Yesterday we looked at the problem of viewing redistribution as a solution instead of as an expedient to buy time on the way to developing and implementing a solution. We decided that, consistent with common sense and Say’s Law of Markets (which is an application of principles of common sense, e.g., you can’t consume something that hasn’t been produced), viewing redistribution in any form as anything other than a short term expedient is not a good idea.
Thus, the increasing demand for redistribution does have the advantage of demonstrating where the conceptual problem lies. This is the fixed belief that what common sense tells us is an expedient in an emergency is, instead, a solution. This is a solution that “conservatives” and capitalists know cannot be sustained, as the mounting global debt crisis, etc., demonstrates.
To unify both “liberals” and “conservatives” together in the Just Third Way camp, then, in our opinion the first step is to bring them to understand that what both “sides” now believe to be the solution is only a temporary expedient to tide people over until a just and feasible solution can be developed and implemented.
Once people understand the solution — we don’t mean the technical aspects, but the fact that the solution is widespread direct ownership of capital — then we can discuss the mechanics, i.e., acts of social justice to reform the tax and monetary systems, how the annual growth ring enables us to empower everyone with capital ownership without redistribution, the political and financial feasibility of Capital Homesteading, and so on.
None of this will make sense, however, until and unless people first understand that redistribution is not, and can never be a solution. They may have to surrender deeply held and cherished beliefs, but it is essential to get away from this dead end. In our opinion, then, our first task is to get them to see that what they’ve always thought of as the solution is anything but a solution. Then we can start talking about the Just Third Way.
The basic issue is, as usual, power. To explain, the whole purpose of life is threefold, although CESJ is only concerned with the first two “folds.”
One, we must meet our “animal needs” to secure life itself. Then we must,
Two, exercise our natural rights to life, liberty, and property to become more fully human (“pursue happiness”).
Three (the one we necessarily leave to personal choice and conscience), exercise our supernatural rights, that is, our religious rights and duties, however we accept or define them, to prepare ourselves for whatever we believe our ultimate end to be.
Exercising rights requires power, and (as Daniel Webster put it) “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” To fulfill the purpose of life, then, every child, woman, and man ordinarily must have the opportunity and means to become an owner of capital.
Most people know that something has to be done. No one disagrees with that. We can support our potential friends and allies in that without reservation. The question, however, is what has to be done. Do we go with temporary fixes under the illusion that they are a solution, or do we use the temporary fixes to buy time to restructure the social order using the methods of social justice to achieve economic justice so that as many people as possible become capital owners? That’s the issue.