Looking back a century ago, and as we saw in Tuesday's posting, we often find that words and language were used in ways that seem a little alien to the people of today. Things that once seemed not quite right are now deemed the height of virtue, while goods things have now become something pretty bad, or at least very different from what they were.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The First Problem Principle of MMT
Italy is once again making political and economic waves, with much of the trouble stemming from the Euro. The currency question is now becoming one that decides the fate of nations. Ironically, all of this was avoidable had the Euro been established and maintained in a manner consistent with sound monetary theory.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
New Freedom? Or Old Slavery?
Back in 1913 during his first year in office as president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson published a book, The New Freedom. Concerned about the growing power of corporations and trusts and the abuses of human rights that accompanied it, Wilson contended that the power of the giant organizations must be reined in. After all, he needed something to convince the electorate that they hadn’t made too big of a mistake in electing him instead of Theodore Roosevelt. . . .
Monday, May 28, 2018
The Just Third Way Hour
In this week's Just Third Way Hour podcast, CESJ's intern Sasha Miltreiger of the University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada interviews Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) regarding the role of education and human work as technology advances and robots take over the burden of production of marketable goods and services.
Friday, May 25, 2018
News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 21
Just when you think things might be slowing down for the summer, more than the weather starts heating up. A number of events are going on throughout the world that should help focus attention on the need for implementing the Just Third Way as soon as possible:
Thursday, May 24, 2018
18. The Expanded Ownership Revolution
As we saw in the previous posting in this series (we don’t actually begin every posting like that, but it saves us from trying to come up with a clever segue each time), the most effective counter to Keynesian economics and the New Deal came from Dr. Harold G. Moulton, president of the Brookings Institution from 1928 to 1952. That is, the most effective theoretical counter came from Moulton. He was never able to come up with a just and viable means of generating the mass purchasing power essential to a sound — and just — economy.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Reserve Currency, IV: A Stable and Uniform Currency
An objective and stable standard for a currency is absolutely essential to maintaining a just market economy. All the arguments for allowing the government — or anyone else, for that matter — to manipulate the value of a currency or have a “floating standard” are ways to try and ensure the dependency of one group on another group, that is, to enslave some people for the advantage of other people through the money system.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
17. The Formation of Capital
As we saw in the previous posting in this series, the personalism of John Paul I set the stage for that of John Paul II. Nor is this surprising in light of the fact that Albino Luciani had Karol Józef Wojtyła as a friend and mentor at a critical time. In contrast to the flawed personalism of Emmanuel Mounier, Wojtyła had developed a specifically Thomistic personalism that admits the validity of absolutes and the nature of the human person as a “political animal.”
Monday, May 21, 2018
Just Third Way Hour Podcast
Today we have a reprise of Podcast Number 11 on What is Money? and Capital Homesteading. These are questions that are of interest to everyone, so it is useful to rerun one of the podcasts on them every now and then just to keep people up to date:
Friday, May 18, 2018
News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 20
"Kresta in the Afternoon," a daily radio show that can be accessed live by following this link. The link to the archived version will be posted later. The interview is about the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 that began May 18, and is related in Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know. (Also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.)
As the world continues to warm up (at least here in the northern half of the globe), things are also picking up in the Just Third Way movement. At the top of the list of stories this week is the upcoming CESJ Planning Symposium next week, which will bring attendees from across the country. There are also a number of what appear to be problems that would be greatly reduced or even disappear entirely if the Just Third Way were to be implemented:
Thursday, May 17, 2018
16. The Slavery of Savings
As we saw in the previous posting in this series, Pope John Paul I came across one stumbling block in the way of implementing a personalist economic order — one that respects the dignity and sovereignty of the human person, but that takes into account the rights of all others as well as people’s “political nature.” That is the realization (as Daniel Webster said) that, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” True structural change in a society requires reforming institutions — “social habits” — through acts of social justice, and acts of social justice require freedom of association in order to organize effectively for change . . . and John Paul I did not appear to have any specific or legitimate means by which ordinary people could become owners of capital.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Reserve Currency, III: Money Manipulation
As we saw in the previous posting in this series, the invention of “currency” — “current money” of a recognized and standard value in an economy — was a great boon to progress. The idea that money, defined as “all things transferred in commerce,” could have a standard unit of measure meant that people could make plans for the future more easily and with more confidence that a project would have the anticipated results.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
15. A Completed Theory of Personalism
We were going to title this posting “The Problem with Personalism,” except that would imply that there is something wrong with personalism. There is nothing wrong with personalism, although the same can’t be said of some of its interpreters. The fact is that if we take the personalist movement as generally understood, it is incomplete.
Monday, May 14, 2018
The Just Third Way Hour Podcast
The Just Third Way Hour interview of CESJ stalwarts Guy S. and Jeanna C. who were Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager on the publication of the Just Third Way Edition of Fulton J. Sheen's Freedom Under God was so popular that we're running it again this week due to popular demand. Despite a few sound glitches (which nobody would notice if your host Dave Hamill hadn't mentioned them himself) this has been one of the most widely listened-to podcasts to date, and is both entertaining and informative:
Friday, May 11, 2018
News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 19
A great deal of work has been done in advancing the theoretical framework of the Just Third Way. In particular recent investigations into “personalism” and the roots of social justice reveal just how deeply certain assumptions of socialism, modernism, and the New Age have infiltrated virtually all aspects of society, whether Family, Church, or State. It has become evident that the failure of many in Academia and in Politics to understand the act of social justice and the debilitating slavery of past savings has destabilized the social order to an alarming degree:
Thursday, May 10, 2018
14. The Task of Sisyphus
As we saw in the previous posting in this series, Pope John Paul I was presented with what seemed to be an insoluble dilemma his entire career as a priest, as a bishop, and even his all-too-brief tenure as pope. He had the principles underlying social justice (Aristotelian-Thomism applied in the philosophy of personalism), he even had many of the “parts” of social justice, notably solidarity and subsidiarity.
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Reserve Currency, II: What is Currency?
In the previous posting in this series, we looked at the definition of money. We discovered that a sound legal, scientific, even financial definition of money is not all that hard to develop once we jettison all the baggage that people have loaded on the concept and demythologize the subject.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
13. The Bottom Line
One of Pope John Paul I’s expressed concerns as Patriarch of Venice was the plight of the poor. His first “letter” in Illustrissimi, in fact, is to Charles Dickens, and at first glance seems to be a standard semi- or full-socialist condemnation of the evils and greed of capitalism, the free market, the dictators of money, and so on, so forth.
Monday, May 7, 2018
The Just Third Way Hour Podcast
This week on the Just Third Way Hour your Host Dave Hamill interviews CESJ stalwarts Guy S. and Jeanna C. who were Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager on the publication of the Just Third Way Edition of Fulton J. Sheen's Freedom Under God:
Friday, May 4, 2018
News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 18
It appears that Summer has come to Northern Virginia without the formality of Spring. That’s fine, because other things have been springing up all over as the principles of the Just Third Way are starting to spread around the world:
Thursday, May 3, 2018
12. A Growing Alienation
In this posting we will look at the situation of organized labor and how a movement intended to recognize and enhance the dignity of the worker ended up shackling owners of labor to an outdated wage-benefit-welfare paradigm that alienated both “labor” and “capital” from society and each other to a greater degree than ever before.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Reserve Currency, I: What is Money?
The other day we were deep in a discussion of bank reserves and the role of a reserve currency when someone asked why this was relevant to anything. That was not in the sense of “Why are you wasting my time with this garbage?” but a genuine question, i.e., “Why is this subject worth discussing?”
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
11. A Primer on Wage Slavery
A fundamental assumption of both capitalism and socialism is that ownership of capital must be confined to an élite, whether private as in capitalism, or public as in socialism. The necessary corollary to the concentration of capital ownership in the hands of the few is the shackling of the many to the wage and welfare system.
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