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.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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. . . .