Here is a definition of it from an interesting article on C.K. Chesterton and Dorothy Day, Catholic advocates. If Capitalism is Protestantism, and Socialism is Pantheism, then Distributism is the Catholic alternative.
The economic philosophy of both The Catholic Worker and Chesterton was distributism and at the heart of distributism is private property. The word distributism comes from the idea that a just social order can be achieved through a much more widespread distribution of property. Distributism means a society of owners. It means that property belongs to the many rather than the few. It is related to the idea of subsidiarity, emphasized in all papal encyclicals relating to social teaching and economics. Subsidiarity, in the words of the Quadragesimo Anno, means that "It is an injustice and at the same time a great evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social and never destroy and absorb them."
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