In the late 19th and early
20th Centuries, three alternatives were proposed to
alleviate the conditions of the working classes under capitalism: distributism, Keynesian capitalism, and socialism.
Distributists are sometimes accused of being socialists, or at least
quasi-socialists. This article will examine the nature of socialism
and how it is completely incompatible with distributism.
For those people who have just heard
about distributism, whether they are just curious, or doubtful, I
would like to present a few articles that run through the basics in
simple terms. I'd like to be able to answer some of the claims
presented by our detractors, but those answers must be understood by
what distributism actually is, rather than what our detractors claim
it to be.
From time to time, some of our readers
have suggested that we should not use the Spanish cooperative
as an example of distributist principles in action. The main point of
this suggestion is that Mondragón has grown too big to truly be an
example of distributism in the world today. I have always agreed with
this point, and have responded that it would not be so big in a truly
distributist society. However, because of the principles that guide
their business operations, I have always felt that it does serve as
an example of how distributism can work with larger scale industrial
types of businesses. With the news of Mondragón's largest
cooperative, Fagor, filing for bankruptcy, it is time to discuss a
harsh reality with our readers.