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Beyond Capitalism & Socialism: A New Statement of an Old Ideal Hardcover – March 1, 2008
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"A book to which I’ll be turning again and again." James G. Hanink, professor, department of philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
"The contributors . . . offer an alternate vision that promises the recovery of individual freedom, social health, and the humane tradition." Mark Malvasi, PhD, professor, department of history, Randolph-Macon College
"This excellent anthology offers a genuine 'third way,' meeting the needs of individuals formed and shaped in families and communities, while achieving the common good." Joseph Pappin III, PhD, dean, University of South CarolinaLancaster
"A valuable collection of essays. With insight, old principles are brought to bear on contemporary social inequities." Jude P. Dougherty, PhD, dean emeritus, school of philosophy, The Catholic University of America
"The moral importance of the essays gathered together here lies in the vexing questions they are certain to cause thoughtful readers to ask." Cicero Bruce, PhD, professor of English, Southern Catholic College
"This rich and provocative collection will acquaint a new generation of readers with the enduring wisdom of the Catholic tradition." Peter A. Huff, PhD, T. L. James Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Centenary College of Louisiana; author, Allen Tate and the Catholic Revival: Trace of the Fugitive Gods
"This wonderful volume contains the provocative and well-argued writings of some of the finest distributist minds alive today." Andrew V. Abela, PhD, professor, department of business and economics, The Catholic University of America
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Top Customer Reviews
This is where Distributism enters the scene; an economic system that is based not upon efficiency per-se, but rather upon seeing man as a holistic being encompassing morality, spirituality, work and economics. While the basis for this is a subset of Catholic social teaching, that doesn't make the distributist point of view exclusive to Catholics. (Catholics, for example, have a rule forbidding murder. While their reasoning for this rule may differ from that of a non-Catholic; the fundamental truth and applicability remains without regard to whose label is applied.)
There is a lot in this book. Like other reviewers, I have noted the long biographical interludes which seem somewhat distracting (albeit interesting). However, these don't take away from the value of the concepts and argumentation presented.
Edited and organized by Kirkpatrick Sale, this book presents in a readable and enjoyable format ideas that will be new to most. Many people think, and falsely, that the choices facing us economically must either go into the "Capitalism" box or the "Socialism/Communism" box. This book sheds important light on the fact that these pre-ordained categories are far from the whole story, and that there is a world of worthwhile and important thought out there for people to consider.
I consider this book to be a very important book, and well worth examination by people of all religions who have an open mind.
Even amongst the relatively educated American public, the term "distributist" usually requires significant elaboration. It is almost wholly unfamiliar to those inclined to accept the left-right, Democrat-Republican, Socialist-Capitalist divisions.
Instead, these essayists point us toward a much more humane tradition. If distributism, agrarianism, social catholicism, subsidiarianism, solidarism, and other isms are a little mish-mashed in this book and if a few essays leave something to be desired, so what? *Anything* that points in the direction of "small is beautiful" over and against the mass ugliness of both socialism and industrial capitalism deserves its place in the spotlight. Especially when the philosophy itself is so hopelessly irrelevant in the public discourse.
The essays by Ahlquist (on Chesterton's Distributism), Storck (on Capitalism and Distributism), and Lanz (on Economics beginning at home) are alone worth the price of the book and more. Additionally, there is a very helpful "Suggestions for Further Reading" section in the back of the book that should lead the thoughtful reader to hours and hours more of profitable and pleasurable reading.
Get this book and buy extra copies for distributing to your thoughtful friends.
However, I would describe about half of the book as a "narrative bibliography." These essays are full of references to people and publications that were central to distributism in the 1930s, but they only offer brief glimpses of the content of these writings. They also intertwine Agrarianism with Distributism without any good explanation of why the principles of distributism would mean that most people should return to farming. (The book is also full of unexplained swipes at Vatican II.) This book would have been much better if there was more space devoted to explanation and application and less nostalgia.
All told, there is much of value here to the person who sincerely desires to gain added perspective on the Distributist movement. By passing over Ederer and Fahey, the reader will receive a decent introduction to the overall theory. But all of this is really much better presented by Mr. Hilaire Belloc in his magnificent trilogy: "The Servile State", "Economics for Helen", and "An Essay on the Restoration of Property". God bless.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title says it all. True property rights, not the fake right given (and taken) by governments and monetary systems designed for the "inner circle".Published 4 months ago by Acarroll
I learned a lot from this book about concepts and ideas I'd never before considered.
One such idea is subsidiarity, the teaching that a task is most properly performed... Read more
Tough to read and no female contributors- I could not get into it -Published 22 months ago by Marjorie Hickey
I couldn't get past the first few pages. The book immediately turned me off because it kept referring to Catholics, and I was not looking for a spiritual commentary on the... Read morePublished on August 14, 2012 by Belladonna
I loved this book. I have been interested in questions of economics and how they relate to political philosophy for a long time. Read morePublished on November 15, 2011 by MissBouquet
A review of Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: A New Statement of an Old Ideal, edited by Tobias J. Lanz
The message of this excellent book, Beyond Capitalism and... Read more
"Beyond Capitalism and Socialism" is an interesting attempt to present a call to arms for the modern world to embrace disbrituism but it is not, alas, a successful one. Read morePublished on March 20, 2010 by Kevin M. Derby
Something has gone terribly wrong in anglophone Christianity. We tend to put our politics before our religion, rather than the other way round- we have the "Christian Left" that... Read morePublished on November 9, 2009 by Jason A. Gagnon