Culture War Futility: Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Video)

In this concluding segment from the 2021 Summer Seminar on Distributism, I discuss why it is so hard to imagine actually changing the economy in any meaningful way. Our capacity for collective action has been hollowed out and replaced by an expressive identity politics that cannot satisfy but works wonders to keep us all working and buying. It very effectively stops any real change from happening. The seemingly radical idea that contemporary protests are largely ineffectual and should be replaced by direct action is introduced. … More Culture War Futility: Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Video)

Dorothy Day vs Capitalist Realism (Distributism 4)

This is a selection from the fourth part of a five part seminar on Distributism from Summer 2021. It covers Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day’s thoughts on the responsibility of Christians, true Christian community, and the correct attitude toward what we now recognize as capitalist realism. Day took very seriously the social teaching of the Catholic Church that emerged in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. This thought was critical of capitalism but also steered away from the emerging communist trends that were also materialist and concentrated power. Day’s considerable contribution was to apply her own learning on socialism, communism, anarchism and Christianity to help create a vision for an alternative to the great “isms” of her day and ours. My apologies for some sound glitches due to internet connection! … More Dorothy Day vs Capitalist Realism (Distributism 4)

Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

This is a segment from the first session of the Summer Seminar on Distributism (2021), part of an hour and a half long session on the origins of Distributism in Aristotle’s Politics and various Catholic encyclicals (the one mainly mentioned here is Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII, 1891, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution). Distributism is a line of thought that opposes both capitalism and socialism/communism as equally materialistic and destructive of freedom and proposes a third way–more widespread ownership of private property. It is separable from religion, because it is primarily a proposal about how to deal with property, but this session covers its roots in Ancient Greek and Christian thought. … More Can You Be Both Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Communist? (Seminar 1-Rerum Novarum)

G.K. Chesterton on Work, Play and Empire (6-Audio)

In this concluding video in the series on The Outline of Sanity, I hit on some big themes in the last few chapters including the shallowness of mass entertainment and what makes work worthwhile. He again defends the peasant, this time as the true “settler” unlike the British colonialists who dominated parts of the world but never really settled down and cherished where they were. Writing not long before the collapse of the Empire, Chesterton mounts an argument for staying home and creating (or re-creating) tradition based on a occupation of space considered sacred. … More G.K. Chesterton on Work, Play and Empire (6-Audio)

G.K. Chesterton on Work, Play & Empire (6-Video)

In this concluding video in the series on The Outline of Sanity, I hit on some big themes in the last few chapters including the shallowness of mass entertainment and what makes work worthwhile. He again defends the peasant, this time as the true “settler” unlike the British colonialists who dominated parts of the world but never really settled down and cherished where they were. Writing not long before the collapse of the Empire, Chesterton mounts an argument for staying home and creating (or re-creating) tradition based on a occupation of space considered sacred. … More G.K. Chesterton on Work, Play & Empire (6-Video)

GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)

In this video I cover the section of GK Chesterton’s book, The Outline of Sanity, that deals with agriculture. Chesterton does not agree that the industrialization of England was a good thing, and points out the flaws of massive urbanization. He defends the settled way of life as in some ways superior to the urban way of life. He also defends a mixed economy with some degree of socialism and a greater degree of private property, spread out by state edict.. … More GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)

“If they served their God as they have served their Pork King…” (4)

Chesterton says of Christians “…if they had served their God as they have served their Pork King and their Petrol King, the success of our whole Distributive democracy would stare at the world like one of their flaming sky signs and scrape the sky like one of their crazy towers.” (p. 123, The Outline of Sanity) Part 2 of this book includes discussion of how Christians actually think about topics like capitalism, socialism, and Distributism, and how Chesterton wishes they’d think. Characters like the “old gentleman” and the “poor old clergyman” show how focusing on the favored target (socialism) or simply living in an imaginary world (the land of competitive capitalism) keep many such characters in a situation that amounts to giving up and rolling over. … More “If they served their God as they have served their Pork King…” (4)

“If they served their God as they have served their Pork King…” (4-Video)

Chesterton says of Christians “…if they had served their God as they have served their Pork King and their Petrol King, the success of our whole Distributive democracy would stare at the world like one of their flaming sky signs and scrape the sky like one of their crazy towers.” (p. 123, The Outline of Sanity) Part 2 of this book includes discussion of how Christians actually think about topics like capitalism, socialism, and Distributism, and how Chesterton wishes they’d think. Characters like the “old gentleman” and the “poor old clergyman” show how focusing on the favored target (socialism) or simply living in an imaginary world (the land of competitive capitalism) keep many such characters in a situation that amounts to giving up and rolling over. … More “If they served their God as they have served their Pork King…” (4-Video)

GK Chesterton on Capitalist Despair (Audio)

In Chapters 2 and 3 of GK Chesterton’s The Outline of Sanity (1926) we get perhaps one of the first identifications of and arguments against capitalist realism, the idea that we can do no better. He also anticipates some aspects of neoliberal capitalism which we are all too familiar with today, particularly the idea that workers must simply sacrifice for the greater good rather than hope to really get ahead and be happy themselves. Chesterton lays the groundwork for his proposal of a third way economy of Distributism. … More GK Chesterton on Capitalist Despair (Audio)

GK Chesterton on Capitalist Despair (Video)

In Chapters 2 and 3 of GK Chesterton’s The Outline of Sanity (1926) we get perhaps one of the first identifications of and arguments against capitalist realism, the idea that we can do no better. He also anticipates some aspects of neoliberal capitalism which we are all too familiar with today, particularly the idea that workers must simply sacrifice for the greater good rather than hope to really get ahead and be happy themselves. Chesterton lays the groundwork for his proposal of a third way economy of Distributism. … More GK Chesterton on Capitalist Despair (Video)