In an article at The American Conservative, Arthur W. Hunt III argues that the economic ideas touched on by Pope Francis point in the direction of distributism, a third way between industrial capitalism and socialism. The Palins and the Limbaughs of the world may not get this, but it is high time to consider the essential connection between the broad ownership of property and political liberty. Hunt’s article provides a useful brief introduction to the history of distributism.

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. Why would anyone want a third way between industrial capitalism and socialism, when you consider that socialism is just an extreme form of capitalism? Double-plus capitalism, if you will.

  2. Mark,

    Listening to some of your on-line lectures and reading your book on Gratitude, you mention Wilhelm Ropke. Was he a Distributist or sorts? I subscribe to TAC but have not read the Hunt article yet.

    • Mark,
      As far as I know, Ropke didn’t claim to be a distributist; however, he does on occasion refer favorably to Belloc and Chesterton and their distributist writings.


  3. For those who are newcomers to distributism, what would be a basic reading list or a good introductory book?

    • Dan,
      Good question. Belloc’s book, The Restoration of Property and Chesterton’s An Outline of Sanity are good places to start. Wilhelm Ropke is clearly sympathetic to many distributist ideas in his A Humane Economy. A more recent treatment is by John Medaille titled Toward a Truly Free Market. These will get you started.

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