This classic introduction to the basics of economic theory offers a constructive approach to economic education by defining terms and introducing key concepts without using insider jargon and complex theories. The fundamental questions about why the economy fluctuates and how small farmers, small business people, families, consumers, and innovators are affected by these fluctuations are considered. Serious alternatives to modern economic theories are explained, with attention to the realities that have been largely unchanged through the last century.
Hilaire Belloc is a former member of parliament in the British House of Commons. He is the author of more than 100 books, including Charles I, The Free Press, and The Restoration of Property. Edward A. McPhail is an assistant professor of economics at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Alberto Piedra is a professor emeritus of economics at Catholic University of America, where he was a chairperson of the economics department.
Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism is one of the most scholarly and comprehensive treatments of the antagonism between Catholic doctrine and the capitalist spirit. As such it is eminently persuasive. The author, Amintore Fanfani, was the Chair of Economic History at the University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy, and was the heir to a long and unmatched tradition of Italian Social Catholicism, a tradition effectively sanctioned and promoted by Popes Leo XIII and St. Pius X. Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism will be of particular interest to those seeking to better understand both the preconceptions and mentalities that the pioneers of the capitalist system possessed, and the reaction of Catholicism to that system. The book demonstrates, conclusively, that there is a scholarly, intelligent, and convincing answer to the propaganda which suggests that the world is irreparably divided into two camps, the capitalist and socialist.
For Chesterton fans this collection of articles written over eighty years ago are vintage G. K. The author arranged the articles in book format by sections and chapters giving to the whole the salient title: The Outline of Sanity. Accused by thickheaded social "progressives" of wanting to push society back into an antiquated agrarian provincialism, these insightful socio-economic indictions ought rather to have heralded the Catholic thinker as today’s prophet for social sanity. The perennial truths of the principles making up these critical commentaries will surely be even more evident in today’s restless age of stroboscopic consumerism. Master of paradox that he is, Chesterton, the philosopher, exposes the enslaving and dehumanizing aspects of an economy dependent upon monopolistic plutocrats and their so-called "labor saving" machines of mass production. With his penchant for balancing satire with humor, this literary giant provides a common sense solution to this age’s fast pace trek to nowhere. Modern man must be weaned gradually, he argues, back away from the imperialistic megalith corporation as a statistical wage earner and be productive on his own terms, on his own land. In order for man to achieve happiness, his true end, he must not build his life around some ephemeral retirement plan, but live each day for his real end: eternal retirement with God. Taking the original sense of the word economy as domestic harmony the ideal which the author champions is simply called Distributism. It is the very antithesis of Monopoly.
Fr. Vincent McNabb
Modern "wisdom" urges people to crowd into cities or their suburbs, to have few children, to live on credit. It teaches them to regard Industrialism as inevitable, and to view a life of speed and noise as both normal and desirable. The Catholic Church teaches the contrary. She proclaims rather that life on the land, the raising of large families, the possession of real wealth over artificial tokens, concern for the needs of men and not those of machines, and a focus on the life to come, constitute the only way to true happiness and contentment. The Church and the Land is a collection of essays and articles by England's famous Dominican Distributist. De facto "chaplain" to the Distributists and the Distributist movement, Fr. McNabb was in many ways the most passionate and fervent of those seeking reform of economic life in the name of truly human values. In over 40 short essays, Fr. McNabb tackles subjects as diverse and yet unified as industrialism, morality and economics, working conditions, and the role of the state in shaping and defending the proper economic conditions. Fr. McNabb's is a common and yet unique voice within the Distributist tradition, for he represents the voice of the Church, with its characteristic concern for morality and the salvation of souls, in economic as well as all other aspects of man's daily life. Originally published: London, 1926.
Ethics and the National Economy is a sorely-needed treatise on an essential aspect of economics: the role of morality, and ethical considerations, in economic science. A must read for anyone concerned with the effects of economic thinking upon day-to-day economic life, as well as the accountability and motivation of those who make policies based upon their conception of economic reality.
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Distributism for Dorothy or The Economy of Salvation and other exhortations to dethrone the great god mammon
Father Lawrence C. Smith - PB 520 pages
Distributism is not an economic means or a method, rather, the term is meant to be a description or a measurement of a state of affairs in human society. The term Distributism was coined in order to facilitate an assessment of whether or not any sort of “economic system” is working according to Catholic morality. If real property and the means of production are widely owned (distributed) among the population and the majority of men are economically independent and are not dependant upon either the state, large “capitalist” corporations, a minimum “wage”, or other men for their daily bread and the means of providing the necessities of life for themselves and their families, then, you have Distributism. In short, Distributism is a way of life based upon the Gospels and the principles of morality. It is so much more than a mere “economic system.”Distributism is not something that is to be enacted by any state or political entity, although they can and must do what is possible to facilitate its accomplishment. Distributism is a way of living and this way of living must be protected and nourished by society and its organs, i.e. families, societies, and governments. The responsibilty therefore lies primarily with families to begin to live the distributive way of life. Distributism is the living out of the Gospel in our daily lives and it will bring in its wake, peace, joy, and true freedom such as can be found only among the subjects of Christ the King.Father Smith explains it all so beautifully in Distributism for Dorothy: The Ecomony of Salvation and other exhortations to dethrone the great god mammon.
Dollfuss: An Austrian Patriot was written by neo-Thomist professor Fr. Johannes Messner based upon his close association and collaboration with Engelbert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria. Messner's account of Dollfuss's life provides a brief sketch of biographical details, but, more importantly, illustrates Dollfuss's social vision and provides an account of his attempt to structure Austrian social and economic life along the lines determined by Quadragesimo Anno. As a leading exponent of Catholic Social Doctrine as it was expressed in the Austrian tradition established by Karl von Vogelsang, Messner is uniquely qualified to highlight the reforms initiated by Dollfuss as they relate to the traditional social vision of the Church.
Dr. Zmirak is a student of traditional and Catholic political economy, and the author of Wilhelm Roepke: Swiss Localist; Global Economist. Dr. von Hildebrand is a frequent writer and lecturer on Catholic culture and related subjects. Her husband, the late Dr. Deitrich von Hildebrand, collaborated with Dollfuss and his associates on the paper of the Austrian state, The Christian Corporative State.
George O'Brien In the Department of Human Affairs concerned with the economic activities of man, the old universally accepted code of justice fell into disregard, if not into ridicule; and its place was taken, on the one hand, by the theory that the only safe guide for man to follow in these affairs is his own personal interest, and, on the other hand, and partly as a reaction against this repulsive theory, that the individual has no right of initiative at all, but that his whole being must be subordinated to the welfare of the community. Both these theories would have been equally disapproved by the old, despised ethical authority of the Middle Ages, under whose régime they could not have flourished or developed; but, at the time when they arose, that old authority was no longer universally accepted, and there was no power in Europe strong enough to withstand the march of these two dangerous doctrines. The path to both Capitalism and Socialism had been opened by the Reformation.