Big government and big business have used machinery to push us toward consolidation and a rather flat world of standardization. The problem is that big government and big business are both soulless. They are in revolt against the normal and the ordinary. "They are in revolt against the Citizen." They do not want the common man to have power.Let that last sentence of Chesterton's sink in: They are not willing to give him a house, or a wife, or a child, or a dog, or a cow, or a piece of land, because these things really do give him power. Since when has popular culture - so largely a product of Madison Avenue and slick advertising - employed by big business and (now) big government - said such things are "hip", "cool", or will lead to human happiness?They are willing to give him a vote, because they have long discovered that it need not give him any power. They are not willing to give him a house, or a wife, or a child, or a dog, or a cow, or a piece of land, because these things really do give him power. (Outline of Sanity, 208f)
To combat all this, says Chesterton, we need a moral movement. We have to be able to criticize ourselves. We have to be able to resist the tendencies toward consolidation. We have to resist monopolies. We have to resist endless and invasive bureaucracies. We have to resist the mentality that does not trust the common man to be able to take care of himself and his family.
Neither socialism nor big business proclaim the moral imperative of the gospel. Pope Leo XIII did that and inspired Hilaire Belloc, Chesterton, Father Vincent McNabb, E. F. Schumacher and a host of others to resist both as wrong-headed and wrong-spirited.
Do not sell Distributism - Subsidiarity - short. It is a call to sanity, human happiness, and ... much more. It is the Church's social teaching, it is definitive, and it is a path to human happiness in this world.