Hypothetical Policy Pack: Distributism: The Left's Free Market

I feel like it’s relevant that the majority of games, socialist or otherwise, eradicate poverty so conclusively that the Poor demographic rapidly shrinks as those people move up into the middle class.

Those of the middle class often possess their own capital, invested into home and/or business ownership, secured by generational wealth and handsome earnings, which, under steadfast “trickle down” wealth-busting measures would logically represent a “third way” economy whereby socialism is realised not by radical enforcement, but a citizenship which has been allowed enough capital to own land, property, production means, shares, or all of the above. With this capital, a democratically free market is within sight, representing the Distributism Model.

Given that the game so judiciously presents Capitalist and Socialist methods which ultimately compliment one another, modelling the “third way” economy seems appropriate, so I’ve proposed some policies inspired by, and complimentary of that ideology:


  • Cooperative Market Foundation - A state office promoting, organising and expanding communal market spaces to create and sustain decentralised small businesses and entrepreneurs. (Tiny bump to GDP inefficient for the spend, but causes Distributed Markets)
  • Contract Labour Regulation
  • Land-Grant Office - A devolved set of regional boards which value and sell land so that it is equitably owned and appropriately protected or developed. Land rights of ordinary people for family and cooperative entrepreneurship is prioritised over that of larger corporations. (Farmers indifferent due to mixed feelings. Contributes to Distributed Markets)
  • Consumer Fabrication Subsidies
  • Microagriculture Subsidies
  • Distributed Markets Situation - Thanks to a large entrepreneurial class, low economic barriers to entry, and an economy sympathetic to small business, your economy is highly distributed. While extremely competitive, most can try their hand at a personal business or cooperative, and perhaps reap the rewards. (A difficult situation which increases GDP and everyone appeal. Caused by Cooperative Market Foundation, Land-Grant Office, Consumer Fabrication, Microagriculture, Enterprise Ownership Laws, Small Business Grants, Enterprise Investment Scheme, Legal Aid, Business Startup Campaign, Postal Service and Competition Law. Prevented by Intellectual Property Rights and other Monopoly-encouraging policies)


  • Home Economics Curriculum - A curriculum for educational bodies that teaches effective home management to all ages, particularly adults. Energy saving, DIY, health, and household business modules teach people what they need to keep thriving and productive homes. (Tiny bumps to gender equality, Energy Efficiency, Health, and Self-Employed)
  • Mutual Aid Campaign - A promotional program encouraging people to help and exchange with one another equitably or charitably, which celebrates efforts to do so, especially with elderly, infirm, and disadvantaged individuals. (Pleases socialists, retired and religious folks, with a slight cut to poverty)

Socio-Economic Law

  • Enterprise Ownership Laws - The laws for how companies can be legally owned, complicating mergers and buyouts. Low levels illegalise the inheritance of shares, higher levels require publicly traded companies, and the highest levels require industrial democracy, meaning employee stakeholders, and co-determination. (Pleases Socialists and Middle Earners, causes Distributed Markets)
  • Executive Service - Laws requiring that management staff, particularly executives, are required to perform a share of tangible front-line labour as part of their employment contracts, performing alongside the workers that they direct. Such efforts foster trust between ranks of a company, and combat complacency at higher-paying levels of employment. (Increases Socialism, reduces Capitalism, has a negligible subtraction to Strikes)
  • Financial Services Regulation (From Africa) - Regulating financial services establishes market confidence, stabilizes a financial system, protects consumers, and reduces financial crime. Inspection and enforcement agencies strengthen the implementation of regulation. Tough but fair financial market promote investment in sustainable models, nurturing a lucrative and conscientious finance sector. (Reduces GDP at high levels, though Global Economy is buffed, and the Flash Crash event and similar financial pitfalls are less common. Corruption is reduced, International Trade boosted. Contributes to Ethical Market Direction)
  • Ethical Market Direction Situation - Social responsibility, rigorous regulation, and critical consumership has resulted in a measurable shift in the market towards brands establishing a precedent for sustainable, liberal, and ethical sensibilities. Fair trade supply chains, contientious banks and progressive lifestyle products are steering the market towards addressing public and global goods. (Caused by high Financial Services Regulation. Causes low levels of Charity, Environment, and Global Stability)

Champagne Socialism

  • Philanthropy Foundation - An office with powers to organise high profile public and private charitable events and drives promoted by celebrities and the rich. (Pleases Capitalists & the Wealthy. Increases Charity and reduces Tax Evasion)
  • State Charites - The nationalisation of the charity sector, making their administration a publicly funded cost, and their management & operations subject to the scrutiny of government oversight. (Increases Charity, reduces corruption.)
  • Champagne Socialism Situation - With a longstanding tradition of socio-economics, effective welfare and responsible utilisation of wealth, your nation’s most affluent members have adopted a tradition of redistributing wealth, adjusting their expectations for anti-capitalist interventions. (A hard situation to earn. Caused by Egalitarian society, Philanthropy Foundation, high Labour Laws, Workers on Boards, Work Safety Law (Worker Satisfaction) Wealth Taxes, all of which contribute via very long inertia times. Lowers Brain Drain, Corporate Exodus and Tax Evasion)

I wish I could like this more than once!


How is Distributism “leftist”? Don’t the underlying property relations remain private?


Distributism is strongly motivated by socialist thinking, and in my opinion is ultimately more left than right, although it is entirely espousing private ownership. Distributist thinkers recommend state regulation, welfare, and wealth punition, but not ownership.
I also understand the holding of equity, even in the context of industrial democracy or cooperative employment are still expressions of private ownership.
The socialist part of it is that all workers possess an accessible means to earn gainful pieces of this private ownership, giving them a micronized equivalent of what the wealthy experience in being able to own and control a wide portfolio of assets at home, work, and additional ventures. (Which is essentially what a wide variety of capitalists believe capitalism to be.)
It’s a hypothetical economy explicitly designed to work from the bottom-up, so that when capital naturally trickles up, it’s very design prevents wealth aggregation and re-concentrates capital over a wide majority, not just with welfare, but via legal ownership of the means of production.
market socialism is very similar, but distributism is essentially the end goal: An economy functionally owned by the people who use it.


Hmmm, I see.

Still don’t know why it should be called left though. Compared to Free-Market Capitalism as interpreted by American Right-Libertarians, maybe, but objectively? No. Or maybe they’d consider it home, because it would break the power of the state and big business.

I thought Distributism was influenced by catholic social teaching? Pope Leo The XIII’s Revum Novarum, and Pope Pious the XI’s Quadragesimo anno.

There is free-market libertarian socialism, but I don’t know what that talks about, same as Left-Wing Market Anarchism, but without the state? But then there’s collective ownership there, that makes sense, but otherwise? I don’t know, Christian Anarchists and Proudhon were influenced by Distributism, so I can’t really say where the dividing line is. I guess at private property?


free-market socialism is impossible, socialism is state ownership of the the means of production witch conflicts with having a free market, not to mention the various other aspects that conflict.
I would also say that libertarianism and socialism also fundamentally conflict but i don’t want to go down that rabbit hole now.

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Socialism is (under Marx description) is a stage in which the means of production are controled by the state, in the oher hand comunisms is the next stage in which the state desapear and the means of production are owned by the proletariat as a group, so if we are a bit vage and equal the ownenership of the means of prduction as a class, and equally dividided between the proletariat we… wouldn’t either get free-market socialism because we would lack the planed economy.

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Market Socialism describes a non-state alternative. The state-planned economies we know aren’t possible in this arrangement, although the state does stimulate the economy in capitalist systems, via subsidies, bailouts, tax breaks, business councils, and regulations, the like of which could still be perfectly possible in this arrangement, perhaps even accomplishing the same goals if sufficiently organised.

It doesn’t describe classical socialism or communism, but then the current neoliberal state of capitalism doesn’t resemble it’s theoretical origins either.

Socialism describes “social ownership of the means of production” for which control via the state is obviously not the most direct means.

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Yeah, currently we don’t have anything resembling a planned economy, and that is why I would say that the game currently doesn’t let us represent more than kesynessian states, libertarian states and state capitalism, and the last 2 with a lot of flaws.

It doesn’t describe either socialism or comunism because it isn’t anything of the two. I also agree that modern neoliberal( called pseudoliberal by some) aren’t like classical liberal, I would even bet that Adam Smith or David de Ricardo are on the left of todays do called socialist and labour parties.

But the point is, I wouldn’t say that distributism, popular capitalism or so called market socialism should please socialist, it isn’t their model, they don’t need to be mad at that model, but they are not supporters of the widespread of the ownership of the means of production, they want to end with the private property over the means of production.

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Perhaps, but a lot of socialists I know would see the distribution of private property as a stepping stone to true communal ownership. Market socialism is their only horse in the race at this juncture of history.

I also would like to see true communist or libertarian statecraft experimented with.