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Whatever the root cause of the current “economic crisis” may be, it is clear that what is at threat goes deeper than pension funds, jobs and livelihoods. Every aspect of Western society is being put into question, and rightly so. The great weakness of Capitalism and Socialism (from the point of view of the average man-in-the-street) is that both have ultimately been used to centralize power. Socialism is overtly centralist, advocating a single party political system, communal ownership of everything, but governed centrally, and so forth. Free market (laissez-faire) Capitalism is indirectly centralist in that it promotes monopolies, cartels, corporatism, and various other types of corruption which effectively result in centralized government. Socialism and Capitalism are both failed ideologies because each promotes the ultimate confiscation of wealth from the population, placing it into the hands of a few.
Is there another alternative? Dr Donald Goodman visits the Backyard to talk about Distributism; the "third way," in opposition to both socialism and capitalism.
Is Distributism just a quaint theory about how things ought to be? Is it practical? Is it doable? Can we take steps here and now to start moving us in that direction?
About the Guest: Richard Aleman is the president of The Society for Distributism, a contributing editor for Gilbert Magazine, The Remnant, and he blogs at St. Austin Review‘s Ink Desk. A native Catalonian and former United States Marine, Richard resides in New
The current economic debate seemingly settles across lines of Capitialism or Sociailsm. But are these our only choices? Are they even really choices at all? Join Professor John Médaille as we discuss Distributism. What is it and how can it help?
About the Guest: John Médaille is an adjunct instructor of Theology at the University of Dallas, and a businessman in Irving, Texas. He has authored the book The Vocation of Business, edited Economic Liberty: A Profound Romanian Renaissance and just completed Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective on the Role of Government, Taxes, Health Care, Deficits, and More.
This week, John Medaille will be my guest to talk about his new book. Call in and talk with him at 646-200-3496. From the publishers web page:
Distributists have often argued their case on moral terms grounds alone; they have placed their arguments in the necessary connection between free property and free men; they have argued on agrarian terms, on the natural rhythms of life and social order often disrupted by modern capitalism; they have argued from Catholic teaching and the social encyclicals. But while the moral argument is necessary, it is not sufficient. We must be able to make the case on economic grounds as well. Distributism forms a superior economic theory, one able to give a rational account of actual economic conditions. But it is often the case that Distributists are not able to put the case in purely economic terms.
The theme of this book is simple: Economics, or more properly, political economy, cannot be a proper science unless it is a humane science; to be a humane science it must embody some notion of justice, and particularly of distributive justice. Indeed, as a practical matter, as well as a theoretical one, there can be no balance between supply and demand without distributive justice; the moral question and the economic question are, in reality, one question. Economic equilibrium cannot be divorced from economic equity, and the attempt to do so will lose both equity and equilibrium; the economy will be unable to balance itself, and so will fall either to ruin, or to ruinous government attempts to redress the balance.
The book is written in layman's terms, yet intended to enable the reader to stand his ground in debates with the Austrian, the Keynesian, the Monetarist, the Neoconservative, the Socialist, and all other contenders.
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