On top of that, the news from China is that they are starting to fiddle with commercial bank reserve requirements to tighten up on credit and inhibit productive activity, causing stocks to fall around the globe, while from Europe we hear that the "recovery" is losing momentum and may "slip into recession again" (did it ever climb out?) while the German economy has "flattened out" (which means . . . what? to people already rather flattened out by the Great Recession) and is "losing steam," etc., etc., etc. — it's déjà vu all over again.
Ho hum, or (perhaps more appropriately for the academics, policymakers, and pundits who have been trumpeting that "The Recession Is Over!! (!!!)"), "D'oh." ("D'oh" is in the OED, so it's okay to use . . . besides, what else can they say? "%$@#"?)
Distilling the essence from these dismally similar reports, the pace of economic decline, an inevitable result of trying to manipulate reality by transubstantiating money and credit (for those readers who are not Catholic, High Church Anglican, or Orthodox, that means keeping the outward form of something while changing the thing's substantial nature, which only God has the power to do, not the State or a central bank), is accelerating, just as we have been predicting it would, and will continue, as long as the powers-that-be resist implementing Just Third Way solutions.
Nevertheless, we are making progress — and any progress in times like these is one giant leap for mankind, when our leaders-by-default are falling all over themselves to fall all over themselves. Even given the Worst Snowstorms In The History Of The World, Ever (!!!!!) some significant advances are being made in moving the Just Third Way forward. Consider what you can do to start opening doors to prime movers in order to keep things moving forward:
• As has become the case in recent months, a number of meetings have taken place, mostly by telephone, that have the potential to have a very significant influence on events in the near future. By their very nature, however, these meetings are not something that lend themselves readily to reporting as news items, except to note that a number of important meetings have taken place.Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.
• A prospective CESJ Counselor, the Rev. Edward Krause, has sent letters to a number of individuals who might prove to be pathways to some possible door openers who have the potential to help us arrange meetings with prime movers such as President Obama and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
• The Reverend Robert Brantley, another potential CESJ Counselor, has been working diligently not only to use his "political capital" to try and open doors to prime movers, but has also organized with some businessmen in Maryland to explore the possibility of a Just Third Way project embodying Justice Based Management. Anyone interested in investigating practicable applications of the Just Third Way should pay a visit to the website of our related for-profit consulting group, Equity Expansion International, Inc.
• The first commercial sales of Dr. Alamgir's book, Notes From a Prison: Bangladesh, have been made. The book is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well by special order from many other bookstores. BTW, Amazon now has the "cover art" up, and Dr. Alamgir's son Joy has posted a short customer review. You might want to consider purchasing a copy and posting your own review — drawing attention to the short but insightful "plug" given to the Just Third Way in the book, and the need to build political democracy on a solid foundation of true economic democracy, characterized by the "four pillars" of an economically just society: 1) A limited economic role for the State, 2) Free and open markets as the best means of determining just wages, just prices, and just profits, 3) Restoration of the rights of private property, particularly in corporate equity, and (the "fatal omission" in virtually all economic systems today), 4) Widespread direct ownership of the means of production. NB: Barnes and Noble is still offering the "member price" to everyone on all books.
• If you don't have the time to read and review Dr. Alamgir's book, consider making a contribution to the Institute for Integrated Rural Development in Bangladesh, which is doing great work lifting the poorest of the poor out of dire poverty. Reverend William Christensen will be visiting the United States this summer, and your church or civic group might want to sponsor a talk. Contact the IIRD office in the United States in St. Louis, Missouri, for details.
• Manuscripts of two new publications, tentatively titled Supporting Life and The Political Animal, both adapted from postings on this blog, are currently in editing, as is Dr. Harold Moulton's 1935 classic, The Formation of Capital and the combined volume of Father William Ferree's Introduction to Social Justice and Discourses on Social Charity.
• Speaking of publications, the "policy manual" of the Just Third Way, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble, as well as a free download from the CESJ website. In Defense of Human Dignity, a collection of articles previously appearing in the Social Justice Review, the official journal of the Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Union of America (with some additional previously unpublished material) is also available from Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble. You might want to consider purchasing either or both, and writing reviews to post on Amazon.
• Completely by chance, the piece titled "Ride the Pig" came out the same day as a Pat Buchanan posting titled, "The Bankrupt PIGS of Europe." Dr. Robert Crane sent the link and a copy of Mr. Buchanan's article, suggesting that people might want to go to Buchanan's blog and post a comment or two. It might be an interesting experiment to try and see if Buchanan, who appears to have no solution, would be open to a Just Third Way approach to rebuilding a shattered economy, and to picking up the phone and having a talk with Norman Kurland to see how to fix things, rather than simply diagnose.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 46 different countries and 47 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, Canada, Brazil, and the Philippines. People in China, Australia, Taiwan, Poland, and Venezuela spent the most average time on the blog. Part 20 of "The Political Animal," Part 1 of the new series on the restoration of property, "Ride the Pig" (!), Guy Stevenson's guest posting, and "Waiting for the Penny" are the most popular postings.