmyra-690 June 14, 2015
The fact that the chattering classes outraged by ISIS’s atrocities would unleash the latter-day centurions of the air so eagerly, while leashing ordinary people so cavalierly, should give pause to those of us suspicious of the modern state and jealous of society’s spaces.
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The Cardinal and the Capitalist

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A cleric with the ear of Pope Francis recently sent Catholic defenders of free markets into a tizzy. At a press conference, Cardinal Oscar Rodriquez Maradiaga of Honduras tossed out this pithy jab: The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too…
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A Presidential Proposal Worthy of the Porch

May 28, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] The blogger, pundit, screenwriter, and all-around mensch Noah Millman has come up with a brilliant idea–Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont, and Jim Webb, former U.S. Senator from Virginia, both of whom (the first officially,…
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Hanging Out with, and Learning from, Some Thoroughly Material Benedictines

May 15, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] A few weeks ago I was able to, once again, do something that I enjoy doing immensely–take a group of students out on a local food tour, so they can learn firsthand about more sustainable…
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Why Aldo Leopold Wasn’t (thank God!) an Economist

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He knew that costs are costs.
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Agricultural Potential, Real Wealth, and the Gold Gold Standard

babybirds1 April 8, 2015
Fattening the worms is the only real future in store for us.
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Why Cities Ought to, Sometimes, Challenge Their States

April 2, 2015
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] On next Tuesday’s ballot here in Wichita, KS, voters will be able to, whether they realize it or not, directly contribute to an ongoing struggle over the meaning and operations of democratic government in the…
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Do Groups Make Choices After All?

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Mike Munger was recently on EconTalk, where he is a very regular guest. This time the subject of discussion was his latest book Choosing in Groups. Munger is an excellent political scientist and philosopher, but I wanted to challenge…
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Building Houses on Sandy Ground

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In the summer of 2004, I packed all of my worldly belongings into a small U-Haul trailer and made the trek from Central Texas to the Florida Panhandle. I was going to begin a two-year clerkship with a federal judge…
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Christmas Comes But Once a Year; Or, Books to Buy Next Christmas

January 22, 2015
Philadelphia, PA R. J. Snell A slow thinker and slower writer—some might say the reverse—I’ve been chewing over the Christmas season for the past few days, a remembrance of things past. The issue: what, if anything, of worth does our…
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Local Dynasties Only, Please

December 18, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] With former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s announcement on Tuesday that he’s “actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States”–a move which, it should be noted, has been predicted by many for…
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Happy Holidays to Us

December 16, 2014
Malibu, CA I understand why many wish me a “Happy Holidays” in public settings, and I am glad they wish me well at this time of year. I must confess, though, that the greeting puzzles me, and I am reluctant…
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Anarchism, Global Citites, and a Confucian Cosmopolitan Education

November 21, 2014
[Cross-posted to In Medias Res] I recently attended a conference in Nanjing, China, hosted by the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and organized our fellow Porcher, Adam Webb. You can read a short summary of the conference here; for my part, in the…
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