Tag Archives: Distributism

The Church and the Land

The Church and the Land is a collection of essays and articles by England’s famous Dominican Distributist. De facto “chaplain” to the Distributists and the Distributist movement, Fr. Vincent McNabb was in many ways the most passionate and fervent of those seeking reform of economic life in the name of truly human values.

In over 40 short essays, Fr. McNabb tackles subjects as diverse and yet unified as industrialism, morality and economics, working conditions, and the role of the state in shaping and defending the proper economic conditions.

Fr. McNabb’s is a common and yet unique voice within the Distributist tradition, for he represents the voice of the Church, with its characteristic concern for morality and the salvation of souls, in economic as well as all other aspects of man’s daily life. Originally published: London, 1926.

Available from Carmel Books and all good booksellers.

Pro-Life or Anti-Abortion?

The following was written principally for an American audience but it is universally applicable.

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Political debate is often a matter of controlling the terms, since the names we call things often dictate the way we feel about them. For example, those who support abortion want to be known as “pro-choice” rather than “pro-abortion.” The preference is interesting in that it reveals that, even among its supporters, abortion is not really something worthy of support. “Choice,” however, sounds a lot like “freedom,” and hence is worthy of our highest support. Of course, since the “choice” is the choice for abortion, there is not really a functional difference between the terms; it is merely a matter of marketing.

By the same token, the anti-abortion movement would prefer to be known as “pro-life.” Here the situation is completely different, because while being pro-life means being anti-abortion, being anti-abortion doesn’t necessarily mean being pro-life; the different names really do designate different things. One can be anti-abortion on narrow moral grounds, on political grounds, or just out of certain fastidiousness. But families do a lot more than just give birth, and life is more than just its beginning. A true pro-life movement could be—and should have been—the foundation of a new Catholic politics. This is crucial because after the Second Vatican Council, Catholic politics in America severely deteriorated. What had been a strong presence dwindled so that there was very little difference between the Catholic voter and the rest of the population. The strong pro-worker bias of Catholic politics became bifurcated into radical divergent wings and highly partisan. But a pro-life party could have found areas of agreement between the factions and become a true “centrist” movement.

What would a pro-life agenda look like?

Read more……

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Solzhenitsyn

There are remarkable parallels between the ideas set forth by Solzhenitsyn and the ideas espoused by Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc fifty years earlier.

Solzhenitsyn and Distributism