I think distributists and libertarians agree on where we need to go from here: smaller government, more local autonomy. Unfortunately, most of the distributists I’ve interacted with are pretty up front about the need of getting the government to establish tax codes, growth regulation, outright penalties, etc. to achieve an order in which distributism can actually survive. That just gives away the game, though, because local socialism functions just like state socialism. The fundamental question is, Who has the primary ability to decide how a citizen uses his property? If his success in his field results in the government, even if only the local government, penalizing his success or legislating that he commit resources to a better, state-sanctioned end, then he’s living under socialism. So, basically, distributism is just a vague bromide for “small-scale socialism”.
In any event, one objection to libertarianism is that “libertarianism has no self-consistent limit, and without some limit, it tends towards anarchy; whereas, distributism has a self-consistent limit.” I think an argument cam be made that Christian libertarianism does have sustainable limits. Indeed, if Christianity is true and libertarianism is good, then when they can both be freely practiced, they will naturally attract more adherents, and the moral limits of Christianity will keep the majority of a Christian libertarian society from promoting immoral ends in the free narjet, which of course will only manifest to the world how the free exercise of Christianity is best for humankind… A self-reinforcing loop.
To wit, a book that I discovered only today is Randy England’s Free Is Beautiful: Why Catholics Should Be Libertarians via http://freeisbeautiful.net/. It’s high on my summer reading list! Join in!