To describe what distributism is in 500-1000 words is an impossible mission. I will therefore try to outline its main points. First of all, distributism is not a simple receipt for a limited section of the socio-economic and political scenario but it is a general vision, on the same ground of capitalism and social-communism. On the other side it is not an ideology, if we mean for ideology a construct of the human mind.
Nevertheless I have never been able to find a theory of economics and politics which could offer a reasonable solution to the numerous and severe problems affecting Italy, Europe and the whole world.
Public and private debt, high level of taxation, constant economic instability, global inequality seem to have grown steadily in spite of any effort from politicians from any political party.
Only when I encountered distributism did I finally find a comprehensive and cohesive theory able to address the issues that badly affected society. Distributism is not a simple recipe for a limited section of the socio-economic and political scenario but a general vision, such as capitalism and socio-communism.
Distributism represents the attempt at linking the human mind with reality in an adequate manner, it is, in other words, the attempt to translate common sense and being reasonable into the context of the socio-economic and political domains. Distributism strongly differentiates itself from capitalism and socio-communism because:
It states that the natural family, based of the union of a man and a woman in marriage and open to fertility, is the foundation of every possible civilization and therefore must retain the maximum socio-economic freedom and independence.
It states that capital and labour should stay as united as possible in the same persons and that the productive property should be spread as much as possible, if we want to establish an equitable and just society.
It states that people should be assembled, starting from the local level, according to their working and professional functions, independently of their census and ideology, and that these organisations should retain the maximum possible political power, in order to be able to discuss and decide all the major practical issues pertaining to their sector (wages, taxes, codes of practice, pensions, education and training, social welfare, etc).
This is called the corporativistic principle, and according to distributism, is the only way to apply realistically and practically democracy and participation linked with competence and expertise. It states that money must be a tool which serves the common good and the real economy.
Therefore it proposes the cancellation of the current system of money and debt, in which money is created only as a debt of the state and its citizens to the banking system – and introducing a new system in which money is created as ownership of the citizens, without bearing any interest.
In synthesis, distributism presents itself as an alternative to capitalism and social-communism and it is based on the stringent and coherent application of common sense in the fields of family, labour & economics, politics & money.
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If you enjoyed this piece, make sure to listen in to the podcast on The Right Side tomorrow that analyses these ideas in more detail.