‘Small is beautiful’ - links

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Small is beautiful / localism / alternatives to corporations

Adbusters satirising corporate advertising
Center for Economic & Social Justice promoting equal opportunities to capital ownership for every person; lots of interesting ideas and articles
Competition / Anti-trust law legislation to prevent or break up monopolies
Emilia Romagna region of Italy with an economy based on small businesses and 8000 co-operatives
Front Porch Republic blog with several contributors and a ‘smallist’ slant
Mondragon how small businesses and co-operatives can network to constitute a large portion of the economy – in this case in the Basque Country
Practical Action formerly the Intermediate Technology Development Group, founded by E.F. Schumacher to promote small businesses in developing countries
Reconomy Great project to promote small businesses from the Transition Network
Res Publica think tank with a ‘small is beautiful’ slant
Schumacher Center essay on the relevance of E. F. Schumacher in the 21st century
Schumacher Institute challenging the ‘ever remoter structures of political governance and corporate power’


Basics of Distributism on David Cooney’s ‘Practical Distributism’ blog
Catholic Worker Movement founded in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, it opposes the unequal distribution of wealth in the world
The Chesterbelloc Mandate blog with lots of interesting articles
The Distributism Debate pdf containing pro- and anti- articles
Distributist Review bank of distributist articles
An Introduction to Distributism article on the ‘Chesterbelloc Mandate’ blog
P2P Foundation wiki on distributism – fascinating stuff
Society for Distributism aka the American Chesterton Society
Thomas Storck list of articles by contemporary distributist thinker
Wikipedia distributism – includes explanation plus history

Key personalities

Arizmendiarrieta, Jose Maria 1915-1976; Basque priest who founded the Mondragon movement
Belloc, Hilaire 1870-1953; Anglo-French writer & historian, collaborated with G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton, Cecil 1879-1918; English writer – younger brother of G. K. Considered the theorist of the distributists
Chesterton, G. K. 1874-1936; English writer – see the fantastic list of articles at the bottom
Cobbett, William 1763-1835; English farmer, writer and agrarian campaigner
Day, Dorothy 1897-1980; American activist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933 with Peter Maurin
Jacobs, Jane 1916-2006; American-Canadian activist and writer who promoted localism and opposed the corporate takeover of cities
Maurin, Peter 1877-1949; American activist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933 with Peter Maurin
Morris, William 1834-1896; English artist, writer and leader of the Arts & Crafts Movement
Penty, Arthur 1875-1937; English writer on guild socialism and distributism; promoted guilds
Pope Leo XIII 1810-1903; issued the Quadragesimo Anno – see below
Pope Pius XI 1857-1939; issued the Rerum Novarum – see below
Ruskin, John 1819-1900; English art and social critic
Sayers, Dorothy L. 1893-1957; English novelist, her social and economic writings have a distributist slant
Schumacher, E. F. (Fritz) 1911-1977; German economist and author of ‘Small is Beautiful’

Seminal texts – in date order

Rerum Novarum 1891: statement by Pope Leo XIII that criticised communism and unrestricted capitalism and stressed the need to spread the ownership of property thinly
Fields, Factories & Workshops 1901: book by Peter Kropotkin advocating local production / consumption, and co-operation
What’s Wrong with the World 1910: book by G. K. Chesterton
the Servile State 1912: book by G. K. Chesterton (usury is the lending of money for interest); link to the book at bottom of page
Utopia of Usurers 1917: book by G. K. Chesterton (usury is the lending of money for interest)
the Outline of Sanity 1927: essay by G. K. Chesterton
Do We Agree? 1928: cracking debate in 1928 between Chesterton and G. B. Shaw. Chesterton turned out to be right
Quadragesimo Anno 1931: in the 40th year (i.e. 40 years after the Rerum Novarum); calls for principles of solidarity and subsidiarity

‘Small is beautiful’ Resources

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