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Part of the idea of what people refer to as "The American Way of Life," is wrapped up in the whole notion of our "Standard of Living." The "Living Standard" is a measure of consumer spending. It is concerned with how many things we can buy, how expensively we are able to live, what luxuries we might afford. For many (perhaps most) Americans, the purpose of work is to earn a wage or salary in order to support the level of consuming that we believe is right for us and will make us happy.

Americans will say they reject these materialistic ideals. Yet they might find it difficult to explain how their vision of work and leisure differs from the "getting and spending" syndrome that plagues our society.

Chesterton's writings offer a ready cure for this disease. He will remind us that work is or should be a vocation and that it is really more fun to produce than to consume. He will remind us that the end purpose of work is a product, not a wage, and that all the exchanges in which people exploit one another, both socially and financially, are also opportunities for people to dignify one another.

Chesterton lamented that "the spotlight of social importance" had passed from workmanship to salesmanship and from thrift to indebtedness. He regretted that "the tricks of every trade are tricks of selling things rather than tricks of making them." He knew that the getting and spending lifestyle is no road to any kind of happiness. Chesterton called his alternative "Distributism," and those who dismiss it as "impractical" have nothing to offer us but materialistic dreams of avarice and clutter.

Gilbert! will continue to publish articles dedicated to Distributism, including our regular "Urban Distributist" feature," Carl Cassidy's "On-The-Job" stories, the "Distributism Is Everywhere" press clippings, and Chesterton's own writings on the subject. [J.P.]

[And for further reading in Chesterton's works, see "The Enemies of Property" and "The Modern Slave" in What’s Wrong with the World and "A Workman’s History of England" in Utopia of Usurers.]
Not about Catholic News, Discussion, History or Culture.

You're not even trying, are you?
I can't decide who's more annoying  Huh?
An excellent video on how the democratic western culture (and the US in particular) has had the importance of the individual change from citizen to consumer is a BBC production called Century of the Self.  I cannot embed the video, but here is a link to part 1 of 4:

You can find the other 3 parts on there as well.  It is an excellent example of how people are manipulated and the results thereof.
I highly recommend the series as well.  Way to go!

Vox and Quis have them posted here as well -
(06-23-2009, 05:40 PM)Beware_the_Ides Wrote: [ -> ]I can't decide who's more annoying   Huh?

Bronx Cheer

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