Friday, December 21, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 51

The amiable G. K. Chesterton once related (in The Outline of Sanity, if you're interested), that twice in his life an editor told him that what he, Chesterton, had written could not be published. Chesterton said, however, that the editor was honest in his dishonesty. The editor said straight out that he couldn't afford to offend the big advertisers that generated the bulk of revenue for the newspaper — that printing the truth about big stores and big business was not his way, so to speak.

A lot of people today are a trifle less than honest in the reasons they refuse even to discuss the Just Third Way. Paradoxically, in a perversion of G.K.'s fascination with such seeming contradictions, some of the most fanatical resistance even to discussing the Just Third Way comes from neo-distributists and their allies . . . who turn tail and run away on the grounds that what we're talking about isn't their way.


Sadly, the real reason appears to be that it's one of the most dangerous things you can do today to suggest — even as a possibility — that many (if not all) academics, politicians, and even real people might not understand money, credit, banking and finance.  This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the programs and solutions they espouse à la milord Keynes, for example, might not be what the doctor ordered.

Consequently, many of the proposals that rely on widespread capital ownership — such as Capital Homesteading — are labeled as romantic, insane, "twaddle," or any other handy pejorative that comes to mind. Others, such as distributism, are redefined into neo-distributism by changing basic assumptions and principles. Fundamental terms are redefined in a way that effectively removes any meaning from ownership (private property) and, increasingly, life and liberty as well.

Not surprisingly, as Chesterton observed in The Dumb Ox, this sort of thing always starts out so reasonably. It's the adherents or proponents of the Just Third Way who are spoiling things by being so stubborn and unreasonable for insisting on absolute principles. If we would just give in on this one little thing, they promise that all will be well. Just agree to one thing that we know isn't true, and everything will be all right.  They promise.

. . . until they discover whatever else we're doing, thinking, or believing that is interfering with the perfect system they just know is going to work perfectly . . . if they can just finally succeed in changing substantial human nature.

Alas, we're not going to do that. Instead, here's what we've been doing this past week to bring about real, effective, and sustainable change:

• Plans are being firmed up for the April 2013 annual rally at the Federal Reserve. Members of the Coalition for Capital Homesteading met this past Saturday via telephone to discuss the logistical details. One of the topics under consideration was a change in how the group presents the Declaration of Monetary Justice to Federal Reserve officials in order to optimize the chance of getting a meeting.

• A special outreach effort is being initiated to groups that can bring in numbers of people, rather than individuals alone. This should strengthen the grassroots appeal of the effort to reform the monetary and fiscal systems of the United States and the world.

• The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for improving services to the mentally ill, their families, and caregivers. Not addressed is how to finance improved services and all the other recommendations made. One suggestion is to implement Capital Homesteading, particularly the program of universal healthcare without mandates.

• Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal's "Mainstreet" column noted that the title of CESJ's publication Supporting Life: The Case for a Pro-Life Economic Agenda (2010) is "catchy."

• Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, has been named Co-Director of the Embassy of Human Rights of the Global Harmony Association, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia. CESJ and the GHA are exploring the possibility of a joint publication project, The ABC of Economic Justice.

• The Wikipedia entry on CESJ has been submitted. It has not yet appeared on any search engine.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 64 different countries and 53 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and India. People in Mexico, Portugal, the United States, Germany, and India 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," "The Turning Point: The Circular Keynes," "Is Choice Unconstitutional?," and "The Turning Point, II: The Trigger,"

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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