Friday, August 2, 2013

News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 31


"I am the State thy God, and thou shalt have no other gods before Me."  This is the logical outcome of viewing the State as a "Mortall God," as totalitarian philosopher Thomas Hobbes put it in Leviathan.  Not surprisingly, Keynesian economics is based on that of Walter Bagehot, whose political philosophy was derived from that of Thomas Hobbes.

Frankly, the only way to stop this kind of thing is to get real power back into people's hands, so that they're not always looking over their shoulders when asked for their opinion.  Why (according to E.J. Dionne, professional Catholic for the Washington Post) is support for "gay marriage" in his words "overwhelming" among younger Americans?

One possibility is that the people with power want it, and the people who think they need to suck up to the people in power to get a job and survive are going to say what they think the people in power want to hear.  How do you think a morally bankrupt and logically flawed theory like that of Malthus took root so strongly?  Because it told the rich and powerful precisely what they wanted to hear.

Get property, and thus power, back into the hands of ordinary people, and we’ll see what people really think about same sex marriages.  Whether you’re for it or against it, that is a goal we should be working toward.  If you’re for it, don’t you want uncoerced public support?  If you’re against it, don’t you want to have the freedom to say so?

So get busy and work for Capital Homesteading today.  Here’s what we’ve been doing this past week:

• This has little to do with anything, but twice today by chance we’ve come across “it’s” (the contraction for “it is” or “it has”) used in place of the possessive “its” (belonging to it).  Trivial, yes, but a clear symptom that something wrong with our educational system.  Basic principles of anything are not being taught.  This is why the news that Daniel K., a teacher who understands and wants to implement Just Third Way principles into his curriculum, has been offered a permanent position is such good news.  Good grammar may not be the most obvious part of a Just Third Way curriculum, but it is a tool for communication, and essential principles of economic and social justice cannot be communicated adequately or at all by people who don’t know how to use the tools of communication.

• Small-Is-Beautifulists, Neo-distributists, and Professional Chestertonians beware.  “Three acres and a cow” isn’t going to cut it if you want something besides milk and grass to eat (or bandages when Bossie hooks you for not milking her correctly or on time), and something to wear and a little fuel to keep warm.  “Getting back to the land” has its downside, and it’s not all the fault of the evil capitalists, the bankers, the Jews, the Blacks, the Yellows, the Pinks, or the Paisleys with Puce Polka Dots, or anyone else you decided to hate this week and blame for your problems.  This article suggests that maybe a little market analysis, cooperative production and comparative advantage, and nailing down a few solid contracts for what you produce to exchange for what others produce before you commit yourself (and others not so willing) irrevocably to subsistence farming might be a good thing.

• Final editing has begun on the first book of our “Fulton Sheen Project.”  The footnotes and annotations are complete, a bibliography has been added, and indexing can start as soon as we finalize the text for the Foreword.  We even learned that we are using correct publishing terminology: “Introduction” is always by the book’s author and forms a part of the main text, “Preface” is usually by the book’s author but not part of the main text, while “Foreword” is usually by someone else and not part of the main text, although it comes after the Table of Contents.  Difficult issues, these.  The important point, though, is that we have found a great deal of agreement between what Sheen was saying and the Just Third Way, once a few technicalities are ironed out.

• We came across an article this week on being a Pro-Life atheist. It was very insightful, and highlighted the tendency in any movement (e.g., expanded capital ownership) to denigrate or even attack people who are working toward the same goal as you, but not, perhaps, in the way you prefer or even approve.  So you sneer at them, slander them, refuse to speak to them, even interfere in or disrupt their lives . . . and that’s when you’re in a good mood.  Part of this, of course, is the weird tendency today to try and base what should be based on reason, on faith, and to try and destroy or neutralize anyone you think is disagreeing with you or even not agreeing with you the right way.

• Frankly, linking the Pro-Life movement to religion instead of fundamental human rights is a serious tactical error, as explained in Supporting Life: The Case for a Pro-Life Economic Agenda . . . for which CESJ has been severely criticized by some Pro-Life leaders for "not citing the [Catholic] social encyclicals enough."  Actually, "Atheists and Agnostics Pro-Life League" has one of the best arguments around, and a very powerful position that the Pro-Choice people simply cannot argue against on the grounds that they are forcing their religion on others — what religion? They very wisely restrict membership to atheists and agnostics, thereby undermining the principal "weapon" the sanctimonious Pro-Choice people have.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 48 different countries and 48 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, Italy, Canada, and Australia. The most popular postings this past week were “News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 27,” “News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 30,” “Some More Questions About Future Savings,” “If You Have a Free Moment,” and “Response to Professor Shakespeare, III: Shakespeare in His Own Words.”

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.

#30#

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