Some new initiatives, the near-completion of others, and restarting still others have marked this week. As the end of the year approaches, this bodes well for continued success in the coming year:
• CESJ Internship Program. CESJ was honored this week by Professor Hawkins of the Brigham Young University Washington Seminar, making a site visit. Dr. Hawkins made a number of useful and insightful comments relevant to the Just Third Way during the lunch.
|Good . . . but could be better and more universal.|
• Red Star Over Bethlehem. We’ve been reviewing the overall plan for the book, and have (almost decided that it is too small in scope; it's not a religious thing (although you can't discuss social justice without mentioning religion . . . a lot). The book is certainly long enough, as it has to be to cover the subject of what happened to make the concept of social justice go so far off course. It does not, however, address in any depth how economic justice got off course, nor how the Just Third Way brings them together in a consistent (and coherent) fashion, and might make people think it's just a religious issue (it's not). We have almost decided to retitle the book and make it part of a trilogy . . . assuming, of course, that the reception of the first volume warrants it. We have been assured by one individual with high-level contacts at the Vatican that the book is “brilliant,” and we’d like to leverage that into a complete, if necessarily somewhat limited, presentation divided into three parts, with an overall title, but then a separate title for each volume, e.g., similar to what John Julius Norwich did for his three-volume narrative history of Byzantium, viz., Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Byzantium: The Apogee, and Byzantium: The Decline and Fall.
|Emperor/Basileus Heraclius, AD 610-642, Homestead sponsor|
• The First Homesteader. At the suggestion of an editor of a major Catholic publisher, we are looking into a biography of the life and times of Heraclius, the last emperor/first basileus of Byzantium — who sponsored a program to restore the greatness of Byzantium by means of a program similar to the Homestead Act that encouraged widespread ownership of landed capital . . . and succeeded. One of the reasons Heraclius is considered so great is that he followed one of the worst emperors Byzantium — or anywhere else — ever had: Phocas. As described by John Julius Norwich, “The appearance of the Emperor Phocas was distinctly unprepossessing. Under a tangle of red hair, his thick, beetling eyebrows met across his nose; the rest of his face was deformed by a huge, angry scar that turned crimson when he was aroused, giving it a still more hideous aspect. He was not, however, as pleasant as he looked.” (John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, 88.)
• Citizens Land Cooperative. The CESJ core group will be having a discussion next week with some individuals interested in exploring the possibility of applying the “Citizens Land Cooperative” (also called “the Citizens Land Bank”) concept in Ukraine.
|"You contributed to CESJ? Excellent. . . ."|
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your Amazon account. (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.) Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.” If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through. Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 27 different countries and 41 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Switzerland, India, Canada, and South Africa. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “A Question of Human Dignity,” “Halloween Horror Special: Marxism,” “The Significance of the Frontier,” “News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 43,” and “The Problem (And Solution) of Social Justice.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those 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, so we’ll see it before it goes up.