Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Am A Distributist. That Is Both A Political And Economic Philosophy.

...And now you are asking yourself, what is a distributist? A distributist is one who adheres to the school of thought of distributism, which is, in a nutshell, the idea that the less government, the better. Perhaps it can be more clearly put by saying that problems should be taken care of on the lowest level of government possible. In other words, local problems should be handled by local government and state problems by state government, with the least amount of interference by the federal government as possible.

As Ronald Reagan so wonderfully put it, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from government and I'm here to help."

Our forum speaker tonight was Philip Marks from the Small Business Development Center, who spoke to us about government contracting. I regret to say it is a field I am not very interested in. I was, however, fascinated to learn exactly how important Huntsville is to the nation and the local economy (primarily because I am fascinated with rockets and other things that go boom).

...By the way, has anyone heard of the show 'Rocket City Rednecks'? It's totally worth checking out. A bunch of rednecks with Ph.D.'s who blow stuff up. Awesome.

I did write down a bunch of statistics that Mr. Marks gave us, such as that 23% of all government contracts must go to small businesses. And that 68-82% of people work for small businesses (and small businesses are defined both by the number of people that work for them and by their amount of revenue). Employes must be less than 500 for a business to be considered small.

I don't know. I really am not a fan of big government because it's pretty apparent anything the government gets its hands on messes up. Need I say more? I may also add it's because I am a Southerner. Don't get me wrong. I love my country. The government, however... is not the country.

And now, after using the word 'government' excessively in this post, I am thinking of one of Tolkien's letters in which he went on one of his delightful rants about WWII-era Britain. He disliked the use of the word 'government' in reference to anything other than the abstract concept of governing, and joked about giving anyone who used it in any other way a chance to recant before hanging. He said a much better name for the British government would have been to call it "Winston and his gang". (And if you do not know who Winston Churchill is, you are in a sad condition, my friend.) That, he said, would "go a long way toward clearing thought, and reduce the frightful slide into Theyocracy".

Distributism was a system of thought much advocated by G. K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. I am a big fan of Chesterton's Orthodoxy and have read a couple of works by Belloc, as well. Has anyone else heard of the Ballad of the White Horse? It's awesome. I know a couple of lines in it... And I had best not quote them here and now...

What sort of reflection upon our speakers qualifies as enough? I believe we could have a debate on this topic. Some people write profound posts about the speakers' talks, others write a paragraph and are done, and I'm not sure how to classify mine. Pointless rambling again, probably.

In Pace Christi,


No comments:

Post a Comment