Friday, April 7, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 14

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, so does the level of activity in the Just Third Way movement.  That’s a poetic way of saying things are starting to happen:
Louisville, Kentucky, by moonlight.
• A CESJ team is traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, today to participate in panel discussions on “Money, Power, and Justice.”  Key to the Just Third Way presentations will, of course, be an understanding of money (most simply, “anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt”) and not merely justice, but social and economic justice, which are not (it is important to note) euphemisms for charity or State welfare.
Belloc: mandating full employment is the Servile State.
• It is becoming increasingly evident that the people making decisions for the Federal Reserve System have no idea what they are doing.  The institution established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was intended to serve the needs of the private sector.  The idea was to ensure an adequate supply of money and credit for industry, commerce, and agriculture, establish and maintain an elastic, private sector asset-backed reserve currency, retire the previous government debt-backed reserve currencies, oversee clearinghouse operations, “and other purposes.”  Unfortunately, those “other purposes” turned out to mean whatever someone with enough political or financial leverage wanted, such as “full employment” (what Hilaire Belloc called “the Servile State”), funding government operations, social engineering, providing money for speculation on Wall Street, manipulating the value of the reserve currency, bailing out failed companies too big to fail, and cutting off the flow of credit to the productive sector, the primary market, in favor of the secondary market.
• The first draft of Ten Battles is completed, and the first round of editing is nearly complete.  It needs a bibliography, indexing, and illustrations, all of which are currently in process.
Fabians oppose the Catholic Church.
• Work on another project, tentatively titled Red Star Over Bethlehem, is progressing well.  A number of omissions in and misinterpretations of standard accounts of the spread of socialism throughout organized religion have been corrected after tracking down original sources.  Particularly fascinating are the biographies of the Anglican Fabian socialist, R.H. Tawney, and the uncovering of the “official” Fabian stance toward traditional organized religion, particularly Christianity, with a special emphasis on the danger to socialism of all kinds represented by the Catholic Church.  Ironically, much of this comes out of researching the relations between G.K. Chesterton and the Fabians.  Almost without exception, Fabians and former Fabians (such as H.G. Wells) expressed great admiration for Chesterton, and intense hatred, even loathing for the Catholic Church that Chesterton joined in 1922 — often in the same breath.  Chesterton returned the favor by loving the sinners, but rejecting their sin: socialism.  And why is this ironic?  Because today’s Chestertonians and distributists base much of their understanding of economics, politics, and Catholic doctrine on Fabian writers such as Tawney and E.F. Schumacher, instead of verified truth.  As Chesterton himself said, soon after he joined the Catholic Church, “As for the fundamental reasons for [joining the Catholic Church], there are only two that are really fundamental.  One is that he believes it to be the solid objective truth, which is true whether he likes it or not; and the other that he seeks liberation from his sins.  If there be any man for whom these are not the main motives, it is idle to inquire what were his philosophical or historical or emotional reasons for joining the old religion; for he has not joined it at all.” (G.K. Chesterton, Where All Roads Lead, 1922.)  Thus (paradoxically), someone who joined the Catholic Church because Chesterton joined it would not (in Chesterton’s opinion) have joined it.
"Come in from the cold. Donate to 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.
• We have had visitors from 37 different countries and 45 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom,” Canada, Australia, and Spain. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Why Is Socialism Condemned?” “Some Basic Thoughts on Income,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,”  “Good as Gold, IX: Debt or Taxes,” and “Good as Gold, X: Hijacking the Federal Reserve.”
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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