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.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!