Dorothy Day,Distributism,etc
#21
(07-28-2009, 02:08 AM)James02 Wrote: The problem I have with Distributism and Coops, and like things, is that you never get a Distributist who posts like this: "Hello, I am a Distributist.  I set up a company based on these principles and it has been really great.  The workers love it, we are producing like wild, and it has been very successful.  Let me share with you what I did and the pitfuls I overcame, etc...etc...".

You see, no one is keeping them from setting up the Distributist farm, or forming a guild, or setting up a co-op.  So why don't they go and do it?  You get the sneaking suspicion that the reason is the CAN'T do it.  They want to point a gun at the producers and force them to set up a co-op, or guild, or give them a small farm, or some other form of violence or looting.

To repeat, if all of this was so great, why aren't they doing it?  I'm open minded, but I demand one thing:  SHOW ME!  Don't just babble about it.  Do it and show us the benefits.  If it is so great, why isn't it widespread?

That's a real problem that most of the people who promote this (outside of the usual names who wrote on it like Day, Maurin, Belloc, Chesterton, McNabb, etc.) aren't doing much to actually put it into practice.

However, most "Distributist" farms are going to look very much like a normal family farm. Most "Distributist" businesses are going to look like an average small business that has regard for promoting Catholicism. Why is this? Most small businesses buy locally, pay those whom they employ long term regarding the needs of the worker, do not have the ability to buy on long term credit, and own the machinery that they use. On a small level any business, which regards Catholic social principles could be a "Distributist business". At this local level, educated by personal respect the evils of Capitalism are generally tempered.

There are two major problems, however:

Those who promote Distributism are unwilling to think that this one set of ideas is not the only way one can interpret and run an economy which regards Catholic Social Principles. It is one, not the only one.

Those who decry Distributism are unwilling to look beneath the surface and consistently and erroneously call it Socialism. Distributism is fundamentally opposed to Socialism since it accepts the goodness and right of the individual to private property, whereas Socialism explicitly denies that individuals can own property.

It is a topic that deserves serious discussion, but both sides need to drop their myopic approach to the topic.


I would be in favor of a "Economics and Catholicism" subforum where this could be discussed, particularly because rules for the discussion could be set up for that subforum which are specific to the economics discussion, whereas posting in the general category it creates clutter and it's hard to organize and point out explanations which suggest errors on either side ... instead we get a re-hash of the same stuff over and over, instead of productive discussion.
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#22
(07-28-2009, 02:08 AM)James02 Wrote: The problem I have with Distributism and Coops, and like things, is that you never get a Distributist who posts like this: "Hello, I am a Distributist.  I set up a company based on these principles and it has been really great.  The workers love it, we are producing like wild, and it has been very successful.  Let me share with you what I did and the pitfuls I overcame, etc...etc...".

You see, no one is keeping them from setting up the Distributist farm, or forming a guild, or setting up a co-op.  So why don't they go and do it?  You get the sneaking suspicion that the reason is the CAN'T do it.  They want to point a gun at the producers and force them to set up a co-op, or guild, or give them a small farm, or some other form of violence or looting.

To repeat, if all of this was so great, why aren't they doing it?  I'm open minded, but I demand one thing:  SHOW ME!  Don't just babble about it.  Do it and show us the benefits.  If it is so great, why isn't it widespread?

Great post, James!  :thumb:
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#23
MagisterMusicae wrote:

"I would be in favor of a "Economics and Catholicism" subforum where this could be discussed, particularly because rules for the discussion could be set up for that subforum which are specific to the economics discussion, whereas posting in the general category it creates clutter and it's hard to organize and point out explanations which suggest errors on either side ... instead we get a re-hash of the same stuff over and over, instead of productive discussion."

I agree.  I usually read the new posts and the feedback for as long as they are visible on the main page.  Frequently an article will be visible there for two to three days before an entire new batch of posts is up.  However, when 5-10 distributism articles are added in one fell swoop, it completely replaces all of the articles that had been there.  It's overkill.  Maybe if the articles were added one or two at a time it would be better. 
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#24
(07-28-2009, 09:52 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(07-28-2009, 02:08 AM)James02 Wrote: The problem I have with Distributism and Coops, and like things, is that you never get a Distributist who posts like this: "Hello, I am a Distributist.  I set up a company based on these principles and it has been really great.  The workers love it, we are producing like wild, and it has been very successful.  Let me share with you what I did and the pitfuls I overcame, etc...etc...".

You see, no one is keeping them from setting up the Distributist farm, or forming a guild, or setting up a co-op.  So why don't they go and do it?  You get the sneaking suspicion that the reason is the CAN'T do it.  They want to point a gun at the producers and force them to set up a co-op, or guild, or give them a small farm, or some other form of violence or looting.

To repeat, if all of this was so great, why aren't they doing it?  I'm open minded, but I demand one thing:  SHOW ME!  Don't just babble about it.  Do it and show us the benefits.  If it is so great, why isn't it widespread?

That's a real problem that most of the people who promote this (outside of the usual names who wrote on it like Day, Maurin, Belloc, Chesterton, McNabb, etc.) aren't doing much to actually put it into practice.

However, most "Distributist" farms are going to look very much like a normal family farm. Most "Distributist" businesses are going to look like an average small business that has regard for promoting Catholicism. Why is this? Most small businesses buy locally, pay those whom they employ long term regarding the needs of the worker, do not have the ability to buy on long term credit, and own the machinery that they use. On a small level any business, which regards Catholic social principles could be a "Distributist business". At this local level, educated by personal respect the evils of Capitalism are generally tempered.

There are two major problems, however:

Those who promote Distributism are unwilling to think that this one set of ideas is not the only way one can interpret and run an economy which regards Catholic Social Principles. It is one, not the only one.

Those who decry Distributism are unwilling to look beneath the surface and consistently and erroneously call it Socialism. Distributism is fundamentally opposed to Socialism since it accepts the goodness and right of the individual to private property, whereas Socialism explicitly denies that individuals can own property.

It is a topic that deserves serious discussion, but both sides need to drop their myopic approach to the topic.


I would be in favor of a "Economics and Catholicism" subforum where this could be discussed, particularly because rules for the discussion could be set up for that subforum which are specific to the economics discussion, whereas posting in the general category it creates clutter and it's hard to organize and point out explanations which suggest errors on either side ... instead we get a re-hash of the same stuff over and over, instead of productive discussion.


Allow me to politely correct you on one aspect of this notion.  While I may be disputing you and claiming someone did in fact try it I doubt you will take offence but I suspect the Distributions will.  They have taken offence every time I bring it up.

His name is Eric Gill.  He was an artesian and led a group back to the England rural countryside to try to apply this theory in real practice.  His most famous work of art was the Stations of the Cross that are in Westminster Cathedral.  There is other works but I will leave that alone for now.

When I first mentioned him on another thread I got a lot of “how dare you” try to paint all Distributionist in the same cloth as Eric Gill.  The second time I mentioned him on another thread I got “Gill, never heard of him.”  What was so funny to me on this “we don’t know the man” tactic was a major pusher of this ideology had at the base of every post a quote from Dorothy Day citing Eric Gill as one of their major founders along with Chesterton and Belloc.  I could not believe what I was reading and couldn’t stop laughing either.

This time I offer no judgment on Gill and his efforts on their behalf but in the defense all the Distributionist here I can state with complete certainty there was one real solid attempt to put this ideology into real practice.
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#25
(07-29-2009, 05:30 PM)MitOS Wrote: Allow me to politely correct you on one aspect of this notion.  While I may be disputing you and claiming someone did in fact try it I doubt you will take offence but I suspect the Distributions will.  They have taken offence every time I bring it up.

His name is Eric Gill.  He was an artesian and led a group back to the England rural countryside to try to apply this theory in real practice.  His most famous work of art was the Stations of the Cross that are in Westminster Cathedral.  There is other works but I will leave that alone for now.

When I first mentioned him on another thread I got a lot of “how dare you” try to paint all Distributionist in the same cloth as Eric Gill.  The second time I mentioned him on another thread I got “Gill, never heard of him.”  What was so funny to me on this “we don’t know the man” tactic was a major pusher of this ideology had at the base of every post a quote from Dorothy Day citing Eric Gill as one of their major founders along with Chesterton and Belloc.  I could not believe what I was reading and couldn’t stop laughing either.

This time I offer no judgment on Gill and his efforts on their behalf but in the defense all the Distributionist here I can state with complete certainty there was one real solid attempt to put this ideology into real practice.

I'm always happy to have a polite discussion. Indeed, I'll stand corrected here, though I know of Eric Gill, both the good and the ugly.

There are more who have tried to implement ideas of the theory beyond Eric Gill, but it still is quite amazing to see that most people who support the Distributist ideas don't actually make a serious effort to put them into practice. They love to talk, but rarely do more. They're happy to invest in a usurious economy, yet denounce it at the same time. I have great sympathy for their ideas, but little for their general lack of actual effort.

The problem with Gill is that, just like many of us sinners, he had some very good aspects and some very bad. The reason people so often get upset when his name is mentioned is that until a few years ago his ugly exploits were relatively unknown. They were not revealed until a new biography was written of him in 1989. Before this he was held up as a model of the movement, and then people who disliked the movement found the dirt on him and poisoned the well. Distributism must be bad because one of it's well known supporters was a pervert.

It's a bad argument, but nearly every time the man's name is brought up it is in the question, "So Distributism is great, right? Well what about Eric Gill?"

I think your approach here, however, is fair. We can look at his efforts and not make a judgement on him. He is not distributism, but he did make an effort to put the ideas into practice. It is too bad that he also led a life that was not so upstanding.

Of the Stations, I think they may, perhaps, embody simple nobility and a very English style better than any Stations I have seen.

It is a shame that Distributists try to hide Gill. It is also a shame that people who hate the Distributist ideas try to use Gill to demonize the whole movement. I think of the Roman Emperor Constantine. He had various people murdered and yet what we remember him for is his victory and Christianization of the Empire. Perhaps it's best to look at the good that people do and not the evil.
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#26
(07-29-2009, 06:46 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(07-29-2009, 05:30 PM)MitOS Wrote: Allow me to politely correct you on one aspect of this notion.  While I may be disputing you and claiming someone did in fact try it I doubt you will take offence but I suspect the Distributions will.  They have taken offence every time I bring it up.

His name is Eric Gill.  He was an artesian and led a group back to the England rural countryside to try to apply this theory in real practice.  His most famous work of art was the Stations of the Cross that are in Westminster Cathedral.  There is other works but I will leave that alone for now.

When I first mentioned him on another thread I got a lot of “how dare you” try to paint all Distributionist in the same cloth as Eric Gill.  The second time I mentioned him on another thread I got “Gill, never heard of him.”  What was so funny to me on this “we don’t know the man” tactic was a major pusher of this ideology had at the base of every post a quote from Dorothy Day citing Eric Gill as one of their major founders along with Chesterton and Belloc.  I could not believe what I was reading and couldn’t stop laughing either.

This time I offer no judgment on Gill and his efforts on their behalf but in the defense all the Distributionist here I can state with complete certainty there was one real solid attempt to put this ideology into real practice.

I'm always happy to have a polite discussion. Indeed, I'll stand corrected here, though I know of Eric Gill, both the good and the ugly.

There are more who have tried to implement ideas of the theory beyond Eric Gill, but it still is quite amazing to see that most people who support the Distributist ideas don't actually make a serious effort to put them into practice. They love to talk, but rarely do more. They're happy to invest in a usurious economy, yet denounce it at the same time. I have great sympathy for their ideas, but little for their general lack of actual effort.

Yes I agree and that is all the more reason to bring up Gill.  He is after all the most famous and the largest promoter of this ideology in a practical manner.  In general too many “reformer” of any type are guilty just the same including many Socialist such as Communist who live in Ivory towers but expect you and me to live in mud huts and hoe crops.  At least Gill did some hoeing.  I see too many do this, such as people who will turn the Old South into Moonlight and Magnolia legends or the Knights in shining armor fantasies.  It is my assessment most see themselves as peerage or plantation gentlemen and their ladies but never see themselves as the serf or the slave.

Well if I get to chose who I am in such an era I too may prefer them to this wretched world.  Fantasy land is very appealing.

Quote:The problem with Gill is that, just like many of us sinners, he had some very good aspects and some very bad. The reason people so often get upset when his name is mentioned is that until a few years ago his ugly exploits were relatively unknown. They were not revealed until a new biography was written of him in 1989. Before this he was held up as a model of the movement, and then people who disliked the movement found the dirt on him and poisoned the well. Distributism must be bad because one of it's well known supporters was a pervert.

It's a bad argument, but nearly every time the man's name is brought up it is in the question, "So Distributism is great, right? Well what about Eric Gill?"

I think your approach here, however, is fair. We can look at his efforts and not make a judgement on him. He is not distributism, but he did make an effort to put the ideas into practice. It is too bad that he also led a life that was not so upstanding.

In the end Gill was a failure in more ways than one.  Many of the families, who followed him left or converted their methods from Distributionist models to their neighorbors' methods, (gasp those evil corporate wage slave masters)

Quote:Of the Stations, I think they may, perhaps, embody simple nobility and a very English style better than any Stations I have seen.

It is a shame that Distributists try to hide Gill. It is also a shame that people who hate the Distributist ideas try to use Gill to demonize the whole movement. I think of the Roman Emperor Constantine. He had various people murdered and yet what we remember him for is his victory and Christianization of the Empire. Perhaps it's best to look at the good that people do and not the evil.

I disagree but then if someone made a case on the Nazis and pointed to their bad behavior even on the personal level few would make the argument you make here.  Obviously the level of the crime is far higher and I do not mean to case all Distributionists in the same mold but they have done so in the past.  I mentioned one other thread where the source of the thread was kept hidden until it was exposed and the clear glorification of Hitler was made clear in the imagery.  There does seem to be some link between Distributionist and the other forms of Socialism and like most Socialist they praise a fellow as long as they can and turn on people for noticing when it is no longer helpful.  I would value their opinion better if they continued to do so rather than to make excuses for bad behavior. 

For example, I have to deal with Southerners who were Klansmen and it is fair to note the popularity of that group and what it says about the South.  It says something about the South that I do not like.  I wish they had not chosen that path but they did and I am stuck with it.

One last story.  Someone was visiting our fair city and they were a supporter of this ideology.  It came time to pick a place to eat.  This person had been here before and knew of a local restaurant near us and locally owned.  The food taste good and the prices were very reasonable.  In addition it was a sit down restaurant with a wait staff, NOT a drive thru fast food even though the food is similar in style.  Burger etc only its décor leaves much to be desired.  It looks like a dump but the food is larger and better but the street appeal is very low.  It was this Mom and Pop place or yet another corporate fast food joint

Guess which one our guest chose?

I do not object to their choice in restaurants, but I would have chosen the Mom and Pop.
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