Our current mortgage system provides an excellent example of why usury used to be illegal. Many people today believe that usury is just another word for interest, but that is not strictly correct. George O'Brien gives a more thorough explanation of usury in "An Essay on Medieval Economic Teaching," but one aspect of usury is the attempt to conduct a transaction without any risk, or where the risk is only one-sided. One of the fundamental differences between Capitalism and Distributism is the attitude toward usury.
28 June, 2009
It is not enough to simply describe distributism to those who are unfamiliar with it. As Hilaire Belloc stated in his Essay on the Restoration of Property, the movement must also provide an explanation on how distributism, as an economic system, is a practical and workable system. Those reading our theories have been raised in a philosophy that is antagonistic to distributism. They are likely to view distributism as nothing more than a quaint, but unworkable, idea.