Distributism:A Catholic System of Economics
#21
(08-20-2009, 08:58 AM)CollegeCatholic Wrote:
(08-20-2009, 08:46 AM)Belloc Wrote: just went from -103, to -105....Ros,guess we know who is giving me the unpopularity contest votes,eh?

I contributed to that.  I gave you a -1 for the Bush Administration post in another thread.  It was completely off-topic and irrelevant.

I try to give you negative fishies sometimes, Belloc...But I usually fall asleep in the middle of reading what you post... :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:
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#22
(08-27-2009, 04:07 PM)WilfredLeblanc Wrote: Just to clarify, is Distributism the preferred economic system of the trad movement as a whole? I feel like I see a lot of threads on this, but I haven't read any of them closely.

As an economic philosophy, I see Distributism as largely an affair of the English-speaking world; its proponents tend to be fervent admirers of ChesterBelloc, or cite Dorothy Day & the Catholic Worker Movement as a significant influence. For a theoretic "orientation" that better captures the economic essence of the social encyclicals in the broadest sense, see Corporatism.
Quote:Corporatism is a form of class collaboration put forward as an alternative to class conflict, and was first proposed in Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, which influenced Catholic trade unions that organised in the early twentieth century to counter the influence of trade unions founded on a socialist ideology. Theoretical underpinnings came from the medieval traditions of guilds and craft-based economics; and later, syndicalism. Corporatism was encouraged by Pope Pius XI in his 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

Gabriele D'Annunzio and anarcho-syndicalist Alceste de Ambris incorporated principles of corporative philosophy in their Constitution of Fiume.

One early and important theorist of corporatism was Adam Müller, an advisor to Prince Metternich in what is now eastern Germany and Austria. Müller propounded his views as an antidote to the twin "dangers" of the egalitarianism of the French Revolution and the laissez-faire economics of Adam Smith. In Germany and elsewhere there was a distinct aversion among rulers to allow unrestricted capitalism, owing to the feudalist and aristocratic tradition of giving state privileges to the wealthy and powerful.

Under fascism in Italy, business owners, employees, trades-people, professionals, and other economic classes were organized into 22 guilds, or associations, known as "corporations" according to their industries, and these groups were given representation in a legislative body known as the Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni. For excerpts from Mussolini's essay discussing the corporatist state, see Doctrine of Fascism.

Similar ideas were also ventilated in other European countries at the time. For instance, Austria under the Dollfuß dictatorship had a constitution modelled on that of Italy; but there were also conservative philosophers and/or economists advocating the corporate state, for example Othmar Spann. In Portugal, a similar ideal, but based on bottom-up individual moral renewal, inspired Salazar to work towards corporatism. He wrote the Portuguese Constitution of 1933, which is credited as the first corporatist constitution in the world.

For more on the Corporatist ideal, see the essay Quest for the Catholic State by Charles Coulombe.
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#23
(08-27-2009, 11:31 PM)Marc Wrote: For more on the Corporatist ideal, see the essay Quest for the Catholic State by Charles Coulombe.

Thanks, I'll check it out.
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#24
(08-27-2009, 08:40 PM)dgoodmaniii Wrote: Distributism is an economic system which attempts to implement Catholic social teachings in a practical way.  Catholic social teachings are general principles, which require implementation by practical systems.
However, those principles can be implemented in a capitalist society.

Quote:Among those traditionalists who agree with the social encyclicals' critique of capitalism and socialism, distributism is certainly the most accepted option.  (So much so that I can't really think of any others, off the top of my head.)  Sadly, many traditionalists do not accept that critique, something which I believe to be inconsistent.
Inconsistant? I believe it to be very consistent for Catholics to not elevate an economic system to a religious ideal.

The one economic issue I have with it is that it requires government control, and all of the good aspects of it can be done in capitalism if the people who take part want it. Distributism to artifically implement seems no better than communism.
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#25
+AMDG
(08-28-2009, 07:57 AM)Rosarium Wrote: However, those principles can be implemented in a capitalist society.

How do you figure?  How can a capitalist society implement, say, that the just wage *cannot* be set by the market?  (RN 63; QA, p. 36; CA 15).  Or that some industries not only might, but *ought* to be owned by the state?  (QA, p. 55)  Or that, while ownership of private property is a right, the use of that property is subject to state control?  (RN 25; QA, p. 24-25; CA 30)  Or that free competition is not a just way to run the economic affairs of a nation?  (QA, p. 44)  Just for starters.

Quote:Inconsistant? I believe it to be very consistent for Catholics to not elevate an economic system to a religious ideal.

Nobody elevates *distributism* to an religious ideal.  However, Catholic social teachings *are* a religious ideal; they are "an essential part of the Christian message" (CA 5).

Quote:The one economic issue I have with it is that it requires government control, and all of the good aspects of it can be done in capitalism if the people who take part want it. Distributism to artifically implement seems no better than communism.

No better than communism?  Really?  Hyperbole can be fun, but it isn't conducive to rational discussion.

In any case, *all* economic systems require government control; the only question is in what direction it's pointed.  Socialism directs it toward government power, while capitalism directs it toward the good of the few, wealthy owners.  Distributism directs it toward ensuring that most people are owners of productive property. 

Praise be to Christ the King!
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#26
(08-27-2009, 11:31 PM)Marc Wrote: As an economic philosophy, I see Distributism as largely an affair of the English-speaking world; its proponents tend to be fervent admirers of ChesterBelloc, or cite Dorothy Day & the Catholic Worker Movement as a significant influence. For a theoretic "orientation" that better captures the economic essence of the social encyclicals in the broadest sense, see Corporatism.
Distributism has formed largely in the English-speaking world, though Spanish-language distributist publications are gaining popularity.  Also, many of the later French counterrevolutionary writers sound quite distributist, though none that I know of use the term.  Rene de la Tour du Pin's Oeuvre des Cercles is an excellent example; his Vers un Ordre Social Chretienne (I know there should be accents in there, but it's HTML and I've got a US standard keyboard, so I'm not bothering with the ampersands) reads almost like Belloc.  Given that Belloc was himself half French, the influence of French Catholic thinking shouldn't be surprising.  Bishop von Ketteler, whom Coulombe cites in the article linked above, is frequently cited in distributist work; he was a German.

Rao, though he also doesn't use the word "distributist" much if at all, points out the very counterrevolutionary---and thus counter-capitalist---intonations of many authors and periodicals.  Much of these publications sounds pretty distributist, as well, especially in their critiques of modern capitalism, but also in their positive prescriptions.

Corporatism's insights are often distributist in nature, and many prominent corporatist ideas are part of distributism.  The guild system, for example, was implemented by corporatists, probably at least partly in response to Quadragesimo Anno.  Mussolini's "guilds" are probably a bad example, as they were part of his union of corporate and state power which is called *fascism*, not something we ought to be emulating.  Coulombe, whom I respect immensely, alarms me with his reference to Maurras as a "great French monarchist," given that Maurras was also a lousy Catholic, viewing the Church largely as a means for social cohesion rather than as the vehicle of divine truth.  The appeal to Bishop von Ketteler, however, is part and parcel of distributism, as is de la Tour du Pin (already mentioned) and most of the others Coulombe cites.

Indeed, if this is what you mean by "corporatism," it's arguably just another word for distributism.  In what way do you see this corporatism better embodying the ideals of the social encyclicals than distributism?

More to the point, in what way do you see distributism and corporatism as different?

Praise be to Christ the King!
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#27
(08-28-2009, 09:24 AM)dgoodmaniii Wrote: How do you figure?  How can a capitalist society implement, say, that the just wage *cannot* be set by the market?  (RN 63; QA, p. 36; CA 15).  Or that some industries not only might, but *ought* to be owned by the state?  (QA, p. 55)  Or that, while ownership of private property is a right, the use of that property is subject to state control?  (RN 25; QA, p. 24-25; CA 30)  Or that free competition is not a just way to run the economic affairs of a nation?  (QA, p. 44)  Just for starters.
It is all about free will. Capitalism leaves most things to free will. A Catholic can live as a Catholic in a capitalist based society.

If you are going to cite things, please do so in a way I can follow. What is RN and SQ and CA besides Registered Nurse and Quality Assurance and California?

Quote:Nobody elevates *distributism* to an religious ideal.  However, Catholic social teachings *are* a religious ideal; they are "an essential part of the Christian message" (CA 5).
Yes, some people do. If one is called unCatholic or a heretic for not accepting distributism, then it is raised to a religious ideal.

And no, economics is not essential.

Luke 12:13-15 Wrote:And one of the multitude said to him: Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me. But he said to him: Man, who hath appointed me judge, or divider, over you? And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Only personal freedom to do what one must is essential.

Quote:No better than communism?  Really?  Hyperbole can be fun, but it isn't conducive to rational discussion.
Any system imposed is no better than communism. By looking at what a distributist society would be, and how much would have to change, someone would have to get involved to change it. Yes, they'd think they were doing good, but then again, everyone who violates the rights of others believes that.

Exactly how would distributism be implemented? Would the leader send a few people to convince the people who do not agree that they should restructure or destroy their businesses because of your ideal? Hardly.

How would one change to a distributist society without committing the same crimes as the communists? We are talking real world here, not a writer in a book speculating one what a Catholic society would be, and in history, most Catholic societies were monarchies.

Quote:In any case, *all* economic systems require government control; the only question is in what direction it's pointed.  Socialism directs it toward government power, while capitalism directs it toward the good of the few, wealthy owners. 
I think the government should do as little as possible. The governments of the world have shown themselves to be most inefficient. You are describing communism here, and in the next sentence. I know distributism isn't communism, but implementing it would be no different.

Quote:Distributism directs it toward ensuring that most people are owners of productive property. 
wikipedia Wrote:Communism (from Latin: communis = "common") is a family of economic and political ideas and social movements related to the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, or stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general, as well as the name given to such a society.

The question remains, exactly how would this be implemented without committing the same crimes as the communists?
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#28
(08-28-2009, 09:37 AM)Rosarium Wrote:
(08-28-2009, 09:24 AM)dgoodmaniii Wrote: How do you figure?  How can a capitalist society implement, say, that the just wage *cannot* be set by the market?  (RN 63; QA, p. 36; CA 15).  Or that some industries not only might, but *ought* to be owned by the state?  (QA, p. 55)  Or that, while ownership of private property is a right, the use of that property is subject to state control?  (RN 25; QA, p. 24-25; CA 30)  Or that free competition is not a just way to run the economic affairs of a nation?  (QA, p. 44)  Just for starters.
It is all about free will. Capitalism leaves most things to free will. A Catholic can live as a Catholic in a capitalist based society.

If you are going to cite things, please do so in a way I can follow. What is RN and SQ and CA besides Registered Nurse and Quality Assurance and California?

Quote:Nobody elevates *distributism* to an religious ideal.  However, Catholic social teachings *are* a religious ideal; they are "an essential part of the Christian message" (CA 5).
Yes, some people do. If one is called unCatholic or a heretic for not accepting distributism, then it is raised to a religious ideal.

And no, economics is not essential.

Luke 12:13-15 Wrote:And one of the multitude said to him: Master, speak to my brother that he divide the inheritance with me. But he said to him: Man, who hath appointed me judge, or divider, over you? And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Only personal freedom to do what one must is essential.

Quote:No better than communism?  Really?  Hyperbole can be fun, but it isn't conducive to rational discussion.
Any system imposed is no better than communism. By looking at what a distributist society would be, and how much would have to change, someone would have to get involved to change it. Yes, they'd think they were doing good, but then again, everyone who violates the rights of others believes that.

Exactly how would distributism be implemented? Would the leader send a few people to convince the people who do not agree that they should restructure or destroy their businesses because of your ideal? Hardly.

How would one change to a distributist society without committing the same crimes as the communists? We are talking real world here, not a writer in a book speculating one what a Catholic society would be, and in history, most Catholic societies were monarchies.

Quote:In any case, *all* economic systems require government control; the only question is in what direction it's pointed.  Socialism directs it toward government power, while capitalism directs it toward the good of the few, wealthy owners. 
I think the government should do as little as possible. The governments of the world have shown themselves to be most inefficient. You are describing communism here, and in the next sentence. I know distributism isn't communism, but implementing it would be no different.

Quote:Distributism directs it toward ensuring that most people are owners of productive property. 
wikipedia Wrote:Communism (from Latin: communis = "common") is a family of economic and political ideas and social movements related to the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, or stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general, as well as the name given to such a society.

The question remains, exactly how would this be implemented without committing the same crimes as the communists?

Excellent, Rosarium.  I have been trying to get an honest answer to this since I have first responded to some of Belloc's posts with questions of my own.  It seems like socialism or communism except it results, supposedly in "private ownership", but the private ownership seems chimeric, since it is always subject to the powerful state that can step in and decide who has gotten too "non-distributist."  As it is, government has a role in our economic system, true, but it is restricted by due process and other constitutional provisions and principles, and a system of case law, that make such power grabs slow and difficult.  Distributism, in the end, seems to be distinguished from other systems by its complete failure to have been implemented anywhere. 
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#29
Perhaps some of you can help me.  I had privately contacted Belloc and asked him to provide me with a summary of the basic tenets of distributism watered down to the level of 8th/9th graders (I don't have a much education in the field of economics, so I need these things explained to me in very simple terms).  From what I gather from the above replies, Belloc has been removed from the boards.  Could one of you undertake to explain this to me or at least point me in the right direction.  You could either post a reply here or (since this seems to be a sore spot for so many) PM me.

Thanks in advance!
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#30
(08-28-2009, 10:17 AM)Pilgrim Wrote: Perhaps some of you can help me.  I had privately contacted Belloc and asked him to provide me with a summary of the basic tenets of distributism watered down to the level of 8th/9th graders (I don't have a much education in the field of economics, so I need these things explained to me in very simple terms).  From what I gather from the above replies, Belloc has been removed from the boards.  Could one of you undertake to explain this to me or at least point me in the right direction.  You could either post a reply here or (since this seems to be a sore spot for so many) PM me.

Thanks in advance!

Why do you want to teach them the basic tenets of distributism? 

I think you're better off having them study the social encyclicals (Rerum Novarum, Quadresiga [sp] Annos, and Centesimus Annos), and go from there.

I would also suggest that the kids learn actual economics before they start learning about economic systems (mid-way through high school to the end  is best, if you ask me).
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