Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Economic Emancipation, I: What’s the Good Word?


We had an interesting discussion on terminology a week or so ago after a meeting held for another purpose entirely.  Someone suggested that, since we are trying to tailor our message to some degree to “young people” (i.e., anyone younger than the speaker) we might want to consider changing the term “Capital Homesteading” to something to which “young people” can more easily relate.  He thought that “Economic Liberation” might be a good term.

We discussed it.  One of our principles is to “Treat every [honest] question as a good teacher should, with respect for the person who is seeking to understand the Truth.”  The “honest” is an editorial comment; the item — Number 5 in the CESJ “Code of Ethics,” by the way — assumes as a given that someone asking a question is being honest about it.  We’ve found out the hard way that sometimes people aren’t quite as honest as they insist.

The Castle of Complacency (Down the road from Vanity Fair)
If no one bothered to question our principles, positions, choice of terminology, or anything else, we’d just sit tight.  We could be secure in our little Castle of Complacency, dismissing anything we couldn’t explain with a languid wave of a hand and the comment that it (or the questioner) isn’t important enough to bother with.

Rather than do that, we take questions seriously, at least until someone demonstrates bad faith in asking it.  And it usually has to be a pretty graphic demonstration of bad faith to stop one of our explanations.

So someone who raises a question, especially one on an issue where we may disagree, should be flattered that we take the time to respond.  After all, it’s easy to ignore things that make you uncomfortable, or that force you to work or (worse) think.

Besides, it gives us another blog posting so we don’t have to do double the work.

Anyway, the first thing that popped into everyone’s head on hearing the term “Economic Liberation” was “Liberation Theology.”  This is not a good term, at least for non-socialists.

No, CESJ is not a Catholic, or even a religious organization.  We do, however, have a great deal of respect for the social teachings of the Catholic Church, and base much of the Just Third Way on CESJ co-founder William J. Ferree’s analysis of the social doctrine of Pope Pius XI.  As far as CESJ is concerned, the social teachings of the Catholic Church are the clearest and most comprehensive expression of the natural moral law that provides the essential guide for human conduct.

The purely religious teachings of the Catholic Church are officially a matter of complete indifference to CESJ.  Not being a religious organization, it’s outside our area, and would be presumptuous in any event.

Result of searching for "Liberation Images"
That being said, the fact is that “Liberation Theology” appears to us to be rooted in the misapplication of non- (and even anti-) religious principles and philosophy to both the purely religious teachings and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.  We vetoed it unanimously.  It just didn’t seem possible to disconnect the term “liberation” from the Marxists.

We tossed around a few terms, then Marie K. came up with one that, we thought, might resonate well with non-Americans, “young people,” and others concerned with the economic dependency status being imposed on so many people today: “Economic Emancipation.”

We’ll start to look at why Economic Emancipation seemed like the Good Word in tomorrow’s posting.

Assuming we get it written.

#30#

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