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Socialism, communitarianism, distributism

19 November 2008

Since the Reagan/Thatcher years of the 1980s socialism has been decidedly unfashionable and the neoliberalism of the free-market fundamentalists has been all the rage.

I’ve blogged before on the Gadarene rush to destroy the building societies in the late 1980s, but they had become unfashionable too. And mutual insurance associations were destroyed about ten years later. Perhaps the recent mortgage loan crisis, which is having a ripple effect on the global economy, might cause a few people to rethink.

So perhaps there will be a revival of interest in socialism, communitarianism, distributism and other alternatives to neoliberalism.

For any who may be interested, here are a few blog links

  • The ChesterBelloc Mandate — has some useful documents and links, though I had some hesitation about recommending it because it’s not interactive — doesn’t allow comments or link-backs.
  • Mutual Money – about cooperative banking and finance. The mutual sector is currently showing it’s resilience in current market conditions providing people with a safe home for their money.
  • The Mutualist Blog – free-market anti-capitalism
  • The Distributist Review – discussed political, economic and social events from a distributist perspective.

There may be others, and if anyone knows of any, I’ll add them to the list.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 November 2008 5:40 pm

    I’ve often wondered – most of these have a strong Catholic impetus. The economiists and writers most favourable to Distributivism where mostly Catholic, cradle or convert – EF Schumacher, Ivan Illich, Dorothy Day, Chesterton & Belloc, and others.

    Wilhelm Ropke has been described as a Christian Humanist, but he might have been Catholic or Lutheran (born in Hanover, Germany).

    Are there any leading thinkers on economic matters with a decidely Orthodox bent (other than Tolstoy…)?

  2. 19 November 2008 8:18 pm


    Yes, that’s true, and Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and Amon Hennessy practically invented communitarianism.

  3. 20 November 2008 12:30 am


    It is true that Distributists based their economic philosophy on Catholicism and the social papal encyclicals, however, 60% of the early distributists were Anglican.

    Today distributism is still firmly grounded in Catholicism, but contributions and support abound from many Christians, and we do have a strong but small following among the Orthodox.

    I would love to learn more about Orthodox social teaching. I recently wrote a brief first chapter on Solzhenitsyn and how he arrived at the same conclusions as the distributist movement ( See

    Whether at my site or The Distributist Review, we would certainly welcome any contributions Orthodox Christians wish to make, and/or point us to the writings which best align with Distributism.

  4. 20 November 2008 6:53 pm

    Scylding, “distributism” is a Catholic expression of a much older and more general economic theory. Some of the best implementations of distributism have occurred in non-Christian countries, for example the land to the tiller program of Taiwan, or the “georgist” economy of Singapore.


  1. G.K. Chesterton, distributism, communitarianism and more | Khanya

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