Some interesting developments this week as world leaders and academics continue to flail and flounder around trying to find the solution that has been staring them in the face for 2,500 years. If you want a stable and virtuous society, as Aristotle pointed out in the first book of his Politics, you had better have widespread capital ownership. Otherwise, what you get is —
|Venezuelans will soon be dying of embarrassment.|
• Venezuela Declares War . . . On Its Own People. Ironically for a socialist country that takes as its fundamental principle the betterment of everyone, especially the poor, Venezuela’s government is refusing to let food and medical supplies into the country. As a result, people are preparing to seize and distribute the withheld aid, while the government is preparing to stop them with armed force. It seems that the aid is tainted because the bulk of it comes from the United States, which has declared the current government illegal, so to avoid embarrassment, the government prefers to let its own people die and even kill them if necessary.
|Learn to take over the world by studying history.|
• Interest in History at an All-Time Low. Recent reports out of Academia are that people majoring in history and taking degrees in the subject is at an all-time low, having fallen by about 25% over a few years ago. Some colleges are simply dropping history requirements and even classes and departments. The main problem, however, is that widespread ignorance of events of history leads directly into misunderstanding current events. Even something as trivial as understanding a satiric cartoon becomes impossible. Given widespread ignorance of history, it is no wonder that so many people ignore the Just Third Way and slavishly adhere to socialism and capitalism.
• Teachers Continue to Strike. Educationalists across the country continue to go on strike to obtain higher wages and benefits and more administrative positions . . . all for the good of the students, of course. The latest threatened strike comes from the teachers of Oakland, California, who are concerned that far too much money is being diverted to charter schools and not to increase what they receive. No one appears to be considering the possibility of a Capital Homestead Act that would enable teachers to teach for free if they wanted to, and for students to pay for an education at whatever school they wanted.
|Who Will Own the Robots?|
• Top Wage Incomes Rising, Bottom Falling. Much to the astonishment of the experts who demand a higher minimum wage to increase the income of wage earners at the bottom, the income of wage workers in the lower levels continues to drop dramatically in response, while that of wage workers in the upper tiers continues to rise. In other words, as it becomes more expensive to hire lower paid workers, fewer are hired and more are replaced with technology or the jobs moved to lower wage areas. At the same time, jobs that are not (yet) threatened by technological displacement face a lack of qualified people to fill them, so the price goes up in order to get the people they need. The underlying problem, of course, is the assumption that income can only come from wages and welfare, not ownership.
|Gregory XVI: "You can't say I didn't warn you."|
• The “New Things” and the Climate of Dissent. Given the crises in the Catholic Church and other denominations, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to the root of many of the problems: the “climate of dissent” that suffuses Church, State, and Family these days, as traditional virtues and moral values are overturned and called into question as a matter of course. Most, if not all of this, can possibly be traced to widespread acceptance of the “New Things” of socialism, modernism, and the “New Age” of which Pope Gregory XVI spoke in 1832 and that Pope Leo XIII revisited in his landmark encyclical, Rerum Novarum, in 1891. When fundamental principles are rejected or redefined, of course “anything goes.”
• 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 33 different countries and 46 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, the Philippines, Canada, Poland, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Fulton Sheen and the Problem of Savings,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “New Things, Part I,” “News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 7,” and “Fulton Sheen and the Solution.”
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.