It is, of course, too early to tell, but we’ve seen signs of something of a sea-change in people’s attitudes toward the Just Third Way. The “official” jobs report is “encouraging,” the stock market is shooting toward a new high (and will probably hit 15,000 again by COB today), and so on.
Of course, at the same time, there seem to be an inordinate number of people un- or underemployed. It doesn’t matter where we go, people are either requesting direct help or prayers to “find a job.” The soaring market follows a drastic downturn a few days ago, and is completely unrelated to the productive sector that it allegedly reflects. (There is also the rather chilling fact that Spring of 1929 was also characterized by similar wild fluctuations in the stock market and a downturn in productive activity as the market for consumer durables hit a temporary glut.)
Anyway, here’s what we’ve been doing to try and stave off disaster:
• We continue to get positive feedback from last week’s Coalition for Capital Homesteading’s Rally at the Federal Reserve and the CESJ annual celebration. The video of Dave Hamill’s speech to his fellow Evangelical Christians is being very well received and has received a number of positive comments on Facebook.
• Earlier today we received a comment on this blog to the effect that the CESJ “core group” seems to be regarded in the light of a “professor of political economy extraordinaire.” This is very encouraging, especially in light of recent comments to the effect that the CESJ core group is presumably not promoting an understanding of binary economics consistent with the vision of Louis Kelso.
• We do not agree that our understanding of binary economics is flawed. We are, however, certainly open to correction and discussion that explains where and how we may be wrong, but simply asserting that we are wrong is less than helpful. In response to the assertions, however, we are preparing a response that addresses all the issues that have been raised to date. (We can hardly address issues that have not been raised. If people remain silent about what they think we’re doing wrong, they can hardly complain when we fail to correct ourselves.) A link to the response will be posted when it has been completed.
• Interestingly, this past week we received three unsolicited comments from three unrelated individuals from three different countries expressing concern over the exclusivity evidently being shown by “Chestertonians” and “distributists,” that is, people who admire the work of G. K. Chesterton and promote Chesterton’s economic vision, respectively. According to these individuals, there seems to have developed a certain “my way or the highway” attitude that excludes or ignores anything that does not adhere to the dicta laid down by an Inner Circle of Chestertonians. This is a matter of some concern to us, for (while we reject the socialism and “faith based reasoning” that appears to have been injected into distributism), we think that distributism — as conceived by Hilaire Belloc and Chesterton, anyway — is about as close to CESJ’s Just Third Way as it is possible to get within a system circumscribed by the slavery of past savings. We differ on the source of financing for new capital formation and the role of the State, but see nothing in the theory of distributism — as originally conceived — that contradicts the Just Third Way.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 58 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, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. People in El Salvador, Pakistan, Qatar, Portugal, and the United States 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,” “Social Justice IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” “Some Thoughts on Money, II: The Different Schools of Thought,” and “Defining Money: The Medium of Exchange.”
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.