13 February, 2023

We've Moved!

We have enjoyed being a Blogger site for many years, but we are now ready to move on to our own domain. Future articles will be posted at the new Practical Distributism site:


02 February, 2023

Addressing your Local Community: An interview with Chattanooga Civics

by David W. Cooney

One thing that distributists are often asked is how we can begin to move toward a more distributist society. What are things that we can do now, in our current political and economic environment, to at least nudge society in what we consider to be a better direction. A lot of our response has been about how to do this economically; like supporting local businesses and using a credit union rather than a bank. That is good as far as it goes, but we must also address these questions politically. What steps can we take to help society as a whole to become more localist, to encourage our local government to address local issues and hold them accountable for doing so, and to encourage people in our local community to be engaged in the local political government and its activities?

20 January, 2023

Capitalism Eating Itself

One of the criticisms that have been made about the distributist movement is that we make false characterizations about capitalism. We take selective examples of abusive behavior taking place within capitalism and use them to criticize capitalism as a whole. We use terms like calling average employees the proletariat and “wage slaves” to reflect how capitalists treat the working classes they claim to “lift up.” Our critics say that these are not the norm for capitalism; they are the exception and not the rule. However, what distributists actually say is that capitalism as a system is morally neutral because it is only about money and “what the market will bear.” Distributists respond that this is how capitalism really exists in the world, and that very fact is what ultimately makes it an unjust system. As I have mentioned many times, most capitalists will insist that everyone involved in business should act in a moral and ethical way, but many of them will also admit that capitalism as a system does not enforce that in any real way. The revelations of Steven Crowder and the Daily Wire over the last two days have shown how right we are.

26 December, 2022

Is this a time to despair?

This last decade has been a time of increasing disruption and conflict in societies around the world. Political and social divisions have only grown more intense and opposing sides are making graver accusations against each other. The idea of having any level of bipartisan compromise is becoming less realistic every day. We’ve seen governments throughout the “free world” exercise extreme totalitarian levels of control and coercion against their own subjects, including denying access to religious services. Local economies were shut down resulting in the loss of many small independent businesses while large corporations like Walmart and Amazon were allowed to thrive. People were denied routine medical services. Those who were in support groups for addictions or emotional issues were denied access to them, resulting in an increase of drug abuse and suicides. Evidence is now proving that the large technological corporations that control the primary means of social communication around the world have cooperated with governments to silence dissenting views, proving that those who were accused of being crazy conspiracy theorists for saying this were correct. Society was divided to the point where friends and families were torn apart over conflicting views of how societies should deal with a disease, with one side being called evil “grandma killers.” Our leaders and celebrities told us all to “trust the science,” even though certain scientific dissent on the official positions were censored. Celebrities suggested that those who disagreed with the official position should be reduced to second-class citizens who would not get full rights and should even be denied emergency health services. In addition to this, our society is increasingly divided on what it should accept as social norms. Finally, it seems that at least half of the population is fine with all of this. We may be tempted to ask, as we head into the new year, is this a time to despair?

15 December, 2022

Real and Ideal in Catholic Social Doctrine


Capitalism and communism are equally representative forms of this tendency of the world today not only to ignore Christianity, but to supplant it. To speak more precisely, the civilization of capitalism, as it was developed during the nineteenth century through the application to industry of the discoveries of experimental science, has created the ideal of an increasingly daring scientism trying to achieve by means of purely human efforts that reconquest of Paradise which is part of the eschatological expectation of believing Christians.[1]
- Louis Bouyer

One of the difficulties affecting our contemporary understanding of the Church's social doctrine is our failure to understand that doctrine in the context of the gigantic shift in Western civilization that reached its climax between, roughly, the middle of the 18th and the middle of the 19th centuries. Catholic social teaching in its modern form originated as that shift was becoming consolidated, and as a result that teaching simultaneously harks back to another and lost era as a kind of ideal, and at the same time offers necessary moral guidance for those living in the reality of the new type of civilization.

23 September, 2022

Where does Distributism fit in?

One thing that seems to confuse many people looking at distributism is that they really can’t imagine a society beyond our current conservative/liberal or right/left paradigm. I believe this is the source of a good deal of the criticism against us. If we’re not conservative, then we must be liberal. If not liberal, then conservative. If not capitalist, then socialist. We are not liberal in the modern sense, nor are we Classical Liberals. We are not Modernist, nor are we Post Modernists. We are not Libertarians and we are not totalitarians. I believe the root of the problem is that people don’t see the connecting thread between all of these views. They not only think several of these positions are fundamentally different things, but that these are essentially the only things that are. For myself, even though there are significant differences between these views, they are fundamentally the same, and the reason I say so is that they are all various forms of Liberalism. Distributism is not a product of Liberalism, so they really have a lot of difficulty understanding it. It just doesn’t fit into any of the neat little categorizations that have been the basis of their political and social arguments for more than a century.