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What Is Distributism?

I recently sat down with Michael Thomas of Sharon to discuss distributism, and how it’s different as an economic system. He is a father, husband, homesteader, and traditional farmer. To find more of his work, you can check out the website for the Brickhouse Farm and Orchard. Michael is also an avid reader, which is how he came across distributism. Also, as a Catholic who believes a distributist economic model is closest to Catholic social teaching, he’s interested in sharing this idea more people.

What is Capitalism?

For this conversation, I went with Michael’s definition of capitalism. I don’t think it’s a perfect definition, but in order to show the differences in the economic models, I found it useful. He described capitalism as the belief that pursuit of accumulating capital or creating profit is the goal.

What is Socialism?

We defined socialism as a system where equality is the goal. Furthermore, it’s where equality is the goal, and where the state brings that about through command of the economy. Both of us dismissed socialism as a valid option because it wasn’t the topic and was obviously different from distributism.

What is Distributism?

Popularized by thinkers like Chesterton and Belloc, distributism is a system where the common good is the aim. In the distributist’s world, we promote the common good by having widespread property rights and not counting every action in dollars and cents. So, the distributist aims to get property in as many people’s hands as possible and tear down barriers to entrepreneurship. Basically, distributists argue for a fairly free market, but only if that market is ordered toward the good of the community.

How is Distributism Different?

Distributism, as Mike conveyed it, and capitalism as I imagine it didn’t seem too different. However, as our conversation progressed, I began to understand his distinctions better. For him, the distinction is what we hold as the highest good. Do we seek profit and capital at all costs? Or, do we say there are actions that can’t earn an income? However you define these terms, the discussion of these different systems was incredibly interesting.

212. Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully Conversation of Our Generation

I had the chance to sit down and speak with Ashley Baker, an expert in antitrust. We discussed antitrust and big tech, and how conservatives should fight back against tech. Ashley is the Policy Director for the Committee for Justice, Expert at the Regulatory Transparency Project, and works with the Alliance on Antitrust. So, she knows what she's talking about, and it shows. Dive into the conversation below to learn more about these issues and what Ashley recommends. What is Antitrust? Antitrust is basically a set of legal principles, laws, and precedents that inform us on how to handle anti-competition behaviors of companies. Big businesses may work with other organizations to undermine competition in the economic landscape, which is what antitrust seeks to prevent. Since businesses are built to beat their competition, they can hinder their competition's ability to succeed. However, they cannot work to destroy competition itself. And, that is where antitrust comes into play. There are many examples of antitrust violations we can point to, but the basics of antitrust is that we want to promote a competitive environment. Antitrust Laws and How They Relate to Big Tech You may be familiar with antitrust laws like the Federal Trade Commission Act, which gave us the FTC, or the Sherman Act. But, antitrust law is much more than a couple acts passed by Congress. In fact, much of what governs antitrust policy is precedent, and that's where conservatives have to be careful. If we are to regulate big tech companies through antitrust policy, we need to beware of how it'll effect other aspects of law. That's why I am so grateful to Ashley for coming on to discuss the antitrust efforts and big tech. She shows how antitrust cases inform our laws, and how we might apply that to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. Antitrust and Big Tech We must do something about big tech need, but what? First we must understand a few things. Are big tech companies monopolies? Does big tech violate antitrust law in the United States? What can we do to regulate big tech? We'll find the answers to each of these questions in the particulars. There's no simple answer. Rather, the devil is in the details. How Conservatives Should Fight Back Against Big Tech Our politics leans towards slogans and partisanship, rather than real solutions. The answer to this problem won't fit neatly in a 10-point plan or some ideology. Instead, we have to grapple with the principles at play and the particulars of the situation. Through prudence, we can find a solution. Check out this episode: Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully Subscribe to the Conversation of Our Generationersation of Our Generation Podcast here Check out the YouTube video here — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 212. Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully
  2. 211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky
  3. 210. Political Action and the Call to "Do Something"
  4. 209. Breaking the Rules of Philosophy
  5. 208. Failures of Modernity and Rationality
You can also listen to the podcast on distributism and the distributist economic system here, ad-free.

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