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, October 2, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 40

The financial powers-that-be have once again been taken completely by surprise at the drastic plunge in the stock market, thereby setting off the latest round of daily predictions that recovery might not be just around the corner . . . for the gamblers and speculators on Wall Street. For today, anyway, at least until the market closes on an upswing or a downturn. What the situation is for the rest of the population is not a matter for concern, hence the continued recitation of the "jobless recovery" mantra.

Within the Just Third Way, however, we have been making what looks like some substantial progress, at least in organizing to orient people away from the idea that the way things are is the way they must be. In particular:
• Dr. Max Weismann, president of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago, was able to suggest a number of people with whom we should be in contact and provide an opening. As is only to be expected from the head of an organization co-founded by Mortimer Adler, these are all individuals prominent in Thomist and Aristotelian natural law circles. Mortimer Adler, of course, is well known in the Just Third Way as Louis Kelso's co-author of The Capitalist Manifesto (1958), and The New Capitalists (1961), as well as founder of the "Great Books" program and author of some of the more profound works to come out of popular philosophical thought in the 20th century. We are currently in the process of following up on these leads. If you or someone you know has contacts of a political, economic, or philosophical nature, consider spending a few of your chips to put them in touch with CESJ, after you've directed them to the website for background.

• On Tuesday we had a very productive meeting with Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, former Minister of Planning for Bangladesh and current Member of Parliament. Dr. Alamgir noted how well the economic proposals of the Just Third Way, especially the monetary and banking reforms of Capital Homesteading, complement such initiatives as the Grameen Bank, and have the potential to extend the economics of participation to a much wider base of people. We presented Dr. Alamgir with one of our scarce hard copies of The Capitalist Manifesto (a link to the .pdf version is provided above), as well as Introduction to Social Justice, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, and In Defense of Human Dignity, available from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

• On Wednesday Dawn K. Brohawn, CESJ's Director of Communications, and Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, had another meeting with Dr. Alamgir to discuss the progress to date on getting his book, Notes from a Prison: Bangladesh, released in a North American edition. We made a great deal of progress on resolving some editing problems that had cropped up, reviewed covers prepared by Rowland Brohawn, CESJ's award-winning graphic artist, and discussed marketing and distribution.

• Later on Wednesday, Norman Kurland and Michael Greaney had a meeting with the Hon. Curt Winsor to discuss CESJ's current book project, an examination of the apparently fixed belief that capital formation can only be financed out of existing accumulations of savings. CESJ's research has revealed that the "real bills doctrine," while dismissed by all the major schools of economic thought and most of the minor schools, has the potential, as Kelso and Adler put it, to "Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of Savings." Most attractive to today's financial and political elite, of course, is that reviving the real bills doctrine can diminish envy of the rich as a primary motive in economics and politics, and to concentrate on life-affirming and sustainable policies that enhance democratic participation in economic growth and development, benefiting the "haves" in a way that takes nothing away from the "have-nots." The discussion was wide-ranging and evocative of much thoughtful reflection, with the promise of further meetings to follow. Joseph Recinos, who resides in Maryland but who travels extensively in Central and South America on business, was in town and arranged the meeting, which he also attended.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 39 different countries and 41 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, Canada, India and Brunei (and we continue to be popular in the mythical land of Not Set). People in Aruba, the Netherlands, Venezuela, the United States and the UK spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular posting is the recommendation for Dr. Charles Rice's new book, "What Happened to Notre Dame?," followed by "Ireland: Business Requires Sacrifice," then "Thomas Hobbes on Property," Part IX of the "Thoughts on Money," and the Keynesian "paradox of thrift." With respect to the amount of time spent reading, for some reason the posting on John McCain endorsing worker ownership from last year has shot to the top of the list, followed by Part XII of "Thoughts on Money," News from the Network No. 37, the posting on Lincoln's Homestead Act, and "Bring the Jubilee."
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.