Question: What do the author of The Journal of My Brother Alexei to the Land of Peasant Utopia, the corporation of Swedish Socialist Housewives, the Dutch Christian Democratic movement, Hillaire Belloc, and G.K. Chesterton all have in common? Third ways, apparently. In his book bearing the same title, Allan C. Carlson sketches various movements in twentieth century Europe that—based on Christian values, the appreciation of the family, and agrarian forms of life—provided a way out of the false dichotomy between state-dominated socialism and laissez-faire capitalism.
In conclusion, Carslon’s Third Ways not only shows the importance of Christian thinking for the twentieth century but also for twenty-first century political economics. Christian charity, personal responsibility, and the family as the chamber of liberty can regain prominence only when the welfare state fails. However, external economic factors and utilitarian motives are limited in what they can do to restore people’s personal and public morality. Since the real crisis of the West is of a moral and personal nature, the answer needs to be both moral and personal. This will also make it practical.
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