Among many Trad Catholics, distributism seems to be the thing. At a happy hour the other evening, some guy was yammering on about distributism and how it would cure all our ills. It’s held up as the great panacea.
Now I can understand one’s dislike of the modern corporate-capitalist system in the West. Corporate-capitalism (1) fosters transnational loyalties, resulting in things like corporations supporting mass Third World immigration into Western countries, (2) is ugly, as attested by the WalMart aesthetic, (3) is often environmentally unfriendly, (4) is short-sighted, operating only in short business cycles, and (5) is itself dysgenic by its support of Mass Third world immigration into Western countries.
But is distributism any better? Has it historical precedent?
Many distributist advocates point to Medieval Europe for precedent, but this is doubtful.
My recent exchange with Ron Unz on eugenics highlights a historic fact: much of Western history has been eugenic (see here, here, here, here and here). Medieval England, in fact, was highly eugenic, as demonstrated by Gregory Clark’s findings in Farewell to Alms: the English upper classes reproduced at at 2:1 ratio over the lower classes, which resulted in the upper classes eventually replacing the lower classes through downward mobility and which resulted in a downward drift of genes and affiliative behaviors, such as decreased violence, and increased average IQ and innovation.
So, in reality, Medieval Europe was not the equitable distributive paradise that many distributists make it out to be.
But that aside, even if distributism were to be implemented today, how would it not be dysgenic? By redistributing wealth through welfare like practices, how would it not resemble the modern open-borders welfare state, which is itself highly dysgenic? Can distributists assure us that distributism would not be dysgenic? How would it encourage the reproduction of the productive members of society and discourage the reproduction of the dregs? How would it keep out the Third World hordes? How would it safeguard one’s genetic interests?
My tone above might seem to be a little harsh. I am not wholly opposed to distributism. Who knows, it probably would be better than our current globalist regime of leveling corporate capitalism. Nonetheless, I wanted to register some concerns.