Saturday, September 24, 2011


From Wikipedia:
According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism) or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (plutarchic capitalism). A summary of distributism is found in Chesterton's statement: "Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists."
Essentially, distributism distinguishes itself by its distribution of property (not to be confused with redistribution of wealth). While socialism allows no individuals to own productive property (it all being under state, community, or workers' control, with exceptions such as mutualism), distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property. As Belloc stated, the distributive state (that is, the state which has implemented distributism) contains "an agglomeration of families of varying wealth, but by far the greater number of owners of the means of production."  This broader distribution does not extend to all property, but only to productive property; that is, that property which produces wealth, namely, the things needed for man to survive. It includes land, tools, etc.
Distributism has often been described as a "third way", in opposition to both socialism and capitalism. Thomas Storck argues that "both socialism and capitalism are products of the European Enlightenment and are thus modernizing and anti-traditional forces. In contrast, distributism seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life".