Yesterday we saw that atheists (if they are being honest) hold their beliefs by faith just as much as believers in a deity. The catch here for both atheists and theists, and the cause of much of the acrimony today over many things, not just religion, is that opinion may or may not be true, whereas knowledge is certainly true.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Some Thoughts on Atheism, I: Are Atheists the Enemy?
The canonizations of Pope John Paul II and John XXIII this past Sunday have caused a significant amount of discussion, some positive, some negative. Much of it revealed a great misunderstanding of what, exactly, a “saint” is. That’s not our concern.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Statism v. Catholic Social Teaching, III: “Monsignor New Deal”
Whether Pope Leo XIII really issued Rerum Novarum in part to refute the theories of the agrarian socialist Henry George is a debatable point . . . at least until we can get to the Vatican archives and do a little more research. It is not, however, debatable that Henry George and a number of his modern followers believe that the pope singled out George for criticism.
Friday, April 25, 2014
News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 17
This week’s news items cover some items that you’ll never see in other newsletters, from newly canonized saints to the “Greek world” of sororities and fraternities. Of great importance are the possible for-profit connections that are being made.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Statism v. Catholic Social Teaching, II: Rerum Novarum
Despite the fact that the Catholic Church has unequivocally condemned socialism, the idea that the State is the real owner of everything and can tax and redistribute for social purposes at will has pervaded Catholic social teaching since at least the mid-1880s. This was when the agrarian socialist Henry George and Archbishop Michael A. Corrigan of New York went at it hammer and tongs.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Statism v. Catholic Social Teaching, I: The Role of Taxation
One of our vast crowd of readers commented in response to yesterday’s posting that mentioned Daniel Webster’s dictum from the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1820 (“Power naturally and necessarily follows property”), “Maybe that's why the State taxes us for owning property, and in extreme cases exercises eminent domain — just so we always remember who’s ‘boss’.”
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Galloping Into Moral Relativism
There has been some talk recently (i.e., over the past century or so) about the need to call a halt to all the judicial activism that’s been going on, what some people have called “legislation by judiciary.” The fact is that Congress (whether it meant to or not) has lost a great deal of the power the people grant to it in the Constitution, that the Executive (the president) and, especially, the Supreme Court have picked up.
Monday, April 21, 2014
A Plague on Both Your Houses, III: The American Revolutionary Party
This posting is not an endorsement of the American Revolutionary Party. The American Revolutionary Party has a platform incorporating elements of the Just Third Way, but any other political party on earth is free to adopt any or all elements of the Just Third Way as well — and we wish they would.
Friday, April 18, 2014
News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 16
An objective observer of recent political and economic events might conclude that the world is reliving the first half of the 20th century with a vengeance. The domestic political and economic situation, the stock market fluctuations, events in Europe . . . all seemed designed to make students of history very nervous. As Herbert Knox Smith summed up the situation more than a century ago,
Thursday, April 17, 2014
A Plague on Both Your Houses, II: Democrats
Yesterday we told you what is wrong with the Republican emphasis on cost-cutting to balance the budget and restore fiscal sanity. Today we are going to tell you what is wrong with the Democratic emphasis on increasing spending, both to meet people’s needs directly, and to stimulate the economy to create jobs that will, presumably, allow people to meet their own needs through their own efforts.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
A Plague on Both Your Houses, I: Republicans
A few weeks ago both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post went into great depth on Representative Paul Ryan’s 98-page budget proposal that Ryan believes would balance the budget in a decade. The Wall Street Journal seemed to like it. The Washington Post wasn’t quite as enthusiastic.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Focus on the Fed, VI: Capital Homesteading, A Realistic Solution
As we saw in yesterday’s posting, many factors have combined to put propertyless workers (and everyone else without capital) into a very bad position. The wealth and income gap continues to grow, while attempts to deal with it from within conventional frameworks only make the situation worse.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Focus on the Fed, V: Concentration of Wealth and the Income Gap
Last week the 10th annual Rally at the Fed drew attention to some serious problems in the monetary and fiscal policy being followed by the world’s central banks, especially the Federal Reserve. Used today almost exclusively to finance government, they were intended to be the lender of last resort for the private sector, not the money machine of first resort for government.
Friday, April 11, 2014
News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 15
Again, the Big News is today’s Rally at the Fed. Other than that, most of the efforts this week have been directed at preparing for the rally and the CESJ celebration tomorrow. Still, a few things have been happening:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Focus on the Fed, IV: Elastic Reserve Currency
In yesterday’s posting we stressed the importance of having a reserve currency — or any other weight or measure — that has a standard and stable value, and is asset-backed. In today’s posting, we take a look at why, while a stable standard is absolutely critical, “elasticity,” that is, a money supply that expands and contracts with the needs of the economy, is also important, especially in a rapidly growing economy, or one in which most of the participants are not personally known to one another.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Focus on the Fed, III: Banking and Reserve Currency
As we saw yesterday, a stable and standard currency is of the utmost importance to maintain a stable economic and political situation. The problem we look at today is how to maintain a stable and standard currency, especially when there are many different types of money in an economy.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Focus on the Fed, II: Say’s Law, or, No Consumption Without Production
As we saw in yesterday’s posting, the monetary reforms of the Just Third Way assume as a given that the purpose of production is consumption. This is the basis of “Say’s Law of Markets,” which both Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes reject.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Focus on the Fed, I: How the Federal Reserve Creates Money
This piece is intended to orient the reader and frame the discussion presented in “A New Look at Prices and Money” by Norman G. Kurland. “Prices and Money” was first published in The Journal of Socio-Economics (Vol. 30, pp 495-515), and is available online from the CESJ website.
Friday, April 4, 2014
News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 14
Most of what happened this week has been in preparation of the 10th annual Rally at the Fed, and CESJ’s 30th anniversary celebration. We expect to have a great deal more to report next Friday, although the news notes will be posted even later than this week to be able to report on the rally.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
“Dangerously Low Inflation”
It was a rather startling thing to read in the lead article of the Wall Street Journal — but it was there. On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in the article on page A1 titled, “ECB Set To Mull Heavier Stimulus,” the venerable Wall Street Journal had the sentence, “European Central Bank officials . . . are willing to consider dramatic steps to guard against dangerously low inflation.”
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
A Proper Response
The other day someone sent around an e-mail suggesting that violence could solve many of today’s massive social and economic problems. From a certain perspective, that is correct. The idea that “violence never solved anything” is, frankly, just plain wrong. Violence solves a lot of problems. It just usually leaves you with much bigger problems than you started with.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Is Justice Reasonable? Absolutely!
It hardly comes as a surprise to any Aristotelian-Thomist, but a recent scientific study suggests that a concern for justice is linked not to emotion, but to reason. This supports the contention that justice, a moral virtue, and, by extension, all moral virtues, is an act of the Intellect, not of the Will; an absolute, not subject to change to reflect the needs of the moment or fitted to expedients, however useful or desired.
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