This week is a little week — three business days — as well as a little weak for news. Major holidays tend to do that. One thing that seems to be coming to the fore as the year draws to a close is that people are starting to get a clue that, perhaps, the State might not be the best way of meeting everybody’s material and spiritual needs. Much of this is due to the confusion over the Affordable Care Act, and wondering whether it will survive its implementation.
Be that as it may, here’s some thoughts on a few events of the past week:
• President Obama has praised Pope Francis as “an ‘extraordinarily thoughtful’ messenger of ‘peace and justice’,” stressing the “common ground” that he, Obama, evidently wasn’t able to find with Pope Benedict XVI, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, or a cast of thousands of other American clerics and Catholic laity a trifle upset over the president’s unique approach to the determination of religious truth and practice. To do Mr. Obama justice, however, he is no more confused than many Catholics over the respective roles of Church and State, and the meaning of such things as social justice and human rights. In common with many others, the president has mistaken the pope’s emphasizing the dire need for drastic measures to address the global economic emergency, for a “solution” that destroys the whole concept of justice and right, and even what it means to be human.
• We had an interesting discussion this past week on how Aristotle viewed non-owning free workers. As far as the Philosopher was concerned, wage workers are worse off than actual slaves — they are “masterless slaves,” pathetic creatures who own no capital. That makes it all the more baffling why modern academia sells itself by insisting that the goal of a “good education” is to get “a good job.” In other words, the goal of education is to train people to be good slaves.
• We’ve been researching the roots of what happened to the understanding of distributive justice and social justice. We have been finding some of the most astonishing things that contradict much of what is “known” as “fact” today — old newspapers from the 1880s to the 1940s are a gold mine. Take, for instance, the case of an individual who claimed he was being persecuted for his political views when he had never, ever, participated in any political activity . . . and made this statement less than a week after he was elected state delegate to the annual convention of a political party . . . .
• The big news is still that Freedom Under God is available after nearly three-quarters of a century. CESJ is now taking bulk/wholesale orders (please, no individual sales). The per unit price for ten or more copies is $16.00 (20% discount). Shipping is extra. Send an e-mail to “publications [at] cesj [dot] org” stating how many copies you want and the street address (no P. O. Boxes) where you want them delivered. We will get back to you with the total cost, how to pay, and estimated delivery time. All payments must be made in advance, and orders are placed only after payment clears. Individual copies are available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as by special order from many bookstores.
• CESJ offers a 10% commission on the retail cover price on bulk sales of publications. If you broker a deal with, for example, a school or civic organization that buys a publication in bulk (i.e., ten copies or more of a single title), you receive a commission once a transaction has been completed to the satisfaction of the customer. Thus, if you get your club or school to purchase, say, ten cases of Freedom Under God (280 copies) or any other CESJ or UVM publication, the organization would pay CESJ $3,920.00 (280 copies x $20 per copy, less a 30% discount), plus shipping (the commission is calculated on the retail cost only, not the shipping). You would receive $560.00. Send an e-mail to “publications [at] cesj [dot] org” for copies of flyers of CESJ and UVM publications. (CESJ project participants and UVM shareholders are not eligible for commissions.)
• So Much Generosity, the collection of essays about the fiction of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson by Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research. The book is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is also available on Kindle. Many of the essays incorporate elements of the Just Third Way. The book is priced at $20.00, and there is a 20% discount on bulk orders (i.e., ten or more), which can be ordered by sending an e-mail to publications [at] cesj [dot] org.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 59 different countries and 54 states and provinces in the United States and Canada (for some reason no one in Wyoming is reading the blog, and we lost Alaska) to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and India. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 48, “Voluntary Taxation? Not in a Free Society,” and “Why Did Nixon Take the Dollar Off the Gold Standard?”
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.