Author Archives: Kyle Burdash

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Distributism. An economy of inclusion and self-reliance.

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What s Distributism? The term is new to many. But the concept of Distributism is as old as the family farm.

Distributism is a third way between socialism and capitalism. According to Distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general population, rather than being centralized under the control of a few government bureaucrats, like in many forms of socialism,  or a minority of private owners, like in many forms of capitalism.

It states that while socialism allows no individuals to own productive property, all of it is in control of the state and its officials, and while capitalism only allows for a few to own it,  Distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property which produces wealth, or in other words the things needed for a person or family to survive.

Distributism is an economic concept of minimum private property, in the form of land, materials, and tools needed to produce basic goods for personal sustainability, without reliance on the wealth or ownership of others.

One example living in this way would be traditional farmers who own their own land and related machinery to produce. Independent, self-equipped contractors, and freelancers in possession of the tools needed for their individual crafts are also examples, as are worker-owned cooperatives. These are means of self-sufficiency and self providing without the need of external aid.

Distributists acknowledge that the necessity of exchange comes from a system scarcity, and therefore generates social problems of crime, human deprivation, and advantaging oneself in disproportion to another.

Distributism in our modern economy gains even more validity when taking into account the technological advances that provide unprecedented access to production and the “smart-access” to resources and matter.

The implementation of a Distributive system can be done in several ways.

1- By private charity, donating land and resources to people without the minimum property to implement self-sufficient production, along with training on managing of one’s own livelihood both exclusive and inclusive of the current exchange economy – or in other words, a personal GDP.

2- By reassigning the current inefficient government expenditures to facilitate the acquisition of private property for those who have been been educated in self-reliance, but lack the land, tools, or resources.

3- Perhaps most importantly, by restructuring our homes to produce the basic goods from our own property. Residential innovation and technological advances in home agriculture and aquaculture, energy production, and 3-D printing in combination with the emerging communications, transportation, and logistics internet of things, now makes these and other means of independent production possible for millions of people in unprecedented ways.

The remaining non-basic goods are then obtained either self-sufficiently, through the usual labor-exchange market, or within the growing “gift economy”, where people produce goods and services for free, giving them to others without asking for something in exchange, simply because of the personal interest to improve and produce valuable objects.

WordPress and Linux are two excellent examples of individuals engaging in complex work for the betterment of society in open-source exchanges.


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