Are there any Distributists around here?


Studying Distributism , I see it as an alternative to Capitalism and Socialism , an alternative based on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church .

However from what I read it appears to be so idealized , so romantized , so centred on rural life .

I am finding it difficult to see what it has to say to a world which is mostly urbanized , and is increasingly so .

I would appreciate some thoughts from any who may have a good knowledge of Distributism.


All informed Catholics who study the social teaching embrace distributist principles. My personal interpretation of distributism is that it’s true capitalism: everybody owns homes and businesses.

The family is the most important unit of society, people are involved in their local communities, the Church plays an important social role, and the government is small.

It can be summed up in these words: subsidiarity, solidarity, family and faith.

Margaret Thatcher’s theories are quite compatible with distributism. She wanted the working classes to own homes and shares in business. She was friendly towards the Church and believed in small government.


I did say that I would appreciate some thoughts from any who may have a good knowledge of Distributism.


I do “have a good knowledge of Distributism.” It is a term that is not used by the Church. It was coined by Belloc and Chesterton has refers to their interpretation of Rerum Novarum. Modern proponents such as Ahlquist use the term to describe their interpretation of the social encyclicals. Distributism is primarily academic and has not been implemented on a large scale. It exists as a counterbalance to crony capitalism and therefore could be called a modification to capitalism.

The Church has not set out a specific economic system. The Church has principles. And these guiding principles are open to interpretation. Hence my post was about my interpretation. I won’t bother responding to any of your posts again because I think your post was obnoxious.


My take. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt.

I think society changed radically with the coming of the Industrial Age. With mass automation the centers of production shifted from rural to urban becoming more centralized.

Distributism tends to favor more decentralized production centers which is in line with another Catholic principle, subsidiarity.

If I remember right G.K Chesterton was a proponent of this.

By the way, how do you like the heat wave going on in the U.K.? It’s supposed to go up to 35 deg C where I live. I have the fans going on at full blast.


Doing everything I can to avoid it. :slight_smile:


I absolutely love this concept, the problem is always human nature. One major problem is that it takes a large concentration of capital in various places to make society as we know it function. The reason capitalism works is that it feeds in to people’s innate desire for wealth and status. The problem is that we need something to counteract this through religion (when it’s working as it should), charity, etc. Some will vigorously debate me, but this includes social welfare. I say this because I’m more than convinced people don’t give enough, especially in down times, and most importantly give to causes they care about vs what is actually needed.


For me, distributism is closest to what I think. I like what GKC said: “The trouble with capitalism is not that there are too many capitalists but too few.”

However, I do not think everyone should have his or her own business–some are simply not cut out for that, so I am in favor of localized co-ops, and a certain amount of straight employment–more as a way of learning a business than a way of life, bit for some it may be that.

I am wary of corporatism and stock ownership, altho those (amateurs all!) with whom I have discussed this think The rules necessary would violate civil or human rights


I agree generally with the principles of distributism, but it seems clear that some people aren’t cut out for owning their own business. Business ownership should be encouraged, but most people will always (in a society where most people don’t have to farm) be employees.


Air conditioning is your friend.


It seems like a good practice in theory, but it’s completely untested and would be hard to implement without massive societal upheaval which may cause more harm than good.


That’s not much of a thing in Europe.


Yeah, but I think the guy I was responding to lists New York for his location.


And here I thought he was a Brit :rofl:


Yeah, but Brits start dropping dead from heat stroke when the temps reach 70 degrees :rofl:


Truth, I always get thrown off when Americans use the metric system. Only drug dealers in America use the metric system. (I’m not calling anyone a drug dealer)


Metric system = Communist measuring system (it was invented by the proto-commies of the French Revolution). I’ll stick with the civilized Imperial System.


Chesterton would insist on true distributists using the imperial system.


35C? Pfft. It hit 46 with humidity in Ottawa. It was a great day for building a deck.


How does the reply from @Saxum not fit your request?

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