As has been known for some time, concentrating ownership of capital in the hands of a few people (capitalism) or the State (socialism) necessarily means that most people will not own a significant capital stake — or any at all, for that matter. The modern ideal, as the solidarist economist Goetz Briefs (1889-1974) explained in The Proletariat (1911, German, 1937, English), is capital ownership concentrated in the hands of a private sector or government elite, with the great mass of people supported by State-subsidized wages, benefits, and welfare.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The Lost Speech of Peter S. Grosscup, I: Introduction
We’ve been interested in the writings of Peter Stenger Grosscup, Judge of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in the early twentieth century for some time. This began when we read “How to Save the Corporation” published in 1905. This made us want to find out more about this guy.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Knute Rockne and Social Justice
Yesterday someone happened to remark that his son, currently in high school but slated by Dad to be the next president of the United States . . . in about twenty years when he turns 35, that is . . . wants instead to be a teacher and a coach. No problem, because good teachers and good coaches have the same characteristics as good presidents, so a career change would be very easy.
Monday, April 27, 2015
The Great Sprawlmart Conspiracy
According to news reports, Walmart is closing a number of stores due to “plumbing problems,” whatever that means. Not unnaturally, Walmart — which is practically the “poster child” for how capitalism oppresses workers (nobody ever seems to mention how socialism oppresses everyone) — is coming under fire for laying people off jobs that they were formerly criticized for hiring them for (a little tangled syntax there, but not as complicated as the situation).
Friday, April 24, 2015
News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 17
The late Justin Wilson once related the story of a Catholic boy and a Protestant boy who were best friends. One week the Protestant boy went to mass with the Catholic boy. Through the service, the Protestant boy would ask, “What’s that mean?” and the Catholic boy would explain, “That’s th’ ‘introit’ th’ comin’-in song. It means we’re all welcome. That’s th’ ‘First Readin’ from th’ Old Testament, th’ ‘Second Readin’ from th’ New Testament, an’ the Gospel Readin’. That means we believe th’ whole Bible ties together for all Christians. That’s th’ ‘Eucharist.’ It means we believe it’s th’ actual Body and Blood o’ Christ under th’ ’pearances of bread an’ wine.” And so on.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Power Follows Property
In The American Republic (1866), Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876) framed the Civil War as a struggle between the agrarian capitalism of the South, and the industrial and commercial capitalism of the North, which he characterized as “two mutually antagonistic systems.” The war, the Homestead Act of 1862, Reconstruction, and (later) the boll weevil shifted the economy from large-scale production of labor-intensive cotton on latifundia-type plantations, to small-scale production of capital-intensive wheat and other crops on the new, yeoman-type homestead farms.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Ugly Buildings, Money, and Family
A while back somebody commented on FaceBook about a photo of a building illustrating an article on something-or-other. After commenting on the silliness of whatever it was housed in the building (hence the photo of the building as the headquarters of some lunacy or other), someone added, “And why do buildings have to be so ugly?”
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Five for the Family
I’m Project Manager for a small (but growing) interfaith alliance of organizations and individuals seeking social justice and a world leader with vision. We think that the key person to get to is Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, and a widely respected moral leader. He’s open-minded and he isn’t afraid of shaking things up to do what’s right. He can spread a message of hope where it’s most needed and will do the most good. And he’s going to be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the World Meeting of Families this September.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Feynman on Faith and Freedom
Basing an understanding of the world on faith alone without a solid foundation on reason leads to conspiracy thinking. People who perceive reality through the lens of faith alone naturally come to different conclusions about the way the world works than do people who ground their understanding on empirical evidence and logical argument illuminated and guided by faith.
Friday, April 17, 2015
News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 16
Because CESJ’s annual rally at the Federal Reserve was today, we had very little time to prepare the weekly news notes — and we’re late getting them up, anyway. Plus, since most of the week was spent preparing for today, the big news is the rally itself, so —
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Pope Francis and Property, IV: The Social Aspect of Property
In view of the preceding postings in this series, how are we to understand the social aspect of property, and at the same time respect the individual, inalienable right to be an owner, especially when people are in want? This is the question that Pope Francis, along with other world leaders, faces today with a global economy in shambles. (That, and “Did I get my tax return in on time. . . ?”)
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
What If Lincoln Had Lived?
As today is the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s death, we thought it would be appropriate to do a brief Just Third Way Retrospective, a kind of alternate history, showing what might have happened had a soldier of the Confederacy acting on his own initiative not been able to carry out his design.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Pope Francis and Property, III: Property Is Not An Absolute Right
Now we come to the heart of the matter: what, exactly, did Pope Paul VI mean about property not being an absolute right? The socialists have used this to substantiate their claims that people have no actual right to own capital, or, in extreme forms, anything else. The State owns everything, including your children.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Pope Francis and Property, II: Article 17, or, Why Families Need Capital
A while back (we won’t say how long. . . .) we attended one of those UN conferences on the family. We were with Father Matthew Habiger, O.S.B., Ph.D., then head of Human Life International. We don’t recall exactly how he said it, but the gist of the message we were there to deliver was that preserving strong families requires the ability to be productive in order to provide sufficient food, fuel, and fiber to maintain a living standard consistent with the demands of human dignity.
Friday, April 10, 2015
News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 15
“Tax Day” (as if every day wasn’t sufficiently taxing in the global economy) is nearly upon us. As you rush around like a chicken with your head cut off frantically trying to complete something plausible, or sit back smugly because, like Ned Flanders, you filed your return at 12:01 am January 1st, reflect on how easy life could be under Capital Homesteading reforms. You’d not only have an easier return to prepare, you might actually have the money to pay it . . . if you made enough to be taxed (which, at least initially, wouldn’t be a problem for a lot of people. Here’s what we’ve been doing over the past week to try and establish and maintain such a happy state of affairs:
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Pope Francis and Property, I: What is It?
Pope Francis seems to be in the news a lot lately, say, the last couple of years or so. With the world the shape it’s in, he’s been saying one or two things about economics that seem to baffle a lot of people, liberal and conservative alike. With that in mind, we thought we’d put in our two cents, especially since we wrote a response to someone in a forum that wouldn’t take postings in excess of a certain length . . . a sure way to ensure that confusion continues, surely . . . and we didn’t call you, Shirley.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
More First Steps for Introducing Monetary Reforms
Yesterday we looked at some of the basics of monetary reform, i.e., things that have to be done to get the money and credit system working properly for the benefit of everyone, not just a State or private sector élite. We continue today with the rest of the list, and thereby end our series that we culled from the draft of the revised edition of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen that we’ve been working on. So, to finish —
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
First Steps for Introducing Monetary Reforms
Yesterday we looked at the legal technicalities involving using the Federal Reserve as the source of financing for a program of expanded capital ownership. We discovered that even today, when the central bank of the United States has been used primarily for something it was never intended or designed for, it still has the capacity to do what needs to be done. It’s all right there in § 13(2) of the Federal Reserve Act.
Monday, April 6, 2015
The Legal Basis for Reform of the Federal Reserve
The legal basis for the reform of the Federal Reserve is found in the purpose for which the institution was originally established. This is stated in the preamble to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, a sentence that, for some reason, is never mentioned, even though it was never officially deleted. They just don’t mention it, like your crazy Uncle Louie in the attic or Cousin Winnie in the cellar. It’s kind of embarrassing, because there’s nothing in the preamble that mentions funding government. Instead —
Friday, April 3, 2015
News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 14
Not as many jobs were “created” in March as anticipated . . . so (at least as of this writing) the stock market is going up. Had there been more jobs “created” than anticipated, of course, the stock market would be . . . going up. People buying in to this insanity (i.e., pouring their money into the stock market at this time) are evidently hoping to buy high and sell low, or think that stock market prices are somehow a leading economic indicator.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
A Two-Tiered Interest Structure
The fun never stops around the Just Third Way. One of the funnest things (our grammar is as good as Keynesian Modern Monetary Theory, “MMT”) is the absolute refusal of many commentators to realize that the Just Third Way, being based on the binary economics of Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler, is not your usual past-savings based system. It’s a past- and future-savings-based system.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
A (Very) Short Discourse on Interest
It’s appropriate that we take a look at interest today, because the way interest rates have been manipulated in modern times is one of the biggest April Fool pranks in history. Since the invention of central banking in 1694 with the institution of the Bank of England, the public has been mulcted by having to pay interest on the loan of “pure credit” (i.e., not based on past savings) money.
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