Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chesterton As Economist

Over at Maclin Horton's blog Light on Dark Water, there's an interesting discussion going on concerning distributism -- the economic system that G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc thought could save the world from the moral toxins of both socialism and capitalism. The threads are here and here.

My position (currently under review as a result of reading Mac and his commenters) has always been that distributism, while picturesque and intellectually alluring to a certain kind of Catholic, would require an excessive amount of governmental intrusion into the affairs of everyday life in order to get established. One retort to my position is that capitalism -- at least as practiced in the industrialized world -- is itself a pretty artificial and governmentally propped up system.

There is undoubtedly something to that opposing view. As evidence, I offer this infuriating portrait of government-protected "free enterprise" in all its thuggish grandeur.

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