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.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, the political doctrine that all government revenue should come only from taxation is based on the fundamental principle of the sovereignty of the human person. Whoever pays the costs of government controls government, unless politicians can figure out a way to hide the fact of who is really paying, as is the case when the government can create money.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Last week we featured another interview of Louis Kelso on the Harold Channer Show. This week we have another Channer-Kelso interview, but add a twist: Abraham Henry “AH” Raskin of the New York Times:
Friday, April 23, 2021
The stock market, of course, is soaring, having “recovered” from the concern of President Biden’s tax proposals, and the economy is again in full recovery mode . . . whatever that means. Evidently a rising stock market is considered a leading economic indicator, when properly speaking it isn’t an indicator of anything except the price of used debt and equity. What is really needed in this country and the world is a focus on productive activity that everyone can engage in, not fake production of gambling and speculation.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, turning control of money and credit to the State does not seem to have been a good idea — ever. In the crudest sense, it separates the people who produce from the benefits of production, mainly consumption. This undermines the first principle of economics as stated by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.”
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at some of the discrepancies and contradictions in Keynesian economics. Today we take a look at what may be the single biggest problem with the economics of the architect of the New Deal.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
As we closed the previous posting on this subject, we noted that David Ricardo “corrected” Adam Smith by declaring that labor alone is productive and gives value to something. Things are not to be valued for their utility to the consumer, but in terms of what it cost in labor to produce it.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Last week we featured an interview of Louis Kelso on the Harold Channger Show. This week we have another Channer-Kelso interview:
Friday, April 16, 2021
More and more, it seems as if people and policymakers are avoiding coming to grips with what is really needed in today’s world: a way that will allow most people to lead productive and virtuous lives (however they might define virtue in their particular philosophical or religious framework) without having to depend on the rich or the State to provide for or secure their every need. Why not a world in which everyone can be productive with capital, labor, or both?
Thursday, April 15, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that usury has become so embedded in our economic thinking that it’s accepted as normal. Paradoxically, some proposals to abolish usury are themselves usurious, e.g., the government should simply issue the money it needs and abolish taxes. It’s accepted as normal for a government to back its own currency with its own debt and constantly change the value.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that it seems to be a part of human nature that people like to be useful and engage in productive activity. The Great Reset and similar proposals, however, appear to be far more concerned with meeting people’s material needs by any means necessary, with no attention paid to whether or people become productive and useful.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Friday, April 9, 2021
Most of the world seems to be spinning its wheels trying to figure out how to turn the old abnormal into the new normal, when the pandemic has revealed the cracks in the system that prevent the new normal from being any better than the old abnormal. . . .
Thursday, April 8, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked briefly at the “Great Reset” and similar proposals and contrasted them with the demands of human dignity. The basic idea seems to be that everyone should have “enough,” and that the system should be reorganized to provide it. As far as many people today are concerned, the main problem is how to get what people need directly into the hands of the people who need it.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
All things, as Aristotle said in the beginning of the Nichomachean Ethics, seek the good. If someone seeks evil, it is because he either has the wrong idea of what is good, or is trying to avoid a greater evil. The former is called a badly formed conscience and must be corrected through education and example.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
We closed the previous posting on this subject by noting that while expanded capital ownership can restore Say’s Law of Markets and poke Keynesian economics and its unresolved paradoxes in the eye with a sharp stick, there was a problem. It is itself a seeming paradox — or at least ironic — that the people who most need to become capital owners are the least likely to be able to afford it.
Monday, April 5, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the basis of a just economy is for production and consumption to be in balance. This necessarily implies that every consumer must be a producer, and that every producer must be a consumer. Further, every consumer should produce what he or she consumes, and every producer should consume what he or she produces.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the concept of “productiveness,” that is, the idea that both labor and capital contribute to production as interdependent factors of production. Further, the concept of productiveness includes the assumption that the ratio between the two can be measured. Not that it is measured, just that it can be measured.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
As we may have mentioned once or twice, we like to get questions, if only because it saves us the labor of trying to think up ones ourselves. The other day we got three questions that, slightly edited, we’ll post on today’s blog: We were asked,
Monday, March 29, 2021
For years we’ve been referencing UAW President Walter Reuther’s testimony before Congress on the Kelso ideas in the late 1960s. We recently came across an interview Reuther gave to Mike Wallace on January 25, 1958, by coincidence the same time Kelso and Adler’s The Capitalist Manifesto came out. In the interview, which was posted on YouTube in two parts, Reuther doesn’t bring in ownership, but the analysis he gave — as an analysis — is very close to that of Kelso:
Friday, March 26, 2021
For some reason, the postings on Justice University topics over the past week or so have proved to be astonishingly popular, especially one that brought in a rather esoteric subject, viz., what defines human beings as human beings. Another unusual event this week was discovering a “long lost” (or at least unknown to us) video of an interview Mike Wallace had with Walter Reuther . . . in between puffs on his Parliament cigarette, anyway:
Thursday, March 25, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at the necessity for everyone who participates in economic life — as everyone must do in some manner or material wants and needs will go unfilled — to be able to employ both labor and capital to become a productive and contributing member of society.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked at a few things that make up “the binary difference”: the three principles of economic justice (participation, distribution, and social justice), and the four pillars of an economically just society (limited economic role for the State, free and open markets, restoration of private property, and expanded capital ownership).
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Discussing the factors of production in economics is one thing. Discussing them in the field of political economy is quite another. Common sense, of course, tells us that there is no difference between economics as such, and political economy as such, and in fact some dictionaries use the same definition for both “economics” and “political economy.”
Monday, March 22, 2021
In today’s podcast, the fifth in the series based on the book, Economic Personalism. , we take a look at what we mean by the term “human dignity.” It’s entirely possible that the answer might surprise you:
Friday, March 19, 2021
Most of what is happening in the world still reflects continuing confusion over what to do about the economic, civil and political chaos ostensibly caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, what obscures the real problems and thus developing a solution is the failure to realize that the roots of the problem go back a few centuries earlier than the pandemic and have been building up for some time. The so-called “new normal” is no more adequate than the “old normal” when it comes to respecting the dignity of every child, woman, and man. What is needed is a complete restructuring of the social order in conformity with the principles of the Just Third Way, not a “Great Reset”:
Thursday, March 18, 2021
In “Do We Agree?”, their final debate in 1927, Gilbert Keith Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw — immoderately moderated by Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (“I am here to sneer”) — once again presented the things on which they couldn’t agree.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject we concluded our discussion of the “problem” of advancing technology and the presumed inability of those without capital ownership can never be owners. The solution, of course, is to make everyone potentially “creditworthy,” and use money and credit properly to turn every child, woman and man into a capital owner by qualifying them to purchase self-liquidating capital, i.e., that pays for itself out of future profits.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
In the previous posting on this subject we looked at the “problem” of advancing technology and the various responses that have been developed, which boil down to rejecting technology, or redistributing what belongs to others, whether the technology itself, or what it produces. We closed by suggesting that envy and greed are not exactly optimal for anybody, and that perhaps we should be looking at justice — which is the response we will look at today.
Monday, March 15, 2021
This week’s video podcast continues the series based on the book, Economic Personalism. This week we cover the second chapter in the book, “Something Missing.” And what’s missing? A correct understanding of distributive justice, social justice, money and credit . . . and that’s just the beginning:
Friday, March 12, 2021
This week’s news items reflect the almost complete disconnect between production and consumption, and thus between producers and consumers, throughout the world. In accordance with Say’s Law of Markets, consumption should equal production, since Adam Smith’s first principle of economics is that “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.” When people produce far more than they can consume, and others can’t produce at all, then the obvious solution is to turn everyone into a producer, and that means expanded capital ownership:
Thursday, March 11, 2021
We now come to the fourth of the roadblocks to social justice: the effect of advancing technology.
Not to belabor the point, but as we stated in the previous posting on this subject, there are five situations that need to be addressed if we are to carry out a restructuring the social order. Again, there may be more, but these are the ones we think are key to carry out a just, effective, and sustainable restructuring of the social order:
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
As we again stated in the previous posting on this subject, five situations need to be addressed in order to carry out a program of restructuring the social order. As we noted, there may be more, but these are the ones we think are key to carry out a just, effective, and sustainable restructuring of the social order:
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
As we noted in the previous posting on this subject, there are five situations that need to be addressed in order to carry out a program of restructuring the social order. While there may be more — even many more — we think these are the key institutions that need to be targeted first in order to carry out a just, effective, and sustainable restructuring:
Monday, March 8, 2021
Last week’s video podcast introduced this series based on the book, Economic Personalism. This week we cover the first chapter in the book, “The Question of the Person.” This is an important point, especially since so many people today do not grasp the fact that only human beings are natural persons, meaning we have rights by nature, not by grant, and not even the United States Supreme Court can really say otherwise:
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.