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A Distributivism Page

Are there no calamities in history? Nothing tragic? May we never weep over the defeated? ... Must we always desert the cause as soon as fortune forsakes it, and bind ourselves to the cause which is in the ascendant, and hurrah in the crowd that throw up their caps in honor of the conqueror? Orestes Brownson, 1843

Also known as distributism and distributionism, distributivism is a political philosophy similar to agrarianism. The means of production should be distributed as widely as possible among the populace; they should neither be hoarded by a oligarchy, nor controlled by the government. Certainly the means of production should not be held by the government in the name of fictitious communal entities, but should be held by individuals in their own hands, or in the case of land, under their own feet. For those projects beyond the scope of an individual or family, a guild system is recommended.

Although the Distributist League was founded in 1926, distributivist ideas predate G. K. Chesterton, Distributivism's most famous proponent. The turn-of-the-century Populist and arts & crafts movements embraced distributivistic goals, as did several literary figures of the day. In more recent times, distributivist ideas have reappeared in the guise of "back to the land" or "Small is Beautiful" movements. True distributivists are unopposed to technology per se but are Luddite in their disgust at machines which disenfranchise people. Distributivists are not so irrational as to pursue progress for its own sake nor so immoral as to do so for the gain of a few at the expense of the many.


About Distributism

Introductions to Distributism

Websites and Mailing Lists

Articles and Essays


The following are extracts from the list of references on distributivism in the alt.revolution.counter resource list.

Local Resources


Related Movements

Catholic Social Thought


Links checked: January 31, 2015