A question for my Distributist friends…

Thoughts on the following?

“At first, the Sillon does not wish to abolish political authority; on the contrary, it considers it necessary; but it wishes to divide it, or rather to multiply it in such a way that each citizen will become a kind of king. Authority, so they concede, comes from God, but it resides primarily in the people….

“[T]he same principle will apply to economics. Taken away from a specific group, management will be so well multiplied that each worker will himself become a kind of employer. The system by which the Sillon intends to actualize this economic ideal is not Sillonism, they say; it is a system of guilds in a number large enough to induce a healthy competition and to protect the workers’ independence; in this manner, they will not be bound to any guild in particular.”

— Pope Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique (15 August 1910)

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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3 Responses to A question for my Distributist friends…

  1. Ilíon says:

    I’m not a Distributionist — for it’s just warmed-over anti-liberty socialism, and I’m for liberty — but my thought is: it doesn’t matter whether you call him a ‘commissar’ or ‘monsignor’: a tyrant is a tyrant.

  2. Georgy Mancz says:

    Being a kind of a distributist, I think I’m qualified to respond (though I’m just an occasional reader of your blog).

    Personally, as an anti-democrat, I would say that distributim can be divorced from respective motivations, which I think the condemnation by St. Pius X is primarily concerned.
    Any distributism motivated by equality and independence of the worker per se will fall under this condemnation, though. But I wouldn’t say that the distributism of, say, the Distributist Review is chiefly motivated by the concerns of Sillonists or similar to these.
    For example, the pernicious triad of the French revolution seems to be lacking in distributist expositions of justice when it comes to economy (which seems to be convincingly Aristotelian)
    I think that distributist motivations look basically something like this:
    1) the recognition of vast reifications in economics and economic governance, therefore all the small-is-beautiful (realistic scale; the problem of information) and usury stuff.
    2) recognising the infficiencies of capitalism when it comes to rewarding merit, including high work, and at the same time securing the common good (as when it comes to the issue of patent, for example). Very much tied to 1) and issues of protectionism and free trade.
    3) the perceived necessity of bringing closer the businesses and quality control coupled with the neen to fight excessive bureaucracy
    4) a need to check grand-scale production inefficiencies.

    All the ‘recognitions’ can be disputed, of course. I’m not saying this uncontroversial

    Nothing here seems to presuppose incensing the idols of liberty, equality and fraternity.
    And, again, St. Pius X was no libertarian nor ‘Austrian’ or whatever. 🙂

    Or perhaps all of this is simply auto-biographical and I’m not really a distributist at all. 🙂
    At times I do think there’s a disproportionate concern for democratic equality among some distributists.

    P.S.
    Additionally, I’d say that there are other examples of distributist-looking features than “Mondragon-Taiwan”. I’d name the German court system and regulation of the profession there, for example.
    As you must know, distributists do not generally insist on imposing the guild-system on everything.

  3. vishmehr24 says:

    The key idea in distributism that property should be well-distributed in a community is recognized by Hayek in his concept of “several property”.For Hayek, the virtue of property primarily lies in being several and not in being private.

    The non-distributists can not even answer the question What is Property? They are stricken by the tought that all private property originates in theft (Mises).These and other puzzles that libertarians amuse and torment themselves with can be solved in a distributist framework that places property in the context of a community.
    The full perfection of property is realized in a state of laws and which is not an individual affair.

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