Friday, 1 February 2008

Distributism, Real Hope or Blairite Spin?


If politics is a strange world, then Nationalism is even stranger

In recent times I have read pieces praising Distributism in papers as diverse as those linked with ex-C18 groups and in BNP journals. More than that, the groups in question regard themselves as Distributist.

It's funny how things have changed.

There was one (relatively new) local BNP treasurer who after one of the regular friendly meet-ups at someone's home between local nationalists dismissed me as "a Communist" because I had espoused Distributism. This was back in the early 80s and the chap in question was regarded by most us as a Tory moving towards nationalism...

But move to today and we have a situation where a myriad of groups would say they are Distributist.

This raises a few interesting points.

Point 1. The Impact of the "Political Soldiers."

There is no doubt that, as chaotic, shambolic and riven with personalities as the late 80s were, the ideological impact of the NF radicals from 1983 - 1989 has been immense.

Despite the fact that some dismiss the 80s (I saw one history of the NF - albeit written by today's NF and so taking the perspective of the "Flag Group" NF - which dismissed the 80s as a decade of no growth) ideologically they were very important.

Despite some mistakes and meanderings, there is little doubt that the radical initiatives of the NF 'Political Soldiers' gave nationalism some hope for the future beyond right-wing conservatism or uniform fetishists.

Furthermore, the claiming of Distributism gave the NF - and nationalism per se - a quintessentially British heritage as opposed to defending an unjust economic system and looking like a CIA front group or grabbing at "foreign" ideologies which were politically suicidal.

Point 2. What is Distributism?

The other vital aspect of this move by most groups towards Distributism is whether they are really Distributist - and do they know what Distributism actually is?

In other words, are they paying lip service to appear "radical" whilst merely being conservative capitalists or isolationist socialists.

One way to tell is to look at various book services. You'll find books by those defending Capitalism attacking the EU, you'll find books extolling isolationism what you will be hard pressed to find - and this is the most bizarre thing for those who claim to be Distributist - is a good range of Distributist books, many of which are now available following a great deal of if interest in Distributism both sides of the Atlantic, as well as both sides of the English Channel.

Speak to any nationalists at a meeting, at a social or at a concert and most have no idea of what Distributism is, what it means, its implications or whether their group - if they belong to one - is Distributist.

Surely if the groups out there who claim to be Distributist actually sold books on it, published more about it, trained activists in it and actually extolled it in practice they might gain the respect of more people.

It is all very well to appear "Nationalist" or "radical" or "alternative" by paying lip service every once in a while, but if your booklist is crammed full of kosher right-wing authors or people who want to tinker with the workings of the Capitalist system - then your Distributist stance is nothing but a lie: a pretence.

It starts looking a bit murky, a bit too much like spin instead of substance. If nationalists claim to be Distributists without knowing what it is, or whilst in fact being Conservative Capitalists then it smacks of Tony Blair's "Socialism" when everyone knew he was in the pockets of big business (and has now been rewarded by the banksters).

Point 3. The Next Step.

So what next?

Should we hope for a renewed interest in Distributism?

As nationalism becomes grubbier and we start to see splits and upheaval in the BNP might we witness another decade of chaos and change? Another time for a movement akin to the "Political Soldiers" of the 80s who will deliver more radical policies to oppose the corruption and sleaze of Westminster?

As the banking system stumbles and people lose their homes (whilst the big businesses still report huge profits) might a renewed promotion of a real change, a real difference and real freedom - that is Distributism - bring renewed hope to our people?

Point 4. The Essential Issue.

If that is ever to happen, and we are to show our people that we are the ones to deliver Social Justice as well as National Freedom, on top of Safe Communities coupled with Individual Responsibility, then it is vital that we are seen to be Distributists!

Lip service to the ideal will not suffice. Anyone can do that! Anyone can do a "Tony Blair."

As well as real answers to the debt crisis, to the immigration crisis and to the family breakdown crisis; we must be seen to believe.

Distributism isn't a dust-ladden reference book bought just to look good in between Das Kapital and The Wealth of Nations.

Distributism isn't like a Coronation mug to be brought out on special occasions, talked about with a chunk of nostalgia and then put back in the display cabinet.

Distributism isn't like your younger skinhead cousin who you introduce to people to show you're still "one of the lads" though your lack of hair isn't a fashion-choice and you leave him behind when you go for a drink with business contacts.

If we (and I say we as all these people claim to be Distributists) are Distributists then we must read about it, we must understand it, we must promote it, and we must do all we can to ensure that the Nationalist cause is a Distributist cause.

To do otherwise is to betray our movement and betray our people, all of whom deserve better.


Link: Buy Distributist books from FC

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