Defending Distributism

By Patrick J. Deneen for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC

Until one of us finds the time to slap down Joe Carter’s attack on distributism (as Rod Dreher called upon us to do), I’ll direct our good readers to a searing post by Thaddeus Kozinski.

One small-owner money quote:

Robert Nisbet, in his prophetic The Quest for Community, makes clear the modern nation-state’s tendency to transform the manifold, pre-and-supra-state, mediating loci of economic and political authority (local community, guild, union, kinship relations, church, university, etc.) into nothing more than private factions with no authority and power in the public sphere. What is left are only individuals and the coercive apparatus of the state, with the in-between, politically, culturally, and economically powerless. The contemporary nation-state of America is a public-interest alliance pretending to be a common-good polis; it forbids genuine, non-alliance polises within its boundaries to have any share in governing authority and autonomy. All polises but the mega-polis-alliance thus are privatized and depoliticized. Only in private “civil society” can citizens pursue real goods and organize their lives around them, but it is always civil society under the state’s rule, which is becoming more and more totalitarian.

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