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Monday, October 02, 2006

Consider Distributism

I would like to pass on some information on Distributism, a virtually unknown economic alternative to capitalism, communism and socialism. Yes, another way does exist; there is hope! Although Day never said she was a distributist, she often wrote of it and her son-in-law ran a mail order distributist book store. The values of distributism, the Worker Movement and personalism all go together. The theory most closely relates to the feudal system of the middle ages (not the dark ages mind you) and was written about in the early 20th century by the likes of Belloc and Chesterton. I believe Belloc coined the term Distributism. I am still learning about it myself but it is a fascinating idea. I do not think we will ever create a heaven on earth, but a Distributist system would sure be nice. I will not try to summarize it here as I would more likely confuse than clarify so let me pass along these websites. First The Distributist Review is a blog that, what else, reviews international news and passes along stories of distributism at work in the world today as well as painful examples of capitalism gone astray. Distributism: The Third Alternative of the New Christendom offers a basic overview of distributism that anyone can understand with lots of direction on where to head next for more info. Finally, I will recommend the Distributism and Catholic Social Teaching Home Page. Lots of links on where to find all sorts of info on distributism and how it relates to the Catholic Church. If anyone knows any other good sites, feel free to post them in the comments section. I'm ordering up some Belloc and hopefully will have some more input on the topic in the near future. Until then, consider this Day's thoughts on the matter.
"Articles on Distributism - 2"
By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, July-August 1948, 1,2, 6. Summary: (DOC #160) Argues that distributism is the only alternative to the US economy. Distributism is an alternative to capitalism and socialism built around "the village economy" and a more just distribution of wealth. Quotes four modern Popes in its support. Summarizes its principles with the following Statements: "land is the most natural form of property" "wages should enable man to purchase land" "the family is the most perfect when rooted in its own holdings" "agriculture is the first and most important of all arts." (See also DOC #159 and DOC #161) For complete article via