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.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Consigned to Oblivion"

The news is several years old — which makes one wonder why it's on the front page of the Washington Post instead of in a Sunday Supplement — but a trifle (that is to say, a lot) unnerving to a lot of academics whose careers have been dedicated to defending whatever was in their doctoral theses, come what may. It seems that there is some evidence to suggest that the "First Americans" may have been Caucasians from Europe, rather than Orientals from Asia.

We've been seeing this in various programs on PBS and books for quite some time. The reaction of the general public seems to be along the lines of, "How interesting. How'd the [fill in name of local sports team] do today?" The academics, however (as we might expect), are up in arms, using the usual weapons of dismissal and ridicule.

From the layman's perspective, it would certainly explain some otherwise odd things about the inhabitants found by the (second?) wave of European settlers. The further to the northwest they went, for example, the more Oriental the people looked. There were stories about finding blue-eyed Indians on the east coast, explained as proving that the Welsh (or Irish or Vikings) had clearly reached America in the fourth, fifth or tenth centuries. This could also be explained as the result of a more highly advanced culture coming into conflict with one at a lower stage of development, and conquering or absorbing it — or why, as one academic complained, "they [the alleged early European settlers] suffered cultural amnesia, genetic amnesia, dental amnesia, linguistic amnesia and skeletal amnesia." Yeah. After 15,000 years . . .

Be that as it may, the whole situation serves to highlight the problems associated with gaining general acceptance of such revolutionary concepts as the act of social justice or the banking principle found in binary economics. Getting either one of these concepts accepted by the establishment is difficult enough. Combining them appears to give academics and politicians who have committed themselves to individualism or collectivism instead of social justice, and to the idea that the State can and should be in total control of the money supply instead of devolving money power to the people what can only be described as "hissyfits" when they don't duck and avoid it altogether.

This is not entirely unexpected. Generally, new ideas — or revived old ones — go through three stages of acceptance (or lack thereof). The first stage is ridicule. The second is active resistance. The third and final stage is acceptance as if the idea had always been unquestioned orthodoxy. Nowhere does this seem more evident than with binary economics. While based solidly on natural law principles common to virtually all faiths and philosophies, the principles of binary economics and the various applications developed from it nevertheless tend to excite an almost visceral reaction from people who have committed themselves to the current, flawed paradigm.

The place of binary economics on the ridicule/resistance/acceptance spectrum seems to shift, depending on whom you're talking to. Anyone with an unthinking and unquestioning acceptance of the current paradigm tends to react with ridicule. Despite the seeming malice of this sort of thing, these people are actually the easiest to deal with. They don't bother to find out what the principles of binary economics actually are, or, in some cases, the precepts of the natural law or its basis.

That being the case, defining the principles of binary economics — or even the precepts or principles of the natural law are enough to decide the issue if the other person is reasonable. If the other person is not reasonable, then it's a useless endeavor, anyway.

Today, however, many of the people who have heard of binary economics and who react negatively are in the active resistance stage. That doesn't mean they are outside CESJ HQ demonstrating with picket signs or even torches and pitchforks.

Rather, there seems to be something of a panic mentality at work. Articles are written containing easily refuted errors, e.g., confusing Employee Stock OPTION Plans (not binary) with Employee Stock OWNERSHIP Plans (binary), or insisting in the face of hard evidence to the contrary that worker ownership puts an unjustifiable burden of risk on the workers because they can't afford to lose their small savings. Corrections or debate on these points almost always results in the author of the article claiming that we don't know what we're talking about, and refusing even to look at the evidence or hear the argument — thereby suggesting that the author may at some level suspect that we do know what we're talking about, and doesn't want to risk being the target of the ridicule that preceded the resistance.

(For the record, Employee Stock OPTION Plans require participants to put up their own money to exercise the option, and generally only result in income when the shares acquired are sold at a profit. An Employee Stock OWNERSHIP Plan may require participant contributions, but most do not. The whole idea of the ESOP is to empower workers without savings or the capacity to take cuts in pay to purchase shares in the companies that employ them on credit and repay the acquisition loan out of future dividends, thereafter receiving dividend income to supplement or, in some cases, replace wage income.

(As for savings, binary economics applies the "banking principle" to ESOP financing. That is, workers do not put up any of their own money. Instead, the bank or other financing source accepts the note or contract. The bank issues a promissory note that is signed by the representative of the ESOP Trust and — usually — guaranteed by the company. The promissory note is used to back a line of credit or loan, and the bank creates a demand deposit in the amount of the loan. This is used to purchase the company on behalf of the ESOP Trust. As the loan is repaid, the "new money" that was created by the acceptance of the contract and issuance of the promissory note is cancelled. While this same thing can be done by a bank lending out its capitalization or deposits, that is not the special function of a commercial bank, which serves to "monetize" the present value of existing and future marketable goods and services.)

What we in the Just Third Way look forward to is when people react to binary economics and its applications by asking us what all the fuss is about over something so obvious. There's still quite a ways to go before we reach that point, but there are definitely increasing signs that more people are becoming aware that "the usual" doesn't work and isn't going to work. The search for something more rational and more consistent with the natural law will gradually draw them away from the flawed systems of the past to the more socially and economically just system of the future.