Distributist Perspectives is a collection of essays by leading thinkers of the school of English Distributists that in the 1920s and 1930s articulated a humane vision of social and economic life based upon the Social Doctrine of the Church. Subtitled "Essays on the Economics of Justice and Charity," and including essays by Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, George Maxwell, Harold Robbins, Cdr. Herbert Shove, H. J. Massingham, and Eric Gill, this first collection of Distributist writings serves as an introduction to the depth and coherence of the Distributist position on such essential topics as the nature of work, the role of tradition, the dangers of industrialism, and the importance to the family and the State of the widespread distribution of ownership of productive property. Volume I of the series offers a rare glimpse through true, primary source material, of the seriousness and persuasiveness of the critique of modernity by some of the finest English Catholic minds of last century. This first volume of Distributist Perspectives also offers a newly edited edition of the Distributist Manifesto, written by Arthur J. Penty for the Distributist League in 1937.
Dr. Godefroid Kurth - with an Introduction by Father Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp. — Small book 64 pages
Is not the strategy of the enemies of God there to teach us a lesson? They want to destroy the faith in the hearts of individuals, it is true, but they direct still more vigorous efforts to the elimination of religion from social institutions. Even one defeat of God in this domain means the weakening, if not the ruin, of the faith in the souls of many”
This short essay on the workingman’s guilds by Professor Kurth was translated into English by Father Denis Fahey, who also wrote the introduction included here. The introduction is longer than the article since it introduces briefly the entire plan for a Christian social order, of which the economic life of the laboring man is only a portion.
When speaking of the economic life of a Christian society the most important principle to consider is that it—the economic life of society— must be subject to the moral law before all else. This subjection must be the first principle of the structure of society’s economic life and not simply something engrafted as an afterthought. Both politics and economics are disciplines subsidiary to the science of ethics. Without this subjection nations become ensnared by the terrible modern errors known as capitalism, communism, or socialism, all of which amount to the same thing, the destruction of the society operated according to their principles, and the end of Christian civilization.
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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.
A New Statement of an Old Ideal
Obliterating the notion that there are only two choices - right and left - for perspectives on social and economic life, this apologia by twelve Catholics for a socio-economic life based upon the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church offers an outline of independent operator-owners, regulative guilds, and economic science subortinated to morality and the genuine needs of mankind.
Rev. T. J. O'Kane - Small book - 88 pages
This Catechism of 84 pages was originally published by the Catholic Social Guild of Oxford England in 1936. It contains all of the essential teachings of the Church on man’s nature, purpose, and destiny, as well as his fall and redemption. There are sections on the divine and natural law, the right to life—one’s own and that of others— as well as extensive Q&A sections on education, marriage, private property, wages, the family home, the state and Catholics in politics. This is a great teaching tool and very much needed today in America.
Mary Perkins - Papercover - 220 pages
This is, we believe, the first “book of etiquette for Catholics” ever published. At first glance it may seem absurd that we should need one, but have you never been puzzled by such apparently easy questions as how to address a letter to a bishop or how to end it? Or, if you are asked to be a god-parent, do you know what is expected of you, first at the church, and then afterwards throughout your own and your god-child’s life? These and a hundred other matters are clearly and amusingly explained in this book, the subjects ranging from the very simplest way to manage a Missal to what to do (and what not to do) when a Catholic doctrine or practice is attacked in your presence.This book is especially helpful for converts, but it is also extremely interesting for life-long Catholics who have little or no knowledge of the proper manners expected from a Catholic. It was first published in 1938 so the author explains much about how things were done in the Church before the second Vatican Council.
Don Pietro Leome - PB 246 pages
In our days the war against God and His Church has become deeper and broader than at any time in history. No longer are the powers of darkness content to attack only the institutional Church that God founded. The truth is that the human nature that God the Father created is now the subject of the adversary’s most violent persecution, and through the undermining of the very concept of human nature and the natural law enshrined in it the enemies of God hope to make any consideration of the concept of ‘super-nature’ and super-natural life disappear from the minds of men.
The Church has always been the true guardian of not only supernatural life, but of the natural law as well. Since the natural law is the law that God put into our nature and it is discernible in the light of reason, the Church, speaking for God, is the champion of sound reasoning. With the natural law as well as supernatural law governing human sexuality and family life under attack, Don Pietro Leone has risen to defend (and to properly distinguish) those areas, so that those who wish to defend the Church and human society in our age may have sound teaching upon which to base their actions.
In the course of this treatment of these topics he makes a detailed critique of certain novel presentations of themes found in the Magisterium from the time of the Second Vatican Council onwards. Amongst these doctrines is one he terms ‘Magisterial Personalism’ and another called the ‘Theology of the Body.’ Drawing upon scholastic philosophy and the perennial teaching of the Church, Don Pietro brings light to a subject recently plunged into obscurity and darkness that is not currently being dispelled sucessfully, even by the guardians of Truth themselves.
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.