THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Friday, May 15, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 20

We had fewer meetings this week, but the few we had were as productive as last week's. There may be some kind of "inverse law" at work here. As the world situation gets worse, whether it's the Ford Motor Company issuing 300 million new equity shares to meet past, non-productive costs, or the Reverend John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame (considered America's iconic Catholic university) defying direct orders from his superiors, unambiguous directives from the American bishops, and the clear mandate of students, alumni, and friends and supporters of the university in order to curry favor with the current administration, Just Third Way proposals begin to look better and better.

The Just Third Way, based on the inherent dignity of each person, strives to empower every individual with control over his or her own life, and thereby acquire the ability to throw off the yoke imposed by concentrated ownership of the means of production, whether that concentration is in the hands of a private elite (capitalism), a State bureaucracy (socialism), or the weird State-controlled capitalism we see in Keynesian economics.

For the record, it's interesting to note that in October 2008, CESJ invited Father Jenkins to participate in a dialog with David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, on the current economic and financial crisis. CESJ sent Father Jenkins copies of its major publications, including Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen (2004), Curing World Poverty (1994), Introduction to Social Justice (1948), and the latest by Notre Dame alumnus Michael D. Greaney, In Defense of Human Dignity (2008). Possibly presaging his cavalier treatment of everyone concerned with his incomprehensible honoring of a U.S. president who has taken a strong public stance against virtually everything Notre Dame presumably stands for, Father Jenkins' dismissive reply ignored the books, and stated that he wasn't interested in talking with CESJ.

Nevertheless, despite the Father Jenkinses of the world — or, perhaps, because of them — the Just Third Way is beginning to make substantial progress as those who pass for leaders in today's world more and more reveal themselves to be false idols with feet of clay.
• Monday afternoon the CESJ core group had a meeting with a publisher. A number of possible projects were discussed, including exploring the prospect of arranging for a panel discussion on the anticipated new encyclical on justice, as well as surfacing "prime movers" as potential champions of Capital Homesteading. Of particular note in this "relationship building phase" was the scheduling of a regular time to have a telephone conference call each week.

• Michael Greaney published a brief piece on the city of East St. Louis, Illinois, in the "Helium" internet writers' cooperative. The article has received favorable comment from a number of individuals involved in the "Metro East Citizens' Land Cooperative," or MECLC, described in the text.

• The CESJ core group had a series of important discussions on the nature and application of the act of social justice on Thursday of this week. Drawn from the "laws and characteristics" of social justice found in Father William Ferree's pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice, the discussions covered the difficulties involved in working with people outside a core group who have not yet internalized the essential principles that define a group as that group, and bring it together in solidarity. Particularly helpful were Father Ferree's reflections on the act of social charity. The discussions highlighted the importance of completing the editing and formatting of the planned "Ferree Compendium." Norman Kurland made an excellent suggestion in that regard, proposing that the letter from Father Andrew (Andrea) Felix Morlion, O.P., Ph.D., written on the occasion of Father Ferree's death in 1985, either be inserted in its entirety as a brief preface, or that the sentence describing Father Ferree as "America's greatest social philosopher" be integrated into the existing foreword in some fashion. Father Morlion was the founder of the International University of Social Studies in Rome, and (among other accomplishments) carried out difficult and dangerous missions for Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 35 different countries and 44 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, with Brazil, Canada, and Australia rounding out the "top five." People in Egypt and Venezuela spent the most time on the blog. The most popular postings are the series on "Easter Economics," with the "State is God" natural law postings coming up rapidly.
Those are the happenings for this week, at least 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 anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.