26 March, 2018

Distributism and the French Revolution

Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s attitude towards the French Revolution seems to be, at least in very many cases (and I know it from experience) a rather uncomfortable matter; Andrew Greely, in an introduction to the beautiful Sheed & Ward Classics reedition of Masie Ward’s Gilbert Keith Chesterton prophesized that the alliance between Chesterton and the so called “traditional Catholic circles” (the integrists, or whatever else we call them – every name seems somewhat deficient, and definitely controversial), which was forming at the time, would not last long. It was the year 2005. Indeed, Greely was right; and at least in Poland this alliance is now almost dead. Our traditional Catholic communities, first fascinated with Chesterton’s apologetics and imbibing his works almost maniacally (about twelve or ten years ago), tend to talk about him less and less, with the general tactics consisting in pushing him further and further away by the power of “discreet reticence.” “Chesterton? Ah, yes; good writer. Tea?”

16 March, 2018

Witt and Richards on Belloc: Part 3

Continued from Part 2

In an exchange with Witt and Richards sort of on this topic (Pearce 1, W&R 1, Pearce 2, W&R 2), Joseph Pearce accused the pair of conflating Belloc’s views with socialism—an accusation they warmly denied.

05 March, 2018

Of Labour and Liberty

Race Matthews, Australian distributist and author of Jobs of Our Own, has published a new book titled Of Labour and Liberty.

Please spread the word about this book!
Here is a flyer you can download to post and share!

01 March, 2018

Witt and Richards on Belloc: Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Witt and Richards accuse Belloc of committing serious economic errors—errors also committed by Marx (horribile dictu).  The two central such errors are that both Marx and Belloc “failed to understand that free exchange benefits both parties,” and that “both held to what is called the labor theory of value, roughly the idea that something is worth economically just how much it cost to produce it.”  (Both passages from p. 160.) 

Belloc does not accept the labor theory of value.  This, at least, can be settled definitively.  In his explanation of the nature of economic wealth, Belloc considers the example of a farmer who owns a horse.  “…consider,” he says,
how the value [of the horse] changes while the horse remains the same.  On such and such a date any neighbor would have given the owner of the horse from 20 to 25 sacks of wheat for it, or, say, 10 sheep, or 50 loads of cut wood.  But suppose there comes a great mortality among horses, so that very few are left.  There is an eager desire to get hold of those that survive in order that the work may be done on the farms.  Then the neighbors will be willing to give the owner of the horse much more than 20 or 25 sacks of wheat for it.  They may offer as much as 50 sacks, or 20 sheep, or 100 loads of wood.  Yet the horse is exactly the same horse it was before.  The wealth of the master has increased.  His horse, as we say, is ‘worth more.’”  (Economics for Helen, p 33-4)