What is wrong, even immoral, about the society we live in on earth? Can you describe it in a couple of sentences? If we don’t have a clear answer to this question, then other people will be taking advantage of us and making the decisions for us.
Can you genuinely support our economy of inequality and exclusion?
Distributism is an economic theory affirming that the world’s productive assets should be widely owned rather than concentrated on a few people or company conglomerates. Distributism is also known as distributionism or distributivism. We will use Distributism.
Distributism ideology was developed in the late 19th Century based on the principles of Catholic social teaching. The importance is based on its economic policies. The two fundamental aspects of distributism are:
- Production should be widely spread as is possible.
- Property ownership is a fundamental right for all humans.
Under the current system, production is centralised under corporations, the state, or under a few individuals.
The cornerstone of Distributism.
Widespread property ownership and co-operative economics is the cornerstone of the principle that “People Matter”. Clearly, the key to a creative future lies with distributism economics.
Distributism is an economic theory and has absolutely no connection with the political aspirations of socialism and capitalism. Socialism is the logical pathway ending with capitalism which incorporates central control and power, which in turn leads to state capture and central power control. Wealth is under the control of a few individuals resulting in the poor still being poor. Change starts with a fundamental economic theory that is all-inclusive.
Having made that point clear, distributism does strive to subordinate economic activity in favour of human existence as a whole: family, individual creativity, intellectual freedom and Spirituality taking the prime position in distributism.
The next point in distributism, subsidiarity. Subsidiarity holds true that economic and social issues are dealt with at the lowest level of competency. In other words, the central authority should have a subsidiary function, only actioning tasks that cannot be performed locally.
Solidarity. This is an awareness of shared responsibilities where people bind together as one. They share goals, objectives and interest. Solidarity is both a practical and psychological sense of unity with ties between people. It is based on kinship and shared values where people help, teach and support each other.
Solidarity is currently one of the six principles of the European Chater of Fundamental rights, but it has not been clearly defined. It needs to be discussed by Distributionists (a person who practises distributionism). World Solidaritism has a right tone about it, people working for common causes to promote people matter, sufficiency and distributed financial growth. Solidarity starts with awareness.
The money must flow in distributism, not be dammed-up. The concept of small is beautiful may be interpreted as shared economic growth once enterprises reach economic sufficiency. Solidarity then encourages the kinship in the community to teach other entrepreneurs to launch out into business using their own skills. Back in the middle ages, this practice was a common factor in people’s lives. It worked.
More recently Pope Francis has brought distributism back into the discussion, denouncing unfettered capitalism as tyranny in his 84-page apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. I assume with tongue in cheek, he wrote thou shall not have an economy of inequality and exclusion. We all need to say no to a society that breeds inequality and exclusion. Such an economy kills; kills people, nature, atmosphere and the environment.
We live in a tyranny, often virtual which unilaterally imposes its own control and laws. Add to this corruption, fake news, tax evasion, greed, and the result is an insatiable thirst for power and possessions; our consumerism society.
Serving capital, without understanding its purpose, will continue to harm humans, the environment and our families. We should aim for the maximum distribution of production, not the most productivity throughput to beat the competition by undercutting their prices and possibly putting them out of business and winning the war. Consumerism is a war killing off competitors.
Entrepreneurs with the sincere vision and intention to work with distributism will feel they are working, with family support, for the family of humanity, in a multi-generational family enterprise. This will produce unique dynamics for people, enterprise growth, including becoming more human, more social, healthier and more integral.