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Thread: Distributist critique of capitalism & big government

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    Default Distributist critique of capitalism & big government

    Recommend this interview with John Medaille, below the blurb for his book. An exceptionally succint critique of both capitalism and big government (and socialism for that matter).

    In summary:
    - Wages are set by power, not the market - therefore capitalism results in lower wages than necessary to have a stable, sustainable economy
    - Therefore, big government steps in with tax and spend - a temporary, inadequate fix
    - The result is too overwhelming, destabilising concentrations of wealth - in big business and big government
    - Modern economics fails because it ignores justice, specifically distributist justice and just wages
    - Just wages - wages sufficient to maintain demand in the economy without e.g. excessive credit - would keep supply and demand in equilibrium far better than the current system, and would have avoided the economic collapse we are witnessing
    - A potential fix is a more distributist economy - productive power spread more evenly across the economy so that just wages are paid and the economy is stable and sustainable

    Big corporations and big government grow together and feed off each other. Where wealth is concentrated, you will always see a concentration of political power with the result that the government grows in size, expense, and power. Big business and big government always go hand in hand...

    Capitalism tends to concentrate property in the hands of a few, thereby choking off the market, and socialism continues this by concentrating ownership in the hands of the state. In practice both end up with control of the most important resources of the nation in the hands of a few bureaucrats, über-managers, who claim to represent the interests of the nominal owners, be they the shareholders or the general public, but who actually control these resources for their own benefit. Distributism, on the other hand, seeks to build an ownership society of free men and women, conscious of their rights and able to defend them.

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    Looks interesting, ta for the link.

    It certainly undermines the claim that the market is a guarantee of liberty as so-called libertarians claim. It only guarantees the liberty of the few who hold the majority of the wealth.

    I am aware of these sort of views that are developing that are neither neo-marxist nor neoclassical/libertarian. Medaille is clearly influenced by Rawls. Is there a historical source for these sorts of theories do you know or are they breaking new ground? I'm sure I can do a bit of research and find out but if you could save me the time, I'd be grateful!

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Looks interesting, ta for the link.

    It certainly undermines the claim that the market is a guarantee of liberty as so-called libertarians claim. It only guarantees the liberty of the few who hold the majority of the wealth.

    I am aware of these sort of views that are developing that are neither neo-marxist nor neoclassical/libertarian. Medaille is clearly influenced by Rawls. Is there a historical source for these sorts of theories do you know or are they breaking new ground? I'm sure I can do a bit of research and find out but if you could save me the time, I'd be grateful!
    The historical source for distributism is Catholicism! It emerged from Catholic social teaching. Its best expression comes from the writings of GK Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. Check out the ChesterBelloc Mandate for a load of articles on the topic. Thomas Storck is a leading modern day proponent and writes well on economics (though his social views are offputtingly hardline Catholic).

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    This extract of Justice in Economic History by Thomas Storck is also a great read. It describes the desperate search by liberal/utilitarian economists for economic justifications that removed notions of ethics, justice and just wages from economics in the name of 'science', resulting in the gospel of marginal utility. It also demonstrates the cherry-picking of Adam Smith's theories by modern economists and politicians, who over emphasise the invisible hand and reject his ethics and labour theory of value theories - for example Smith's belief that wages are in practice unjustly determined by power and not free market forces.

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    How interesting! I've just been thinking lately how my mindset towards justice was really set by early religious upbringing and that to be fair, I had to pay credit to Catholicism for that even though I can't really stretch to the faith bits.

    I look forward to following these up. Yer a star

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Looks interesting, ta for the link.

    It certainly undermines the claim that the market is a guarantee of liberty as so-called libertarians claim. It only guarantees the liberty of the few who hold the majority of the wealth.

    I am aware of these sort of views that are developing that are neither neo-marxist nor neoclassical/libertarian. Medaille is clearly influenced by Rawls. Is there a historical source for these sorts of theories do you know or are they breaking new ground? I'm sure I can do a bit of research and find out but if you could save me the time, I'd be grateful!
    Even Mises and Rothbard admit the free market doesn't and has never existed.

    http://conversationwithcrombette.blo...-economic.html

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