The Failure of the Distributists

Being a monarchist, it wasn't too long before I realized that the current system of the distribution of means would have to be substantially changed. In those countries which call themselves "consitutional Monarchies (constipational moanarchies)" the system of economics is Capitalism. How" that been working? Perhaps the problem with the Distributionists is that we only challenge those capitalists only with moral reasoning.

The blog "Diligite iustitiam" (The author reads Dante) the blogger whose nom-de-plume is Papabear explores a chapter of Dr. Médaille's book, "The Political Economy of Distributism."

Although this book must be a critique of modern economics, it must start with a critique of modern distributists. I say “modern” distributists because distributism itself is nothing more than the rediscovery of an older view of economics. Until the 16th century, there was no real dispute that economics was a colony of ethics, rooted in the political order and dependent on distributive justice. No philosopher or theologian worthy of the name, beginning with Aristotle, was without his economic commentary. He felt it merely part of his natural function to comment on the real affairs of real men, and the economic and political orders were simply part of that commentary. So very nearly the full weight of human opinion, taken as a whole, comes down on the side of the distributists. While distributism adds to modern economics precisely what it lacks to become to a real science—the science of Political Economy—distributists themselves have often been reluctant to put their case in economic terms. They have often argued from moral terms; they have placed their arguments in the necessary connection between free property and free men; they have argued on agrarian terms, on the natural rhythms of life and social order often disrupted by modern capitalism; they have argued from Catholic teaching and the social encyclicals. But on the whole, they have been unwilling or (I’m afraid) unable to enter the economic debate on purely economic terms. more...

Dieu le Roy,
de Brantigny


American Monarchist said...

Very interesting post, with much food for thought.

One problem, though: In those countries which call themselves "consitutional Monarchies (constipational moanarchies)" the system of economics is Capitalism.

Actually, today's constitutional monarchies are all predominately socialist, with only a narrow wedge of capitalism allowed, possibly because the politicians are too well aware that full socialism is disastrous. (So is part socialism, but it's a sustainable disaster.)

Distributism sounds a lot like what capitalism was before high technology took off, making it feasible and in some ways advantageous for business to be conducted by large corporations. At the beginning of the 20th century, most Americans, at least, were either farmers or had a mom-and-pop store or other business, though the big factories and such were already spreading.

It would be good in many ways to go back to an economy of predominately small businesses and small farms, but I have to wonder if this is compatible with modern technology. In some ways, it isn't and that's a good thing - I prefer to get my produce from local farms than from the big corporate grocery store; it's healthier for me and for the land. On the other hand, I'd rather keep having DVD players and computers, and I can't see how a mom-and-pop shop could build those.

de Brantigny said...

Thanks for your comment.

In the end though it will be the hand of God which will provide changes.

It is hard to not have a large corporation to produce oil, or DVDs. but there is a feature of many businesses called profit sharing.

I never fails me that the post which I think ar enot going to be read are the ones which I get comments on.

In the words of Eore, "Thanks for noticing me".


Roy F. Moore said...

To respond to American Monarchist's question on whether Distributism and modern technology could mix, so to speak.

A good working example of how they do is the Mondragon Co-operative Corporation, the largest worker-owned company on Earth. In truth, it is a cooperative of cooperatives, with may small companies working together to make appliances and other products.

I suggest reading up more on Mondragon for further reference. In many ways, it is Distributism in action in the industrial/high-tech world.

Thank you for your time.