Thursday, November 27, 2014

Economic Justice, V: Being Thankful


At this time of year, today especially, it is customary to rack (not “wrack,” evidently) one’s brains to try and figure out something for which to be thankful.  This is especially the case if you’ve been invited somewhere for dinner and the tradition of making a short speech covering what you have to be thankful for is suddenly sprung on you.

If you go first, you sound trite, being limited to generalities that you hope won’t offend anyone or sound (too) boastful.  If you go last, you sound like an echo.  If you go somewhere in-between, you just know that somebody is going to top you in gratitude for something.

It should be manifestly true that being thankful generally requires something for which one can be thankful.  That being the case, we’re giving you something everybody can be thankful for without sounding trite, boastful, an echo, or running the risk of being topped by someone.

You can be thankful we’re still working to advance the Just Third Way.  And just what is “the Just Third Way”?  Perhaps you can think of it as a sort of “unified field theory” for the social sciences.

In general, the Just Third Way is a set of fundamental principles built on the foundation of the natural law that can be adapted to any principle-based institution or group of institutions in the world.  We believe these are best stated in CESJ’s Core Values and Code of Ethics.

In particular, the Just Third Way is a free market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through the democratization of money and credit for new production, with universal access to direct ownership of income-producing capital.  This socio-economic paradigm as applied in the Capital Homesteading proposal offers the logical “third alternative” to the two predominant socio-economic paradigms today — capitalism and socialism/communism.

In capitalism, economic power and private ownership of capital are concentrated in a small percentage of the population (i.e., a few own).  In socialism/communism, the state owns and/or controls productive capital (i.e., nobody owns).

In the “Just Third Way,” widespread dispersion of capital ownership functions as the economic check against the potential for corruption and abuse, including by the government.  Restoration of the full rights of property and extension of private property to every individual, serves as the basis for economic democracy, the necessary foundation for effective political democracy.

The “Just Third Way” differs markedly from other versions of the “Third Way,” such as the version espoused by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, which attempts to give moral legitimacy to the Wall Street capitalist approach to economic globalization and blends political democracy with economic plutocracy.

The new paradigm views as a virtue healthy self-interest (i.e., where individual good is directed toward, or in harmony with, the common good).  It views greed and envy, on the other hand, as vices, both destructive of a moral and just society. In contrast to capitalism that institutionalizes greed, or socialism that institutionalizes envy, the “Just Third Way” institutionalizes justice — especially economic justice.

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1 comment:

Baseball Billy said...

Finally, some group is "making sense!" But the number of alternative groups seems endless. This, obviously, is not an easy "task."