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Anarcho-Distributism is an economically syncretic, culturally ambiguous, civically anarchist ideology that promotes pacifism, distributism, and anarchy.


A important part of Andist's history is the Catholic Workers Movement. Founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, they created a newspaper to radicalize (or spread awareness) and help people, they started sick and poor houses called "Houses of Hospitality" which fed and healed people (the one in Saint Louis would feed 4000 people daily), started Catholic communes, and started volunteer farms.


Dorothy Day

Charity and poverty

Day struggled to write about poverty most of her life. She admired America's efforts to take responsibility through the government, but ultimately felt that charitable works were personal decisions that needed the warmth of an individual.

Day also denounced sins against the poor. She said that "depriving the laborer" was a deadly sin, using similar language to the Epistle of James in the Bible. She also said that advertising men were sinners ("woe to that generation") because they made the poor "willing to sell [their] liberty and honor" to satisfy "paltry desires".

Social Security opposition

Day was opposed to Social Security. In the Catholic Worker, February 1945, she wrote:

Samuel Johnson said that a pensioner was a slave of the state. That is his definition in his famous dictionary. Of course, he himself was glad of his pension, human nature being what it is, and poverty being hard as it is. We believe that social security legislation, now billed as a great victory for the poor and for the worker, is a great defeat for Christianity. It is an acceptance of the idea of force and compulsion. It is an acceptance of Cain's statement on the part of the employer. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Since the employer can never be trusted to give a family wage, nor take care of the worker as he takes care of his machine when it is idle, the state must enter in and compel help on his part. Of course, economists say that business cannot afford to act on Christian principles. It is impractical, uneconomic. But it is generally coming to be accepted that such a degree of centralization as ours is impractical and that there must be decentralization. In other words, business has made a mess of things, and the state has had to enter in to rescue the worker from starvation.

All men are brothers

In the Catholic Worker in May 1951, Day wrote that Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse-Tung "were animated by the love of brother and this we must believe though their ends meant the seizure of power, and the building of mighty armies, the compulsion of concentration camps, the forced labor and torture and killing of tens of thousands, even millions." She used them as examples because she insisted that the belief that "all men are brothers" required the Catholic to find the humanity in everyone without exception. She explained that she understood the jarring impact of such an assertion:

Peter Maurin was constantly restating our position and finding authorities from all faiths, and races, all authorities. He used to embarrass us sometimes by dragging in Marshall Petain and Fr. Coughlin and citing something good they had said, even when we were combating the point of view they were representing. Just as we shock people by quoting Marx, Lenin, Mao-Tse-Tung, or Ramakrishna to restate the case for our common humanity, the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.

In 1970, Day emulated Maurin when she wrote:

The two words [anarchist-pacifist] should go together, especially at this time when more and more people, even priests, are turning to violence and are finding their heroes in Camillo Torres among the priests, and Che Guevara among laymen. The attraction is strong because both men literally laid down their lives for their brothers. "Greater love hath no man than this." "Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love." Che Guevara wrote this, and he is quoted by Chicano youth in El Grito Del Norte.

Sympathy and identification with anarchists

Day encountered anarchism while studying in the university. She read The Bomb by Frank Harris, a fictionalized biography of one of the Haymarket anarchists. She discussed anarchy and extreme poverty with Peter Kropotkin. After moving to New York, Day studied the anarchism of Emma Goldman and attended the Anarchists Ball at Webster Hall. Day was saddened by the executions of the anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927. She wrote that when they died, "All the nation mourned." As a Catholic, she felt a sense of solidarity with them, specifically "the very sense of solidarity which made me gradually understand the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ whereby we are all members of one another."

Discussing the term anarchism, she wrote: "We ourselves have never hesitated to use the word. Some prefer personalism. But Peter Maurin came to me with Kropotkin in one pocket and St. Francis in the other!" Day's anarchist, distributist economic views are similar to the anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's mutualist economic theory, by whom she was influenced. The influence of anarchists, such as Proudhon and Peter Kropotkin, also led her to label herself an anarchist. Dorothy states: "An anarchist then as I am now, I have never used the vote that the women won by their demonstrations before the White House during that period."

Day explained that anarchists accepted her as someone who shared the values of their movement "because I have been behind bars in police stations, houses of detention, jails and prison farms, ...eleven times, and have refused to pay Federal income taxes and have never voted", but were puzzled by what they saw as her "faith in the monolithic, authoritarian Church." She reversed the viewpoint and ignored their professions of atheism. She wrote: "I, in turn, can see Christ in them even though they deny Him because they are giving themselves to working for a better social order for the wretched of the earth."

Sympathy with communists

In the first years of the Catholic Worker, Day provided a clear statement of how her individualism contrasted with communism:

We believe in widespread private property, the de-proletarianizing of our American people. We believe in the individual owning the means of production, the land, and his tools. We are opposed to the "finance capitalism" so justly criticized and condemned by Karl Marx, but we believe there can be a Christian capitalism as there can be a Christian Communism.

She also stated: "To labor is to pray – that is the central point of the Christian doctrine of work. Hence it is that while both Communism and Christianity are moved by 'compassion for the multitude,' the object of communism is to make the poor richer, but the object of Christianity is to make the rich poor and the poor holy."

In November 1949, in the course of explaining why she had protested the recent denial of bail to several Communists, she wrote: "[L]et it be remembered that I speak as an ex-Communist and one who has not testified before Congressional Committees, nor written works on the Communist conspiracy. I can say with warmth that I loved the people I worked with and learned much from them. They helped me to find God in His poor, in His abandoned ones, as I had not found Him in Christian churches." She identified points on which she agreed with the communists: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and the "withering away of the State". Others she added with qualifications: "the communal aspect of property as stressed by the early Christians." And she identified differences: "we disagree over and over again with the means chosen to reach their ends." She agreed that "Class war is a fact, and one does not need to advocate it," but posed the question of how to respond:

The Communists point to it as forced upon them and say that when it comes, they will take part in it, and in their plans, they want to prepare the ground and win as many as possible to their point of view and for their side. And where will we be on that day? …We will inevitably be forced to be on their side, physically speaking. But when it comes to activity, we will be pacifists, I hope and pray, non-violent resisters of aggression, from whomever it comes, resisters to repression, coercion, from whatever side it comes, and our activity will be the works of mercy. Our arms will be the love of God and our brother.

Regarding Fidel Castro's Cuba, she wrote in July 1961: "We are on the side of the revolution. We believe there must be new concepts of property, which is proper to man, and that the new concept is not so new. There is a Christian communism and a Christian capitalism. …We believe in farming communes and cooperatives and will be happy to see how they work out in Cuba. …God bless Castro and all those who are seeing Christ in the poor. God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers, they love God even though they deny Him."It was only in December 1961, after the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April of that year, that Castro, who had repeatedly repudiated communism in the past, openly declared that his movement was not simply socialist, but communist.

Catholic Church property

Bill Kauffman of The American Conservative wrote in 2011 of Day: "She understood that if small is not always beautiful, at least it is always human."

Day's belief in smallness also applied to the property of others, including the Catholic Church, as when she wrote: "Fortunately, the Papal States were wrested from the Church in the last century, but there is still the problem of investment of papal funds. It is always a cheering thought to me that if we have goodwill and are still unable to find remedies for the economic abuses of our time, in our family, our parish, and the mighty church as a whole, God will take matters in hand and do the job for us. When I saw the Garibaldi mountains in British Columbia… I said a prayer for his soul and blessed him for being the instrument of so mighty a work of God. May God use us!"

Jesuit priest Daniel Lyons "called Day 'an apostle of pious oversimplification.' He said that the Catholic Worker 'often distorted beyond recognition' the position of the Popes".

Catholic orthodoxy

Day wrote in one of her memoirs: "I had a conversation with John Spivak, the Communist writer, a few years ago, and he said to me, "How can you believe? How can you believe in the Immaculate Conception, in the Virgin birth, in the Resurrection?" I could only say that I believe in the Roman Catholic Church and all she teaches. I have accepted Her authority with my whole heart. At the same time, I want to point out to you that we are taught to pray for final perseverance. We are taught that faith is a gift, and sometimes I wonder why some have it, and some do not. I feel my own unworthiness and can never be grateful enough to God for His gift of faith."

Day's commitment to Church discipline is illustrated by an encounter with Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., while on a Catholic Worker farm in New York. Berrigan was about to celebrate Mass for the community vested only in a stole. Day insisted that he put on the proper vestments before he began. When Berrigan complained about the law regarding liturgical vesture, Day responded, "On this farm, we obey the laws of the Church." He relented and celebrated the Mass fully vested.

The laity

In response to press coverage in 1964 of an ongoing dispute between Cardinal James McIntyre of Los Angeles and some of his priests, who criticized him for a lack of leadership on civil rights, Day authored an essay on the laity's responsibility to act independently of the church hierarchy. When the Catholic Worker during World War II, she wrote, took a pacifist stance, "Bishop McIntyre merely commented… 'We never studied these things much in the seminary'… adding doubtfully, 'There is the necessity of course to inform one's conscience.'" For that attitude, Day added, "our shepherds are to be reproached, that they have not fed their sheep these strong meats… capable of overcoming all obstacles in their advance to that kind of society where it easier to be good." She instructed her readers: "Let Catholics form their associations, hold their meetings in their own homes, or in a hired hall, or any place else. Nothing should stop them. Let the controversy come out into the open in this way."

Sexual morality

In September 1963, Day discussed pre-marital sex in her column, warning against those who portrayed it as a form of freedom: "The wisdom of the flesh is treacherous indeed." She described herself as "a woman who must think in terms of the family, the need of the child to have both mother and father, who believes strongly that the home is the unit of society" and wrote that:

"When sex is treated lightly, as a means of pleasure… it takes on the quality of the demonic, and to descend into this blackness is to have a foretaste of hell. …There is no such thing as seeing how far one can go without being caught, or how far one can go without committing mortal sin."

In 1968, Day wrote again about sex – this time in her diary – in response to the criticisms of Stanley Vishnewski (and other coworkers at the Tivoli farm) that she had "no power" over marijuana smoking "or sexual promiscuity, or solitary sins." The situation continued to remain a problem, as Day also documented in her diary:

For some weeks now, my problem is this: What to do about the open immorality (and of course, I mean sexual morality) in our midst. It is like the last times – there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. But when things become a matter for open discussion, what about example set, that most powerful of all teachers. We have with us now a beautiful woman with children whose husband has taken up with a seventeen-year-old, is divorcing her and starting on a new marriage. She comes to us as to a refuge whereby working for others in our community of fifty or more, she can forget once in a while her human misery. …We have one young one, drunken, promiscuous, pretty as a picture, college-educated, mischievous, able to talk her way out of any situation – so far. She comes to us when she is drunk and beaten and hungry and cold and when she is taken in, she is liable to crawl into the bed of any man on the place. We do not know how many she has slept with on the farm. What to do? What to do?

Personality and Behavior

  • She is a pacifist and is very peaceful
  • She is very friendly to feminists and is seen hanging out with other feminists
  • She is a civil rights activist (she supports equality and rights for minorities)
  • She hangs out with her siblings yet has a rivalry with her brother Monarcho-Distributism

How to Draw

Flag of Anarcho-Distributism

The Anarcho-Distributism flag is based on the design by u/DarkLordFluffyBoots

  1. Make the left half of the ball black.
  2. Fill the top half of the other half orange.
  3. Fill the bottom half white.
  4. In the white part draw the hound of saint dominic in orange
  5. Draw a star where on the orange/black interception with inverted colors
  6. Draw a light black, orange and white bowtie in that order
  7. Draw the right eye and you're done!
Color Name HEX RGB
Orange #FE6A00 254, 106, 0
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
Black #202020 32, 32, 32




  • Post-Leftism - Lazy atheist, but anarchy is based.
  • Monarcho-Distributism - You might be a statist but you're still my brother.
  • Distributist Libertarianism - Austrian economics? Really? You're the distributist closest to me on the civic axis, however, which is based.
  • Christian Democracy - You’re religious like me, but you’re still a statist. Let’s go all the way.
  • Proutism - Pros: Spiritual, similar economics, and decentralized governance. Cons: Not willing to abolish the state and you support a world government, while I don’t. At least you’re not an authoritarian, I guess?
  • Anarcho-Communism - Dorothy was a good friend of Kropotkin and we have many points in common. Still, I would appreciate it if you would put aside your atheism and know that not all private property is bad.


  • Authoritarian Capitalism - You are awful.
  • Insurrectionary Anarchism - You not only are very violent, too much individualist but also you want to burn churches!
  • Anarcho-Nihilism - Same as above, equally violent and even more wacky.
  • Neoconservatism - If you really cared about being a bringer of democracy, then you’d lead by example by being a humanitarian at home and abroad, not by going on these needless military adventures or starting coups against democratically elected governments.
  • Marxism-Leninism - You’re not any better than the above!
  • State Atheism - Normally, I am against advocating for acts of violence against people, even if I disagree with their beliefs. But you know what? For the people that have died and/or suffered because of you, I’m going to take a page out of his playbook.

Further Information