Friday, July 21, 2017

Eccentricities: Examining Agrarianism and Distributism, Part I

Agrarianism and Distributism are both categories on this blog, and have been for a long time.  As of the time of this post (assuming its timely made, a increasingly rare event around here) there are presently 78 posts on Agrarianism and 81 on Distributism.

Given that, it's not surprising that there's been some discussion on both Agrarianism and Distributism here, although Distributism has been more clearly explained.  Be that as it may, this version of this blog has been less clearly Distributist than prior versions of it. 

Part of the reason for that has to do with publishing cowardice.  While people like to claim that they're "free thinkers" and urge everyone to "think for themselves" few people actually do.  It's simply a human trait.  For that reason, most people tend to fall into groups of broad thought and when an idea is outside of the broad mainstream they tend to avoid it, or perhaps criticize it.

Now, this certainly isn't uniformly the case by any means and there are many eras when things can change, even suddenly, but even it times of change its interesting how often people who were opposed to a change, and even a change of opinion, will suddenly alter their opinion.  For an example based on a famous person, President Obama went with the mainstream when most Americans opposed homosexual marriage. When the Supreme Court by a one person majority changed the law in that area by judicial fiat, he was suddenly in the other camp, and virtually overnight, or at least virtually overnight in terms of public statements.

Now, that's not the best example, but I note that as it provides a reason why folks who hold Distributist economic views likely don't tend to express them much except in certain circles. It's odd, as Distributism isn't really that radical actually.  I'd argue that its a form of capitalism, and frankly it pretty clearly is.  It's just somewhat different from what we're used to seeing.

Agrarianism frankly is a related set of ideas, although in expressed form, it's older.  Like Distributism its highly misunderstood.  It's also in that area where a person who holds Agrarian views tends to keep them to themselves as a rule as its easy for them to be really misunderstood, nearly completely so.

Well, we're going to take a closer look at both here.  Both actually have, accidentally, strong American roots that are underappreciated..  Both have radical fanatic adherents, like any set of philosophical set of ideas, which if fully applied would tend to make them unworkable.  But both are worth looking at.

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