We’ve been doing a bit of reading in the works of Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer Jerome Adler regarding the state of education today and thought it might be a good segue into a short presentation on “Justice University.” JU has been around for a while, since 2008 in fact, but it never hurts to have a refresher course, especially since as Hutchins and Adler both noted, education is a lifelong process.
What form should education take? Hutchins suggested six years of elementary school, four of high school, and four of college, preceding university level for qualified individuals, and a freely chosen vocation for others. Adler’s suggestion in the Paideia proposal was similar.
As for the specific curriculum, Hutchins and Adler both recommended abandoning vocational training and babysitting, claiming that with very few exceptions, everyone is capable of getting an education centered on the great books of the western world. Hutchins noted that the STEM subjects are also important but was honest enough to admit he personally did not care for them, and thus did not give them proper weight.
CESJ’s Justice University® proposal is similarly handicapped. This is not through rejection or denigration of the physical sciences, but simply because the focus is on the liberal arts, especially as they pertain to a just market economy solidly established on Aristotelian-Thomist natural law principles.
Justice University® therefore recognizes the critical role of education in teaching at all levels of learning the moral principles, systems theory (“binary economics”), and real-world applications of economic and social justice. Effective change requires a common understanding of and commitment to universal moral values, sound economic principles, a unifying vision, and a feasible plan. Within a sound conceptual framework, people in any society can organize more effectively to reform their institutions to promote equal opportunity, human development, and full participation in the economic, social, and political order.
Justice University® seeks to transform education to equip people throughout their lives with the analytical, critical, and creative skills they need to learn to learn. It will also, as part of this, prepare people for full participation in society, including economic life, although that is not the primary objective. Beyond the level of principle and theory, then, Justice University presents practical and proven financial tools and policies for solving systemic problems by:
|Hutchins, Adler, some other guy|
Educating policymakers, business leaders, academia, the media, and the public on the impact of finance and ownership patterns on the introduction of sustainable, green technologies and energy systems and the infrastructure to support thriving communities.
Offering a free enterprise, private property approach to growing sustainable economies, and systemically closing the growing wealth, opportunity, and power gap, which threatens widespread prosperity, stability, and security for most people worldwide.
Introducing innovative social technologies and public policies that link economic justice to economic policies and methods of finance that promote sustainable growth, competitive free markets, a shifting of economic power from the State to citizen-owners, full rights of private property, and the equal capital ownership opportunities for every citizen.
|Adler talking about learning|
Promoting ownership cultures within enterprises and communities as a way of raising the quality of life, and eliminating the root causes of poverty, conflict, crime, growing inequality, lack of educational opportunity, and environmental degradation.
Teaching how to finance broadly owned growth, economic development and revitalization of urban and rural communities, with a focus on building models of “economic democratization” and justice-based educational institutions in poverty-impacted communities.
Although still in its infancy, Justice University® as an online, interactive “global classroom,” which will grow and evolve as a national and global partnership of universities, teaching colleges, elementary and high schools; educational, research and charitable institutes; community anchor institutions; student and community groups; and leaders in business, banking and labor.
|Adler on books, Buckley on himself|
Justice University® offers a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to moral education at all educational levels. This initiative seeks widespread understanding and public discussion of the principles and applications of a just free market, socio-economic paradigm based on the dignity, empowerment, participation, and fullest development of each human person within a just social order. Justice University’s partnering institutions (“JU Partnerships”) will disseminate nationally and globally its core paradigm, principles and applications of justice, social justice, and economic justice to promote:
· Self-sustaining approaches to citizen-owned economic development and revitalization, in both urban and rural communities.
· Education that prepares every child for thriving in a global, high-tech economy and a more fulfilling personal, family, social, and intellectual life.
· A healthy environment, green technologies, and a sustainable economy.
· National, state, and local policies of “capital ownership for every citizen” that will help achieve the above objectives.
Through JU Partnerships, Justice University® will design and implement innovative economic development models of participatory worker ownership and citizen ownership at the local, state, and national levels. The goal is inclusive, community-based pilot models designed to tap into new sources of asset-backed money and insured capital credit for land, infrastructure, and business development, without the need for taxpayer money or private equity investors.
This approach would harness the existing powers of the regional Federal Reserves and local commercial banks, in ways that will create new jobs, new businesses and future capital ownership opportunities for every citizen. Justice University’s Core Curriculum for the pilot course it has been offering includes:
· Foundational Definitions of the Just Third Way,
· Principles of the Just Third Way,
· Basic Concepts of Binary Economics,
· Practical Applications of the Just Third Way,
· The Economic Democracy Act,
· Justice-Based Leadership, Management, and Governance,
· Examples of Systemic Solutions for Systemic Problems, and
· Applying Principles and Applications of the Just Third Way.
Obviously, each of these could be a full semester course, but Justice University® is still in its initial stages. Ultimately, the curriculum will be integrated into the programs of existing degree-offering institutions, and eventually Justice University® will be accredited and offer degrees.