As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the agrarian socialist Henry George and the renegade priest Edward McGlynn seem to have provided the original motive for a new encyclical on the subject of socialism and why what was originally known as “the Democratic Religion,” “The New Christianity,” “Neo-Catholicism,” and many other names was not a very good thing for anyone, especially the downtrodden workers socialism was presumably intended to help.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
One of the most frequently heard questions about the proposed “Green New Deal” is where ire they going to get the long green to pay for it? For those of you not familiar with 1890s slang, “long green” refers to paper currency — appropriate, since it was in 1893 that the populist leader Jacob Sechler Coxey, a theosophist, proposed measures that many consider the precursor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, a rip-off of Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal from 1910.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Many people today assume that Pope Leo XIII’s groundbreaking 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, “On Capital and Labor,” was the first social encyclical, and that the pope was addressing matters that had recently come to his attention. On looking into it, however, it becomes evident that Rerum Novarum — Latin for “new things” — was not the first social encyclical, and the “new things” to which Leo referred had been a serious problem for at least three quarters of a century before Rerum Novarum was issued.
Monday, February 25, 2019
Just to follow up on the previous two weeks’ podcasts outlining Louis Kelso’s “Second Income Plan,” we thought we’d bring to you the 60 Minutes segment on Kelso. Of course, it’s not actually sixty minutes long, more like thirteen and change, but that’s enough to give you the idea:
Friday, February 22, 2019
Some interesting developments this week as world leaders and academics continue to flail and flounder around trying to find the solution that has been staring them in the face for 2,500 years. If you want a stable and virtuous society, as Aristotle pointed out in the first book of his Politics, you had better have widespread capital ownership. Otherwise, what you get is —
Thursday, February 21, 2019
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the problem with the solution to social problems that Fulton Sheen advocated is that it causes another problem . . . such as, where does anyone get the money to purchase capital to become an owner without violating someone else’s ownership? We cannot make society a free-for-all in which people take what they want when they want it. All that means is “might makes right,” especially in economics and finance.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Fulton Sheen strongly supported the idea that the only way to counter both communism (and socialism) and capitalism is to have a society in which capital ownership is widespread. As he stated, “Because the ownership of external things is the sign of freedom, the Church has made the wide distribution of private property the cornerstone of her social program.” (Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom Under God. Arlington, Virginia: Economic Justice Media, 2013, 33.)
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that the “new things” (rerum novarum) to which Pope Leo XIII referred in his landmark 1891 encyclical, “On Capital and Labor,” had first been addressed in 1832 and 1834 by Pope Gregory XVI in the first two social encyclicals, Mirari Vos and Singulari Nos, both of which were concerned with problems with the theology, philosophy, and social thought of a French priest by the name of Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais.
Monday, February 18, 2019
This week we have the second part of a discussion on Louis Kelso’s “Second Income Plan” from the 1960s. As with last week, there may need to be some allowances made for terms now out of common use. Of course, the real issue is that as technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, what Kelso proposed as a second income should become people’s first income!
Friday, February 15, 2019
While world leaders ponder how to make the hole deeper that they’ve been getting the world into since governments began controlling money and credit for their own political purposes instead of the economic needs of actual people, there are a few bright spots on the horizon (if that’s not mixing metaphors or something). They are only tiny points of light at this point, but still it’s something::
Thursday, February 14, 2019
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that, according to Fulton Sheen’s understanding of the natural law right of every human being to be an owner (at least as expressed in his 1940 book, Freedom Under God), private property is an essential means to secure individual liberty. Ultimately, private property in capital is the principal means by which people acquire and develop virtue in a social setting, thereby becoming what God intended them to be.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
While not the most immediate challenge facing people today, confusion over Catholic social teaching has, as Pope Pius XI put it, “given rise to controversies that are not always peaceful.” If only to resolve these disputes rationally it will be useful to explore how Catholic social teaching developed.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Back in 1940, Fulton J. Sheen published Freedom Under God. Why bring up a book that is eighty years out of date? Because at no time in living memory has there been less true human freedom. Even the idea of freedom has decayed to the point where it is effectively meaningless for most people.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
This week we have the first part of a discussion on Louis Kelso’s “Second Income Plan” from the 1960s. Of course, there may need to be some “mental adjustments” on the part of the listener as people back in the Stone(d) Age might not have spoken the way people do now (they were, like, so totally groovy and outa sight) and used terms now out of fashion. Even worse, as technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, what Kelso proposed as a second income could easily become people’s first income! Actually . . . that would be better, not worse. . . .
Friday, February 8, 2019
It is not quite March, but this month’s mentions are mostly media material. That is because the CESJ core group is trying to get up to speed on all the projects we want to complete or get moved well along for the current year. It’s just a coincidence that it all seems to deal with media, traditional, social, and otherwise:
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Unless you’ve been living in a bottle or on the top of a mountain in Tibet, you are probably aware of the massive confusion surrounding the terms “capitalism,” “socialism,” “private property,” “rights,” “duties,” “person,” etc., etc., etc. The fact is that a lot of people are using terms when they have no idea what they really mean, and just put their own private meaning on to things.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
In the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens noted that the French Revolution was a time so like his own day as to be practically indistinguishable. Although Dickens was employing a literary device to bring the reader into the story, a similar observation could be made comparing the early twentieth century to the present time.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Inevitably, when discussing capitalism versus socialism versus the Just Third Way, somebody will shift the basis from what is the right and just thing to do, to what is the most expedient or that gets them what they want, regardless of the cost to others.