Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Canterbury Tale, III: Separation of Church and State, Pagan Style


As we saw in yesterday’s posting, the whole issue of separation of Church and State is key to understanding why — whether he meant to or not — Henry II had Thomas à Becket killed.  The first thing for someone of the twenty-first century to understand, however, is that “separation of Church and State” may not mean what the secular politicians and history books tell you it means.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Canterbury Tale, II: Allowed Expedience


Yes, that’s “expedience,” not “expedients.”  We didn’t misspell.  The issue we’re looking at today is the question of when expedience is allowed, so that you may employ allowed expedients.  Yesterday we contrasted the clear evil of killing an innocent person for the presumably greater good, with the more ambiguous situation in which someone’s only recourse to death is to steal to stay alive.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Canterbury Tale, I: State v. Church


A few years back, say, a century or so, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson wrote a short biography of St. Thomas à Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose shrine was one of the four great pilgrimages of the Middle Ages, as anyone who has ever read Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales can (or should be able to) tell you.  This being the anniversary of Thomas’s murder at the instigation of Henry II Plantagenet, it seemed appropriate to interrupt our regularly scheduled posting for some alternative entertainment.

Friday, December 26, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 51


This is the last News from the Network for 2014, but due to the press of time we will not have the planned retrospective.  If we have time next week, we will put something together.  Despite that, there are a few things to note:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Solidarism, III: Pesch’s Correction


Credit for founding solidarism is sometimes given to Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J. (1854-1926).  In light of the work of Émile Durkheim, however, it is evident that Pesch should, instead, be regarded as its redeemer.  His thought was directly opposed to that embodied in Das Katholisch-Soziale Manifest, which (according to Alfred Diamant, 1917-2012) was intended primarily to reconcile socialism with Catholic social teaching. (Ibid.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Solidarism, II: Durkheim’s Prescription


Durkheim’s solution to what he called anomie was to claim that it is a moral obligation for people to organize to restructure society into monopolistic vocational groups, (Ibid., 226, 228) achieving “functional representation” (Ibid., 226.) to alter the division of labor by shifting from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity. (Ibid.) The act of organizing would subsume not merely individual rights, but individual personalities, into the group, thereby achieving, in Durkheim’s opinion, a natural society.  As Schumpeter commented,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Solidarism, I: Origin


A lot (okay, one or two) people talk a lot about solidarity these days, but how many of them really know what it means, or where it came from?  It sounds good, though, and the fact that so few people have a grasp on its implications makes it a useful tool for fast-talking commentators who need to cover up the fact that they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Friday, December 19, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 50


In the film version of The Student Prince (1954) — featuring the voice of Mario Lanza because he walked (as they say in film land) after recording the songs but before shooting the scenes — the Doctor (the prince’s tutor) is summoned with his pupil to the king’s chamber in the middle of the night.  They are both, obviously, concerned.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy (Late) Birthday, Francis!


Yes, we know.  Pope Francis’s birthday was yesterday.  He was born December 17, 1936, making him seventy-eight years young (see? we can be diplomatic at times).  So, what do you want?  CESJ is not a Catholic organization, nor is the Just Third Way a Catholic movement.  We didn’t get him a cake, either, or tug 78 times on his earlobe (yes, that’s the Argentinian tradition, we looked it up).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Some Notes on Discounting Acceptances


Believe it or not, the title of this posting is not gibberish — unless, of course, you are irrevocably stuck in the Currency Principle that underpins today’s three mainstream schools of economics, the Keynesian, the Monetarist/Chicago, and the Austrian.  In that case, none of this will make any sense at all to you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The (B)oil (We)evil


We were going to head this posting, “The Boil Weevil” instead of “The (B)oil (We)evil” to suggest the “evil” of oil, but some people might think we had just made a stupid spelling error and move on without reading the posting.  That would be a pity, because it’s a great play on words and highlights a serious problem.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santorum’s “Better Place” II: The Vision


Last Thursday we took a look at the biggest problem any contender for the White House in 2016 faces: no vision and no specific proposal except some form of jobs and welfare, or an arrangement where some benefit at the expense of others.  Frankly, we think Santorum can do better than that.  Heck, we think Obama can do better than that.  All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to listen to something genuinely new instead of rehashing the Same Old Thing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 49


As of this writing (10 am), the stock market is plunging.  The world is coming to an end.  Again.  According to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, this is due to the rapid decline in the price of oil.  The fall in oil stocks is having a ripple effect throughout the market, with the perceived increase in consumer spending due to the illusion of increased disposable income not enough to offset the perceived decrease in future revenue from oil.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Santorum’s “Better Place” I: Why Not Ownership?


No, even though we took the phrase straight from yesterday’s Washington Post, they weren’t referring to Rick Santorum’s departure from this life, but his reentry into political life.  It seems that Santorum has been contemplating running for the presidency (of the United States) in 2016.  He’s been keeping it low key, describing his position for 2016 as being “in a better place” than in 2012.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On Usury and Other Dishonest Debate


The online edition of Crisis magazine recently (December 8, 2014) had an article on the perennial problem of usury, “Did the [Catholic] Church Change Its Doctrine on Usury?  Although it might seem like re-plowing old ground, we thought we’d weigh in again with a few brief thoughts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Release: The Political Animal


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CESJ Publishes THE POLITICAL ANIMAL: ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Economic Justice Media, ISBN: 978-0944997062, 144 pp. $10.00
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA (December 1, 2014) — Is it possible to be a good person and at the same time a good citizen within a defective or unjust society or institution?  In The Political Animal: Economic Justice and the Sovereignty of the Human Person, author Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research of the Center for Economic and Social Justice in Arlington, Virginia, USA, answers this age-old dilemma with a resounding “Yes!”

Of Cosby, Crime, and Calumny


There is one glaring fact about the allegations against Bill Cosby that few, if any of the increasingly voluble commentators either defending the comedian (a small but diminishing number) or nodding sagely that they knew all along there was something fishy about the guy, a crowd seemingly as large as the vast majority who never voted for Richard Nixon.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cardinal Burke’s Opportunity


Cardinal Burke has assumed his new office as Patron of the Order of MaltaWhat business does the Just Third Way movement have commenting on Cardinal Burke’s new position at the Vatican?  None whatsoever.  That makes us instant experts.  With that in mind, we offer the following advice, free of charge, and possibly worth every cent:

Friday, December 5, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 48


Tomorrow is the “feast” of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus.  If you say “Saint Nicholas” in Dutch very fast, it comes out “S’int-nihc-loss,” making “Old Saint Nick” a bit more understandable as a, er, nickname.  Sorry.  In any event, St. Nicholas of Myra is famous for bringing presents to good little children, and for punching heretics in the mouth.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bernie “Backwards” Sanders


Bernie Sanders has announced that he has a twelve-point economic plan to break the power of the Koch brothers and other financial oligarchs, and restore prosperity to America.  Nice try, Hon. B. Sanders, but from a Just Third Way perspective and the logic of Say’s Law of Markets, you’re going about it the wrong way, even backwards.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two Key Questions for the Georgists


Some people in the Just Third Way movement have been taking a significant number of questions (read “unsupported assertions”) from the “georgists,” as followers of the thought of Henry George are known.  Henry George was the noted author of one of the two most influential socialist works of the 19th century, apart from those of Karl Marx: Progress and Poverty (1879).  Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (1888), “One of the most remarkable books ever published in America” (Erich Fromm) was the other.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That Krazy Keynesian Multiplier Again


We recently got some more questions about the Keynesian money multiplier, developed by Baron Kahn in the 1930s, and embedded in the monetary and fiscal policy pretty much throughout the world ever since.  That is in spite of the fact that there are some glaring inconsistencies and contradictions in Keynesian multiplier theory — as well as most of the fundamental assumptions in Keynesian theory in general, for that matter.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Incompatible Capitalism


One of the more bizarre accusations people make against the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading is that it’s socialist.  How a proposal that calls for expanded capital ownership can be socialist is beyond us, frankly.  Socialism is defined as the abolition of private property in capital.  The Just Third Way means extending private property to everyone.