Two Best Times to Plant a Tree – Epic Lessons on Errors – Democracy, Republic, Socialism, Capitalism, Distributism, Chestertonian Principles – Why it Matters – Sunday MHVille Weekly Headlines Recap


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is now,” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Technically, for the nitpickers and ultra-logical in the audience, the second-best time to plant that tree was 19 years and 364 days ago, the third-best option was 19 years and 363 days, and so on. That quip aside, the point the Chinese maxim makes is potent. It is never too late to do what should have been done months or years before. America in general, and the manufactured housing industry (a.k.a. “MHVille”) more specifically, are suffering in part because of a ‘tree’ that should have been planted decades before but wasn’t. The solution? It is never too late to plant the metaphorically needed tree(s).

The case can be made that constitutionally limited government based on Godly principles is better than a ‘democracy,’ socialism, fascism, or some form of mob or autocratic rule. The founders of America did not create a democracy, although the American Republic has some democratic features to it. A simple reminder of that truth is the phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance: “and to the Republic for which it (the U.S. flag) stands.” Democracy and a republic are mildly akin to mobile homes and manufactured homes. They each have similarities, but they also have distinctive features. The meaning of the words in both examples matter.

Because a lack of law enforcement and sufficiently vigorous advocacy are key issues in our profession and beyond, some examples will illustrate the issues.

In America, on a legal basis grounded in the originalist sense of the U.S. Constitution, even a super majority is not supposed to be able to strip away the lawful and just rights of another.

Why not? Because the U.S. is a constitutional republic and is not a democracy.

Oxford Languages says a democracy is the “control of an organization or group [or nation-state] by the majority of its members.”

By contrast, the etymology of the word republic is illuminating. “The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which literally means “public thing”, “public matter”, or “public affair” and was used to refer to the state as a whole,” says left-leaning Wikipedia. By the way, the case could be made that some definitions of ‘republic’ in modern online dictionaries are incomplete at best or wrong at worst. There is no ‘right’ to unjustly take the property or rights of another without a clearly defined due process.







A constitutional republic, properly understood, defends the rights and the ‘things of the people.’ The word republic comes from the Latin: Res Publica meaning the public things or the people’s things. In the U.S.A., by having a written constitutional republic that document – by clearly defining the limits and authority of the government – the rights of “we the people” were supposed to be best defended.

Which brings us to look back at Plato’s Republic. Bartleby notes that: “The Founding Fathers were influenced by both Aristotle’s and Plato’s belief that tyrannical government is the worst kind of government because it is ruled with only the personal interest of the ruler rather than common interest.”

To underscore the point, the Constitution Center held a discussion on September 8, 2020 entitled Plato, Aristotle, and the Founders. From that is this excerpt: “in the field of the humanities, as law is part of it, the founding documents and the conversation they inspire is remarkably powerful and efficient mastery to gain. They are few. They are relatively brief in their…expression, but if you gain command of both of those original documents [i.e.: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution] … it opens up worlds to you…[That is} also true throughout our nation’s civic and cultural life.”

The founders specifically considered the differences between a democracy and a republic, and they chose to found America as a republic so as to provide maximum protection of human rights for all.

With that brief tee up, some fascinating quotations from Plato’s Republic follow.


The Republic

According to GoodReads are the following quotations from Plato’s Republic, written about 375 years before Christ (B.C.) was born.

“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
― Plato, The Republic

“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
― Plato, The Republic

“Those who don’t know must learn from those who do.”
― Plato, The Republic

“You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken….Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?

We cannot….Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts….”
― Plato, The Republic

“Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.”
― Plato, The Republic

“Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?”
― Plato, The Republic

“The philosopher whose dealings are with divine order himself acquires the characteristics of order and divinity.”
― Plato, The Republic

“Appearance tyrannizes over truth.”
― Plato, The Republic

“… when someone sees a soul disturbed and unable to see something, he won’t laugh mindlessly, but he’ll take into consideration whether it has come from a brighter life and is dimmed through not having yet become accustomed to the dark or whether it has come from greater ignorance into greater light and is dazzled by the increased brilliance.”
― Plato, The Republic


There are more such pearls, but those are sufficient to underscore a point made from time-to-time on MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews.  Understanding human nature and the broader economic-political realities of life are important in understanding the struggles that the manufactured housing industry and our nation’s republic have for too long endured.

Human history has long been marked by a discernable pattern. There are people and groups who yearn to rule over or dominate others. Sometimes that yen to control others is marked by brute force. At other times the urge by some to rule others is exemplified through manipulation or a more subtle forms of control.

The thirst for power by some to dominate others might be exercised economically, through laws or politically, through taxation, or through weaponized information, to name but a few historically discernable methods.

Because religion is a powerful force in the lives of billions, what occurs on the spiritual or religious front is absolutely of importance too. Note that the First Amendment recognized the importance of both freedom of religion and freedom of sharing information, which are described as freedom of speech and of the press.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The federal government was not given a charter of absolute power. That would have been a notion abhorrent to the founders of our nation as that was what they were rebelling against that tendency in British rule. With that in mind, consider the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Those ten amendments were insisted upon by the states in order to enact or accept the then-new federal constitution. The Tenth Amendment simply stated the following 28 words.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What that means is if a power wasn’t enumerated in the constitution as granted to the federal government, no such power was granted.

As was noted in a recent report, to insure that “we the people” were safeguarded in our absolute final say over government power and the potential for governmental abuse, there were additional safeguards. Among them is the jury system. Every significant case in the U.S.A. is supposed to be reserved for decision by a jury of a person’s peers. So, if some authoritarian (rogue) individual(s) within a government brought a charge against a person or persons, at trial, the jury has the absolute right to rule on both the facts of a case as well as on the notion if the law at issue is just or is being justly applied. The legal references and related details are provided deeper into the popular report linked below.


“Mad as Hell” Speech; Corrective Steps for Govt Failures Beyond Elections-Writ of Mandamus, Federalism, Article V, and Jury Power – Facts, Georgetown Univ Law, and Viewpoints Relevant to MHVille


The woes identified in subtle-to-severe exercises of power, information dominance, financial (money, borrowing) influence/control, government overreach and the like are in a real sense timeless. Manipulation of free people using lies and clever half-truths (paltering) date back to the Garden of Eden.

While America was never perfect, our system of (hypothetically, at least by original design) limited government was in many ways an ideal that has been discussed globally as a model to be considered.

There are reasons why those who through the ages yearn to rule others have long aimed to subvert our system of limited government. And our government is precisely because limited government and limited power are a check on the ambitions of financial or other elites.

Alexis de Tocqueville, who authored the book “Democracy in America” based on his travels in the U.S. from “May 1831…from France for a visit that would last until February 1832.” As the White House website notes: “the Confederation Congress established March 9, 1789 as the date to begin operating under the Constitution.” So about 46 years after de Tocqueville published Democracy in America in 1835, we see this pithy insight from that volume.




But it isn’t just that Congress can bribe the public with the public’s money. It is that the leech class or donor class can buy influence over Congress and the bureaucracy. More on that “leech class” is found in the report linked among the reports for the week that was.

Joseph Story was an associate justice of the Supreme Court.  Consider the parallels between his observation and that of de Tocqueville.



Manufactured housing is only operating at about 30 percent of the prior highwater mark achieved in 1998. Yet the affordable housing crisis is still an issue, with a case that might be made that the lack of affordable housing is perhaps worse now than then. The artificially truncated manufactured housing industry (a.k.a. MHVille) is underperforming because of several factors. Among them are the kinds of issues that this article and the reports that follow probe in a factual, evidence-based, and common-sense accessible manner. Big is a problem in society when the power of big isn’t kept in check.

Don’t miss today’s postscript, which will complete the headline topics.

It may be late compared to 20 years ago, but the best time to plant the tree of understanding that can lead to increased liberty and opportunities are now. This ancient Latin maxim applies. Scientia potestas est or “knowledge is potential power.” With no further adieu, here are the headlines for the week that was from 1.1.2023 to 1.8.2023.


What’s New on MHLivingNews

Our Journey in Affordable Home Ownership – Challenges and Rewards of Quality, Affordable Manufactured Home Living – Hopes, Horrors, and a ‘Shocking’ Peek into Gonzo Journalism?

What’s New in Washington, D.C., from MHARR


What’s New and Recent on the Masthead

Fascists and Fraud, Manipulated Information and Rigged Systems, Manufactured Housing, and the USA


Following the Money Trail in Battle Over Green Policies, ESG Investing, Economic Liberty, Politics, and Modern Manufactured Housing

What’s New on the Words of Wisdom from Tim Connor, CSP


What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

Saturday 1.7.2023

Precipice – Reveals, Exposes American ‘Leech Class’ – Corp CEO Aims to Protect American Dream from Leeches in Key Roles – Eye Opener for Biz, Policy Leaders, More; plus MHVille Stocks, REITs Updates

Friday 1.6.2023

Friday Follies or For Real? Pick Up Your Phone – Call House Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 – Donald J. Trump for New Speaker of the House – Report, Insights, Commentary; plus MHVille Markets Update

Thursday 1.5.2023

Thursday Theatrics for MHI – Cornell Law, Writ of Mandamus, Manufactured Housing Woes and Manufactured Housing Institute Solutions Hiding in Plain Sight; plus MHVille Stocks, REITs Updates

Wednesday 1.4.2023

HUD Code Manufactured Home Building Down Nov 2022–Higher for Year per Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform Data, Facts-Insights Others Lack; plus MHVille Stocks-REITs Update

Tuesday 1.3.2023

‘Punishment the Wise Suffer;’ Sam Zell’s Contrarian Investing View – When Everyone Is Going Left, Look Right – 2022 Facts Reveal Potent Insights for Manufactured Housing in 2023, plus MHVille Equities

Monday 1.2.2023

Statements and Reflections on Freedom in U.S.A. – Inspirational Quotes Past and Present to Start Each New Day and Every New Year Off Right

Sunday 1.1.2023

‘The U.S. Can Solve Its Housing Crisis – It Just Needs To Start Building’ Bloomberg, Washington Post Want More Manufactured Housing in 2023! Plus 2022 Year in Review, Sunday MHVille Weekly Headlines Recap



The quotations selected below are from the Society of G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton, for those who don’t already have some familiarity with the once wildly popular writer and speaker, has been called the apostle of common sense. He is known, among other things, for his use of paradoxical statements or sarcastic statements that have the effect of drawing in the mind in order to understand his keen perspective. That perspective was illuminated by his deep faith. Chesterton was in his day of keen interest in the realms of politics, spiritual or religious beliefs, philosophy and – wait for it – a series of immensely popular detective novels.

Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.”
– G.K. Chesterton in “The Superstition of Divorce (3),” The Superstition of Divorce


Business, especially big business, is now organized like an army. It is, as some would say, a sort of mild militarism without bloodshed; as I say, a militarism without the military virtues.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in “The Drift From Domesticity,” The Thing


Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in G.K.’s Weekly, April 10, 1926


“[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in The Debate with Bertrand Russell, BBC Magazine, Nov. 27, 1935


A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in Illustrated London News, May 25, 1931


All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in “Science and the Eugenists,” Utopia of Usurers


From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in “A Case In Point,” The Outline of Sanity


Price is a crazy and incalculable thing, while Value is an intrinsic and indestructible thing.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in “Reflections on a Rotten Apple,” The Well and the Shallows


“[Capitalism is] that commercial system in which supply immediately answers to demand, and in which everybody seems to be thoroughly dissatisfied and unable to get anything he wants.”

–  G.K. Chesterton in “How to Write a Detective Story,” The Spice of Life


Our society is so abnormal that the normal man never dreams of having the normal occupation of looking after his own property. When he chooses a trade, he chooses one of the ten thousand trades that involve looking after other people’s property.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in Commonwealth, Oct. 12, 1932


The real argument against aristocracy is that it always means the rule of the ignorant. For the most dangerous of all forms of ignorance is ignorance of work.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in NY Sun, Nov. 3, 1918


Making the landlord and the tenant the same person has certain advantages, as that the tenant pays no rent, while the landlord does a little work.”
–   G.K. Chesterton in “Hudge and Gudge,” What’s Wrong with the World


You can’t have the family farm without the family.”
–  G.K. Chesterton in “The Unprecedented Architecture of Commander Blair,” Tales of the Long Bow


Chesterton promoted an economic concept that had, in this writer’s view, an odd choice of names which may cause someone at-a-glance to wrongly presume he was promoting some new type of socialism. That was not Chesterton’s concept at all. As the above selection of quotes begins to indicate, Chesterton was no fan of big businesses. Nor was “G.K.” a fan of socialism or big government.

Dale Ahlquist is a G.K. Chesterton devotee and expert. “Dale Ahlquist is an American author and advocate of the thought of G. K. Chesterton. Ahlquist is the president and co-founder of the American Chesterton Society and the publisher of its magazine, Gilbert….” – according to left-leaning Wikipedia. Ahlquist has hosted a long-running cable TV series on EWTN entitled G. K. Chesterton: Apostle of Common Sense. Per Amazon: “Ahlquist takes us on a journey of discovery of Chesterton and his thought processes. He selects books and essays that reflect his approach to Christianity…” Chesterton, it should be noted, was a formidable debater. In that era, people would gather in an auditorium and listen to two people debate the pros and cons of an issue. While G.K. was English, his thoughts were popular in the U.S. as well.

Author Joseph Pearce in a post entitled “Was G.K. Chesterton a Socialist?” (May 25th, 2019) said “One of the weirdest and wackiest misconceptions being disseminated is the suggestion that G.K. Chesterton was a socialist. This suggestion, or accusation, would have bemused Chesterton himself, not least because he spent the whole of his life condemning socialism. Take, for instance, this condemnation of socialism from an article in the Illustrated London News on October 10, 1925: “What is worthwhile to point out, first and last, is that Socialism is a tyranny.… It is the pretense that government can prevent all injustice by being directly responsible for practically anything that happens.”

Jumping ahead, with the emphasis and highlighting added by MHProNews, Pearce says: “And this brings us to another reason why some people have accused Chesterton of socialism. They argue that the political creed of distributism, which Chesterton advocated, would involve the coercive redistribution of wealth, something which they rightly perceive to be socialist. The problem is that they do not understand distributism, either what it is or what it isn’t. Distributism, which Chesterton admitted was an ugly word, does not call for the redistribution of wealth but for the restoration of property. It is called distributism because it argues that widely distributed privately-owned property is a healthier basis for society and the economy than a society in which private property is in the hands of a small proportion of the population. It doesn’t call for the government to redistribute wealth but it does call for the government to find ways to encourage people to become property owners.”

Pearce gives the following as an example.

“Back in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, who is not normally considered to be a socialist, pushed forward a law which enabled those in government-owned housing to buy their homes on advantageous terms, thereby enabling them to be able to afford to do so. This was an interference in the market, offering interest rates below the market rate to millions of people so that they could enjoy the freedom and responsibility of becoming property-owners, instead of being propertyless proletarians paying rent to the government. The paradox is that it took government interference to free people from government control. This is exactly what Chesterton and the distributists were advocating. Is this socialism? Only the most manically ideological of free market libertarians would say so.”

Skipping past another example, Pearce then explores and rejects another reason why Chesterton has mistakenly been called a socialist, namely, because G.K. routinely opposed big businesses because of the problems associated with big businesses. Pearce said the following, again, with highlighting by MHProNews added for emphasis.

“One other reason for people calling Chesterton a socialist is that he often criticized “capitalism.” It is presumed that anyone who criticizes capitalism is ipso facto a socialist. And yet this depends on what we mean by capitalism. If capitalism means the employment of capital to make a profit, Chesterton would be happy to call himself a capitalist. If capitalism means an economic system characterized by privately-owned companies competing fairly, Chesterton would be a resolute champion of such capitalism. Chesterton wrote that the problem with modern capitalism is that there are too few capitalists, not too many. He argued that the present system concentrates property into the hands of fewer and fewer people so that the vast majority of people, bereft of such property, are forced to work for the few property-owners for a wage. In such a system, most people are stifled in their entrepreneurial desires by the fact that they have become proletarians. Powerless and propertyless, they are effectively excluded from participating freely in the market. It is for this reason that Chesterton highlighted an unhealthy similarity between capitalism and socialism: “There is less difference than many suppose between the ideal Socialist system, in which the big businesses are run by the State, and the present Capitalist system, in which the State is run by the big businesses. They are much nearer to each other than either is to my own ideal – of breaking up the big businesses into a multitude of small businesses.” (Illustrated London News, October 27, 1928.)”

From nearly a century ago, Chesterton examined the problems of British society in his time, which in fairness also had similar qualities to the Robber Baron and Gilded Age eras found in the U.S.

  • While distributism may sound socialist, it is not.
  • While Distributist economic concepts sound anti-free markets, they are not.

With that backdrop, the following are excerpts from a post by Ahlquist entitled The Outline of Sanity dated Aug 28, 2022. The … (ellipsis) show items that have been omitted for the sake of brevity. Spacing is added by MHProNews without changing the text.

QuoteMarksLeftSideAmerica leads the world in many things, including mental illness. Our mixed up society helps produce mixed up people. We are mixed up about religion, education, sex, and two other very basic things: politics and economics. We are basically insane when it comes to the role of money and laws and our daily bread. We want as much money as possible, we also want the government to supply everything we want, and we don’t expect to have to pay for it.

An ongoing theme in all of Chesterton’s writings is sanity. The basic argument of Orthodoxy is that the Apostle’s Creed would be the best basis for a sane society, that modern philosophies not only do not lead to truth, they lead to madness. …

Sanity is about wholeness, completeness. Insanity is about narrowness and brokenness.

We live in broken society and it is ruled by two very broken, narrow social philosophies that seem to be at war with one another when they are in fact co-conspirators against the common man: socialism and capitalism …

The practical solution to “what’s wrong with the world” is explained in The Outline of Sanity. It is Distributism. It is a difficult idea to explain, but this book is where to begin. …

We have been pretty much brainwashed into the “security” of Socialism and the “freedom” of Capitalism, both of which are lies, but the insanity is only exacerbated when we try to have both things at once …

Distributism offers freedom (which is responsibility) and security (which is protection of the individual and the community). It is based on the widespread ownership of private property. It presumes that small business is better than big business, that craftsmanship is superior to mass production, and that local government is better than big government.

It was Pope Leo XIII who first articulated the connection between property and justice for the modern world in his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. This idea is carried forward a few decades later by G.K. Chesterton in The Outline of Sanity (which is a collection of essays that originally appeared in his newspaper, G.K.’s Weekly in 1925). He shows how neither Socialism nor Capitalism promote justice because neither promote small property.

A pickpocket is obviously a champion of private enterprise. But he is not a champion of private property.

The point about capitalism is that it preaches the extension of business, but not the preservation of belongings; it also tries to disguise the pickpocket with some of the virtues of the pirate.”


Now note how the above is related to the concerns raised here about the leech class? Back to Alquist’s narrative.


“The point about communism is that it tries to reform the pickpocket by forbidding pockets.”

This is a place where it is worth mentioning the concern raised by Justin Haskins of the Heartland Institute.

To see this remark in context, the featured report further below.

In the U.S. today, the billionaires and their big corporate interests have coopted the Democratic Party, which is increasingly leftist or socialist. Once again, the troubling facts often come from left-leaning publications.


There are RINOs just as there are DINOs. The billionaire class and their corporate interests wield enormous influence over U.S. politics and the markets. Something similar is often true in other nations too. Numbers have said for years that there is a two-tiered justice system in America. The financial elites may from time to time get ‘justice’ – think Bernie Madoff, Enron, WorldCom, or more recently the convictions obtained in the Theranos scandal. But others seem to get away with acts that apparently violate the Sherman Antitrust Act and do so without consequences.
CornellLawSchoolLegalInformationInstituteShermanAntitrustRestraintOfTradeIllegalPenaltiesMHProNewsQuote depending on your browser or device, many images in this report can be clicked to expand. Click the image and follow the prompts. To return to this page, use your back key, escape or follow the prompts.

Veering back to Alquist: “While Chesterton demonstrates how Socialism utterly fails to fulfill any of its promises because it does not trust the common man to make his own decisions, he also points out that Capitalism’s primary failure is that it has accomplished everything that Socialism threatened to do. Under Capitalism, a clerk lives in a house that he does not own, that he did not make, and that he does not want. He thinks in terms of wages, of putting in time. It would make no difference to a clerk of a huge corporation if his job were instead in a government department. It makes no difference if he’s a faceless servant of the State or of the rich.” Ouch, but those are several potent points.

What those on the right must resist is the tendency to defend or ignore something just because a capitalist did it.

What those on the left must resist is the tendency to think that just because socialism may sound like a way of reigning in the abuses of big crony capitalists, that is simply a false narrative. The big crony capitalists have already coopted Democrats (i.e.: the increasingly pro-socialist Democratic Party) with their campaign contributions. What they get in return is the illusion of being altruistic, just as they gain that illusion by donating millions-to-billions to nonprofits. But that is an illusion, as the research into philanthro-feudalism reveals. Who says so? Oddly enough, the son of Warren Buffett, Peter Buffett.

Still and quote from the docudrama Poverty, Inc.


Back to Alquist on “Sanity.”

“The present system, especially as it exists in industrial countries, has already become a danger, and is rapidly becoming a death trap. This system rests on two ideas: that the rich will always be rich enough to hire the poor and the poor will always be poor enough to want to be hired by the rich. Paralysis in this system is inevitable. Capitalism is a contradiction. When most men are wage-earners it is hard for them to be customers. For the Capitalist is always trying to cut down what his servant demands. And in doing so he is cutting down what his customer can spend. He is wanting the same man to be rich and poor at the same time. Chesterton prophetically describes “The Bluff of the Big Shops.” He saw clearly that today’s “Superstores” would snuff out small local shops, and in almost every way it would be the customer who would suffer. With the elimination of the small shops, there is no more shopping around. At the big shop we really can’t get what we want.”

Alquist then makes this moral judgment: “I think the big shop is a bad shop. Shopping there is not only a bad action, but a bad bargain. The monster emporium is not only vulgar and insolent, but incompetent and uncomfortable. And I deny that its large organization is efficient. In truth, large organization is always disorganization.

It is said that it is convenient to get everything in the same shop. But in truth the monopolists’ shops are only convenient to the monopolist. They concentrate business as they concentrate wealth—in the hands of fewer and fewer citizens.”

Bingo. Alquist, using the thinking of Chesterton and others who railed against the forerunners of our modern woes hits upon the problems that arise from monopolization. While founding father Thomas Jefferson, hardly a perfect or hypocrisy-free fellow, nevertheless understood that true liberty requires the need to fight monopolies. Monopolies and big government seem to go hand in hand.


Back to Alquist on Chesterton’s “Sanity.”

“Now this surrender to modern monopoly does not have to take place. All we have to do to support small shops is to support them. Everybody could do it, but nobody can imagine it being done. In one sense nothing is so simple, and in another nothing is so hard.

Whether or not we surrender [to the big shops] is a matter of moral will and not economic law.

Chesterton’s preferred solution is that almost every business be a small business.

Where larger businesses may be necessary, they should be owned by the employees; they should be run by a guild, combining their contributions and dividing their results.

He believes that small shops can be governed—even if they are self-governed. He believes small shops can be supported—if we support them.

While the thrust of this is quite good, and Ronald Reagan’s 80 – 20 rule should be applied, what Alquist said next arguably ought to have used the term “Republic” instead of “Democracy.” With that in mind, press on.

“Distributism is Democracy. Distributism is based on property. Democracy can work only if property is widespread. Democracy means self-government. Property means self-support. In a Distributist society, people produce and use their own goods, make their own laws, and are not dependent outsiders.”

Alquist begins to draw to a conclusion as follows.

“Chesterton does not say there is no place for exchange, nor does he say that man needs nothing from the State. He says these things must exist, but in proper proportion. Neither the Trader nor the Government Official should play a dominant role in society. Can it be done? Chesterton says Distributism is a thing done by people; it is not a thing that can be done to people.

It [Distributism – i.e.: encouraging the widespread ownership of private property] can be done, if we decide to do it. It means that we take greater control over our lives. It means that we cease to be wage slaves and consumer slaves. It means being fair and free and faithful. “The aim of human polity,” says Chesterton, “is human happiness. But this does not mean that we are obligated to be richer, or busier, or more efficient, or more productive, or progressive. We are not obligated to be any of these things if they do not make us happier.”



As a relevant aside, edited out further above from his narrative was this observation by Alquist. “Belloc’s The Servile State is an essential work but is as dry as dust. If you recommend that one as a starting point, you are sure to chase people away from Distributism. Of course, you’ll probably chase them away anyway.” That’s Alquist’s sense of humor, which comes out quite nicely after watching a few episodes of his videos on the Apostle of Common Sense. The episode by Alquist talking about Chesterton’s thinking on distributism is posted above. For those who haven’t seen an episode of the Apostle of Common Sense, they are often a fascinating mix of a man on stage playing G.K. Chesterton interwoven with Alquist providing commentary and narrative. They are warm and approachable.

That noted, a separate discussion might be had on if “Distributism” is a term worth rethinking for something less confusing. Either way, near the core of what Alquist says Chesterton opposed is the oppressive, monopolistic tendency that routinely creeps up when big businesses are in the mix.

At the ultimate root of every evil is some individual or combination of sin(s). These are sins not as defined not by the culture, nor as thought of by monopolists. Nor are these sins relatively defined by the individual (as in Frank Sinatra’s “I did it My Way), but rather sin as is determined by Divine Decree. Objective reality poses challenges. That is obvious, which makes articles like this necessary or potentially useful. For those who want the simplest of all possible solutions, one must turn to the eternal lessons handed down from the living God, whom Jefferson didn’t exactly want to embrace.  But Jefferson nevertheless found the sayings of Jesus to be so compelling he organized a collection of them and praised Jesus’ keen insights.

But Jesus wasn’t just one more philosopher in the mold of Aristotle or Plato.  As C.S. Lewis observed, Jesus is either Lord, Liar, or a Lunatic. Some have added to the alliteration of Lewis by adding the L of Legend. It can be demonstrated that Jesus was not a liar, legend, or loony. Which leaves the logic of Lewis’ point that Jesus is LORD.

Jesus worked miracles. Those miracles were recorded in an era when there were no razzle dazzle special effects. People in the time of Christ were all too familiar with harsh realities like sickness, paralysis, death, or demonic possession. Furthermore, as the late, great Archbishop Fulton Sheen mused, hundreds of examples of prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures often made centuries before Jesus’ birth were fulfilled in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus Christ. The odds against that require more than a Bowmar Brain.

In our own era, there are numerous examples of well documented miracles. In the roughly 2000 years since the time of Christ to our own, there are untold numbers of miracles.  But one shouldn’t think of God as a type of genie in a magic lamp. There are times wonders are provided, but other times not, for reasons known to the Creator.

One of the most startling wonders in the 2oth century occurred with mainstream journalists in attendance. That was the miracle of the dancing sun and the accompanying surprising near-instantaneous drying of ground and clothing after a long soaking rain. Atheists and skeptics were in that crowd. Those doubters, along with tens of thousands of believers, fell to their knees and prayed as they feared that God’s judgment was about to come. That was October 13, 1917. The video below begins with a series of still photos of the crowd that gathered, because they were told in advance to expect a miracle.



If sin is at the root of ills past and present, then the solution must obviously include more Godly-inspired living. This is what Chesterton advocated in his writing on distributism, says Alquist, Pearce, and others.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a biblical concept spoken by Jesus in Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12. That teaching is not socialist or capitalist. It is a Godly ideal. Limited government in a moral society makes that ideal more possible.

In conclusion, distributism could be accomplished in part by breaking up monopolies. Where market rigging schemes are proven in a court of law, let the various punishments the law calls for be enforced without favor towards someone’s wealth or power.

As Amos 5:24 put it: “But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” When justice and doing right (i.e.: righteousness) are commonplace those are notions that an apostle of common sense might embrace to heal what appears to be an insane society. But let there be no doubt that much of what appears to be ‘insane’ in our era is intentional. A society has been rigged in such a way that a ‘heads they win, tales you lose’ outcome is routinely assured. That is what wealth, power, and information dominance has achieved.

They often have entirely different proposed solutions, but they each have pointed to several of the same facts. That alone is a big clue.
Quote from a 1996 interview with former California Governor Jerry Brown (CA-D). The concerns over a ‘rigged system’ are not new.


“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” (1 Timothy 6:10 NRSV). Note that this Biblical passage doesn’t say that money is evil. It says that the love of money is evil and that misplaced love – which should go to God and people – leads souls into all sorts of other evils.

Monopoly power is demonstrably routinely evil. Chesterton, Jefferson, and others through the ages have understood that truism. That crony, corrupt monopolistic system that celebrates BIG by crushing the small and independent must be exposed and rooted out in a lawful fashion. When should that cleansing process be done? As the Chinese proverb referenced above reminds us, the two best times to plant a tree are twenty years ago and now.  ###


MHProNews spotlights granular issues in manufactured housing, but also takes a periodic look at macro issues too. This is to set the concerns of our industry into a broader context. In order to solve our industry’s problems, good existing laws must be properly enforced. There is no
need to wait years for legislation that in the past has often led to little or no discernable benefit.


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Our son has grown quite a bit since this 12.2019 photo. All on Capitol Hill were welcoming and interested in our manufactured housing industry related concerns. But Congressman Al Green’s office was tremendous in their hospitality. Our son’s hand is on a package that included the Constitution of the United States, bottled water, and other goodies.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for

Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.

For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.

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The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.’

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