By Norman Kurland
Picking up where we left off last week, what was and still remains missing in the Kelso movement?
In my mind, what's missing is a deeper understanding of and commitment of all those subscribing to the Kelso-Adler principles of economic justice to the "laws of Social Justice." These were best articulated in a 1948 pamphlet Introduction to Social Justice by the late Rev. William J. Ferree, a superb scholar and leader in the Marianist Catholic Order. Ferree explained that the principles that must be followed to change any institution which has become unjust or flawed, including the social order from the lowest to the highest levels of any society.
I first learned of Kelso's ideas in 1965 while on the frontlines of President Johnson's "War on Poverty." I left the War on Poverty to serve as Director of Planning to introduce Kelso's ideas to the leaders and projects of the Citizens Crusade Against Poverty. The Citizens Crusade was a coalition of so-called "progressive" labor, civil rights, religious, business, academic, and grassroots leaders headed by the legendary United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther.
I left the CCAP in 1968 to join with Kelso to help form and serve as the first executive director of Kelso's Institute for the Study of Economic Systems from 1968 to 1976 and to serve as Kelso's "one-man lobbying campaign" as Washington Counsel for his ESOP investment bank. I did not learn of Father Ferree's ideas on how to organize for peaceful change until 1984. This was in the last years of his life when he served as chairman of Dayton University and made what he called his 500-mile "monthly pilgrimage" to Washington to form and participate in CESJ.
I highly recommend that you read and comment on our 1997 republication of Father Ferree's pamphlet on how to organize for revolutionary social change. I knew and debated Saul Alinsky and read his Rules for Radicals. Alinsky and Obama should have read Ferree's rules for true revolutionaries. So should every supporter of the Just Third Way. Supporters of Kelso's ideas should study this pamphlet, including our Foreword, and begin to take initiatives consistent with Ferree's wisdom. We will hasten the day of victory for the Just Third Way and the passage of the Capital Homestead Act.
The sooner we win the war of words and the sooner we will win the war of ideas.
"Own or Be Owned."