What is distributionism?
#1
Can anybody explain the concept of distributionism favored by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc? I would be interested in an explanation. I have seen the word used before, but am not sure what it is. Any help would be appreciated.
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#2
antimodernist Wrote:Can anybody explain the concept of distributionism favored by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc? I would be interested in an explanation. I have seen the word used before, but am not sure what it is. Any help would be appreciated.
It is the idea of an economic system with distributive justice; basically it dictates that the means of production ought to be as widely spread about the populations as is reasonable. This does not mean there shouldn't laborers or a working class who do not own their own business, trade or craft at all but that they should always be able to work to improve their lot in life and own their own tools of their craft or whatnot in time. This would likely outlaw modern multimillion dollar salaries. It is about a just family wage for heads of households and just living wages for those who need to work and this is instead of the modern mininum wage system which does not work.
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#3
Catholicmilkman Wrote:
antimodernist Wrote:Can anybody explain the concept of distributionism favored by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc? I would be interested in an explanation. I have seen the word used before, but am not sure what it is. Any help would be appreciated.

It is the idea of an economic system with distributive justice; basically it dictates that the means of production ought to be as widely spread about the populations as is reasonable.

This does not mean there shouldn't laborers or a working class who do not own their own business, trade or craft at all but that they should always be able to work to improve their lot in life and own their own tools of their craft or whatnot in time. This would likely outlaw modern multimillion dollar salaries.

It is about a just family wage for heads of households and just living wages for those who need to work and this is instead of the modern minimum wage system which does not work.

In fancy-schmancy terms, it supports economic and political subsidiarity, as much as is physically possible.

In practical terms, Distributism would call for bottom-up economic and political decentralization.

It would favor small farms and farmer cooperatives over Soviet-style collective farms or Western agribusinesses.

It would favor small and medium-sized businesses and worker-owned and managed cooperatives over big businesses and multinational conglomerates.

It would favor independent "mom-and-pop" stores and small chain stores over huge chain store Goliaths like Wal-Mart.

It would favor small and local government over big government when it comes to public affairs. In an American political context, for example, it would favor states rights against the Federal government, the counties against the state, and the cities and towns against the county.

Applying Distributist principles will differ from country to country, as well as region to region within each country. For example, one plan may work well in America or Russia but not at all in France or China. And it may only work half as well in Norway, Fiji, Peru or Kazakhstan. But the principles behind said plan would remain valid and workable in each nation.

If you check on past threads here on FE, you'll find arguments for and against it between Distributists and both Austrian School Libertarians and Anarcho-Capitalists (also known as "market anarchists"). Both they and we also have Internet links to articles and essays that cover each other's arguments and rebuttals. I suggest you click on both their links and ours, then settle down to read both sides.

Then make up your own mind on the matter.

Many thanks for your time.
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#4
What is "distributionism"?


-Freaking awesome.
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#5
Sounds like the model of the Confederacy! (without slavery of course)

I'm all for it. Unfortunately we chose to go with a centralized monolith state.

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#6
StevusMagnus Wrote:I'm all for it. Unfortunately we chose to go with a centralized monolith state.
*"2001" music plays in the background* I kid you not; I heard that Bush wanted to make Jupiter a star like in "2010". Remember that satellite years ago?
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#7
HailGilbert Wrote:It would favor independent "mom-and-pop" stores and small chain stores over huge chain store Goliaths like Wal-Mart.
Rather I think that distributism wouldn't allow for chains stores at all, at least not the way I envision it. Chains are the antithesis to distributive justice because they still consolidate power and wealth. No two stores should have the same name or owner.
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#8
I like the system. It sounds like pure capitalism - without usury. Think of it, big businesses need big funds to grow big. Without usury, where would they get the funds?

Without usury - there just might be a return of community barn raising.
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#9
Catholicmilkman Wrote:
HailGilbert Wrote:It would favor independent "mom-and-pop" stores and small chain stores over huge chain store Goliaths like Wal-Mart.
Rather I think that distributism wouldn't allow for chains stores at all, at least not the way I envision it. Chains are the antithesis to distributive justice because they still consolidate power and wealth. No two stores should have the same name or owner.

True, it wouldn't.

But as I perceive it, the public - at least in the USA and Canada - needs time to get weaned off chain stores before they accept going back to mom-and-pop and coops. So it seems best to first go after monsters like Wal-Mart, then work our way down.
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#10
This may be a stupid question, but it shows my little knowledge of econ. Good thing I am taking econ this semester. Does distribution have anythiing to do with equal distribution of wealth?
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