Anarchist Social Democracy

Critical Rationalism, Darwinism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarchism, Libertarian Municipalism, Mutualism, Fabian Socialism, Social Democracy, Georgism, Voluntaryism

The Archived Anarcho-Distributist Webpage

I no longer hold to the views that I espoused at the time of writing the articles published on the original Anarcho-Distributist page (published between 2008 and 2016). However, I have chosen to keep them available so that people can see the logical progression and development of my thought. Below is a rough reproduction of the content of that original site. My articles from that period are provided in links at the bottom of the page.

The Anarcho-Distributist

       

This website is devoted to my own views on politics and economics, with some departures into metaphysics and epistemology. My views have changed a lot over time. I have been heavily influenced by a wide variety of ideas and I currently have a very syncretic and eclectic outlook. At one point, I identified as a Vaishnavite, read the Bhagavad-Gita and studied Indian mythology in depth. Then I discovered Judaism and a Judaized version of Christianity. Then I turned to Christianity, under the influence of C. S. Lewis and Cornelius van Til. For a while I leaned towards Anglican Protestantism, then towards Roman Catholicism, which I studied in depth. Then, after studying John Romanides, Gregory Palamas, Photius, Augustine, and others, I turned to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Ultimately, I lost faith, fell into nihilism, clung to certain ideas from Vaishnavism to bring me back from the depths of nihility, and then discovered the ideas of skepticism, para-consistent logic, and dialetheism. I constantly struggled to build up a consistent worldview, until I came to the realization that no such thing is possible. The problems of epistemology are insoluble in the nature of the case. Man is a finite being and the nature of the problem is such that it cannot be answered from a finite perspective.

For a while, I fell under the influence of Valentinian and Marcionite Gnosticism. Like Frank Schaeffer, I found myself in a curious state of simultaneous belief and disbelief. I still looked to religion, but not as a worldview (Weltanschauung) but as an orientation (blik). I basically held to a loosely Vaishnavite/Christian blik, affirming the equal ultimacy of the one and the many—i.e. affirming the essential harmony of the general and the particular, or of the concrete and the universal. I also followed Nikolai Berdyaev and Rabindranath Tagore in affirming personalism. Additionally, there was a heavy atheistic current running through my thought. I didn’t see this atheism as opposing theism—I saw it as a truth of apophatics.This phase, too, came to pass.

Currently, I hold to a philosophical perspective that incorporates the ideas of Hilary Putnam, Karl Popper, Robert Anton Wilson, and Peter Kakol.

On my intellectual journey, I have went from advocating welfare-statism to being a neo-conservative, then to being a Hayekian “minarchist,” then to libertarianism (voluntaryism), distributism, and finally anarchism. My views on politics draw on classical liberalism, mutualism, individualist anarchism, communist anarchism, distributism and the anthropological anarchism of David Graeber.

I’m an activist with Food Not Bombs and Food Not Lawns, two of the most revolutionary movements in the modern world. I’ve also got an interest in permaculture, freeganism, and the Emergent Church movement.
 

What is anarcho-distributism?

I got interested in the idea of “distributarianism” after reading some stuff by Joe Hargrave (a traditionalist Roman Catholic). The term “distributarian” was used as a pejorative to describe his political views. “Distributarian” is short for “libertarian distributism,” a mixture of libertarian and distributist ideas. I have never been a disciple of Hargrave’s, nor have I been in agreement with him on much. From the outset of my exploration of “libertarian distributism,” I was already decidedly an anarchist. So Hargrave can’t be credited much with influencing my ideas, apart from the fact that he pointed me in a certain direction.

Libertarianism is the notion that men ought to be granted the greatest degree of liberty possible: it is the idea that man's freedom should only be limited insofar as he shall be restricted from violating the freedom and rights of others. Carried to its logical conclusion, libertarianism is anarchism. There are two ethical mottos in libertarian thought: the Law of Equal Liberty and the Non-Aggression Principle. The Law of Equal Liberty comes from Herbert Spencer and states that “each man should have the liberty to do whatsoever he wants, as long as his liberty does not infringe upon the equal liberty of others.” The Non-Aggression Principle comes from Auberon Herbert and states that “no man has the right to initiate aggression against another person—the only time aggression is justifiable is if it is defensive (responsive rather than initiative aggression).”  

Distributism or distributivism is a Christian social philosophy, which holds that "land" (or the means of production) ought to be as widely distributed as possible. It holds that a society should not be dominated by a few wealthy capitalists, but that most people in society ought to be capitalists. As G. K. Chesterton, one of the founders of distributism, put it: "The problem with Capitalism is not too many capitalists, but too few capitalists."

My own political philosophy is a fusion of libertarianism and distributism. The classical distributists were mainly Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic advocates of distributism, like G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, advocated the use of coercive government intervention in order to force a redistribution of the means of production, thereby bringing about distributive justice. Unlike Chesterton and Belloc, I do not believe in Roman Catholicism with its centralized and statist approach to everything. I believed (before becoming an atheist) in Eastern Orthodoxy. The use of coercion to achieve political goals is incompatible with the entire spirit of Eastern Christendom. Anarcho-distributism is the result of my endeavor to discover a political philosophy in line with the spirit of the Eastern Church Fathers (a spirit which I believe to be very much in accord with the spirit of Vaishnavism that we find in Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi). I have lost faith in the religious perspectives that I formerly looked to as the basis of the meta-ethical worldview at the center of my political ethics/philosophy. Since that time, I have come to find an atheistic basis for objective and universal ethics, leaving my political views pretty much unchanged. 

I am a libertarian, a distributist, a mutualist, and an anarcho-communist (à la Peter Kropotkin and David Graeber). More precisely, I am an anarchist in general, with a particular perspective about how an anarchist society might be achieved. I envision a gradual revolution whereby we transition from capitalism to distributism, where things become more local and power shifts downwards according to the principle of subsidiarity. Actively seeking to decentralize political and economic power is the first step. After attaining distributism, I think that voluntaryism (voluntary government) is the next goal, a reduction of the power of government to the point that compulsory taxation and enforced monopoly of police/military services are abolished. Once we arrive at voluntaryism, the government will “wither away” and cease to exist. Once the State becomes voluntaryist and allows free competition in defense/security services, it is only a matter of time until market forces reduce “the government” to the status of being just another competitive firm on the free market. Following the wholesale abolition of the State, I expect to see the revival of the “gift economy” and more non-monetary and communal economic arrangements on a non-market basis. Nevertheless, I wish to see the market preserved as a beneficial distribution mechanism for luxury items.