More from ‘The Distributist Review’

More from ‘The Distributist Review’ August 16, 2011

As you can surely see, The Distributist Review is quickly becoming my favorite site for substantive Catholic social resources and commentary. I’m not a distributist myself, but I respect that position as one that is seriously committed to a holistic Catholicism. To be sure, I think that, if this strand of Catholicism were the leading the US Catholic voice, we would be in a much better state all things considered.

Here are two more gems by Thomas Storck: Is the Acton Institute a Genuine Expression of Catholic Social Thought? and  Is a Free Market a Good Thing?

NOTE: I encourage all commentators to read the articles before trying to engage this post.

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  • Mark Gordon

    I’m not a distributist myself, but I respect that position as one that is seriously committed to a holistic Catholicism.

    Fair enough, Sam, but how would you describe your own general view on economics?

  • Mark Gordon

    Love it. Thanks, Sam.

  • In a competition for fidelity to the Magisterium between the Acton Institute and the Distributist Review, the Review would win hands down. Acton appears to me to be just the latest and most successful of Fr. Sirico’s efforts to pervert the Christian message into a more marketable commodity. But I really wonder about the relevance of the distributist perspective in an era of globalization, a time when the welfare of the world’s poor depends on their success in entering the international marketplace, or so current Catholic teaching suggests. Distributism seems to harken back to an earlier time when economic localism was more feasible than it is now.

    • Juniper, a bean farmer (Brian L.)


      The Mondragon Cooperative in Spain and the various cooperatives of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy I think offer compelling examples of how distributist principles can be applied to business with larger capital needs and a global market.

      Of course, a full embrace of distributism will largely involve a return to more local and simple living focused on family life and culture, but it need not be, and indeed can’t be, a simple turning back of the clock. E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful and Joseph Pearce’s Small is Still Beautiful provide a good framework for what that might look like.

    • Mark Gordon

      Ron, you make a very good point about the apparent impractability of distributism in the era of globalism. But there are some of us who suspect that globalization itself is coming to an end. It was made possible by cheap oil, the Internet, and the internal logic of late-stage capitalism. Peak Oil is undermining the foundations of petroleum-based civilization. The Internet is at constant risk of corporate or state capture, and global finance capitalism is imploding. Many suspect that the future for each of us will be poorer, more local, and more community-focused. If so, we may have the opportunity to build a “new civilization in the shell of the old,” in Peter Maurin’s words. A distributist economics, updated and reimagined for contemporary application, may be one way to do that.

  • Dear friends in Christ,

    Thank you very much for your kind words regarding The Distributist Review. We are trying, as best as we can, to challenge and point Catholics to the majestic social teachings of the Church. As most of you may be aware, we offer articles on Dorothy Day, E.F. Schumacher, Fr. Josemaria Arizmendiarrieta, Fr. Pesch, and the Chesterbelloc. We pray our efforts may successfully compel Catholics to study CST and influence our nation socially, politically, and economically.

    In solidarity with Vox Nova, I hope we may join in prayer that this third millennium will revive the spirit of justice, peace, and charity in all men. May we all see Christ in the poor and the destitute. May we look forward to the Social Reign of Christ the King.

    • Amen.


    • markdefrancisis


  • Marxists in the clothes of Christianity. Wonderful.

    • brian martin

      No, marxism doesn’t advocate for as much individual ownership and control of property and production. I find it interesting how a certain segment of the population label everything they do not like as marxism or communism. Sort of sounds like Glen Beck thinking.

    • Mark Gordon

      Yes, widespread family-based, private ownership of the means of production combined with cooperative guilds and trade associations is VERY Marxist. You must mean Groucho, not Karl.

      • Kurt

        widespread family-based, private ownership of the means of production combined with cooperative guilds and trade associations

        The above which could be accomplised wit one simple action — ending the legal recogniton of the following theory:

      • Mark Gordon

        I couldn’t agree more, Kurt, which is why I signed the Move to Amend petition and encourage everyone else to do so:
        We have to rescue our economy and culture from the corporations that have captured our government and hollowed out the middle class.

  • Dear wlindsaywheeler,

    It might help the discussion if you could clarify for us how exactly are distributists “Marxists in the clothes of Christianity.”

  • brettsalkeld

    I too will be following the Distributist Review more carefully. It is so refreshing to find American Catholics who do not toe some narrow unimaginative secular party line on economics. Keep up the good work Richard et al.