Monday, November 08, 2010

Baby steps towards thrift and wise living in a non-distributist world

A list I came across provides a helpful summary of “practical distributism” that may be implemented by families and individuals on a personal level. The list is below.

When I first published this post with the title "baby steps towards a distributist world", someone wisely pointed out that not one of these points is effective at bringing about distributism without systemic changes, requiring radical political work which no one yet knows how to effect. So I changed the title and removed the tag "distributism". I still love the list, maybe because I am at heart a bit of a hippy utopian and so it all looks like a lot of fun to practise, but I think chiefly because it tends to move us in the right direction, whether or not hippy frugality is our thing.

Connections: in a future post - perhaps, if I find the time and energy - thoughts on the life journey of Chris McCandless, thoughtfully portrayed in the film Into the Wild.

1) Create your own job.

2) If you cannot create your own job, join with others to create a cooperative or worker-owned business.

3) If you must work for a company, persuade it to allow you to telecommute.

4) Try to convert part-time employment for wages into a part-time consultancy.

5) Instead of putting all your eggs in one employment basket, ‘keep the day job’ while seeking to create multiple income streams using your own equipment and working with family members in home-based activities, preparing for the day when you can leave the corporate job behind.

6) Bank with a credit union.

7) Avoid corporation debt (borrow from credit unions); tear up your credit cards.

8) Patronize locally-owned stores, microenterprises, cooperatives, and worker-owned businesses.

9) Avoid sweatshop clothing and products.

10) Grow some of your own food.

11) Patronize a farmers’ market, or purchase food directly from farmers/producers.

12) Home school.

13) Avoid commoditized entertainment in favor entertainment such as local baseball, picnics, dances, social events, quilting bees, fairs, etc.

14) Start moving towards alternative, non-centrally generated power.

15) Shop at flea-markets, swap meets and garage sales.

16) Kill your TV, or at least grievously wound it (apologies for the violent language). If you have a TV, don't watch it - study it.

17) Make your own bread. Eat real food, and avoid like the plague the ersatz, mass-produced capitalist food that has ruined the health of millions, including children.

18) Bring forth life abundantly, trusting in God.

19) Breast-feed your babies.

20) Practice the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. The crisis of our civilization is a crisis in virtue.

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