The Unreality of War and the Nuclear Threat

How do we respond to the Russia-Ukraine war? Do we use it as yet another opportunity to signal our feelings and positions, but without any real commitment other than to our own narcissism? If we aren’t in the conflict, we have a certain luxury (or we think we have) to do so. But the existence of nuclear weapons should be a sobering factor that guides us as we try to find a resolution. In the shadow of the consecration of the world , and particularly Russia and Ukraine, to our Holy Mother Mary, Theotokos, Spencer and I dare to contemplate some enduring obstacles to peace-making. Consecration of Russia, Ukraine and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. … More The Unreality of War and the Nuclear Threat

Permaculture: Left and Right (Environmental Political Thought) ft. Holmgren and Spirko

Permaculture is one area where there is some promise for agreement even in our politically polarized environment. This is a discussion from Environmental Political Thought of the ideas of Dave Holmgren, co-founder of the Permaculture movement, and Jack Spirko who, although from the other end of the political spectrum (seemingly) also likes permaculture ideas.
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Interdependence is a Bitch: The WWI Lesson of Precarity Not Learned (Keynes 3)

The first part of John Maynard Keynes’ 1919 book “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” attempts to remind the victors of WWI that the economies of Europe were deeply intertwined and especially driven by the economic powerhouse that was pre-War Germany. In doing so, he makes it clear that a “Carthaginian Peace” is unwise. He … More Interdependence is a Bitch: The WWI Lesson of Precarity Not Learned (Keynes 3)

Religion and Politics–Whoops, We Talked About Both (Jeremy Cowan Interview Part 3)

You know what they say… This is the third and final part of the interview I did with Dr Jeremy Cowan, an expert in organic and permaculture agriculture, we conclude our reflections on Distributism by breaking both taboos. In this one we deal with the role of religion and politics in changing the way we grow food, but we do more than that. We delve into questions such as why religion is often unhelpful and how it could be otherwise, why political divisions get in the way and what might solve that problem … More Religion and Politics–Whoops, We Talked About Both (Jeremy Cowan Interview Part 3)

Could Agrarian Distributism Ever Work? (Interview with Jeremy Cowan Pt. 1)

t part of a conversation I had with Jeremy Cowan, who participated in my Summer 2021 Seminar on the economic theory of Distributism. Dr Cowan is a specialist in organic agriculture with a strong interest in its relationship to politics and economics. In this part of the conversation, we get into the polarizing character of current politics and how it gets in the way of imagining turning towards Distributism or any other alternative to our current corporate-dominated and state-supported capitalism. We discuss the strong agrarian strain in Distributism and whether that is still a relevant direction to change in today’s world. … More Could Agrarian Distributism Ever Work? (Interview with Jeremy Cowan Pt. 1)

Indian Farmer Protests and Distributism (3)

This is a selection from the seminar I’m teaching on Distributism. For months now, thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting in an occupy-style encampment near Delhi. They fear that they are in danger of losing not only their livelihoods but their way of life due to changes in the laws leading to deregulation of the agricultural sector in India. They are worried that these changes will make many small farms financially impossible and will lead to a great agricultural consolidation into the hands of big agriculture, changing Indian food security and leaving them without the support of the land and extended families they have relied upon. These farmers are in the situation GK Chesterton saw unfolding in England in the early part of the 20th Century. Chesterton called for something like the Indian farmers want back–government regulation and aid to help maintain numerous and plentiful small farmers in an economy of cooperation with subsistence farming with a market element. The farmer protests are a test case as to whether people now can demand a different economic arrangement that protects and preserves food security and their way of life. … More Indian Farmer Protests and Distributism (3)

Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

This is a segment from the first session of the Summer Seminar on Distributism (2021), part of an hour and a half long session on the origins of Distributism in Aristotle’s Politics and various Catholic encyclicals (the one mainly mentioned here is Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII, 1891, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution). Distributism is a line of thought that opposes both capitalism and socialism/communism as equally materialistic and destructive of freedom and proposes a third way–more widespread ownership of private property. It is separable from religion, because it is primarily a proposal about how to deal with property, but this session covers its roots in Ancient Greek and Christian thought. … More Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Audio)

In this podcast I cover the section of GK Chesterton’s book, The Outline of Sanity, that deals with agriculture. Chesterton does not agree that the industrialization of England was a good thing, and points out the flaws of massive urbanization. He defends the settled way of life as in some ways superior to the urban way of life. He also defends a mixed economy with some degree of socialism and a greater degree of private property, spread out by state edict. … More GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Audio)

GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)

In this video I cover the section of GK Chesterton’s book, The Outline of Sanity, that deals with agriculture. Chesterton does not agree that the industrialization of England was a good thing, and points out the flaws of massive urbanization. He defends the settled way of life as in some ways superior to the urban way of life. He also defends a mixed economy with some degree of socialism and a greater degree of private property, spread out by state edict.. … More GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)