Fall 2005 | Volume 23, Issue 1
The best of Comment
Every few decades a magazine emerges that reinvigorates the North American public intellectual scene, and eventually reshapes the political and cultural landscape.
This issue of Comment is special in the sense that the scope of issues addressed and the points of view articulated have been selected to represent the mission and character of the Work Research Foundation (
The Flash of a Fish Knife
My father is in full-time service for the Lord, prophet, priest and king in the fish business.
Market economy? Yes! Market society? No!
Here at the Work Research Foundation we believe in markets. We believe markets to be the best way—no, the only sane way—to structure interactions in economic life. But this does not mean we support the idea of a market society—what Warren Bennis calls "a bottom-line society."
Character and Productivity
What is the most important thing in life to you? When your life is over and you look back—what do you want to be known for? The answers to these questions are visible today in the productivity and profitability of your company. There is a connection between the values that you hold—your character—and the productivity or success of your company.
Okay, you would think by now we would have this work thing all figured out. Besides sleep, it occupies more of our day than any other activity. We are often very good at it. But as an exercise for thinking about work, try answering the following questions: Why do I work? For what good do I work? When should I work?
Gifts from "Father Abraham"
While it is indeed more than worthwhile to mine the riches of faith that we have because of Abraham's obedience to God, I have a different Abraham in mind: Abraham Kuyper. I mean no blasphemy by labelling Kuyper in a manner similar to the father of the faith, and it is true that his aim of making a place in Dutch society for the kleine luyden (the little people) made him more like a Moses figure.
Neocalvinism and Social Justice
There is a rather quaint way of describing the modern maldistribution of the world's goods between haves and have-nots. The fact that some people live in want while others live comfortably—that some go to bed hungry while others risk obesity—is summed up in this term: the social question.
The DNA of Economic Life
Cultivating the sphere of economic life to be able to provide the means by which we can take care of our non-economic responsibilities.
The anti-anti-Americanism we need now
The most powerful anti-Americanism of our time is indeed aimed against a creedal Americanism. Yet as much as I love America, I must denounce Americanism..
Sphere Sovereignty 101
We participate in a vast array of social structures, yet their roles, privileges, and obligations are not addressed in the social contract.
The poor are not the problem
Many poor countries have the appearance of market economies but are actually mercantilist economies, with small elites enriching themselves through government favours, contracts, and privileges while excluding and marginalizing both local and foreign competitors by government means . . .
The real question, then, may not be the question of union decline and revival, but rather the question of how to adapt our structures and public policy to accommodate the emerging forms of worker organization.
The Failure of the New York Intellectuals
The failure of the New York Intellectuals, finally—after a life in the American public as critics and theorists, pundits and intellectuals—was the failure to pass on a tradition. They became but a historical quirk when they failed to bequeath the tradition onto another generation and another age.
H. Evan Runner and the Groen Club
He came to the expectant members with an ambitious program of study. It was designed to be a systematic approach to delving into the meaning of the Reformed or Calvinist religion in all its ramifications for the life of service that students were preparing for, whether that be in science, business, the gospel ministry, medicine, law, or education.