Category: Agrarianism & Distributism

Book Review: Chesterton’s America
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Book Review: Chesterton’s America

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To recommend any book, I should at least be able to say to you that it is a pleasure to read. This book is a pleasure indeed! But saying the least is not my problem with reviewing Chesterton’s America: A Distributist History of the United States. My problem is having the space to say all […]

On Pilgrimage: Giving the Addict His Due
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On Pilgrimage: Giving the Addict His Due

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(“The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love.” -Dorothy Day) Most of the fine china had been cleared from the white linen-clad dining table. The delicate silver was soaking in a hot soda bath, and the candles had […]

Help a Catholic Farming Family!
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Help a Catholic Farming Family!

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Please, open your heart and consider this situation. Brian Gadbois is a permanent deacon and his wife Nissa has just, as in today, given birth to their ninth child. A couple of years ago a dream that they had nurtured for many years came true when they purchased a foreclosed and abandoned farm property. As a […]

What Is Social Justice?
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What Is Social Justice?

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When last we met, we looked at Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical which inaugurated modern Catholic social thought. We now continue our magical mystery tour by turning our attention to Pope Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno of 1931. Before we explore the major themes of this incredibly important document, however, it would serve us well […]

Is the Default Position Shifting to Subsidiarity?
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Is the Default Position Shifting to Subsidiarity?

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Not so long ago, most ecclesiastical officials and Catholic academicians emphasized solidarity as a political ideal. Owing to a common misunderstanding of both government and solidarity, that emphasis was almost always at the expense of subsidiarity. In recent years, however, the tide in favor of subsidiarity has begun to turn. It remains true that concern for […]

Plutonomy
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Plutonomy

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Plutocracies are societies where majority wealth is controlled by a shrinking minority. They are driven by economies powered and consumed by the wealthiest class over a mass population dependent upon their fortunes. Wealth creation is the principal motivator in these economies and corporations are their vital actors. Snatching public policy away from the hands of […]

Book Review: Liberty: The God that Failed
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Book Review: Liberty: The God that Failed

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The narrative some have come to trust from talk radio or from public personalities like Pat Buchanan, Justice Antonin Scalia or libertarians such as Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, is that it is in our best interest to return to the vision of the American Founding Fathers, who, in their estimate, were God-fearing men, lovers […]

Distributism and the Local Organic Food Movement
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Distributism and the Local Organic Food Movement

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Great change for the good often comes slowly. It creeps up through the cracks in a broken system, and begins to take the place of its previous forms. Slowly, public opinion, public actions, and individual sentiments begin to be formed in a new way. This is exactly what is happening in America today. The Local […]

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker
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The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker

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There is a well-known passage in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (book I, chapter 2) that runs thus: It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and […]

Choosing Acreage Over Stocks
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Choosing Acreage Over Stocks

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From an early age, my dad drilled into my head the lessons of compounding interest. It was quite simple: start investing in stocks early on in life, add just a little each month, wait a while, and watch as your savings grows by leaps and bounds! Numbers were touted about how the market had averaged […]

Judge Judy and Distributism
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Judge Judy and Distributism

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Judge Judy fascinates me. It’s true, my tastes are a bit odd. I’ll admit to that. In fact, there are only three television shows I watch regularly—The Journey Home on EWTN, in which Marcus Grodi interviews converts to the Catholic Faith; Phineas and Ferb, a Disney Channel cartoon and the only TV show in history to feature a secret agent […]

Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism?
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Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism?

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There is a saying of G.K. Chesterton’s about economics that one finds frequently quoted, but often it seems with little attempt to understand what Chesterton meant or might have meant, especially in the context of his entire economic thought. Now most people know that Chesterton was a Distributist, but since there is some confusion in […]

Subsidiarity Contrasted with Libertarian "Small Government"
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Subsidiarity Contrasted with Libertarian “Small Government”

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Not long ago I encountered two people who were arguing in favor of a libertarian presidential candidate and making the argument that his election would lead to greater subsidiarity in the United States. Neither of these individuals agreed with this candidate’s libertarian philosophy. Both, in fact, saw his philosophy as significantly flawed. Their only argument […]

Msgr. Luigi Ligutti and Distributism
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Msgr. Luigi Ligutti and Distributism

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Thanks to David Bovee’s new book about the illustrious history of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, The Church & the Land, one of the luminaries who helped shape the rural church in America once again resurfaces: Msgr. Luigi Ligutti. His classic book Rural Roads to Security, published in 1940 [and reissued this year] , thoroughly […]

How to Eat Like a Hobbit
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How to Eat Like a Hobbit

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If there is one area of life most people can change in order to return to the Shire, in a metaphorical if not literal sense, it’s their eating habits. You can live in a 20-storey high-rise in Manhattan or Paris and still adopt a Hobbit lifestyle when it comes to eating. That’s because Hobbits are different from […]

How to Kill a Billion People -- Part 3: "Precautionary" CO2 Policy and Food Crisis
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How to Kill a Billion People — Part 3: “Precautionary” CO2 Policy and Food Crisis

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 Part I explained that almost half the world’s people are dependent for their food on industrially fixed nitrogen fertilizer, and that nitrogen fertilizer production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  Part II explored several plausible mechanisms by which forced suppression of CO2 would induce food shortages and starvation in the poorest nations.  Among the key mechanisms discussed […]

How to Kill a Billion People -- Part 2: Indirect Effect of Greenhouse Gas Suppression
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How to Kill a Billion People — Part 2: Indirect Effect of Greenhouse Gas Suppression

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Part I demonstrated that the production and use of synthetic nitrogen is a substantial contributor of atmospheric greenhouse gases. It was also shown that almost half of the world’s population is dependent on synthetic nitrogen, produced by the Haber-Bosch process, for survival. It was concluded that greenhouse gas suppression policy and the Green Revolution, which […]

How to Kill a Billion People -- Part 1: The Food-Nitrogen-CO2 Nexus
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How to Kill a Billion People — Part 1: The Food-Nitrogen-CO2 Nexus

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In his 1986 book The Machinery of Nature, population control advocate Paul Ehrlich cited John Holdren, President Obama’s “science czar,” as stating that global warming from CO2 could cause the deaths through starvation of as many as a billion people by 2020. Since climate models haven’t yet successfully predicted local climate-change dynamics vital to crop assessment even in […]

Book Review: All the Devils Are Here
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Book Review: All the Devils Are Here

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All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, is a fascinating look at the principle players who brought about the financial crisis of 2008. It reveals the motives and mistakes made over the course of a decade by those who were entrusted with running the largest financial corporations of the world as […]

Practical Distributism: The Home Mortgage
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Practical Distributism: The Home Mortgage

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We have had several articles and comments regarding usury, mainly focusing on what usury is and why distributists oppose it. Considering the prevalence of usurious practices in our current economy, can we even envision how our banking and credit system would work without it? We must candidly admit that loans (and I use the term […]

CSA: A Distributist Agrarianism
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CSA: A Distributist Agrarianism

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After quitting my job as a school teacher in 2010 to become a full-time organic farmer, I was left with a dilemma. I was quite certain that I could grow high quality produce, but what was I going to do with it? I had heard about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs from various other small-scale […]

Industry: The Distributist Solution Part I
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Industry: The Distributist Solution Part I

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The mention of Distributism often draws skepticism by those who, while valuing its merits, believe Distributism incapable of providing satisfactory answers to our modern needs. From chewing gum to automobiles, chairs to food stuffs or toys to beer, we live in a world consumed by and dependent on mass-produced goods and large scale industry. The […]

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