One of the charges I have heard against distributism is that it is “isolationist,” and that it fails to account for the “realities” of the “global economy.” The truth is that these terms are thrown out in order to dissuade people from even considering our views. They invoke a twisted view the population at large has been taught to have regarding these terms and unjustly associate those views with distributism.
09 October, 2009
I often see two things in my perusing of various distributist discussion sites: calls by fellow distributists that we actually start living and conducting business in a distributive manner, and criticism by non-distributists that we are not doing so. It is high time that we start responding to these calls.
07 October, 2009
This will undoubtedly be considered very controversial by modern capitalists. While there are other aspects of our economic society that must also be addressed, land is the foundational component of all means of production. Under capitalism, as practiced in the modern world, there is practically no limit on the accumulation of land. A single person or company can accumulate vast amount of land, thereby gaining a disproportionate control of the primary means of production. Some may argue that smaller businesses can always rent land, but the requirement to do this puts them at the mercy of the land owner being willing to rent the land for their business. The distributist ideal would allow as much economic independence, and corresponding freedom, as possible. Therefore, we prefer that land ownership be as widely distributed as possible. It is better for the small proprietor to own the land on which he conducts his business, than to be dependent on the willingness of another to allow the use of the land. Therefore, in order for distributism be implemented, some means of establishing the wider ownership of land must be established. We must have a means of getting us from where we are to where we want to be.
04 October, 2009
There is a great deal of uninformed “analysis” and commentary being made about distributism. Die-hard capitalists in the present day U.S. accuse distributism of being nothing more than a new form of socialism. Distributists accuse capitalism of being immoral, but often fail to explain exactly what makes it so. There are also some learned philosophers, such as Dr. Rafael Waters (with whom I would loathe to disagree), who argue that capitalism is not immoral. Therefore, in order for a practical discussion of distributism to exist, there must also be clarity regarding these terms and what is meant.
28 June, 2009
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.
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.