Friday, December 1, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 48



Everyone here at CESJ survived Black Friday . . . mostly by staying in the office and working to advance the Just Third Way.  We figure the greatest gift we could give to the human race is one of hope for the future, and the Just Third Way has that and more:

• In an interesting development, the Just Third Way Hour podcast has been named by at least one listener as a “recommended podcast.”  The latest one (recorded yesterday) is now available.  It’s a little shorter than some of the others, but there are now half a dozen others from which to choose.  One listener (a different one from the one who recommended it, although she recommends it, too) said she now has a “Bluetooth” (an electronic device, not a cosmetic prosthesis) so she can listen to episodes as she does her housework; it’s better than soap operas, at least in her opinion.  (Of course, the problems addressed by the Just Third Way start to sound like a soap opera after a while, except that they can be resolved much easier.)  Word does seem to be getting around, though, about the Just Third Way Hour (which may be as short as 28 minutes. . . .); the “competition” (one group “sort of” promoting expanded ownership . . . in a somewhat socialist fashion) has begun its own series of podcasts on the same subjects we cover.  Coincidence? . . .
Fr. Coughlin: not quite social justice.
• We just obtained a copy of Rev. Charles Coughlin’s Lectures on Social Justice (1935).  It is . . . interesting.  The first thing we saw on opening the book was a tirade against a wealthy individual who said that corporations should not be subject to laws that are any different from the laws affecting human beings.  This sounded reasonable to us, as all persons, natural or artificial, should be equal before the law, except for natural rights inhering in human beings concerning which the State has no competence to grant or abolish in any event.  Coughlin, however, declared that what the wealthy individual really meant was that corporations should not be subject to any law at all!  This was a blatant example of a “straw man argument,” for Coughlin made the mistake of quoting the wealthy individual verbatim, and it was crystal clear that the capitalist had not said what Coughlin claimed he said.  Scanning the rest of the book, it is evident that the arguments are no better on any other subject.
Keynes: "The joke's on you!"
• In a similar instance in a FaceBook comment this past week, someone took exception to the statement by John Maynard Keynes we quoted in a blog posting to the effect that the State has the right to “re-edit the dictionary” when it comes to altering the meaning of money and changing the terms of contracts.  Evidently missing the fact that Keynes was quoted verbatim and the cite given, the commentator declared Keynes had never said any such thing.  The only thing we could do was point out that the quote from Keynes was in boldface type, almost impossible to miss, and that the source was given.  There has been no response from the commentator yet.
Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know.  As many of you already know, TAN Books, an imprint of Saint Benedict Press, has made Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know available for pre-order, for delivery in mid-January.  Interestingly, this book is already the bestselling of any book by an author connected with the Just Third Way.  And why is this of interest to the Global Justice Movement, or an interfaith organization like CESJ?  First, there is the little-known synopsis of the efforts of Heraclius to promote widespread capital ownership.  It must have worked, because the Eastern Roman Empire survived for another 800 years or so, during 450 of which it was considered the most powerful political entity in the western world.  Second, if you want to have a world without war, you had better know what war is about — otherwise, you just end up like the people who want monetary, tax, or ownership reform who have no idea what money, taxes, or private property really are.  (And if those reasons aren’t good enough, it’s an exciting book to read, anyway.)  It’s available now for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble
• Work continues on the draft of The Question of Human Dignity: What Happened to Social Justice.  A tenured professor of Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy is giving the manuscript the once-over, and we’re hoping to run it past an expert in the natural law and Catholic social teaching, even though the book is from an interfaith perspective.
"I do so enjoy a good book and contributing to CESJ!"
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 40 different countries and 48 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Poland.  The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “How to Stimulate Economic Growth,” “About That Corporate Tax Rate,” Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “How to Make America Great Again,” and “Birth of the British Currency School.”
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.”  If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you.  All comments are moderated, so we’ll see it before it goes up.
#30#

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