As the political sideshow continues to consume the communications media — shades of the U.S. presidential campaign of 1876, which wasn’t decided until early March of 1877! — matters important to real people are put on a back burner or ignored entirely . . . except by us:
• Economic Personalism. The book, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, is now available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the cover price of $10 per copy. If you’d like to “try before you buy” (or just don’t have room on your shelves for another book), download the free copy in .pdf available from the CESJ website. If you’d like to order in bulk (i.e., ten or more copies) at the wholesale price, send an email to email@example.com for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Promoting Economic Personalism. At about 150 pages, CESJ’s new book is one of the most succinct as well as comprehensive overviews of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism we have put together to date. It would therefore be good not only to expand your own understanding of the Just Third Way, but be an extremely useful tool for spreading the word to others. The book is priced low to encourage as many people as possible to buy it, and is also available as a free download in .pdf. And since everybody seems to be getting on the bandwagon for the holidays early this year, we hasten to add that it makes a great Christmas, Hanukkah, or anything else gift. You may also want to mention it throughout your social networks, local schools, churches, and civic organizations. If you know someone with a “Name,” ask him or her to endorse the book, or even write a review. And don’t forget to write a review yourself and post it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
• Economy of Francesco. A conference on global economics at Assisi (as in “St. Francis of”) sponsored by the Vatican is currently in process, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Obviously we haven’t received any reports yet, but the publicity brochure for the conference seemed a little short on substance, and a little top-heavy in finger-shaking and scolding, at least that was the impression we got. Of course, one cannot expect too much from publicity materials designed to intrigue people and persuade them to attend the event or attend to the outcome, but the brochure did not seem consistent with what we know of the natural law and the Catholic Church’s social teachings based on the natural law. We will have to wait and see what comes out of the conference, however, before we can make a fair and honest assessment of the effort. We do hope, however, that whatever comes out of the conference is not as confusing to us as was Pope Francis’s last encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.
• Anti-Corruption in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, is launching another attempt at anti-corruption. As is usual in this sort of thing, the effort will focus on bringing corrupt individuals and organizations to justice. That is, of course, essential, but what is really needed is underlying systemic change to minimize opportunities and means for corruption in the first place. As has been demonstrated throughout human history, if you want to minimize corruption, you need to do two things. One, make corrupt actions less profitable or even unprofitable. That is, in fact, what reformers attempt when prosecuting corruption, but it often sidesteps the need to build in systemic controls that orient the institutions and system as a whole toward justice instead of injustice. Two, empower ordinary people economically and thus politically. This gives them a direct stake in maintaining a non-corrupt system as whatever is stolen comes directly out of their pockets instead of indirectly, which is always easier to pull off. The best way to do this, of course, is with the Economic Democracy Act.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. The complete series of sixteen videos on of the series on socialism we’ve done with the “Sensus Fidelium” YouTube channel is now available, along with some book reviews and other selected topics. For “interfaith” presentations to a Catholic audience they are proving to be popular, with more than 65,000 views to date. They aren’t really “Just Third Way videos,” but they do incorporate a Just Third Way perspective. You can access the playlist for the entire series by clicking on the link: “Socialism, Modernism, and the New Age.” The point of the videos is to explain how socialism and socialist assumptions got such a stranglehold on the understanding of the role of the State and thus the interpretation of Catholic social teaching, and even the way non-Catholics and even non-Christians understand the roles of Church, State, and Family, and the human person’s place in society.
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• 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 https://smile.amazon.com/. 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 38 different countries and 39 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, India, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh, Lolli-Lollipop,” “News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 46,” “The Proprietary Fund for Puerto Rico,” “JTW Podcast, Socialism, Part 15: ‘A Dialogue of the Deaf’,” and “The Purpose of Production.”
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.” Due to imprudent language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.