Friday, July 31, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 31
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Left or Right, What’s the Difference?
Frequently in our research we’ve come across claims such as Marxist communism and Fabian socialism are two different things, that Nazism isn’t/wasn’t real socialism, that fascism and Nazism were/are right wing, and so on, so forth, etc., etc. Of course, it might be helpful to define what we mean by “left,” “right,” and “center.”
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
A Language Lesson
No, this isn’t a “real” language lesson, a sort of “Latin pro populo” (“Latin for everybody”) that you can use as a handy phrase book when ordering dinner at the Vatican. It’s just that we got into a discussion about singing in Latin the other day, and one of the participants in the conversation happened to mention that singing “Church Latin” is much easier than singing “Germanic Latin.” That started us off on our “Latin Pronunciation Lecture,” which — bear with us — does have a bearing on the Just Third Way. Of course, everything does, but it might not be obvious at first glance.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Karl Marx, the Great Reductionist
A short time ago we got a request to comment on Karl Marx as “the second economic reductionist.” In the context of the discussion this referred to the socialist movement which, to make a very long story short and oversimplify greatly, began in the early nineteenth century with Henri de Saint-Simon’s declaration in his posthumous book, Le Nouveau Christianisme (1825) that what would in a few years be known as “socialism” was “the New Christianity.”
Monday, July 27, 2020
JTW Podcast: Communism, Part I: The Groundwork
Friday, July 24, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 30
Yes, most of the news is related one way or another to the pandemic, but it also relates to the Just Third Way. The one news item we don’t see that we’d like to is an announcement that the powers-that-be have finally figured out that a strong economy depends on making ordinary people productive, which in a modern advanced economy (or any other, for that matter) means ownership of whatever is producing marketable goods and services, be it technology or human labor:
Thursday, July 23, 2020
What Do You Mean By “Distributism”?
Somewhat to our surprise, we seem to have become something of a “distributist guru.” Of course, that could just be an impression, but if it’s true, it might be because we seem to be able to give consistent specifics instead of vague and contradictory generalities. Not that G.K. Chesterton or Hilaire Belloc gave out anything contradictory, or at least, not that they intended to be contradictory, but that’s not our point. Our point is where Chesterton and Belloc wanted to go, not necessarily how they thought it expedient to get there.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Interfaith Catholic Action? Why Not?
In a recent article, His Auxiliary Excellency Bishop Robert Barron opined (how do you like that word?) that if the laity want something done — such as protecting religious statues — they should stop asking the bishops to do something, and start thinking about doing it themselves. That’s something of an oversimplification of a rather more involved argument, but that’s the message most people took from it . . . and they were not pleased.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The Quest for Utopia
We’re having trouble keeping up with what various commentators are proposing as their respective solutions to the pandemic, racism, the economy, the politicians, the academics, the guy next door, and can you believe the price of [fill in the blank] these days? Case in point: a few weeks ago (or was it months? it’s getting hard to tell . . .), an article appeared in Catholic World Report, a webzine, “America’s Utopian City Wreckers.”
Monday, July 20, 2020
JTW Podcast: Intro to Thomistic Personalism
Friday, July 17, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 29
If you’re worried about the way things are going in the world, you might want to skip the first half of this edition of News from the Network and go down to the good news (qualified good news, anyway) near the bottom. Yes, there actually are a few rays of hope, notably the success of the “Sensus Fidelium” videos about the origins and effects of the “new things” of socialism, modernism (probably not what you think it is), and esotericism, so tolle lege (Latin for “take and read):
Thursday, July 16, 2020
The REAL Story of the First Social Encyclical
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at how a social encyclical should be read. That, however, was not the point we set out to make, but an introduction to the main point. We just wanted to be sure that our faithful readers understood that when we talk about a “social encyclical,” they know what we are talking about: a document on a natural law teaching that, while it may be expressed in religious terms, applies to the whole of society, not just Catholics.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
“The Jobs We Need”
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
An Eternal Question
Monday, July 13, 2020
JTW Podcast: A Few Words on Personalism
Friday, July 10, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 28
We admit that much of what is happening these days does not lend itself to brief news items. Making matters worse, those events that are genuinely brief are not infrequently completely unrelated to the Just Third Way. We did, however, manage to find a few things:
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Citizens Land Cooperative
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, distributism as presented by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc had the right idea: a wide distribution of private property in capital, by which they did NOT mean a redistribution of what belongs to someone else. (See the final comment in What’s Wrong With the World (1910).
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Feudalism v. Distributism
Someone asked us recently whether we thought distributism and feudalism are pretty much the same thing. Off the top of our head (or is that “heads”?) our first response is “no.” After all, feudalism meant that most (if not all) land was “public” land, and people “held” the land in return for specified service(s) to the State, usually military service. Land was not private property.
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Job Security for (Personalist) Revolutionaries
A while back in response to an item touting Capital Homesteading as a possible way to bring people together and turn the economy around in our weekly Just Third Way news roundup, someone posted a comment to the effect that the original 1862 Homestead Act was (wait for it) . . . racist! As a way of refuting our promotion of Capital Homesteading as a way of possibly establishing a little racial harmony and putting the economy back on a sound footing, the Righteous One went on to explain that the 1862 Act was “Whites Only,” and Black homesteaders were completely unheard of.
Monday, July 6, 2020
JYW Podcast: Stevenson on the Just Third Way
Friday, July 3, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 27
Frankly, we don’t know what to think. On one hand the “June Jobs Report” makes it sound as if the economy is booming, and the stock market is rising. There is also the bit that there is an actual “worker shortage” as people refuse to take jobs as long as their unemployment benefits are paid; it seems that they are better off economically not working at all . . . at least, not that the authorities know about. At the same time, we’re told the “jobs market” won’t recover for at least ten years. What are we to believe, and what are we supposed to do? Well, why not go the Just Third Way:
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Was the State Made for Man, or Man for the State?
In the previous posting on this subject, we addressed the question whether the United States was founded as a “Christian nation,” and came up with the non-answer that it depends on what you mean by “Christian nation.” We decided — that’s us, not you — that, yes, you could use that term if you didn’t mind saying something misleading, but it would be better to say that the United States was founded as a country that — with certain rather key exceptions — embodied respect for the dignity of the individual human person.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
What Do You Mean By “Christian Nation”?
A couple of weeks ago an article appeared in The Christian Post on how America was departing from the values of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The idea was that the principles espoused by the Founders were essentially Christian, and that therefore the United States is properly a “Christian nation.”