Just Third Way

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Introduction

As proposed by the Binary Economics movement and the Center_for_Economic_and_Social_Justice:

" A free market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through the democratization of money and credit for new production, with universal access to direct ownership of income-producing capital. This socio-economic paradigm offers the logical "third alternative" to the two predominant socio-economic paradigms today - capitalism and socialism/communism.

In capitalism, economic power and private ownership of capital are concentrated in a small percentage of the population (i.e., a few own). In socialism/communism, the state owns and/or controls productive capital (i.e., nobody owns). In the "Just Third Way," widespread dispersion of capital ownership functions as the economic check against the potential for corruption and abuse, including by the government. Restoration of the full rights of property and extension of private property to every individual, serves as the basis for economic democracy, the necessary foundation for effective political democracy.

The "Just Third Way" differs markedly from other versions of the "Third Way," such as the version espoused by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, which attempts to give moral legitimacy to the Wall Street capitalist approach to economic globalization and blends political democracy with economic plutocracy.

The new paradigm views as a virtue healthy self-interest (i.e., where individual good is directed toward, or in harmony with, the common good). It views greed and envy, on the other hand, as vices, both destructive of a moral and just society. In contrast to capitalism which institutionalizes greed, or socialism which institutionalizes envy, the "Just Third Way" institutionalizes justice." (http://www.cesj.org/definitions/glossary.html)


Characteristics

Shelton Gunaratne:

"Because neither capitalism nor socialism has succeeded in eliminating economic injustices and inequalities, the nations of the world are likely to embrace cultural variants of a multi-dimensional world system that would avoid the worst characteristics of both systems.


The Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) in Washington, D.C., asserted in 2005 that the “Just Third Way” would be a composite of the following:

  1. All have access to both economic and political power (rather than letting a wealthy elite or a governing elite grab such power).
  2. Systematic de-concentration of capital ownership (from the clutch of a wealthy elite or a governing elite) so that everyone has direct access to it.
  3. Adequate and secure capital incomes directly accessible to everyone—not only to a wealthy elite or a governing elite.
  4. Recognition of everyone’s sovereignty within institutions embodying principles of social justice (instead of focusing on individualism or collectivism).
  5. Institutionalization of justice (instead of greed or envy).
  6. An economic system guided by a moral philosophy—rather than a materialist ideology—that recognizes everyone’s dignity and sovereignty to be a worker and capital owner in a society where spiritual values and respect for all creation transcend material values.
  7. Adoption of the concepts of Kelsonian binary economics, which makes a distinction between human (“labor”) and non-human (“capital”) contributions as two interdependent factors each of which directly produces wealth and creates economic value thereby deviating from the labor-centric focus of both the classical and Marxist approaches.
  8. Win-win, synergistic, post-scarcity orientation resulting from improved technology (compared with the win-lose orientation of capitalism, and lose-lose orientation of socialism).
  9. Justice and efficiency go hand-in-hand (whereas capitalism sacrifices justice for efficiency, and socialism sacrifices efficiency for a collectivist “justice”).
  10. Ownership system assures that everyone is a direct capital owner.
  11. Equality of opportunity to own and to work (whereas under capitalism, no equality of opportunity to own exists; and under socialism what exists is a forced duty to work as determined by governing elite).
  12. Universalization of the right to private property and protection of rights of property to the extent that they do not harm others (whereas capitalism protects the private property rights of the few who own productive wealth; and socialism assigns control over the means of production to a political elite).
  13. Economic role and power of the state is limited to preventing abuses and monopolies and removing barriers to universal participation in direct capital ownership (whereas in capitalism, the state has to do the redistribution of income and wealth because it takes a “hands off” policy on the monopolization and control of the means of production; and in socialism, the state wherein economic power is centralized regulates income redistribution).
  14. Free and open markets determine prices, wages and profits, which are shared by the many owners. (Capitalism promotes mercantilism by protecting prices and wages from global competition; and in socialism, state controls prices and wages.)
  15. Financial institutions make credit available so as to ensure universalized access to capital credit. (In contrast, under capitalism, consumer credit may be available to many, while capital credit is limited to a few. State controls all credit under socialism.)
  16. The goal of direct ownership for all determines the policies associated with granting pure credit, future savings, and capital credit insurance needed to finance growth. (In both capitalism and socialism, the elite few in control use past savings to finance future ownership.)
  17. Technology is owned and controlled by private sector entities that are accountable to its many shareholders and stakeholders. (Under capitalism, an elite in the private sector controls technology under government oversight; and under socialism, this task falls on a non-accountable governing elite.)
  18. “Social safety net” for poor: Directly connects poor individuals and families to growth dividends, supplemented by personal charity, institutional charity, and government transfers.
  19. Anticipatory approach to sustainable growth and development internalizes externalities, assigning environmental costs to polluters and passing costs on to consumers; offers means of financing most advanced “green” technologies; economically empowers people directly through private property to protect themselves against environmental hazards; and plans for future generations.
  20. Purpose of education is to teach people how to become life-long learners and virtuous human beings, with the capacity to adapt to change, to become masters of technology and builders of civilization through their “leisure work”, and to pursue the highest spiritual values."

(http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/11/28/an-outsider%E2%80%99s-view%E2%80%9410-cesj%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98just-third-way%E2%80%99-provides-design-for-building-new-world-economic-system-without-pitfalls-of-capitalism-socialism/)


Discussion

Multicultural Eclecticism?

Shelton Gunaratne:

"This JTW (http://www.americanrevolutionaryparty.us/comparison3rdway.htm), which I identify as multicultural eclecticism, deserves to be the focus of public discussion over the 2012 presidential campaign. Because we know that culture, politics and economics (as well as everything else in the universe) are interdependent, interconnected and interactive, we can associate the weakening of capitalism as an inevitable step to accommodate change. Contemporary developments indicate that the world has reached the stage of transition toward a new world order of multicultural eclecticism—a synthesis of the capitalist-socialist nexus reflecting the philosophic reasoning in Aristotle’s golden mean, Confucius’ doctrine of the mean, and Buddha’s middle way.

The challenge of this new world order is the creation of a competitive economy while advancing the overriding imperative of a just society within the context of different cultures. E. F. Schumacher’s notion of “small is beautiful” (1973), Anthony Giddens’ thoughts on the Third Way (1998), Amarasekera’s views on Jathika Chintanaya or national consciousness (1980s), among others, should help the development of a theory of multicultural eclecticism.

Several center countries (such as Australia, Canada, UK and USA) and periphery countries (such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia) have already tried out some principles outlined in the JTW philosophy. A coherent multicultural theory to back up this philosophy is overdue." (http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/11/28/an-outsider%E2%80%99s-view%E2%80%9410-cesj%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98just-third-way%E2%80%99-provides-design-for-building-new-world-economic-system-without-pitfalls-of-capitalism-socialism/)


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