Monday, November 28, 2011

Will the Real Distributists Please Stand Up

From Distributist Review article Mondragon Revisited :
the Mondragon co-operatives offer an astonishingly successful alternative to the way we organise business and economies.

From an article on Mondragon :
At the end of 2009, Eroski was operating an extensive chain of almost 2,400 stores made up of 113 EROSKI hypermarkets, 1,063 EROSKI/center, Caprabo and EROSKI/city supermarkets, 224 branches of the EROSKI/viajes travel agency, 58 petrol stations, 40 Forum Sport stores, 289 IF perfume stores, 7 Abac leisure and culture outlets and 40 goods depots. In addition to this chain, there are 481 self-service franchise outlets. Moreover, in the south of France it has 4 hypermarkets, 16 supermarkets and 17 petrol stations and 4 perfume stores in Andorra.


OK, I got it; Mondragon with it's extensive chain of 2,400 stores is a good Distributist paradigm business model.

But - -

The Mondragon paradigm doesn't square with other Distributist articles at The Distributist Review such as :

From Distributist Review article The Guild System :
The Guild is the oldest, most necessary, most deeply rooted, of all human institutions. It has appeared in all civilizations which are at all stable, because it is necessary to stability. It has flourished especially at a time when our race was agreed upon a common religion and had a common high civilization.

From Distributist Review article Capitalist Monopolies vs Distributist Guilds :
Under Distributism, huge chain stores and franchises could not qualify for the local guilds; they would be replaced by smaller locally owned and managed stores which would have an incentive to support local farmers. The need for more local farms to provide for the needs of local cities would result in more farmers. The increase in local farmers and the lack of centralized corporate control over the business would mean more variety and more options. The same principle applies to manufacturing.

So I ask, Will the Real Distributists over at The Distributist Review Please Stand Up.

Or as I like to look at it, Mondragon with its worker owned chain stores represent the new paradigm shift in Catholic social thinking (pp 239 - 44) which came to the fore with Vatican II.

Mondragon is the if you can't beat em, then join em strategy of declare it a natural theological development and pretend it's all good. Somewhat like the natural theological development on usury where the sky's now the limit on the value of money lent because that same money can make absurd returns on the stock market, or on some other usurious investment. A circular argument to be sure, but who's looking? Just as who's looking, or more precisely, who's editing The Distributist Review?

Because the contradiction is just a bit obvious, and anyone with even a shred of common sense knows that Mondragon being a natural development from guilds is just nonsense, and is nothing more than distributists parading around without any clothes on in a vain attempt to look relevant.

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