Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Solidarism and Private Property, Part III: Show Me the Money!

It's always a temptation to take the law, especially God's law, into our own hands when people don't do as we want them to do, or the system isn't operating according to our personal instructions. The problem is that most of us don't have the authority to speak on God's behalf. Even if we do, we usually can't prove it to the satisfaction of others who, after all, have a right to know on what grounds we're pushing them around . . . or they have every right to start pushing back.

So, absent presenting our credentials to others to convince them that we are God's deputies, agents, or merely vested with His power of attorney, what can we do to make things better . . . besides sit around and blame others for everything, that is?

First off, stop expecting somebody else to do something. As Father Ferree explained in Introduction to Social Justice (1948), the common good at our level is in our personal care. It's only when we, individually or in free association with others can't handle it that calling in help is legitimate — and then only as long as we really need the help.

As Father Pesch explained, the State is only to step in to provide our needs when our efforts failed. As Pius XI refined this concept, the State is only to step in to provide the opportunity for us to provide for our own needs when our efforts fail, and (if absolutely necessary — the language states "in extreme cases") provide directly for our personal needs as a last resort when all else fails, that is, we have not yet succeeded, or have failed in our efforts to secure the necessary institutional changes to allow us to meet our own needs through our own efforts.

Nowhere is this more evident than when we consider access to the means of acquiring and possessing capital. As we explained yesterday, trapped by the past savings assumption, there are only two ways for those of us without property to get some: take it from others as an (alleged) punishment, or take it from others as our (alleged) right. Both of these require that we treat those from whom we take things to be treated as criminals, whether or not we can prove it.

Of course, once we're out of the past savings "box," then much more becomes possible. If we don't have to worry about taking what already belongs to somebody else, we can worry about getting something for ourselves without theft or trying to change reality. Strange to say, it's actually very easy . . . once we get out of the past savings box.

The first thing we do is get organized. Then we target the appropriate institutions, in this case commercial and central banking, and the Congress. We then make it possible for every man, woman, and child to create money by entering into contracts to finance capital, paying for the capital out of the future profits generated by the capital itself.

This process has been described in a number of previous postings. We won't go into it any further today, except to say that if you want the "usual" Just Third Way take on how to reform the financial system, read (possibly in this order), Harold G. Moulton's The Formation of Capital, Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler's The New Capitalists (paying close attention to the subtitle: "A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of [Past] Savings," and Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen.

(BTW, if you can't afford these books, know that the foreword to the Moulton book is available free in .pdf on CESJ's newly reformatted website, as are the complete texts of the other books. If you're not going to be arguing with lawyers or economists, then reading CESJ's foreword to the Moulton book should more than sufficient.)

In this way (more or less) the goal expressed by countless political commentators from the dawn of time can be reached: every person with an adequate capital stake.

If you support this goal, consider showing up at the annual "Fed Rally" sponsored by the Coalition for Capital Homesteading to be held this year outside the main building of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC on April 15. Stay tuned to this blog for more details.

#30#

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