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.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Individual Charity and Social Justice in Action

A few weeks ago, CESJ's president, Dr. Norman G. Kurland responded to a comment by a reader of one of his many e-mails (which we are lamentably far behind in getting posted on this blog). The issue dealt with the impression that the reader seemed to have gotten that individual, one-on-one action to bring people around is somehow in conflict with the act of social justice, or that one necessarily cancels out the other or renders it ineffectual. That is not the case at all. As Norm explained,

There are many roads to a just social order. You described one to rehabilitate the "the wandering blank-stared wage slaves and enroll them in the collective rehabilitation of the BINARY approach." While the individual approach can be useful and appropriate at times, within the current state of society it's a good bet that most of these people may have already responded to you with a blank stare. If, however, that is the way that you believe you can be most effective, please continue to go down that path.

Yes, we may face a catastrophe before the blind and the deaf are open to the Just Third Way. We in CESJ, however, are committed to try our best to avoid that situation and the bloodshed and tragedy associated with a total collapse of the system.

Our efforts are directed to gathering a critical mass of social architects, Just Third Way revolutionaries, and authentic servant leaders who get immediately fired up, just as you did, and get them to organize to do whatever it takes to rehabilitate the system. (That's how we have proceeded in the East St. Louis project.) I see the current system as producing those who respond to new ideas in fear or with a blank stare. We seek authentic servant leaders who, like us, focus on correcting the flaws in a system that has created a nation of wage, welfare, and charity debt slaves who no longer trust their own minds.

Not everyone is deaf or blind, as you seem to suggest. There are a growing number of people who see the big picture and who are working together to change the system in ways consistent with the Just Third Way and binary economics, that is, in accordance with the demands of personal sovereignty and individual human dignity.

I have been in a successful revolution (the civil rights movement), so when I later discovered the ideas and principles of the virtue of social justice as articulated by one of CESJ's co-founders, the late Father William Ferree, S.M., Ph.D., I knew he was right. These principles, although never articulated by civil rights leaders in as scholarly a fashion as Father Ferree) were the key to changing the political system in the Deep South for millions who were excluded previously from the political process.

Before you write off this approach you should take the time to read Father Ferree's pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice. Your approach to building a grassroots movement is different, with its own merits, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Until, however, you can make a good case that Father Ferree's principles are unrealistic, impracticable or are in some manner inconsistent with the demands of human dignity, we will continue down our present path. We wish you well in continuing down your path focused on rehabilitating wage slaves at the grassroots level, rather than on rehabilitating the system that produces wage slaves. Yes, our approach takes time and committed allies, but we don't have the time and resources to split our efforts and proceed down two paths at once. If, however, you can mobilize funding and people skilled at community organizing who can communicate the Just Third Way message at the grassroots level, you will always have CESJ materials and people available for those initiatives.