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Distribute Away!

I promised to check back in and relay the discussion my book club had over distributism as we talked about G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries. The discussion was rather short. We all felt we needed more information and felt suspicious of how the idea would work without excessive government coercion. Yes. I have a great book club. In preparing for the discussion, however, I did learn a few “handles” for the idea of distributism. My favorite was Chesterton’s slogan for the concept: “Three acres and a cow.” It’s somewhat similar to Hoover’s “A chicken in every pot.” His point is that every family should own something substantial, with which they can support themselves and develop character through caring for and cultivating it. Solid ideas … but where is everyone supposed to get these acres and cows? That seems to be the biggest sticking point we keep coming back to. It is called “distributism,” after all. Distributing requires taking things from people. And our government, and governments in general, already do that, and I think there are certain parameters within governments can justly do that, but those remain to be defined before I’m climbing aboard this train. My husband, who has a much better mind than I and tried to explain this to me before, recommended I read Toward a Truly Free Market to better understand how distributism might be enshrined in law. Yeah, well. That goes on the list along with My Name Is Asher Lev (next book club pick), Tyranny of the Textbook (to interview the author for work), The Strong-Willed Child (I have one), Mindset (work), The History of the Medieval World (for a class I’m co-teaching), and From Family Collapse to America’s Decline (work again). Suffice it to say it will be a while before I have more to say about distributism.