In the previous posting on this subject we looked at the fundamental assumption of socialism: that people have a right to what they need. In the modern age this has largely displaced the traditional assumption that people have a right to the means to acquire what they need.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Monday, December 30, 2019
Just Third Way for Local Government
In this week’s podcast we bring you a special guest, Chris Dardzinski from Lincoln Park, Michigan, where he is an Economist, local politician, and Just Third Way activist. He talks about how to organize for change right where you live, including efforts to implement the concept of Capital Homesteading locally.
Friday, December 27, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 52
It’s time again for our annual news roundup, the first part of which we posted last week, and the second part today. Again, there is such a volume of material that for once we decided to forgo illustrations:
Thursday, December 26, 2019
How to Have Your Cake and Eat It
In case you haven’t noticed, there is something of a split in modern society. On the one hand are those who believe that you only deserve what you work for, and if you don’t have something, it’s because you didn’t work for it. You are lazy, shiftless, and worthless.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
If you're visiting this blog today . . . why? As long as you stopped by, however, kick off your shoes, sit back, and have a glass of hot mulled cider or whatever you want.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
“Good Upon ’Change”
This is the time of year when people give each other the Dickens in the numberless readings and dramatic adaptations of A Christmas Carol, that is, as well as all the parodies, spoofs, rip-offs, and cartoons. A personal favorite among the later comes from the old New Yorker/Saturday Review of Literature cartoon series by the late Burr Shafer (1899-1965), “Through History With J. Wesley Smith,” known as “History’s Greatest Wrong-Guesser.”
Monday, December 23, 2019
An Oldie But a Goodie
A while back the talk was about Louis Kelso's "Second Income Plan." The principles are the same as those of the Capital Homestead Act, and some people might wonder why we continued to develop the concept. View these videos and judge for yourself. We think we've come a long way, but you will see that decades ago Kelso was already centuries ahead of where we are now:
Friday, December 20, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 51
It’s time again for our annual news roundup, the first part of which we will post today, and the second part next week. There is such a volume of material that for once we decided to forgo illustrations:
Thursday, December 19, 2019
A Tale of Two Machines, I: The Cotton Gin
Many people are aware that advancing technology has an effect on society and individual behavior. From the displacement of human labor from the production process to video game or social media addiction, technology often seems to benefit only a relatively small number of people at the expense of everyone else.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Guest Blog: Is Capitalism a Moral System?
A short time ago, someone “accused” CESJ of promoting capitalism as a moral system, linking us with Father Robert A. Sirico of the Acton Institute. This was presumably due to the fact that both capitalists and adherents of the Just Third Way support the institution of private property . . . but that’s about as far as it goes, as today’s Guest Blogger, Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) explains in this slightly edited version of his response:
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
What They Should Have Read
It’s that time of year when various publications, online and off, come out with their lists of “best books of 2019,” some of which the people who said they read them might actually have done so. A lot of the lists, however, sound more like books you leave on view so people will be impressed that you (presumably) read them than something they actually wanted to read. And what better way to put hoi polloi in their places than to be asked for a list of books that you thought were the best?
Monday, December 16, 2019
The Challenge with Russell Williams
Yes, we know that today is Beethoven's Birthday, but we were unable to round up either Beethoven or Schroeder for an interview. Instead, today we have a segment of the show, The Challenge, with your host, the Rev. Russell Williams, who presents the Just Third Way in a nutshell:
Friday, December 13, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 50
It’s a little unclear about the details, but the Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, an insurance company, has declared it has an “Employee Ownership Plan” that gives “meaningful ownership” to its 750 employees. The ownership structure and definition of “meaningful ownership” were not given, nor how the workers participate in share ownership, dividends, voting, or anything else — or the reaction of existing owners/shareholders. Since the program was not described as an “Employee STOCK Ownership Plan,” the “ownership” could be like that of the “Scott Bader Commonwealth” that is “owned” by people with no defined ownership stake, i.e., not actual ownership as that is understood in law. In other news:
Thursday, December 12, 2019
The Decline and Fall of Reason
For the last couple of postings, “More on Fulton Sheen” and “Fulton Sheen and the Idea of Ideas,” we’ve been looking into the bruhaha (ha, ha, ha!) over the announced delay in the “beatification” of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Fulton Sheen and the Idea of Ideas
Yesterday, in the previous posting on this subject, we looked at one of the most important things the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen addressed in his work: the fact that God created human beings, not humanity. We also noted that most people would be completely baffled by this distinction, not able to see the difference between the actuality of a child, woman, and man created by God, and the ideas of children, women, and men created by human beings.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
More On Fulton Sheen
Yesterday was the fortieth anniversary of the death of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. As some of our readers might be aware, Sheen (whom the Catholic Church considers “Venerable,” or two steps away from canonization or official recognition as a saint, as people in Heaven are called) was scheduled for “beatification” later this month. As a “beatus” or “blessed,” Sheen would have been one stop away from official recognition as a saint.
Monday, December 9, 2019
JTW Vlogcast: Dave Hamill at the Lincoln Memorial
We're so used to hearing the voice of Dave Hamill, host of the Just Third Way podcast, that we might forget he's a real person and not just a disembodied Spirit of Change coming over the internet. In today's podcast we decided to give everyone a treat and let them see Dave's smiling face as he gives a talk in 2013 in front of the Lincoln Memorial:
Friday, December 6, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 49
We just got a notice from a religious watchdog group that we usually ignore as it tends to go as far in favor of religion as anti-religious counterparts do against it. This time, however, they might have had a point: a push by certain anti-religious groups during the Christmas Season to convince people that freedom of religion is the single greatest threat to freedom that exists seems to be a little over the top.
Thursday, December 5, 2019
College Versus Childcare
A think tank that shall remain nameless recently presented a study, the point of which was that free childcare is more important than free college. At first glance this seems like heresy. For around half a century at least, the constant mantra in the United States was to study hard, get into a good college and you’ll get a good job. That is, assuming that there are any jobs to get, but that’s another issue. . . .
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Capital Homesteading and Social Security
It’s amazing the stories people will tell when they have no idea what they are talking about. For example, for years we’ve been hearing that the goal of the Just Third Way is to abolish wages (which are presumably absolutely secure) and force all workers to live on profit sharing alone.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Are the Computers Taking Over?
According to Ray Kurzweil and generations of science fiction writers, the human race is in a great deal of trouble. In books and films he has warned of a coming “technological singularity.” That is a hypothetical future point in time when technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in incomprehensible changes to civilization.
Monday, December 2, 2019
JTW Vlogcast: Why We Need Justice University (and Capital Homesteading)
According to Dr. Noriko H. Arai, in most countries today (although she was focusing primarily on Japan), students memorize vast amounts of data — which any computer can do better, e.g., “Watson” on the “Jeopardy Challenge” — but often fail to understand meaning, that is, they do not really comprehend what they “learn” in any meaningful sense.
Friday, November 29, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 48
With a holiday to break up the week, you would think there would be less important news to report. On the contrary, however, there is more — as the information about Dr. Noriko Arai demonstrates:
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Happy Thanksgiving . . . For What It's Worth. . .
Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, this is not a Beatles retrospective, but our annual Thanksgiving Day greeting to all our loyal readers. We're making a lot of gains, but sometimes it just seems a little slow . . . like roasting a turkey or something. . . .
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Pillars of a Just Market Economy
The three principles of economic justice as stated by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler in Chapter 5 of The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) are hardly radical. They are, in fact, in full conformity with the natural law and the founding principles of the United States. Nevertheless, they had been introduced into a society in which Keynesian economics and New Deal politics were as solidly embedded as unquestionable as the population theories of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus.
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Why Keynesianism Promotes Waste and Consumerism
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, John Maynard Keynes established his reputation as the World’s Greatest Economist™ by employing the simple expedient of telling people what they wanted to hear, regardless how goofy it ended up being once it was examined. Take, for example, his claim that the only way to finance new capital formation is by reducing consumption and accumulating the excess production in the form of money savings.
Monday, November 25, 2019
Monetary Reform and the Younger Set
From the usual faces one sees in the Just Third Way Global Justice Movement, it's easy to get the impression that it's a bunch of retired academics and politicians (when they're not already departed this world) with nothing of relevance to say about the modern world. You might get a different impression after viewing this video from a few years ago:
Friday, November 22, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 47
As the holiday season gets into full swing and companies and countries start to think about year end statements and declarations, important events in the Just Third Way may sometimes get overlooked. Here are a few we think should not:
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Counterfeiting for Fun and Profit
The late economist Irving Fisher, considered by the late Milton Friedman to be the greatest late economist America ever produced (a remarkable statement by Friedman), once said something to the effect that inflation was the same as “legal counterfeiting.” The late Paul Samuelson reportedly echoed this sentiment, although we have not be able to find the source for either Fisher or Samuelson. It doesn’t matter, though, because we agree with it, at least up to a point.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Greed is Good! Deceit is Delightful!
And now for something completely different! Every so often we’ve made a reference to Dr. Milton Friedman’s appearance on the Phil Donohue Show and his comment that “greed is good.” It turns out that Friedman wasn’t the only economist advocating the goodness of greed and its benefits for the human race.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
A Global Monetary Standard?
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, occasionally we get questions from our readers the answers to which we think would make a good blog posting or two. This particular set of questions came from someone in another country who wanted to know how we would go about establishing some kind of global standard for all the different currencies of the world.
Monday, November 18, 2019
Just Another Just Third Way Video
. . . or is it? Today we bring you a video of the keynote speech given by Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) at the 2010 "Rally at the Fed", where a small band of concerned citizens attempted to tell increasingly deaf ears that the whole Keynesian paradigm is off-based, and only a system that truly respects the dignity of each and every human person, every child, every woman, and every man, has a chance of restructuring the social order in a more just manner without redistribution or other injustice:
Friday, November 15, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 46
With all the hoopla over politics and economics these days, you’d think there would be something with some substance to it, but all we see is the same-old-same-old that does not get to the root of any of the problems or exhibit any respect for human dignity. In any event, here are this week’s news items:
Thursday, November 14, 2019
A New Monetary Principle
Every so often we get a question from one of our readers that we can answer and get a new blog posting at the same time. This one comes in response to someone in another country who wanted to know the basic principles of the new monetary system we propose under Capital Homesteading and other Just Third Way reforms.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The Slavery of Savings
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, John Maynard Keynes established his reputation with the publication in 1919 of The Economic Consequences of the Peace. In the book he made the remarkable — and demonstrably false — statement that the world could not possibly have advanced to the stage of economic development it enjoyed before the outbreak of World War I had not ownership of capital been concentrated in the hands of a few people.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
“Never” is a Long Time
Many people today deplore the consumerism and waste that permeates the developed world, and point out that if (other) people would just share what they have, consumerism would lessen its grip on the economy and waste could be eliminated. That is true, but only up to a point.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Just Third Way Video:
Not too long ago a CESJ Fellow from Belgium put together a brief video explaining the Just Third Way using animation. It's a little short, so for an added bonus we've included a repeat of another brief video, "People and Things:
Friday, November 8, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 45
It seems the closer we get to the end of the calendar year and the start of the holiday season, the harder it gets to find Just Third Way news items. Everybody tends to put important things aside until after the holidays and as a result not only does nothing get done, nobody talks about it and there is nothing to report except about the things you are going to do, or at least hope to do. Even so, we have a few news items:
Thursday, November 7, 2019
The Pons Asinorum of Binary Economics
Today we address a problem that most (if not all) economists do not even think of as a problem — which may itself be the biggest problem of all. How, after all, can you solve a problem that most people will not even agree exists?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
The Rise of Socialism
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the two fatal flaws in Keynesian economics (at least the two with which we are most concerned . . . today) are the idea that labor is responsible for all production and that past savings are essential to finance new capital formation. These two assumptions are not exclusive to Keynesian economics, however. They are also integral to the rise of capitalism — and socialism.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Say’s Law of Markets
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, under the Currency Principle “consumption” is divided into direct consumption by people, and indirect consumption to create capital instruments. Under the Banking Principle, of course, consumption is consumption, it does not matter whether it is direct or indirect.
Monday, November 4, 2019
JTW Vlogcast: Is Greed a Virtue?
Back in 1979 Nobel Laurette Milton Friedman was on the Phil Donohue Show and made his (in)famous declaration that greed is good. This has been taken ever since by libertarians and others as proof that capitalism beats socialism all hollow. In the opinion of others, however, it does no such thing.
Friday, November 1, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 44
For some reason there seems to have been a focus on candy this week in addition to the usual horrors. That was in spite of the fact that we did not run a single “Halloween Horror Special” this October, unless one includes the posting on Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. Be that as it may, here are some of the more Just Third Way-ish happenings this past week:
Thursday, October 31, 2019
More on Economic Justice
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, in any properly designed social system, the three principles of economic justice work together to support the system as a whole as well as fill particular functions. No system designed by human beings can be perfect, but the Kelso-Adler principles provide a framework that, within the constraints of natural law, optimize the possibility for a just and stable economic order.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
A Whale of a Tale
This is the 3,000th posting on this blog, so we decided to do something deluxe. Sort of. As a result of our researches into early nineteenth century America, we have come to the conclusion that most people — including (or especially) most Americans — have no idea what was going on in the United States between the American Revolution and the American Civil War. Yes, there was something about slavery, the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans (but only if sung by Johnny Horton), and maybe a war with Mexico, but it’s all kind of vague.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The Principles of Economic Justice
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the Great Depression of the 1930s revealed serious problems in the U.S. economy, problems that were not really addressed by the program of John Maynard Keynes, which really only made matters much worse than they needed to have been.
Monday, October 28, 2019
JTW Podcast: Global Finance in Connecticut
Today we hear host Dave Hamill have a friendly conversation (it’s much better to listen to than an interview . . . although if you don’t like two Southerners reminiscing about being Southerners — it seems to be a “Southern Thing” — you might want to skip the first couple of minutes) with the Rev. Russell Williams of Hartford, Connecticut, host of his own show, The Challenge. Dave and Russell get in to a fascinating discussion about how the Just Third Way can be implemented even on a limited, small scale to start turning things around:
Friday, October 25, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 43
Some interesting events have happened this past week, and some of them are very interesting, indeed:
Thursday, October 24, 2019
That Consumption Thing
As we saw in the previous postings on this subject, the main theoretical difference between the Currency Principle and the Banking Principle is that under the Currency Principle the amount of money in the economy determines the level of economic activity, while under the Banking Principle the level of economic activity determines the amount of money.
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
A Few Words on Anarchy
A few days ago we got into a discussion over human nature. Specifically, we somehow got snagged by someone who wanted validation for his personal theory of Christian anarchism . . . which, given the Aristotelian basis of much mainstream Christian philosophy — Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox — as well as Judaism (thanks to Maimonides) and Islam (thanks to Ibn Khaldûn) is something of an oxymoron, that is, a self-contradictory term, like dry water, a wet martini, or government intelligence.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
The Savings Myth
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the “Currency Principle,” the fundamental assumption (obviously) of the Currency School that is the basis of virtually all modern economic thought. We discovered that the Currency Principle can be stated very simply as the belief that the amount of money in the system determines the level of economic activity.
Monday, October 21, 2019
Just Third Way Vlogcast
Is "vlogcast" even a word? We don't know, but we thought we'd try it out, just as we invite you to try out this little video prepared by CESJ stalwart Guy Stevenson and read (mostly) by the Rev. Russell Williams. It is both informational and inspirational:
Friday, October 18, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 42
All the “Big News” in the media is on things other than those affecting he Just Third Way, at least directly. If you know something that you’re not telling us that you think should go into the weekly news roundup, of course, just drop us a line per the instructions at the bottom of this posting. In the meantime:
Thursday, October 17, 2019
The Currency Principle
It has come to our attention that we may occasionally use words or concepts on this blog that many people have difficulty understanding, especially when we talk about money. For example, a question came up recently about the terms “Currency Principle” (or School) and “Banking Principle” (or School).
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, politicians could not keep their hands of the central bank’s money machine. Other factors also contributed to laying the groundwork for financial disaster.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
War and Depression
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, a serious problem developed in the United States following the Civil War: wealth became concentrated. Many people had no realistic hope of ever owning land or technology that could generate an income to supplement or even replace wage income from labor.
Monday, October 14, 2019
Opening the Door for Capital Homesteading
Today we feature a conversation between Dr. Norman Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), and the Woodman sisters, Jackie and Monica, of Cleveland, Ohio, who together with their brother Rob (Captain Robert Woodman) have been with the Just Third Way almost from the beginning, having been tutored in the elements of economic and social justice by their father, Bob Woodman:
Friday, October 11, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 41
It is becoming increasingly difficult to select news items for our weekly roundup. Most of the news these days is about personalities, and we are trying to concentrate on facts as well as suggest solutions that don’t involve liquidating undesirables, such as our first item that would “cancel” some people for the benefit of all . . . presumably:
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Money and Say’s Law of Markets
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” and how it fits into Smith’s first principle of economics, that “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.” We concluded (tentatively) that production for a purpose other than consumption is a serious mistake.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
The End of Democracy
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, had he not been assassinated, there is evidence suggesting that Abraham Lincoln would have used the 1862 Homestead Act as the first step on a total social reformation, putting the financial system on a sound basis and opening up opportunities for everyone to own capital other than land.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Money and the Invisible Hand
Understanding money and credit — two aspects of the same thing — is impossible without first understanding private property and something called “Say’s Law of Markets.” Both are not merely important, they are interdependent when speaking economically. From a monetary perspective, however, it may be easier to understand private property if we first understand Say’s Law, but we won’t understand Say’s Law until we understand Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” So we will post today on the invisible hand, then on Say’s Law and private property in future postings on this subject.
Monday, October 7, 2019
Norman Kurland Before the Congressional Black Caucus
We were going to have something on the Battle of Lepanto that took place October 7, 1571 and give us a free plug for the book, Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know, but we couldn't figure out how to work it in. We will just have to be satisfied with this short video featuring Norman Kurland's testimony before the Congressional Black Caucus on September 24, 1992, which (as you will see in the first minute or so of the video) was considered something of substance instead of more of the usual empty rhetoric:
Friday, October 4, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 40
The media are still clogged with politics and religion, which means that important items that have some bearing on the Just Third Way get short shrift. Since we haven’t been getting too many news items from our faithful readers (that are fit to print, anyway), we have managed only a few short but important items this week:
Thursday, October 3, 2019
In 1984 a film came out that has achieved “cult status” and is still considered one of the best films released that year: Repo Man. The film stars Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez, and the executive producer was Michael Nesmeth, as in, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkeys” Nesmeth. It’s about a couple of guys trying to repossess an automobile that seems to be connected with extraterrestrials.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
John Henry Newman and Liberalism
What with the “canonization” of John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) coming up in a couple of weeks, we thought we would add our two cents as well as a few hundred words into the discussions that are raging. (Canonization does not "make" someone a saint; it is a certification process.) By and large, the discussion seems to be whether Newman was a liberal or a conservative. From the interfaith viewpoint, however, it seems more to the point whether Newman was in agreement with the Just Third Way.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Some Thoughts on Fractional Reserve Banking
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at how commercial banks really create money. It turns out that (contrary to popular belief) commercial banks don’t usually make loans out of their reserves, but by creating money backed by the value of the financial instruments they accept.
Monday, September 30, 2019
JTW Podcast: Lech Wałęsa of Solidarność
In 1983, Lech Wałęsa of Solidarność was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the non-violent revolution that eventually led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. Since we expect within the next month or so to release a new book that examines the concepts of personalism and solidarity as integrated into the Just Third Way, it seemed like a good idea to remind people of the events of a generation ago:
Friday, September 27, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 39
With most of the news this week focused on people saying and doing things that are of little or no interest to the Just Third Way of economic personalism, this week’s news items may seem a trifle removed from reality . . . at least for those readers who think that what the media report has any resemblance to reality. For a small dose of the real thing, then, we present this week’s news items:
Thursday, September 26, 2019
How Commercial Banks Create Money
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the idea of money, notably the definition used by Louis O. Kelso. Today we want to look at how people think the banking system operates as opposed to the way it actually does operate.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Is Liberty Diabolical?
A few days ago we commented on a pair of articles that appeared on the website of Catholic World Report. The articles were “Thomism and Political Liberalism, Part I,” and “Thomism and Political Liberalism, Part II” by Dr. Joseph G. Trabbic, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ave Maria University. We thought the articles were okay, but could have been better, so we offered a comment:
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Thoughts on Money
There is an old joke when someone says money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is . . . it just so happens that the one telling the joke loves money. . . .
Monday, September 23, 2019
Solving Homelessness with Louis Kelso
Actually, this should be titled, "Solving Homelessness With Louis Kelso's Ideas In a Practical Way That Takes Into Account the Demands of Human Dignity and the Common Good," but it wouldn't all fit in the subject line. That being the case, here is a video shot a while back, an episode of Paula Gloria's Farther Down the Rabbit Hole:
Friday, September 20, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 38
If you can tear yourself away from reading the latest news flashes about why Hollywood no longer casts Rocky Schwartz in films, how tuna instead of salmon is causing global warming, or why we need to bring wooly mammoths (or maybe it was Sheb Wooley) back to life, here are this week’s news items from the Just Third Way:
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Church Versus State
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, we discovered that Monsignor John A. Ryan of the Catholic University of America (1869-1945), based his interpretation of Catholic social thought on socialist theories developed in the 1830s and 1840s. This is despite the fact that he claimed Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum as his inspiration. The result was an interpretation of Catholic social teaching that rejected both faith and reason in favor of the tenets of “the Democratic Religion” of socialism.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
An Economic Revolution
On April 14, 1865, an actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) entered Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC during a performance of Our American Cousin featuring Laura Keene (1826-1873) in the role of “Florence Trenchard.” Booth, a pro-slavery Confederate sympathizer, shot and mortally wounded President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) four days after the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870).
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Dispelling Some Monetary Myths
One of the key elements of the Just Third Way is monetary reform, to which is added essential tax reforms. The problem is that very few people understand money. Today we take a look at three concepts about which many people have ideas that may not be entirely accurate, monetization, fractional reserve banking, and the Quantity Theory of Money.
Monday, September 16, 2019
Just Third Way Video on Say's Law
Here's a short video we found on Say's Law of Markets, which is pretty good. Of course, we might be saying that only because it sounds as if the fellow in it has been reading this blog or other Just Third Way materials. Be that as it may, overlook the somewhat terrible jokes and go for the substance:
Friday, September 13, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 37
We are not entirely sure of which of the minor deities governs when Friday the thirteenth pops up, but it’s our own fault that it occasionally coincides with the weekly Friday news roundup. As events demonstrate, however, there is no connection between bad luck and what day of the week or even number it is, since there seems to be a number of good things happening:
Thursday, September 12, 2019
“An Unbelievable Decision”
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the landmark case Scott v. Sandford (the notorious Dred Scott decision) resulted in a change in understanding the whole basis of the United States Constitution. It was changed from a grant of rights from people to create the State, to a grant of rights from the State to create persons.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
A Few Thoughts on Solidarity
While researching an upcoming book on economic personalism we delved a little more deeply into the subject of solidarity than we had previously. This is natural, for solidarity and personalism are inextricably linked with the social doctrine of Pope Pius XI on which the Just Third Way is, in part, based.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
“A Yoke Almost of Slavery”
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Alexis de Tocqueville predicted in Democracy in America that the failure to resolve the issue of slavery and the treatment of Native Americans could undermine the foundations of American liberal democracy. Nor were the popes unaware of the dangers of a “democracy” that permitted some people to be treated like things.
Monday, September 9, 2019
Norman Kurland on Russell Williams's "The Challenge"
In this 29-minute interview from December 12, 2016, Norman Kurland explains the Just Third Way, a new economic paradigm that arose largely from the ideas of Louis Kelso. Kurland explains to host Russell Williams how this justice-based approach could support democracy and help us address many of the problems facing communities, nations and the world.
Friday, September 6, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 36
What with Hurricane Dorian tearing up the Islands and the East Coast, and Keynesian economics tearing up the world economy, not to mention the economic antics of China that is increasingly relying on expanding its bubble economy at everyone else’s expense, it’s easy to overlook what else is going on:
Thursday, September 5, 2019
A CPA’s Perspective on Pope Francis
As a Certified Public Accountant, this writer has carried out audits on a number of organizations. This is not a Bad Thing for the organization or institution being audited. As we CPAs are aware, although people often express fear and even terror of an audit, our job is actually something similar to a medical checkup for an organization. Yes, like physicians we can be called in when something is wrong, but it’s better to have regular checkups to see how you’re doing and see if there’s something you should be doing better or differently.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Democracy in America
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, for centuries a constant theme of reformers and philosophers was the importance of owning capital to be able to participate fully in society as a “political animal,” i.e., an individual with rights and a social nature. The problem was that methods of finance virtually dictated that ownership of capital would be concentrated, unless a source of “free” capital became available — which in Europe was all-but impossible.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
The Modernist Monsignor
We closed the previous posting on this subject with the comment that “America’s Prince of Cranks” — Ignatius Loyola Donnelly (1831-1901) — had influenced the interpretation and understanding of Catholic social teaching, and thus the natural law “written in the hearts of all men.” At first glance this seems rather odd, since Donnelly left the Catholic Church and took up spiritualism, was a socialist, influenced theosophy, and may have inspired certain features of Nazi racial ideology.
Monday, September 2, 2019
JTW Podcast: Message to the Hong Kong Dissidents
Purely by coincidence, CESJ recorded and scheduled a podcast addressed to the dissidents in Hong Kong the day before the latest phase of the crackdown by the authorities began. Many people have been “detained” (a euphemism for arrested), and some may “disappear” as so many others have before. There is, however, a solution that the powers-that-be might not be considering:
Friday, August 30, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 35
Immediately after news reports that the stock market was going to end the month of August by rising and recouping losses, it plunged. As this is being written, however, it may turn around again. In real news affecting real life:
Thursday, August 29, 2019
The Circle of Ownership
As we saw in theprevious posting on this subject, the idea that labor, whether by itself or “enhanced” by capital, is responsible for all production cause a few problems with consistency or even common sense. A large measure of this is due to the fact that common sense and natural law both support the right of an owner to the fruits of ownership: income and control. Capitalists and socialists both agree on that. The only argument relates to what can legitimately be owned and what is productive — and that is a problem.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
The Theory and Practice of Ownership
In 1931, the second year of the Great Depression and which saw the issuance of Quadragesimo Anno, a teenager by the name of Louis Orth Kelso (1913-1991) noticed something that belied the characterization of the United States as the Land of Opportunity. Able-bodied men were hopping freight trains to somewhere, anywhere, they thought they might find work and not finding it. By 1933, the official unemployment rate was 24.75%.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Redefining Natural Law
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, we saw how socialists and modernists got right to work shifting the interpretation of social charity and social justice away from a natural law understanding, and to a less person-centered focus. Among the foremost leaders of the reinterpretation movement, none was more effective than Monsignor John A. Ryan (1869-1945) of the Catholic University of America.
Monday, August 26, 2019
Another Louis Kelso Video
From the treasury of videos of the Harold Channer Show, we bring you another video of ESOP-inventor Louis O. Kelso. Don't be turned off by the 45 seconds or so that it takes to get into the show.
Friday, August 23, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 34
We probably should report that the stock market is extremely volatile, going up and down apparently at random, but this is supposed to be a weekly news roundup, and stock market volatility hardly qualifies as news these days. There are, however, actual important things going on:
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Death and Distribution, Part II
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, there are some things, such as redistribution, that are permitted in an emergency, but not as a usual thing. Unfortunately, many people like to take the exception, and turn it into the rule.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The Weird World of Ignatius Loyola Donnelly
He is almost unknown today except among a small group of in-the-know devotees, but at one time the populist politician, spiritualist, novelist, and amateur scientist Ignatius Loyola Donnelly (1831-1901), “the Sage of Nininger,” was someone to be reckoned with. Among other things, he has been described as “America’s Prince of Cranks” and “the Apostle of Discontent.” (Walter Monfried, “America’s ‘Prince of Cranks’,” The Milwaukee Journal, May 15, 1953, 8.)
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Death and Distribution, Part I
Many people today, regardless of their religious or philosophical persuasion, cannot tell the difference between a principle, especially an absolute principle, and the application of the principle. For example, in the Catholic Church the former is doctrine and cannot be changed even to meet greatly changed conditions, while the latter is discipline and must be changed to meet changing conditions.
Monday, August 19, 2019
Louis Kelso on the Harold Channer Show
Starting in the early 19802, Harold Channer did a series of television shows with Louis O. Kelso. Channer, who has one of the longest running public access television shows in the United States, has featured a number of innovative and pivotal figures whose significance the usual media outlets tend to ignore:
Friday, August 16, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 33
Things are starting to heat up . . . if by that you mean the thermometers. Other than that, things are all over the map, as people try to maintain their discredited paradigms in the face of reality:
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Dorothy Day, Catholicism, and Communism, Part II
On Tuesday, in the previous posting on this subject, we noted that the Jesuit publication America had run “The Catholic Case for Communism,” an article by Dean Dettloff, their correspondent in Toronto, Ontario, which not very subtly turned Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, into a shill for communism.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Forty Years After
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, both capitalists and socialists managed to reinterpret Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum to fit their particular paradigms. The possibility that what Leo XIII was talking about was something entirely different does not appear to have occurred to many people.
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Dorothy Day, Catholicism, and Communism, Part I
America magazine, a publication of the Jesuits, a Catholic religious Order, recently — July 23, 2019 — published an article by Dean Dettloff, America’s Toronto, Ontario, correspondent and a junior member of the Institute for Christian Studies. The article, “The Catholic Case for Communism,” is a graphic illustration of the problems associated with people projecting their own opinions on to individuals or groups they admire, whether the admired individuals or groups ever expressed sympathy with them, or even if they were opposed to them.
Monday, August 12, 2019
Louis Kelso, ESOP Association Address, 05/10/1984
Maybe the quality of the recording isn't all it should be, but here is an interesting recording may on May 10, 1984, a month after the founding of CESJ, at the annual ESOP Association Conference. Kelso gave the keynote address:
Friday, August 9, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 32
We do not have as many news items as we had last week, but they are at least as significant. Rather than telling you about what we’re going to tell you about, we’ll just go straight to the news:
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Of Dissent and Distributism
In yesterday’s posting we saw that the “cause” for the canonization of G.K. Chesterton was given the thumbs down by Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, and that this excited a somewhat negative reaction on the part of some Chestertonians, as followers of Chesterton are called.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Of Distributism and Dissent
For those of you who care (and we would be surprised if there were very many), the Chestertonian Community (i.e., fans of the English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1874-1936) sustained a shock on the order of 7.3 on the Richter Scale this past Friday. It seems that His Excellency (or His Lordship; we aren’t up on the latest ecclesiastical lingo in the U.K.) Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton in England, which was Chesterton’s home diocese, put the kibosh on Chesterton’s “cause” for canonization.
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Subsidiarity and Democracy in America
One of the more interesting things we discover about Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (1805-1859) and his greatest work, Democracy in America (1835, 1840), is that the author — like Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876) a generation latter in The American Republic (1866) — considered himself a Catholic writing as a Catholic. What surprises many people is to find out that both de Tocqueville and Brownson considered the American system (slavery excepted) to be the closest to “Catholic” political theory.
Monday, August 5, 2019
"A Piece of the Action"
For a while we've been featuring short videos of Mortimer Adler talking about philosophical topics that have a bearing on the Just Third Way. Today for a change of pace we thought we'd present a short video about someone else who has made a significant contribution to the Just Third Way, in fact, can be considered one of the founders of it: Louis O. Kelso!
Friday, August 2, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 31
An interesting batch of news items this week, most of them coming out in this morning’s Wall Street Journal — and most of them having to do with efforts to solve problems using the same paradigm that caused the problems in the first place! Why not just take the easy way out and go with the Just Third Way? After all, it might actually solve a few problems instead of creating more:
Thursday, August 1, 2019
The Ultimate Social Power
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the essence of subsidiarity, that is, where power in society subsists in a properly structured social order. Within the context of “Thomist personalism” and the Aristotelian-Thomist concept of natural law we found that all power properly resides in the human person, not in any form of society. As Pope Pius XI noted in his social analysis, “Only man, the human person, and not society in any form is endowed with reason and a morally free will” (Divini Redemptoris, § 29), and thus even a human person in an official capacity has only such rights as are delegated from people.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Restructuring the Social Order
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Pope Benedict XV was not able to make any significant progress against the advance of the new things of socialism, modernism, and the New Age first because of World War I, and then his premature death in the flu pandemic following the war. It was left to his successor, Pope Pius XI, to carry on the struggle.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Subsidiarity and Personalism
In the form of liberal democracy — the “American” kind that puts sovereignty in the human person as the highest temporal expression of human dignity, not into government (local or otherwise) or into an élite — the concept of subsidiarity has been around since Adam. It is an application of the natural right of liberty (free association or contract) which necessarily implies that control over someone’s life is vested in the person whose life it is.
Monday, July 29, 2019
Gene Gordon on Deck!
In this week's Just Third Way podcast, Dave Hamill interviews Gene Gordon of Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice. Gene talks about how true reparations will repair the economic system to empower all through real justice — and he's not talking about handing out other people's money, either:
Friday, July 26, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 30
Usually when the temperature goes way up, activity goes way down, but the advancement of the Just Third Way seems to be heating up along with the temperature (although we hope there is no correlation, or we’d know what to do about global warming!). So while we’re waiting for things to cool down and get even hotter (in a good way), here’s what’s been happening in the Just Third Way network:
Thursday, July 25, 2019
An Understanding of Subsidiarity
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at one idea of subsidiarity, that some level of government does whatever an individual or a group is unable to do for itself. That understanding of subsidiarity, however, completely ignores the act of social justice, which is concerned with removing barriers to full participation in the institutions of the common good. Social justice is not a substitute for individual justice or charity. Rather, social justice enables individual justice and charity to function.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Putting On That Socialist Spin
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, although Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, “On Capital and Labor,” was meant to provide an alternative to socialism and modernism, adherents of the new things of modernism, socialism, and the New Age were quick to seize on it and divert it to their own purposes. Among the first to do so were the agrarian socialist Henry George and his friend, the excommunicated priest Father Edward McGlynn.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Introduction to Subsidiarity
In preparation for a discussion on the natural law principles underlying religious social teaching (as opposed to religious faith-based teaching), we’ve been re-reading Mortimer Adler’s 1990 book, Truth in Religion: The Plurality of Religions and the Unity of Truth (New York: Scribner and Sons). As Adler argued, there are certain philosophical and natural law principles that are common to almost all religions, and are true, regardless of the truth of a religion’s purely faith-based teachings.
Monday, July 22, 2019
Something Completely Different?
We've been alternating CESJ's Just Third Way podcast with videos featuring Mortimer J. Adler, who co-authored with Louis Kelso two key books that relate to economic personalism, The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) and The New Capitalists (1961), the latter with the significant subtitle, "A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of Savings." That does not mean, of course, that new capital can be financed without savings, but that human beings should not be enslaved to money and credit, which are, ultimately, only tools that people should be using, not money and credit using people.
Friday, July 19, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 29
Have you seen the “People and Things” video? If not, why not? And if you have, why not view it again? And spread it around to your network? It’s less than two minutes, and perfect for the short attention span generation. And as for what else the Just Third Way network is doing:
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Taxation and Modern Monetary Theory
As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day, the implication being that not even something inherently wrong is always wrong in its conclusions. That is something capitalists and socialists — and MMT theorists — would do well to remember.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Old Things But in a New Way
In 1891, with the release of Rerum Novarum, Leo XIII’s encyclical “On Capital and Labor,” the careers of the agrarian socialist Henry George and his associate, Father Edward McGlynn were given the opportunity of a lifetime. If handled right, it could give George’s career a much-needed shot in the arm by handing him something he could twist into a personal attack.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Faith v. Reason?
Given the rather startling popularity of yesterday’s posting of Mortimer Adler’s appearance on Firing Line and his grilling by William F. Buckley, we decided today to answer the question that Buckley asked Adler, but which Adler was not able to answer completely. This was not because Adler could not answer, but because Buckley tried to get Adler to say what he, Buckley, wanted Adler to say, rather than what Adler needed to say.
Monday, July 15, 2019
Mortimer Adler on Religious Truth
Yes, we know that this is supposed to be the Just Third Way podcast and not the WJTW Adler Video Extravaganza, but these little gems from someone who has a claim to being the most prominent American Aristotelian-Thomist of the twentieth century have proven so popular that we can't resist the urge to keep posting them:
Friday, July 12, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 28
Although there are more spectacular problems in the world, one of the more fundamental ones is the question of how people without capital ownership can become capital owners without harming anyone else. As regular readers of this blog are aware, this can not only be done without harm, but in a way that benefits everyone by reforming the monetary, tax, and ownership structures in society. So today we present a few thoughts on the subject:
Thursday, July 11, 2019
When Did Notre Dame Become Notre Dumb?
As a few of you may know (and even fewer care), I attended the University of Notre Dame du Lac in northern Indiana in the late 1970s. I was in the Notre Dame Glee Club for four years under Dr. David Clark (“Coach”) Isele, majored in Accounting, and managed to graduate, going on to get my MBA at the University of Evansville, Indiana. Eventually I became Director of Research for the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) in Arlington, Virginia.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
In the previous posting on this subject, we learned that, while Pope Leo XIII started off his pontificate by continuing the condemnation of the “new things” of socialism, modernism, and “New Age” thought, people just weren’t “getting it.” Despite the work of Msgr. Aloysius Taparelli, S.J. in developing a philosophically sound principle of social justice, the socialists had seized on the term and made it their own by giving it a definition that conformed to socialism instead of to natural law.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
John Henry Newman and His Brothers
Word has just come down the pike that the canonization of John Henry Newman has been set for October 13, 2019. We say that with caution, because you can bet money on it that most of the people commenting on it, Catholic or non, will say that “Newman will be made a saint,” or words to that effect.
Monday, July 8, 2019
More from Mortimer!
We’ve been having such success with the short videos of Mortimer Adler we’ve been putting up that we decided to do a couple more this week. The two together are not more than fifteen minutes, but they have substance. The first one is Adler talking about the Great Ideas for about ten minutes. The second one is a brief four minutes or so on how you don’t really get an education in school, but from a lifetime of learning:
Friday, July 5, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 27
As you can see from the volume of news items this week, the Just Third Way is in no danger of a summer slowdown. Of course, we don’t want you to slow down, either, so be sure to pass this edition of News from the Network along to your network:
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Divine Right of Kings v. Democracy
In celebration of Independence Day here in the United States, we decided to take a look at where the Founding Fathers got some of their ideas. While the specific notions of democracy that inspired American liberal democracy go back to ancient Greece and Rome, their more immediate source of inspiration was the reaction against the “divine right” theory of Sir Robert Filmer (cir. 1588-1653), chief theologian of James VI/I (1566-1625) of Scotland/England.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
An Unexpected Renaissance
In the previous posting on this subject, we saw to what extent “the New Christianity” had infiltrated the mainstream Christian denominations, especially the Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX called the First Vatican Council in part to deal with the problem, and two key doctrines were defined as part of the effort. These were papal infallibility to rein in the exaggerated claims being made for papal authority by fideists, Neo-Catholics, and reactionaries, and the primacy of the Intellect to put faith on a solid foundation consistent with reason.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
The Four Faces of Socialism: The Abolition of Private Ownership
As we saw in the first posting on this subject, there are four primary aspects of socialism. These are philanthropy, communitarianism, reform or abolition of religion, and — our topic for today — the abolition of private ownership. Again, it is important to note that a particular form of socialism may not include all or even any of these aspects, and yet still be true socialism.
Monday, July 1, 2019
Mortimer Adler, Intellect Mind Over Matter, I & II
Much to our surprise, the videos we've been putting up about Mortimer Adler, philosophy, and some rather difficult or esoteric concepts have been proving very popular. The recent one on the essence of socialism discussing the distinction between form and substance ranked in the top five all time hits for this blog! This astounded certain commentators who think you have to dumb everything down and then not talk about it at all in order to be popular. It turns out talking about truth and all that actually draws a crowd . . . and only a few of them are hecklers!
Friday, June 28, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 26
Along with visits to this blog increasing dramatically over the past two weeks, there are some real news items that should be of interest to readers (other than the good news that, if you’re reading this, you are not alone). It seems that people around the world are becoming increasingly aware that something may be wrong, and the usual solutions have been proven to be inadequate:
Thursday, June 27, 2019
The Four Faces of Socialism: The Democratic Religion
As we saw in the first posting on this subject, and (purely by coincidence) in Wednesday’s posting, there are four primary aspects of socialism: philanthropy, communitarianism, reform or abolition of religion, and abolition of private ownership. Again, it is important to note that a particular form of socialism may not include all or even any of these aspects, and yet still be true socialism.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
The New Christianity
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, following the Financial, Industrial, and French Revolutions, society was in chaos and people began searching for alternatives to traditional political, domestic, and religious institutions. What they came up with was “the democratic religion” — socialism.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
The Four Faces of Socialism: Communitarianism
As we saw in the first posting on this subject, there are four primary aspects of socialism: philanthropy, communitarianism, reform or abolition of religion, and abolition of private ownership. We noted that a particular form of socialism may not include all or even any of these aspects, and yet still be true socialism.
Monday, June 24, 2019
The Ownership Vehicle Podcast!
In this week’s Just Third Way podcast, Dr. Norman Kurland, President of CESJ, takes a look at the three main ownership vehicles of the Just Third Way. These are Capital Homesteading Accounts, Citizens Land Development Cooperatives, and the one in current law that embodies the basic concept on which the others are based, the Leveraged “JBM S-Corp ESOP”:
Friday, June 21, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 25
Another week with a plethora of items indicating that something is wrong with the world, somewhere and somehow, but nobody seems able to pinpoint what or how to solve it, at least not without the Just Third Way, which doesn’t seem to fit into most people’s paradigms. From “the JTW Perspective,” however, what to do about these situations becomes obvious:
Thursday, June 20, 2019
The Four Faces of Socialism: Philanthropy
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that there are four primary aspects of socialism: philanthropy, communitarianism, reform or abolition of religion, and abolition of private ownership. We also noted that a particular form of socialism may not include all or even any of these aspects, and yet still be true socialism. As Pope Pius XI noted,
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Christianity and Democracy
On Christmas Day in the year 1797 the aristocratic Luigi Barnabà Chiaramonte (1742-1823), Cardinal Bishop of Imola in Romagna in northern Italy, startled his congregation by declaring that there is no essential conflict between democracy and Christianity. Coming as it did hard on the heels of the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France (1793-1794), it must have seemed to many that their Ordinary had lost his mind. (E.E.Y. Hales, Pio Nono: A Study in European Politics and Religion in the Nineteenth Century. New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1954, 35.)
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The Four Faces of Socialism: The Essence of Socialism
No, this is not a discussion on the various types of socialism, such as Marxist, Georgist, Relgious, or Democratic (especially since there are many more than that), but on four key aspects of socialist thought itself. We will have to look briefly at a couple of the different forms of socialism, but that is not the main point here.
Monday, June 17, 2019
Mortimer Adler on Speaking and Listening
Last week’s video of Mortimer Adler speaking on happiness made so many people happy that we thought we’d bring you another one by Adler to listen to . . . about how to listen!
Friday, June 14, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 24
It’s astonishing the frequency with which events and situations come to light that could be resolved very simply (although not always easily) by applying the Just Third Way. Take for instance:
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Can Social Justice Be Defined?
As we have stated more than once on this blog, we like to get questions or criticisms . . . questions or criticisms that we can answer, that is. Okay, polite questions or criticisms that we can answer. . . . like this one, from someone we had sent some links to recent blog postings:
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: The Idea of Distributism
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed by noting that a realistic vision of a just society should present a viable alternative to capitalism, characterized by concentration of capital ownership in the hands of a relatively small private sector élite, and socialism, characterized by concentration of capital ownership in the hands of a public bureaucracy. Distributism, a policy of widely distributed private property with a preference for small, family owned farms and artisan businesses, appeared to be one possibility.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Why is Socialism Wrong?
Many people these days assume that if they can find a precedent or some statement that they can twist into meaning what they want or need it to mean, that they have discovered a new right or truth, conveyed to them by whatever they worship as God and to be understood in the light of faith alone. Such people forget (if they ever knew) that truth is objective reality. Their own perceptions and beliefs are, on the other hand, subjective. As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, nowhere has this tendency been more evident than in the ongoing effort to reformulate or repurpose Christianity as a form of socialism.
Monday, June 10, 2019
Mortimer Adler on Happiness
Today we take a look at Mortimer J. Adler's take on the question of happiness. Adler, who co-authored The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) and The New Capitalists (1961) with Louis O. Kelso, is considere4d by many to be the premier American Aristotelian of the twentieth century. In this half-hour video clip, we take a look at Adler's take on what Aristotle meant by "happiness," which seems to be a concept that is greatly misunderstood these days:
Friday, June 7, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 23
There have been a number of interesting developments this past week relating both to the development of the concept of social justice and to its application to address some current situations:
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Rebranding Socialism as True Christianity
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Robert Owen believed that all of humanity’s problems would disappear if religion, marriage, and private property were abolished. In 1813 in A New View of Society he declared that reorienting religion from worshiping God to bettering the condition of humanity would be sufficient to establish and maintain the perfect world.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: The Modernist World
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, George Bernard Shaw was as insistent that socialism is the universal panacea for all problems (as long as you don’t eat meat or drink alcohol) and that distributism is just another name for Fabian socialism* as G.K. Chesterton was adamant that Shaw was full of . . . nonsense.
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Religion Without God
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Robert Owen, the Father of Modern Socialism (and Communism) wanted to establish and maintain a perfect society in this life, a constant theme of socialism for the past two centuries and more. Since he believed that people are formed entirely by their environment, all that is necessary to create the perfect society (so he claimed) is to abolish religion, marriage, and private property. Everything will then be perfect.
Monday, June 3, 2019
Interview with Joe Recinos, Part II (and I)
This week we bring you the second part of an interview with Joseph W. Recinos, the Latin America Director of the Center for Economic and Social Justice. Just so you don’t have to search out the first half, we’ve included that, also.
Friday, May 31, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 22
Not as many news items as last week, but there are still significant events going on, especially as the powers-that-be insist on ignoring the Just Third Way:
Thursday, May 30, 2019
A New View of Society
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, modern socialism (which includes Marxist communism) traces its roots to the thought of Robert Owen. Owen’s theories anticipated the modern Welfare State as well as the drift into secularism, the deification of the abstraction of humanity, the decay of marriage and family, and a host of other ills attendant upon the alienation of most people from direct ownership of the means of production, and thus personal power and the means of participating as full members of society.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: The Last Debate
In our previous posting on this subject, we completed a brief overview of the lost debate between G.K. Chesterton and G.B Shaw. Today we begin an equally brief summary of the last debate between the two “metaphysical jesters,” as one commentator termed them. (William B. Furlong, GBS/GKC, Shaw and Chesterton: The Metaphysical Jesters. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1970.) And so our story begins. . . .
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Brothers Under the Skin
On Sunday, July 14, 1833 at Oxford University in England, the Reverend John Keble (1792-1866) ascended the University Pulpit and preached his scheduled “Assize Sermon.” An “Assize Sermon” is preached in the Church of England at the opening of a term of the civil and criminal courts — “the Assizes” — hence the name. The sermon is officially addressed to the judges and officers of the court and is intended to exhort them to do their duty and render justice.
Monday, May 27, 2019
Interview with Joe Recinos, Part I
This week we bring you the first part of an interview with Joseph W. Recinos, the Latin America Director of the Center for Economic and Social Justice. Joe, a development economist, is a volunteer, and a co-founder of CESJ.
Friday, May 24, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 21
A lot has been going on this week, not the least of which is the annual conference of the ESOP Association in Washington, DC (which we may report on next week, as it is still in progress). The bottom line? Let’s cut to the chase and get to the news items:
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: “A Reply to Mr. Mallock”
In the previous posting on this subject we saw how early in their relationship, George Bernard Shaw had used unfair debating tricks (are there fair debating tricks?) to “win” an argument against Chesterton by deliberately changing the real point under discussion.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Austrians and Distributists
Every once in a while we get a question that we answer and then realize we’ve written a blog posting. On Friday of last week we had such a happy occurrence. As someone asked in a forum discussing “Thomist Philosophy,” that is, the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas,
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: How to Argue With a Socialist
In the previous posting on this subject, we left G.K. Chesterton smiling benignly down on an infuriated George Bernard Shaw. Clearly Chesterton knew exactly what buttons to push to bring Shaw to a rapid boil in the shortest period of time. The fact was that Chesterton had figured out how to handle an argument with Shaw: refuse to argue except on principle.
Monday, May 20, 2019
Just Third Way Podcast: Norman Kurland on Power
Power is a dirty word to many people today, but that's probably because most people don't have any. As a result, they tend to define the concept in terms of power over others, rather than the idea of having power over one's own life. That is odd, because power is defined as "ability for doing." Unless one plans on being a pair of ragged claws at the bottom of the sea (or whatever it was that J. Alfred Prufrock thought about), power is essential simply to exist. That is why Dr. Norman Kurland, President of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, decided to talk about power and how to structure it for the benefit of everyone, not just a few:
Friday, May 17, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 20
Things are a little quiet due to the fact that expanded ownership initiatives are waiting to see what comes out of the ESOP Association conference next week, but some ongoing projects are making progress, and of course there are more personal matters:
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Chesterton and Shaw: The Lost Debate
Sometime during the evening of a long day late in the summer of 1923, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), renowned wit and agent provocateur for Fabian socialism, had almost finished entertaining himself and other members of a party assembled at a house in Chelsea. Having been there for about an hour, Shaw was preparing to take his leave when the arrival of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was announced.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Aquinas on Private Property
In the previous posting on this subject — private property in general, and under what circumstances (if any) private property ceases to exist — we examined the arguments Msgr. John A. Ryan of the Catholic University of America used to justify substituting the definitions of social justice and distributive justice used by the socialists and modernists of the 1830s and 1840s for those of the Catholic Church derived from Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
More Waugh on Vatican II
No, that’s not a cute way of saying we’re waling on the Second Vatican Council, which would be inappropriate for an interfaith group in any event. It’s a way of continuing our piece on Evelyn Waugh and his take on the Council, which is somewhat different from what may have been recorded.
Monday, May 13, 2019
Just Third Way (Re)Podcast, No. 48
This week we have a special treat in store on the Just Third Way podcast: the first part of an interview with renowned binary economist and author Dr. Robert H.A. Ashford. Dr. Ashford teaches law and binary economics at the University of Syracuse law school, and is the co-author of Binary Economics: The New Paradigm (Lanham, Maryland: The University Press of America, 1999):
Friday, May 10, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 19
Although we do know from the number of people viewing the blog and other indicators that word of the Just Third Way is getting around, it seems as though it ought to be faster. Nevertheless, each day a little progress is being made, but not in a way that generates news items, unfortunately:
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Evelyn Waugh on Vatican II
In the eyes of some, the Catholic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council was a cesspool of corrupt authoritarianism and abuse that insulted human dignity at the most fundamental level. To take only one example, Monsignor George A. Kelly (1916-2004) quoted Malachi Brendan Martin (1921-1999) in his (Kelly’s) book, The Battle for the American Church (1979), giving a lengthy list of things in the Church that “do not work,” especially anything that made the Church Catholic or even religious. (Msgr. George A. Kelly, The Battle for the American Church. New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1979, 5-6.)
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
"America's Greatest Social Philosopher"
On his death in 1985, Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. was eulogized as “the second founder” of his religious order, the Society of Mary. Father Andrew F. Morlion, O.P., Ph.D., Belgian philosopher and founder and first president of the International University of Social Studies in Rome, referred to Father Ferree as “America’s greatest social philosopher.” But who was he?
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
A Study in Contradiction
One of the things we find most consistent about socialism is its inconsistency, the ability to say one thing and do another with astonishing regularity. This was brought forcibly home to us when we came across the writings of Robert Owen, considered the first of the British line of socialism.
Monday, May 6, 2019
Adler on the Air
DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!
WE HAVE DELETED THE PODCAST TO EDIT FURTHER. IT WILL BE UP AGAIN AS SOON AS WE ARE FINISHED. IN THE MEANTIME, WE PUT UP A LINK TO WALLACE'S 1959 INTERVIEW WITH ADLER
WE HAVE DELETED THE PODCAST TO EDIT FURTHER. IT WILL BE UP AGAIN AS SOON AS WE ARE FINISHED. IN THE MEANTIME, WE PUT UP A LINK TO WALLACE'S 1959 INTERVIEW WITH ADLER
For the Just Third Way Podcast this week, we have a special treat in store: Mike Wallace’s interview of Mortimer Adler. Adler, of course, co-authored The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) and The New Capitalists (1961) with Louis O. Kelso, but is also noted for the Great Books program and as the editor of the Syntopicon:
Friday, May 3, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 18
Back in the early nineteenth century, the proto-socialist and founder of “the New Christianity” Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. He missed, but his followers claimed that the shock brought about his realization that he was either God’s Special Messenger or possibly even God. Ever since, failure has been taken as proving that socialism actually works. It only fails because people can’t seem to deal with a system that relies on them becoming God. We, of course, just assume that people are going to keep on being people, so the Just Third Way is based on working with human nature rather than trying to change it:
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Money Isn’t Everything
It’s time for another esoteric blog posting on the nature of money. Today we’ll be looking at the difference between what is called “the Currency School” that virtually all modern economics, whether or not mainstream, accept, and “the Banking School,” on which binary economics is based.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
The Four Pillars of Socialism
We’ve been doing a great deal of research for a series of books a publisher (obviously intelligent and astute) has requested that we submit “on spec” — i.e., they’d like to see a manuscript, but aren’t making any specific promises about acceptance. Much of this has involved investigation into the roots of the “New Things,” as Pope Leo XIII referred to them in his landmark 1891 encyclical “On Capital and Labor” (the current official title).
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Poverty v. Destitution
In his 2015 book, God or Nothing, Robert Cardinal Sarah made an interesting distinction between poverty and destitution. We’re not sure we agree, but it may be something to think about. According to Sarah, most people through history have been “poor,” which he defined as producing enough to provide decently for one’s self and one’s dependents, but nothing more.
Monday, April 29, 2019
People and Things
This week’s podcast features a repeat of the discussion about CESJ’s short (one minute and forty-seven seconds) introductory video, “People and Things.” The reason for rerunning it so soon after the original broadcast is that on Saturday, April 27, 2019, CESJ had its first “Justice University” seminar as part of CESJ’s thirty-fifth anniversary celebration. The seminar was well-attended, and the following workshop had a great deal of lively discussion, so we thought we’d let others join in the fun, if a trifle late and a little vicariously:
Friday, April 26, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 17
After many trials and tribulations of a computerized nature, here are this week’s news items:
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Creating Truth for Fun and Prophet
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that Monsignor John A. Ryan (1869-1945) had his thought formed in an environment that accepted “the democratic religion” of socialism as a given. The idea was to reduce Christianity to its essential elements, of which the first and overriding principle is that material wellbeing of everyone, especially the poor, is the goal of existence.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Although differences and disagreements between people of different faiths and philosophies are nothing particularly new, they seem to be achieving much greater depths of depravity than ever before. True, this might be merely the fact that with modern communications and the growing hunger of the popular media for sensation and scandal to titillate and entertain people who should have much better things to do, what was under the radar in former days is now the stuff of everyday life.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
The Age of Aquarius
In the previous posting on this subject we examined the source of Monsignor John A. Ryan’s understanding of social justice and distributive justice as embodied in the two books that made him famous, A Living Wage (1906) and Distributive Justice (1916). As we discovered, Ryan’s definitions did not come from a study of Rerum Novarum, but from the utopian and religious socialist movements of the early nineteenth century that Rerum Novarum was intended to counter.
Monday, April 22, 2019
Easter Witness and a Proposal for Ireland
This week’s podcast features a panel discussion about the Easter Rising historical event in Ireland and a proposal for Ireland outlined in Easter Witness, book by Michael D. Greaney. (BTW, Dave looked in the wrong place on Amazon; the price is $20, not $500 for an autographed presentation copy!) The discussion relates how the ownership of Ireland mentioned in the Proclamation issued during that Easter event can be the key for economic transformation of Ireland and the world.
Friday, April 19, 2019
News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 16
Maybe it’s the season, but the criticisms of the Just Third Way have been particularly weak lately, with critics repeating themselves more than usual and saying things that have been refuted repeatedly. On the other hand, it might be that the ideas are starting to get into the right quarters and people are starting to pay attention. You decide:
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