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 16, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 42

The good news is that the recovery is once again well under way. The Dow has been up to over ten thousand, and the country is saved. Not only that, Mr. Obama has been awarded the Nobel Prize for peace, so the world is saved. We can now get on to more important things, such as what Michelle will be wearing for their next "date night."

Oh, yes, and where all the new jobs and production that have yet to appear are going to come from and sustain themselves once the stimulus money runs out, how the inequities in wealth distribution and economic opportunity to produce by means of both labor and capital are going to be ameliorated, how all the wars are going to be stopped, debt, wage, and welfare slavery abolished, the currency stabilized, world hunger ended, the national debt eliminated, moral education fostered, adequate and affordable health care achieved, the decay of marriage and family life halted, and the rest of the list of such trivialities taken care of.

Evidently there may still be some things that cannot be cured by simple State fiat, throwing depreciated currency at, or "changes" imposed by coercive measures that benefit the financial and political elite at the expense of the many. It's a pity that no one has ever managed to come up with an overall plan based on sound philosophy, sane economics, and practical politics to address these issues . . . you know, a "Just Third Way" that has the potential to free humanity (and economic growth) from the slavery of existing accumulations of savings in the hands of a private elite or all-powerful State. Somebody should write a book on that subject. We can even suggest a dandy title: The New Capitalists: A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of Savings. It would probably be a bestseller.

Until someone writes the book, however, we'll just have to keep working and muddle on to victory. Some of our current muddling (or, for the more jaundiced, who construe anyone voicing an opinion different from theirs as some kind of heresy — especially when backed by empirical evidence — as "meddling") has involved:
• CESJ's Quarterly Board Meeting takes place tomorrow, Saturday, October 17, 2009, in Arlington, Virginia, at CESJ headquarters. If you would like to attend or participate via teleconferencing but did not receive an invitation and copies of the meeting materials, please notify Dawn K. Brohawn, CESJ's Director of Communications, via contact information on the CESJ website, This will not be in time for tomorrow's meeting, but will get you on the list for future meetings.

• Dr. Max Weismann, president of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago, ("CSGI") sent us two more articles by Mortimer Adler for the CESJ research library. The first article was, "The Meaning of Natural Law," which inspired this blog's current "mini series" on the natural law. The second was on a related topic, "Conflict Between Justice and Expediency," a subject increasingly relevant in our day as political and economic leaders become increasingly distanced from sound philosophy and reliance on the natural moral law as the basis of a sane and sound social order. As the motto of the CSGI puts it, "Philosophy is everybody's business." The "Radical Academy" has a large number of Dr. Adler's articles, and can be accessed through the "Resource Links" page of the CSGI.

• Outreach e-mails were sent to former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Representative Chris Lee of New York. The e-mail to Senator Santorum reminded him of his favorable reaction a few years ago to certain elements of the Just Third Way and their application to his current efforts to restore a moral orientation to society. The e-mail to Representative Lee pointed out the potential of the Just Third Way to address his concerns about federal spending and job creation. The e-mail to Mr. Santorum was in response to a solicitation for a monetary contribution to a worthy cause, while that sent to Mr. Lee was in response to Mr. Lee's urgent request for input and feedback. While Mr. Santorum has not yet responded, and Mr. Lee's response was non-committal, both e-mails illustrate the potential for outreach inherent even in such general communications. If enough people respond in a way that directs the attention of public figures to the possibilities contained in the Just Third Way, eventually it will pay off, highlighting the importance of item 17 on the CESJ Code of Ethics: "There are three keys to gaining acceptance of revolutionary ideas: persistence, persistence, and persistence."

• CESJ friend and supporter Michiel Bijkerk, editor of the Arco-Carib E-Zine in the Netherlands Antilles is stretching his physical resources to the limit in Cuba by walking from Havana to Guantanamo Bay to draw attention to the situation and the lack of the Just Third Way everywhere in the world. As he reports, "Who says we have no right to meddle in Cuba's internal affairs. Was not Che Guevara a foreigner in Cuba? Did he not meddle? Moreover we firmly believe that Havana is the cultural and intellectual capital of the Caribbean region. This is our region and there is good reason to believe that one day Havana will be the region's political capital as well. So we have every right to be here and to meddle and anyway, we meddle peacefully using only the WORD. There is no such thing as 'independence' anymore. All nations are interdependent and interconnected. There was once a clear distinction between foreign affairs and home affairs. That is history. The highest political aspiration for the Caribbean region (which includes Central America) is to gain recognition as the third distinct region in the western hemisphere. The connecting link between North and South America as well as between Europe/Africa and the Americas. Why do we do this? Why would anybody in his right mind walk from Havana only to reach Guantanamo? We do it because we want to draw attention to Solidarism, The Just Third Way. We know this will make an honorable and peaceful transition to freedom possible for Cuba. We know that the liberation from this lethal feudalism between socialism and capitalism will do much to promote peace. We know that abundance is the natural order, and that all scarcity-based economics is faulty. Don't contradict us without studying the proposals of binary economics thoroughly first. We share socialism's aim of liberating and empowering the poor. But socialism failed to deliver. The poor remained poor and even had to be oppressed to maintain the socialist system. We share capitalism's superior method of economic production and we combine both aim and method in a spiritual crucible of fraternal reality: The Third Promise of the French Revolution."

• Norman Kurland, president of CESJ, attended a gathering at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, this past Thursday. The presentation was directed at finding ways to help the poor save, and thus work their way out of poverty. The orientation of the group was locked into what Kelso and Adler called "the slavery of [past] savings, but a few individuals seemed open to the possibilities of future savings — or at least had no effective response or rebuttal of the Just Third Way position — once Dr. Kurland raised the possibility of forgoing the current monopoly on existing accumulations of savings and switching to future savings to finance capital formation and widespread direct ownership of the means of production without relying on charity or redistribution.

• A group of students at Mission Viejo High School in (where else?) Mission Viejo, California, came across the American Revolutionary Party website and decided that the platform made perfect sense — or, at least more sense than anything else floating around . . . face down in a pool on Sunset Boulevard. After giving a close-up look at the Just Third Way (is it really necessary to explain these allusions?) they are running a candidate impersonating Norman G. Kurland as the ARP selection, being interviewed today at a "Meet the Candidates" event at the high school in their version of Comedy Central's Colbert Report (pronounced "Cole-bare" — as in "nude cabbage" — "Re-pour" — as in "Ein mal Bier, bitte"). At least it's not Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. Despite (or, more likely, because of) the less-than-serious gloss put on the campaign, the students are hitting on some extremely thought-provoking issues and presenting the Just Third Way approach in a manner calculated to overcome pervasive attitudes toward the "dismal science" of political economy. The issues, solution, and the creative and thoughtful presentation has, in our opinion, a good chance of informing "Young Persons" ("They are not people, they are Young Persons." — Pooh Bah, Lord High Everything Else of Titipu . . . another allusion, and, I think, a light one) of something other than the regurgitated pabulum offered by politicians and economists floundering about in the current paradigm. If the "Meet the Candidates" event is recorded, we hope they send us a copy. A subtle hint.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 38 different countries and 38 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States (with the largest California contingent tuning in from Mission Viejo and environs for some reason, and I didn't know I still had relatives in Torrance), Canada, the UK, Australia and Venezuela (as well as Not Set). People in Aruba, Venezuela, New Zealand, the United States, and the UK spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular posting continues to be the recommendation for Dr. Charles Rice's new book, "What Happened to Notre Dame," followed closely by the posting of the letter (unpublished) sent to the Wall Street Journal, "Justice, Justice, Thou Shalt Pursue," then "News from the Network," "Aristotle on Private Property," and Part IX of the "Thoughts on Money" series, which we may actually finish some day. With respect to the amount of time spent reading, "What is the Natural Law," followed by "On Usury and Other Dishonest Profit" and "Thoughts on Money," followed by how you would spend the stimulus money and "Bring the Jubilee" head the list.
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.