We think it might have something to do with the fact that we consistently give a Just Third Way perspective on the current situation in Ukraine — and advocate a proposal that would help resolve things in the immediate, short, mid, and long-term, viz., the Economic Democracy Act — but this blog has experienced an extreme rise in readership this past week, with the number of “visits” by separate individuals increasing by roughly 4,250% (yes, 4,250%) above our weekly average, and the number of different countries represented rising by roughly 250%, with Russia and Ukraine (more from Ukraine) being a significant chunk of that.
Evidently what we’re saying is striking a chord or two with some people, thereby suggesting that the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism may be just what the doctor ordered to set the stage for a lasting peace with justice. This should be clear from the news items this week:
Solovyov, Putin's media mouthpiece, threatens world destruction.|
• Putin’s Media Mouthpiece. Vladimir Solovyov, a popular Russian television personality and Putin groupie, made some belligerent statements in a recent interview. Given the degree of control exercised by Putin over the media in Russia, it’s probably safe to assume that Solovyov was repeating a script dictated by Putin, which was, in essence, a declaration of war against the entire world. As Solovyov declared, “We’ll be grinding up NATO’s war machine as well as citizens of NATO countries. When this operation concludes, NATO will have to ask itself: ‘Do we have what we need to defend ourselves? Do we have the people to defend ourselves?’ And there will be no mercy. There will be no mercy.” This follows earlier articles by Kremlin commentators that anyone who opposes Putin should be killed and that called for de facto genocide against Ukraine by going after “active” and “passive” Nazis, i.e., those who support Zelenskyy (who is Jewish), and those who did not oppose Zelenskyy’s government, respectively, which accounts for virtually the entire country.
|Xi Jinping looking out for No. 1 while avoiding No. 2.|
• China Gets Gun Shy. Unexpectedly, a Chinese financial services company has called a “temporary halt” to negotiations with Russia. Ostensibly this is due to the instability of the situation, but is likely on orders from Xi, who has been increasingly cagey when it comes to backing up his supportive words for Putin with deeds that might make China a secondary target for sanctions . . . and endanger his goal of seizing Taiwan and keeping Hong Kong under his thumb. There is also the matter of India, with which China has been at “semi-war” for decades, and which has consequently looked to Russia for protection against China. Xi may feel that Russia’s difficulty is China’s opportunity and sit back waiting to pick up the pieces from Putin’s insanely stupid power grab in Ukraine.
|Psychotic, delusional, or both?|
• First Economic World War. Some analysts are claiming that Russia’s military adventure in Ukraine is actually the start of the first “Economic World War.” There is some support for this position, but it could easily be neutralized by Ukraine, the rest of the world, and even Russia adopting the Economic Democracy Act, a key provision of which is that every person would have access to the opportunity and means to become a capital owner. In and of itself, this would break the monopoly of economic power held by people like Putin, and thus undermine their political and thus military power, making anything like future “special military operations” (motivated principally by Putin’s lust for money and power) highly unlikely in the future.
|Coincidence or arson?|
• Domestic Economic Sabotage? Over the past 24 hours, two fires in Russia have seriously damaged both the Russian war effort and what’s left of its economy. The first, at a national defense building in Moscow, may seriously impair or even shut down Russia’s air operations in Ukraine, at least for a short time. The second, in a giant chemical plant which manufactures the bulk of chemical solvents used in Russia, greatly reduces supplies of a critical material for both the military and private sector manufacturing. As it is highly improbable that Ukrainian saboteurs could be responsible, both fires may well be the work of the domestic anti-war (and anti-Putin) movement inside Russia, which given that the national defense building is analogous to the Pentagon in the United States, suggests that disaffection is spreading at a very high level, and the fires may be part of a coordinated campaign to bring the war to an end as soon as possible.
|Hoarders and Wasters in Hell|
• Putin’s Hoarding and Wasting. In Canto VII of Dante’s Inferno, the Fourth Circle is inhabited by the Hoarders and the Wasters, at eternal war with one another. Putin world’s richest man as a result of being the greatest thief of all time (though hardly in the sense of St. Dismas), but it’s also beginning to look as if he will destroy more wealth than any single person in history as well, thus making him both an immense hoarder and a gargantuan waster at one and the same time. Concentrated wealth and destruction of wealth are both contrary to a sound, personalist economy, which lends support to the demand that Putin be defeated as soon as possible, and the system that made his rise possible, even inevitable, reformed through the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act.
|If you gotta go, go first class|
• Being a Refugee in Style. Okay, so not every Ukrainian (or any other) refugee can take shelter in a castle, but it’s nice to know that sometimes when you go, you can go first class. This is particularly notable in Ireland, which — in common with many countries trapped in the Keynesian economic paradigm — is very protective of its “jobs” and anyone doing anything that might take a “job” from an Irish citizen. One solution that people don’t seem to want to consider is that with widespread capital ownership, you don’t have to worry about whether there are enough “jobs” to go around and you can contrate on what is vastly more important (and that would resolve the refugee problem from anywhere in a just and financially feasible manner): becoming more fully human and thus virtuous, however your personal faith or philosophy defines it, but without harming others. This is what the Economic Democracy Act is intended to do.
|"Stealing everything from laptops to underwear."|
• Work or Die. Some Russian soldiers who refused to fight without pay may have been executed. Ukrainian Intelligence has intercepted a number of conversations between Russian soldiers and their families and friends that strongly suggest that they were promised lots of loot and pay, which is substantiated by the enormous amount of things being stolen and shipped home to Mother Russia by Russian
soldiers, including food, appliances, furniture, automobiles, jewelry, even (while this has not been verified) children and adults who are forced to go to Russia as slave labor. One Russian family reportedly asked a son serving in the Russian Army in Ukraine when he was going to send them a Ukrainian slave to do the housework. If in fact at least some of the Russian troops are only serving for the money they make or the loot they can steal, it makes little sense to kill them when they aren’t paid.
• Betting on Putin. Goldman Sachs is putting its money on Russia. The argument seems to be that Putin’s difficulties and the Russian default are (according to Goldman-Sachs) only technical and will soon pass. The possibility that Putin might not win doesn’t seem to occur to them.
|Why are you silent, Messrs. Ahlquist and Pearce?|
• Utterly Baffling. We are still completely baffled by the apparent refusal of a number of Catholic commentators, such as Joseph Pearce and Dale Ahlquist, either to retract or explain their support for Putin or their apparent indifference to his satanic evil, particularly in light of the continuing revelations out of places like Bucha, which some still insist is “fake news,” and not to mention Putin’s own psychotic declarations issued almost daily, threatening the world with “unthinkable consequences” if he doesn’t get his own way and is allowed to kill anyone who opposes him or has something he wants.
• Russia’s Growing Weakness. Perhaps nothing demonstrates Russia’s increasingly weakening position more than Japan’s recent strong statements concerning certain islands that Russia seized in the final days of World War II and has refused to give back. Japan has now gone so far as to declare that the “Northwest Territories” are illegally occupied by Russia and must be returned.
• “Utter Ineptitude”. Putin’s War has reportedly set the Russian economy back twenty years, giving the lie to people like Joseph Pearce and Goldman-Sachs who insist that Putin’s “economic miracle” justifies anything he chooses to do. Results to date, however, strongly suggest that Putin’s War is a complete disaster militarily, economically, politically and any other way you care to mention. The whole production has demonstrated “A completely unexpected level of staggering incompetence.” It is clear that the goal from the beginning is to eliminate Ukraine as a state, a people, and a nation, regardless of the cost in human lives or the destruction of wealth that so far has been Putin’s only real accomplishment. Of course, all of Putin’s efforts to destroy Ukraine and move on to the rest of the world that has annoyed him by not bowing to his greatness would be moot if Ukraine adopted the Economic Democracy Act.
• Russia Sanctions Americans! Putin has taken the drastic step of forbidding twenty-nine Americans, thirty of which had no plans to visit Russia at any time anyway, from entering the country. Well. CESJ is not inviting Putin to its annual celebration, so there. And he’s off the Christmas card list, too.
• 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.
• 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 85 different countries and 37 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, Japan, India, and Brazil. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Attack on Fulton Sheen,” “JTW Podcast: The Focusing Way, Part II,” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 13,” “Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” and “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 12.”
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.