Friday, March 5, 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
In his book, Enthusiasm (1950), Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox (1888-1957) noted what he called the “ultrasupernaturalist” or enthusiastic tendency to subordinate everything, especially the precepts of the natural law, to one’s desires and personal interpretation of something accepted as God’s Will . . . or one’s personal will, if he or she happens to be a self-contained deity.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Be warned: today’s posting gets into philosophy, which we define as “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.” Having a philosophy means that you have some framework for understanding what you know (why you know something), what’s real and what’s not real, and whether or not you exist. Not caring about these things is as much a philosophy as discussing them at great length.
Monday, March 1, 2021
In something of a change of pace, this week’s video begins a series based on the new book, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, which can be purchased or downloaded free by following the link. This week we have an introduction to the subject:
Friday, February 26, 2021
Another week has gone by with the world enslaved to the Keynesian concept of the absolute necessity of past savings to finance new capital formation and economic growth, and the related Keynesian idea that to stimulate consumer demand you need to flood the world with fiat money backed only by government debt. And the result? Little actual capital formation, spreading poverty, and massive government debt. Is there a better way? Yes. The Economic Democracy Act. In the meantime:
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Whether or not anyone realizes it, everyone has a philosophy of some sort. To understand the Great Reset, it is essential to know the philosophy behind it.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Analyzing the Great Reset is made more difficult by the fact that, like Pope Saint Pius X’s comment about modernism, it is presented “without order and systematic arrangement” (Pascendi Dominici Gregis, § 4) in a loose, even chaotic manner. Rhetoric plays to the emotions, and goals are stated in vague terms that leave far too much to personal interpretation and imagination on the part of both adherents and opponents.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Individuals and groups promoting the Great Reset appear to be motivated by a genuine concern for the future of humanity and of the planet. In our experience, however, that simply adds to the seriousness of the problem. It shifts the basis of argument away from knowledge and reason based on the intellect, to opinion and faith based on the will.
Monday, February 22, 2021
This week’s video podcast contains material with which we may not agree, and that CESJ cannot as a non-political/interfaith 501(c)(3) in any way endorse or promote, but the sections on private property are both useful and informative — this is an "informational" not an "advisory" video. The mention of Fulton Sheen is also interesting:
Friday, February 19, 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
This week’s video podcast is a slight change of pace: Steve Cunningham interviews Norman Kurland and they discuss the Just Third Way:
Friday, February 12, 2021
In a not unexpected development, the Biden administration is rushing headlong into pumping money into the economy, thereby making a bad situation worse and creating a spiral that requires continuous emergency measures that never normalize the situation. Even the much-touted calls for “unity” seem to redefine the term as submission to injustice for the sake of order and peace instead of a genuine development of solidarity:
Thursday, February 11, 2021
At first it was touted as David versus Goliath — the “GameStop Mania,” which bore a striking resemblance to a number of other events in history chronicled by Charles MacKay in his 1841 classic, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. The price of the shares of a company pretty much off the map was bid up and down in a speculative frenzy ostensibly intended to teach the Big Money Wall Street Élite (BMWSE) a lesson in humility.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we saw how “the theory of certitude” — essentially a variation on Neo-Platonism (bet you never thought you’d see that term in a blog posting) — gave many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, a very wrong and even contradictory understanding of “papal infallibility.” By assuming the pope has the power to create new truth in all areas instead of discerning existing truth restricted to faith and morals, Félicité de Lamennais and subsequent modernists (both reactionary and radical) set up a Catch-22 for themselves.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Félicité de Lamennais dismissed individual reason and claimed that truth resides only in the general reason as the result of direct revelation from God. Consequently, something is true because someone believes it; it is not believed because it is true. This requires a central religious authority — the pope — to determine truth and communicate it to believers.
Monday, February 8, 2021
This week’s video podcast is the fourth and final installment of a four-part series on “Economic Personalism versus The Great Reset”. Again, this is loosely related to the book, Economic Personalism, but it is more in the nature of a somewhat informal conversation about applying the principles of economic personalism to a specific situation. Today we look at what we’d like to say to Pope Francis if we happen to have a meeting with him any time soon:
Friday, February 5, 2021
Thursday, February 4, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, l’abbe Hugues Félicité Robert de Lamennais and two friends, Charles Forbes René de Montalembert and Jean-Baptiste Henri Dominique Lacordaire, calling themselves “the Pilgrims of God and Liberty” had gone to Rome in the early months of the pontificate of Gregory XVI to meet with him and get a papal endorsement of their activities.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, contrary to the common sense approach that the common good should be structured so that people can meet their own needs through their own efforts, the principle of the New Christian Prophet Henri de Saint-Simon was that the whole of society should be dedicated to taking care of people, that simply because they exist, people have an absolute right to everything they need, and sometimes what they want . . . which effectively abolishes private property in both labor and capital.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
In working to advance the cause of human dignity and understanding of social justice, it has become increasingly clear over the past several decades (yes, decades) not only that people are a little unclear as to the meaning of human dignity and social justice, they are also more than a little vague about what constitutes charity and justice . . . without which respect for human dignity is only so much noise.
Monday, February 1, 2021
This week’s video podcast is the third installment of a four-part series on “Economic Personalism versus The Great Reset”. While this is loosely related to the book, Economic Personalism, it is more in the nature of a somewhat informal conversation about applying the principles of economic personalism to a specific situation. Today we look at why who pays for something has the right to control it.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
This past Tuesday (January 26, 2021), Mr.* Joseph Pearce presented the second half of a talk on G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man (1925). The talk, given under the aegis of the Institute of Catholic Culture, was sponsored by Christendom College.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the two main problems with Keynesian monetary theory. To summarize, these are, one, the amount of money (understood by Keynes as limited exclusively to government-created currency) in the economy is determined by political needs, not economic or financial. Two, all money should be backed by government debt instead of private sector hard assets.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, I expressed my disappointment at Dr. Joseph Pearce’s ignoring a question I submitted twice. The question was germane to the topic — Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s 1925 book, The Everlasting Man — and was, in fact, related to the whole focus of Chesterton’s life and work. As I asked,
Monday, January 25, 2021
This week’s video podcast is the second installment of a four-part series on “Economic Personalism versus The Great Reset”. Again, this is loosely related to the book, Economic Personalism, but is more in the nature of a somewhat informal conversation about applying the principles of economic personalism to a specific situation.
Friday, January 22, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
On Tuesday evening, January 19, 2021, I was privileged to listen to an on-line lecture by the Great Joseph Pearce, as he was introduced. Sponsored by the Institute of Catholic Culture, the talk was the first in a two-part series on G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man (1925). As Dr. Pearce has something of a reputation as a Chesterton scholar, I expected to hear something that might deepen my understanding of this unique individual. Not that all individuals aren’t unique, of course, but Chesterton made a career of it.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed by noting that, if new capital formation cannot take place without savings (which have never not only not denied, but freely admit), and yet we’ve demonstrated beyond the shadow of any doubt whatsoever that existing savings cannot possibly account for the vast amount of capital that exists in the modern world, where on Earth did the financing come from?
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
It’s common to say when something bad happens that “It could be worse.” Of course it could be worse. It could also be better. Anybody can make something worse. The real trick is to make something better.
Monday, January 18, 2021
For the video podcast this week, we have the first installment of a four-part series on “Economic Personalism versus The Great Reset”. This is loosely related to the book, Economic Personalism, but is more in the nature of a somewhat informal conversation about applying the principles of economic personalism to a specific situation.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Some interesting developments have happened this week, some of which make the so-called “new normal” sound an awful lot like the old normal (or, from the Just Third Way point of view, the old abnormal). Be that as it may, it remains the case that things are not as bad as they seem (nor are they worse), and people will realize this as soon as they recognize the potential of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism to bring about effective, just change:
Thursday, January 14, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the global debt crisis has reached epic proportions. Naturally, this is being blamed on the pandemic, but that ignores the fact that the situation existed long before the pandemic. This “suggests” (to put it mildly) that the pandemic simply exposed the rather large flaws in the existing system and exacerbated an already bad situation.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Back in 1943, as Keynesian monetary policy was completing its first decade, Dr. Harold Glenn Moulton, president of the Brookings Institution, published a pamphlet, The New Philosophy of Public Debt. Although today Brookings is solid Keynesian in its approach, while Moulton was at the helm it presented an alternative to what many regarded as Keynes’s unwise, even dangerous monetary and fiscal policy.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we presented some of the “policy objectives” of the Economic Democracy Act. Today we conclude our discussion by presenting another batch. There are more than those listed in these two blog postings, of course, but this is enough to start:
Monday, January 11, 2021
On today’s video podcast, we bring you a book review/interview on CESJ’s latest publication, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Citizen. The book just came out litter over a month aga, but is already beginning to make a splash:
Friday, January 8, 2021
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Following up on yesterday’s blog posting, today we take a look at some of the policy objectives of what we call “the Economic Democracy Act.” To meet Social Security and Medicare entitlements, and provide for their eventual phasing out as the mainstay of retirement income for most Americans, and to shift the Federal Government’s role from today’s income redistribution policies to the more limited and healthy role of encouraging economic justice through free enterprise growth, the Economic Democracy Act would:
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we criticized the so-called “Great Reset” on the grounds that it really wouldn’t do anything other than exaggerate the flaws in the current system. In our opinion, the socialized capitalism (or capitalized socialism) of the Great Reset doesn’t do anything except accelerate the alienation of human persons from society.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Back in 1912, Hilaire Belloc wrote what many consider to be his best book, The Servile State. Belloc emphasized that he was referring not to socialism or capitalism, per se, but to what we today in the Just Third Way loosely label “the wage system.” It was Belloc’s megablast against the Fabian socialism that he saw taking over the British Empire.
Monday, January 4, 2021
Yes, this is about the Just Third Way, too. Remember the podcast on Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World? A few years later, Benson was annoyed that people insisted on taking his satire as “prophecy” that he decided to write The Dawn of All, a “counterblast” (his word), in which everything in Lord of the World was flipped on its head.