By David Gibson, Religion News Service in Huffington Post
Can an Anglican theologian from Britain revive an 80-year-old Catholic social justice theory and provide a solution to America's economic woes and political polarization?
Philosopher and political thinker Phillip Blond thinks so, and he's giving it everything he's got.
Blond, who has been a counselor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, just wrapped up a two-week U.S. tour to pitch his retooled version of "distributism," a theory that argues that both capitalism and government are out of control.
In that sense, the thinking goes, both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are right.
"What we are creating in our society is a new model of serfdom," Blond declared Friday (Oct. 14) in a lecture at New York University. "The rhetoric of free markets has not produced free markets; it has produced closed markets," and the nation's "social capital" is declining, leaving behind isolated individuals and fractured families who must depend on Washington for support.
With a flurry of charts, Blond graphically demonstrated the breakdown of both social norms and the family unit -- and the growth of government to address those ills -- as well as the dominance of corporations and the rich in the current economy.
It's a result of an "oscillation between extreme collectivism and extreme individualism," Blond argued. Both are manifestations of the same impulse: a concentration of power first in the state and then in the markets. And both those liberal and conservative "orthodoxies" have led to the same society-destroying outcome.
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