One of the interesting things about investigating the roots of the Just Third Way is the fact that we keep uncovering things that support what we’re saying, and that undermine claims made by those who either oppose the Just Third Way (very few, actually, if you limit it to those with valid critiques) or who just plain don’t understand the Just Third Way. For example, this week we found an article from 1855 that describes the tactics of the socialists: if something doesn’t fly, or people become outraged, shift immediately to something emotional instead of rational, and hide whatever is offensive under another name. But there is some good news as well:
• Worker Ownership Pays. According to a recent report from the National Center for Employee Ownership in Oakland, California, the first year of the “Employee Ownership Index” shows a return of 30.3%, compared to the Standard and Poors 500 with a return of 15.5%. The NCEO created the Index with 28 publicly traded companies (30 as of this June) that have both broad-based employee ownership and have won one of three major national employer rating awards, each of which puts a high emphasis on worker participation. Although the orientation of an index that relies on the performance of shares in what amounts to a gambling casino is somewhat equivocal, the fact remains that worker ownership and a participatory culture are of measurable economic benefit.
|William Cobbett, "radical" politician.|
• Independent British Panel Urges Government Support for Worker Ownership. Back in “the day” (meaning the nineteenth century), Cadbury Chocolate had a worker ownership program. Before that, William Cobbett, the “radical” politician, stressed the importance of widespread capital ownership — which incidentally went directly contrary to the European-style liberal and radical demands for socialism; Cobbett was an American-style liberal and radical, with a concern for natural law and the dignity of the human person instead of the collective. Now, according to the NCEO, a new report from an independent panel of leading business leaders in the UK urges the government to take steps to promote worker ownership, which the panel sees as crucial to improving the UK’s economy and creating a more equitable society. Nothing was said about non-workers, however, or people who work in the public sector.
|Orestes A. Brownson|
• Socialism and “Free Love”. We recently uncovered an article from 1855, “The Free Love System” (Littell’s Living Age, Vol. 46, No. 592, September 29, 1855, 815-821, reprinted from the New York Times) in which the anonymous author analyzed the destructive effect of socialism of all kinds on society. In response to criticisms of various socialist programs, especially “free love” or the abolition of marriage and family, socialists began disguising their principles by concentrating on emotional causes that socialism would presumably ameliorate or eliminate, and downplaying or ignoring such things as the abolition of marriage and family, of private property, and of traditional morality. In this way, so the anonymous author argued (most of the articles from this period against socialism are anonymous, as the socialists had proven to be past masters at invective and calumny; only people such as Orestes Brownson who loved controversy, even thrived on it, typically signed their critiques of socialism), honest people would be persuaded of the benefits of socialism and permit it to be adopted, e.g., the founders of Brook Farm commune, whom no one would ever accuse of immoral behavior. Once socialism was adopted, of course (even if not by that name, but some euphemism, such as “New Christianity,” “Christian Socialism,” “Democratic Socialism,” or even in our day “Catholic Social Teaching”), then private property, morality, marriage and family, and so on, could all be abolished or redefined to conform to the new principles. In this way European or French style liberalism that vests sovereignty in the collective could be instituted without anyone realizing the significant difference between that and American style liberalism that vests sovereignty in the human person under God, not the State. Unfortunately, the truly American style liberal causes, such as the abolition of chattel slavery, got tarred with the same brush as the European style liberal causes, such as socialism, as we saw in another article we discovered last week from the same time period, “Whig Principles: What’s Left of Them,” The United States Review, Vol. 34, No. 12, December 1854, 465-477, and which we covered in “Woodrow Wilson’s Political Philosophy.”
|Have fun with Fizzies & CESJ!|
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to Next, sign in to your Amazon 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..
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 31 different countries and 37 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Philippines, Canada, and Peru. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were, “Government of the Élite, By the Élite, and for the Élite,” “America Delenda Est?” “Woodrow Wilson’s Political Philosophy,” “News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 26,” and “.”
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#