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 27, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 48

It's one of the imponderables of the financial world why Black Mondays and Black Tuesdays are bad, but Black Fridays are good. The financial news coming in from around the world is that, due to something going on in Dubai, stock markets are plunging. In the U.S. (which as of this writing hasn't opened yet) the speculators are hoping with crossed fingers that the American consumer, suddenly relevant again, will somehow be able to make enough purchases today to account for the usual 10% of annual retail sales.

How this is supposed to happen when an increasing number of consumers 1) don't have jobs, 2) have tapped out their credit, 3) aren't receiving redistributed wealth through welfare, and 4) aren't sure they will have any source of income for the coming year remains a mystery. As Jean-Baptiste Say pointed out almost two centuries ago, people do not make purchases of what other people produce with "money," but
through the medium of money with what they themselves produce. If some goods and services remain unsold (as may be the case today), it is because other goods are not produced.

The solution to the situation is not to give increasing amounts of money to bail out failed companies and rescue speculators and gamblers, or to extend greater amounts of consumer and government credit that have less and less of a chance of being repaid, but to enable people to acquire and possess an adequate ownership stake of productive assets — thereby empowering them to produce goods and services that they can exchange for the goods and services produced by others.

This week's news items reflect CESJ's efforts to reach that goal:
• CESJ held its monthly executive committee meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 2009. A number of items were discussed, most notably the effort to bring the powers-that-be and the public at large to a better understanding of money, credit, and banking. Briefly (as we have noted a number of times on this blog), the world is currently trapped in the assumption that only existing accumulations of savings can be used to finance capital formation. This leads to a number of extremely damaging conclusions, such as the only way in which the great mass of people can gain a living income is via the wage and welfare system, that ownership of the means of production must be concentrated, and that the State necessarily exercises total control of the economy through a monopoly over money and credit.

• A decision was tentatively reached to schedule the annual rally at the Federal Reserve for April 15, 2010, to be followed by the Second Social Justice Collaborative, and then the CESJ annual celebration. Much of this relies on how matters develop over the next couple of months, especially how many new people can be brought in both to participate and to help run the events.

• The editing draft of CESJ's booklet, Common Ground: Personhood and the Ontology of Personalism, has been turned into a .pdf and distributed to members of the CESJ Executive Committee for comments and editing. The book is based on the blog series that concluded last week, and which has received a great deal of favorable comment from a number of quarters. Common Ground may be available for bulk purchase before the end of December.

• Dr. Alamgir's book, Notes from a Prison: Bangladesh, has been delayed due to factors beyond the control of Economic Justice Media, CESJ's publishing imprint. Assuming that the new schedule can be adhered to, the book will be available for bulk purchase before the end of December.

• A number of door opening efforts have taken place during the week. While the percentage of these efforts that eventually bear fruit is relatively low, the more efforts are made, the greater the success. Local radio shows that are open to doing interviews over the telephone are a good place to start, writing a letter or sending an e-mail to a local talk show host and suggesting an interview with Norman Kurland. Newspapers and magazines are also good places to suggest interviews or feature articles.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 35 different countries and 49 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, Philippines, and Brazil. People in Uganda, Aruba, Senegal, the United States and the Netherlands spent the most average time on the blog. Of the top five postings, "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property" in the No. 3 spot is the only one not in the series on "Personhood and the Ontology of Personalism."
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.