Distributism Notes (from recent talk)

Speaking notes from a recent talk I gave



“3rd way”

Not a fully fleshed out model

ownership of the means of production by the people

distribution of property


3 models:

  1. Individual family
  2. Co-operatives
  3. Employee Owner


Movements toward distributism model

Adam Smith … Marx


Basic Principles of Distributism


CSDC 340

Q & A

How is the stock market not distributism?


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The Culture of Relativism as it Affects the Invisible Hand

123. The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests. It is also the mindset of those who say: Let us allow the invisible forces of the market to regulate the economy, and consider their impact on society and nature as collateral damage.

Laudato Si, 123

Hat tip (and emphasis by) Caelum et Terra



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Distribustism is Progressively Modern

Too long has idle talk made out of Distributism as something medieval and myopic, as if four modern popes were somehow talking nonsense when they said:

  • the law should favor widespread ownership (Leo XIII);
  • land is the most natural form of property (Leo XIII and Pius XII);
  • wages should enable a man to purchase land (Leo XIII and Pius XI);
  • the familyis most perfect when rooted in its own holding (Pius XII);
  • agriculture is the first and most important of all the arts and
  • the tiller of the soil still represents the natural order of things willed by God (Pius XII)

Dorothy Day quoting Joseph T. Nolan from Orate Fratres in Catholic Worker, July-August 1948


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