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, November 6, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 45

Despite the antics of the stock market and the result of the New Jersey and Virginia elections, a much more important focus is the real economy, not the artificial world of Wall Street or inside the Washington, DC beltway. We are told that jobless claims are down (huzzah), the unemployment rate is up (boo), and "productivity" is up (yay) because employers are laying off workers and forcing the remaining workers to do more with less (drears).

In other words, the situation remains essentially unchanged with respect to the basic problems, and no one seems to be able to suggest anything other than the usual tried-and-failed solutions of the past, only more so.

No one except . . .
• A short time ago we mentioned Michiel Bijkerk of the Netherlands Antilles and editor of the Arco-Carib E-zine had begun his thousand-mile trek on foot to draw attention to the possibilities for economic and political reform found in what he calls "solidarism," and that we call "The Just Third Way." Despite being afflicted with MS, Michiel has been making steady progress through the byways of Cuba since October 13, 2009. His daily reports are being dutifully posted on his Arco-Carib website, and distributed through his e-mail network. Despite the obvious "human interest" aspects of Michiel's trek, his message of hope, and the fact that he's carrying out his self-imposed task in Cuba with enormous difficulty, which usually manages to focus media attention, the media don't appear to be "getting it," possibly because they simply don't understand that there truly is something possible besides the envy-ridden socialist system, and the greed-obsessed capitalist system. If you want to advance the cause of justice in the world, you might want to see what you can do to alert local, national, even international news and media outlets to the story — many media websites have e-mails addresses or "forms" by means of which you can submit story ideas. Direct them to Michiel's website, by means of which they can contact him for information, possibly even an interview. With the internet and modern communications, even a small local radio or television station or newspaper, to say nothing of magazines and blogs, have the capacity — and the need — to report on Michiel's epic trek to publicize the fact that the world doesn't need to be trapped within the two exclusionary systems of capitalism and socialism. Maybe all the media need is a reminder from you. As a hint, not only the "regular" media, but religious publications of all faiths should be interested in what Michiel is doing. That's a hint for you to get busy, and publicize the effort through your network if nothing else.

• In a more mundane and much less spectacular vein, there have been a number of significant meetings this past week on various projects supported by many of the organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, involved in the Global Justice Movement. The meetings are significant, if having substantially less human interest and media appeal than Michiel Bijkerk's heroic effort, so we merely mention that they have taken place.

• A number of members and friends of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, notably Guy Stevenson of Iowa, have been working very hard to open doors for meetings with the media and potential "prime movers" to introduce more people and organizations to the possibilities inherent in the Just Third Way. Guy has been using the "Personhood and the Ontology of Personalism" blog postings — for which he suggested the title — as his "hook," following up with copies of In Defense of Human Dignity that he ordered in bulk from CESJ (available individually from Amazon and Barnes & Noble). (Guy received a full case, 26 copies, a week ago, and has almost run out.) Prospective door openers might want to consider using Michiel's thousand-mile journey as a hook to interest the media and potential prime movers in the potential of solidarism/The Just Third Way to address today's seemingly insolvable economic and political problems. BTW, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen and even William Cobbett's The Emigrant's Guide are also available in bulk quantities — 10 or more — from CESJ at a 20% wholesale discount off the cover price. A case of Capital Homesteading, 32 copies, would be $460.80 plus shipping and handling (available individually from Amazon and Barnes & Noble); The Emigrant's Guide (a "must" for distributists and Chesterton scholars), 30 copies, would be $480.00 plus shipping and handling (ditto, Amazon and Barnes & Noble).

• CESJ's president and the Director of Communications had a telephone interview with a prospective intern from Brigham Young University this week. The interview went very well, with the prospective intern commenting favorably on a number of the components of the Just Third Way, while reserving judgment on some others — an indication of serious interest and true open-mindedness. If your alma mater has an internship program, you might want to consider alerting them to the possibilities offered by a CESJ internship. Obviously, complete agreement with CESJ's principles, even programs and proposals is not a requirement, neither is membership in CESJ. One caveat is that CESJ internships are unpaid as well as very limited in number. One advantage on which nearly all CESJ interns have commented is that no intern has ever had to get coffee or make copies for anyone other than him- or herself. Internships are not limited to college students, although high school students and post graduate individuals might want to consider the regular volunteer program if they do not need academic credits.

• Norman Kurland gave a presentation today via "skype" to approximately 90 high school students in the Humanities program at Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, California. The students are running a mock election for president. The entry of the "American Revolutionary Party" as a "fifth party" in addition to the more usual Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians seems to have confused some supporters of the other, rather ossified parties, who aren't able to come to terms with the ARP's "radical center" position that has the potential to meet liberal ends with conservative means and principles, most notably the natural moral law applied in acts of social justice. What possibly confuses adherents of the other four parties more than anything else is the goal of reducing the State to its proper role and relying on the traditional American principle of free association by citizens at the "lowest" possible level to attain political ends, something described in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Chapter XII, Volume I: "In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used, or more unsparingly applied to a multitude of different objects, than in America." You might want to consider arranging to have Norman Kurland address your class or organization via skype, a system available on a global basis.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 42 different countries and 39 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, Aruba, and Brazil. People in Aruba, Uganda, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the United States spent the most average time on the blog. Recent postings have generated a surprising amount of interest, arguing that people are starting to look for more creative answers to the economic crisis and the general malaise afflicting the world. The postings on "Personhood and the Ontology of Personalism," have now bumped "The Slavery of Past Savings" from the number one spot. followed by the non-published letter to the Wall Street Journal, "Justice, Justice, Thou Shalt Pursue," "What is Natural Law?" and "No One Can Breathe Against Their Will." The focus on the natural moral law and its application to sound solutions for today's problems continues to resonate with our readers.
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.