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Age-old ‘distributism’ gains new traction
Washington Post ^ | 10/18/2011 | David Gibson

Posted on 10/18/2011 8:36:07 PM PDT by MeNeFrego

NEW YORK — Can an Anglican theologian from Britain revive an 80-year-old Catholic social justice theory and provide a solution to America’s economic woes and political polarization?

Philosopher and political thinker Phillip Blond thinks so, and he’s giving it everything he’s got.

Blond, who has been a counselor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, just wrapped up a two-week U.S. tour to pitch his retooled version of “distributism,” a theory that argues that both capitalism and government are out of control.

In that sense, the thinking goes, both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are right...

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: anglican; catholic; distributism; economics; gkchesterton; ows; teaparty; thirdway
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1 posted on 10/18/2011 8:36:10 PM PDT by MeNeFrego
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To: MeNeFrego

explains why most catholics i meet are leftists.


2 posted on 10/18/2011 8:40:49 PM PDT by ken21
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To: MeNeFrego

What’s your opinion on this, new FRiend?


3 posted on 10/18/2011 8:41:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Interested in it.


4 posted on 10/18/2011 8:46:28 PM PDT by MeNeFrego
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To: MeNeFrego

I have heard the James O’Keefe is very interested in distributism. The great Catholic intellectuals of the early to mid 20th Century,like Chesterton, Belloc, Tolkien, joined by the great Anglican C.S. Lewis provided great material for thought, especially today. This article may send me back to my high school days to reread Rerum Novarum.


5 posted on 10/18/2011 8:55:30 PM PDT by xkaydet65 (IACTA ALEA EST!!!')
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It is just another variant on statism.


6 posted on 10/18/2011 9:00:09 PM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Interesting quote from the article:

“Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are essentially different expressions of the same phenomenon,” Blond said. Both are angry at the concentration of power, but both are on rocky ground when they demand salvation from either the gods of the market or government.

Notice that this dovetails with what Christie said today, and Obama said yesterday.

The meme they seem to be pushing is: The Tea Party and OWS are MORALLY EQUIVALENT. They are equal. They cancel each other out because they both want the same things.

Not sure how this strategy is good for Obama & Rinos, but let's watch to see if they keep pushing the same meme.

7 posted on 10/18/2011 9:09:53 PM PDT by sklar
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To: ken21
explains why most catholics i meet are leftists

And most of the ones who claim to be conservative are ideologically to the left of conservatives!

8 posted on 10/18/2011 9:11:22 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: ken21

He had obviously never read the constitution of the United States. I love these lefty “thinkers” who think they can rewrite the constitution at their superior whim.

Centralized health care and education? Get lost! No mention of National defense nor border protection - two of the central constitutional functions of the US government.

Let the states and locals handle health care and education however the citizens want.

But he’s right about this: Tea Party is right that the government is too big and powerful. Some of the wall street protesting stinkies are right that corporations have too much power and influence in the government due to global trade. Globalism has to go if America is to recover.


9 posted on 10/18/2011 9:14:13 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: ken21
explains why most catholics i meet are leftists.

Might help if you read the article. Few distributists could be described as leftists.
10 posted on 10/18/2011 9:19:02 PM PDT by Antoninus (Take the pledge: I will not vote for Mitt Romney under any circumstances. EVER.)
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To: ken21

Distributism is hardly leftism. It’s founded on the principle of subsidiarity, that it’s evil to assign to a higher level of hierarchy what a lower level of hierarch is capable of. In other words, it supports not only states’ rights in the face of the federal government, but county rights in the face of the state, village rights in the face of the county, and family rights in the face of the village.

Distributism is the economic side of that model. As corporations become massive, they invariably restrict competition, and seek to manipulate government to prevent competition. Distributism seeks ways to keep the marketplace free, so that conglomerates don’t get to write the rules in ways which that favor “synerigism,” “supply line dominance” (the lethality of which for an economy was demonstrated by the Japanese earthquake), regulation, and exclusive contracts.

An artifically imposed distributism might have effects that might please liberals, such as defeating Walmart in favor of local grocers. But an organic distributism (which is necessary as not to violate the underlying principle of subsidiarity) would see Walmart diversify into niche subsidiaries, while local grocers get the leg up with microdistribution, farmer’s markets, etc.

There’s some natural limits to distibutism in bricks-and-mortar companies; a smallish manufacturing plant is going to develop the expertise and scale to efficiently produce automobiles. But, surprisingly, new markets tend to start out better distributed: remember Mom & Pop video stores were the norm before Blockbuster? And that they were cheaper than blockbuster? The problem is Americans mistook 500 spaces with one video as indicating a better selection than all copies of one video being in a single stack... because we naturally believe bigger is better. Well, the internet is the ultimate is distributism.

Correction: distibutism has found a very unlikely foothold: banking. Microloans are revolutionizing the third world, and reversing poverty.


11 posted on 10/18/2011 9:24:03 PM PDT by dangus
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To: SaraJohnson

Centralized health care is the antithesis of distributism. Distributism would be every doctor acting independently; every person providing their own health coverage.

Distributism in education would be home schooling.

Distributism in national defense would be a heavily armed citizenry.


12 posted on 10/18/2011 9:26:52 PM PDT by dangus
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To: xkaydet65
Any economic philosophy that has the support of Chesterton, Belloc, and Lewis is worthy of reconsideration.

The folks on this thread who take anything from this brief article as an excuse to oppose it are being hasty.

13 posted on 10/18/2011 9:37:00 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: MeNeFrego

thank you, never heard this one before.

assuming the article has the concept right and i understand it. one minute of thought suffices to spot the fallacy at the center of this idea:

power cannot be distributed in a “collective.” corrupt human nature trumps theoretical communism (the distribution of power equally among individuals). any morally rudderless individual or oligarchy will then, again corruptly, maintain, defend and extend it’s power over others, who will be rendered slaves.

if power is allowed to concentrate at all, and in communism there is no barrier to factionalism as madison defines it, it will recursively concentrate itself within a smaller and smaller circle of individuals.

the genius of our Founders was to erect institutional barriers (our Constitution) and leverage God’s law (morality) to retard and block it’s concentration.

the other proposition in the article is provably absurd. if all power is concentrated in the libertarian individual, it can only be defended by just and dispassionate government. but governments are by definition a concentration of power in the few. thus we have the reductio absurdio.


14 posted on 10/18/2011 9:40:02 PM PDT by dadfly
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To: SaraJohnson

Centralized health care is the antithesis of distributism. Distributism would be every doctor acting independently; every person providing their own health coverage.

Distributism in education would be home schooling.

Distributism in national defense would be a heavily armed citizenry.


15 posted on 10/18/2011 9:41:57 PM PDT by dangus
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To: MeNeFrego

To try to associate communism with the Tea Party is laughable.


16 posted on 10/18/2011 9:43:14 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: dadfly
"assuming the article has the concept right"

Well there's your problem from the get go.

17 posted on 10/18/2011 9:55:16 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Mariner
Distributism is not communism.

Do you really think that G. K. Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, and C. S. Lewis would spend significant portions of their lives supporting communism?

Or have you never heard of Chesterton, Belloc, or Lewis?

18 posted on 10/18/2011 9:56:49 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: SaraJohnson
"He had obviously never read the constitution of the United States. I love these lefty “thinkers” who think they can rewrite the constitution at their superior whim."

Phillip Blond is an Englishman. Regardless some of his ideas may do well here despite the differences in are founding documents.

It's not that difficult to google distributism, Phillip Blond, G. K. Chesterton, etc.

You might find that you like some of the things they have to say.

Of course you'll probably find one thing you disagree with, then decide their all a bunch of commies, including that damned leftist C. S. Lewis! /sarc

19 posted on 10/18/2011 10:00:03 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: sklar
"Notice that this dovetails with what Christie said today, and Obama said yesterday."

This assumes that Christie and Obama are thoughtful people, rather than just triangulating politicians.

Distributism has a long, respectful heritage. It was supported by luminaries such as G. K. Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, and C. S. Lewis. Those gentlemen supported distributism because it made sense to them, not because they hoped to get more votes.

Whatever the MSM or egotistic politicians decide to do with distributism is besides the point. If the distributists have even a couple of good ideas that can help us through our current economic troubles then good for them!

20 posted on 10/18/2011 10:04:07 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
"Do you really think that G. K. Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, and C. S. Lewis would spend significant portions of their lives supporting communism?"

OK, let's slice your nuances thin and be more specific.

They advocate an amorphous religious state in which the state benevolently allocates justice and resources based upon the needs of the people, and grounded in Biblical principle.

Statist, Fascist or Communist...they're all the same to me and my mortal enemy.

21 posted on 10/18/2011 10:05:00 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: ken21
"explains why most catholics i meet are leftists."

Leftist Catholics are too ignorant to even know what 'distributism' is.

Most of the Catholics that were distributists were also very conservative. Especially Hillaire Belloc who was one of the first commentators to state that at some point one of the major foes of Western Civilization would be Islam. And this was before the communists had even done their worst.

22 posted on 10/18/2011 10:09:10 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: who_would_fardels_bear

ha, you mean a journalist got it wrong? what a shock. well i’m sure now that i’ve heard the term, i’ll pick up more about it as time goes on.


23 posted on 10/18/2011 10:09:37 PM PDT by dadfly
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To: Mariner

How do you like living in the United States of Morgan Stanley, Frank, and Dodd?


24 posted on 10/18/2011 10:10:56 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: MeNeFrego

Does this mean the Chinese were distributists when they pushed “back-yard blast furnaces” to boost steel production back in Mao’s day?


25 posted on 10/18/2011 10:14:13 PM PDT by Vesparado
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To: who_would_fardels_bear
...Hillaire Belloc who was one of the first commentators to state that at some point one of the major foes of Western Civilization would be Islam.

Before Belloc was born, that major foe had 1,000 years of aggresive history. To me, Mr. Belloc's economic theories were unconvincing.

26 posted on 10/18/2011 11:11:21 PM PDT by Daffy
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To: MeNeFrego; Absolutely Nobama; Elendur; it_ürür; Bockscar; Mary Kochan; Bed_Zeppelin; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


27 posted on 10/18/2011 11:16:36 PM PDT by narses (what you bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and what you loose upon earth, shall be ..)
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To: MeNeFrego

Distributism is/ was not any official Catholic idea. It was not from the Church. It was believed by some priests and some prominent lay Catholics in England early in the last century. Catholic seminaries do not teach much about Economics, alas.


28 posted on 10/18/2011 11:38:51 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: ken21
explains why most catholics i meet are leftists.

You are in the Northeast, right? If so then most of everybody you meet is probably Left. In my K of C council we sometimes talk politics after a meeting and the liberal members are from New York or New England. Everybody else is pretty straight conservative. Nobody has a kenyan sticker on his bumper.

29 posted on 10/18/2011 11:44:51 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: SaraJohnson

I am not optimistic that America will recover. I am a longtime gate guard at a resort in Florida. The spring break crows and the early summer crowd- mostly college kids or just out of college and unemployed- has been getting duller each year that I have been there and this year the curve took a discernible turn netherwards. This is the generation that will run our businesses and politics in a few years.


30 posted on 10/18/2011 11:49:31 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: MeNeFrego

“libertarians of the left and the right...”? Libertarianism, at least from the Randian perspective, will never be a leftist or statist perspective. The closest thing might be an Nietzchian or ‘will to power’ viewpoint and that is anything but a classical liberal viewpoint.

I respect the intellect and intentions of people like Chesterton, Belloc and Blond, but the fact is there wouldn’t be such an ideological gulf between left and right if anything the left attempted in the last century actually worked. Forms of distributism are brought back from time to time, witness the “small is beautiful” movement of the Seventies. While localized socioeconomic models have their obvious charm, they must arise naturally from existing circumstance. If they are created or enforced by public sector coercion, they will never succeed and will probably fail immediately.


31 posted on 10/18/2011 11:50:15 PM PDT by tanuki (O-voters: wanted Uberman, got Underdog....)
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To: Mariner; who_would_fardels_bear
You can call this theory a sort socialism but it's not, nor is it any sort of statist control proposal or a religious control proposal. It's almost a plea to establish paternal capitalism as the norm. Protestants far more than Catholics wanted to base society on their principals and in this country they succeeded in doing just that. Everyone interprets everything for themselves, and everyone worries about their own salvation, concerns themselves with the well being of others, and in general deals with society exactly the way they are personally moved to do so by whatever they consider to be the urging of the Spirit. That sort of theology logically and always leads to just what we have today, moral relativism, which in turn leads a fascist nobility controlling an all powerful State.

So, there were Catholic intellectuals who were in favor or a different balance of state, corporate, and individual, power. Many a Protestant was a Fabian socialist in the same era, too, so it's just another example of intellectuals doing their usual theorizing. There are more than enough boneheaded ideas that were once popular among one or another group of intellectuals to find fault with any religious group. Just put this theory in that category and forget it, no one much is even interested in hearing about this theory much less in implementing it.

You have no reason to fear some "mortal enemy" creeping out of a dark, dank, Catholic, alley somewhere. The existing Protestant system is heading quite rapidly to the logical endpoint of Protestant theology overlaid on a society. Rest assured that Catholics don't want to seize control and take credit for the existing system. What we have now has done a fine job of destroying the Constitution in favor of the Almighty Dollar. Those who built the skeleton and left it to be fleshed out by future generations are long dead, and those rapidly establishing a fascist nobility are cozy in their Snuggies oblivious to everything except their own superiority

Regards

32 posted on 10/19/2011 12:12:39 AM PDT by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: SaraJohnson

Good for you, Sara.

From the article: ““You need a new culture, or a new commonality around which you can associate and create.”

“And the problem is you don’t have that because you have culture wars. And once you have culture wars you have a society that fragments ... which means you become a society that can’t solve problems. Which is very worrying.””

The whole article was just another WaPo space filler against the TeaParty. Oh, and somehow give the illusion that it’s the fault of religion.


33 posted on 10/19/2011 3:26:36 AM PDT by kitkat (Obama, rope and chains)
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To: sklar

Yes the leftist are trying to use the TEA party and make us all “useful idiots” en masse.


34 posted on 10/19/2011 4:10:11 AM PDT by MCF
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To: dangus
All that you said is absolutely true about distributism. The folks at FR who don't know what it REALLY is need to inform themselves before lumping it into Socialism/Communism/Keynesianism or any other leftist ideology-sociology.

What needs to be said, first and foremost about this article in the absolute error that is made by the statement there are ANY similarities between OWS and the Tea Party. The two are like night and day. And there are no REAL similarities at all.

That being said, distributism has much more in common with Christian principles and subsidiarity than any other form of sociological approach to economics. In fact, I think F.A Hayak would tell us that it fits the model of “Free Markets” better than anything else.

35 posted on 10/19/2011 5:13:27 AM PDT by ThomasMore (Islam is the Whore of Babylon!)
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To: dangus

“”Distributism is hardly leftism””

Spot on! So is the rest of your post.

One can see by reading the late Belloc and others that unbounded usury is the real evil force that has driven the west closer socialism and lack of ownership, this has aided greed and corrupt power more than anything else.

by Hilaire Belloc

As long as Usury was forbidden by the moral law and its immorality admitted, even though it took place widely, it took place under protest. It was always checked by the public disrepute in which it was held and by the fact that unless it were disguised, the interest could not be recovered by law. Disguises were indeed often used, as for instance, the promise to repay on a certain date a certain sum of money as having been lent, when as a fact a small sum had been lent. But though such subterfuges were continual, the evil could not spread until the taking of interest upon money alone became an admitted practice of which no man was ashamed, which no one thought evil, which was taken for granted.

By the third generation great central banks had arisen, notably in Amsterdam and London. Shortly afterwards, during the 18th century, men had everywhere begun to think (later in Catholic nations than in Protestant, but everywhere at last) as though interest on money were part of the nature of things: as though money had indeed, merely as money, a right to breed. The false doctrine was bound to lead to a deadlock at last, and in our own time that deadlock has been reached. The recovery of the vast usurious loans is impossible. Recourse has had to be made to repudiation on all sides, and the whole system is breaking down.

But remember that the worst of its effects is not its own self-destruction, but the way in which it has gathered into a few centers the power of controlling lives of the community and particularly of the proletariat, whose employment, and therefore existence, depends upon the great advance of credit by the holders of financial power. For all our great enterprises today are possible only through the favor of the lenders of money or credit.

We may sum up then and say that the unrestricted admittance of Usury as a normal economic function about a lifetime after the Reformation advanced the destruction of economic freedom, the swallowing up of the small man by the greater man, and the ultimate production of a large destitute Proletariat in the following fashions:

1. By the eating up of small property by Usury, falling as it did habitually upon men already embarrassed, and achieving their ruin;

2. By transferring real wealth in goods and land to those who directly used their mere money power, often enormous and impersonal, through mortgage and foreclosure.

Hilaire Belloc was correct and we are seeing it unfold before our eyes!


36 posted on 10/19/2011 5:13:47 AM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: MeNeFrego
“Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are essentially different expressions of the same phenomenon,” Blond said. Both are angry at the concentration of power, but both are on rocky ground when they demand salvation from either the gods of the market or government.

Distributism, Blond argues, calls for going smaller and more local in search of solutions (music to the ears of classic conservatives) while leaving the central government to build the infrastructure and guarantee basics like education and health care (ideas that would warm any bleeding heart).

That is not distributism as I understand it. Distributism will have a local school teaching local kids and a local doctor visiting his patients, no different than local blacksmith shoeing local horses and local farmer getting food to local market. It is a medieval model, not a central-government model; in a medieval state the central goverment, at most, mints the coin and brokers peace treaties.

He may have some hybrid left-wing version of distributism which makes little sense.

37 posted on 10/19/2011 5:29:11 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Mariner

What you must understand is that Distributism is an economic application of Subsidiarism; it’s antithetical to state management of justice and resources... which is why distributists have had a difficult time forming a political movement. All stripes of politicians recognize it would strip them of power.

The only sense in which the government “does” anything for Distributism is that it pulls back from its role in protecting the market shares of behemoth corporations, by means such as reducing regulation, withdrawing from market management, removing a tax structure which favors supply line dominance, reforming intellectual property rights (which are supposed to support innovation, not destroy it), and prevent exclusive contracts. You’ll note that the first four of those five are downright libertarian.


38 posted on 10/19/2011 5:29:46 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

Thank you for your explanatory posts.

It’s been a while since I read Belloc on distributism, but doesn’t he advocate the state introduce impediments (e.g. progressive taxation, etc.) to discourage market-share growth?


39 posted on 10/19/2011 8:50:13 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: stfassisi
That's an excellent - and apt! - citation from Belloc.

The following excerpt brings to mind our government's practice of selling "face-value" savings bonds:

"Disguises were indeed often used, as for instance, the promise to repay on a certain date a certain sum of money as having been lent, when as a fact a small sum had been lent."
40 posted on 10/19/2011 8:55:31 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: LearsFool

Not sure about Belloc... I think Chesterton included some form of taxation on contracts, aiming to minimize supply-chain dominance. But it was part of his 9-9-9 plan. ;^)


41 posted on 10/19/2011 9:34:16 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus; Rashputin
How can you call the below ANYTHING besides a form of statism:

Essentially, distributism distinguishes itself by its distribution of property (not to be confused with redistribution of wealth). While socialism allows no individuals to own productive property (it all being under state, community, or workers' control), distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property. As Belloc stated, the distributive state (the state which has implemented distributism) contains "an agglomeration of families of varying wealth, but by far the greater number of owners of the means of production."[4] 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.[5]

It implies, by it's very nature, that the state has the power to seize property and give it to those it believes are deserving.

If not the state, who would have the power of coercion necessary to bring about such utopia?

What person could not see that as a threat to individual liberty?

42 posted on 10/19/2011 10:35:25 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: MeNeFrego

Distributism is an interesting concept that I have some trouble wrapping my head around.

I’d like to see a knowledgeable person give a comparison between free markets or capitalism and distributism.


43 posted on 10/19/2011 11:14:31 AM PDT by WPaCon
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To: Mariner

>> It implies, by it’s very nature, that the state has the power to seize property and give it to those it believes are deserving. <<

Absolutely not! You just PRESUME that direct action by the state is the ONLY way to get anything done; you’ve falled into the trap of the liberals. “Seeks to ensure that most...” means nothing similar to “enlists the state to forcibly require that most...”

Rather, distributists recommend a series of policies which would reach this goal, the majority of which involve RETRACTING state influence in the economy, allowing entropy to bring the means of production to the greater number of people.

That is not to say that no distributists have ever proposed new government action to accomplish this. For one, most distributists imagine a very vigorous collection of laws against restraint of trade, such as, for instance, establishing exclusive dealerships. As mentioned above, Belloc proposed prohibiting usury. But there is no seizure of wealth scheme, because distributism is the economic application of subsidiarity, and the entire purpose of subsidiarity is to ensure that there is no entity powerful enough to redistribute wealth by fiat.


44 posted on 10/19/2011 12:37:21 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Mariner
Whatever theories intellectuals had the only proposals that were anything like distributism had none of the property seizure or other aspects you're talking about. Nor was there community ownership proposed other than through the same sort of community ownership we have now, stockholders.

Think what you like or go read the histories of both the Anthracite region and the Steel Centers from Pittsburgh over to the Mon Valley. There were all sorts of proposals flying around and an awful lot of them were intended to be an alternative to having workers become unionized due to the fear of unions common at the time.

A great many groups proposed all sorts of schemes that thought were morally superior and some companies were already doing almost exactly what proponents of distributism believed in with no one at all forcing them to do a thing. That's not some form of statism no matter what the “pure theory” was in England or among the eggheads. The issue was, I thought, what Catholic social thinkers of the day, in this country, were proposing, not what some group or another considered to be the pure form of the idea.

Other than the usual socialists calling themselves anything but socialist and some anarchists advocating the destruction of all forms of both corporations and government, no one was proposing any coercion to force distributism on society. How something advocates thought would be adopted because of the obvious moral improvment they felt would result becomes worker, state, community, or some other form of collective control, I don't know. Whatever it “implies” in theory, what was proposed and even considered in some places was nothing like what you're saying nor was it like the “pure” theory you refer to.

45 posted on 10/19/2011 12:38:09 PM PDT by Rashputin (Obama stark, raving, mad, and even his security people know it.)
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To: WPaCon

Part of the problem is that in the 1920s, there were grave economic crises which American industrialists were only beginning to discover solutions for (Ford, etc.); they were trying to imagine ways to bring about distribution of wealth. 90 years later, different proposals might be better for bringing that about. For one, people have greater access to capital, but zoning laws and regulations prevent people from being able to build a home, except at an enormous multiple of the actual cost. Here in Virginia, you can’t get your “5 acres and a mule,” because zoning requires you to get 15. Let alone, a reasonable sized suburban dwelling (1/4 acre) for those who aren’t in agricultural work.


46 posted on 10/19/2011 1:32:18 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus; Rashputin
"But there is no seizure of wealth scheme, because distributism is the economic application of subsidiarity, and the entire purpose of subsidiarity is to ensure that there is no entity powerful enough to redistribute wealth by fiat."

Then, without the power of the state, how do distributionists achieve their goals? Even the above stated and limited goals? Just WHO applies subsidiarity upon the economic and political order?

It's 100% voluntary? They would ask that the collective owners of corporations surrender their ownership interest voluntarily so that families could own those means of production?

Or, perhaps they would ask that "natural monopolies" surrender growth and efficiencies so that grandma can pay $275/month for a phone that only calls those other phones produced by the cottage industry phone company that services only Puyallup, WA?

What I am saying is that their goals cannot be achieved, in real terms, without the coercive power of the state. Short of that coercive power it's nothing more than the bleating of an utopian. As soon as implementation is attempted it requires the power of the state.

Oh sure, there have been and will continue to be those who volunteer themselves to such goals...great. Nobody objects to that.

But anyone who values individual liberty will not support the implementation of such goals coercively by any entity.

47 posted on 10/19/2011 1:48:36 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner

>> It’s 100% voluntary? They would ask that the collective owners of corporations surrender their ownership interest voluntarily so that families could own those means of production? <<

NO No No No No no NO! My God, you think like a socialist. The free market, that Invisible Hand tied behind our back, would do it. There’s no reason on earth why a company in Arkansas can sell produce grown in New Jersey to customers in New Jersey more cheaply than a company in New Jersey can. The Arkansas company gets involved because it can guarantee a huge market to the grower, but it does that at the cost to the grower of having to sign an exclusive relationship.

There’s no growth and efficiency in Microsoft destroying innovation for fifteen years until Google finally comes up with an end-run around operating system dependence. There’s no growth and efficiency in Nintendo patenting a screen-scrolling algorithm invented by Atari, and then putting Atari out of business.

Now, no-one promises all huge corporations would disintegrate into small companies. A mom and pop operation probably can’t build the same quality aircraft that Boeing can. But we can at least remove the artificial economic forces through which Big Capital and Big Government squash entrepreneurship and private ownership. (For starters, one thing that Belloc and Chesteron didn’t dwell on, but I will simply putting an end to laws prohibit subdivision of land.)

No-one owns their land; they rent it from the bank at exorbitant rates, and must seek approval for their Masters in the government before they can do anything with that land. That’s a crisis.

>> What I am saying is that their goals cannot be achieved, in real terms, without the coercive power of the state. Short of that coercive power it’s nothing more than the bleating of an utopian. As soon as implementation is attempted it requires the power of the state. <<

That is nothing more than an uninformed assertion. Prove that any one of the specific recommendations of distribution would fail to help the distribution of the means of production. Naturally, before you can do that, you need to read up on those recommendations and the theories behind them; your posts demonstrate you haven’t. So quit making untrue assertions based on your own prejudices, and start contributing to solutions.


48 posted on 10/19/2011 2:27:35 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus
Sir, I suggest you are the one making unfounded assertions.

What specific regulations or laws would you implement or eliminate that would achieve the distributionist goals?

The reason a company in Arkansas can sell produce grown in NJ cheaper is that the company in Arkansas has done the work to build the business relationships and contracts with the buyers in NJ.

How would you un-do that?

49 posted on 10/19/2011 3:36:18 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: dangus

From your descriptions, distributism doesn’t sound all that different from free markets/capitalism. It just sounds like capitalism with a few regulations.

That sounds similar to how we (at least used to) have free markets but with anti-trust laws.


50 posted on 10/19/2011 4:10:21 PM PDT by WPaCon
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