From the article that led me to the Onion spoof I posted yesterday, a more serious look at how to bring about change:
How could distributism come about as an economic system?John Searle, philosophy professor at UC Berkeley since 1959, has witnessed a fair number of protests. I’m going to ineloquently paraphrase him on how you create your own social institutions:
“You just do it. If you want to start a new social institution you and enough other people just start living it, as though the old institution were no longer there, and your new institution is just how things are.”
In other words, if you don’t like oligarchic capitalism with its exploitative banks and other practices, just set up new, or support already-existing alternative social institutions and go with them. Divest from the old banks. Join a credit union. Divest from the old business structures everywhere. Support or start your own small business. Anything you reject on moral grounds, really reject it! To get it to work, all you need are enough people to accept the new reality. (And a government willing to give you a fair playing-field… and that is another issue…)
Now this is easier for some things and harder for others. So start small: you can shop at the local small store or cooperative store. You can move your money to a credit union. You can support local agriculture.
These are tiny steps, but taken together they can change the economy. You may object that it costs more to shop at a small local store than the local big-box store. And you may be right and you may not be able to afford it. Just do what you can.
The financial system which we are a part of is only a reality if we all choose to agree that it is. We can choose otherwise.