News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 48
For a slight change in pace this week, there a few — very few indications that things could turn around. This does not mean that things will turn around, but that there is a possibility that they could turn around. Of course (you know what’s coming) the possibility would be greater if there would be a strong push to adopt the Economic Democracy Act . . . but one step at a time:
• Fusion Breakthrough. This past week the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced a breakthrough in fusion power, specifically they had achieved a reaction that generated more power than went in. This is a tremendous accomplishment, as now the task is to increase efficiency to the point where the process generates not only enough power to be self-sustaining but is commercially viable. This can end dependence on the fossil fuels, and thus (for example) the power of terrorist states like Russia that think they have a gun to the head of other countries and can get away with anything they want. Of course, you have the nay-sayers (in the pay of the oil and coal companies?) who instantly began preaching that fusion power is not a panacea for climate change. Well . . . nobody with a good grasp of the situation ever said it was. It would certainly not hurt, if you’re concerned about it, but if climate change is natural as some insist, or other factors are more important, then it won’t be a magic wand. Just be glad that the end is in sight for a monopoly over electrical power, and what that can mean for individual lives and the common good. Of course, development can be financed by adopting the Economic Democracy Act.
|You don't question Fearless Leader and live.|
• Universal Criminal State. In addition to claiming territory it doesn’t occupy or that it sold a century and a half ago, such as Alaska, the Russian Duma (legislature) recently passed a law granting every Russian citizen complete immunity from all acts committed outside Russia. At the same time, anyone in Russia can be arrested for anything Putin decides is a crime, such as using the wrong words about Putin, or not cheering Putin, not bribing Putin, or not worshipping Putin. This is similar to the arrangement in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, when someone could be arrested at any time for anything deemed contrary to the interest of the government, and others received awards for crimes against humanity. This, of course, is intended to protect Russians who commit war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but it effectively gives Russians anywhere in the world a license to kill, rape, steal, or anything else they want to do as long as they can make it safely back to Russia . . . or get exchanged for someone taken hostage in Russia.
|"I don't have to make sense — and I don't."|
• It’s Not Inflation, It’s Rising Prices . . . Huh? Once again, the experts have succeeded in baffling us with their Keynesian doubletalk. In the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism, we define inflation as a rise in the price level. This can either be “natural,” “cost-push inflation,” in which an increase in the cost of producing something or a decrease in the supply of it raises the price, or natural or unnatural “demand-pull inflation.” Demand-pull inflation if it is natural results from a change in consumer tastes, needs, or preferences. For (a bad) example, everybody stops buying soap and starts buying perfume to cover up the smell. Demand for soap and thus the price of soap falls, while the price of perfume rises or “inflates.” That is natural. Unnatural or artificial demand-pull inflation is caused by manipulation, e.g., the government passes a law mandating that everybody will use perfume instead of soap. More commonly, the government prints money, cheapening the currency and raising the price level. It’s all inflation, so the article differentiating between fluctuations in supply, demand, and consumer tastes and claiming it’s not inflation is simply playing word games.
|It's all illusion|
• Virtual and Illusory Commodities. An interesting bit of news concerns Bitcoin miners, who assumed massive amounts of debt to finance Bitcoin “mining” . . . a virtual commodity that has nothing of value backing it up, not even the faith and credit of some government that can tax (sometimes) its citizens. Pardon us if it bears a strong resemblance to college students who are hoodwinked into taking out massive amounts of debt to finance their qualifications for jobs that don’t even exist and for which they don’t qualify, anyway. A better answer would be to qualify them to become owners and adopt the Economic Democracy Act
|Jpw management views workers.|
• Is Working at Home “Catastrophic”? According to billionaire James Dyson, allowing people to work at home is “catastrophic” because managers won’t be able to crack the whip and keep them busy. Evidently Dyson isn’t aware that for thousands of years before the modern age people lived and worked at home, and there was no problem keeping them busy. The difference, of course, is that for thousands of years most people worked for themselves instead of being someone else’s slave, wage or otherwise. Many people spent so much time working, in fact, that Church and State sometimes had to make laws to force people to rest or spend time with their families. So, if you want to make certain people keep working no matter where they are, the answer seems obvious: turn them into owners, so that the more work they do, the more they benefit. One way to do that is the Economic Democracy Act.
|Fisher: "Give me money!"|
• Counterfeiting to Rescue Speculators. Similar to the “reflation” Irving Fisher proposed in the 1930s to recover his stock market losses in the Crash of 1929, Robert Kiyosaki claims that the Federal Reserve might print trillions more counterfeit money (albeit it semi-legally) to rescue Bitcoin speculators. This, of course, will remain a danger as long as the Federal Reserve continues to issue money backed only with government debt and not private sector hard assets as required under the Economic Democracy Act.
|"I love money and power!"|
• Cost of Rebuilding Ukraine is Really Not a Problem. Many people are expressing concern about the enormous amounts of money that will needed to rebuild Ukraine. This is a legitimate concern and needs to be addressed. After all, not even Putin with all his ill-gotten wealth and the Russian economy can afford to pay for the physical damage, to say nothing of the indemnities due for the criminal slaughter of civilians. Fortunately, rebuilding even the most devastated country can be done profitably . . . if done the right way, with the Economic Democracy Act, which does not let Putin and Russia off the hook for reparations, but it would even help Russia pay that enormous bill . . . if they first get rid of Putin.
• Living with Mommy and Daddy. According to the latest reports, more than half of all young adults are living at home under their parents’ roofs. This is more than at any time since the 1940s. These people are not, however, contributing to the family purse a was considered the thing to do in days of yore, but using their money to fuel a boom in the demand for luxury goods as Mommy and Daddy pick up the tab for basic living expenses. Now, there is nothing wrong with living at home, but the common arrangement today is that young adults are in the position of being lords and ladies of the manor while the parents are servants. At the very least, parents should require adult offspring living at home to kick in to the common purse, and to start setting something aside to move out or build up assets instead of spending everything. Of course, the Economic Democracy Act, would empower people to build up assets and contribute to the common purse even before they are adults, so that should be the ultimate goal, but in the meantime . . .
|Hungary shifts . . . slightly|
• Hungary Shifts . . . Slightly. Hungary has dropped its threat to veto European Union aid to Ukraine. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that Viktor Orban is still being obstructionist and favoring Putin. On the one hand this almost makes sense. Okay, it doesn’t make any sense at all, almost or otherwise. Is Ukraine infested with Nazis? Hungary — largely due to its legacy as a key partner in the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I — favored Germany, and thus at the very least went along with the Nazi Party. If Zelenskyy is a Jewish Nazi, then shouldn’t Hungary be supporting Ukraine? Then there is the fact that historically Hungary has viewed Russia as an enemy. Russia was the enemy in both world wars and the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. Why suck up to Russia now, especially when it’s obvious Russia has already lost the war?
|Which one, though?|
• Deal of the Century? The new aid package for Ukraine has been described as “the deal of the century.” Well, the century isn’t even a quarter over yet, so there may be other, better deals coming down the pike. Frankly, it’s really not all that great a deal, because the only quid pro quo is the admittedly essential goal of stopping the insane dictator Putin from getting away with theft and murder on a gigantic scale. That, however, doesn’t assuage the peace-at-any-price types who keep insisting that Ukraine somehow started the war and that nothing justifies not giving in to Putin’s demands. The best way to answer that is for Ukraine to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, and be put in the position of paying for its own rebuilding and prepaying the money and equipment it’s gotten to defeat Putin for the rest of us.
|When the South lost the Civil War|
• War Doesn’t Pay. One of the things Putin has accomplished is to gut the Russian economy in his effort to conquer Ukraine. Productive capacity has fallen to such a point that Russia is exhausting its strategic stockpiles of ammunition and is using munitions that are at least half a century old at a rate not seen since World War II. This stuff often doesn’t even come out of the barrel, and even if it does, it is “dud” and doesn’t explode on contact (although “solid shot” can still be extremely damaging). Looking at the situation objectively, all the signs indicate that Russia has already lost this war, but is determined to destroy Ukraine even if it means national suicide for Russia. This is even worse than what Robert E. Lee did when he decided to carry the war home to the enemy and invaded the North . . . resulting in the Battle of Gettysburg, the single biggest battle ever fought in North or South America. Had Lee not invaded the North, the signs were that the Confederacy would have been able to hold out long enough to negotiate a peace treaty. Having expended virtually all his reserves of men and munitions at Gettysburg, however, the South had nothing with which to bargain. Before Gettysburg, the North was tired of war and a negotiated peace was possible. After Gettysburg, virtually everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the South lost. Even Putin knows at this point his war is lost, but he is insane and refuses to admit it, so everyone must die.
|The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street|
• Bank of England Raises Interest Rate. The venerable Bank of England has announced that it will be raising the interest rate to 3.5%. The idea seems to be that raising the cost of doing business and thus of economic activity will stimulate business and economic growth. This is a Keynesian prescription that has never worked, but all the experts insist that it must work. You see, according to Keynesian theory, inflation isn’t real inflation until full employment has been reached. So, whatever you do with the money supply and anything else prior to reaching full employment isn’t inflationary because it’s not inflation. Brilliant! Of course, the Keynesian prescription is predicated on the assumption that the whole of the money supply is created by government and is backed by government debt . . . which completely ignores the vast amount of private sector money that is not created by government and is backed with private sector assets. Thus, the idea is that you reduce demand (demand pull inflation) by inducing cost-push inflation. The result is the same: the price level continues to rise, but it doesn’t meet the Keynesian definition of inflation so it’s not real . . .
|"Blut und Eisen" Bismarck didn't understand money, either.|
• A War of Past Savings. One of the greatest economic fallacies of all time is the idea that it takes money to make money. No, the reality is that it takes production to make money; money derives from economic activity, not the other way around. This accounts for Otto von Bismarck’s imposition of an endemnity on France following the Franco-Prussian War, hoping to destroy France economically forever, and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s targeting infrastructure and everything else in his war on Ukraine. As a side note, Putin’s activities demonstrate in the most graphic manner possible — even if Ukrainian resistance didn’t prove it — that the “Special Military Operation” is definitely NOT a “liberation.” You don’t destroy what you’re liberating. Putin’s idea is that if you cause enough damage, people will just give up because their resources are exhausted. This is also why targeting productive capacity is also a priority. From a Just Third Way perspective, what is important is not productive capacity, but productive potential . . . and productive potential doesn’t rely on what exists, but what can exist. In the Just Third Way, future growth — potential — is not financed by past decreases in consumption (existing savings), but from future increases in production . . . which is what commercial and central banks were invented to create money to finance.
• 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 Lawis, 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, NOTto CESJ.
• 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 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 20 different countries and 23 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 Philippines, Canada, India, and Russia. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” “Inequality is the Root of All Social Evil,” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 47,” “Reflections on Biafra,” and “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property.”