Friday, 24 May 2024

What Is Distributism?

American distributists have produced this leaflet which opposes both capitalism and socialism. It proposed a distributist economy based on ‘family-owned and cooperative businesses.’

‘Distributism is a political philosophy based on the contention that a just and sustainable social order can only exist in which the ownership of property and the means of production, distribution and exchange are widespread.’

AS FAR as we’re aware, the National Liberal Party is the only political party in Britain which advocates Distributism. Everyone appears to be wedded to the false ‘left/right’ status quo. Therefore, it’s up to National Liberals to make the electorate aware that our distributist alternative exists – and it’s an alternative that goes way beyond the tired old ideas of both capitalism and socialism.

We believe that capitalism and socialism are simply different sides of the same coin. As one of our recent articles –

distributism-beyond-capitalism-socialism – noted:

Capitalism ‘upholds private ownership of the means of production but concentrates it in the hands of the few, thus leaving the greater portion of the population with no choice but to sell the only thing that they own, their labour, in exchange for the means of subsistence.’

On the other hand, socialism (or its impatient twin, communism) ‘rejects private ownership of productive property in favour of collective ownership, whether this collective ownership be entrusted to the State or to a series of smaller community bodies.’

Distributism on the other hand supports ‘the institution of private ownership, but insists that this ownership must be generally apportioned so that as many people as possible may enjoy their own share in the productive property of the nation.’

As distributists we cannot really understand why so many people believe that capitalism and socialism are polar opposites. At the end of the day people end up working for a private boss – capitalism – or some form of party boss – socialism.

In short, distributism provides a way of opposing both the tyranny of the marketplace (capitalism) and the tyranny of the state (socialism) by promoting a society of owners.  Capitalism allows the concentration of ownership in the hands of a few.  Socialism tries to deny any form of private ownership. Distributism aims to create a community of free men and women.

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