Monday, December 12, 2011
I'm really torn -- or maybe just mixed up -- about "distributism," in many of the same ways I'm torn (or mixed up) about "new urbanism" and the "slow food" movement. I am attracted to the aesthetics, and even to the underlying anthropology, but put off by the lack of interest these ideas' advocates often seem to display with respect to details about transitions, legal structures, practicalities, coercion, and costs. I love Chesterton and Berry and all that but, dang it, markets and incentives and trade-offs are (this side of Heaven) permanent realities. What I really appreciate is when I read someone who's working on what we might call "applied" and "modest" distributism or new urbanism, someone who proposes reasonably efficient and realistic "nudges" we might use to help people move along the trajectory of real flourishing.