Political Thought

The Future We Face

By Justin Katz | January 1, 2010 |

So another year closes, and another company comes under the umbrella of United States of America, Inc.: The federal government said Wednesday that it will take majority control of troubled auto lender GMAC and provide an additional $3.8 billion in aid to the company, which has been unable to raise from private investors the money…

A Commission (a “Panel,” if You Will)… That’s the Ticket!

By Justin Katz | December 31, 2009 |

Thomas Sowell puts it pretty starkly: The appointment of White House “czars” to make policy across a wide spectrum of issues — unknown people who get around the Constitution’s requirement of Senate confirmation for cabinet members — is yet another sign of the mindset that sees the fundamental laws and values of this country as…

With a Combination of Powers, the Devil Smiles

By Justin Katz | December 27, 2009 |

We’re all familiar with the concept of separating powers across government. Especially in the United States, the notion of checks and balances is woven throughout civic education. Too few in the modern era appreciate the importance of separating powers across society. Not for long will powerful people in business, religion, and government maintain mutual respect…

Impressions from a Declining Country

By Justin Katz | December 23, 2009 |

Sometimes the order in which one processes information can create broader impressions than the individual items suggest. For just such an experience, first watch Steven Crowder’s short video about the crumbling, desolate city of Detroit, whose condition he attributes to the loving manipulations of big government. Now consider this news: Almost two months ago, the…

Prescriptions for Failed States

By Marc Comtois | December 20, 2009 |

In the most recent Claremont Review, William Voegeli examines some of political and institutional factors that have led to California’s current crisis, particularly the role that Progressivism has played. Key to his argument is the understanding of what early twentieth century Progressives in California were trying to achieve: According to historian Alonzo Hamby, the framework…

How Dead Can Capitalism Be…

By Carroll Andrew Morse | December 7, 2009 |

…when Harvard University‘s alumni magazine is publishing articles about Ayn Rand that end on this note…Nearly 30 years after her death, Rand’s once controversial philosophy of individualism and capitalism has become part of the warp and woof of American political culture.

Issues-Based Politics and Government Philosophy

By Justin Katz | November 14, 2009 |

Bishop Thomas Tobin makes a fortuitous juxtaposition in a recent edition of his “Without a Doubt” column (emphasis added): Therefore I’m looking for candidates who will explain their stance on the dignity of human life and how that translates into action. I want candidates to address the value of marriage and family, and explain to…

Death, Taxes, and the Impossibility of Separation

By Justin Katz | November 13, 2009 |

In an essay in the current issue of The RI Catholic, I attempt to link my conversion from nihilism to Catholicism with the impossibility of truly separating church and state by way of introducing my heretofore monthly column in the publication: Faith-filled or faithless, no such existential philosophies can be sopped off the skin like…

Patinkin’s First Hand Exposure to Failure of Communism

By Marc Comtois | October 3, 2009 |

I don’t usually associate ProJo lifestyle columnist with hefty political writing (that’s not a slam at Patinkin–I generally enjoy his columns–but politics isn’t his usual “beat”), so I was impressed with his Saturday column in which he writes about his first-hand observations on the failures of communism. Much of the 20th century was a contest…

Catholic Democrats

By Marc Comtois | September 25, 2009 |

Roger Williams University PoliSci Professor and OSPRI Fellow Ernest Greco has a piece in the ProJo advocating for a European style Christian Democrat party. While I don’t think U.S. political ground is as fertile as Greco does for a new political party, he offers a concise summary of the big picture. Unfortunately, too many of…