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Distributism

From Academic Kids

Distributism, also known as distributionism and distributivism, is an economic philosophy held by such Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the populace, rather than being centralized in the hands of the state (some forms of socialism) or a minority of individuals (capitalism). Under such a system, most people would be able to earn a living without having to rely on the use of the property of others to do so. Examples of people earning a living in this way would be farmers who own their own land and related machinery, plumbers who own their own tools, software developers who own their own computer, etc.

These ideas are based on 19th and 20th century Papal teachings, beginning with Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. A good summary of distributism is Chesterton's quip: "The problem with capitalism is that there are not enough capitalists." While the papal encyclicals were a starting point, Belloc and Chesterton based much of their suggestions of what to change today by analyzing what worked in medieval times before the development of the capitalist philosophy as first articluated by Jean Quidort (d. 1306) in the theory of homo economicus in De potestate regia et papali.

In 1930s America, distributism was treated in numerous essays by Chesterton, Belloc and others in The American Review, published and edited by Seward Collins.

See also: social credit

External links

de:Distributismus

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