Friday, February 17, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 07


This has been another interesting week, with a number of important meetings and events, to say nothing of advances in basic research on the origins of the Just Third Way and the opposing paradigm.  Interestingly, thanks to having come across the work of Dr. Julian Strube of Heidelberg University (the one in Baden-Württemberg, not Ohio), we now have solid evidence of what we only suspected before: the link between pre- and non-Marxist socialism and “esoteric” philosophy that deviates substantially from (and often contradicts outright) traditional Aristotelian-Thomism that underpins the Just Third Way.
While we have been working hard to integrate Dr. Strube’s findings into our own research (with all due credit given, of course — it looks really good and gives greater credibility to cite a German professor at Heidelberg, even if he isn’t a student prince), we’ve also been involved in more mundane happenings:
Dr. Stephen Chanderbhan
• The Big News of the week is that the Committee at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, has recommended Stephen Chanderbhan, Ph.D., for tenure.  Steve is an Aristotelian-Thomist who has expressed interest in finding out more about the Just Third Way, which is framed within the Aristotelian-Thomist natural law tradition.
• Speaking of the Aristotelian-Thomist natural law tradition, the current blog series inspired by Fulton J. Sheen’s 1943 book, Philosophies at War, has been generating a great deal of interest.  Readership of the blog has increased on the average 300-500% while the series has been running.  Research for the series has revealed that a number of authorities cited by today’s “experts” in interpreting Catholic social teaching (on which the Just Third Way is, in part, based) actually contradict the natural law principles of Catholic social teaching at a profound level, to say nothing of stating “facts” of dubious quality and that cannot be verified.
• Much of this week has been devoted to talks and meetings with Mr. William Mansfield of Louisville, Kentucky, who came to Northern Virginia specifically for this purpose.  While there have been a number of meetings with potentially key people, the main focus has been on a possible event to take place in April, geared toward surfacing new leaders among the “Millennials” to spearhead the effort to establish and maintain the Just Third Way.
Kallikles the Sophist
• Recently we received a copy of another rare Fulton Sheen book, Declaration of Dependence (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Bruce Publishing Company, 1941).  Not unexpectedly, this book, too, zeros in on the problems associated with the shift away from the Aristotelian-Thomist natural law basis of the social order, and toward what turns out to be just another rehash of (the possibly apocryphal — Plato probably made him up to make a point) Kallikles the Sophist’s dictum that “Might makes right.”  As a number of people from Mortimer Adler to Pope St. John Paul II have pointed out, a shift away from the Intellect as the basis of the natural law (Aristotle’s position, lex ratio, “law is reason”) to the Will (lex voluntas, “law is will”), seems inevitably to lead to totalitarianism.
• 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.
YOU HAVEN'T SIGNED UP FOR SMILE?!?!?!?
• 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 67 different countries and 56 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Australia, Nigeria, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Purpose of Production,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Philosophies at War, I: The Meaning and Purpose of Life,” “What Would Aquinas Do? — The Refugee Crisis,” and “The Problem of Wealth, II: The Capitalist Solution.”
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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