Friday, February 3, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 05


This has been a somewhat quiet week for action, but a full week of important meetings.  Admittedly actions are easier to report than meetings, but meetings sometimes have far more reaching resulting in actions.  In any event, here are this week’s news items:
• Norman Kurland met with an official at the World Bank who was very impressed with what he heard about monetary and fiscal reforms that would be made possible by Just Third Way reforms.  The meeting was a follow up to an earlier meeting with an associate of the World Bank official.  Key to the success of the meeting was the Bank official’s immediate grasp of the definition of money in the Just Third Way: “anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt; all things transferred in commerce.”  Once this definition is internalized and embodied in policy, there is no longer any need for governments to issue debt to back the currency, and commercial and central banks can be put to their proper use of monetizing existing production and financing new capital formation with future savings.
• Discussions have taken place with a group in the U.S. Midwest working on developing a new model of business along Just Third Way lines within the constraints imposed by existing law.  By using a Subchapter-S corporate structure and making all workers equally owners, participation and production (and, given current market demand, profits) will be optimized.  The value of the labor contributions will, of course, reflect the current market, but the main income component for most participants is expected to be dividends paid on shares, thereby tending to level out total compensation, greatly decreasing the gap resulting from the differential in the market rates for labor.
Why create "jobs" when you can create ownership and wealth?
• If successful, the project could be replicated easily and quickly, helping to shift U.S. economic policy from the failed Keynesian goal of “full employment” to the Kelsonian goal of “full ownership.”  Instead of “job creation” programs that represent a drain on the public treasury, “wealth creation” programs restore the tax base and increase the flow of revenue to government at the same time it decreases the burden of welfare and entitlements, ultimately leading to a decrease in the tax rate.
• An added bonus to the project would be to demonstrate through the financing how to replace today’s politically controlled money supply backed with government debt, with an economically determined money supply backed with private sector hard assets — the first step in putting the money power back in the hands of the people, and taking it away from the politicians and those who control existing accumulations of savings.
"The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg"
• By pure chance we discovered the work of Professor Julian Strube of Heidelberg University in Baden-Württemburg, Germany (not the Heidelberg University in Northwest Ohio), which corroborates our findings about the connection between socialism and “esoteric” philosophy, and the unfortunate effect this has had on the interpretation of Catholic social teaching.  According to Dr. Strube (which agrees with the Catholic Encyclopedia), with the “Enlightenment” and spread of socialism in the eighteenth century, a new mythology of Christianity began to appear, distinguishing between “true” Christianity, and the corrupt version of the Catholic and Protestant Churches, especially the Catholic Church.  “True” Christianity is socialist, and Jesus was the first socialist revolutionary.  Instead of working toward salvation in the next life, perfection is to be attained in this life through socialism and the deification of humanity; the social order is to be based on charity instead of justice, or justice must be redefined to become charity.  The Will rather than the Intellect must be the basis of understanding human nature and thus the natural law.  There is much more, of course, but the interesting thing is that an important socialist, Henri de Saint-Simon, wrote a book in 1825 titled The New Christianity, which became the basis of a cult (with its own pope!) that had a great deal of influence even after the cult itself faded away by the 1880s.  The New or Neo Christian movement, a confusing mishmash of socialism, esoteric beliefs, and rationalism, eventually morphed into what became known as the New Age and influenced the rise of modernism.  According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on “Saint-Simonism” and to the Vicomte de Vogüé, a Neo Christian, Leo XIII’s reference to “new things” (rerum novarum) in his 1891 encyclical on labor and capital was directed primarily to the socialist foundation of the New Christian movement and the redefinition of justice as charity — “New Christian” was, in fact, used interchangeably with “socialist” during the nineteenth century.
• CESJ’s latest book (makes a great pre-Easter gift . . . obviously), 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.
Beer makes you smile, too!
• 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.
• We have had visitors from 55 different countries and 52 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, Nigeria, Australia, and Canada. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 01,” “The Anti-Francis Effect, I: Leo & Francis,” “The Anti-Francis Effect, II: Leo’s Vision,” “What Would Aquinas Do? — The Refugee Crisis,” and “The Purpose of Production.”
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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