Than be ruled by the Catholic intellectual class who are infatuated with their notions of distributism.
Why? because in comparison to the Catholic intellectual class, those illiterate carpenters are humble and simple men with common sense who know what works and what doesn't at a practical level down on the street which is where it matters. And they've been stepped on and pushed around enough to know what benevolent government really does for them.
In comparison, the Catholic intellectual class is invariably and frighteningly clueless regarding anything practical.
They're completely full of themselves thinking they have not only answers, but should likewise be leaders guiding us to the promised land, when all they in reality do have to give us is dystopian insanity.
Distributive justice and the encyclicals are true guidelines to a holistic well functioning society, but they must be implemented according to common sense and human scale, which in turn means implemented using practical experience to moderate the universal principles.
It also means that the Catholic intellectual class does real harm because not only do they twist Church teaching into nasty dystopian knots, but they scandalize the uninformed and drive them away from the Church by insisting that their twisted understanding is true Church teaching so that anyone with common sense who reads their twisted explanations is forced to either reject their own common sense or reject what they are being told is Church teaching.
In contrast to the frighteningly clueless benevolent designs of the distributists, what we need instead is common sense economics. Economics to human scale as if people mattered.
What we need, is for the distributists to close their mouths, take their hands off their keyboards, and stop turning Church teaching into a mockery. Or barring that. What we need is for them to at least have the decency to not wear their self proclaimed mantles of defenders of the Faith declaring all who disagree with them to be heretics.
Of course, no one is as far off-the-wall as Thomas Storck, but the more I read, the more it's apparent that he's far from alone, and they really are total air heads when it comes to actually living in any practical environment.
It really doesn't take much to see the authoritarian chaos that would follow if they ever did get the power to implement their benevolent designs.
Because when they write :
"Distributism is not about small businesses competing with one another, but about small businesses cooperating with one another to fulfill some real economic need."
They don't mean voluntary cooperation where small businesses can choose one way or the other, because when push comes to shove they mean government coercion micro-managed society.
While I appreciate the private nature of mondragon, that is not the end of the story because distributists are more than willing to use the coercive force of the government to get their way. And would use the government as a first option if their writings of existing government is any indication of the future.
And what of those small businesses if some worker owned leviathan crushes them out of existence in the same manner as walmart does? That's acceptable to the distributists because the leviathan is worker owned. In fact worker owned leviathans are a distributist preference because its not a bunch of independently owned stores "competing with one another".
Distributism is supposed to be an affective means of neutralizing the effect of fallen nature on society, but yet distributists naively turn around and assume that those who would implement their scheme at the micro-level would be selflessly pure as the driven snow; when what we know does occur at the micro-level is nasty pettiness, and worse, as anyone who has ever owned a business dealing with health inspectors and similar know all too well.
I knew a guy who owned a warehouse where the health inspector came in, tested his air quality, found it below standard, and demanded the owner change out his forklifts to ones that wouldn't impact the air when his interior air quality was identical to that right outside of his door. The inspector's response to that detail was he didn't control the air outside of his door. That is what you really get : dictatorial insanity.
Now consider the logistics of micro-level controlling the market, never mind the absurd violation of subsidiarity in the service of a lesser good, authoritarian chaos only begins to describe the mess.
[ Imagine the libertarians who want every street in the city privatized and all zoning and other regulations on use of private property abrogated. / Now imagine the exact opposite of total control, and you have in turn distributist paradise.]
Both are dystopian. Both take a principle which is good, but take that principle to an extreme to the exclusion of common sense and right ordering.
There is of course one benefit coming from their schemes : they do make me appreciate the mess I do currently live in, because while my homeland may be a wasteland, it has not gone as far into decay as their schemes would take it.
The 20th century is best remembered by remembering the incredible destructive results of government benevolence. Urban planning, for instance, is replete with planned cataclysms of redevelopment and renewal where entire sections of cities were destroyed for the good of their inhabitants. But yet the Catholic intellectual class trusts that same government with far more power to do the same far more intrusively.
Subsidiarity in the hands of the Catholic intellectual class is a strange creature that is either absurdly small demanding push pedal sewing machines, or absurdly large demanding complete control over the market. But never at human scale.
Catholic society is grounded in practical experience where as in contrast what the Catholic intellectual class has to offer is enthusiasm for their pet one size fits all solutions to what ever the ailement might be.
For instance, no matter the social problem, the distributist solution must include worker ownership, and if it does include worker ownership then it can't in turn be a cause of some other social ill. Do you have culturally homogenizing chain stores destroying the local social fabric? Make them worker owned and problem solved, because somehow they will be at human scale just like magic. Strange!!
And of course I have nothing personally against the Catholic intellectual class. It's just that I would rather be ruled by people who actually know that owning horses and a wagon in today's society is something of a luxury, and not a requirement to fulfill my duty to be in conformity with subsidiarity as Thomas Storck has written I must do.
Our current society is grounded in a multiplicity of bad principles including, usury, materialism, the social compact government, and so on, which are in turn implemented in the most nasty of manners. But yet we do survive and to some extent thrive. Because God knew we would severely mess up and soil the bed we have made for ourselves.
So just as with marriage or with the sciences, God’s creation allows for remarkable error by us. If we just get it close enough, which is in turn what is the most remarkable. God knew we would err and err greatly, but yet designed our world so that we could live in it in spite of our errors.
The societies we create are remarkably resilient to our errors, so likewise is it with all else that is practical in our lives. As long as the errors are not too great, we can survive them. We could probably even survive the benevolent designs of the Catholic intellectual class infatuated with their notions of distributism.