This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of a publishing event: Curing World Poverty: The New Role of Property. A “small press bestseller,” the book is even more relevant today than it was a quarter of a century ago. (The criteria for determining bestseller status are admittedly flexible, and this was “pre-Amazon” sales, but back in the day, 3-5,000 was considered a small press bestseller, and Curing World Poverty sold over 5,000 copies without remaindering.)
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
A few weeks ago we got a response to one of our blog postings on democratic socialism from a (gasp) democratic socialist! Now, that in and of itself was not unusual. What really threw us was the fact that this one was actually civil and seemed honestly to be seeking information. Here’s what the DS said:
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Monday, January 28, 2019
Today we have a special treat in store: a rebroadcast (we don’t do reruns) of Dr. Norman Kurland’s keynote address (ten minutes) at the “Focus on the Fed Rally” in 2010. What with the shenanigans that have been going on with money and credit throughout the world, this message is as timely as ever:
Friday, January 25, 2019
Things are a little slow getting back to what people call normal after the New Year, but there are some significant Just Third Way events happening. Of particular interest is the fact that 2019 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of CESJ’s bestselling (by small press definitions) book, Curing World Poverty: The New Role of Property. And other happenings are equally interesting:
Thursday, January 24, 2019
In the previous posting on this subject, we realized that, while Pope Leo XIII and other heads of the Catholic Church pretty much laid it down as the law that as many people as possible should become owners of capital, they did not really give a good or practicable means of being able to do so. Does that mean that Fulton Sheen made a mistake in his book, Freedom Under God, when he backed the papal stance on widespread capital ownership to the hilt?
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
One of the more surprising things people find out when they study history is that what actually happened, and what most of the experts say happened, are two different things. Nowhere has this been more of a problem than when trying to figure out how social Christianity differs from Christian socialism.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject (the subject being Fulton Sheen’s book, Freedom Under God), there is a difference between the natural and absolute right to be an owner (everyone absolutely has the right to be an owner), and the socially determined and limited rights of ownership (no owner can do whatever he or she likes, but must not harm others or the common good when exercising his or her rights).
Monday, January 21, 2019
Today being Martin Luther King Day, we’re having the first podcast of the new season start off with a few remarks in that vein and then get down to a discussion from Dr. Norman Kurland about the sort of thing Dr. King was working toward. We're also trying out a new, more standardized format:
Friday, January 18, 2019
Along with all the bad things that everybody knows about, there are a number of bright things on the horizon. This is understandable, as CESJ co-founder Father William Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. always said that in social justice terms, nothing is impossible. No matter how bad things look, there is always a just and moral way to solve any social problem:
Thursday, January 17, 2019
In yesterday’s posting, Fulton Sheen on Private Property, we noted that Fulton Sheen seemed to have contradicted himself. He noted several times that private property is a natural right — something inherent in the human person, which not even the State can take away — and then made the comment that “though man has a natural right to private property, this right is not absolute.” (P. 51, Freedom Under God.)
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
In yesterday’s posting we looked at the legal case for the importance of private property. We have to keep in mind, however, that the title of Fulton Sheen’s book is “Freedom Under God.” Sheen’s purpose was not to present a treatise or contract delineating humanity’s legal rights and duties in human society. Our constitutions, bills of rights, and legal systems are intended to serve that purpose.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Every once in a while we review a few things from the past that we think people might want to take another look at. One of these is our rediscovery a few years back of a “long lost classic” by none other than Fulton J. Sheen . . . you know, “Uncle Fulty” who was in a (friendly) competition with “Uncle Milty”?
Monday, January 14, 2019
Ever hear of 60 Minutes — the show, not (necessarily) the time units? Once upon a time they did a segment on Louis O. Kelso . . . who happened to state his opinion that unless the economy could be made to work for everyone, we were heading for trouble. And you know something? He was right. (By the way, don’t be mislead by Kelso’s use of the term “capitalism.” He used it in, e.g., The Capitalist Manifesto and The New Capitalists, a different sense than the socialists use it, and later decided it was not the best term, anyway.)
Friday, January 11, 2019
As politics, economics, and religion continue to mix (being the same thing to an increasing number of people), the world picture becomes increasingly confused and confusing . . . unless you come over and take a walk on the side of common sense. Analyzed from a Just Third Way perspective, it’s astonishing just how much of what is going on starts to make sense . . . and the right thing to do becomes more obvious:
Thursday, January 10, 2019
According to R.W. Church, possibly the best (if not completely objective) historian of the Oxford Movement, the whole trouble and the reason for the ultimate downfall of the Movement and the loss of John Henry Newman to the Church of England was the result of ego and arrogance on the part of the Oxford authorities who looked on ancient Christian doctrines as dangerous novelties,
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
In today’s world it is easy to get the impression that the meaning and purpose of life is for everyone’s needs to be provided by someone else and all desires gratified without effort on the part of the recipient. Current thought as reported in the media suggests that a justly structured social order is one in which matters are arranged in such a way that as many people as possible can remain permanent children, complete with “safe spaces” and periodic “time outs” for temper tantrums.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
. . . just not for the reasons you (or he) might think. A few days ago, everybody’s favorite (or at least best known) freshman representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said that the top marginal tax rate for the “ultra rich” should be raised to 70%. This would allow the government to fund research into “green” alternative fuels with the goal of weening the U.S. off the fossil fuels by 2030.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Friday, January 4, 2019
A short work week, but one filled with one or two significant events . . . one of which is not the increasing volatility of the stock market. People have yet to realize that the stock market is NOT a “leading economic indicator.” It’s not, strictly speaking, an economic indicator at all. It’s a lagging emotional indicator. It gives a good idea of the emotional state of the gamblers on Wall Street, and that’s about it. As for more significant events:
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Many people think that replacement of human labor by capital and the alienation and social disintegration that results is a new thing. It is not. Economic and social alienation due to advancing technologies or changing economies has been around since the dawn of time. It is just that the rate at which change occurs started accelerating about five hundred years ago. For this, two factors are responsible.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
There was an interesting article in last year’s Wall Street Journal (yes, we’ve been dying to use that line since last week . . . that is, last year) asking the question, “Why are Americans so religious?” (“The Marketplace of Faith,” 12/28/18, A-10). Sriya Iyer, who wrote the piece, is also the author of The Economics of Religion in India (2018). She argues in part that in America there is more competition between religions and between religion and the government. With more choices for basic services, competition — and institutions providing that competition — will thrive.