Friday, May 1, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 18


The main thing this week (and probably for the foreseeable future) is the “Five for the Family” campaign.  This relies on continuing support — and that doesn’t (necessarily) mean money, but your help in spreading it around your networks.  The more people know about it, the more likely we are to catch the attention of gatekeepers and prime movers to champion the idea of Capital Homesteading for every child, woman, and man.


Don't leave families out in the cold. Support "Five for the Family."
• With respect to the “Five for the Family” campaign, it’s slowed down a little, but these things take time.  If you’re waiting around to see what happens with it, however, you might want to make a special effort to visit the page and “share” and “like” it — and, while you can only “like” once, you can “share” as many times as you want.  We have already received contributions on the crowdfunding webpage, and the FaceBook page has received more than 50 “likes” and over 500 “reaches” in a little over a week.  The more people know about this, the better — and the sooner we’ll reach our goal.  It takes time to get these things up and running, but it won’t go anywhere without your help.

Hon. Bernie Sanders, VT
• Senator Bernie Sanders has announced his candidacy for president, focusing on the growing wealth and income gap.  CESJ stalwart Gary Reber has been working steadily to get Just Third Way ideas to Sanders for a while now, and it might be a good idea (if you think people are paying attention to Sanders) to get in touch with Gary to see how you can help him out.  Right now Sanders is focusing on redistribution of existing wealth — which, admittedly, is essential in the short run to keep people alive.  It is not, however, a solution, which is to make it possible for people to become productive and meet their own needs through their own efforts.

Original Intent, or Living Constitution?
• Regardless which side of the issue you’re taking, the “same sex marriage” question before the U.S. Supreme Court has profound implications for the Just Third Way.  From the perspective of the theory of personal sovereignty of the framers of the U.S. Constitution — and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (to say nothing of the Preamble), neither the “right” nor the “left” are going at this correctly.  It’s not a question of how the State in the person of the Supreme Court defines marriage, but whether the Supreme Court has the right to define marriage at all.  Going by “original intent,” it doesn’t.  Such things are reserved to the people themselves, and the State lacks jurisdiction.  It cannot force anyone to adopt a specific definition or even recognize a marriage.  It can only choose to recognize or sanction something that is already accepted as marriage — it cannot change a definition, despite what Keynes said about the power of the authoritarian State in his Treatise on Money (1930).  Once the State starts redefining marriage to gain political objectives, we can expect what has happened to money and credit as the result of government manipulation for political ends to happen to the family.

• Today is the “Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.”  Because  the communists had set aside the First of May as their day to celebrate proletarian labor, Pope Pius XII instituted the religious feast to counter the communist secular celebration (and possibly to give a moral twist to ancient May Day celebrations).  The only problem with that is the fact that Joseph was not a proletarian.  He was what Karl Marx would have classed as a bourgeoisie, a small business owner.  He had a carpenter shop, in which he was assisted by his son, Jesus.  It’s an interesting (if irrelevant) point whether Joseph hired assistants or took on apprentices — and who took over the business when Jesus decided not to go into the family business?  Did Mary or Jesus continue as silent owners or partners after Joseph retired or died, taking a share of the profits to support themselves?  (In that case, they would have been rentiers, a class Keynes targeted for “euthanasia” because they consume their capital income instead of reinvesting it.)  Did they sell the business to the other workers, if any?  Did they just wind up operations?  These are good questions, but the important point here is that Joseph was a worker-owner, not a wage-worker — and the temporal end of working for someone else, at least according to Leo XIII and subsequent popes, is for the worker to “[live] sparingly, [save] money, and, for greater security, [invest] his savings in land.” (Rerum Novarum, § 5.)  Only land?  No, that’s just an example, because the pope went on to say that what he said applies “whether the property consist of land or chattels.” (Ibid.)  (What’s a “chattel”?  A non-land owned thing.)  So, of what does social justice consist?  Of employers paying a just wage or the State ensuring that people own capital?  No.  Social justice consists of organizing and working on our institutions to make it possible for employers to pay a just wage or the proletariat to own capital.  Perhaps we ought to call May 1 the “Feast of St. Joseph the Worker-Owner,” and make him the patron saint of expanded capital ownership.

Roosevelt the Trust Buster
• We started republishing a “long lost” speech from 1907 by Judge Peter S. Grosscup, one of Theodore Roosevelt’s “trust busters,” with some Just Third Way commentary.  Much of what Grosscup said echoes the concerns expressed by Bernie Sanders, with the difference that Grosscup offered specific solutions that did not involve redistribution, and that could still be implemented today with modern methods of corporate finance.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 59 different countries and 49 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Kenya, the United Kingdom, and Poland. The most popular postings this past week were “The Purpose of Production,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Halloween Horror Special XIII: Mean Green Mother from Outer Space,” “Knute Rockne and Social Justice,” and “Aristotle on Private Property.”

Those are the happenings for this week, at least those 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, so we’ll see it before it goes up.

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