Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Distributism for Africa

It is sometimes said that the social philosophy of Distributism cannot easily be applied or implemented in complex, developed economies. Let us accept this point, for the moment and for the sake of argument. It does rather imply, however, that Distributism might well be eminently applicable – and beneficial – within a "less developed" society, and the vast, largely rural economies of Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia, come to mind.

Some years ago, John Kanu, a bright student at Plater College in Oxford, who later went on to obtain a degree from Oxford University, conceived the idea – while sitting in the G.K. Chesterton Library learning about Distributism – of going back to his homeland of Sierra Leone (one of the poorest countries in the world, thanks to a long and devastating civil war) and setting up a Chesterton Centre there that would contribute to its economic and spiritual recovery.

He would help train people to farm the land, and educate them to understand that self-sufficiency is the key to economic recovery. He would work with government and NGOs and local chiefs to find ways of building local community and distributing resources and responsibilities more widely. And he did just that. The details of what he has achieved and photographs of some of the work of the Sierra Leone Chesterton Centre can be found on our web-site.

John still needs prayers and support, but he has shown himself a capable and inspiring leader, and we are happy to be associated with his work even in a small way.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Distributists are staunchly opposed to Socialism. In fact, their contention was that the economic centralization (oligarchy) that naturally results from Capitalism is the Golden Brick Road to Socialism. You must brush up on your history here. Guilds setting prices and wages were the way of the day for centuries. This is true even of the wealthiest nations! The economic oligarchy we have now is politicized. The decentralization of associations based on vocation would make this much harder.Thank alot............
    Stream Africa