Making A Difference – Page 9

I hope to see the prosperity of this country return. It was a swell ride while it lasted, even with those things that sometimes went wrong. I look back at the complaints (some valid, some not) we made in those days about the workplace when – most people still had a workplace. – Still, the money bought a lot of good stuff once we got off work. Now for many the workplace is gone and so is the good stuff and many of the stores and other businesses in which we bought the good stuff are gone. – Many are asking,”What now?”

Victory in this time of crisis may call for a new economic system called DISTRIBUTISM.  G.K. Chesterton(1879-1936) posited DISTRIBUTISM by which the means of production are spread as widely as possible among the general populace rather than centralized under the state (Socialism) or under the wealthy (the current form of Capitalism).

Individuals or families would own their own businesses, sometimes (but now necessarily) within financially independent cooperatives. The credit union would be favored over the bank.

This is productive property (property and tools with which to do business). It is not distribution of wealth as in Socialism. It gives those willing to use their god-given abilities well to flourish, reaping the full reward of their labor. Each individual is permitted to create a thing of value in hisown image, just as he is created in God’s image.

I recall those decades of working for corporations in which I felt gutted. I worked hard, but without a sense of self-worth or validation, or hope. The vision I had once had as a commercial artist was gone. I became a plodder doing time on the rock. All the talent and education was there, but subordinated to and harnessed by the company machine.

As a woman I was turned down for even applying for an art director’s position early in my career. As a handicapped person I was turned down for an art director’s position late in my career on the assumption that I would not be able to negotiate the steps. I discovered why I was turned down through a friend some time after I applied. I had never been asked if the steps were a problem. As I look back, I don’t recall being asked very much at all.  

Of course, even with corporate woes, there were perks and a sense of security (even if it was a false one). Being an entrepreneur  requires hard work without supervision or excuses, scrupulous self-control, responsibility, courage, endurance.

With DISTRIBUTISM, The corporate world many of us hate for its abuses would also not be there to fall back on for insurance, retirement income, paid sick leave, paid vacations, coffee breaks, fudging on time sheets, theft of pencils and time when nobody is looking and a lot of other slouchy stuff. It would be do or die and that’s scary – but kind of exciting too.

I think we must keep up with what our government is doing for us or to us and raise our voices in protest when they get off track – which is most of the time. – Still, I believe we must also look at ourselves realistically. Have we wanted to rely on our place of work or on the government or both for our security (or blame) instead of looking within ourselves for flaws that require correction. How would we manage in the DISTRIBUTIST system (whether we chose it or had it thrust upon us)?

I posit that the time to take stock of ourselves is now. I am concerned that we may need to prepare ourselves for a “change” we had not planned on and for which we did not vote (even we thought we were).

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