Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

I am throwing out an idea for a new economic order based on an idea that arose out of the Spanish Civil War (the "diesel punk" part).   This is the notion of merging the best of capitalism and socialism into a viable economic system based on cooperatives.   Yes, they aren't new but Mondragon Corp. that formed out the Basque region of Spain in 1955 ('Atom Punk"?) seems to be going strong and spreading world wide.   It is hailed as an example of Distributism as championed by G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.   Admittedly, this introduces a little "Dieselpunk theology" here as Distributism originated out of Catholic Social Justice circles but the principals can be agreed upon by religious and secular people alike.  

Here are some sources on Mondragon: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-19213425



Discuss amongst yourselves!


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"Third Way" economics that encorporate both Capitalist and Socialist ideas to some hybrid degree were popular in the Diesel Era and are seeing somewhat of a resurgence. Larry once blogged about a similar Diesel-Era concept of "Mutualism".  The "Corporatist" economic model from Fascism also claimed to be a syndicalism-inspired "third way", though it ended up being more Crony Capitalism clumsily mated with a megalithic stovepiped bureaucracy that attempted some degree of central control, but which ended up as outright Plutocracy. Another hybrid that flirted with Fascist "third way" economics was Peronism in Argentina in the Atomic Era (YMMV on how much of this was sucessful and how much it was just gross populism shielding plutocracy; they're STILL debating this one!).

More recent attempts are showing up here in the US among some of the "Blue Dog" Democrats in the US, who favor a lightly regulated free market economy healthy enough to support a mild welfare state and conversely attempts by some Republicans to develop more private, market-centered alternatives to classic welfare (ironically, such an idea developed by Republican think tanks in the 90s for a subsidised private health care alternative to the Clinton-favored state health care grew into the "Obamacare" that the Republicans hate so much at the moment!). Other ideas are privitization of welfare or social security or other big redistribution programs. There's also an interesting and ironically "big government" type push by Sen. Marco Rubio (R) to replace the Minimum Wage with a Federal "wage subsidy"; e.g. the Gov't "tops up" low wages to an inflation-indexed minimum threshold with tax $, allowing business owners to keep payrolls small but giving the workers higher effective wages. The Economist likes this path.  In theory this gives the benifits of higher minimum wage without the potential job loss, though the price is higher gov't spending.

Mondragon always interested me as a unique private attempt at socially responsible Capitalism. I'm curious how well it'll fare against traditional top-down corporations in the long haul and wish it luck.

Interesting on the "Distributism" and Catholicism, considering the recent growth of Liberation Theology, particularly with Pope Francis (an old opponent that "accepts the premise" of LT) talking about socio-economic justice.

Thanks Cap'n.   This goes to show that ideological divisions are often murkier than proponents would have you believe.   Its interesting that Sarah Palin the governor behaved a bit differently than Sarah Palin the candidate.   She challenged oil companies and reigned in independent militias in her home state of Alaska.  Natural resources are collectively owned. 

Any time a State candidate goes National things get weird and stances flip flop wildly. Perfect example: look at Al Gore's stance on Abortion while a Tenn State Senator vs. as a Presidential candidate. Look at the difference between Romney in Mass vs. Romney as the GOP nom (hint: check out the "Romneycare" he implemented in Mass vs. the "Obamacare" he decried on the campaign trail). Hell, it's hard now to imagine Jimmy Carter as a pro-segregation candidate, but as a Georgia Southern Democrat in the early 70s he stooped to condemning his opponent's "integrationist" beliefs in order to win the ballot. Politics and strange bedfellows, eh?

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