It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Catholics Should Be Distributists

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: A reading of the papal encyclicals on economic social justice reveals this to be true.  Catholics should be Distributists.

I believe we are now entering a time of complete economic and social collapse, which of course will lead to political collapse too, not just for the United States, but for nations around the world. Current trends now being reported in China indicate a massive economic bubble is about to pop in the Chinese housing market. This will likely result in the complete implosion and collapse of the Chinese economy, followed by economies around the world, perhaps delivering the final blow needed to implode the European and American economies as well. This is it! Laissez-Faire Capitalism and State Socialism have failed. The post-enlightenment economic models have left the whole world in financial ruin!

In a desperate attempt to regain control after the inevitable collapse that will soon come, we can look forward to the emergence of big-brother police-states in the Western world, employing strategies of law enforcement similar to those used in Communist China and the old Soviet Union. Even the United States has paved the way for this through recent legislation passed by the Senate, and on its way to be signed by President Obama. The governments of the West are preparing for a soon coming Economic Armageddon! In the midsts of this social upheaval and the police-state to follow, I do not know if 'The Catholic Knight' blog will be able to remain on the Internet. We can pray, and I will certainly try to keep it online for as long as possible. However, when living under a government that fears ideas that contradict the status quo, and has now the legal means to silence those ideas, I do not think it far fetched that Uncle Sam may perhaps shut down this little blogging venture in the not-too-distant future. Should that happen, I want my readers to start thinking about the future. When this is finally all over, we are going to have to rebuild, and I want you to take this idea with you. After the implosion of the economic models given to us by the Enlightenment Era (Capitalism and Socialism), let us all return to the teachings of the Church on economics, because what is economics after all, but morality by another name...
(Wikipedia) -- Distributism (also known as distributionism, distributivism) is a third-way economic philosophy formulated by such Catholic thinkers as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc to apply the principles of Catholic social teaching articulated by the Catholic Church, especially in Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum and more expansively explained by Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism) or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (laissez-faire capitalism). A summary of distributism is found in Chesterton's statement: "Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists."

Essentially, distributism distinguishes itself by its distribution of property (not to be confused with redistribution of wealth). While socialism allows no individuals to own productive property (it all being under state, community, or workers' control), distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property. As Belloc stated, the distributive state (the state which has implemented distributism) contains "an agglomeration of families of varying wealth, but by far the greater number of owners of the means of production." This broader distribution does not extend to all property, but only to productive property; that is, that property which produces wealth, namely, the things needed for man to survive. It includes land, tools, etc.

Distributism has often been described as a "third way", in opposition to both socialism and capitalism. Thomas Storck argues that "both socialism and capitalism are products of the European Enlightenment and are thus modernizing and anti-traditional forces. In contrast, distributism seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life".

Some have seen it more as an aspiration, which has been successfully realised in the short term by commitment to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity (these being built into financially independent local cooperatives and small family businesses), though proponents also cite such periods as the Middle Ages as examples of the historical long-term viability of distributism....



Anonymous said...

The Achilles heal causing lack of political power of traditionalist Catholics is the misunderstanding of the Bible verse "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." The original Greek version was translated in such a way that it implies passive obedience to government and acceptance. A better understanding would be to separate what is Caesar's from what is God's, meaning Caesar should not be God; as the Romans considered the emperor a god, this makes sense in that cultural context.

Brian Kopp said...

Dear Catholic Knight,
I just wanted to let you know I linked your post on Catholic Prophecy in this post, "The apocalyptic prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen, the next Doctor of the Church,"

You might enjoy looking at that post, as well as an earlier one, "For fourth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope draws attention to little known prophecies of Venerable Elena Aiello",

I would certainly enjoy hearing your thoughts on these posts.

I would have posted this comment on your "Catholic Prophecy" entry, but did not find that option there.

God bless,
Brian Kopp

Justin said...

The whole "render unto Caesar" passage is misunderstood from top to bottom. The most important thing to realize is that the answer was given to the question "Is it LAWFUL to pay taxes", meaning lawful under Jewish law to pay taxes to the occupying Roman government.

Distributism implies a radical rethinking of how things are done. I think it all needs to start with land ownership reform (eliminating landlords, essentially), as well as the elimination of other forms of economic parasitism related to "passive ownership" of all kinds and usury.

Anonymous said...

Sir Knight
We do have many examples of Distributism in America today. In my investment days I owned General Motors, Motorola, Dell Computers, etc. via the shares I had purchased and as such had voting power in all companies I owned.

Hank from Texas

ChronicSinner said...

Not so fast, Mr. Knight.

Pope Leo is not calling for "Distributism" in your quote, but is merely communicating a goal that a just society should strive to attain. As faithful, Catholics, we are obliged to submit our will and intellects to this moral teaching.

However, he is NOT calling for or desribing a particular method or socioeconomic system to achieve those ends(i.e. "distributism'). He, or any pontif, is free to weigh in on the merits of various specific economic systems to achieve certain goals. But when they do, their pronouncements are NOT protected from error by the Holy Ghost, and are instead subject to the same criteria and standards of evidence applicable to anyone else's claims, and are NOT binding on the concscience of Catholics...including those, who reject "distributism" as a way of achieving the laudable goals of dispersed property ownership advocated by Pope Leo XIII.

ChronicSinner said...

"If I were to pronounce on any single matter of a prevailing economic problem, I should be interfering with the freedom of men to work out their own affairs. Certain cases must be solved in the domain of facts, case by case as they occur...Men must realize in deeds those things, the principles of which have been placed beyond dispute...These things one must leave to the solution of time and experience." Pope Leo XII

In other words, distributism must be shown by economic facts to be the best solution before it is accepted, and not the opinions Belloc or Chesterton.

The Catholic Knight said...

What than shall we say of Capitalism and Socialism? Have they demonstrated by economic facts to be the best solution? Both have been embraced fully, with little factual proof to support either, and they have left our entire planet in financial ruin.

Anonymous said...

hank from Texas,

Very very very interesting and poignant observation you have made here. All shareholders, yes, even 'mum and dad' shareholders as the 'little guy' is termed here in australia, have a right to attend the AGM's of companies they own shares in. I would argue (as the wife of a 'little guy' shareholder) that it is a moral responsibility, when at all possible, to attend said AGM's and exercise voting rights (even if they seem insignificant) that share ownership permits.

If the 'mum and dad' shareholders when at all possible took a more active interest in the moral and ethical operations of the companies in whom they have a stake, i suggest we could effect genuine change. One on their own is nothing, but a collective of 'ones' make up a voting block; it is our right and duty to exercise our powers, even if minimal (on the surface) rather than viewing share ownership as simply a cash-cow money pump. the latter mentality reduces a company from an entity that produces a good or a service to merely a financial body (intrinsically corrupt in most cases) interested only with highest profits for profits sake and keeping the shareholders flush with funds, not for rolling back into development, improvement, sovereign wealth creation to assure the company's future. One of the greatest proponents of responsible small-scale share ownership in Australia (sometimes deemed 'share activism' is a gen-x'er called Stephen mayne. he actually attends very many AGM's, raising questions, issues, voting etc; some of the Big Industry Interests etc have not liked him at all, and I believe that hee has been barred in the past from certain AGM's of Companies due to the fact that he does exercise these rights and holds the big boys up to account (not in a radical rent-a-mob way, but articulately and intellegently.

For Australian readers,
is an excellent website (though i don't agree with everything they write - far from it) I believe it is a rare voice holding 'high street' up to the light.

of interest, Rod Quinn, over at had some very interesting things to say about Dr. Paul last Friday evening/Saturday morning; he is the only voice on aus radio who seems to be giving Dr. Paul a fair hearing and doesn't discount him out of hand.

Sir Knight,

Worry not about potential centuries of masonic rule if the US gets it wrong in 2012; our Lord and Saviour jesus Christ is greater than the flimsy machinations of mankind - read Psalm 12 and 14 again and remember the message of Fatima and the teachings of Hildegard von Bingen who is due to be made a Doctor of the Church in October 2012.

But a little while, Sir Knight, but a little while.



c matt said...

The problem with little guy shareholders is that 1000 shares of ExxonMobil, when it has close to 5 billion outstanding, means very little influence. The largest shareholders are always other institutional investors, and they obviously have the Board's attention.