Over at the Acton Institute blog, Kenneth Spence has let loose another volley against the unbearable silliness of distributism. And– the unkindest cut of all!– he claims that Chesterton and Belloc would positively DISOWN us for passing out fliers at Occupy Wall Street; would “never in a million years…[have] gone down to protest with the unwashed masses.”
Now, there are many things that you can criticise about Chesterton, but a failure to support the unwashed masses in their right to loud, obstreperous popular demonstration is not one of them.
Would he have supported Occupy Wall Street as a movement? He would have rejected the anarchism with horror (and a grain of sympathy); delighted in the pillorying of the rich; grieved at the rejection of Christianity; enjoyed the Jacobin echoes far more than I can give myself permission to do; thrown his hands up at the invocations of Marx… Oh, I don’t know.
But this I’m pretty sure of: he would have looked at the marching and the silly hats and the poster paints and the drums and the dinners and the chants, and thought, well, that much, they’ve got right.