Jonathan Witt

Jonathan Witt, Ph.D., is a research fellow with the Acton Institute and the author, with Jay Richards, of the upcoming Ignatius Press book The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom that Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot


Bilderberg and Big Government


This spring marked the 60th anniversary of the Bilderberg Group summit, a gathering of major power brokers so apparently selective it makes the World Economic Forum’s annual Davos gathering in Switzerland look like a blue light stampede at K-Mart. Charlie Skelton, who covered the three-day summit for England’s left-wing Guardian newspaper, describes this year’s anniversary […]

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The Missing Middle Game


The latest instance of a federal judge striking down a state ban on “gay marriage” (a bit like striking down a ban on square circles, but set that aside for the moment) has social conservatives reeling again, with many of them wondering what happened to our culture. Leftists in Western Europe, following the lead of […]

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Doctors Disappear


A curious feature of recent U.S. health care reform efforts — easily overlooked amidst the daily media grind of canceled plans, crashing websites and new restrictions — is the irrational belief that we can extend more health care to more Americans while rendering a career as a family physician increasingly unappealing. Government has grown increasingly […]

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Memo to Tinseltown


Iron Man 3 and The Lone Ranger are recent Hollywood films—which is to say, major capitalist undertakings—that feature one of Hollywood’s favorite stereotypes: evil capitalists. In Iron Man 3, (spoiler alert) the real arch villain turns out to be the evil techno-capitalist, not the Middle-Eastern terrorist. And in The Lone Ranger, the capitalist villain behaves like your average captain […]

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Crime and the Nanny State


Against the backdrop of sluggish growth and high unemployment, one bright spot has been declining crime rates, with levels in the United States now about half what they were 20 years ago. This gradual decline holds true even in the perennially high-risk demographic of young men, suggesting it isn’t merely a knock-on effect of an […]

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Social Muddle


The adjective that economist Friedrich Hayek famously called a “weasel word” is alive and well in the feel-good phrases social business, social justice and the social gospel. In all three of these phrases, the common weasel word sucks some of the essential meaning out of what it modifies by implying that business, justice, and the […]

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Explaining the New Democratic Logo


The new Democratic logo is so bad that the intellectual rot in the official announcement went largely unnoticed. Consider the fifth and sixth paragraphs: I’m sure you’ll also notice our new look. Some may think: it’s just a logo — it’s just a brand. Well I don’t believe the Democratic Party is a logo or […]

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Bernanke Versus the Austrians


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he is stepping into the path of Ben Bernanke’s nomination to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman. If Sanders sticks to his guns, Bernanke’s supporters will need 60 Senate votes to confirm the nomination. Good for Sanders. We need a robust Senate debate about Bernanke’s policies, since […]

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The Mr. Potato Head Constitution


As Senate hearings gear up for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, an old question is again current: Is the U.S. Constitution a “living document”? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes first popularized the idea of the Constitution as protean organism in a 1920 Supreme Court case, Missouri v. Holland. There he argued that judges should have broad […]

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