About Michael D. Greaney 4 Articles
Michael D. Greaney is Director of Research for the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice in Arlington, Virginia. A CPA, he has a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and MBA from the University of Evansville, Indiana. He has written many books and articles on social justice issues and history. Most recently with Dawn K. Brohawn he co-authored The Greater Reset: Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty Under Natural Law (2022) from TAN Books.


  1. “It did not occurr to George that his theories made man greater than God.” It is a fundamental tenant of Freemasonry, immortalised in the Social Democratic Party’s Nazi Flag, which Hitler stated was made for him by his friends in Munic. The Tulle Society – a curious band of freemasons with deep Jewish hatred. Wikipedia. Hitler was also a member of the Berlin lodge. A man I met on a train once confided both pages missing from the two lodge members books were on display in the main lodge in Buenos Aires. Of all places…
    The flag: a square – which represents man – scattered to the four winds. Inside a circle, which represents God. Compass and square. In the Nazi flag, move the bottom compass back up, and the top square down and you will realise it is a simple inversion of the Masonic Standard compass and square hidden in plain view, and that they have hidden from all school text books with esoteric nonsence. In politics, there is not a man called George with ideas. There is nearly always a highly organised band, with a puppet called George. And they have funny handshakes.

  2. Is it true that Pope Leo XIII “made widespread capital ownership the cornerstone of Church Social Teachings “? If by this it is meant private capital ownership, a palliative elaboration is due in the pre-existing angst that The Church has been partial to Western Capitalism and it’s more recent manifestation in Corpocracies – ie The Modern Global Economy is run by Multinationals, not just of their own overwheening ambitions, but the conjoining of politicians selling their representative mandate for finding, popularity, short termism. The result is has been very socially and economically costly boom busts of financialization -“inequality within and between nations”, underinvestments in the real economy, from regulatory capture and of late social instability within nations.

    In that context, it is questionable if Rerum Novarum has succeeded beyond pushing back socialism. I think Pope Pius XII encycials could with and eloboration on Roosevelt slant been most corrective and centrering theologically of Church Social Teachings.

    Communal ownership, Mom and Dad shops, Family Enterprises, Social Cooperative Investment Enterprises as The Social Economy or The Third Economy Sector, are these not the key pillars of the 6 Social Teachings of The Church that should be raised and seen through in polity by Catholic Leaders and Thinkers?

    Thanks for a good piece

  3. One century after Rerum Novarum (1891), a further development is offered by Pope St. John Paul II in Centesimus Annus (1991):

    “In our time, in particular, there exists another form of ownership which is becoming no less important than land: THE POSSESSION OF KNOW-HOW, TECHNOLOGY AND SKILL [italics]. The wealth of industrialized nations is based much more on this kind of ownership than on natural resources” [….] It is precisely the ability to foresee both the needs of others and the combinations of productive factors most adapted to satisfying those needs that constitutes another important source of wealth in modern society” [….] …the ROLE of disciplined and creative HUMAN WORK and, as an essential part of that work, INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL ABILITY becomes increasingly evident and decisive” [….] …today the decisive factor is increasingly MAN HIMSELF, that is, his knowledge, especially his scientific knowledge, his capacity for interrelated and compact organization, as well as his ability to perceive the needs of others and to serve them” (n. 32).

    Note, too, the wording “needs” to be “served,” rather than appetites.

  4. Jesus never condemned Caesar on his wars, crucifixions, or welfare programs. Caesar would have killed Jesus if He had done so. Instead, Jesus gave His followers parables like The Sheep and the Goats, The Rich man and Lazerous, and told the rich man to sell everything and come and follow Him, if he wished to enter into eternal life. God the Father had Commanded His Faithful to tithe to care for the needs of the poor. Jesus reiterated His Father’s Commandments to care for the poor.

    I grew up in an era, 1960s to today, where my priests primarily only focus on secular social justice issues. Let’s face it, Catholics ‘Do Not Like It!’ when priests talk about money.

    I figure that God’s Commanded tithe on our 2 billion Christians of today, is about a trillion dollars a year. I think a trillion dollars a year, from today’s Christianity, out of love for Jesus through caring for the least of Jesus’ brothers, would end world poverty. I figure our 2 billion Christians of today only give 20 to 40 billion dollars a year to care for the world’s poor Lazerouses. I figure Pope Francis and his 2 billion Christians genocide millions of poor Lazerouses a year through lack of proper Christian tithing (LUKE 16:19 The Rich Man and Lazarus).

    MATTHEW 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink… …’Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    I figure Millions of poor Lazerouses are murdered a year through lack of proper Christian tithing. Jesus tells His Followers that He is going to burn them in hell for not properly caring for the poor. So why don’t we hear Pope Francis preaching to his 2 billion Christians to repent? Preach repentance to save millions of poor Lazerouses from being murdered by Christianity’s lack of proper Christian tithing, and preach repentance to save rich Christian’s souls from Jesus having to burn them in hell for their hatred toward Jesus, through failing to love Him through caring for the least of Jesus’ brothers.

    Pope Francis, and his 2 billion Christians, are like the Priest and Levite in Jesus’ ‘Good Samaritan’ parable. 330 million Good Samaritan American Taxpayers are presently donating a trillion dollars a year to help our domestic poor, and 48 billion dollars a year in foreign aid, while Pope Francis leads his 2 billion Christians to the other side of the road and passes the poor by.

    Luke 10:29 The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them… …Which of these three, in your opinion, who was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

    LUKE 16:19 The Rich Man and Lazarus
    “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’

    • “330 million Good Samaritan American Taxpayers are presently donating a trillion dollars a year to help our domestic poor”

      It isn’t a donation, and isn’t to “help the poor”.

      The 87,000 new IRS agents-who will be required to carry and be proficient with deadly force-aren’t representatives of a charity, they aren’t soliciting donations-instead they will be conscripting moneys according to a tax code and associated regulations that almost nobody understands reasonably fully and absolutely nobody understands it its entirety.

      The entirety of the welfare state is devoted to one thing, and one thing only-the entrapment ever more people into lives of dependency upon the state. In a situation of universal suffrage, the more people that live off the state, the more can be counted on as a pliable constituency, ready to accept any political program, so long as their benefits are maintained, enhanced and increased.

  5. George was not a socialist if by that is meant state ownership of the means of production, including capital. In a nutshell, George put forward the idea that land and other natural resources should not be owned privately but is the common inheritance of humanity. Any product of human labor rightfully belonged to the creator of that product, including capital. Therefore, the returns to labor (wages and salaries) and capital belongs, respectively, to the wage earner and capitalist. The means by which humanity’s right to land and natural resources is achieved by the collection of the economic rent (sometimes called “the single tax”).

    • George was an agrarian socialist in that he advocated the abolition of private property in land. His argument in “Progress and Poverty” was that God gave ownership of all land and natural resources to the collective, a human abstraction, not to any individual human being created by God. This is logically impossible and violates natural law; “Thou shalt not steal” presupposes that private property “whether it be land or chattels” (Rerum Novarum) pertains to natural law.

      In “Progress and Poverty” George declared that by means of “the single tax” — all rent from or attributable to land — the State would become the de facto owner of all land “without calling herself so” (“the universal landlord”, p. 406). Ownership consists of control and receipt of the fruits of ownership, e.g., rent for land, regardless who holds legal title (see Wesley Hohfeld, “Fundamental Legal Conceptions”, 1909).

      Thus, regardless whether George called himself a socialist, he advocated abolition of private property in land, and was therefore a de facto agrarian socialist.

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