03 July, 2014

Why Bother?


Our chances of making a real societal change toward distributism within our life time seem small at best, so why bother with the effort of trying to promote a view unknown to most people and misunderstood by many who have heard of it?

Even the founders of distributism knew that there was little chance to bring about real change during their lives. Here we are, one hundred yeas later, fighting the same uphill battle. I occasionally get asked why I bother.

I'm sure that Nigel Farage and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) heard the same thing over the last twenty years. As a U.S. citizen, I'm obviously not a member of UKIP, and I don't agree with all of its positions (after all, they aren't distributists), but I find UKIP to be a source of encouragement in regard to the distributist movement. Scoffed at as a fringe group by the three major parties, UKIP has become a force to be reckoned even though they still have a long way to go. The headlines after the recent UK elections say it all.

The Guardian

The Telegraph

The Independent

Yes, even the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is being told by his Tory party to take UKIP seriously, and there are many calls within the Deputy Prime Minister's Liberal Democrat party for him to resign. Why? Had UKIP become a major force the UK Parliament? No, those elections are next year and, while they are expected to do better than previous years, UKIP is not expected to win enough to be a major force. This was the reaction to the local council elections, where UKIP did not win control of even one council. However, they made significant gains over previous years as voters from all these parties defected to the upstart.

The above headlines came before the results of the simultaneous election to the European Union (EU) Parliament, where UKIP passed the other parties, although their standing in the EU still less than the other parties combined.

The Guardian

BBC

BBC

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

The Telegraph 

The Guardian

BBC

The point is that a "fringe" group of "upstarts" who are routinely dismissed by "those who know best" can make a difference. However, they can only do so if they persist. This, dear readers, is the lesson UKIP offers to the distributist movement. 

Do you want your local government to change? Do you want higher levels of government to stop interfering with local issues? Do you want a more friendly environment for local business where you live? Whatever you would like to see change in society, it won't happen unless someone tries to promote that change, unless those who agree with the change take up the call and spread the word. Distributism will never be given a chance by others if we do not share it with them. It won't be considered as a solution to our ongoing economic problems, or even a viable alternate view of economics, if we don't persist in the face of criticism and apparent lack of progress.

I may never see distributism implemented in my life time, but I can hopefully help the change to make things better for my children and for future generations. You can also help with this change. We have advantages that the founders of distributism didn't have. They were limited to print media and public speaking, we have blogs, podcasts, and internet video that can reach around the world to anyone who searches on the topic of economics. It is still an uphill battle, but the chance, even if it is remote, to make things better for the future is why I bother.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, and the Populist Party in the UK is probably the link between UKIP and Distributist thinking....

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