Tuesday, July 08, 2008

August 7th-9th 2008

(As all may see, we are updating The ChesterBelloc Mandate, but wished to post this right away for all those who are in the St. Louis area and vicinity. We urge all of you to attend this and support Dale Ahlquist, who will be speaking on Distributism.)


St. Louis, MO, USA. The Catholic Central Union of America in St. Louis, in conjunction with the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (“CESJ”) in Arlington, Virginia, is sponsoring the First Social Justice Collaborative Thursday-Saturday, August 7-9 at the St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis. Panels from the American Chesterton Society, the Georgist movement (followers of social reformer Henry George, 1839-1897), and the Center for Economic and Social Justice will be making presentations.

The Chesterton Society panel will make a presentation on Distributism,” a program outlined by renowned thinkers Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) based on restoration of the rights of private property to a broad base of small owners, with a preference for family-owned farms and artisan businesses. The Georgist panel will present the principles of Georgist economics, an economic development model that would treat ownership of land and other resources of nature, as distinct from ownership rights in technologies, structures and enterprises produced by human creativity and initiatives. The CESJ panel will present the basics of the “Just Third Way,” a theoretical framework that combines the post-scarcity principles of binary economist-worker ownership lawyer Louis O. Kelso and his co-author, the Aristotelian-Thomist philosopher Mortimer J. Adler; world design science architect R. Buckminster Fuller; the Marianist social justice scholar Rev. William Ferree, S.M., Ph.D.; and the social activism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The four pillars of the CESJ socio-economic-political model are: a limited economic role for the State; free and open markets for determining justice in prices, wages and profits; restoration of traditional rights of and limitations on private property; and lifting of artificial legal and financial barriers to universal participation in ownership and profits in all wealth-producing assets.

The main speaker for the Distributist position will be Mr. Dale Ahlquist of Minneapolis, Minnesota, president of the American Chesterton Society. The main speaker for the Georgist position will be Edward J. Dodson, founder of the School of Cooperative Individualism and faculty and board member of the Henry George School of Social Science. The main speaker for the Just Third Way will be Dr. Norman G. Kurland of Arlington, Virginia, lawyer-economist and president of CESJ. Also speaking will be Reverend Matthew Habiger, O.S.B., Ph.D., former head of Human Life International and Mr. Geoffrey Gneuhs, author of papers on the history of the Catholic Workers movement, former associate editor of the Catholic Worker newspaper in New York City, who also taught philosophy and ethics at Seton Hall and Fordham universities. Dr. Raphael Waters, Ph.D., president of the Scholars for Social Justice and retired philosophy professor at Niagara University, will moderate the sessions.

The initial session will begin Thursday evening to offer introductory remarks, introduce the presenters and describe the purposes and protocol of the Collaborative. All day Friday will be devoted to panel presentations and discussions, and will be directed toward reaching a common understanding of the principles of natural law and social justice, with special concern for the dignity of the human person, and the social relevance of the institution of private property. All-day Saturday will focus on whether it is possible to apply these common understandings for addressing major economic and social problems in today’s world, such as underutilized and wasted human and productive resources, poverty, family and community breakdown, crime and global terrorism, global warming and the growing need for advanced renewable energy technologies. To move from theorizing on today’s seriously flawed economic, educational, health care, social and political systems, to organized problem-solving action initiatives and reforms, all participants in the Collaborative will be challenged to exchange ideas for developing a global exemplar of advanced integrated technological, entrepreneurial, educational and social development in East St. Louis, IL, widely acknowledged as one of America’s poorest urban communities. Closing portions of the Collaborative will be devoted to making personal commitments to advance the agreed-upon principles and initiatives. This Social Justice Collaborative is anticipated to be the first in a series of Collaboratives designed to refine the principles, follow through on agreed-upon actions, and renew commitment to the effort of restoring economic life to a truly human basis.

For Central Bureau, CCUA, contact:
Thomas Hoover
3835 Westminster Place
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: 314-371-1653
E-mail: centbur@sbcglobal.net

For CESJ, contact:
Dawn Brohawn
Phone: 703-243-5155
E-mail: dbrohawn@cesj.org

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On Cooperative Ownership

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