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, January 22, 2010

News from the Network, Vol. 3, No. 3

Once again the Big News of the week is the plunge in the stock market, blamed on Mr. Obama's demand for greater regulation of the banking system. We agree: the banking system needs more and better regulation if the economy is to have a true recovery instead of the artificial, stimulus-induced fantasy we are currently enduring. If the past is any indication, however, what Mr. Obama means by "regulation" is not a systemic overhaul to remove incompatible functions and conflicts of interest, but passing more laws to punish anyone who causes economic disruption by misusing institutions that are poorly designed and almost impossible to use correctly. "Success" will continue to be defined as "getting away with it," while "criminal behavior" will still mean whatever those in power want it to mean, as long as they can convince enough people that something is right or wrong.

If that were not enough, Mr. Obama is campaigning in . . . that is, visiting Ohio, reassuring people that there will be massive job creation. The question is, as we might expect, how, exactly, do you "create jobs"? "Full employment" seems to be desirable so that people have enough money to spend. Thus, a "job" is primarily a means to get money rather than one way of engaging in productive activity.

That being the case, why not just print money and hand it out to people who need it? It is much more direct and certainly much more efficient than printing money to hand out to a company to hire workers to fill jobs producing something for which there is no demand. It is also somewhat more respectful of human dignity. As F. Ray Marshall, former Secretary of Labor, pointed out, "There is no more complete rejection of a person than to give them a job you know and they know is useless."

Of course, if we really want to solve the problem, we could implement a Capital Homestead Act at the earliest possible date, thereby opening up democratic access to the means of acquiring and possessing private property in the means of production, naturally reaching full production of resources — and thus full employment of all resources, including labor — instead of the more limited goal of full employment of labor alone.
• The book by Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Notes from a Prison: Bangladesh, has been published and is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both internet booksellers have the volume "in stock." Barnes and Noble has the cover art and a member price of $18.00 (that's Barnes and Noble membership, not CESJ membership). Amazon's price is $20.00, the same as Barnes and Noble's non-member price. Bulk/wholesale orders (10 or more copies) in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have a 20% discount plus shipping and can be ordered direct from the publisher, CESJ, from the contact information on the CESJ website.

• While considering a purchase of Dr. Alamgir's new book, don't forget to browse through CESJ's other publications, notably Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen (Amazon Barnes and Noble) and In Defense of Human Dignity (Amazon Barnes and Noble).

• CESJ also has a number of other new publications in process. We will keep you informed on the progress we're making on them.

• A number of important contacts have been made over the past week. A former broadcaster in Israel was introduced to the possibilities inherent in the Just Third Way for bringing peace to the Holy Land, especially as found in the Abraham Federation concept. A college professor who was formerly with the World Bank and did a three-year tour in Haiti has expressed interest in a Just Third Way approach to rebuilding the country, an approach first presented to the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995, but which was not seriously investigated for implementation. Two professionals who came across CESJ on the "Linkedin" through discussions on social justice have also expressed interest in the Just Third Way as an approach to solving the increasingly desperate problems in the world.

• The above news items show what can be done by a few individuals putting in less than an hour each week working to surface contacts who can get members of the CESJ "core group" and others involved in the Just Third Way to door openers and prime movers. We need more people going through their contacts and seeing which ones might be effective in helping us reach out to others.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 46 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, Brazil, the Philippines, and Ireland. People in the Taiwan, Malaysia, Venezuela, France and Turkey spent the most average time on the blog. The "Just Third Way Christmas Message" is the most popular posting, followed by "The Political Animal" series and "Aristotle on Private Property."
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.