Dr. Robert D. CranePosted Nov 11, 2008 •Permalink • Printer-Friendly Version
The Dissolution of Two Party America: Challenge or Opportunity for a Grand Strategy of Paradigmatic Revolution?
by Dr. Robert D. Crane
Scholar in Residence
International Institute of Islamic Thought
CHALLENGE AND RESPONSE
The hidden hand behind the American presidential election of 2008 was dissatisfaction with what is, the pursuit of what isn’t yet, but no clear perspective on what that might be. Both parties called for a change in atmospherics from fear to hope in order to move America ahead, but the conflicts within each party prevented either one of them from spelling out either the guidelines or specifics of where to go.
The challenges and opportunities both in America and throughout the world at every level from the individual to entire civilizations are unprecedented. Failure to agree on purpose and policy at any of these levels may cause the major parties to split into warring factions more dedicated to counter or defeat each other internally than to compete with the other party or parties in pursuing the higher good of peace, prosperity, and freedom through justice, which the preamble to the American Constitution declared is the purpose of the Great American Experiment.
The challenge for Muslims, as well as for every American, is to overcome the ‘‘sub-optimized’’ approach to politics and instead to focus on the guiding paradigms of thought that shape the political agenda and in turn control policy. This more principled approach to the political process might increase the conflict within the two major parties even more than between them and give rise to third parties committed to pursue the higher goals that have been compromised by so-called practical politics.
The pursuit of justice as traditionally the highest stated goal of the American nation has almost disappeared from public life. If both of the major parties should fail to meet the challenges and opportunities in the years immediately ahead, the governing framework of power as an ultimate value to be pursued as a matter of survival may be replaced by a paradigm shift to justice as the ultimate solution to reintegrate a disintegrating world.
The elevation of principled hope for paradigmatic change over unprincipled obsession with securing the status quo with all of its injustices in order merely to survive may lead to recognition that the greatest source of injustice is the concentration of economic and political power at the expense of universal human rights.
Third parties may arise in order to address not merely the need for new policies but the institutional change needed to carry out the policies, as well as the new paradigms of thought needed to change the institutions. Examples of such basic change might include changing the very nature of money and credit in order to address the growing wealth gap both at home and abroad, as well as changing America’s policies of so-called nation-building, which call for concentrating political power sometimes in artificial states at the expense of existing nations that would prefer federal or confederal cooperation, for example, in building ownership of natural resources into individual citizens.
Such strategic initiatives of compassionate change within the framework of faith-based justice and faith-based reconciliation are currently out-of-the-box and politically incorrect, but they may be the only means to reduce the major causes of extremism and to marginalize terrorists, who in the future could gain access to ever more destructive and more easily deliverable weapons.
A grand strategy of justice would require a paradigm shift that might cause existing political parties to splinter and thereby create the space for new parties to emerge from the old ones. The felt need to pursue justice as an overriding goal might also cause brand new parties to arise as part of the evolution that is natural and essential for every civilization to prosper and for a pluralist world of civilizations to cooperate effectively in respecting and promoting human responsibilities and human rights.
II. The Challenge for Muslims
The dynamics of policy-making in America are simple. Policies are controlled by agendas. Agendas are shaped by strategy. Strategy is produced by paradigms of thought. In reverse order, intellectuals, especially those in academia, produce, maintain, or change paradigms. Academicians consult for think-tanks, which shape agendas. Think-tankers by setting the policy agenda control the tactics of policy-making. Policy tacticians in the legislative and executive branches modify policy to serve special interests. All three levels of policymaking feed the fourth branch of American government, namely, the media, which, in turn, influences the makers of paradigms, agendas, and policies.
The grand historian Fernand Braudel addressed these three levels of the policy process by identifying three levels of information. The lowest level, which makes up most of the news, consists of factual reporting on current events. The next higher level consists of both reporting and analysis of policies and policy agendas. In America this makes up the rest of the news. The highest level of information, seldom seen even in Europe, concerns the changes in institutions that reflect changes in frameworks of thought. This highest level shapes history but it is visible and operative only over a time scale of years and even decades.
Muslims interested in the policy process address only policies, which means that at best they are mere tacticians. They have almost no influence in the grand strategy and process of making policy, which starts at the level of paradigms of thought. Their focus on changing policies they do not like means that they weigh in too late after the policies have already been adopted. This makes them almost irrelevant to the policy process. Furthermore, Muslims generally are self-centered and provincial by focusing only on promoting policies favorable to Muslims as a special interest group. This is why Muslims are often regarded in Washington as a threat or at best as a nuisance.
Organized Jews also act as a special interest group, but they address the larger interests of America as part of a macro strategy that targets the entire policy process, especially at the paradigmatic level, which in the long run always has both the first and the last word.
This almost insuperable tactical and reactive mindset among Muslims has made it impossible for them to make progress in joining the think-tank community and networking within it, which is the secret to influence in Washington. This tribalistic mentality was foreign to me when I first encountered it thirty years ago. The extent of the challenge was brought home to me in 1985 when I was asked to give a plenary address at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America under the title ‘‘A Strategy for America.’’ As a professional think-tanker, I proceeded to outline the framework and agenda of an enlightened American foreign policy designed to promote justice. There was no response at all. Years later, one the listeners told me this was so mind-blowing that it took him years to digest it. He told me that he may have been the only one of the thousand or so Muslims in the audience who had any idea of what I was saying. He said that everyone there expected me to give a talk on how to combat American foreign policy and develop a strategy not for America but against it.
A decade later when I was asked to intervene in a policy matter before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Lee Hamilton, I asked him if he would listen to advice from a Muslim think-tank. His eyes lit up and he replied, ‘‘Every day on Capitol Hill or in the Executive Branch I deal with issues that involve Muslims somewhere in the world. If American Muslims would ever found a competitive think-tank, we would beat down your door to bring you into our discussions.’’ ‘‘But,’’ he added, ‘‘I have only one condition. You must address every issue from the point of view of what is best not for Muslims but for America.’’ More than another decade later his common sense may gradually be registering where it can make a difference.
III. Injustice: A Case Study
The highest level of policy-making is paradigm management. There are many paradigms competing in the world today. The most powerful one is the pursuit of power, specifically power as the ultimate purpose of policy and as the ultimate grand strategy to achieve it. This may be based on a number of factors, but the most powerful usually is fear of chaos, reinforced with arrogance in thinking that power divorced from justice is a cure for chaos rather than a cause.
Another paradigm that has always competed in the grand strategy of paradigm management is justice, specifically, the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and freedom through compassionate justice. This is central to all the world religions. Its teaching must always be renewed, which is why prophets were sent to every nation since the dawn of sentient life on earth and in their formative years had to be renewed in the so-called monotheistic religions of the Holy Land of Southwest Asia.
Justice, according to modern conceptions of natural law, is not produced by man alone as a system of man-made ethics, but is derived from three sources. These are divine revelation, the study of the universe, and the use of human reason in understanding the first two. The result in the world religions is considered to be the Will of God. Its substance is a code of human rights consisting of respect for at least seven major elements. In classical Islamic law, known as the maqasid al shari’ah, these are respect for freedom of religion, for individual human life, for the family and community at every level as derived from the sacredness of the human person, for economic independence based on ownership of productive property, for political self-determination based on all of the elements of human rights, for gender equity, and for freedom of thought, expression, and assembly.
Justice can be understood most easily in contrast to its opposite, namely, injustice. It seems obvious to most people that extreme concentrations of wealth at the expense of those who have no access to wealth is unjust, if only because those who own the wealth in society also in effect own the government and can decide the meaning of human rights and who qualifies for them. For this reason, economic justice may be considered the most important in defining the legitimate purpose of society’s institutions and governing policies. Reaction to injustice is one of the major causes of extremism and terrorism. This is why the extent of economic injustice is important in considering the urgency of the need for a paradigm shift from power to justice.
The wealth gap is the clearest measure of injustice. It is also the most urgent challenge that must be met, because it is growing constantly within and among nations. The implosion of global finance and of the world economy during the American electioneering in 2008 is merely a symptom of defective economic institutionalization. The seriousness of the gap between the extraordinarily rich and the rest of society can be seen in the statistics that predated the presidency of George W. Bush, who is blamed unjustly as a major cause of the problem.
Consider the following statistics as a case study of injustice. These were published on September 29, 2002, in my article, ‘‘Economic Justice: A Cure for Terrrism?,’’ http://www.theamericanmuslim.org.
1) “The wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans grew an average $1.44 billion each from 1997-2000, for an average daily increase in wealth of $1,920,000 per person ($240,000 per hour or 46,602 times the U.S. minimum wage). See http://www.forbes.com
2) Funds in the hands of U.S. money managers grew from $1.9 trillion in 1980 to $17 trillion in 2,000. While those funds were under the control of fiduciaries (half the funds are due to tax incentives), the pay gap between top executives and production workers in the 362 largest U.S. companies soared from 42:1 in 1980 to 475:1 in 1999. See “Executive Pay Report,” Business Week, April 7, 2000, p. 100.
3) Baby boomers can look forward to a future where a single person may have more financial wealth than an entire generation, all 76 million strong. Far-fetched? From l983-1997, only the top five percent of U.S. households saw an increase in net worth, while wealth declined for everyone else. See Federal Reserve Bulletin, January 2000, p. 10.
4) The financial wealth of the top one percent of U.S. households in 1998 exceeded the combined household financial wealth of the bottom 95 percent. See Edward N. Wolff, “Recent Trends in Wealth Ownership,” a paper for the conference on “Benefits and Mechanisms for Spreading Asset Ownership in the United States,” New York University, December 10-12, 1998.
5) The share of the nation’s after-tax income received by the top one percent doubled from 1979-1997. By 1998, the top-earning one percent had as much combined income as the 100 million Americans with the lowest earnings. See Congressional Budget Office Memorandum, “Estimates of Federal Tax Liabilities for Individuals and Families by Income Category and Family Type for 1995 and 1999,” May 1998.
6) The top fifth of U.S. households claims 49.2 percent of national income while the bottom fifth gets by on 3.6 percent. See http://www.census.gov (Table H-2). Between 1979 and 1997, the average income of the richest fifth jumped from nine times the income of the poorest fifth to fifteen times. See The Economist, June 16-22, 2001.”
Equally depressing is the statistical rundown on the global impact of the mal-structure maintained by all the international financial institutions.
1) “Eighty countries had per capita incomes in the Year 2000 lower than a decade earlier in 1990. Sixty countries have grown steadily poorer since 1980.
2) In 1960, the income gap between the fifth of the world’s people living in the richest countries and the fifth in the poorest countries was 30 to 1. By 1990, the gap had widened to 60 to 1. By 1998, it had surged to 74 to one.
3) From 1995 to 1999 the world’s 200 wealthiest people doubled their net worth to $1,000 billion.
4) Three billion people presently live on $2 or less per day, while 1.3 billion of those get by on $1 or less per day. With global population expanding 80 million each year, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn cautioned that, unless we address the “challenge of inclusion,” thirty years hence we may have 5 billion people living on $2 or less per day.
5) Two billion people suffer from malnutrition, including 55 million in industrial countries. In three decades, neo-liberal globalization could create a world where 3.7 billion people suffer from malnutrition.
6) UNDP’s assessment: “Development that perpetuates today’s inequalities is neither sustainable nor worth sustaining.’’
7) In Indonesia, 61.7 percent of the stock market’s value is held by that nation’s fifteen richest families. The comparable figure for the Phillipines is 55.1 percent and 55.3 percent for Thailand. See Stijn Claessens, Simeon Djankov and Larry H. P. Lang, “Who Controls East Asian Corporations?” Washington D.C.: The World Bank, 1999. This source concludes that, with help from the global regulatory agent, the WTO [World Trade Organization], neo-liberalism is evoking a future where a handful of the world’s most well-to-do families may pocket more than 50 percent of [the expected additional] $90 trillion in financial wealth.”
These statistics are shocking because they are little known and because the trend toward ever greater concentration of wealth has continued during the past decade. No single Administration and no single person is at fault for this multiplication of injustices. Those who manage the system probably are vincibly ignorant of the institutional defects that cause the injustices or else they do not see any way to perfect the system.
Government regulation of the financial markets in order to assure transparency and responsibility would not change the trends toward ever greater injustice. In fact, the suggested cures for the financial implosion in Wall Street and for the economic impact on Main Street in 2008 might serve only to preserve the underlying defects in the system. Certainly individual persons exploited the system for their own profits at the expense of others, but the fault lay as much with the system as with them. Even honest participants in the system can do little or nothing to mitigate its inevitable injustices, because the very concept of creating money backed only by negative value, namely, debt, instead of by real assets in accordance with the ‘‘real goods’’ doctrine, leads to the creation of artificial wealth and to concentration of its ownership with no productive purpose. At the height of the giant ponzi scheme based on derivitives of derivitives, which finally imploded during the 2008 presidential campaign, one third of what was considered to be the total national wealth had no real value at all.
IV. Failed Solutions
The solution to such concentration of wealth has been pursued in two opposite and equally irrelevant directions. Revolutionary theoreticians in the 19th century invented the paradigm of governmentally owned and managed socialism. This was popular for almost two centuries because the “man in the street” equated and confused it with compassion. Other theoreticians at the same time invented the paradigm of the free market based on private ownership of the means of production, with management through the “invisible hand” of “economic efficiency.” Neither of them dreamed that there could be a Just Third Way because both of them were caught in their own closed paradigm of thought. Each of the major political parties in America is pursuing a different paradigm of thought. When it becomes obvious that both have failed, this may splinter the parties into those who want real change and those who cannot even imagine it.
Many of the advocates of what the socialists derogatorily called “capitalism” were just as morally sensitive as was Karl Marx, and just as committed to justice, but also equally naïve. Today even the barons of economic globalization, such as those who gather at Davos and congregate at such fora as the Aspen Institute, the Bohemian Grove, and the Renaissance Weekends, are beginning to recognize that there has to be a third way to avoid the evils of doctrinaire economics in order to reduce the headlong rush toward enormous concentration of enormous wealth without destroying the system that has produced it.
The only solution is not to fly planes into tall buildings but fundamentally to restructure the entire system of money and banking in order to broaden capital ownership and thereby avoid the need to steal from capital owners by governmentally mandated re-distribution of wealth. The best solution is a revolution in access to pure credit based on future earnings from productive investment, so that wealth is distributed during the production process not afterwards in derogation of property ownership.
Some economists blame interest burdened finance as the chief culprit, because this made derivative sales profitable in addition to the expected profits from speculation. Lending at interest is a powerful concentrator of wealth, especially when the legal system promotes monopolization of credit by exclusionary methods of finance based on past wealth as collateral rather than on pure credit from future profits.
Reliance on interest-burdened finance has contributed to much of the stagnation in the non-developing world. No loans should ever have been given to governments or even to privately owned enterprises in the Third World. For those who believe that “big is better,” the “statism” inherent in reliance on governments to manage the use of money from abroad undermines the opportunities that multinationals can offer to democratize capital credit by facilitating the entry of local ownership into global corporations, with the consequent benefits of spreading know-how and superior access by locals to global markets. For those who believe that “small is beautiful,” return on investment in locally-based, private enterprise, with substantial employee ownership and provision for automatic divestment of foreign ownership out of profits, is the best way to promote business integrity and economic independence.
Certainly no loans should ever go to crony capitalists, like the maffia in Russia, who used “privatization” to steal the country at fire-sale prices and then embezzled funds from all the international lending institutions in a frenzy of corruption that nearly destroyed the country. The hopes of millions throughout Eastern Europe were dashed as privatization of individual companies to their employees was discouraged. In Poland, more than fifteen percent ownership by workers in the factories where they worked was decreed to be illegal. The rationale, given by former World Bank president and Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, was that reliable international investment, and effective international policy, requires concentration of power at the top.
The solution is not the abolition of interest, even though financial interest is not necessary for a productive economy. As politically uncorrect specialists in group psychology have contended for many decades, the solution is the reverse of the McNamara doctrine. The solution is to remove the barriers to broadened capital ownership in order to promote the democratization of capital credit as a fundamental human right. The solution is known in Roman Catholic moral theology as the doctrine of subsidiarity, whereby all problems should be solved at the lowest possible level and elevated to higher levels of governance only when there is no other way. Since political power is a product of economic power, and economic power belongs to those who own the means of production, the solution is the one-man-one-vote system of individual capital ownership.
The mechanisms to perfect the existing system of private ownership without destroying it have been spelled out and promoted by the inter-faith think-tank/global-network, The Center for Economic and Social Justice. This was founded by Norman Kurland in 1984 as a platform to establish what the next year became the Presidential Task Force on Economic Justice. President Ronald Reagan backed this initiative more enthusiastically than anything other than the space-based anti-missile defense system, known as Star Wars, because he clearly saw that political democracy is impossible without economic democracy, and that evil empires and axes of evil of whatever sort can be both deterred and countered with brute force but can be defeated only through economic justice.
When we could not get this project past the White House bureaucracy, even with the help of Norman Bailey, who headed planning in the National Security Council, we ran an end run around it by rejecting all government funding and tacking it onto the Foreign Aid Authorization bill as the only presidential task force ever created by Congress. My role was to chair its Financial Markets Committee, based on my experience as the Executive Vice-President of a national bank and as the Principal Economic and Budget Advisor to the Finance Minister of the Emirate of Bahrain.
We cannot afford any more failed solutions. Reagan’s evil empire is still out there. Nowadays it is an amorphous but still targetible Al Qa’ida, but tomorrow it may be a hundred al qa’idas with no leadership because none will be necessary to accomplish the common goal of indiscriminate destruction. The choice is between working “within the system” or destroying it in a frenzy of the French Revolution’s apres moi le deluge. Islamic scholars have carefully developed criteria for both just war and just revolution. They include probability of success in producing something better than the present and probability that the damage of war and revolution can be contained.
Economic justice alone, of course, will not eliminate terrorists, nor will even political justice. Since Muslims are the only ones who can drain the intellectual cesspools in which the terrorists swim, they must take the lead in exposing the usually well-healed leaders of terrorism as un-Islamic. Terrorism, which is termed hirabah (not jihad) in Arabic, was uniformly condemned by all the classical Islamic scholars, even by those who were imprisoned by the authorities (which included all the greatest scholars in Islamic history), because it was the classic example of the fasad (or societal corruption) that destroys civilization (al hadara al islamiya). Osama bin Laden is nothing less than a Beast of the Anti-Christ (the Masiah al Dajal) and his terrorism against America is hirabah al shaitaniyyah, a satanic war that can only plunge all of humanity into centuries or millennia of barbarism. We must understand where he is coming from, but also where he is going.
Our task is not merely to stop evil, which can’t be done, but to promote good, which, God willing, can overcome it. These opposite paradigmatic approaches apply not only in addressing the evils of economic injustice but more generally in dealing with all the challenges and opportunities in both domestic and foreign policy.
V. A Consumer’s Manifesto
Even within the justice movement in America there are differing versions of the basic paradigm. Perhaps all versions accept Say’s Law that a just system of economics would assure that the power to consume equals the power to produce. This would hold true if those who own the means of production are the consumers of the produce. It would also hold true if the government redistributes the earnings of the owners to non-owning consumers. These are two opposing means to the same end.
The cause of splits within the justice movement may come from disagreement over method and from mutual accusations that the opponent’s method is not what it purports to be.
A current example of a possible cause of such disagreement is the consumer manifesto or ‘‘open letter’’ from the World Prout Assembly founded by Garda Ghista to President-Elect Barack Obama, which is gathering signatures by the thousands all over the world. This manifesto, prepared by Richard Cook and entitled ‘‘Open Letter and Petition to the G-20 Leaders Regarding the ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’, November 15th, 2008,’’ rightly recognizes that a privately owned central bank, like the Federal Reserve System in America, which creates money backed by interest burdened debt, instead of by real assets, inevitably will concentrate ownership of both wealth and political power in Wall Street instead of in Main Street. It also inevitably will funnel both economic and political power into Wall Street’s totally unproductive and even counterproductive world of artificial finance.
This open letter rightly recognizes the problem of injustice, but what is it approach to maintaining a balance between production and consumption? For example, it speaks of a national dividend, which could be another word for socialism and redistribution of wealth through government ownership of wealth production. This might overcome the injustices of ‘‘trickle down’’ economics, but would replace it with trickle down political power.
The details of the manifesto are important because they may differ in many ways from similar proposals rooted more in the sacredness of private property and in the need to protect it by limiting the role of government in favor of other means to accomplish the same goals. The text of her approach to economic justice as a policy paradigm follows:
Open Letter and Petition to the G-20 Leaders Regarding the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy,” November 15th, 2008
We have noted with deep interest and concern that leaders of the G-20 are meeting in Washington, D.C., November 15th for the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.”
Such a summit is surely needed, but not just to fix the catastrophically failing world financial system. No matter how much tinkering around the edges the leaders might engage in or how many bailouts are provided to financial institutions, we all recognize that nothing worthwhile will have been accomplished without a paradigm shift in the relationship between finance and the daily lives of the citizens of the globe.
The world today is suffering under the crushing burden of a debt-based monetary system operated by privately-owned banks. The system’s main characteristic is to channel wealth upward from those who work for a living into the hands of those who lend money. Financial profits are then supposed to work themselves downward through investment and spending. We know it in the U.S. as “trickle-down” economics, and it has failed. This system by its nature is unjust and is the root cause of today’s crisis.
We demand that this system be changed into one that reflects real economic democracy. In the words of President Abraham Lincoln in his December 3, 1861, address to Congress: “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” The monetary system should reflect these truths through the following changes:
1. Monetary systems should be controlled by sovereign national governments, not the central banks which mainly serve private finance. The main economic function of the monetary system should be to assure adequate purchasing power to consume an optimal level of production whereby the basic needs of every person in the world community are satisfactorily met.
2. Income security, including a basic income guarantee and a national dividend, should be a primary responsibility of national governments in the economic sphere. A right to adequate purchasing power should be part of every national constitution.
3. The primary function of international finance should be to assure fair transferability of value among national economic systems, utilizing, to the extent possible, fixed and transparent exchange rates. Speculative attacks on sovereign currencies should be outlawed.
4. Private creation of credit for speculative purposes should be abolished, and capital markets should be regulated to assure fairness, openness ,and freedom from predatory practices.
5. Every national government should have the right to spend low-cost credit directly into existence for public purposes - including infrastructure, environmental protection, education, and health care - without incurring new debt.
6. The physical backing for every currency in existence should be the actual production of national economies.
7. National governments should treat credit as a public utility—like clean air, water, or electricity—and should assure its availability to all citizens as their social heritage and as a basic human right.
8. National credit policies should favor the development of sustainable local and regional economies, of small business, and of family farming.
9. Credit should be regulated in order to encourage maximum ownership of property by individuals without artificially inflating its price.
10. The private banking system should be utilized to provide liquidity for business operations but should not be needed in a properly-constituted system to finance consumption or capital formation.
11. There should be an immediate worldwide moratorium on home foreclosures and recognition of the right of each person to a secure home.
12. An International Debt Settlement Commission should be formed and charged with producing a clean financial slate by reviewing all existing public and private debt and determining through due process what can reasonably be repaid, restructured, or forgiven.
It is time to assure that the world financial system is no longer operated for the benefit of the few over the many and that it reflects the spiritual principle that the natural resources of the Earth belong to all of humanity and must be rationally distributed to every individual, such that no one is left behind on the path of human progress.
Richard C. Cook, Author, We Hold These Truths
Garda Ghista, Founder, http://www.worldproutassembly.org
Peter Hollings, Member, America in Crisis
David Swanson, Co-Founder, http://www.afterdowningstreet.org
The new paradigm of thought in Ghista’s manifesto could be perfected first by introducing the Kelsonian insight that in a modern capital intensive world, wealth is produced primarily by capital, i.e., the tools, infrastructure (including management knowhow), and land, rather than by labor. This turns Marxism and the politically correct Keynesian system of economics on their heads. Abraham Lincoln recognized this when land was the major source of wealth, which is why he introduced homesteading to provide every person with ownership of land as an essential human right. He recognized that production, both industrial/commercial and agricultural, require human inputs, i.e., labor, but he also recognized that both economic and political justice require broadened ownership of the means of production among the ‘‘laborers’‘.
Lincoln’s emphasis on ‘‘labor’’ is really an emphasis on human beings and their human rights endowed by their Creator. In this sense, ‘‘labor’’ must always be superior to capital or the tools that persons use to produce wealth. The key to economic and political justice is the inalienable human right to own this capital, because capital produces ninety percent of the world’s wealth. Any economic system and any method of creating money and credit must provide every human being with equal opportunity to produce wealth and to consume it. The key is not equal results through such things as a national dividend but equal opportunity to earn dividends from one’s personal capital ownership.
The mechanisms to broaden capital ownership in the future production of wealth, as distinct from redistributing the results of concentrated ownership from the past, have been spelled out in a number of scholarly books and articles available online through the Center for Economic and Social Justice and its links to the leading scholars and URLs in the field.
The best summary of what is needed in a producer oriented manifesto is Norman Kurland’s scholarly article, ‘‘A New Look at Prices and Money,’’ published in The Journal of Socio-Economics and available online at http://www.cesj.org/binaryeconomics/price-money.html. For those without the need for such a condensed summary and for those who need a more popularized introduction, the three best books on economic justice in the capital intensive world of globalization are The Modern Universal Paradigm by Rodney Shakespeare, with subtitles ‘‘Tawhidi Economics,’’ ‘‘Shalom Economics,’’ ‘‘Christian Economics,’’ ‘‘Dharma Economics,’’ ‘‘Indigenous ‘Economics,’’ ‘‘Ethical Economics,’’ and ‘‘Binary Economics,’’ 2007, 200 pages; Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, by Norman G. Kurland, Dawn K. Brohawn, and Michael D. Greaney, 2004, 231 pages; and In Defense of Human Dignity, Essays on the Just Third Way: A Natural Law Perspective, by Michael D. Greaney, 2008, 300 pages.
Part Two of this position paper will focus on the challenges and opportunities for the incoming Obama Administration develops the basic premises and policies of the Just Third Way strategy to implement revolutionary paradigmatic change in America as a model for the world.