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::
Friday, February 15, 2019
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 Why bring up a book that is eighty years out of date?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.
Monday, February 4, 2019
Friday, February 1, 2019
Thursday, January 31, 2019
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.)
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”?