Tuesday, March 28, 2017

4. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?


As we conclude this brief series examining “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” it becomes evident why Chesterton was so adamant that, while the principles of science, politics, and religion must be compatible with each other and consistent with reality, they cannot be combined or mixed without disaster.

Monday, March 27, 2017

3. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?


Last Thursday we continued our examination of “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” which the author of an article in Regina Magazine claimed was realized in the “distributism” of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.  Going through the letters G through M we found more discrepancies between Chesterton’s and Belloc’s concept of distributism and what the author of the article claimed was their system, and what the Catholic Church actually teaches as opposed to what the author claimed the Catholic Church teaches.

Friday, March 24, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 12


A number of things are happening that tend to bear out the sense we got last week that things were starting to heat up in the Just Third Way . . . despite the “cold snap” being experienced inside the DC Beltway (you’d think all the hot air coming off Capitol Hill would warm things up a bit, though).  That being the case, we’ll get right to it:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?


Yesterday we began an examination of “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” which the author of an article in Regina Magazine claimed was realized in the “distributism” of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.  The goal was to determine whether it is correct to say that what was presented in the article as “Catholic Economics” was, in fact, the case, or if what was presented was a distorted version of what the Catholic Church teaches.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

1. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?


A few days ago on FaceBook we came across a reposted article from Regina Magazine (“Inspiring.  Intelligent.  Catholic.”), an internet journal “interested in everything under the Catholic sun . . . [seeking] the Good, the Beautiful and the True” — surely a laudable goal, regardless of your religion or lack thereof.  The article was “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics” by either Beverly Stevens or William Schultz, possibly both — it wasn’t clear, and a visit to the website didn’t make it any clearer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Max Weismann, 1936-2017


Max Weismann
It is with deep regret that we learned recently of the death in Chicago of Max Weismann, who served on the Board of Counselors for the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), allegedly of an undiagnosed kidney ailment.  Max, an American philosopher and a long-time friend and associate of Mortimer J. Adler (co-author with Louis O. Kelso of The Capitalist Manifesto, 1958, and The New Capitalists, 1961), co-founded the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago with Adler in 1990.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Byzantine Homestead Act


Roman history, whether Latin or Greek, graphically illustrates the importance of widespread ownership to national security — and the inevitable tendency of the rich and powerful to concentrate ownership, whether privately (capitalism) or publicly (socialism) to the detriment of national wellbeing, even disaster.

Friday, March 17, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 11


Despite a sudden cold snap, a “DC Blizzard” (i.e., a quarter inch of snow or the threat thereof), and a semi-lost day of work, things have been “heating up” at the Just Third Way.  A great deal of it has been in the form of meetings and conversations, which are very hard to report, but it’s obvious that things are starting to move:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Your Brand: It’s Your Everything


Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
According to the quintessential entertainer, P.T. Barnum, founder of “the Greatest Show on Earth” and other modest productions, you could fool all of the people all of the time . . . but only with their full and willing consent.  Many people are, in fact, surprised to learn that “America’s Showman” was not only a model of personal rectitude, always keeping his word, but insisted on strict honesty in all business dealings.

The Logic of Empire


“Consumption,” as Adam Smith declared in The Wealth of Nations, “is the sole end and purpose of all production.”  This makes sense, for if something has not been produced, how can it exist to be consumed?  And why produce something if it is not intended for consumption?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Good as Gold, VI: Removing the Restraints


As we saw in yesterday’s posting, governments were not able to control the currency for political purposes to any appreciable degree until they were able to hijack the institution of the central bank.  Even then, their power over the money supply was generally limited by two factors which tended to subject the value of the currency to the forces of the market, rather than the force of politicians’ arguments.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Good as Gold, V: Debt Money Replaces Asset Money


Last Thursday we closed the previous posting in this series by noting how Henry VIII Tudor’s debasement of the English and Irish coinage did not affect as many people in the same way it would have had the two countries been more dependent on a cash economy.  It was bad, of course, but the fact that most trade and even daily transactions were carried out by means of direct barter and contracts well into the nineteenth century limited the evil.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Millennial Workplace


Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
In one very real sense, it is extremely misleading to talk about “the Millennial Workplace” as if Millennials are somehow inherently different as human beings from every generation that has gone before.  Obviously that is not true, as basic common sense tells us.  If someone is human, he or she is as fully human, and is human in the same way, as everyone else, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Cardinal Dolan’s Mistake

Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal carried a short piece by Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan on public funding of private schools.  (“How Trump Can Expand School Choice,” WSJ, 03/09/17, A19.)  His Eminence’s idea is that parents should receive tax credits that will enable them to send their children to the schools of their choice.  Unfortunately, while the Cardinal Archbishop of New York’s intentions are good, this is a very bad idea.

Friday, March 10, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 10


Things are still a little quiet around CESJ, but there have been a number of events and situations in the world that highlight the need for Just Third Way-type solutions.  We are, of course, fully away that the Just Third Way is not a panacea for all the world’s ills, but it is based on natural law assumptions that do apply to every human situation.  We will never have a perfect system, but we can have one that is perfectible and consistent with the basic principles governing human behavior:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution

Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
Conflict is unavoidable in any situation involving other people.  The art of management (or, if you will, servant leadership) involves to a great extent the ability to resolve conflicts in a just manner. That means respecting the natural dignity of every human person involved in the situation.

Good as Gold, IV: The Money Monopoly


Yesterday we looked at how the shift to a cash economy accelerated the concentration of capital ownership in the hands of the few people who had access to this relatively scarce form of money.  And make no mistake: until the twentieth century, when governments began taking over currencies and backing them with their own debt to control economic activity, what most people think of as “money” (coin, banknotes, demand deposits, and some time deposits) was not the vehicle by means of which most transactions were carried out — and even then it was far from being the only form of money.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Good as Gold, III: The Cash Problem


Yesterday we noted that, while gold has certain advantages as a monetary standard, it also has a number of weaknesses.  Primary among these is the fact that the amount of gold in an economy has no direct tie or link to the level of productive activity.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Good as Gold, II: What Is “The Gold Standard”?


Yesterday we noted that reinstituting the gold standard wasn’t all that bad an idea.  It would restore a measure of sanity to the financial world, plagued throughout the globe by “flexible standards” for currencies . . . despite the fact that “flexible standard” is a meaningless concept, useful only for confusing the public beyond hope of comprehension.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mentorship: Making Tomorrow’s Future


Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
The Just Third Way — any culture, in fact, that includes capital ownership as an essential element of the system — is such a complete shift from today’s pervasive “Jobs-Jobs-Jobs” mentality that training the new type of servant leader needed is critical to “making tomorrow’s future.”  This is all the more necessary when we consider that tomorrow’s leaders will have the primary responsibility for teaching their fellow worker-owners how to be the best persons, and best members of the team at the same time, to say nothing of using their ownership responsibly.

Good as Gold, I: What’s Good About Gold?


According to a recent report, President Trump is in favor of returning to “the gold standard.”  We haven’t verified the quote, but he allegedly said, “Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but, boy, would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”  The report went on to say that few economists were in favor of such a move.

Friday, March 3, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 09


Things have been a little quiet around the Just Third Way network, what with the Three Rs of reading, researching, and ’riting.  We located a number of very rare (but fortunately relatively inexpensive) books about the Revolutions of 1848 and the New York City mayoral campaign of 1886 — yes, there’s a connection with the Just Third Way — and have had some rather interesting breakthroughs in tying together some seemingly disparate elements.  There have, however, been a few items of note:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Leading with Excellence in a Changing World

Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
What is changing in the world?  Is it people?  Or is it the “tools” — including our “social tools” — that people have invented to meet every level of human needs?  People’s needs range from survival and security needs, to social and political needs, and from individual personal needs, to the highest level of human development.  Changes in these “tools” are having a profound impact on everyone’s daily life.

Philosophies at War, XIII: Vatican Letters, Part Two


Since today’s blog posting is simply a continuation from yesterday, we’ll just launch right into it:

Dear Just Third Way Blog:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Philosophies at War, XII: Vatican Letters, Part One


This brief series on “Philosophies at War” is not just of academic interest, nor is it particularly religious, although the issue is being fought out most visibly in religious circles.  Obviously, however, how we view the human person is key to how we understand the role of the State, the natural law, organized religion and, increasingly these days, the family, all of which are under attack today in one way or another.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Philosophies at War, XI: The Dumb Ox Bellows


Yesterday we quoted G.K. Chesterton on how the Catholic Church was under constant attack by the forces of unreason from both outside and inside the Church — and of the two, the more subtle (and thus more dangerous) was the attack from within.  This makes sense, for it is almost impossible for an enemy to betray you, but friends can do it at any time.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Twenty-First Century Coaching and Team Building


Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
How will the economic realities of the 21st Century shape the way companies train and develop their workforces?

Philosophies at War, X: The Soul of the Hive


Last Thursday we looked at what led up to Saint Thomas Aquinas: The “Dumb Ox” (1933), G.K. Chesterton’s final word in the literary debate he carried on with R.H. Tawney, the socialist/New Christian author of The Acquisitive Society (1920) and Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926).

Friday, February 24, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 08


As the level of anxiety about the world situation continues to increase, so does the studied avoidance of the Just Third Way, which alone holds any promise of rectifying the situation.  This is made pretty clear from this week’s news items:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Philosophies at War, IX: The Apostle of Common Sense


Soon after publishing Saint Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton wrote an introduction to a rather ponderous doctoral thesis by a student of his friend, Msgr. Ronald A. Knox, an obscure American priest by the name of Fulton J. Sheen.  Sheen’s book, God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy in Light of the Philosophy of Saint Thomas (1925), is, at one and the same time, Sheen’s most substantive work and the most difficult of all his voluminous writings to read.  It has almost none of the fluid ease, even sprightliness, that mark even his second book, Religion Without God (1928) — the “sequel” to God and Intelligence — as well as all his later works.