Confusion over the Affordable Care Act seems to be increasing. Getting a straight story or response from anybody seems to be impossible. This may be because of the imposition of political goals on what should be medical, ethical, and religious issues, a danger against which Dr. Leo Alexander warned in 1949 in his landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Medical Science Under Dictatorship.”
We believe that the growth of State power into areas in which it does not belong is due in large measure to the fact that fewer people than ever before own capital. As American Statesman Daniel Webster reminded people in 1820, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” When most people own nothing, they become dependent on those who do own, or those who control those who own.
To reverse this trend, here is what the Just Third Way network has been doing over the past week:
• Members of the CESJ core group had a very successful meeting with Joseph G. in Pennsylvania. Joseph is a deacon in his church as well as a businessman, and has expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the Just Third Way. He has suggested a number of individuals and organizations with which we should be in contact, and is working to open the door himself, handling all the details. He is also exploring some possible business situations in which Just Third Way principles can be implemented under existing law, e.g., a JBM company that is 100% owned by the workers through an S-Corp ESOP.
• The University of Notre Dame du Lac has agreed to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Essentially, this permits the federal government to dictate religious practices and beliefs, which some think might be a violation of First Amendment rights. It is interesting to speculate on how much leverage the government would have, had Notre Dame gotten behind the “Pro-Life Economic Agenda” outlined in Supporting Life, which was inspired by Notre Dame’s grant of an honorary degree to President Obama over the protests of many students, faculty, and friends of the University around the world.
• Most people when they think of State interference in religion are reminded of Sir Thomas More, who was “judicially murdered” by Henry VIII Tudor of England for refusing to swear that the King of England was also the supreme head of the church. They often fail to recall that there was an earlier example of an effort to establish government supremacy over religion: the murder of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury at the behest of Henry II Plantagenet, which, ironically, was probably not even what Henry II intended. Perhaps not surprisingly, Henry VIII Tudor put Becket on trial posthumously for high treason and had him convicted. A Just Third Way “take” on the story can be found in the foreword of the Once-and-Future Books edition of Robert Hugh Benson’s Saint Thomas à Becket, The Holy Blissful Martyr.
• 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 55 different countries and 50 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, Nigeria, Germany, and Canada. The most popular postings this past week were “Some Thoughts on Money, Part II,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Voluntary Taxation? Not in a Free Society,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” and “A Brief Course in Banking Theory, I: Banks of Deposit.”
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.