What about distributism?

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Dionysian Booz | Allen | Hamilton SteamshipTime IT Wizard The Cool Club SweetLeftFoot niccolo and donkey President Camacho williebrennan

Several of our pro-austrian members are either christians or sympathetic towards christianity. In Spain there has always been a lively polemic about liberalism within the catholic community, with the most traditional and sincere members siding against not only its values but laissez-faire capitalism in itself. This is how I came to know about distributism, a catholic economical theory, which can be summarized thus:

So, what do you think about it. I understand this is rejected by austrians, but why? What are its weak points?

If I recall correctly, Hilaire Belloc was of the opinion that Portugal and Denmark came closest to the distributist ideal. This was when Portugal was under the New Order of Salazar, and Denmark was developing its welfare state under the social democrats. Maybe looking at the economies of those two countries during that time would suggest the weak points of distributism?


I'm an economic agnostic, but I assume one of the reasons distributism is rejected by Austrians is because it is, to be frank, incredibly fucking vague. It lacks the theoretical precision of its bigger antagonists, Marxism and neoclassical capitalism, and is freighted with fuzzy moral prescriptions which have little or nothing to do with the study of economics sensu stricto . For instance, it's all fine and well to declare that control of production should be preserved in the hands of local authorities whenever possible, but how do you connect the dots between subsidiarity as an abstract principle and 'on-the-ground' reality? What policies do distributists envision that could carry out their principles? They're oddly reticent on the question, perhaps because they want to avoid the obvious comparisons with fascism, or more likely because they don't have a damn clue.

Team Zissou

Distributism is a moral ideal or, more accurately, a value preference, not a systematized school of economic thought. Shareholders, for example, are free at all times to break up their companies if they think they're getting too big, or to hire people for more than their output as a form of charity.

Some people will squander what they have, and others will invest it. We have disparity again, and the only way to bring it back is through the redistribution of wealth.