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:
|Pope Pius XI defined social justice differently|
• Misunderstanding Social Justice. Some years ago CESJ was referred to the late Father Gerry Creedon as the individual with whom CESJ should be in touch on matters of Catholic social teaching. After making some follow-up efforts, the attempt was dropped as Fr. Creedon expressed no interest in CESJ’s work. Recently, friends and follows of Fr. Creedon established the “Gospel Advocacy and Leadership Foundation” (GALF) to continue his work, which they characterize as “social justice.” While the work the foundation is doing is good and necessary, however, it is not social justice as defined by Pope Pius XI and analyzed by CESJ co-founder. Fr. Creedon’s concept of social justice was to meet individuals wants and needs directly, while Pius XI’s concept of social justice as a particular virtue (based on Father Aloysius Taparelli’s principle of social justice) is to direct organized efforts to the institutions of the common good to restore the functioning of individual justice and charity. This is the understanding of social justice found in CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree’s doctoral thesis, The Act of Social Justice (1942, © 1943), and pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice (1948). Assuming that social justice pertains to the individual order is to turn Catholic social teaching into a rather vapid and flabby variety of Fabian socialism.
|William Cobbett: Turn tax eaters into tax payers|
• National Debt of the United States. It isn’t October yet and time for the Halloween Horror Specials (which get less entertaining the more horrible the current situation becomes), but here’s a horror story for you: nobody has any real idea about what to do with the national debt. Now, we at the Just Third Way have a very good idea what to do, but evidently people aren’t quite scared enough to do something sensible, like adopt a Capital Homesteading program. Instead, they seem to be waiting around for somebody else to wave a magic wand and make the debt disappear and let the government continue to spend more and more money. Ironically, the excuse given for government spending is that the private sector needs the government to go into debt to have economic growth. Yet the commercial and central banking systems of the world were invented and set up to do that very thing at a profit, not a gargantuan loss! In a modern advanced economy, there is actually no justification for having government debt at all, except to cover a temporary shortfall in tax collections. The problem is that most people cannot be productive unless they own capital, and few people own capital and therefore do not generate enough income to tax. Instead, they become cost centers, receiving government aid instead of paying taxes; “tax eaters” instead of “tax payers,” as William Cobbett put it.
|Dr. Harold G. Moulton|
• We Owe It to Ourselves. Back in 1943 Harold G. Moulton published a pamphlet titled The New Philosophy of Public Debt. In it, Moulton pointed out the logical fallacy of the Keynesian claim that the national debt is not a problem because “we owe it to ourselves.” On the contrary, as Moulton explained, debts have to be paid. A national debt is not an unrepayable debt that we move from one pocket to another. Unfortunately, the Powers-That-Be are still convinced after seven decades that nobody has to pay down the national debt.
• Justice University Seminar/Workshop. The Justice University Seminar/Workshop has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday evening, October 11, 2019, from 7-10 pm EDST.
• Possible Belgian Research Fellow. Yann B., from Lisle in Wallonia (the French-speaking part of the country) had lunch with the CESJ core group last Friday. The meeting went well, and Yann expressed great interest in developing a Fellowship program integrating his interest in healthcare with a just economic system.
• Dignity, Power, and Justice (or Power Through Justice). The draft of the book on economic personalism and the Just Third Way is currently in the final stages of editing and should soon be ready for final review by Tom P., CESJ’s expert on Solidarność, and who interviewed many of the key people involved in the movement, making his notes available during the drafting of the manuscript. If Tom gives the “thumbs up,” we can begin indexing and formatting the book. It is conceivable that it could be available for sale by the end of October. We may even have a line or two to some prominent commentators who might give endorsements or even write reviews for this important work. Obviously, however, no final decision has been made on the title.
|Louis O. Kelso|
• Kelso Documentary. Joyce Hart, award-winning producer of Sisters of Selma, reported that she is making great strides in her proposed documentary on the vision of Louis Kelso, Own It!: Louis Kelso’s Macroeconomic Fix.
• Eugene Gordon/DASFESJ. Gene Gordon, founder and prime mover of Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice, reported that he is shifting tactics to take the message directly to the grassroots as community leaders may be too busy trying to secure their own positions to worry about the people they are ostensibly serving.
• Lincoln Park Initiative. Chris Dardzinski, a councilman for Lincoln Park, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), reported he was not making any headway with leaders and, like Gene Gordon, would go to the grassroots. He reported he was having an open house on Sunday, and would work on getting people signed up to try something different, like the Just Third Way.
• Hartford, CT Developments. Russell Williams reported that he has been working on starting to form a Hartford CESJ chapter and they have been meeting regularly. They have a meeting scheduled on September 24 with the Hartford Commissioner for Development to see if some aspects of the Just Third Way could be adapted to help rebuild the city.
• Cardinal Etchegaray. Roger Cardinal Etchegaray who died September 4, 2019, was one of the figures at the Vatican who was positive toward the Just Third Way, although not in any spectacular fashion. When the Center for Economic and Social Justice gave a seminar on the role of private property in capital to deal with global poverty at the Vatican in 1992 hosted by Cardinal Silvestrini, Cardinal Etchegaray commented favorably. A few years later (April 11, 1995), he again commented, this time on the book we developed out of the seminar proceedings. As his Eminence wrote after reading the book, Curing World Poverty: The New Role of Property (1994), “I trust this book will be read and studied by many since it offers a number of interesting proposals which might make a contribution to a more equitable economic system.”
• 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 26 different countries and 40 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Spain, Canada, Australia, and India. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 12, No. 37,” “An Economic Revolution,” “Church Versus State,” “Just Third Way Video on Say’s Law,” and “Dispelling Some Monetary Myths.”
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.” Due to imprudent language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.#30#