was dead. Or was it? For in 1956, long after the Agrarian dreamrnhad been purged from the American right, supplanted by thernCold War nightmare, Dorothy Day insisted that “distributism isrnnot dead.” It cannot “be buried, because distribuHsm is a systemrnconformable to the needs of man and his nature.”rnConforming to their decentralist principles—and presagingrna later strategy of “right-wing” tax resisters—the Workers reftisedrnpayment of federal taxes, though as Day wrote, we “filernwith our state capital, pay a small fee, and give an account ofrnmonies received and how they were spent. We always complyrnwith this state regulation because it is local-regional,” and “becausernwe are decentralists (in addition to being pacifists).” Thisrnresistance, she explained, wasrnmuch in line with common sense and with the originalrnAmerican ideal, that governments should never do whatrnsmall bodies can accomplish: unions, credit unions, cooperatives,rnSt. Vincent de Paul Societies. Peter Maurin’srnanarchism was on one level based on this principle ofrnsubsidiarity, and on a higher level on that scene at thernLast Supper where Christ washed the feet of His Apostles.rnHe came to serve, to show the new Way, the way ofrnthe powerless. In the face of Empire, the Way of Love.rnHow beautiful: in the face of Empire, the Way of Love.rnIt is only in the local, the personal, that one can see Christ. Arnmob, no matter how praiseworthy its cause, is sdll a mob, saidrnDay, paraphrasing Eugene Debs, and she explained, in Thoreauvianrnlanguage, her dedication to the little way:rnWhy localism? . .. [F]or some of us amihing else is extravagant;rnit’s unreal; it’s not a life we want to live. Therernare plenty of others who want that life, living in corridorsrnof power, influence, money, making big decisions that affectrnbig numbers of people. We don’t have to followrnthose people, though; they have more would-be servantsrn— slaves, I sometimes think—than they know whatrnto do with.rnWe don’t happen to believe that Washington, D.C., isrnthe moral capital of America…. If you want to know thernkind of politics we seek, you can go to your histor)’ booksrnand read about the early years of this country. We wouldrnlike to see more small communities organizing themselves,rnpeople talking with people, people caring forrnpeople . . . we believe we are doing what our FoundingrnFathers came here to do, to worship God in the communitiesrnthey settled. They were farmers. They were craftspeople.rnThey took care of each other. They prayed tornGod, and they thanked Him for showing them the way—rnto America! A lot of people ask me about the influencernon our [Catholic] Worker movement, and they are rightrnto mention the French and the Russian and English writers,rnthe philosophers and novelists. But some of us arernjust plain Americans whose ancestors were working peoplernand who belonged to small-town or rural communitiesrnor neighborhoods in cities. We saw more and morernof that communit’ spirit disappear, and we mourned itsrnpassing, and here we are, trying to find it again.rnDorothy Day found it. Not on the left, and not on the right,rnbut in that place where Love resides. In the face of Empire, thernWay of Love, <5,-rnNew Freedomsrnby Richard MoorernNew freedoms, which we losernin ever new taboos,rnI wish you, now so ample,rnwere fewer. For example,rnclimbing through careless tressesrnand sexy minidresses,rnthat woman’s on the move.rnHer beauty’s in her groove.rnMen, climbed on, feel the tension itrninflicts but dare not mention it,rnfor that would show malignityrnand impugn women’s dignit)’.rnO, it’s a nasty, scurvyrnworld, gone so topsy-turvy.rnPray God such urges leave mernsoon. All they do is grieve me.rnNOVEMBER 1998/21rnrnrn