Friday, October 30, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 44


A number of events have happened this week that both highlight the need for something like “Justice University” and — at the same time — make it more likely that the idea can be brought to fruition.  As you will see, this is mostly due to the positive reaction we’ve received from interacting with the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program:

Norman G. Kurland
• Dr. Norman Kurland’s keynote address at the Mid-Atlantic ESOP Association Conference went very well.  Norm, president of the all-volunteer, interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) in Arlington, Virginia, spoke on the history of the ESOP and how the concept could be extended to every child, woman, and man, not restricted to those who happen to work for a corporation, through the implementation of a Capital Homesteading program.

• On Monday evening Norman Kurland and Jean-Marie Bukuru attended the Humphrey Fellowship State Department gathering that included 167 of the current Fellows, ambassadors, and people from the United States Department of State.  A number of important people attended, with whom the CESJ team was able to converse in French and in English.  Norm reported that the people were very friendly and seemed very open to the Just Third Way.  Even the economists were interested in something besides the tried-and-failed Keynesianism that has brought the global economy to the brink of disaster.  An important contact was made with Ann Howard, the niece of Hubert Humphrey, who interacts at the highest levels.

Max Weisman's comment
• Max Weismann, co-founder with Mortimer Adler of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago, had a very positive comment on Tuesday’s blog posting, “In Defense of Common Sense.”  Of course, a photo of Adler was given a certain prominence. . . .  Other postings in that particular series have garnered their share of praise, e.g., “WOW. . . thank you!!” (“The Paradox of Il Poverello”), and “[B]etter than most history books out there.”  (“The American Regression”).  If we can find the funding or a sponsor, it might be possible to turn the series into a “CESJ Paradigm Paper,” or even a series for CESJ’s proposed “Justice Classrooms.”

Humphrey Fellows from many countries.
• On Tuesday, members of the CESJ core group attended a “networking reception” for the Humphrey Fellowship program.  A large number of the current Fellows were able to attend, some of them coming from sponsoring institutions as far away as California, and Fellows coming from every continent except Antarctica.  Again, a great deal of interest was expressed in the Just Third Way, especially the monetary, tax, and legal reforms that would enable a country to finance economic development without relying on foreign investment or a wealthy domestic elite.

• We received a request for help in answering some questions in economics from a local college student.  Fortunately, although the questions from the professor were somewhat poorly phrased (particularly from a Just Third Way perspective), the student was able to summarize coherently, and we provided her with enough of a framework and sufficient cites and references for her to compose a paper that we think could satisfy both justice and an instructor who seems to phrase things somewhat obscurely.

Pope Pius XI
• Astrid U., our CESJ Fellow currently pursuing her Masters degree in labor economics at the University of Louwen (Louvain) in Belgium, is preparing to begin her thesis.  We were able to provide her, too, with a number of possible sources, especially on how to resolve the “economic dilemma” inherent in relying on past savings to finance ownership of capital by wage workers who cannot afford to reduce consumption in order to accumulate sufficient savings to purchase capital.  The answer, of course, is to shift financing of new capital to future savings, and let the new capital pay for itself out of future increases in production instead of past decreases in consumption.  Some of the important sources for Astrid’s work (from the Just Third Way perspective, of course) would be William Cobbett, Charles Morrison, William Thomas Thornton, Pope Leo XIII, Heinrich Pesch, G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, Pope Pius XI, Fulton Sheen, Goetz Briefs, and (of course) Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler for why “labor” must own capital, and John Law (with reservations), Adam Smith, Henry Thornton, James Gilbart, John Fullarton, Thomas Tooke, Harold Moulton, and (of course) Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler for how “labor” (and everyone else) can own capital.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 53 different countries and 51 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, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, and India. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Halloween Horror Special XIII: Mean Green Mother from Outer Space,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Three Key Books on Common Sense, IV: Chesterton Versus the Slavery of Past Savings,” and “Three Key Books on Common Sense, VII: The American Regression”/“Three Key Books on Common Sense, XI: The Awful Apparition of Aristotle” (tie).

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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