Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891–1966
Paperback | Apr 2017 | Monash University Publishing | 9781925495331 | 400pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$34.95, NZD$39.99
This book arises from the author's half a century and more of political and public policy involvement. It's a response to evidence of a precipitous decline in active citizenship, resulting from a loss of confidence in politics, politicians, parties and parliamentary democracy; the rise of 'lying for hire' lobbyism; increasing concentration of capital in the hands of a wealthy few; and corporate wrong-doing and criminality. It questions whether political democracy can survive indefinitely in the absence of economic democracy – of labour hiring capital rather than capital labour. It highlights the potential of the social teachings of the Catholic Church and the now largely forgotten Distributist political philosophy and program that originated from them as a means of bringing about a more equal, just and genuinely democratic social order. It describes and evaluates Australian attempts to give effect to Distributism, with special reference to Victoria. It documents as grounds for hope the support and advocacy of Pope Francis, and ownership by some 83,000 workers of the Mondragon co-operatives in Spain.