Distributionism By Any Other Name…

Posted: August 23rd, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

This comes from the Gadget42 “Know Your Enemy” file.  Here are a couple of “libertarian” philosophies that have been circulating for some time.  I remember head butting with someone who continually referred to “the Commons” and loosely defined it as “public resources” and “community goods.”  In the end?  It’s just another form of property (non)ownership and wealth redistribution.  They just take the “re” off the front.

Here’s Distributism explained by its advocates (I doubt they actually practice this):

Distributism: a Precis

In the early years of the twentieth century, the English Catholic writers Hilaire Belloc and Gilbert and Cecil Chesterton derived a distinctive political philosophy called Distributism from the social teachings of the Catholic Church[1]. Its basis is the belief that a just social order can only be achieved through a much more widespread distribution of property. Distributism favours a ‘society of owners’, where property belongs to the many rather than the few, and correspondingly opposes the concentration of property in the hands of the rich, as under capitalism, or the state, as advocated by some socialists. In particular, ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange must be widespread. As defined by Cecil Chesterton:

A Distributist is a man who desires that the means of production should, generally speaking, remain private property, but that their ownership should be so distributed that the determining mass of families – ideally every family – should have an efficient share therein. That is Distributism, and nothing else is Distributism…Distributism is quite as possible in an industrial or commercial as in an agrarian community[2].

The Third Way: The Social Agenda

A Collection of Magisterial Texts
is a publication of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Students, teachers, and all those who seek a better knowledge of the social doctrine of the Church will find contained within this collection the central statements of the Roman Pontiffs from a range of texts, including papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, and Conciliar documents, on matters relating to politics, economics, and culture.

The selections are arranged thematically according to the significant subject areas of Catholic social doctrine. Under each subject heading, the quotations appear in pedagogical—as opposed to chronological or magisterial—order, with each subject area opening with a quotation that explains the issue at hand.

+ (The Late) François-Xavier Nguyên Cardinal Van ThuânPresident, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace(1928-2002)

I should read through it and compare it to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church


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