Modern politics is a wonder . . . you wonder why no one running for office has picked up on the obvious advantages of adopting the Just Third Way of economic personalism as a main plank of a platform. That being said:
Friday, February 21, 2020
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Continuing our presentation and discussion of the Core Values of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice, as we saw in the previous posting on this subject there is a difference between work performed to keep body and soul together, and the work of becoming more fully human, i.e., the work of promoting or working for one’s own perfection or completeness as a human being by conforming more closely to human nature.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Continuing our blog series examining the Core Values of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), we follow up on yesterday’s posting on our little explication of “Nothing should stand between God and the human person,” with a dissertation on the meaning of work. As it says in the CESJ Core Values,
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Continuing our discussion from the previous posting on this subject, a while back — quite a long while, actually — we had a conversation at an organizing meeting of a local writers group with a Catholic attorney who wanted to be a writer. We didn’t know what sort of writing the fellow wanted to do; from the fact that he didn’t mention any publication record but kept asking about this writer’s credentials we strongly suspect that he thought of writing as a “one day” project, as in “One day I’m going to write something.”
Monday, February 17, 2020
Friday, February 14, 2020
At the top of the news this week is the Corona virus, but we don’t know better than anyone else what has happened, what could happen, or what will happen, so we’ll stick with other stories until we do know:
Thursday, February 13, 2020
In the previous posting on this subject — the reason for having “core values” in the first place — we looked at the link between solidarity and core values. After all, if solidarity means accepting the principles that define a group as that group and no other, it makes sense that the principles be clearly defined or you won’t know who belongs to that group.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
As a follow-up to the previous posting on this subject, we decided to look at the issue of why organizations such as CESJ — or any organization, for that matter — even have core values in the first place. Obviously, the best place to start looking for an answer is CESJ itself. Why does CESJ have core values? Because —
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
A while back (four years to be vaguely exact . . . to employ a precise estimate) we posted the Core Values of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ). We gave them straight, without embellishment or explanation, as we thought they are pretty much self-explanatory. The other day, however, we got an email from someone we had referred to the CESJ website. As he said,
Monday, February 10, 2020
We continue our series of "video podcasts" covering subjects of interest to the Just Third Way (if not always from a Just Third Way perspective) with a look at the election of 1912, the last time a "third party candidate" gave the two major parties a serious run for the money. The "Bull Moose" (Progressive Party . . . which used to mean something good) candidate Theodore "Don't Call Me Teddy" Roosevelt very nearly won over the Democratic candidate Woodrow "In the Pocket of Wall Street" Wilson.
Friday, February 7, 2020
A number of recent events underscore the importance of implementing Just Third Way reforms as soon as possible in order to head off what could be some disastrous events and to resolve a number of existing situations that appear to be without viable solutions. Still, there are a number of initiatives working to move forward that give a little hope that what seem to be insurmountable problems can be dealt with in an effective and just manner:
Thursday, February 6, 2020
As we’ve noted once or twice on this blog, we like to get questions from our readers. This makes it easy to write the next blog posting. The only thing we like better is being able to, er, “borrow” somebody else’s answer to a question on some aspect or point of the Just Third Way.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The other day while doing some research into the origins of the “new things” of socialism (which is not all that social), modernism (which is not all that modern), and the New Age (which is not all that new), we came across an article from 1993, “Liberalism and Socialism: The Same Thing?” (Paul E. Corcoran, University of Adelaide, Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Monash University, September 29-October 1, 1993)
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Obviously, if you have to pay for justice, it isn’t justice. That’s not what we mean. We’re referring to the fact that meeting the demands of justice can — and does — often incur a cost in terms of time, resources, and money. This is not “buying justice,” any more than paying a judge a salary or jury members for their time is purchasing a verdict (although, obviously, the system can be subverted and corrupted).
Monday, February 3, 2020
Today's pod/video-cast takes a look at Frederick Jackson Turner's 1893 "Frontier Thesis." Frankly, it was difficult to find a video that just reported Turner's thesis and gave the facts . . . and this one is no exception. As far as the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism is concerned, Turner's key point is that the end of "free" land under the Homestead Act of 1862 meant the eventual end of American-style democracy . . . a conclusion with which we have qualified agreement.
Friday, January 31, 2020
This week we have a number of news items relating to the great Keynesian economic illusion that government creates wealth by issuing debt, and that inflation is essential to economic growth. Neither assumption is correct and is easily disproved, but you can’t seem to get today’s academics or politicians to understand that:
Thursday, January 30, 2020
It’s true that no good deed ever goes unpunished . . . sort of. In the previous two postings on this subject, which we imaginatively called Part I and Part II, respectively, we were asked the burning question whether the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism/Capital Homesteading, etc., could be considered communist.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, we sometimes get letters asking about the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism, and once in a while we answer them . . . okay, we almost always answer them, except when someone is obviously trolling or trying to start a fight. It’s even better when somebody else answers them so that we can steal the answer and use it as a blog posting.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
As we’ve said before on this blog, we like it when people ask us questions (coherent ones, anyway) that we can answer and then “recycle” what we wrote as blog postings. It’s even better when somebody else answers a question instead of us. That way we can steal the question and answer and use it as a blog post without actually having to do any work. . . .
Monday, January 27, 2020
Friday, January 24, 2020
Some interesting items this week on the global justice (or lack thereof) front . . . mostly lack thereof, and the obvious need for the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism. Of course, getting people to understand that may be another matter, but there is certainly enough evidence that something needs to be done:
Thursday, January 23, 2020
In classic Thomist philosophy, as we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the four natural virtues are temperance, fortitude, prudence, and — above all — justice. According to Aristotle (and thus Aquinas), the capacity to acquire and develop these virtues is built into human nature. No one is human without the capacity to acquire and develop these virtues, for that capacity (which is the good common to every human being) is what defines human beings as human beings.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
A sketch on the old Muppet Show with their very special guest star Harvey Korman had a panel discussion on The Meaning of Life. Harvey Korman came down on the side of “Life is like a tennis game,” with which Miss Piggy disagreed, while one of the other panelists favored “Life is like a garbage dump.” The discussion ended with a general exchange of insults and the announcement that the next discussion would cover whether conversation was a dying art . . . whereupon all the Muppets keeled over leaving Korman shaking his head.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
It’s an absolute dogma of modern politics and economics. Everyone has the right to what they need to live a decent life. If people do not have what they need to do so, it is the responsibility of the State to see that they do, and all efforts are to be directed to the end of providing people with what they need.
Monday, January 20, 2020
Friday, January 17, 2020
We didn’t get too much news from our network this week, but there are a number of items of interest to adherents of the Just Third Way. It’s just a coincidence it’s mostly about food and drink this week:
Thursday, January 16, 2020
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, in response to the “new things” of socialism, modernism and the New Age, in 1891 Pope Leo XIII proposed a program of expanded capital ownership. This would empower people and families, giving them the opportunity and means to overcome the growing social alienation that had led to the development and growth of the new things in the first place.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
In case you haven’t noticed, it has become increasingly frequent over the past couple of decades to demonize anyone who disagrees with you on virtually any subject. We’d say, “on any subject,” but there must be some things that people don’t disagree on. Somewhere.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
No, we’re not trying out a bad Yoda impression, although that might not be a bad idea if it brings in readers. Or maybe a Darth Vader as (apocryphally) done by Tony Curtis in The Black Shield of Falworth? “Luke, I am yer Fada.”
Monday, January 13, 2020
Okay, admittedly the Just Third Way only comes in around the last quarter of the show, but at least half the studio audience stated explicitly that it was the best part of the show, and a number of other people concurred, judging from the mail we've received. So, just in case you missed it when it was live or on some of the reruns, here is the January 8, 2020 EWTN Live show with your host Father Mitch Pacwa interviewing CESJ's Director of Research, Michael D. Greaney:
Friday, January 10, 2020
Perhaps the most unusual thing this week from the Just Third Way perspective is how no one seems to be questioning the incredible rise in share values on the stock market that is not linked to any discernible increase in the quantity or quality of marketable goods and services, i.e., “economic growth.” Instead, the rise in share values is itself taken as “economic growth,” even though shares are not actually marketable goods or services. Be that as it may, here are the Just Third Way highlights for this week:
Thursday, January 9, 2020
According to an article in the December 27, 2019 Washington Post, in the middle of a presumably booming economy, Americans are drowning in non-mortgage consumer debt. (“Americans Piling Up Near-Record Levels of Credit Card Debt,” A-3.) Unacknowledged in the story — or anywhere else — is the depressing (and sobering) fact that Keynesian economics and all derivatives, absolutely rely on non-productive spending for consumption, what Jean-Baptiste Say called “multiplying barren consumptions.”
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
It’s a truism that has become engrained into American life. Go to school to get good grades. Get good grades to get a good job. Get a good job to get a good pension for retirement. Be sure to save enough on the side in an IRA or 401(k) to supplement your pension and Social Security so you can afford to do all the fun things you see other people doing on TV.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
In the previous postings on this subject we looked at the effect two key inventions, the cotton gin and the McCormick Reaper, had on society, whether for good or for ill. The cotton gin made raising cotton profitable, while the McCormick Reaper made it possible to think about ending world hunger and famine.
Monday, January 6, 2020
Here's a video from not too long ago, September 18, 2000, featuring Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), having a conversation with Harold Channer on his show.
A relatively short time ago the principal author of this blog had a book published by TAN Books. With the title Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know (2018), which will be featured — along with the author! — on EWTN Live! January 8, 2020, 8:00 pm EST on the EWTN Television Network, a cable television channel. Check your local listings for when it airs in your area. If you miss it or don’t have cable, EWTN usually puts the show up on YouTube within a couple of days.
Friday, January 3, 2020
The big news this week is actually for next week: Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research, is scheduled to appear on the Eternal Word Television Network’s show EWTN Live! with Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. In the expanded ownership arena, we kick off the year with the SECURE Act, that puts more power in the hands of participants in qualified retirement plans:
Thursday, January 2, 2020
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the invention of the cotton gin revolutionized cotton production and, in a horrifying twist of fate, revived what to all appearances was a dying institution at the end of the eighteenth century: human chattel slavery. Cotton was now phenomenally profitable as the world’s leading fiber, cheap, durable, and economical to produce . . . if you ignored the fact that it provided an excuse to enslave millions of human beings and wore out land at a tremendous rate. When money talks, human dignity walks.