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,
|Herbert Knox Smith, 1869-1931|
“In 1900 the surface of American life was, as it were, hardening, was growing less plastic. Dangerous division lines were opening from the pressures beneath, splitting the unity of the nation. The great trust movement was in full force, sweeping into a few hands special industrial privileges, the control of natural resources, and decisive advantages in transportation. Individual opportunity and the open highways of commerce were narrowing. Great corporations were considering themselves above the law, with the cynical but increasing concurrence of the public. A sinister atmosphere was gathering, menacing to American initiative and American ideals.
“These recognized inequalities, with the twisted standards which they implied, were moving strongly toward national disunity — that profound disunity which in a democratic people must result from confessed differences in privilege and opportunity.” (Herbert Knox Smith, “The Great Progressive,” Foreword to Social Justice and Popular Rule. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926, xi)
As America was going then, so the world is going now. The Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading would do a great deal to resolve matters, so that’s what we’ve been working on:
• Last week’s “Rally at the Fed” was one of the most successful rallies to date. We were able to set up a literature table, and a number of people took information. The “giant human charm bracelet” consisting of a dozen demonstrators linked together with chains to symbolize debt slavery and dependence on an outmoded and unjust financial system evoked a number of positive comments. Certain elements at the Federal Reserve seemed a little baffled at a non-violent demonstration and the demand to present the declaration of monetary justice and a request for a meeting with the new Fed Chairman, but eventually it was all straightened out — after they realized everything had been cleared in advance with the proper authorities.
|Kenaf, and, no, it's not pot. The resemblance is superficial.|
• The CESJ 30th anniversary celebration the next day also went well. Martin Smith made a presentation on kenaf, which is a crop that seems to have a great deal of potential and the capacity to solve a number of problems. Its applicability to colder climates appears to be somewhat limited, but that still leaves a large part of the world.
• There has been no response from the religious economists group to which we sent a response as requested.
• CESJ intern Leda K.’s video of her speech at the Federal Reserve has only been up a day or so and has already gotten a respectable number of hits. Check it out for yourself.
|"We will have peace in our time."|
• Amazon is still using CESJ Director of Research Michael D. Greaney’s book, So Much Generosity, a survey of the fiction of Cardinals Wiseman and Newman, and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, as a “loss leader.” Today it’s down a few more dollars to $5.97. While you might have missed the absolute best deal, that is nearly 75% savings off the cover price. The book is published by Universal Values Media, Inc., which has a co-marketing arrangement with CESJ.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 67 different countries and 51 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “The Problem with Social Credit, I: The Critique,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Economic Emancipation, III: Why NOT Capital Homesteading?” and “Why Did Nixon take the Dollar off the Gold Standard?”
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.