Not surprisingly, this week’s news items are generally focused on Ukraine’s need to get additional armaments and politicians complaining about the cost of doing so . . . without, evidently, considering the even greater cost of letting the war continue. Our concern, of course, is how the Economic Democracy Act could help not only the rebuilding of Ukraine but assure that other countries will be paid for their aid:
• Dangerously Kumbaya. Evidently tiring of the Great Reset, this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland focused on togetherness, community, and so on, This is all very well, but it reminds us of an old Peanuts cartoon in which Snoopy is shivering in the snow and two of the girls comment how cold and miserable he looks, so they go up to him, pat him on the head, and tell him to “Be of good cheer,” and leave, whereupon Snoopy has a big question mark over his head. Nothing is done to fix the underlying problem. Similarly, talking about easing conflict and so on is all very well, but the danger is that people will actually think they’ve accomplished something instead of putting off the problem for other people to solve, if ever. If they really wanted effective action, of course, they would push for the Economic Democracy Act.
|"We're in the money!"|
• Federal Reserve Follies. It is a fixed delusion of economists who adhere to the “Currency Principle” that economic life can be manipulated by fiddling around with interest rates and the quantity of money. Since this is the exact opposite of the real case, that money and credit derive from economic activity, not the other way around, we’re not too concerned about the outcome of the latest round of Federal Reserve Follies . . . at least in the sense that we we’re worried about what the outcome will be. It’s going to be bad, no matter what. The only sensible thing to do is adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but they never think of letting economic activity determine the quantity of money.
|Save . . . but not too much . . .|
• Re-Rethinking Retirement. First, they complain that people aren’t saving enough to live on in retirement . . . which is the wrong way to think about it in the first place, as the idea should be to accumulate wealth to generate income, not to use as income. Now they say there’s a risk that people could save so much they can’t spend it all . . . which is again contrary to what the idea should be. Of course, the whole idea of the Economic Democracy Act is to accumulate income-generating assets so that both your income and your asset stake remain about the same and you don’t have to worry about not having enough or too much.
• It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Like the invasion of Ukraine that would be over in three days, Russia’s blackmailing Europe with its dependency on fossil fuels seems not to have gone according to plan . . . just like everything else the Russians have been doing. Except for the MacDonald’s replacement. That actually seems to have worked, despite the name that can be translated “Tasty . . . Or Else.” Evidently, evil American corporate types don’t know Russian tastes as well as evil Kremlin political types (or they wouldn’t stay in power, right?). By shifting to alternative fuels and enjoying a relatively mild winter, Europe has significantly hampered Russia’s war effort. Efforts by Russia to replace the European market with sales to other countries have not met expectations, largely because Russia’s allies are not really Russia’s friends, but are maneuvering to advance their own agendas. In fact, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has done more to solidify opposition to Russia than ever existed in the mind of Putin the Paranoid in the first place, although never to the extent that anyone actually thought of attacking Russia. It isn’t necessary. With Putin in charge, Russia is virtually guaranteed to fall apart all on its own. The only thing that will stop it is the Economic Democracy Act, which is pretty much the last thing someone like Putin would allow.
|Or maybe it was through the looking glass . . .|
• Putin In Wonderland. Russia under Putin the Paranoid makes much less sense than Lewis Carroll’s weirdly logical Alice in Wonderland, at least if we listen to what the Putler says. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine claims that Putin may be dead, and the Gremlins in the Kremlin are using a simulacrum of some kind to hide behind, but if that were the case, Putin’s (alleged) utterances would make more sense. Even the Russian elite couldn’t make up something as crazy as Putin’s blood-soaked fantasies and general nuttiness. As far as Putin is concerned, everything is just great, great, great, the Russian economy is booming, and Russia will soon conquer the world.
• Are Central Banks Deliberately Causing Depressions? According to Blackrock, the world’s central banks are deliberately causing “recessions” (we’re not allowed to call them “depressions”). What they mean is that the world’s central banks are not doing things to increase Blackrock’s wealth as fast as possible. This is one of the weird results of adherence to the Currency Principle which assumes that the quantity of money determines the level of economic activity . . . which it doesn’t. Frankly, the only answer is to reorganize the financial system along the lines laid out in the Economic Democracy Act so that the level of economic activity determines the quantity of money . . . which is why commercial and central banks were invented.
• Zelenskyy at Davos. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine had an interesting time at Davos trying to convince the rest of the world that Russia — which has openly declared its intention to conquer the rest of the world once it has “liberated” Ukraine — trying to get military aid to drive Russia out of Ukraine. Of course, everyone is worried that Russia might “escalate” the war . . . by throwing more untrained troops with substandard and unusable equipment into the fray or engaging in mutually assured destruction by using nuclear weapons. Of course, the Russians might also try attacking on three fronts simultaneously in a few weeks, from Belarus in the north, Crimea in the south, and Donbas in the east, but then they risk insurgency in Belarus, destruction of the bridge connecting Crimea to Russia, and enhancing the political power of the Wagner Group. No, Russia’s teat is in a wringer, and the only logical outcome is to surrender, which means it is the last thing that the looneytoon Putin will consider. If Ukraine really wants to defeat Russia as quickly as possible, the best thing it can do is adopt the Economic Democracy Act, which will assure the western powers that the cost of their aid will be repaid, which seems to be the single biggest concern, not stopping an insane dictator bent on world conquest.
• Thanks, But No Tanks. The U.S. seems determined not to provide the Abrams tank to Ukraine, which would also result in Germany giving permission for countries with licensed Leopard tanks to donate them to Ukraine. The reason? It would cost Ukraine too much to keep them maintained and supplied. News flash: it will cost a lot more if Russia is not defeated and kicked out of Ukraine as soon as possible. Worried about the cost? Adopt the Economic Democracy Actand get to work helping Russia isolate themselves from the rest of the world. In the meantime, Russia is exhibiting its usual paranoid reverse psychology by claiming that western tanks — which the west had better not give Ukraine or they will regard it as an “escalation” (no, really!) — will be completely useless and will change nothing. Translation: given the ”lackluster” performance of the Russian military and the shoddy equipment the “tank superpower of the world” has exhibited, the Russians are soiling themselves in fear that Ukraine will get more than the token dozen Challenger tanks from the U.K.
• Greater Reset “Book Trailers”. We have produced two ninety-second “Book Trailers” for distribution (by whoever wants to distribute them), essentially a minute and a half commercials for The Greater Reset. There are two versions of the videos, one for “general audiences” and the other for “Catholic audiences”. Take your pick.
• 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.
• 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 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 persons 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 24 different countries and 30 states, provinces, and territories in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, and Zimbabwe. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “News from the Network, Vol. 16, No. 2,” “The Purpose of Production,” “JTW Podcast: Aristotle on Distributive Justice,” “Milieu Specialization,” and “Defending Natural Law.”
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 well see that it gets into the next “issue.” Due to imprudent and intemperate language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.