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:
• CESJ’s Bookstore. Have you visited the CESJ Bookstore yet? There is a good pre-selection of books, and a rebate for CESJ members (you have to be an official member, not just with us in spirit) that applies to verified purchases for verified members . . . once we verify it. And you have to request it; it’s not automatic, sorry (blame state tax laws for making it complicated; we do NOT make retail sales, you HAVE to go to the bookstore, not us directly, although we do have certain titles available for bulk discounts if you buy direct from us.) We should mention that some of the books are also available as free download in electronic format, if you feel you can’t afford the cash right now. If you do buy some books, however, be sure to take advantage of the Amazon “Smile” program, below. It won’t cost you any more, but it will benefit CESJ.
|Not Untraceable, Anonymous|
• Bitcoin: Traceability v. Anonymity. No doubt much to the surprise of the hackers who held up the Colonial pipeline for ransom, virtually all of the money was recovered by the FBI, $2.3 million of it. And how was this possible, you ask? Simple. Bitcoin is not untraceable, it’s anonymous — not the same thing at all. The fact that Bitcoin is made of computer code makes it (relatively speaking) very easy to trace, unlike actual paper currency, of which you have to know the serial number of each piece in advance and have people checking to see if the numbers pop up in circulation, or gold or some other commodity that is virtually impossible to trace except by tying a specific transaction to an existing paper or computer trail. This reverses the traditional problem with hijackings and ransoms. Historically, it has been easier to catch the criminals than recover the ransom. By using Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, a criminal makes it difficult to be personally identified, but at the same time makes it virtually impossible to hang on to the ransom. All the time and money spent hacking a system and holding it for ransom is down the tubes because the ransom can be recovered almost as soon as it is paid, even if the criminals are never identified. A profitless crime. D’oh.
• Speaking of Bitcoin. . . . In the Washington Post today, there was a frontpage article on how the Chinese Bitcoin miners are relocating to the United States (“Chinese Bitcoin Miners are Breaking Ground in the U.S.,” 06/18/21, A-1, A-24). Ostensibly this is because the miners have ticked off the Chinese government by using massive resources such as cheap (and polluting) electricity and millions of dollars’ worth of computer equipment to produce nothing useful. That never bothered the Chinese before, with their “ghost cities” and other useless projects used to pump up GDP artificially and carry out a program of neo-colonialist expansion, particularly in Africa. This suggests that the real reason is the People’s Republic of China is in serious financial trouble due to its massive issues of debt and the drain of gargantuan amounts of money out of the country via Hong Kong (and you thought it was because of the pro-democracy movement that didn’t have a snowball’s chance against the government anyway) and then through Bitcoin mining. All of this could be avoided if the countries of the world adopted Economic Democracy Acts and re-established their reserve currencies on a fixed-standard, asset-backed basis . . . but that has a downside. Once a country has an elastic, asset-backed, uniform and stable (i.e., a fixed standard) reserve currency, neither the government nor the über-rich can have a stranglehold on economic growth and control over the people. It’s no mystery why countries started abandoning fixed currency standards in the 1920s and 1930s in tandem with the rise of dictatorships and the Welfare State.
|This ain't the way it works.|
• The Great Reset. Frankly, what the Chinese have been doing in Hong Kong and now with the Bitcoin miners is one response to the problem of über-wealth, i.e., the huge fortunes that avoid taxation by “hiding” in tax havens and provide the incentive for the developed countries forcing undeveloped countries into a condition of dependency. The less-developed countries become dependent on the developed countries, the developed countries become dependent on the über-rich, and the über-rich become dependent on their wealth managers, whom Pope Pius XI called “a despotic economic dictatorship.” The über-rich see the Great Reset and similar proposals as a way to save the bulk of their wealth by assuming the burden of public welfare and making people dependent on them instead of the State. The State regains the semblance of sovereignty, and the managers of the über-rich become a shadow government. All of this, of course, could be avoided by breaking the myth that past savings are essential to finance new capital formation.
|Siegfried und Schtocker Got Smart|
• A Great Book on the Not-So-Great Reset. A (very) rough first draft has been completed on a viable solution to the dangers of the Great Reset and similar proposals, and is now ready for more intensive editing.
• Hortense and Her Whos. In case you’ve been wondering how you might advance the Just Third Way by introducing it to legislators at any and all levels of government, we’ve made it easy for you, with the “Hortense Hears Three Whos” initiative. Visit the explanatory website, and consider downloading the postcard to send to people in government. Don’t worry if you think they won’t be open to it, as the postcard is intended to get them to open their eyes.
• Economic Personalism Landing Page. A landing page for CESJ’s latest publication, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, has been created and can be accessed by clicking on this link. Everyone is encouraged to visit the page and send the link out to their networks.
• Economic Personalism. When you purchase a copy of Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, be sure you post a review after you’ve read it. It is available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the cover price of $10 per copy. You can also download the free copy in .pdf available from the CESJ website. If you’d like to order in bulk (i.e., ten or more copies) at the wholesale price, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. CESJ’s series of videos for Sensus Fidelium are doing very well, with nearly 150,000 views in total. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “The Political Animal.” The video is part of the series on the book, Economic Personalism. The latest completed series on “the Great Reset” can be found on the “Playlist” for the series. The previous series of sixteen videos on socialism is available by clicking on the link: “Socialism, Modernism, and the New Age,” along with some book reviews and other selected topics. For “interfaith” presentations to a Catholic audience they’ve proved to be popular, edging up to 150,000 views to date. They aren’t really “Just Third Way videos,” but they do incorporate a Just Third Way perspective. You can access the playlist for the entire series The point of the videos is to explain how socialism and socialist assumptions got such a stranglehold on the understanding of the role of the State and thus the interpretation of Catholic social teaching, and even the way non-Catholics and even non-Christians understand the roles of Church, State, and Family, and the human person’s place in society.
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your Amazon account. (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.) Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.” If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through. Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 29 different countries and 39 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Purpose of Production,” “The Un-Natural New Deal,” “JTW Podcast: What is Education?” “Sabotaging Solidarism” and “The Rights of Man.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” Due to imprudent language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.