In defense of capitalism
#11
The encyclicals I have read condemn the abuses of capitalism, but stopped short of condemning it outright, as they did with Socialism. Frankly, I've never seen a good demonstration of how Distributism differs very much from Socialism, since both rely on government power to redistribute wealth.
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#12
All arguments except perhaps a critique of the underlying assumptions of something such as capitalism, i.e. self autonomy.
Capitalism is essentially a pagan concept, rooted in the Stoic notion of dominium. It may be the most efficient creator of wealth, that I don't really doubt, but I ask is that the point?
For economics as a science of secular reason, detached from any Christian theological basis I'm sure that is the point.
But I happen to be a Christian so I'm more interested in how a society conforms itself to the Gospel and pursuing wealth as a mean to the end of salvation not as an end unto itself.


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#13
So far from what I've seen about distributism, it's only a theory that's never been applied before. Christendom has lived under feudalist, mercantilist, and early capitalist systems before... but distributism? Haven't seen it.

I'll grant, though, that in many eras of Christendom, people lived under a command economy. In Spain under Philip II, for example townspeople lived off of government rations. They were quite measly (imagine trying to live off of two measures of grain and a few ounces of milk a day) and you'd probably learn to hate the government pretty quickly... but it was done back then.
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#14
The_Harlequin_King Wrote:So far from what I've seen about distributism, it's only a theory that's never been applied before. Christendom has lived under feudalist, mercantilist, and early capitalist systems before... but distributism? Haven't seen it.

I'll grant, though, that in many eras of Christendom, people lived under a command economy. In Spain under Philip II, for example townspeople lived off of government rations. They were quite measly (imagine trying to live off of two measures of grain and a few ounces of milk a day) and you'd probably learn to hate the government pretty quickly... but it was done back then.

I suggest you read Belloc's The Servile State. He points out that during the Middle Ages - the High Middle Ages, if my failing memory serves me - Christendom was mostly Distributist.
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#15
CarmeliteAtHeart Wrote:Here's a great article: http://distributist.blogspot.com/2007/02...alism.html

"In Distributism, productive property is owned by the many, rather than the few. In practical terms, it means small business, co-operatives and worker-owned and managed businesses run the day-to-day workings of commerce. Big businesses are encouraged by government to break up into smaller, independent units. Government, in turn, is reduced in size and scale, with local government handling most of the responsibility thus eliminating the need for overregulation and reducing the size and scope of government, as well as the demand on taxpayers. Hence, a true market-based economy arises, one not plagued by the lust for dominance that infests both Capitalism and Socialism.

Chesterton knew that the word Distributism sounds suspicious to the ear. He admitted it so, saying it was “awkward but accurate”. And we are waiting for a better name. But in the meantime, better to be accurate and awkward than to be false and flowing."

Please forgive my tooting my own horn, but that was my column that was originally posted in Gilbert Magazine. I'm honored that you quoted from it, and I thank you for it. [Image: tiphat2.gif][Image: asianbow.gif]
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#16
For a defense of Capitalism, listen to this Thomas Woods interview on the Glenn Beck Radio program:

 http://libertymaven.com/2009/02/09/must-...show/4287/

Thomas Woods has recently wrote: "Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse".
 
The culprit is not Capitalism, but the garbage of Keynesian economics, which is nothing more than government interference.
 
It is Austrian economics that have been right for a century. They called every artificial bubble and bust. They have been true supporters of the Free Market over the failures of Keynesian and Supply Side economics.
 

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#17
SaintRafael Wrote:For a defense of Capitalism, listen to this Thomas Woods interview on the Glenn Beck Radio program:

 http://libertymaven.com/2009/02/09/must-...show/4287/

Thomas Woods has recently wrote: "Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse".
 
The culprit is not Capitalism, but the garbage of Keynesian economics, which is nothing more than government interference.
 
It is Austrian economics that have been right for a century. They called every artificial bubble and bust. They have been true supporters of the Free Market over the failures of Keynesian and Supply Side economics.
 
Yes, but Austrian economics defers to the baseness of the beast: survival of the fittest, i.e. eventual corporatism, which, as we are seeing, is devolving into Fascism. The 'check' is not in place. That being, the economic animal that is man. Ever watch a dog eat? They'll eat and eat and eat. Greed will eventually consume man to detriment of his soul. The 'checks' of the medieval societies was Charity and fear of God: Guilds, abstaining from gluttony, etc.  Austrian economics is great in theory, but in practice, man eats man. Read Bertohlt Brecht's Wenn Die Mensche Haifische waere(If Men were Sharks). Caveat: yes, he was a socialist, but the premise is accurate.
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#18
Heinrich Wrote:
SaintRafael Wrote:For a defense of Capitalism, listen to this Thomas Woods interview on the Glenn Beck Radio program:

 http://libertymaven.com/2009/02/09/must-...show/4287/

Thomas Woods has recently wrote: "Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse".
 
The culprit is not Capitalism, but the garbage of Keynesian economics, which is nothing more than government interference.
 
It is Austrian economics that have been right for a century. They called every artificial bubble and bust. They have been true supporters of the Free Market over the failures of Keynesian and Supply Side economics.
 
Yes, but Austrian economics defers to the baseness of the beast: survival of the fittest, i.e. eventual corporatism, which, as we are seeing, is devolving into Fascism. The 'check' is not in place. That being, the economic animal that is man. Ever watch a dog eat? They'll eat and eat and eat. Greed will eventually consume man to detriment of his soul. The 'checks' of the medieval societies was Charity and fear of God: Guilds, abstaining from gluttony, etc.  Austrian economics is great in theory, but in practice, man eats man. Read Bertohlt Brecht's Wenn Die Mensche Haifische waere(If Men were Sharks). Caveat: yes, he was a socialist, but the premise is accurate.

This is simply not true. Read Human Action by Ludwig von Mises and you will see that there are checks in the system. Man existing in isolation would have natural checks, but as it stands, there are other actors in society, and, consequently, many "checks" of varying sorts, not only natural but praxeological as man relates to other men.
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#19
Quote:This is simply not true. Read Human Action by Ludwig von Mises and you will see that there are checks in the system. Man existing in isolation would have natural checks, but as it stands, there are other actors in society, and, consequently, many "checks" of varying sorts, not only natural but praxeological as man relates to other men.

In response regarding Von Mises, here is a post by my colleague, John C. Medaille at The Distributist Review. It is called "Can Mises Be Baptized?", posted on November 9th, 2008.

Note: There are 99 responses to his post. So sit and relax when reading it in total. Thank you.

Go to this link to read Mr. Medaille's post:

http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/11...ed_09.html
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#20
Milton Friedman is probably responsible for more deaths in the 20th century than anyone else.

Neo-liberal Capitalism is an especially evil form of it.

Now, it IS the most efficient form of world economy, especially combined with modern technology.

But, as it turns out, a rising tide does NOT raise all ships.

It does most efficiently produce the most wealth in an absolute sense, but it also creates the largest gap between rich and poor, concentrating that wealth in the hands of those at the top or the core of the world trade network (who, ironically, do little productive except control the capital).

We're talking about the world economy here, by the way. The capitalists will try to fool people by manipulatively portraying it as a debate about an economic system only domestically, only within countries. But that is not important anymore given the extreme integration of the current world economy. The internal economies of nations are going to be just the result of their structural function within the worldwide division of labor by region. The only thing that really affects them is finance/monetary issues (which are different than economic issues)

For example, the 20th century had many countries that were internally communist, but not in their relations of trade with the outside world...the World Market itself has been totally and viciously capitalist for quite some time. And countries that try to be self-sufficient are basically forced in various ways to participate in the World System.

Because it works basically like a pyramid scheme. Unequal exchanges cause the people at the periphery (doing the actual productive work, really) to funnel wealth to those at the core (which nations mainly just have the advantage of controlling capital).

It's sick, really. I feel guilty just thinking about it in my way, because I know (it has been demonstrated to me mathematically), that my computer here where I sit typing...is in a very real sense equivalent to 5 dead African children.

Entropy is universal, and can be applied even to economies. For entropy to decrease somewhere in a system, it has to increase somewhere else. The way neo-liberal capitalism works, any economic progress at the core means more and more people suffering at the periphery.

The world market (like the local markets) should work on a system of Just Price, Social Credit (or at least some sort of non-debt) money, and some sort of structure that, while not necessarily being as efficient, is more fairly distributive. Certainly, we must get rid of Usury (treating money as a commodity) and the relativist notion of Supply and Demand as determining value.

Look into the neo-marxist's World Systems Analysis, or read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine". Their proposed solution (a socialist one world government) is of course incorrect, but their analysis of the problems is spot-on and quite in conformity with Catholic social teaching. We just need to use a Catholic solution.

The marxist solution (a socialist one world government) would attempt to, essentially, keep the efficiency of the capitalist world system, but then redistribute all that absolute wealth equally (still, we'd only all be able to have a lifestyle similar to the average Mexican lifestyle).

However, the Catholic solution would not try to preserve this godless efficiency or maximization of total wealth. Rather, it would sacrifice some efficiency for the sake of distributism. Certainly, I'd be willing to live like a Latvian if it meant a Burundian could too.

Of course, not everyone would be. The people in power (including in the Church) are very reluctant to speak out against a system that is benefiting them, and like I said...I myself feel hypocritical even. It is all very evil and extremely powerful. It's scary.
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