Quote of the Month
The plan is that each month we select a useful and inspiring quote that highlights some aspect of the Just Third Way. We start off with this one:
“[M]ake the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation and without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”
— R. Buckminster Fuller
• Coming “Cull” of Workers Over 50. According to “Market Watch,” there is a great purge coming of workers over the age of fifty and probably those younger than sixty-five, since any termination on reaching the age of sixty-five automatically counts as retirement. Workers older than fifty but younger than sixty-five may very well find themselves unemployed instead of “early retired,” which will be a disaster if they don’t have enough wealth built up to live on before they can retire. This, of course, is yet another argument for a Capital Homesteading program as soon as possible.
• Justice University. The first ten-session Justice University course has been successfully presented by the CESJ core group and completed by the Hubert Humphrey/CESJ Fellows. Due to the pandemic, the entire course was conducted on-line. Upon completing the course, each participant receives a certificate verifying that he or she has completed a basic orientation in the Just Third Way. Presently we are working on refining the presentations for a group of new participants, who will include our newest team of online volunteers (see below).
• Volunteers. Partially due to the pandemic, CESJ has been very fortunate in gaining our largest influx of volunteers willing to help CESJ and do their volunteer work principally through the internet. While there will always be projects that require a physical presence, there is a great deal that can be done “virtually,” such as research, writing, attending Justice University classes(!), even attending meetings. In future issues of this “quasi newsletter” (and, especially, when we get a volunteer willing to edit an “official” newsletter) we hope to see reports on the various projects the volunteers are carrying out.
• CESJ Internship. CESJ’s current intern, Julia M., is a “rising junior” at William and Mary in Virginia, alma mater of Thomas Jefferson. Fluent in Spanish, Julia has been reviewing and working with one of our volunteers to translate some of CESJ’s materials (such as the “People and Things” video). Julia has also been assisting Dawn Brohawn, CESJ’s Director of Communications, as a volunteer coordinator, communicating with our new online volunteers. Julia has been reading CESJ’s basic materials, and analyzing the differences between “mainstream economics” and binary economics as she takes economics courses.
• New CESJ Board Members. CESJ welcomes Eugene Gordon and Rick Osbourne to our Board of Directors. Both Gene and Rick have been working to spread the message of the Just Third Way and the Capital Homesteading proposal to their communities and audiences. Gene is also the founder and executive director of Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice, based in St. Louis, Missouri (www.das4esj.org). His group, a strategic partner of CESJ is reaching out to the local community to develop a model of Capital Homesteading that would apply the discount power of the St. Louis Federal Reserve to create equal capital ownership opportunities for every person, from birth until death. Rick Osbourne is the creator of Joe Lunchbuckett, who ran a virtual campaign for President on the Capital Homestead plan.
• CESJ Student Chapter. Jasmine Y., a student at Frostburg State University, is looking into starting a student chapter of CESJ. She wants to organize a group for the next round of Justice University Just Third Way orientation sessions.
• Economic Coercion. In what may be the best argument for Capital Homesteading ever, regardless of your political affiliation or lack thereof, a majority of people are afraid to voice their real opinions for fear of losing their jobs. Significant percentages of both liberals and conservatives favor terminating the employment of people who contribute money to individuals or causes with which they disagree, or who hold unpopular opinions. Within a wage system in which the vast majority of people are dependent on the goodwill of others simply to remain employed, terminating or prohibiting employment based on personal opinions of any kind is a serious offense against human dignity. Yet that is what is happening in the current economic and political climate, according to a recent Cato Institute survey.
• U.S. Economy Down, Dow is Up. Demonstrating what happens to an economy that focuses on consumption over production (or, in the case of Japan, that focuses on production over consumption), the U.S. economy has suffered an “enormous contraction” . . . yet the stock market keeps rising instead of plunging to match real production and consumption. When people consume without producing (or produce without consuming), the economy goes out of sync and Say’s Law of Markets does not function. Only by making it possible for everyone who consumes to produce, and for everyone who produces to consume, can an economy be healthy and sustainable. This, in turn, can only happen in an advanced economy when you have Capital Homesteading or the equivalent.
Just Third Way Definition
Often we get into discussions about the meaning of basic terms. A regular feature will be a definition or two, possibly sometimes three, if they are short and related, e.g., the three principles of economic justice. To kick off this series of Just Third Way definitions, we thought it would be best to start off with —
What is “the Just Third Way”? The Just Third Way is a free market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through the democratization of money and credit for new production, with universal access to direct ownership of income-producing capital. This socio-economic paradigm offers the logical “third alternative” to the two predominant socio-economic paradigms today — capitalism and socialism/communism.
In capitalism, economic power and private ownership of capital are concentrated in a small percentage of the population (i.e., a few own). In socialism/communism, the state owns and/or controls productive capital (i.e., nobody owns). In the Just Third Way, widespread dispersion of capital ownership functions as the economic check against the potential for corruption and abuse, including by the government. Restoration of the full rights of property and extension of private property to every individual, serves as the basis for economic democracy, the necessary foundation for effective political democracy.
The Just Third Way differs markedly from other versions of the “Third Way,” such as the version espoused by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, which attempt to give moral legitimacy to the Wall Street capitalist approach to economic globalization and blends political democracy with economic plutocracy.
The new paradigm views as a virtue healthy self-interest (i.e., where individual good is directed toward, or in harmony with, the common good). It views greed and envy, on the other hand, as vices, both destructive of a moral and just society. In contrast to capitalism which institutionalizes greed, or socialism which institutionalizes envy, the “Just Third Way” institutionalizes justice.
In this section we will link to an important article that we think is of interest to readers. We won’t include the full article, just the title and a lead paragraph or two:
Universalizing Capital Ownership
How Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Can Renew the Post-Pandemic Economy
America and the rest of the global community face a health and economic disaster on the scale of a world war. Unlike violent wars, the isolation policies needed in today’s COVID-19 war have prevented millions of workers from leaving their homes and physically working together to produce essential services, medical technologies and medicines needed to defeat the coronavirus. . . .
Read More of “Universalizing Capital Ownership”
Video of the Month
In this section we will present a long or short video that we think you will find of interest. This month, of course, we couldn’t do better than our short piece on “People and Things”:
• Letters to Candidates. Consider writing a letter to candidates running for national office to introduce them to the idea of the Just Third Way as a possible economic (and political) vision for this or any other country’s future.
• New Book Endorsements. We’re coming out with a new book on economic personalism very soon. Do you know anyone of note or an institution that might be interested in giving us an endorsement? If so, consider approaching that individual or organization and asking if they would like a complimentary copy, and let us know who and where to send it, either the ebook link or hard copy. It doesn’t matter if they are “liberal” or “conservative,” as long as they care about helping make a better life for everyone.
• Surrender to Your Muse. Send us your cartoons, links to your videos, articles, and so on. Anything that has a direct connection to the Just Third Way will be considered, and credit will be given.
• News Items. Submit brief news items. We can use them for the weekly News from the Network as well as the monthly newsletter format, so don’t be stingy or shy.
Evidently Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler were not the first “Kelso and Adler” pairing in history. While searching through the newspaper archives of the Library of Congress for any mention of their two collaborations (The Capitalist Manifesto, 1958, and The New Capitalists, 1961), we came across mention of previous Kelso and Adler teams, or at least mentions!
From the Chicago Tribune of August 22, 1880, page 7: Jockeys named Kelso and Adler were tied with three victories each:
Thus far this season the list of principal winning jockeys is as follows, the number of victories to the credit of each one being given: . . . . Kelso, Pope, Hollaway, Barboc, Adler, and Fisher, 3 each.
From the Washington, DC, Evening Star of August 10, 1895, page 2, the Smithsonian sent their Kelso and Adler team to meet with librarians on their way to a conference:
LIBRARIANS EN ROUTE. The eastern delegation to the annual convention of the American Library Association, which is to be held at Denver August 12 to 19, passed through the city yesterday morning. . . . After breakfast at the Ebbitt House the librarians were met by . . . Miss Tessa L. Kelso, Dr. Cyrus Adler of the Smithsonian.
• 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 22 different countries and 39 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 30,” “A Language Lesson,” “Karl Marx, the Great Reductionist,” “What Do You Mean by ‘Distributism’?” and “JTW Podcast: Communism, Part I: The Groundwork.”
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 incivility in the past on the part of some commentators, we have disabled comments.