A Blog of the Global Justice Movement

Friday, November 23, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 47

As of this writing, the stock market is soaring on reports of shoppers flocking to "Black Friday" sales. It remains to be seen whether people are actually buying anything. Reports are that things are significantly more orderly than in prior years, suggesting either that people are becoming more socially evolved, or they're not in the same rush to trample people to death to be the first one to check out something that you can get cheaper on the internet.

In other news, despite the momentary gains in the stock market (subject to change as the short sellers hurry to borrow and sell shares to force lower prices on Monday to cash in on the inevitable backlash from the "Black Friday" hype) and increases in government spending, the global "recession" manages to persist — causing individual depressions, as an article, "Suicide Attempts Increasing in Crisis-Stricken Greece," suggests. One wonders to what extent the obvious denial in high places, indicated by the insistence that it's a recession and we're in recovery, rather than a depression and it's getting worse, may be part of the problem and causing despair.

As we've seen in the recent postings on the problems with Keynesian economics, however, fluctuations in the stock market, reductions in the number of people getting killed to buy something, increases in the numbers of people who kill themselves because they can't buy something, or anything else, are going to improve things until and unless a Capital Homestead Act is adopted in the near future. To advance that goal, here's what's been happening this week:

• The planning for the April 2013 Rally at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC, is under way (or weigh, depending whose history you believe). A special effort is being made to reach out to groups and individuals concerned about the growth of State power and thus the loss of control over individual and family life.


• The CESJ "bestseller," The Restoration of Property is available for purchase in bulk (i.e., ten copies or more) at a 20% discount off the cover price, plus shipping. Individual copies can be purchased by following the above link to Amazon, or this link to Barnes and Noble, or by special ordering the book from many "brick and mortar" bookstores. Inquiries about bulk purchase orders should be sent to "publications [at] cesj [dot] org."

• We have been making a special effort this past week to reach out to financial, media, religious and political figures who might be interested in an alternative to "Obamacare" and other programs that put too much power over individuals, families and organizations in the hands of the State. If you have someone in mind you think should be contacted, we have developed a template letter or two that you might be able to use to make contact. Please do not expect us to try to make the initial or follow-up contacts. It is too easy for a suggestion to talk to CESJ coming from CESJ to be dismissed as mere self-promotion, and its importance to be ignored.

• Richard Aleman, editor of The Distributist Review, has a lengthy article in the current issue of The Houston Catholic Worker on the work of Monsignor Aloysius Ligutti and the program Msgr. Ligutti detailed in Rural Roads to Security (1940). Consistent with much of today's distributist thought, there is no acknowledgement of the potential for a solution to be found in the ideas of Louis Kelso embodied in CESJ's Just Third Way. This is particularly so with respect to using future increases in production instead of past reductions in consumption to finance capital acquisition and development — keeping in mind, of course, that in binary economics, land is simply another form of capital. The unnatural barriers that reliance on the slavery of past savings raise to expanded capital ownership are addressed in CESJ's recent publication, The Restoration of Property (above), while the special and limited nature of land and other natural resources are addressed in CESJ's Citizens Land Bank and the Homeowners Equity Corporation. These use advanced financing techniques and the corporate form of organization for ordinary people instead of against them, as Msgr. Ligutti deplored. Unfortunately, locked into the past savings paradigm and focusing on abuses of the corporation (a form of organization especially recommended by Pope Pius XI in § 54 of Divini Redemptoris) instead of its possibilities, the modern distributist movement merely commits itself to repeating the mistakes of the past without the possibility of developing a financially and politically viable program to broaden ownership of farmland — or anything else.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 66 different countries and 54 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 United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. People in Spain, the United States, Estonia, Vietnam and Ireland spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Aristotle on Private Property," "News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 4," "Romney's Speech," and "Why Not Capitalism?"

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.

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