Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the question of technology

So where does technology fit into Distributism? Fr. McNabb's position, Dr. Peter Chojnowski explains:

For him the question wasn't an abstract one of pro- or anti-machine, but of whether additional mechanization and mass-production would help to keep individual families on the largely self-sufficient homestead, or whether it would facilitate their flight to the cities.

Thomas Storck argues also that Distributism isn't anti-technology:

It is often assumed that Distributism necessarily entails a lower level of technology than we have today, or even a revision to the technology of the Middle Ages.

...Distributism is incompatible with no particular kind or level of technology. It is true that the direction of technical research might change towards inventing devices that are more useful to smaller enterprises ... (emphasis in original)

Thomas Storck basically defines capitalism as a system in which (in general) ownership is separated from labor-resulting in a quest for wealth "beyond measure"-that is the measure we need for general well-being. Distributism, (economically speaking) is an "arrangement in which the ownership of productive private property, as much as possible, is widespread in a nation or society."

In a Distributist society, most would grow much of their own food and either farm or work in their own small enterprises. Some would necessarily work in larger enterprises, but these would be worker owned. [Small is (still )Beautiful has several examples.] Certainly, their would still be those who worked for others-but the balance would be significantly shifted from what we see today.

Oremus pro invicem!

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