Some people define the concept of subsidiarity as the State doing whatever the individual cannot do for him- or herself. More accurately, the Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary (a supporting, rather than subordinate) function. The central authority thereby performs only those tasks that cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
One of the most disturbing things about the radical Islamic movement is the insistence on imposing Sharia (religious) Law under a new Caliphate, in which the head of state is also head of the religion, and government enforces purely religious doctrines and practices. This violates the traditional separation of Church, State, and Family that characterizes political theory based on the laws and customs of the ancient Roman Res Publica — the Republic.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Things are starting to pick up in the Just Third Way as people come off their summer breaks and start back in on the work of civilization -- or, at least, saving civilization so its work can continue. The events of this week may have been few in number, but they make up in significance what they lack in quantity:
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Once in a while we get comments from Austrian school economists about how binary economics is completely off the wall, a cluster of errors, inflationary nonsense . . . you see the drift. When people disagree on matters monetary, pretty much anything goes if it undermines the other person’s position.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Yesterday we looked at the problem of viewing redistribution as a solution instead of as an expedient to buy time on the way to developing and implementing a solution. We decided that, consistent with common sense and Say’s Law of Markets (which is an application of principles of common sense, e.g., you can’t consume something that hasn’t been produced), viewing redistribution in any form as anything other than a short term expedient is not a good idea.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Many people agree that something must be done, and done now, about the growing wealth and income gap. When you add other problems, such as the mounting debt crises (government, student, and consumer), the alleged “recovery” from the “Great Recession/Depression,” spreading political instability, and a host of others, you end up with a seemingly hopeless situation.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Every so often someone expresses concern over CESJ’s use of the word “capital.” Isn’t this a bad word? Wouldn’t it be better to use a friendlier term like “productive” or “creative” wealth? After all, we don’t want to alienate potential supporters who are rightfully outraged at the abuses we see in the capitalist system.
Friday, September 19, 2014
The stock market is, as usual, booming . . . which is odd, considering just how many people are without both capital and jobs, how big the debt has grown (pushing $134 trillion as of noon today, if you include both “funded” and “unfunded” liabilities), and the way the government insists on spending money it doesn’t have like a drunken sailor on leave.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
With the recent news about Fulton Sheen’s “cause” for canonization being suspended, we are faced with the possibility of a very Chestertonian paradox relating to the “American Chesterton”: the bad news of the suspension could be very good news, indeed. It could, in our opinion, be a signal that the American hierarchy is finally going to be forced to deal with the problems created by Monsignor John A. Ryan and settle them, once and for all.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
In a purely speculative exercise, and assuming that the whole fight over his corpse is a diversion, we’ve been putting forth what we think are some reasons why Fulton Sheen’s “cause” for canonization may have been put on hold. Oddly enough, we think we might have come up with a plausible reason — keeping in mind that “plausible” does not mean “probable,” and that “probable” does not mean “I-really-want-this-to-have-happened-therefore-it-did.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Yesterday we reviewed very briefly Fulton Sheen’s stand on the natural law, justice, charity, and all that sort of thing. We believe that he is fully consistent with the principles of the Just Third Way . . . or that the principles of the Just Third Way are fully consistent with him; whichever way you want to take it.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Last week we started discussing the recent suspension of the “cause” of Fulton Sheen. Naturally, we covered why on earth it was even newsworthy for the Just Third Way: he was a champion of reason and justice. That should be enough. We also mentioned why the suspension of his “cause” is a matter of concern even to a non-religious organization.
Friday, September 12, 2014
The “experts” are now starting to predict a “fallback” or “correction” in the stock market. This is something we’ve been warning about for some time. Like most “booms,” the rapid, even drastic increase in stock prices unconnected with a sound economy, full production, and widespread capital ownership in an economy in which capital grossly out-produces labor has a very hollow sound when thumped, accounting for that booming sound.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Last week we learned that the “cause” for Fulton Sheen’s canonization has been suspended. This was a surprising and disappointing development, even to non-Catholics who would like to see such a great thinker and champion of justice honored.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Item Number 6 on the CESJ Code of Ethics is Enthusiasm. As the Code states, “Fear not the heat, excitement or intensity of debate. This passion is healthy and natural for those committed to the pursuit of the Truth. Don’t throw cold water on the normal exhilaration and emotions people feel when they are reaching out to the borders of reason and new ideas.”
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Yesterday we looked at what you can’t do: mix politics and religion. When we start basing things in the realm of natural law, or human positive law based on the natural law, on faith, we’re just asking for trouble.
Monday, September 8, 2014
A while back one of our readers made some comment to the effect that what the world needs now is another Inquisition to whip people (and things) into shape, and get some morality back in society. We assume our reader meant the actual Inquisition, not one of the various myths that have grown up around the institution. (Cf. Edward Peters, Inquisition. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1989.)
Friday, September 5, 2014
One year ago this week CESJ published the Just Third Way Edition of Fulton J. Sheen’s Freedom Under God. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, be sure to do so. Quantities are not limited — we encourage you to purchase as many as meet your needs — but Sheen’s message has an increasing importance and immediacy for today, and the sooner word gets out, the better.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
A week or so ago, Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson gave his opinion of the current economic situation and what should be done about it in “Owner-take-all” (The Washington Post, 08/28/14, A17). On looking through our records, we realized that we had written a number of similar letters to the Post regarding similar opinions expressed by Mr. Meyerson in previous, also similar columns.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Finishing off our Capital Day Trilogy, today we look at the 800-pound gorilla in the room: if capital ownership is so good, and the rights of private property are to “be held sacred and inviolable” (Rerum Novarum, § 46), how are people without capital supposed to get capital if they can’t get it from the people with capital?
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
In the late 1860s, the English political economist William Thomas Thornton published On Labour: Its Wrongful Claims and Rightful Dues, Its Actual Present and Possible Future, which he revised in 1870. In the book, Thornton recognized that both workers and owners of capital have rights. The problem was how to sort them out and deal with everyone justly.
Monday, September 1, 2014
We’re anticipating a little, but we think that today should be celebrated as “Capital Day,” or (if you prefer) as “Widespread Direct Ownership of Capital Day” (“WDOOCD”), which just rolls off the tongue. The only question in the minds of our millions of viewers is . . . why?