Friday, June 16, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 24



As summer gets underway next week, people in the Just Third Way are taking the opportunity to get various projects moving again.  In that, we’re doing a bit better than a lot of governments around the world who seem baffled about what to do — largely because they don’t yet know about the Just Third Way.  But we’re doing what we can —

"Is this where I apply for a CESJ Internship?"
• CESJ is interviewing a candidate from Canada for a Fellowship today.  In addition, we have inquiries from a Fellowship candidate from Columbia and another from an Internship candidate California; we really seem to be hitting the “High Cs” lately, and all very impressive credentials, something with which CESJ has been extraordinarily fortunate.  CESJ has had interns and fellows from Africa, Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and now might add South America.  We don’t know about surfacing an Antarctican, though, to be able to cover all the continents.  If you are interested in a CESJ Fellowship or Internship, or in becoming a volunteer (you can do it long distance over the internet, depending on your projects, especially if you’re “in” to social media), consider applying.  No pay, but the intellectual, moral, and social rewards are immense, and if you’re religious, we might even say “out of this world” . . . .
"I am not a socialist."
• Recently we finished reading a book by Alexis de Tocqueville that was not Democracy in America.  It was the posthumous The Recollections of Alexis de Tocqueville, relating his experiences during and immediately after the Revolution of 1848.  Perhaps not surprisingly, although de Tocqueville displayed his dislike of socialism and his irritation with socialists on almost every page, the editor of the edition we obtained, an academic considered an authority on de Tocqueville, insisted in his foreword that the author of Democracy in America was really a socialist at heart and looked forward to the ultimate establishment and maintenance of socialism.
The prophet of Christian socialism.
• Speaking of socialism, this week we came across what may be the earliest use of the term “new things” in Catholic social teaching.  We found it in a very brief encyclical by a pope most people never heard of, Singulari Nos, Gregory XVI’s 1834 letter “On the Errors of Lamennais.”  Who was de Lamennais?  A Catholic priest considered by some to be the forerunner of liberal or social Catholicism.  He advocated a “democratic theocracy” and developed a theory that only the collective has reason and therefore rights.  De Lamennais’s “theory of certitude” is one of the founding principles of Christian socialism, or (as he and others called it) "Neo-Catholicism."  After de Lamennais had been instructed in an earlier encyclical, Mirari Vos in 1832, that his theory was not consistent with natural law, and that he shouldn’t try to defend the Catholic Church by twisting or inventing doctrines, he left the Church, started his own religion, "the Religion of Humanity" (we don't know whether Auguste Comte stole from de Lamennais, or de Lamennais stole from Comte. . . .), and published a pamphlet, Les Paroles d'un Croyant ("The Words of a Believer"), attacking the pope.  Gregory XVI described de Lamennais’s ideas as “new things” (and the pamphlet as "small in size but great in wickedness") because Pierre Laroux had just invented the term “socialism” (socialisme).  The pope hadn’t gotten word of the new word, and it wouldn’t come to mean “democratic religion” (démocratie religieuse) for a few more years, anyway.  In a sense, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum was a follow up to Gregory XVI’s Singulari Nos.
The Just Third Way spans the globe.
• Great efforts are currently being made to introduce the concepts of the Just Third Way to leaders throughout the world.  Materials have been sent to leaders (and possibly some of them were even read!) in Italy, France, Belgium, Guinea, Burundi, Germany, Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, and a number of other places abroad, as well as a number of U.S. states and commonwealths (unlike Canada, where the three territories and ten provinces are a bit different, U.S. states and commonwealths are legally the same).  The idea is to reach out to leaders and open doors for a meeting at high levels, meaning a level high enough to do something other than shake hands and smile for the camera.
"I'm gonna eat worms 'cause you didn't join 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 32 different countries and 41 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, South Africa, Canada, Poland, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Peculiar Peculium,” “The Redemption of the Non-Owning Workers,” “News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 23,” “Child or Slave?” and “How to Redeem the Non-Owning Worker.”
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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