The comment "One wonders if Day's distributism is socialism in disguise"--rather than "capitalism"--evoked the following reply from the author, Bonchamps:
"Even the best of political thinkers can have a lapse in consistency. Doesnt it seem strange to you that [Day] would oppose Social Security on the grounds that it relied upon force and then praise a violent revolution [in Cuba] that expropriated people by force?
It tells me that we dont really have a consistent thinker here. I think the reality is that she wanted an outcome, a certain kind of society, and was sympathetic to whomever she believed had obtained it or was on the way to obtaining it. If I had the opportunity, I would point out the massive inconsistency in rejecting force and compulsion when it comes to something relatively mild like Social Security while remaining ethically uncritical of something like the Cuban Revolution.
I would hope that she would see that social justice is meaningless without justice due to individuals, justice which is denied through totalitarian collectivism."
This exchange occurs about midway, as the posts of Bonchamps and others continue to raise new points in a discussion that is well worth reading!
One may disagree, of course, but if Day was a Distributist, she was, at least, in good company.
We believe that social security legislation, now balled as a great victory for the poor and for the worker, is a great defeat for Christianity. It is an acceptance of the Idea of force and compulsion. It is an acceptance of Cain's statement, on the part of the employer. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Since the employer can never be trusted to give a family wage, nor take care of the worker as he takes care of his machine when it is idle, the state must enter in and compel help on his part. Of course, economists say that business cannot afford to act on Christian principles. It Is impractical, uneconomic. But it is generally coming to be accepted that such a degree of centralization as ours is impractical, and that there must be decentralization. In other words, business has made a mess of things, and the state has had to enter in to rescue the worker from starvation.
Of course, Pope Pius XI said that, when such a crisis came about, in unemployment, fire, flood, earthquake, etc., the state had to enter in and help.
But we in our generation have more and more come to consider the state as bountiful Uncle Sam. "Uncle Sam will take care of it all. The race question, the labor question, the unemployment question." We will all be registered and tabulated and employed or put on a dole, and shunted from clinic to birth control clinic. "What right have people who have no work to have a baby?" How many poor Catholic mothers heard that during those grim years before the war!
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicworker.org ...
As the iconic photo implies, DD would always set herself against the man with the gun. It tore her heart when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, and half of her volunteers wanted to go fight for Franco --- or at least for the Carlists; the other half for the Reds--- or at least for Catalonia. (I exaggerate; many wanted to feed, clothe, and bandage people, and die martyred by one side or the other, I'm sure.) But she was willing to lose something like 75% of her newspaper's staff and 80% of its circulation, rather than side with anyone who sided against the Works of Mercy.
The Works of Mercy: that was her program, and her only one.
Anyone could call her a fool, but there's a long tradition of that. She would say, "A fool for Christ. And I only wish I were moreso."