Today we present the second half of our annual Just Third Way news roundup, with, however, a slightly more cheery current item than we had last week:
Friday, December 31, 2021
Thursday, December 30, 2021
One thing about working in the field of theoretical and practical economics is that you get to hear all the really dumb things people say about money and credit. Almost as bad on occasion, and often worse (if you know anything about military science), are the things you hear about war. That’s why one of the worst movies of all time — at least from a moral point of view — has got to be Wall Street (1987).
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
In a piece in this past Monday’s Washington Post, “China’s Contradictory Messages on Democracy and Hong Kong” (12/27/21, A-15), Keith B. Richburg of the University of Hong Kong noted how the People’s Republic of China is talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to democracy. We agree, although not perhaps in the same way as Mr. Richburg.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Our previous posting on this subject was an expansion of a comment we made on an article, “Catholics and Race in American History,” on the website of the Catholic World Report, a Catholic webzine. We thought we were agreeing with the author, Kevin Schmiesing, but adding a few interesting tidbits we’ve uncovered in our research as well as a little analysis of our own.
Monday, December 27, 2021
William Cobbett (1763-1835) Was an English “Radical” politician, journalist and social commentator revered by many “Chestertonians” as “the Apostle of Distributism,” what G.K. Chesterton defined as a policy of widely distributed small property, with a preference for family-owned farms and businesses.
Friday, December 24, 2021
Ordinarily we don’t post anything substantive on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, but (as it does every couple of years or so) both fall on the day we annually reserve for our news roundup for the year. Before we begin with the items from the first half of the year, however, we have some sad news for friends of the Just Third Way:
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Recently an article appeared on Catholic World Report, “Catholics and Race in American History,” the point of which seemed to be to excuse a presumed lack of action by the Catholic Church in failing to condemn slavery while it was legal, and present a sterling record of condemning racism ever since. The problem with the article was that it missed certain things that would have made the institutional Catholic Church look a lot better than it did, while making individual Catholics look a lot worse.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, we saw that the New Deal really had nothing to do with any natural law-based approach to social thought, or even “supernatural law” approach, either, if we accept Dorothy Day’s strictures about the dangers of giving “Holy Mother, the State” such overwhelming power.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
To this day there are people who insist that the “New Deal” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt not only saved the United States from the Great Depression (ahem, Part III, there having been two previous phases, the first from 1873 to 1878, the second from 1893 to 1898), it was also THE perfect social program and should be duplicated today as in (for example) the so-called “Green New Deal.”
Monday, December 20, 2021
In this week’s podcast we bring you the 2010 Keynote Address given by Norman Kurland, president of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, giving the reasons why we need what we were then calling the Capital Homestead Act, but are now calling the Economic Democracy Act:
Friday, December 17, 2021
As we plan on starting our annual two-part news roundup next week, this is the final “real time” News from the Network for this year. As you can see, not too much is going on that is any different from prior weeks, making it increasingly obvious that we need the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Recently we saw a tweet or twit or whatever-you-call-’em stating that the terms “student debt” and “medical debt” should be eliminated, as no one should have to go into debt in order to get an education or be healthy. We couldn’t figure out, however, whether the poster meant that people should pay only what they can for schooling and healthcare, or it should all be free, i.e., paid for by somebody else, usually the State meaning everybody else.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the dominance of Msgr. John A. Ryan over the interpretation of social teaching — achieved by shifting from reason to faith (meaning personal opinion heavily influenced by socialism) — meant that any who opposed socialism were ipso facto heretics instead of simply mistaken or even right when Ryan was wrong. Ryan’s influence even extended to having his students hint that Fulton Sheen was a “traitor to Christ” for saying things that Ryan didn’t want to hear.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, through some very skillful salesmanship and philosophical sleight-of-hand, the whole understanding of “natural law” in the western tradition was overthrown in many circles through the efforts of the Fabian socialists and Msgr. John A. Ryan of the Catholic University of America in the first half of the twentieth century. Nor did matters stop at mere theorizing.
Monday, December 13, 2021
This week’s podcast is an old video from 1983 of an interview with Louis O. Kelso, the lawyer-economist who invented the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and whose ideas were essential to the development of the Economic Democracy Act:
Friday, December 10, 2021
It is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone except those in politics and academia that the Same Old Thing isn’t working. To cut to the chase, until and unless governments adopt the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act, matters are only going to get worse:
Thursday, December 9, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that, while the most popular interpretation of “Catholic social teaching” (really the natural law social teaching that applies to everyone, including atheists and anybody else who is a human being, regardless of faith or philosophy or lack thereof and how’s that for a run-on parenthetical?), and even considered “authoritative” — even though it contradicts the very authorities on which it bases its claims.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, one of the biggest shifts in thinking that has caused massive amounts of trouble over the past couple of centuries is the shift from reason, to faith in matters pertaining to the natural order. This sounds bad to atheists and agnostics, and good to (some) theists, but the simple fact is that it’s bad for everyone.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we related that Msgr. John A. Ryan changed the basis and understanding of the natural law from reason to faith. The problem there, of course, is that if the natural law is based on reason, it applies to every human being. If it is based on faith, it only applies to those who adhere to the faith that determines the natural law.
Monday, December 6, 2021
Today we have a video introducing “the Great Game of Business” and “Open Book Management.” Rather than try to explain here what these are, watch the short video, then correlate it with the Economic Democracy Act:
Friday, December 3, 2021
As of this writing, the Dow down more than 250 points on continuing worries about the effects of the new Omicron COVID-19 strain. Once again it demonstrates the fact that we need to get away from obsessing about what is essentially a fantasy world on Wall Street and focus on the real world of Main Street. To do that we need the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Thursday, December 2, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the different roles of faith and reason. To oversimplify somewhat, reason takes first place in matters pertaining to the natural world, while faith takes first place in matters pertaining to the supernatural world. At the same time, neither faith nor reason can contradict one another.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
As we saw in our last exciting episode, you can’t really understand or critique a system unless you understand the principles of the system. Despite that, many people today declare that they can change the fundamental principles of natural law within an Aristotelian system from reason-based, to faith-based.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Okay, a really big problem with moral relativism, which is the philosophical aspect of both capitalism and socialism. Moral relativism and socialist-capitalism (or capitalist-socialism, not really too much difference atwixt the two) both shift the understanding of the world from what can be proved by logical argument or observed by empirical evidence and go with a “faith”-based personal opinion that ends up being whatever those in power want it to be.
Monday, November 29, 2021
In our upcoming book, The Greater Reset from TAN Books, based on our earlier book, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person (2020), we talk about the benefits of worker ownership. One of the more successful (to put it mildly) worker-owned companies is Springfield Remanufacturing, which refurbishes engines, the sort of job that’s been moving out of the U.S. for decades.
Friday, November 26, 2021
As of this writing, the Dow has plunged more 1,000 points on news of a new COVID-19 strain in South America. In real terms, of course, it doesn’t mean anything, as a gain or loss in the stock market is only “real” when you sell the shares and lock in a loss or a gain. It does, however, illustrate the fact that we need to get away from obsessing about what is essentially a fantasy world on Wall Street and fovus on the real world of Main Street. To do that we need the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
If you’ve seen Monday’s podcast and yesterday’s blog posting, you may be starting to wonder if this is serious or if we made it all up. We can assure you that we’re completely serious and absolutely none of this stuff is made up. As the great biologist J.B.S. Haldane almost sort of said after the editors and science fiction writers got through with it, “The universe is not only stranger than we imagine; it is stranger than we can imagine.”
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Whenever the late, great Anna Russell related something so incredibly illogical or totally bizarre in the plot line of some opera or other, she would utter her tag line, which almost always brought down the house: “I’m not making this up, you know!” Well, neither are we . . . and what we’re saying would absolutely floor anyone who accepts opera plots without batting an eye.
Monday, November 22, 2021
Our upcoming book, The Greater Reset from TAN Books, and based on our earlier book, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person (2020), mentions the rather fantastic Ignatius Loyola Donnelly, who was a primary source for Madame Blavatsky's version of theosophy and a major influence on Msgr. John A. Ryan, whose ideas of distributive justice and private property undermined a natural law understanding of those ancient institutions and substituted socialism and fascism for personalist liberal democracy.
Friday, November 19, 2021
If there’s one thing evident from this week’s news items, it’s that most — if not all — of the experts don’t seem to understand money, credit, banking, or finance. Or basic human nature, for that matter. Clearly, if we want to restore sanity, we need the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Yes, communism. Although later followers and modern commentators would refer to the system invented by Étienne Cabet as socialism, he insisted that it was communism. To this day there is confusion regarding any meaningful distinction between the terms.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
If you want to be shunned at the club, tell the truth about a historical falsehood that virtually everyone accepts as unquestionably true. Take, for instance, the origins of socialism and its link to esoteric thought and the Occult, as demonstrated in the voluminous writings of Dr. Julian Strube of Heidelberg University (the one in Baden-Württemberg, not Ohio). Nowhere is this more evident than in the career of Alphonse-Louis Constant.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject — the “Democratic Religion” of Socialism — we saw that the ultimate goal of socialism was the complete overturn of traditional society and the implementation of what was usually called “the Kingdom of God on Earth,” a materialist terrestrial paradise. This was usually put in economic terms, frequently confusing people as to what the goal really was.
Monday, November 15, 2021
Today we have the final show in the ten-part series on the book, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person (2020). This episode covers what we call “the Five Levers of Change”: Education, Politics, Money and Credit, Taxation, and Technology.
Friday, November 12, 2021
This week’s news items focus on the value and role of human labor, particularly its replacement by advanced technology or cheaper foreign labor. The solution is not to raise wages articifically or redistribute, but to institute the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Thursday, November 11, 2021
We’ll be the first to admit that the term “environmental justice” causes something of a kneejerk reaction in us. That’s because, as some of its more vocal adherents insist, it means that “Nature” or “the Environment,” or “Gaia” or something else is a person and therefore has inherent rights that should not be violated.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
It seems that His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and current president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is creating a bit of a stir. Last week, on Thursday, November 4, 2021, he made comments (or “railed” or “ranted,” depending on who’s doing the reporting) branding “new social justice movements” as “pseudo religions” and “dangerous substitutes for true religion.”
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
If you google the term “social justice,” you will get a flood of results . . . few (if any) of which have an accurate definition or even description of the virtue. As a result, people generally go away with the same understanding they started with. If they thought social justice is another term for socialism, nothing changed their mind. If they thought that social justice means replacing individual justice with coercive, large-scale “charity” (actually redistribution), little was done to modify their position.
Monday, November 8, 2021
Friday, November 5, 2021
Most of what is happening in the world today is the best advertisement possible for the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act. The problem is that those who think that they are world leaders (or even just ordinary leaders) aren’t really doing leading or much else that is constructive. What the world needs now is not just love, but a way of realistically implementing justice fulfilled and completed by love:
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Monday, November 1, 2021
In view of the rather confused thinking in the U.S. Congress these days over how best to tax and for what reason, we found this video on the “Canons (or Principles) of Taxation.” The first four are those Adam Smith gave in The Wealth of Nations (1776), while the others were added later by other economists.
Friday, October 29, 2021
Congress and the President are still floundering about the gigantic budget that is getting whittled down day by day as the desperation increases, but nobody has any real answer or alternative . . . except the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and the Economic Democracy Act:
Thursday, October 28, 2021
As we noted in yesterday’s posting, there is a much better alternative to the proposed “Billionaire Tax” or the minimum corporate tax, which would tax corporations whether or not they made any income — another instance of taxing something that doesn’t exist. It starts to sound as if the game plan for the U.S. economy was drawn up by the Greeks . . . the modern Greeks, not those like Aristotle who knew that economic life centers on being productive and supporting human dignity and sovereignty with equality of opportunity and access to the means. He just didn’t work it out very well, but at least he had the right idea.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Monday, October 25, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021
What with the politicians fighting and the economists arguing, it might seem to you as if no progress is being made . . . and you’d be right — if by “progress” you mean that the politicians have decided to spend more money they don’t have, and the economists have figured out a way to get some of it . . . oops, we mean, present a socio-economic theory and econometric model demonstrating how essential it is that the politicians spend lots of money and that the economists get some of it. In the real world, however, progress continues to be made developing, refining and communicating these ideas:
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Today’s posting is in support of a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to defray the medical expenses of a “Soldier of Justice” who has devoted his life to creating a better world for everyone: Joe Recinos.
For more than five decades Joe Recinos has worked tirelessly throughout Central and South America, Africa, and Asia to advance a free market approach to economic justice for every person.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that as the “free land” of the 1862 Homestead Act ran out, the concentration of wealth accelerated. This, however, is pretty much built in to the assumption that new capital formation can only be financed by cutting consumption below what is produced.
Monday, October 11, 2021
Friday, October 8, 2021
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Monday, October 4, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
In addition to writing epic poems about Lepanto (the 450th anniversary of which is coming up next week on October 7, read all about it in this book), G.K. Chesterton wrote a series of short stories about “Father Brown” (no first name), a “priest detective,” who appears to have been the first in a more or less illustrious line of amateur clerical sleuths.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
The other day we got into a discussion with someone insisting that taxing gifts and inheritance is illegal, immoral, and fattening . . . or maybe just unjust. It doesn’t really matter; this individual just kept insisting that you cannot be for justice and at the same time tax inheritance. In addition, a few comments were made claiming that “person” doesn’t mean “that which has rights,” a somewhat problematical claim for an attorney.
Monday, September 13, 2021
“Human capital” is an interesting term. The “Investopedia” website defines it as “a loose term that refers to the educational attainment, knowledge, experience, and skills of an employee. The theory of human capital is relatively new in finance and economics. It states that companies have an incentive to seek productive human capital and to add to the human capital of their existing employees. Put another way, human capital is the concept that recognizes labor capital is not homogeneous.”
Friday, September 10, 2021
At the present time most people seem to be focused (at least in the economic realm) on income, rather than power. Maybe in difficult times that’s what people tend to do, but in the end it does boil down to whether you own, or are owned. That is why we support the Economic Democracy Act as the best alternative of which are aware to things like this:
Thursday, September 9, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that the difference between interest per se and usury is that interest is a legitimate sharing of profits on some equitable basis, while usury consists of taking a profit where no profit is due. Complicating understanding of this difference is the confusion between past savings and future savings, and the different types of money derived from each of them.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the type of money determines its proper use. Money that is created by reducing consumption in the past should be used for consumption in the present or the future, not to increase production.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject we took a look at a fundamental error in Keynesian economics, in all of the schools of economics based on the Currency Principle, in fact. That is the claim that production must exist before production can exist — the logical fallacy of reversing cause and effect, specifically, that you must refrain from consuming something before you can produce it.
Monday, September 6, 2021
Yes, we know that most people are celebrating Labor Day today, but we think it's more important at this stage to start pushing for capital ownership. After a;;, people produce with both capital and labor, so both should be acknowledged and encouraged
Friday, September 3, 2021
While the weather (at least in Northern Virginia) has taken a turn for the better, the same cannot be said about the world situation. In our opinion, that is not going to improve other than temporarily until and unless the Economic Democracy Act is passed:
Thursday, September 2, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, there are short term expedients that if implemented as permanent solutions impose a condition of dependency — slavery — on the great mass of people. This is not to say that such things as stimulus payments, redistribution, job creation, full employment, and so on, are not essential at times, but they are not the solutions that so many people seem to think.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the principal way in which people today can be fully productive members of society (and the economy) is to own capital as well as labor. Of course, that only matters if you view all people as fully human instead of lesser beings or things to be taken care of.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Say’s Law of Markets is usually summarized as “Production equals income, therefore, supply generates its own demand, and demand, its own supply. Unless, however, you understand or even are just generally familiar with the full explanation of Say’s Law, it’s likely that you will either misunderstand it or reject it outright.
Monday, August 30, 2021
This week we feature “Great Books” philosopher Mortimer J. Adler speaking on the United States Constitution of 1787. Adler taught “Philosophy of Law” at the University of Chicago law school, and William Winslow Crosskey (Politics and the Constitution in the History of the United States, 1953) taught “Constitutional Law” there.
Friday, August 27, 2021
We hate to keep sounding the same note all the time, but many of the problems the world is currently facing would not even be a blip on the radar if the Economic Democracy Act had been passed when it was first proposed, whether then-Governor Reagan’s call for an “Industrial Homestead Act,’ or even Louis Kelso’s 1967 Accelerated Capital Expansion Act. No, it’s not a panacea; we’d still have problems, but they would be of a more manageable size. Until then, however:
Thursday, August 26, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, redefining a natural right means that you are, in effect, redefining what it means to be human. That’s because natural law is based on human nature, so redefining its principles effectively redefines what it means to be human.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, quite a few people in the world don’t really know the legal definition of “person” . . . although they probably think they do. That can cause one or two (billion) problems.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
If you want to develop a solution to what’s going on in the world today, you have to start with the human person. If something — such as a “Great Reset” — does not tend to the good of a human being as a human being, then it cannot be said to be good.
Monday, August 23, 2021
This particular podcast comes with a little caveat. We agree with what Dr. Robert Ashford says, but not necessarily how he says it, e.g., he uses the term “capitalism” when we prefer “economic personalism.” Other than that, you won’t find too many differences, so this audio recording should be of great interest, at least the first part:
Friday, August 20, 2021
Thursday, August 19, 2021
One of the problems with modern life is the extreme compartmentalization that has accompanied the development of what G.K. Chesterton called “the Double Mind of Man.” What Chesterton meant is the not-so-modern practice of accepting contradiction.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
If you want to trigger a violent discussion in pretty much any forum, you don’t need to drag in politics, religion, or even the Great Pumpkin. No all you need is to mention social justice. Regardless how you define it, somebody else will tell you that you’re wrong and everything you say is a lie, not to mention stupid, vindictive, ignorant, stupid, vicious, stupid, malicious, stupid and just plain stupid. And that’s when they’re being polite about it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
A short time ago
we looked over the website of an organization ostensibly dedicated to promoting
solidarity and solidarism as the solution to the ills of the world. Intrigued, we looked the website over carefully. After a bit, we noticed something distinctly
odd. The organization talked a lot about
solidarity . . . but didn’t define it anywhere! We won't embarrass them by posting a link or revealing their Secret Identity.
Monday, August 16, 2021
What are the four things that, in our opinion, an economy needs in order to be considered just? You can probably guess the first one right away: widespread private property in capital. And the other three? 1) A limited economic role for the State, 2) free and open markets, and 3) restoration of the rights 0of private property:
Friday, August 13, 2021
We could probably sum up all of today’s news items (except our lament that LeVar Burton was not selected as host of Jeopardy) just by saying that the money system is screwed up. Since that would hardly fill trhe page, here are some specific reasons we have for saying that:
Thursday, August 12, 2021
If you want to baffle and outrage both socialists and capitalists — kin under the skin more than either group realizes — tell them that it is possible to have expanded capital ownership without either redefining ownership or redistributing what belongs to others. Socialists will bellow that you cannot have widespread ownership without changing the meaning of ownership, while capitalists will shriek that the only way others can own anything is to take it from them.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed by noting that at some point the noted lawyer-economist Louis O. Kelso asked himself the questions (probably not in these exact words), “If advancing technology makes such superabundance possible, why is it essential for people to have employers to pay them wages for labor that is not necessary for production?”
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
One of the many paradoxes involved in the Great Reset and similar proposals has to do with human nature and the natural law. As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, despite centuries of failure adherents insist that the abolition of private property and redistribution will work if we just manage to change human nature, try harder, and commit sufficient resources to the effort.
Monday, August 9, 2021
Friday, August 6, 2021
If there is one word to describe the current world situation, it is “surreal.” One of the problems has been that for more than two-hundred years the idea has been gaining ground that “humanity” (an abstraction) is far more important than humans. That sort of thinking is the basis of capitalism, socialism, “ultrasupernaturalism” (what Msgr. Ronald Knox defined as an excess of charity that causes disunity), and “New Age” thinking. Many people today think they can create truth rather than work to discover it. It’s so much easier to impose your created truth on others rather than do the hard work of conforming to reality. Maybe that’s why people still haven’t caught on to the Just Third Way . . . it’s too much work.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Ironically, it is not out of the realm of possibility that had Theodore Roosevelt won the 1912 U.S. Presidential election, World War I might never have occurred. It might also have occurred to Judge Peter S. Grosscup and the Rough Rider that when the Federal Reserve was finally established in 1914, here was the desperately needed source of financing that could open access to ownership by all Americans of America’s vast corporate wealth without the necessity of past savings and without redistribution or taxation.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Sometimes we’re tempted to paraphrase Vince Lombardi (even if he didn’t actually say it) and say that money isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. We’d be completely wrong, of course, but money — properly understood — is such a key element of any economy that it’s easy to make that kind of mistake.
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, we believe it is a fundamental principle of economic personalism that every human being is a person, and as such should be both a producer or creator and a consumer — a binary relationship, integral to personalism itself. The right to consume is rarely questioned (at least out loud), but what doesn’t seem to cross people’s minds is the need for everyone to be productive. Each person should have access to the means of employing both labor and capital to do so.
Monday, August 2, 2021
Here is a video review of Mortimer Adler’s “the Great Ideas” books by “Andrew the Red.” There’s some good stuff here about the state of education today and how difficult it is to get an actual education:
Friday, July 30, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
It may have a somewhat lengthy name — the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism — but it is much more straightforward and logical than people living in a world soaked in Keynesian Kraziness might suppose. In the previous posting on this subject, we noted how many (although not all) aspects of life are “binary” and tend either to be in balance or try to move toward a balance to function properly. This, naturally enough, led us to economic personalism, which is based on an application of binary economics.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
At the end of the previous posting on this subject, we asked the question, “what is the meaning of life within the Just Third Way?” This came up because during their (in)famous 1927 debate, “Do We Agree?” (the answer to which, as Hilaire Belloc pointed out, is “no”), G.B. Shaw claimed that the only thing that mattered is income (i.e., consumption power and material wellbeing), regardless how you get it.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
To answer that question briefly — and accurately — no, “we” don’t . . . if by “we” is meant G.K. Chesterton and G.B. Shaw. The reference is to their final, er, “debate (for want of a better word) in November of 1927.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Whether carrying out individual or social acts of virtue, the ordinary means of economically empowering persons both as individuals and as members of groups is private property in capital. Recognizing equal access to private property in productive capital as a universal human right is a crucial difference between economic personalism and both capitalism and socialism. (Laborem Exercens, §§ 14-15.)
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the concept of personalism from an Aristotelian-Thomist perspective is based on the sovereignty of the human person under God. It includes five key characteristics:
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, any “social teaching” that does not respect the dignity of every human person, that interpretation is by definition incorrect or faulty. Admittedly, we’ve been picking on Catholic social teaching, but that’s only because the Catholic Church has the most comprehensive — and misunderstood, even by (or especially) by Catholics — body of social thought in the world today, at least from a personalist point of view.
Monday, July 19, 2021
This past Thursday, a Justice University team participated in a webinar presented by the International Association for Peace and Economic Development (IAED) on “The Just Third Way: Universalizing Capital Ownership. Presenting the case for the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism were Dr. Norman Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice, Dawn K. Brohawn, Director of Communications for CESJ, and Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research:
Friday, July 16, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, we saw how the “personalism” of Pope John Paul II fit into the broader framework of social virtue, particularly social justice . . . which is not socialism, however much some confused people insist that it is.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the idea that many people have of social justice today is not entirely accurate. It does not mean replacing individual justice and charity with redistribution, even if you call it social justice. Social justice means, rather, reform of institutions of the common good to enable the individual virtues once again to function as intended.
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, by the beginning of the nineteenth century it had become obvious that the old individualist way of doing things was insufficient, and by the end of the nineteenth century it was just as obvious that the collectivist way was even worse. The only thing left was what most people simply couldn’t get a handle on: the personalist way of doing things.
Monday, July 12, 2021
Just in case you were wondering what real economic justice looks like — it has three principles that it must embody if it is to be considered “just.” Hint: “economic justice” does not mean “redistribution.”
Friday, July 9, 2021
As the global situation continues to heat up in everything but a good way, world leaders seem more intent than ever on keeping old and failed programs going instead of implementing something that actually works and has been proven to work: the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism:
Thursday, July 8, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, individual and social virtue are two different things, and each has a specific job to do that complements, but does not replace, the other. Individual virtue is directed to the good of individuals, of human persons. Social virtue is directed to the common good, that is, the institutional environment within which human persons realize their individual good.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the possibly confusingly-named “Reign of Christ the King ain’t exactly what it sounds like. It begs for a bit of explanation — which is what today’s posting is about.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we saw that while God made the world, he didn’t create human society. Human beings did that, so it’s no use blaming Him for what’s going wrong. If there’s something wrong, it’s up to us to fix it. The only question is how . . . especially when we discover that individually we are pretty helpless to effect changes in the social order. What happens then?
Monday, July 5, 2021
Many people today claim to see no use in philosophy . . . which is itself a philosophy! This week we take a look at what Mortimer Adler, the “Great Books” philosopher, thought about Socrates. You might find it interesting . . . and we won’t make you take a snort of hemlock if you don’t agree, either!
Friday, July 2, 2021
Attention, all Savoyards and admirers of the Bard of Avon. Be careful how you quote or even if you quote. The degree of cultural illiteracy in the world is rising faster than the mercury in Death Valley at noon in summer. You also might want to be wary of reading books like Huckleberry Finn, Brideshead Revisited, Tarzan of the Apes, Gone With the Wind, or anything that mentions You-Know-Who or You-Know-What, so whatever you say, say nothing:
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Can you force people to be virtuous?
The quick and easy answer to that question is no, you cannot. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.” (Address at Western Michigan University, December 18, 1963.)
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, people whom Msgr. Ronald A. Knox labeled “enthusiasts” have a definite tendency not only to think themselves better than everyone else and separate from such ungodly ones, but often have a strong tendency to act on it in a more forceful manner when the ungodly refuse to accept guidance or act, think, or believe the “right” way.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, how we understand the meaning and purpose of life has a significant effect on our thinking. If we think that this life is primarily or solely to establish a perfect world — what the early socialists called “the Kingdom of God on Earth” — then anything that gets in the way of building a perfect society can and must be eliminated. The end justifies the means.
Monday, June 28, 2021
. . . Or as it should be. As Francis Bacon put it, “What is truth? said the jesting Pilate and would not stay for an answer.” According to J.M. Bochenski, O.P. in The Methods of Contemporary Thought, truth is that which conforms to reality. As for Mortimer Adler:
Friday, June 25, 2021
We start off today’s news items with the CESJ Bookstore, which you might want to patronize. If you can’t see anything, evidently you have to turn off some kind of ad blocker and you get everything. The other big concern is China, which makes up the bulk of this week’s Just Third Way news . . . even though what China is doing can hardly be called just. Consider it a warning:
Thursday, June 24, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council in economic terms was intended to solidify and carry out the program that had been developed to counter socialism: foster a state of society characterized by widespread capital ownership. Socialism had by the time of the Council so permeated understanding of the Church’s natural law social teachings, however, that the “modernists,” as they were inappropriately called, were able to turn an administrative event into a revolution.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the backwash from the Second Vatican Council didn’t really have much to do with what most people think of as “religion,” but with seizing the opportunity to advance a relatively new concept of religion that had been messing things up for the previous century and a half.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, private property is so important to a just society that it was included in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 17), for which Pope Pius XII had been pushing and was joined by none other than Eleanor Roosevelt.
Monday, June 21, 2021
After a short hiatus, the series based on the book Economic Personalism is back. And don’t forget that the book is available for free in e-format. This particular episode seems to have generated some very positive comments, e.g.,
Friday, June 18, 2021
With all the craziness going on in the world, you’d think there was nothing to be hopeful about. You’d be right, if it wasn’t for the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism. Fortunately, however, matters have not yet come to the point where nothing can be done:
Thursday, June 17, 2021
We’re tempted to begin this posting with our usual, “As we said in the previous posting on this subject” . . . so we will yield to temptation and begin by saying that in the previous posting on this subject, we asked the question whether material wellbeing is the sole end of existence, such as the Fabians and other socialists claimed, or if there was something more.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got the New Deal implemented using some rather shady tactics. Don’t just take our word for it, however. Anyone who wants to get a somewhat different perspective than is given in the Keynesian history books and current political rhetoric can read, e.g., Amity Shlaes’s The Forgotten Man (2009). She’s obsessed with the stock market as somehow being an economic indicator, but don’t let that stop you from the getting the real value the book has to offer.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Catholics — or at least some of them — finally seem to have made the grade and become part of the mainstream by the 1930s . . . depending on what is meant by “mainstream” and a few other things, like “making the grade.” With Msgr. John Ryan and Fr. Charles Coughlin leading the way, however, everything looked just peachy-keeno.
Monday, June 14, 2021
The current discussion over the next Jeopardy host (and why NOT LeVar Burton?), underscores the problem with what many people think education is today: training people to be technicians and for jobs that no longer exist. We would disagree with Adler’s use of the word “men,” but not with his meaning: Academia is not educating people, buyt training and indoctrinating them:
Friday, June 11, 2021
There are some very interesting news items this week, many of which reveal widespread misunderstanding regarding the nature of money. Many people talk about it, but very few seem to have any real idea what it is. To lighten things up a little, however, we lead off with a free plug for the CESJ Bookstore, which you really should visit:
Thursday, June 10, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, serious efforts had been made to try and deal with the rapid spread of socialism and moral relativism in both Church and State, but very little had been effective. It seems that when dealing with the worldly, St. Paul was right about being as sly as serpents — albeit still honest and truthful — for adherents of the new things have never let truth or even common civility stand in their way.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Fulton J. Sheen in the United States, and G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc in the United Kingdom locked horns early on with the forces of socialism and moral relativism, and were in many respects neutralized. If you asked most people what it was that the American Chesterton and the English Sheen were most concerned with, you would very likely get quite a number of answers, few of which would mention socialism or moral relativism.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we related how Fulton Sheen was called to the Catholic University of America to deal with the problem of socialism and moral relativism that had taken over the university. The problem was that Bishop Shahan, who brought Sheen in to fix the problem, retired in 1927, and the situation quickly degenerated.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Mortimer Adler once made the point that trying to decide whether you’re happy or have had a happy life is not a question that can be answered until you’ve reached the end of it. Nevertheless, there are people who will sacrifice everything (usually other people) in order to get what they want, thinking it will bring them happiness . . . or what they think is happiness.
Friday, June 4, 2021
It seems to baffle people why we have a great and glorious economic recovery and yet most people don’t seem to be any better off than they were before. Of course, there is the little matter of how “recovery” is being defined, and who actually is benefitting . . . and whether said recovery is all on paper (or just in the papers), but these are trivial details that matter only to the 99% who don’t have access to the means of becoming and remaining capital owners:
Thursday, June 3, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at how Msgr. John A. Ryan, the Fabians, and other heirs to the mantle of Henry George worked to extend George’s thought from land to all forms of capital, and from George’s focus on the United States and Ireland to the world. In addition, Émile Durkheim captured sociology and invented solidarism to oppose Although the victory of socialism seemed inevitable, however, it did not go unchallenged.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we reviewed the influence of Henry George on the Fabian Society, and the influence of the Fabian Society. Nor was the Fabian Society the only group influenced by George, and that influenced others, including groups and individuals in the Catholic Church. More immediate in its effect on understanding of social justice — or, rather, misunderstanding — was the power wielded by Monsignor John A. Ryan of the Catholic University of America.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
They say that the easiest way to hide something is in open sight; with a hat tip to Samuel Rosenberg’s 1974 Sherlockian showcase (okay, you find a better one), “naked is the best disguise.” In other words, be so obvious about what you’re doing that nobody will believe you really mean it . . like the Fabian Society adopting the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” as their emblem, telling people they were going to make everybody socialist, but just call it something else. . . .
Monday, May 31, 2021
And now for something completely different . . . but not really. This week we bring you a lecture by Dr. Damien P. Fedoryka, who at one time gave us a few good words on our compendium, Curing World Poverty (1994), whose concept of “gift” seems to come closer to what we discussed in our most recent book, Economic Personalism, than some of what is floating around as “the economy of gift” and a few other things:
Friday, May 28, 2021
Of course, proponents of raising the minimum wage insist that if prospective employers would pay more, they’d have all the workers they need. The downside, of course, is that at some point it becomes cheaper to outsource or replace human beings with robots. Robots don’t make demands, but then they don’t buy products, either. No one is asking why not turn everybody into owners of the machines that are doing the work, which would solve a lot of problems:
Thursday, May 27, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject we saw that Pope Lei XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum knocked both capitalists and socialists for a loop. It was not long, however, before both groups had figured out ways to keep on doing what they were already doing and claim papal endorsement. Of the two, however, the socialists took the initiative, as they were the ones most obviously targeted.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the agrarian socialist Henry George managed to make his brand of “the Democratic Religion” headline news throughout the English-speaking world in 1886 and 1887 by running for mayor of New York City . . . although people wonder to this day just what it was he expected to be able to do once he was in charge of the Big Apple. New York may be the center of the universe (especially if you’re a New Yorker), but even the center of the universe isn’t the entire universe or even the whole state of New York.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject — not that we’re particularly pushing Catholicism — but the Catholic Church has from the beginning been the only consistent opponent of socialism and moral relativism in the modern world. As G.K. Chesterton noted in the introduction he wrote to the published version of Fulton Sheen’s doctoral thesis, God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy (1925), the Catholic Church is pretty much the “last man standing” when it comes to defending common sense in the world today.
Monday, May 24, 2021
This week we again return to Mortimer Adler, who gives us a (relatively) short discourse on what Aristotle meant by “happiness.” It might even give you something to think about:
Friday, May 21, 2021
As the pandemic seems to be more or less winding down, sort of, maybe, people are struggling to figure out ways to restore the status quo or build a new world on the presumed ruins of the old. This is nothing new; it’s happened after pretty much every major upheaval in history. One of the more significant movements came out of the backwash from the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Eventually called “socialism,” it only succeeded in messing things up more . . . which makes us wonder why people think it’s going to be anymore successful now.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we went into the various ways that popes prior to Leo XIII and Rerum Novarum tried to counter socialism and moral relativism. The bottom line here, of course, is that trying to educate people in sound philosophy and democratic political principles wasn’t going anywhere without the personal power in the hands of ordinary people who remained at the mercy of those who controlled property and thus political and economic power. When someone controls how you are allowed to live, they soon make great inroads into how you think or believe.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, when economic, political, social and even religious conditions deteriorated badly in the early nineteenth century, people turned to socialism to make things rights again. Unfortunately, people didn’t want to hear why something they wanted was wrong, they wanted something that would help them immediately.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the circumstances that resulted in the first social encyclical, Mirari Vos, in 1832. It turns out that Pope Gregory XVI condemned the Polish November Uprising of 1830-1831 because it was taken over by the socialists and a forged encyclical had been circulated calling on people to rise up and destroy the Church and abolish private property.
Monday, May 17, 2021
This week we feature the latest video in the series on economic personalism, the book for which can be purchased or downloaded free from the CESJ website. According to the host, this has proven to be one of Sensus Fidelium’s most popular series, despite the fact that it is an interfaith presentation on a Catholic network!:
Friday, May 14, 2021
We have quite a few interesting news items this week, not all of which are calculated to give anyone confidence in the current system. The manufactured “gas shortage” right now is, in fact, a vote of “no confidence” in the economic and political system that our leaders in government and Academia might want to pay attention to . . . .
Thursday, May 13, 2021
History, as they say, is written by the victors. The problem with history-as-she-is-taught these days is that what passes for history sadly seems to fit that rather glib aphorism, especially when the subject is politics and religion, which pretty much sums up virtually the whole of history.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the “theory of certitude” led its developer, Félicité de Lamennais straight into modernism and socialism. That is why Charles Perín believed him to be the first modernist, although that is a somewhat dubious honor. It also explains why Pope Gregory XVI, who is generally regarded by liberals and radicals of both a religious and non-religious stripe as a reactionary monster, was actually concerned about the effect that de Lamennais’s theories would have — and were having — on the meaning of Christianity and even religion itself.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, at the heart of the “new things” of which Pope Gregory XVI and Pope Leo XIII spoke is something called “the theory of certitude” developed by Félicité de Lamennais, and is the foundation of “Christian socialism.”
Monday, May 10, 2021
Remember the Bad Old Days when television was the Vast Wasteland, not like today’s fine educational programing and reality TV? Today we return to those boring days of yesteryear. On this week’s podcast we again have Mortimer J. Adler talking philosophy and philosophers, or (to be precise), one philosopher, Socrates:
Friday, May 7, 2021
We have some interesting news items this week . . . if by “interesting” you mean completely baffling. From the perspective of the Just Third Way, many of the problems that people are trying to solve by doing failed programs more intensively (and expensively) can be solved with ease with the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism. Maybe it’s time to consider it:
Thursday, May 6, 2021
When we last wrote on this subject (yesterday), we introduced (again) the “unhealthy, unkempt little bourgeois,” l’Abbé Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais, whom Charles Périn, a professor at the University of Louvain who appears to have been the first to define modernism in today’s Catholic sense, regarded as the first modernist. (Le Modernisme dans l’Église d’après les lettres inédites de Lamennais, Paris, 1881.)
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, it was pretty obvious from the very beginning that in most cases what became known as socialism was being presented as an alternative to traditional Christianity. The problem was with those that, intending to or not, concealed the socialism under the guise of orthodoxy. This was the case with l’Abbé Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, socialism did not start out as opposed to capitalism, but as an alternative to traditional Christianity, especially Catholicism. Making today’s de facto surrender to socialism supremely ironic, this has been recognized from the very beginning of the establishment of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine as a distinct field of study.
Monday, May 3, 2021
On this week’s podcast we have Mortimer J. Adler’s appearance on ABC’s The Fund for the Republic with Mike Wallace that aired on September 7, 1958. Significantly, this was eight months after the publication of The Capitalist Manifesto in which Adler and Louis Kelso presented the case for expanded capital ownership as a fundamental human right:
Friday, April 30, 2021
The various communications media keep touting “the recovery” and the fantastic “economic growth” . . . and at the same time insist on the need for raising the minimum wage, family assistance, Universal Basic Income, a Great Reset, Inclusive Capitalism, Democratic Socialism, and so on, because individuals and families just aren’t making it. Why aren’t they calling for economic personalism so that everyone can participate in growth instead of trying to figure out more creative ways of redistributing what others produce?.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed by noting that the way the “new things” of modernism and socialism developed was far more fantastic, even shocking than was depicted in Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson’s apocalyptic science fiction satire Lord of the World published in the early twentieth century.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed by asking the question how, if socialism and modernism (which doesn’t mean modernity) are so anti-human or contrary to human nature, how on Earth did they become so popular? Let’s begin by taking a look at a novel from the beginning of the last century that a lot of people think they know something about, but usually don’t.