J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-06-2018

Capitalism Is Good and Good for You

Fr. Sirico: Faith and free markets work well together. Similarly tedious but necessary is the duty of defenders of free-market capitalism to point out to friends on the left that, no, we do not believe in the Gospel of Gordon Gekko, either. The case for a free economy must be made, as Arthur Brooks has recently written in National Review. Father Sirico’s defense is partly autobiographical. 

From that moment, Sirico continued to think about what kind of society he really did want and what part free markets played in it. As Sirico returned to his childhood Catholic faith, he realized a definite compatibility between the vision of humans assumed by free-market economics and the vision he had been taught in the catechesis of his youth. Made in God’s image, man is a free being who is creative and in mutually dependent relationships with others. Unlike the leftists he was leaving, Sirico realized that justice was indeed important – but so were mercy and charity. The first is that in contrast to Catholics on the left who imply that Democratic budgets are the natural outgrowth of the Nicene Creed, Sirico is not claiming a dogmatic status for any particular belief about free markets; he is only noting congruities between faith and free-market reasoning. 

Capitalism may be the system that produces the most material wealth. What makes Sirico’s defense of a free economy all the stronger is his consistent acknowledgment that a functioning free market neither immanentizes the eschaton, making heaven on earth, nor makes a society virtuous or whole. Homo economicus may be a useful abstraction for certain economics problems, but the human capital of love, loyalty, and sacrifice is the kind of capital required for a successful capitalism. 

Keywords: [“Sirico”,”free”,”Market”]
Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2012/06/capitalism-good-and-good…

Hope Springs Eternal: Conscious Capitalism In The Cannabis Industry

Unlike any other industry, entrepreneurs in the field of cannabis have had to overcome legal barriers and social stigma in order to pave the road toward a healthier, more sustainable, prosperous future. As we discussed during our interview with Quddus last month, social responsibility is a driving force for many cannabis entrepreneurs who often risk a lot to enter a controversial industry with the eternal hope that, some day, the barriers will be gone. Nowhere is that more evident than in the hemp industry. Now that more states are embracing hemp regulation, hemp is offering new hope for farmers to capitalize on its potential for lucrative returns. It’s providing doctors and scientists with opportunity to transform the field of medicine and save lives with new cures where conventional pharmaceuticals have failed. 

It’s also providing a new generation of innovators with opportunity create sustainable industry by replacing dangerous pharmaceuticals with natural therapies and toxic petrochemicals with a cost-effective, carbon neutral raw material. Not only can hemp drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, it also has remedial applications for restoring carbon, remediating toxic waste and protecting our precious forests, water tables and natural resources. When asked why they risked their own careers, financial security and personal freedom to enter the field of cannabis, chances are most of the industry’s entrepreneurs will say it’s because they believe in its potential to make the world a better place. Most will tell you that it’s the most gratifying career shift they have ever taken. Both are conscious capitalists who entered the realm of cannabis to improve lives and make a difference. 

Keywords: [“hemp”,”industry”,”cannabis”]
Source: https://www.thecannabisreporter.com/hope-springs-eternal-conscious…

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J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 03-12-2018

compassionate conservatism

As a conservative Christian, I was introduced to WORLD Magazine and Marvin Olasky in the 90’s. Olasky - one of several supposed ex-communists with a dubious past and a lying streak - talked a lot about ‘compassionate conservatism’ and the need for conservative Christians to support urban people. Yes, I voted for the first time on the premise that I was doing good for myself and my community. I did see welfare as an impediment to working and living securely. What I thought about were the kids I was working with. It didn’t lead to more secure communities through the advancement and strengthening of nuclear families, but less-secure communities. I think I believed in compassionate conservatism not only because I hadn’t yet seen the extent of economic deprivation and theft in Working Class communities of color and other abandoned WC communities. At the time, I knew and saw the desperation of my Black and Brown Working Class community and my own Working Class family, which had received government subsidies before and after my father lost his employment to privatization, alcohol abuse, and epilepsy. Welfare before the Reaganites and the New Democrats altered it was not going to work on its own because it saw money to poor families as merely a form of aid. It should have realized - as conservativism and more-compassionate liberalism certainly still fail to realize - that child-raising is work. Pregnancies are seen as interruptions from work - and thus income - rather than as a form of valuable, creative work in and of themselves.

Keywords: [“work”,”community”,”people”]
Source: https://leftcheek.wordpress.com/tag/compassionate-conservatism

The Experiment: Capitalism versus Socialism

The Experiment pitted the market economy of the West against the command economy of the East. The West boasted large, vibrant industries and other highly productive sectors, while dirty antiquated factories and outmoded farming methods dominated the East. About the only staple that was cheaper in East Germany were potatoes, which could be distilled into vodka, so that lower caste East Germans could commiserate better with their abundant Russian comrades. State-guaranteed health care in the East did not translate into a healthier society. In 1990, life expectancy in the West was about 3½ years longer than in the East for men, and more than 2½ years longer for women. The socialist mentality of full employment for everyone led to more women working in the East than in the West. As the education system in East Germany was deeply rooted in socialism, the state ran an extensive network of schools that indoctrinated children into the socialist system from just after their birth to the university level. While it’s true that today East Germans perform better at STEM studies than their Western counterparts, that may be explained in part by the influx of numerous poorly educated immigrants to former West German areas, and the extensive money invested in the eastern region since reunification. Even though East Germany was much better off than other Soviet satellite countries, East German socialism offered few advantages over its capitalist western counterpart. They apparently think East German socialism is preferable to West German capitalism.

Keywords: [“East”,”Germany”,”West”]
Source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/23/the-experiment-capitalism…

Why So Little Empathy and Compassion Within American Culture?

The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas; the class which is the ruling material force in society is at the same time the ruling intellectual force. I submit that neoliberal capitalist culture in the U.S. deadens feelings of social solidarity, pathologizes how we view ourselves and stunts our natural feelings of empathy and moral responsibility. The Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, argued that it’s all about class and power as the ideas of the ruling class take on the everyday status of common sense, of universal truths. It would be incorrect to assume our rulers are a coven of diabolical conspirators who gather at Davos to consciously devise their wicked schemes. There’s actually a remarkable symmetry between neoliberalism’s ruling ideas and the convictions held by elites. In any event, to the extent these ideas are internalized by working people, we police ourselves, thus reducing the elite’s need for visible coercion. Make no mistake, there is nothing more dangerous to ruling class interests than people getting in touch with their inborn, wired sense of empathy and then acting as their sisters’ and brothers’ keeper. To reiterate, ideas do not have an independent existence apart from economics. Finally, exposing the class power behind culture points up the absolute necessity for basic structural changes in our dominant economic system and its empathy-enervating ideology. Of course, I don’t mean to imply that the elite’s attempt at cultural hegemony is complete.

Keywords: [“rules”,”class”,”ideas”]
Source: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/01/why-so-little-empathy-and…

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