Friday, July 8, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 27


The June Jobs Report is out, and the stock market is soaring.  Evidently, if you can’t produce marketable goods and services, you can produce jobs; the jobs market is booming.  The only problem is how to pay for the jobs that are produced, especially government jobs, which are the fastest-growing product in the jobs market.  Be that as it may, a few genuine things happened this week:


Banking and monetary reform are key.
• Members of the CESJ core group had a meeting on Wednesday night with a representative of a candidate for president in an African country.  The discussion centered on whether the Just Third Way could provide a model platform for the candidate to present as a way of delivering justice to the country.  The representative’s report to the candidate resulted in the candidate scheduling a meeting with the CESJ core group to take place later this month.  The discussion centered on the underlying philosophy of government, and the need to make monetary and tax reform the cutting edge of any program of social reconstruction, particularly since money and credit are the predominant means of acquiring and possessing capital, and the tax system defines in large measure to what degree someone actually “owns” that to which he or she holds title.

The Fabian socialist wolf in sheep's clothing.
We received a copy of Edward R. Pease’s authoritative history of the Fabian Society, titled (logically enough) “The History of the Fabian Society.”  Reading the book revealed that many elements of the Fabian program — government control of money and credit, full employment as the goal of economic policy, taxation for social engineering, and (of course) socialism (something mentioned on almost every one of the 300+ pages) — have been adopted by virtually every government on earth today.  It becomes evident why, in light of the Fabian demand that everyone be forced into a wage system job and become a dependent of the State, willy nilly, Hilaire Belloc wrote his scathing indictment of Fabian socialism, The Servile State (1912), and why G.K. Chesterton and Msgr. Ronald Knox saved some of their wittiest barbs and pointed criticisms for the Fabian blend of an expanded Henry George-style socialism and spiritualist pseudo philosophy (and why Pope Pius XI seems to have included a few jabs himself in Quadragesimo Anno and Divini Redemptoris). Interestingly, Chesterton seems to have drawn a parallel between what some renegade Franciscans did in the thirteenth century in an effort to invent a new religion under the name of Christianity, and the attempt by the Manicheans of the same period to invent a new form of government under the name of democracy, with the Fabian program.  Ironically, many latter day Chestertonians and distributists — to say nothing of interpreters of Catholic social teaching — have also adopted the Fabian program in full.

Elizabeth I Tudor: at the mercy of court factions.
• We also received a number of books relating the politics behind the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.  One of the things that comes shining through is how Woodrow Wilson managed to turn vacillation and indecision into a high art, and then make it look like deep political wisdom.  It sort of reminded us of how the Tudor dynasty got a reputation for being the ultimate Machiavellians whose torturous thought processes no one was able to fathom — the real case was that, with the exception of the first Tudor, Henry VII, they were almost completely at the mercy of court factions; whoever had the upper hand at the moment (usually gained by flattery) dictated policy, which made for some incomprehensible programs.  Tudor behavior wasn’t wily, it was weakness.  After reading up on Woodrow Wilson, one is tempted to call him “Waffling Woodrow,” and not in a good way.

Early 19th Century jobs market.
• Speaking of waffling, on Thursday night’s business report from Tokyo on NHK World Television (the Japanese government station) the U.S. business commentator first noted that the experts were worried about the “jobs market” because of the fear that the private sector may have created too many jobs for existing consumer demand to support, the implication being that public sector jobs are better because they only require tax money to support . . . which comes from taxing the income of people in the private sector who produce something to meet consumer demand.  Then, a few moments later, the commentator noted that a rise in the stock market was anticipated due to the expected good jobs report for June.

"But I'm too cute to be replaced by a robot!"
• Speaking of Japan, the rate of development of robots that can take over jobs in the service sector is accelerating, especially in the United States (where the rise in the minimum wage rate has suddenly made it cost effective) and in Japan (where they’ve been at the cutting edge of robotics for years).  One of the latest is an old science fiction standby, the robot bartender, usually termed a “robobar” or “autobar,” with the robot often played for laughs when it breaks down or needs servicing and starts getting drink orders bizarrely wrong in ways that no human bartender could match.  Other robots in development or already in service (Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the art cruise ship, has a robot bartender), are ones that can shampoo and blow dry your hair, round up and milk cows (even normally cantankerous cows seem to love these things), maintain inventory, greet customers, act as bellhops, make and serve fast food, and even act as practice patients for medical students who can hone their medical skills without killing a human being.  Of course, the Japanese fondness for robo-prepared food might be explained by the fact that Uke Mochi (保食神), their goddess of fast food, has one of the most bar-none disgusting myths of all time.  Evidently, anything is preferable to how she fixed a quick snack, for which Tsukuyomi (月読), the Japanese moon god (or Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神), the god of rice ’n other stuff, who is variously male, female, and androgynous, and even transformed into Uke Mochi — in myth, you can even marry yourself), killed her.
Fast Food Goddess

• CESJ’s latest book, Easter Witness: From Broken Dream to a New Vision for Ireland, is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as by special order from many “regular” bookstores.  The book can also be ordered in bulk, which we define as ten copies or more of the same title, at a 20% discount.  A full case is twenty-six copies, and non-institutional/non-vendor purchasers get a 20% discount off the $20 cover price on wholesale lots ($416/case).  Shipping is extra.  Send enquiries to publications@cesj.org.  An additional discount may be available for institutions such as schools, clubs, and other organizations as well as retailers.

"I'll never smile again ... not even for CESJ."
• Here’s the usual announcement about the Amazon Smile program, albeit moved to the bottom of the page so you don’t get tired of seeing it.  To participate in the Amazon Smile program for CESJ, go to https://smile.amazon.com/.  Next, sign in to your account.  (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.)  Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.”  If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through.  Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 48 different countries and 44 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “The Purpose of Production,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 23,” and “News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 25.”

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.

#30#

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