Ovidiu Hurduzeu

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by Dr. Ovidiu Hurduzeu

oh-adevDistributism is firmly grounded in the Western intellectual and religious tradition. Its political economy is based on the moral principles of the Catholic social teaching; its inspiring terms  derive their vigor from the practice of “local” and “decentralized” economies of yesterday and today – where  “local ” and “decentralized” are defined   in Western terms.  The Distributist alternative   proposes the restoration of an economy within the boundaries of an enlarged Aristotelian oikonomia, “producing, distributing and maintaining concrete use values for the household and community over the long run”(H. E. Daly). The main tenets of Distributism are widespread property, the just wages, the subordination of economic activity to human life as a whole (reunion of ethics, spirituality and economics), subsidiarity, the cooperative and fraternal spirit. Successful as these Distributist tenets are in challenging   entrenched idiosyncrasies, they still struggle to  establish a firm foundation for a truly “third way” beyond capitalism and socialism, individualism and collectivism. Distributism should capitalize better on its own potentialities by calling into question the root cause of today’s Problems.  My contention is that the Distributist embrace of economic localism cannot be divorced from a sound theology of the particular;  “the local” needs to be rooted  in an ontological soil in order to be a unique reality.  I also argue that Distributists’ concern for the dignity of the human person and for the welfare of the community should be expressed within the context of a Christian anthropology.  If Distributists want to avoid the pitfalls of materialism, they need adequate theological support. More precisely, they need to speak a Trinitarian language.  Distributism cannot  abstract from a  Christology and Pneumatology of both communal and personal religious experience. Continue reading