The Government of Distributism

Hello. I have recently been researching distributism, particularly from some of its main proponents like Chesterton, Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Dale Ahlquist, etc., and the encyclicals which inspire it, and I’ve been trying to think of ways it could be effectively implemented in society. To me, one of the biggest questions, as with any economic system, is which political/governmental system would best suit it. My question is not only about the form of government, such as monarchy or democracy, but what role the government would need to take in order to implement distributism and prevent its degeneration into capitalist or communist forms.

In my personal opinion, the best form of government for distributism, and in general, would be a constitutional monarchy, with democratic (not republican) structures on a more local level for the sake of subsidiarity. I believe this could give local businesses more of a voice, while a monarch could prevent any individuals or corporations from gaining too wide a control of the means of production and thus hindering the free market and local business, and could assure that mob rule would never overwhelm the constitution, as has occurred with legalized abortion contradicting our constitutional right to life.

I am not asking if you personally like or approve of distributism; this is not meant to advocate for it or compare it to capitalism or socialism. My point is speculative and purely focused on the role of government and its most appropriate form for a distributist economy. Thank you and God bless.


Hi, no time to contribute - just replying to get the notifications. :smiley:

It’s a good question. I suspect you are on the right track.
Distributionalism did exist at one point. Rural America in the late 19th thru first 75 years of the 20th century. But its demise started pretty early on, as family farms got bigger and fewer.

But I saw the tail end of it. When I read about distributionalism, it seemed pretty familiar. In my class at school, we only had a couple of kids whose dad’s were not farmers or small businessmen in town.

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Free market itself prevents corporations gaining too wide control. Think about it. If company A starts to sell product at higher and higher price, then in a free market someone will start company B and compete by selling same product at lower price. Monopoly can’t form. Demand for lower price would inevitably mean someone will open up company and compete.
Today it’s not real free market because govt is involved in economy (bailing out some not others, giving tax breaks to those who donate to politicians etc)

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If you go down to the bottom of the thread, there’s a button that’ll probably say normal or tracking (below bookmark). Click on that and you can set your notifications without having to reply.


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This is not clear to me at all. Why would company B be able to keep company a from getting a monopoly if company a never sells at a higher and higher price.
The internet was largely unregulated by government for a long time, why was Amazon able to get so big? I don’t think they were aided by the government.

Late 19th century industrial companies were able to get bigger and bigger.

Distributionalism is a good idea, but it is not the natural result of a free market.

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Because with a monopoly supply is low while demand stays high, which means price does get higher and higher in free market. If price doesn’t go up then not free market, something is artificially keeping it down

Huge tax breaks. Literally ZERO in taxes.

I love the idea. But don’t think it’s ever worked. And many times it ends up with mass slaughter

Why is a supply low in a monopoly? You are making economic assumptions that don’t have a basis in theory or history.

One source of a good or service is lower than two. Imagine if suddenly all but McDonalds stopped selling hamburgers starting tomorrow. Supply just went down (less hamburgers available to buy) which means price just went way up.

Supply and demand determine market price in free market

??? Why does a monopoly imply one source. It implies, rather, all sources controlled by one company.

And of course supply and demand determine price. But why is this result in distributionism?

It doesn’t. If anything it evolves into the opposite. Look at history.

Sales taxes. And that was the case for everyone selling on the internet. Why did Amazon get bigger and bigger.

Not really. If the start-up costs are too high, Company B will have a hard time getting off the ground.

And at the beginning of its existence if it does, it will not be able to go as low as Company A in price and will die out.

I saw a similar process in a town I used to live in which was served by a privately-owned grocery store. A national chain grocery store opened next door, and offered much cheaper prices… until the first store was forced to close down. Then the second store raised its prices higher than the first storm’s had been. :roll_eyes:

What are you talking about here?

Ok so now you’re arguing synonyms

See where I replied to OP

Fed income tax

Arguing exceptions doesn’t disprove the rule

I’m not arguing exceptions. A start-up company can be undersold by the previous monopoly. That is not an exception but an economic reality. I simply added an example.

How would that entail now? Universal home ownership and financial portfolios? Maybe making sure everyone has some degree of applicable skill or trade to fit in the context of society?

Your English, aren’t the Tories moving towards a more communitarian or “One National Conservatism” image?

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That is an exception, and premised on situations outside free market (high start up costs due to government fees, licensing fees, taxes, etc)

Like in French Revolution?

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