In a news item that should strike fear into the hearts of people everywhere, the Wall Street Journal gave its opinion that yesterday's rise in the Dow of over 200 points was the result of the European Central Bank announcing that it was unleashing its "most powerful weapon": the printing press.
"Printing press money" (which, in these days of electronic transactions, doesn't actually require a printing press, but the mere touch of a button) was — for slightly different reasons — the cause of the hyperinflation in Germany and Austria-Hungary following the First World War, the stock market crash of 1929, and the floundering of economic recovery in the New Deal. Now it bodes well (or ill) to wreck what is left of the European economy, and trigger a drastic downturn in the United States.
All of which is completely unnecessary, as our leaders would see if they could just get their heads out of the Keynesian sand. You cannot dig yourself out of that sand by burying yourself deeper. Only an increase in production in which everyone participates through ownership of both labor and capital has the potential to turn the global economy around, not continually dividing a shrinking pie into smaller and smaller pieces by issuing debt-backed fiat money.
To counter this "Krazy Keynesian Kult" nuttiness, here's what we've been doing for the past week:
• Tom Hoefling, America's Party's candidate for president, once again gave the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading a lot of time during his regular Tuesday night conference this week. This, of course, is not to be taken as an endorsement by CESJ of Tom's candidacy or anything else; CESJ does not endorse political candidates or engage in lobbying. We just think that any candidate who gives serious consideration to Capital Homesteading is him- or herself a news item — as is the fact that Tom refuses to accept contributions for his campaign. If President Obama or Mr. Romney would take a good look at Capital Homesteading and refuse contributions, we would report it on equal terms.
• Last week a CESJ delegation spoke at a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, an organization affiliated with the Unification Church. We prepared the "executive summary" of the event, and submitted it yesterday to Dr. William Selig, who reviewed it and gave us his opinion that it was "excellent." After some editing, the report should be posted next week. We'll give the link in next week's news items.
• A national Catholic magazine has requested a review copy of CESJ's latest publication, The Restoration of Property. We expect to receive our initial order of books early next week. You should consider purchasing a copy or two on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and offer to write a review for your local newspaper, focusing on those "small" community newspapers that often are more receptive to readers' contributions — especially for free. We can even send you an electronic file of the cover. Since the book is not religious (it's just a coincidence that it's being reviewed by a Catholic magazine), it should appeal to everyone who sees a problem with the current patterns of wealth distribution. Since the member discount on a single copy of The Restoration of Property is only $2.00, and the shipping from us would be more than that, you help yourself and us by purchasing online. You also boost the sales ranking with every purchase, making the book more likely to come up in a search. Since the book is $10.00, and both Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer free shipping on orders over $25.00, if you buy 2.51 copies (one for you, 1.51 for a friend and a half and a little bit over), you will definitely save money.
• This past week a correspondent in Germany brought the "Anastasia Movement" to our attention. Based on a series of books by Vladimir Megre, the organization (a word that we use in the loosest possible sense and to avoid repeating "movement" too many times) is characterized as a New Age, minimalist back-to-the-land group. The idea (in very brief and probably misleading summary) is to live one with nature and your ancestors on a small plot of land, raising your own food in a house you build yourself. The problem that CESJ can solve (or at least contribute some suggestions) — and the reason our correspondent brought it to our attention — is how to acquire the land, pay for it, and own it. Reading some of their material, it sounded as if they might be able to adapt Capital Homesteading vehicles like the Citizens Land Bank and the Homeowners Equity Corporation to their needs (to say nothing of Capital Homesteading itself, which could provide the independent income to allow people to live one with nature if they so choose). They might also find the CESJ edition of William Thomas Thornton's A Plea for Peasant Proprietors of interest.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 44 different countries and 46 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. People in Hungary, Spain, Romania, the United States, and Austria spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Distributist Classics — and More!," "The Coming Crash," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," and "Is Private Property in Capital 'Catholic'?"
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.