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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Power to the People, III: Countering the Culture of Death

This is our 1,000th posting on the blog, no doubt a cause for great celebration throughout the world. (If not, it should be, as the Just Third Way — the paradigm, not the blog — is pretty much the only hope for returning the world to a more sane course.) In any event, it's probably appropriate that it falls on February 29th, which comes around about as often as a 1,000th posting. It's also appropriate that today's posting finishes off our short series on "Power to the People" and (more importantly), points in the direction of a solution.

While we appreciate the urge of people in the Pro-Life movement to turn the tables on the Culture of Death, we do have to point out that it really isn't the best way to go. Pro-Life adherents clearly don't realize that it is increasing State power itself, and the effective enslavement of people by wages and welfare, that is the root cause of the spread of the Culture of Death, not merely the "wrong" (i.e., what we disagree with) use of that power.

Attempting to use the power of the State to reverse the trend of modern society is not only ineffective — that is, socially unjust — it actually reinforces and strengthens the Culture of Death. People become increasingly susceptible to "Welfare Blackmail," i.e., accepting abortion, same-sex "marriage," inflation, war, a gigantic national debt, and so on, in order to secure increasingly uncertain benefits coerced, guaranteed, or provided directly by the State. Give the State an inch without retaining effective power in the people through capital ownership and control over the purse strings, and the State will not only take a mile, it will take everything.

There is, frankly, only one way to reverse the trend toward increasing State control of every aspect of life. That is to recognize, as Daniel Webster declared in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1820, that "Power naturally and necessarily follows property." The only way to reverse the total takeover of society by the State and defeat the Culture of Death is to secure to each child, woman and man the means of acquiring and possessing private property in capital.

The only program that has the potential to do that at this late date is Capital Homesteading, for only Capital Homesteading eliminates the slavery of past savings from the financing of new capital formation, thereby taking power away from the State that has usurped it, and returning "power to the people," from whence the power came in the first place, and where it belongs in accordance with the dignity of the human person under God and the realization that the State was made for man, not man for the State.

This is, in part, the argument we made in the book, Supporting Life: The Case for a Pro-Life Economic Agenda (2010). The foreword is by Father Edward Krause, C.S.C., Ph.D., chaplain of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, professor of social ethics at Gannon University and editor in chief of Social Justice Review, the official journal of the Central Bureau of the Catholic Central Union of America in St. Louis, Missouri.

Unfortunately, people remain trapped by the slavery of past savings, and are, evidently, terrified of rocking the boat or of risking losing the benefits that the State presumably guarantees. Some people, upset with them if they step out of line, might even call them names!

People who toe the "party line" on this — e.g., as one misguided enthusiast gushed, "The State is the sold intercessor available to the poor" (Rupert J. Ederer, "Solidaristic Economics," Fidelity magazine, July, 1994, 9-15) — forget that the State, which produces nothing, cannot continue to redistribute what others produce. Neither can the State continue to punish the productive for the benefit of the non-productive, and make it difficult to impossible for ordinary people to become productive through the direct ownership of capital as their labor declines in value relative to advancing technology and cheaper labor in other countries.

Nor can the State continue to try and control every aspect of every person's life in a fruitless effort to care for every conceivable individual good, letting the common good continue degenerate in consequence. Something has to give, as the situation in Greece demonstrates. The price of increasingly ineffectual State control is high, as is shown by every aborted infant, and it is a price that never should have been paid, however initially attractive high wages and guaranteed State benefits appear on the surface. With Capital Homesteading, the payments can be stopped. Without Capital Homesteading, the situation will only get worse.