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Pilgrim
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« on: October 16, 2009, 09:47:37 PM »

Not quite sure where to put this...Distributism is associated with Catholicism so I'm putting it here.

IF you know what distributism is, do you think it is an economically viable option, and compatible with Orthodoxy?

Also, are there any non-Catholic distributists.

Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism
http://distributistleague.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 10:14:12 PM »

Pilgrim,
I probably wont be much help considering I am Catholic, but I am a fan of Distributism. I am looking forward to following this thread. Thanks for asking the question.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 10:29:11 PM »

I did read What's Wrong With the World by Chesterton, and I used to be friends with someone who was into the concept, but I don't know much about Distributism myself. I guess one of my questions about it, for those familiar with it, is this: how would you go about eliminating the Walmart's of the world? By government order? Through boycott? Some other method?  I have this question because I find it hard to believe that something like Distributism could ever take hold and get instituted today. Maybe a century ago in the time of Chesterton/Belloc it would have been possible if an entire nation became so inclined. But now?
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 11:16:06 PM »

I did read What's Wrong With the World by Chesterton, and I used to be friends with someone who was into the concept, but I don't know much about Distributism myself. I guess one of my questions about it, for those familiar with it, is this: how would you go about eliminating the Walmart's of the world? By government order? Through boycott? Some other method?  I have this question because I find it hard to believe that something like Distributism could ever take hold and get instituted today. Maybe a century ago in the time of Chesterton/Belloc it would have been possible if an entire nation became so inclined. But now?
I think now it could be supported by giving large tax incentives to small businesses. This won't magically make us all into distributists but I think that it would be at least one step in the right direction.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 12:06:45 AM »

Grace and Peace,

You will find more about Distributism in The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc. By and large the Roman Catholic Church of Belloc's and Chesterton is all but gone as it embraced modernity after Vatican II. With that was also lost these teachings. A shame, truly.
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 12:20:03 AM »

Thanks, Asteriktos and Ignatius.

I'll check out the books you mentioned. Since the thread is about distributism anyway, I was wondering if someone could give a brief explanation of it. I'm still not quite understanding it myself. Is Catholicism essential (I wouldn't think so, though it is what inspired it)? Also, what exactly do distributists say about private and public property, and business?

Thanks all.

I remember going on traditionalist sights like Tradition in Action when I was concidering Catholicism. TAI is an interesting sight, though they do seem almost obsessed with keeping to medieval Catholicism. That said, I still love traditional Catholic spiritual practices, especially the pre-schism ones like the Rosary. I also like some post-schism works, such as the Summa Theologica and Imitation of Christ.
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 12:38:34 AM »

Pilgrim,

Quote
I was wondering if someone could give a brief explanation of it. I'm still not quite understanding it myself...  Also, what exactly do distributists say about private and public property, and business?

I'll leave that to ignatius or someone else, as I only remember a few things about it, such as the not liking large faceless corporations and favoring a multitude of small, locally owned businesses.

Quote
Is Catholicism essential (I wouldn't think so, though it is what inspired it)?

I dunno. According to what I found on Google, Chesterton became Catholic in 1922, so he must have written quite a bit on the subject before he became a Catholic. Who knows how much Catholicism was inspiring/impacting him in the years before his conversion, though. I'm not familiar enough with other distributist writers to say. I did read an autobiography of Chesterton that discussed Belloc quite a bit, but I don't remember the author going over economic theories that much.
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 01:10:58 AM »

Thanks, Asteriktos and Ignatius.

I'll check out the books you mentioned. Since the thread is about distributism anyway, I was wondering if someone could give a brief explanation of it. I'm still not quite understanding it myself. Is Catholicism essential (I wouldn't think so, though it is what inspired it)? Also, what exactly do distributists say about private and public property, and business?

Thanks all.

I remember going on traditionalist sights like Tradition in Action when I was concidering Catholicism. TAI is an interesting sight, though they do seem almost obsessed with keeping to medieval Catholicism. That said, I still love traditional Catholic spiritual practices, especially the pre-schism ones like the Rosary. I also like some post-schism works, such as the Summa Theologica and Imitation of Christ.

Grace and Peace,

At it's best the Roman Catholic Church stood against the world and at it's worst villified it and damned itself of all legitimacy as a spiritual institution in the eyes of many of the world. I can't say whether Rome is essential but truly Catholicism is for the salvation of the world.

Distributionism is an insurance of true Capitalism. You must understand that Capitalism, as the founding fathers envisioned it, only truly works on a micro level (i.e. regional providers of goods and services). What we find ourselves in today is better understood as 'International Finance Capitalism' and it undermines micro-level competition but the use of 'economies of scale' both on the manufacturing side as well as on the supplier side. These kinds of economies of scale make defacto monopolies of many products and services. Something the founding fathers could not have envisioned in their day. Belloc, Chesterton and some of the more vigilant of the Roman Church recognized the threat of this possibility looming against regional manufacturers and suppliers. The Servile State goes over this in detail and offers rationale for why one must take steps to forstall it's progress.
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2009, 01:24:25 AM »

Here's something to read...



Distributism, also known as distributionism and distributivism, is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Roman Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to apply the principles of social justice articulated by the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum[1] and more expansively explained by Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quadragesimo Anno[2] and Pope John Paul II's encyclical Centesimus Annus (though this last encyclical did not have a hand in developing Distributism, it reiterates previous encyclicals).[3] According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of a few state bureaucrats (some forms of socialism) or wealthy private individuals (capitalism). A summary of distributism is found in Chesterton's statement: "Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.
Distributive justice considers the distribution of goods among members of society at a specific time, and on that basis, determines whether the state of affairs is acceptable. For example, someone who evaluates a situation by looking at the standard of living, absolute wealth, wealth disparity, or any other such utilitarian standard, is thinking in terms of distributive justice. Generally, those people who hold egalitarianism to be important, even implicitly, rely on notions of distributive justice.

However, not all advocates of consequentialist theories are concerned with an equitable society. What unites them is the mutual interest in achieving the best possible results, or in terms of the example above, the most perfect distribution of wealth.


Distributism holds that, while socialism allows no individuals to own productive property (it all being under state, community, or workers' control), and capitalism allows only a few to own it, distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property. As Hilaire Belloc stated, the distributive state (that is, the state which has implemented distributism) contains "an agglomeration of families of varying wealth, but by far the greater number owners of the means of production." This broader distribution does not extend to all property, but only to productive property; that is, that property which produces wealth, namely, the things needed for man to survive. It includes land, tools, etc.
Distributism has often been described as a third way of economic order besides socialism and capitalism. However, some have seen it more as an aspiration, which has been successfully realised in the short term by commitment to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity (these being built into financially independent local co-operatives).
The articulation of Distributist ideas was based on 19th and 20th century Papal teachings, beginning with Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. In 1930s America, distributism was treated in numerous essays by Chesterton, Belloc and others in The American Review, published and edited by Seward Collins. Pivotal among Chesterton's and Belloc's other works regarding distributism include The Servile State and Outline of Sanity
Distributist thought was later adopted by the Catholic Worker Movement, conjoining it with the thought of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin concerning localized and independent communities. It also influenced the thought behind the Antigonish Movement, which implemented co-operatives and other measures to aid the poor in the Canadian Maritimes. Its practical implementation in the form of local co-operatives has recently been documented by Race Mathews in Jobs of Our Own.
Economic theory
Under such a system, most people would be able to earn a living without having to rely on the use of the property of others to do so. Examples of people earning a living in this way would be farmers who own their own land and related machinery, plumbers who own their own tools, software developers who own their own computer, etc. The "co-operative" approach advances beyond this perspective to recognise that such property and equipment may be "co-owned" by local communities larger than a family, e.g. partners in a business.
Guild system
The kind of economic order envisioned by the early distributist thinkers would involve the return to some sort of guild system. The present existence of labor unions does not constitute a realization of this facet of distributist economic order, as labour unions are organized along class lines to promote class interests, whereas Guilds are mixed class syndicates composed of both employers and employees cooperating for mutual benefit.
Banks
Distributism favors the elimination of the current private bank system, or in any case, its profit-making basis. This does not necessarily entail nationalization, but would probably require government involvement of some sort.
Social theory
Distributism sees the trinitarian human family of one male, one female, and their children as the central and primary social unit of human ordering and the principal unit of a functioning distributist society and civilization. This unit is also the basis of a multi-generational extended family, which is embedded in socially as well as genetically inter-related communities, nations, etc., and ultimately in the whole human family past, present and future. The economic system of a society should therefore be focussed primarily on the flourishing of the family unit, but not in isolation: at the appropriate level of family context, as is intended in the principle of subsidiarity. Distributism reflects this doctrine most evidently by promoting the family, rather than the individual, as the basic type of owner; that is, distributism seeks to ensure that most families, rather than most individuals, will be owners of productive property. The family is, then, vitally important to the very core of distributist thought.
Subsidiarity
Distributism puts great emphasis on the principle of subsidiarity. This principle holds that no larger unit (whether social, economic, or political) should perform a function which can be performed by a smaller unit. Pope Pius XI, in Quadragesimo Anno, provided the classical statement of the principle: "[J]ust as it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to the community at large what private enterprise and industry can accomplish, so, too, it is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order for a larger and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies."[9] Thus, any activity of production (which distributism holds to be the most important part of any economy) ought to be performed by the smallest possible unit. This helps support distributism's argument that smaller units, families if possible, ought to be in control of the means of production, rather than the large units typical of modern economies.
Pope Pius XI further stated, again in Quadragesimo Anno, "every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them."[10] To prevent large private organizations from thus dominating the body politic, distributism applies this principle of subsidiarity to economic as well as to social and political action.
Society of artisans
Distributism promotes a society of artisans and culture. This is influenced by an emphasis on small business, promotion of local culture, and favoring of small production over capitalistic mass production. A society of artisans promotes the distributist ideal of the unification of capital, ownership, and production rather than what distributism sees as an alienation of man from work.
Social security
Distributism favors the elimination of social security on the basis that it further alienates man by making him more dependent on the Servile State. Distributists such as Dorothy Day did not favor social security when it was introduced by the United States government. This rejection of this new program was due to the direct influence of the ideas of Hilaire Belloc over American distributists.
Distributism does not favor one set of political order over another, from democracy to monarchism. Distributism does not necessarily support anarchism, but some distributists, such as Dorothy Day, were also anarchists (though most Catholic Distributists look down on this). Distributism does not support political orders that go towards extremes of individualism or statism.
Political parties
Distributism does not attach itself to one national political party or another in a
Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributis
http://www.theuniversityconcourse.com/V,…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributiv

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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 02:20:59 AM »

What is Distributism?
by Thomas Storck
Much of the history of the Western world since the middle of the nineteenth century has been the history of the clash of competing economic systems. Ever since the Communist Manifesto of 1848, when it was claimed that a "specter is haunting Europe," a specter indeed has been haunting not only Europe, but the whole world. This is the specter not just of communism, but of rival economic and social systems which many times since then have convulsed mankind. But in the minds of many this rivalry of economic systems has come to an end: communism and socialism have both been defeated, and therefore only capitalism is left to reign triumphantly throughout the entire world. However, this is not the case. In a neglected passage of the encyclical Centesimus Annus, John Paul II points out that mankind's choices are not restricted to capitalism and the now discredited socialism. "We have seen that it is unacceptable to say that the defeat of so-called `Real Socialism' leaves capitalism as the only model of economic organization" (no. 35). If this is the case, then it behooves Catholics to take a look at distributism, an economic system championed by many of the best minds in the Church in the first part of the twentieth century, men such as G. K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Fr. Vincent McNabb and many others. Let us see exactly what distributism is and why many Catholics see it as more akin to Catholic thought than capitalism.

In the first place, we would do well to make a few definitions of the chief terms we will be using, and especially of capitalism. Too often this word is left undefined, and each person gives it some sort of connotation in his mind, good or bad, depending on his own beliefs, but never clearly defined. Now first, what is capitalism not? Capitalism is not private ownership of property, even of productive property, for such ownership has existed in most of the world at most times, and capitalism is generally held to have come into existence only toward the end of the Middle Ages in Europe. Perhaps the best way to proceed is to take our definition from a very weighty source, and then we will see how that definition does indeed fit the facts of history. We will turn, then, to the encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931), in which capitalism is defined or characterized as "that economic system in which were provided by different people the capital and labor jointly needed for production" (no. 100). In other words, under capitalism normally people work for someone else. Someone, the capitalist, pays others, the workers, to work for him, and receives the profits of this enterprise, that is, whatever is left over after he has paid for his labor, his raw materials, his overhead, any debt he owes, etc.

Now is there anything wrong with capitalism, with the separation of ownership and work? In itself there is nothing unjust about my owning a factory or a farm and employing others to work for me, as long as I pay them a just and living wage. But nonetheless, the capitalistic system is dangerous and unwise, its fruits have been harmful for mankind, and the supreme pontiffs have often called for changes which would, in effect, eliminate capitalism, or at least reduce its scope and power.

Let me explain and justify the assertions I have just made. And in order to do so, I must first make a brief detour to talk about the purpose of economic activity. Why has God given to men the possibility and need for producing and using economic goods? The answer to this is obvious: we need these goods and services in order to live a human life. Thus economic activity produces goods and services for the sake of serving all of mankind, and any economic arrangements must be judged by how well they fulfill that purpose.

Now when ownership and work are separated there necessarily exists a class of men, capitalists, who are one step removed from the production process itself. Stockholders, for example, typically do not care about what the company they are formal owners of actually makes or does, but only whether its stock price is rising or how large a dividend it pays. In fact, on the stock exchange, shares change hands thousands of times a day, that is, different individuals or entities, such as pension funds, are part owners of companies for a few minutes or hours or days, and then the stock is sold to someone else and they become owners of some new entity. Thus this class of capitalists naturally comes to see the economic system as a mechanism by which money, stocks, bonds, futures, and other surrogates for real wealth, can be manipulated in order to enrich themselves, instead of serving society by producing needed goods and services. As a result, men have made fortunes by hostile takeovers, mergers, shutting down factories, etc., in other words, by taking advantage of private property rights, not in order to engage in productive economic activity, but to enrich themselves regardless of its effect on consumers or workers.

The popes have indeed justified the ownership of private property, but if we examine how and why they have done so, we will see that the logic of their position is far from the logic of capitalism. Let us look, for example, at a famous passage from the encyclical of Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (1891).

"Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that which is their own; nay, they learn to love the very soil which yields in response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of the good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. (no. 35)

But what happens under capitalism? Do men learn to love the very stock certificates which yield cold cash, in response to the labor of someone else's hands? The justification of private property that the popes have made is always tied, at least as an ideal, to ownership and work being joined. Thus Leo XIII: "The law, therefore, should favor ownership, and its policy should be to induce as many people as possible to become owners" (Rerum Novarum, no. 35), and this teaching is repeated by Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno (nos. 59-62, 65), by John XXIII in Mater et Magistra (nos. 85-89, 91-93, 111-115), and by John Paul II in Laborem Exercens (no. 14). If "as many people as possible...become owners," then that fatal separation of ownership and work will be, if not removed, at least its extent and influence will be lessened. It will no longer be the hallmark of our economic system, even if it still exists to some extent.

And this brings us directly to distributism. For distributism is nothing more than an economic system in which private property is well distributed, in which "as many people as possible" are in fact owners. Probably the most complete statement of distributism can be found in Hilaire Belloc's book, The Restoration of Property (1936). Note the title, The Restoration of Property. For the distributists argued that under capitalism property, certainly productive property, was the preserve of the rich, and that this gave them an influence and power in society far beyond what they had any right to. Yes, the formal right to private property exists for all under capitalism, but in practice it is restricted to the rich.

A further feature of distributism that follows from this, is that in a distributist economy, the amassing of property will have limits placed on it. Before one objects that this sounds like socialism, he would do well to remember Chesterton's remark (in What's Wrong With the World, chap. 6), that the institution of private property no more means the right to unlimited property than the institution of marriage means the right to unlimited wives!

In the Middle Ages those quintessential Catholic institutions, the craft guilds, very often limited the amount of property each owner/worker could have (for example, by limiting the number of his employees), precisely in the interest of preventing anyone from expanding his own workshop so much that he was likely to drive others out of business. For if private property has a purpose and end, as Aristotle and St. Thomas would insist, it surely is to allow a man to make a decent living for himself and his family by serving society. But one living, not two or three. If my business supports myself and my family, then what right do I have to expand that business so as to deprive others of the means of supporting themselves and their families? For the medievals saw those in the same line of work, not as rivals or competitors, but as brothers, brothers engaged in the very important work of providing the public with a needed good or service. And as brothers they joined together into guilds, engaged priests to pray for their dead, supported their widows and orphans with insurance funds, and generally looked after one another. Who would not admit that this conception of economic activity is more akin to the Catholic faith than the dog eat dog ethic of capitalism?

I realize that much of what I say here must sound strange to many readers. Most Americans are acquainted only with capitalism and socialism. But a little knowledge of Catholic economic history and of traditional Catholic economic thought will be enough to convince any fair minded reader that there is an entire world out there of genuine Catholic thought on this subject nearly unknown in the United States. And if the current "science" of economics contradicts this thought, then ask yourself, what authority does that "science" have? It arose from the deistic philosophy of the so-called Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, and it is curious that some Catholics, while condemning (rightly) the philosophy of that unfortunate century, warmly embrace its economic theories, not realizing that those economic theories arise from the same poisoned well as Voltaire and the Encyclopedists. But it is not too late to remake our thinking after the very pattern of Jesus Christ and his Church--if we are willing to banish from our lives the idols that are worshipped in our own country and embark on the fascinating journey of discovering Catholic economic thinking.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 09:51:21 PM »

Not quite sure where to put this...Distributism is associated with Catholicism so I'm putting it here.

IF you know what distributism is, do you think it is an economically viable option, and compatible with Orthodoxy?

Also, are there any non-Catholic distributists.

Thanks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism
http://distributistleague.blogspot.com/


The more I read about it, the more I like it. I've been interested in it for about 2 years now.

I think it's pretty cool stuff!







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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 09:54:51 PM »

I did read What's Wrong With the World by Chesterton, and I used to be friends with someone who was into the concept, but I don't know much about Distributism myself. I guess one of my questions about it, for those familiar with it, is this: how would you go about eliminating the Walmart's of the world? By government order? Through boycott? Some other method?  I have this question because I find it hard to believe that something like Distributism could ever take hold and get instituted today. Maybe a century ago in the time of Chesterton/Belloc it would have been possible if an entire nation became so inclined. But now?

Why should it be done by force? A Marxist believes in force. Why not just use the ""free market"" of the west to do it? Why not compete with the Walmarts.......etc.?


Why must it be done by force?









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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 10:20:54 PM »

Why should it be done by force? A Marxist believes in force. Why not just use the ""free market"" of the west to do it? Why not compete with the Walmarts.......etc.?


Why must it be done by force?


I'm no expert on Distributism, but I believe forcing it on people would actually go against its own principles. I believe the proposed methods is to promote from the people up as opposed from the state down.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 12:56:59 PM »

The only just intervention of the state that I can see in this matter is the state giving greater and greater tax incentives to smaller businesses than to larger one. Though, I am not sure how any small business can compete with a large company like Walmart. I love the South Park episode on Walmart called "Something Wall Mart this way comes". Look it up on google.com
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 01:17:32 PM »

The only just intervention of the state that I can see in this matter is the state giving greater and greater tax incentives to smaller businesses than to larger one. Though, I am not sure how any small business can compete with a large company like Walmart. I love the South Park episode on Walmart called "Something Wall Mart this way comes". Look it up on google.com

Distributism isn't supposed to be applied top-down but rather bottoms-up. A perfect example of distributism is a collective such as Mondragon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondrag%C3%B3n_Cooperative_Corporation
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2009, 12:31:08 PM »

I'm Anglican and have been very impressed and intrigued by what I've read about distributism over the past year.
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2009, 10:13:49 PM »

I've been interested in Distributism for the past few months.  I came across it as I was looking through Third Way economic theories.  I'm presently reading E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.  It's a great book.  "Fritz" Schumacher was influenced by the Catholic Distributists and had converted to Catholicism.  I actually encountered his best known work "Buddhist Economics" (actually a chapter in the  book I'm reading complete now) while in college.  A fun video of Schumacher in late life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RebfgHCfrmw

     
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2009, 12:51:23 AM »

I don't know anything about this, but it sounds interesting.  I'll look into it.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 12:34:39 PM »

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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2011, 01:04:31 PM »

I used to be a big proponent of distributism (I was/am a huge Chesterton fan.) My brother is a Political Science major and he sent me an email poking a bunch of holes in the theory that I'll have to try and dig up. But the jist of it was that it may be a good idea but considering where we're at it isn't viable. We would need a huge move toward pre-20th century industrialism to even think about it.


Plus, culturally people have wholley accepted individualism and I don't see that giving way any time soon. People don't like to half-own anything.
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2011, 01:36:30 PM »

It would be an interesting thing to read, if you could find it.
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« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2011, 10:31:25 PM »

For one thing, I don't think it's a sufficiently socially minded system of thought to be the proper solution to the evils of free market capitalism.
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St. George


« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2011, 01:41:53 AM »

I used to be a big proponent of distributism (I was/am a huge Chesterton fan.) My brother is a Political Science major and he sent me an email poking a bunch of holes in the theory that I'll have to try and dig up. But the jist of it was that it may be a good idea but considering where we're at it isn't viable. We would need a huge move toward pre-20th century industrialism to even think about it.


Plus, culturally people have wholley accepted individualism and I don't see that giving way any time soon. People don't like to half-own anything.

I do not think distributism can be fully implemented, but I think many of the guiding principles can to some degree be put into practice with effort.   
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2011, 10:14:33 AM »

I used to be a big proponent of distributism (I was/am a huge Chesterton fan.) My brother is a Political Science major and he sent me an email poking a bunch of holes in the theory that I'll have to try and dig up. But the jist of it was that it may be a good idea but considering where we're at it isn't viable. We would need a huge move toward pre-20th century industrialism to even think about it.

Plus, culturally people have wholley accepted individualism and I don't see that giving way any time soon. People don't like to half-own anything.
There are many people who will tell you that traditional Christianity is 'backward' or whatever and needs to be adapted for the modern world. Of course distributism is not viable in the sense that it would be immediately possible to implement it or get support for it, but that says nothing about its desirability or its anchoring in Christian principles. The way I see distributism is that it is nothing more than applying of traditional Christian principles to economics. I graduated (well I major in history and politics and am now doing an honours year in ancient history; a thesis on Byzantium to be more precise.) in politics and there is very little I have encountered to suggest that it has more holes in it than any other political theory, indeed I'd say it has less.

The decisive point is whether one realises the proper principles one should have in these sphere and whether one uses the obstacles to their implementation to water them down as ideals or not. Distributism, or Christian economics, carries with it the plan to radically assess all that comes under the broad banner of economics according to Christian teaching. So those who inevitably point out that it doesn't conform to the technological and organisational structure of the contemporary economy and society miss the point. Man, made in the image of God, with God-given dignity and needs, including the familial, social, cultural and spiritual, has the the right to decide how technology, for instance is, adapted and used(it after all is shaped by society as well as shaping society.) and doesn't simply have to accept the current trends.

In the end distributism is nothing more than the perspective that we should assess economics, society and indeed all of life in the view that man is made in the image of God, that the universe is the intelligible creation of the Word and Wisdom of God and that Christian teaching, metaphysics and symbolism have universal application as the basis of knowledge helping to arrange, assess and frame all knowledge.

deusveritasest; why do you think it is not 'socially minded'. I'm not sure which sort of economic ideology would be more socially-minded.
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Why should it be done by force? A Marxist believes in force. Why not just use the ""free market"" of the west to do it? Why not compete with the Walmarts.......etc.?
I'm not particularly in favour of a lot of centralised state intervention, but it must be bore in mind that it is liberalism, an anti-Christian and modernist position, which is wedded to the laissez faire attitude and which eschews state intervention as almost always wrong in itself. Traditional Christianity has not shied away from support of the state, and therefore force, where necessary. It is also of course not the case that corporate-capitalism is absent massive state intervention. The analysis of Kevin Carson on this point seems sound; capitalism owes it origin and continued existence to massive and constant state intervention.

One of the contemporary distributists' greatest roles is in pointing out the errors and anti-Christians basis of liberalism, the laissez faire, libertarianism and capitalism and reminding traditional Christians to look to our own principles for our foundation in social, political and economic thinking and not to Locke, Smith, Hayek, Mises or Friedman. Though for a traditional Christian this should be obvious. I would say that Orthodoxy is more traditionally and holistically Christian than even traditional Catholicism. Distributism, in essence at least, should be more even more in line with it. The Orthodox have always maintained the primacy of the Councils, the Fathers and the Apostolic Faith, it makes no sense for them to then anchor their social and economic teaching in Milton Friedman or Ludwig Von Mises any more than in Marx or the Fabians.
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2012, 01:52:20 PM »

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