Jan 17, 2023
1st Baron Acton, 13th Marquess of Groppoli, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton who, for obvious reasons, is more commonly referred to as simply Lord Acton, was a 19th century writer, historian, and member of the British parliament whose contributions to history, faith, and politics are largely forgotten beyond his most famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Joining Josh to explore just why Acton was important and why he’s worth studying today is Dan Hugger from the apply named Acton Institute.
About Dan Hugger
From Dan’s bio: Dan Hugger is librarian and research associate at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He writes and speaks on questions of education, history, political economy, and religion, and is the editor of two books: Lord Acton: Historical and Moral Essays and The Humane Economist: A Wilhelm Röpke Reader.
About the Acton Institute
From Acton’s website: The Acton Institute was founded in 1990 in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. This direction recognizes the benefits of a limited government, but also the beneficent consequences of a free market. It embraces an objective framework of moral values, but also recognizes and appreciates the subjective nature of economic value. It views justice as a duty of all to give the one his due but, more importantly, as an individual obligation to serve the common good and not just his own needs and wants. In order to promote a more profound understanding of the coming together of faith and liberty, Acton involves members of religious, business, and academic spheres in its various seminars, publications, and academic activities.
Links to resources mentioned in the conversation:
Russell Kirk’s last public address—at the Acton Institute—offering his critiques of Lord Acton
Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics
Lord Acton: Historical and Moral Essays
Selected Writings of Lord Acton
Lord Acton: Historian and Moralist
Bradley Birzer’s piece on Seven Conservative Minds