A Possible Way Forward In An Age Of Institutional Fragmentation

Alan Jacobs at The Hedgehog Review:

The Distributists of a century ago, like their great predecessors John Ruskin and William Morris, were aware of the danger that a subsidiarist devolution into smallholdings could have an atomizing effect on society. They thought that one means by which to counteract this tendency was to encourage the renewal of the ancient guild system. The best-known exponent of this idea was Arthur Penty, who in 1906 published a book called The Restoration of the Guild System. (Excerpt here, full text here.) Penty thought that the then-rising trade union movement could lay the foundation for a new set of guilds—one of many examples of the ways in which it can be difficult to label these alternative economic orders as either Left or Right in political orientation. The best-known example of an anarcho-syndicalist system, the Mondragon Corporation in the Basque region of Spain, was founded by a Catholic priest, José María Arizmendiarrieta, whose intellectual sources were much the same as those of the famously right-wing Chesterton and Belloc.

more here.