A One Word Name For The Just Third Way?

For many years, there has been a discussion about whether there should be a one-word label for The Just Third Way. It may very well be best to not have one. But it is an interesting subject, and we should not ignore it. Perhaps a single word would help with marketing.

Following the principles of creative brainstorming, a list of all proposed one-word names will be posted here. Criticisms of specific words will come quickly; that is the nature of this kind of thing. But it is most constructive to focus first on just accumulating a list of candidate words. Post any word that pops into your mind in the comments, and it will be added to this alphabetical list. After we have assembled a large list over a period of time, we will be more likely to find a name that we can use. Or decide that we don't want one at all!

Here we go...





























Keep them coming!

Views: 600

Comment by Norman Kurland on December 25, 2013 at 3:22pm

Thanks, Dave, for taking the initiative to solicit comments on whether we need one word to reflect the "Just Third Way" paradigm.  Here are my comments sent out yesterday for consideration:

It is the mission of CESJ and its core group of scholars and supporters to communicate and teach: (1) the elegant and systemically dependent Kelso-Adler three principles of economic justice as first introduced to the world in their 1958 book, (2) the Kelsonian binary theory of economic and (3) the paradigm CESJ calls "the Just Third Way" as a new paradigm for achieving peace, prosperity and freedom for all in global society.  Michiel Bijkerk, a long-time advocate of CESJ's vision, a lawyer in the Netherland Antilles and an author of books and articles, has sent me the following email with an attachment that deserves the attention of our core group.  I suggest you read Michiel's attachment before reading the rest of this email. (See below.)

Michiel has suggested that we adopt a single word that would identify our new paradigm, a word that could be followed by the term "the Just Third Way." 

Personally, I'm comfortable with "the Just Third Way" and not moved by most "-Isms" to reflect the revolution of ideas we are bringing to the world.  Michiel and I both realize that CESJ especially needs to re-educate the academic world which in an increasingly cybernetic, labor-displacing "energy slave" world continues to teach that the purpose of an education is "to get a job."  Such an obviously narrow and unrealistic mindset at the highest levels of academia permeates every level of education, from the time a child is first exposed to the global educational system.  In turn such mis-education of parents and children totally ignores private property ownership of all non-human "means of production" as an increasingly relevant means by which the global economy can both grow faster toward general prosperity and every member of global society could legitimately earn a decent living in the future with more and more time to engage in what Aristotle called "leisure work", producing without material compensation "the goods of civilization" and solve problems demanding uniquely human creative capacities and beyond the creative capacity of computers, robots and other "energy slaves.

We both seek your thoughts on the need for a an appropriate single word that would be most appropriate to reflect the Just Third Way, a word that will overcome the biases of terms handicapped by the systemic flaws of monopoly capitalism or all "collectivist" belief systems like communism and socialism.  I suppose I could accept the term "Personalism" that was the basis of the Ph.D. dissertation of Pope John Paul II.  Other words we could use are "Humanism", "Universalism" or "Egalitarianism." 

Michiel felt it would be unethical to use the term "Humanism" without permission of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), since they have defined the term.  However, I find nothing wrong with the IHEU's definition, including its rejection of "imposed dogma."  I don't believe in the imposition of dogma and I know of no religion that rejects free will in determining what one's power of reason accepts as true or unjust.  What the IHEU leaves out of their definition of Humanism is the fundamental human right of every human to enjoy equality of opportunity by lifting all artificial barriers to become an owner of productive capital, as reflected in CESJ's three principles of economic justice and our definition of "the act of social justice."  I also see no problem of our approaching the IHUE to explain our position and even willingness to join that organization if they accept our position as an interfaith organization that like them rejects coercive or imposed dogma on any human being.

An unused new word I could live if our core group strongly wants a single "-ism" to convey "the Just Third Way" is "Justicism."

But again I think "the Just Third Way" may be the best term to penetrate academia and surface new leaders to mobilize the peaceful mobilization of "people power" to reject both collectivism and monopoly capitalism and change the system.  Let the most appropriate "-ism" be determined by an academic worthy of winning a Nobel Prize for Peace through Justice.  I just want to remain open-minded to the best words for getting a major nation to pioneer the Capital Homestead Act.

Share your thoughts with us.  Perhaps we can discuss Michiel's suggestions face-to-face as one of the scheduled events during CESJ's 30-year anniversary annual meeting in Washington on Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, 2014.  Let me know if you might want to join this event.

In Justice for all,

And here are Michiel Bijkerk's thoughts that prompted by response:


The official defining statement of World Humanism
[(as adopted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)] is:

  • Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.
  • Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.
  • Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.
  • Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognizes our dependence and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.
  • Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-view on all of humanity. Humanism recognizes that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process of observation, evaluation and revision.
  • Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.
  • Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our time. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

The Amsterdam Declaration explicitly states that Humanism rejects dogma, and imposes no creed upon its adherents.

Therefore, Norm, I believe the word ‘Humanism’ could
not be used. At any rate, decency would demand that we
ask permission of the IHEU to use the term ‘Humanism’.
Even though we would always say: ‘Humanism, the Just Third Way’,
it would still focus attention on the word ‘Humanism’.

We could consider explaining our choice to the IHEU and
saying to them that we will use the word anyhow, but hope
to get their approval. This is a rather antagonistic approach,
but I do not think it is an infringement of any legal copyright,
if we should choose to use the term without their permission.
But would it be ethical? I would say no.

If we did use the term Humanism, we would in fact
be filling the term with an ethical political-economic
and systematic way of thinking and principles. It would enrich
Humanism, but they would probably not view it that way,
certainly not at the beginning. If CESJ could get the go-ahead
(CESJ might even become a member of the IHEU), it would be
much better. It would be indecent of us, I think, to use the word
‘Humanism’ without the IHEU’s consent. At any rate, we would have
to think about it very carefully and if we would choose to act even
against decency (if need be), then we must accept the flak
that comes with that. But I don’t think that is advisable.

It would be indecent to use the word ‘Catholicism, the Just Third Way’.
There it is immediately apparent, despite the fact the Catholicism
means Universalism.

‘Universalism, the Just Third Way’ would be acceptable.
‘Catholicism, the Just Third Way’ would not.

The general perception that Humanism is secular or agnostic,
is strong. Maybe that can be overcome, because there is also
such a thing as religious Humanism. But the perception remains
strong and to choose Humanism would mean little appeal with
a great many people (probably more than half of humanity).    

So my first researches would be to advise negatively.
But I’ll keep on researching and thinking about it and
will write an advice and open the discussion, as you requested.
I am sure that the discussion, once opened, will eventually lead to
a good choice.  

Probably the best thing to do would be to coin our own
term, e.g. ‘Balancism’. It is an easy to understand word.
It connotes with Justice because of the word ‘balance’.
And the association with a triangle (or a 3-legged stool)
is also immediate. I have always liked CESJ’s logo
for that reason. We could consider to adopt the equilateral
triangle as an official symbol of the Just Third Way.


Comment by Rand A. Cottrell on December 28, 2013 at 12:37pm

Consumptionism? Considering consumption and the creation of consumers is a keystone.

"the giant shift from a culture that was need-based to one that is desire-based." Just some food for thought-


Comment by Michiel Bijkerk on January 8, 2014 at 12:24pm

Will get back to this. In the meantime three new candidate-words should be added to the list, i.e. 'equitism' and 'consumptionism' suggested by Daniel Moore resp. Rand Cottrel. Also 'centrism' should be added. More discussion has been going on via e-mail. I think that should be included here. But, as said, I will get back to this. Let's first see if I can post this.


Comment by Michiel Bijkerk on January 8, 2014 at 12:25pm

Dave Hamill, can you add the 3 words mentioned in the previous comment to the list? Thank you.

Comment by Bill Baltar on January 11, 2014 at 1:05pm

Hey Dave,

We aren't letting the left-wingers have their way with the term, social justice; I don't think we should let the right-wingers have their way with the term, capitalism.  Here we are at Capital Homestead dot org, and we seem to be against putting the Just Third Way (Capital Homestead Act) under the popular banner of capitalism. I vaguely remember reading G. K. Chesterton's argument that capitalism is a somewhat meaningless term, and I think Norman Kurland has advised against using the capitalism label because it has negative connotations in some places. I had been thinking along those same lines, but after reading the first twenty pages of The Capitalist Manifesto, and trying to come up with a one-word label for the Just Third Way, I think the Just Third Way should be promoted as a development of capitalism. It's not redistribution/socialism and it's not “the lex talonis of the unregulated free market.”  It's “an aggressive program of expanded capital ownership so that people can once again become productive by means of both labor and capital.” (Quotes are from The Just Third Way blog, 12/19/13.) Investment in capital is not unnecessarily restricted to those who have accumulated large amounts of past savings, so all citizens may become capitalists (defined by Robert Ashford, in Binary Economics, as someone who produces at least 50% of his current consumption from the ownership of capital). Is there another system or strategy more deserving than the Just Third Way of the term, capitalism?


Comment by Dave Hamill on January 11, 2014 at 1:25pm
Thanks Bill it is good for us to all discuss this because that is a powerful word. My main thought is that Norm has been doing this a lot longer than we have and he asserts that it is a marketing liability.
Comment by Michiel Bijkerk on January 11, 2014 at 7:45pm

I just answered Bill Baltar, but then hit a wrong button and it was gone. Providence no doubt. Will try again tomorrow. Too frustrated right now.  

Comment by Michiel Bijkerk on January 12, 2014 at 8:36am

The Just Third Way could be viewed as Universal Capitalism. But the term Capitalism ordinarily refers to Elitist Capitalism (i.e. concentration of capital ownership in a tiny elite). And 99% of all people associate Capitalism with Elitist Capitalism. To change the perception of 99% of the people is to accept an unnecessary burden on ourselves to first convince them that we are not referring to the kind of Capitalism they know. Moreover, the truth is that Capitalism has up to now always manifested itself as the Elitist version. So why would people believe that our version of Capitalism is any different? The addition of an adjective (like 'Universal') does not solve this problem.

Secondly, Socialism has spent a lot of time and effort to fill the word Capitalism with venom. They have succeeded in that to such an extext that many Capitalists now prefer to use euphemisms such as 'the Market'. 'The Market will solve this or that problem', they say. It is unwise for us to use a word which even many Capitalists shun. The title of Kelso's first book was therefore not a good choice. It also stopped all socialists of ever taking the time to read and consider what Kelso had to say. Which self-respecting socialist would ever take the time to read the 'Capitalist Manifesto'? So his very sound ideas were drowned in the Cold War ideological battle.

Thirdly, and this is the most important point, the Just Third Way is beyond both Socialism and Capitalism. It is a new system, with principles and founding ideas all its own. So it is not appropriate to use any of the two 'old school words' (apart from pointing out how the JTW distinguishes itself from them). We need a new word. The Just Third Way contains certain elements of both old systems, but combines them in a totally different way. It becomes something new. We therefore need a new word.

Although we are now still at the stage of only making a list of possible candidate-words, I do recommend we agree to not include neither Capitalism nor Socialism as possible contenders.  

Comment by Bill Baltar on January 12, 2014 at 11:51am

Hey Michiel,

Thanks.  Then I would like to add Propertyism.  Just as Socialism does not describe state ownership and control, and Capitalism does not describe the unregulated free market, Propertyism does not describe the Just Third Way.  But it seems the Just Third Way (1) protects our property from attack by the state, and (2) provides a level playing field upon which many people will have property.  As Michael Greaney once said, over and over and over again, "Power follows property!"


Comment by Michiel Bijkerk on January 12, 2014 at 12:42pm

Bill Baltar, as far as I am concerned, Propertyism is a fair candidate-word. It does emphasize one element of the Just Third Way. At this stage I will refrain from further comment. 


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