Depending on who you’re talking to, President Biden and other world leaders are either doing ’way too much or nowhere near enough about Ukraine and one or two . . . million other problems. Of course, from our perspective, world leaders don’t lack the goodwill and the resources so much as the right framework of analysis, an obvious reference to the fact that few if any world leaders seem to be aware of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism. President Zelensky would, we believe, be enthusiastic about it if we could get it to him, while Putin would (in our opinion) view it as an even greater threat to his wealth and power than NATO, as you can see from the first of today’s news items:
• Zelenskyy, Reagan, and John Paul II. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine appears to have a great deal of respect, even admiration, for U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Pope St. John Paul II. Perhaps providentially, both Reagan and John Paul II were strong supporters of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism, although not by that name. Both Reagan and John Paul II received CESJ’s report of the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice. John Paul II is believed to have recommended the program to visiting heads of state, while Reagan said during his speech to the Task Force, “I’ve long believed one of the mainsprings of our own liberty has
|President Reagan at the Presidential Task Force|
been the widespread ownership of property among our people and the expectation that anyone’s child, even from the humblest of families, could grow up to own a business or corporation.” If Zelenskyy wants to know what he could do for Ukraine and the world even before Putin has been driven from Ukraine, he could not do better than adopt the Economic Democracy Act. Can you get word to Zelenskyy? He’s been too busy to return our phone calls. . . .
• The Greater Reset. CESJ’s new book by members of CESJ’s core group, The Greater Reset: Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty Under Natural Law is, of course, available from the publisher, TAN Books, an imprint of Saint Benedict Press, and has already gotten a top review on that website. It can also be obtained from Barnes and Noble, as well as Amazon, or by special order from your local “bricks and mortar” bookstore. The Greater Reset is the only book of which we’re aware on “the Great Reset” that presents an alternative instead of simply warning of the dangers inherent in a proposal that is contrary to natural law. It describes reality, rather than a Keynesian fantasy world. Please note that The Greater Reset is NOT a CESJ publication as such, and enquiries about quantity discounts and wholesale orders for resale must be sent to the publisher, Saint Benedict Press, NOT to CESJ.
• Terry and Jesse Show. On March 24, 2024, Dawn Brohawn, CESJ’s Director of Communications and Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research, appeared on the “Terry and Jesse Show,” a Catholic religious themed podcast to promote their new book, The Greater Reset: Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty Under Natural Law. The host, Jesse Romero (Terry Barber was absent that day) seemed particularly impressed that a book from a Catholic publisher was co-authored by a non-Christian and yet presents a comprehensive view of “Catholic” social teaching in a way that appeals to all faiths and philosophies. Jesse even remarked at one point that Dawn, a non-Christian, understands Catholic social teaching much better than most Catholics.
|CESJ President Norman Kurland with Pope John Paul II|
• Law and Economics. It turns out that President Zelenskyy has a law degree from the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics, which is similar to the education of CESJ’s president Norman G. Kurland, who went through the University of Chicago’s law and economics program. Zelenskyy thus should have the necessary background to understand the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism and realize it’s potential both for bringing Ukraine out of the current war as expeditiously as possible, but also for winning the peace and bring justice not only to Ukraine, but to Russia and the rest of the world to forestall future aggressions by any country.
|Move along. No concern of yours.|
• Holier-Than-Thou. We thought that sanctimonious silence about Putin’s War was bad enough, but evidently some people can’t leave well enough alone. They have to prove they’re so much better than anyone else. Our attention was first drawn to Catholic commentator Joseph Pearce’s repeated reposting of a disgraceful article he first published in 2014 justifying Putin’s annexation of Crimea and instigating and funding the separatist movements he created in eastern Ukraine (following a similar strategy in Georgia in 2008), followed a few years later by an even worse article, “Putting Putin in Perspective” at a time when Putin’s murders and thefts were well known. Now we have “War and Rumor of War”, a piece from the latest issue of Gilbert! magazine, the journal of the American Chesterton Society (or whatever it calls itself now). In the article, ACS (or its current incarnation) president and founder Dale Ahlquist, host of a popular show on EWTN and author of a number of books on, and quote collections of the noted English author and journalist G.K. Chesterton, seems to be taking the line that because the United States is not itself
|The Dumb Samaritan|
perfect, has problems, countries the U.S. helps are ingrates, nobody really knows why the war happened (how about Putin’s greed and lust for power?), the U.S. should not send its soldiers to die to save Ukraine, it’s not our fight, or, or, or, it has no business criticizing or interfering in any way, and we should all turn to God and Chesterton, who will solve all our problems. Apparently, in Ahlquist’s universe, we are not our brothers’ keepers, and an injustice that doesn’t cause us immediate personal inconvenience is no business of ours; Terence’s Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto, is the utterance of a fool, while Jesus’s answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” and the story of the Good Samaritan is nonsense. It’s a pity Chesterton is saddled with such champions.
• Genocide. Yes, the Russians are targeting civilians, and, yes, it’s a war crime, whether it meets your personal definition or that of any other guardhouse theologian of a just war, war crime, or genocide. Deliberately targeting a theater clearly marked as sheltering children (and killing more than 300 people), searching for civilians to kill, murdering husbands then raping their wives, deporting civilians as hostages (an estimated 402,000, including 84,000 children), the list is becoming endless as the “liberation” of Ukraine continues into another month. Now Russians appear to be using white phosphorus against civilians. It may soon be too late to worry whether Putin will be insane enough to use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. The only real solution is to make it clear to the Russian people that there is something better than letting Putin send their sons to die to increase Putin’s wealth and power: the Economic Democracy Act. Get rid of Putin, withdraw completely from Ukraine, pay reparations, and enact the Economic Democracy Act to prevent a monster like Putin from ever again being able to seize power.
|"Listen up, duncebuckets"|
• That’s THE Hacker, to YOU. Computer hackers, both individuals and groups such as Anonymous, are doing yeoman service in disrupting the Russian economy and communications, and anything else that takes their fancy. Analysts worry, however, that hackers may decide to turn their wrath on other targets once Putin’s War is over. It’s a reasonable fear, but one that can easily be dealt with. Make certain as many people as possible have a financial and ownership stake in the global computer system, and you’ll see the incidence of hacking for fun and profit decrease dramatically. Naturally we’re referring to the Economic Democracy Act, but you can call it what you will — as long as you do it.
• Putin’s Wealth. What is Russia fighting for? To increase Putin’s wealth and power. Once we realize that Putin is the greatest criminal boss who has ever lived, his actions become explicable . . . although Big Al Capone seems to have been much smarter than Putin in controlling an organization and taking over territory. So how much wealth has Putin accumulated? In contrast to Zelenskyy’s $1.5 million “fortune” (upper middle class these days), Putin has stolen so much that even Fortune magazine can’t make a good guess as the cosmic size and magnitude of his thefts.
|And now Ukraine?|
• Russian Soldiers “Fragging” Commanders. At first it sounded like a spontaneous act of anger at an officer by an enlisted man, but it turns out probably to have been an intentional murder, or what the military calls “fragging”: killing your own fellow soldiers, usually officers. A Russian enlisted man reportedly ran his tank over his commanding officer, who later died. It’s a sign that an army might have a few problems with morale and that discipline is breaking down, especially when the incident is so spectacular and high profile. It becomes obvious that ordinary Russian soldiers feel they are being sacrificed for Putin’s and others’ greed and lust for power — which might never have happened had every Russian had the opportunity and access to the means to own a significant capital stake, as we proposed decades ago.
|This is what you're dying for, comrade|
• Russian Morale. Speaking of morale, Ukrainian intelligence intercepted a private conversation between two Russian soldiers “discussing” the war, their reasons for being in Ukraine, and their opinion of their commanders in somewhat frank language. It does not appear to have been staged, as it isn’t good enough. Plus, the fact that the Ukrainian military has already proven adept in hacking into Russian communications is demonstrated that at least one of the six generals the Russians have lost so far was located because he was using unsecure communications. Why are the Russians in Ukraine? It is increasingly evident that it is solely because of the greed of Vladimir Putin. The remedy? The Economic Democracy Act for Russia as well as Ukraine and the rest of the world.
• Russian Gold. A Just Third Way monetary reform that demystifies gold and backs reserve currencies with private sector hard assets would “sterilize” Russia’s huge accumulation of gold reserves. Putin is apparently thinking of selling some of Russia’s gold reserves to evade sanctions and finance his war effort, but that assumes that people will want something as useless as monetary gold when it’s no longer used as a standard or as currency. Gold has a tremendous number of industrial uses (and a lot more could be found if it was cheap enough), but it would probably only be worth ten or twenty dollars an ounce if it wasn’t for the mystique it has. A global Economic Democracy Act would not only allow for tremendous non-inflationary economic growth, but virtually eliminate inflation and deflation, and undermine any justification for poverty, racism, war, and environmental damage. It would also pretty much make it impossible for even someone as rich as Putin to control others and impose his totalitarian kleptocracy on the world.
• Help Joe Walk Again for Economic Justice. Just a reminder, if you haven’t already done so, to visit the GoFundMe campaign and consider making a contribution and spreading word out among your social media networks. It’s off to a good start, but it’s still just a start.
• 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 email@example.com 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 over 155,000 total views. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “The Five Levers of Change.” 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 27 different countries and 42 states, provinces, and territories in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Philippines and Canada. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 09,” “Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” “Rebirth of a Nation,” “Book Review: A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey,” and “JTW Podcast: Zelenskyy’s Speech to Congress (Graphic).”
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.