"Distributism", a culture for Small Law Firms


Our blog intends to promote Distributism in consultancy, that supports a society of artisans, of boutique firms and their culture.

Distributism (also known as distributionism or distributivism is an economic ideology that developed in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century based upon the principles of Catholic social teaching, especially the teachings of Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Rerum novarum and Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo anno.


"Distributism", a culture of general Civil Society.

This Distributism, sustained by Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc and many others, is influenced by an emphasis, as SMAF today intends to give with its business, on small business, promotion of local culture, and favoring of small production over capitalistic mass production. A society of artisans promotes the distributist ideal of the unification of capital, ownership, and production rather than what distributism sees as an alienation of man from work.

This does not, however, suggest that distributism necessarily favors a technological regression to a pre-Industrial Revolution lifestyle, but a more local ownership of consultancy and law firms. Services such litigation, advise and negotiations, according to Distributism, would be preferably returned to local producers and artisans instead of being mass-produced overseas by big law firms.

Well, our firm encourages the local consultancy, because it will promote knowledge and culture of local artisans, local law firms.

OTOH, Distributism thinks that the economic system of a society should therefore be focused primarily on the flourishing of the family unit, but not in isolation. Distributism reflects this doctrine most evidently by promoting the family, rather than the individual, as the basic type of owner; that is, distributism seeks to ensure that most families, rather than most individuals, will be owners of productive property. This is why SMAF knows and deal with many family-owned law firms of the Service sector.


Distributism puts great emphasis on the principle of subsidiarity. This principle holds that no larger unit (whether social, economic, or political) should perform a function which can be performed by a smaller unit. Pope Pius XI, in Quadragesimo anno, provided the classical statement of the principle: "Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do."

Therefore, SMAF takes care of small businesses and promote their work and their service.

According to Distributism, any activity of production (which distributism holds to be the most important part of any economy) ought to be performed by the smallest possible unit. This helps support distributism's argument that smaller units, families if possible, ought to be in control of the means of production, rather than the large units typical of modern economies.

The essence of subsidiarity is concisely inherent to the well-known proverb 'Give someone a fish and you feed him for a day; teach the person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'.

SMAF is proud to develop good relationships with its partners and share knowledge and opportunities.


  • Distributism has often been described in opposition to both socialism and capitalism, which distributists see as equally flawed and exploitative. In contrast, distributism seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life". Therefore SMAF supports the idea that Local legal Culture are, first, a fruit of our Spirit and a real value, regardless of the price, the cost or the profit.
  • Doing that our products will also teach a special happiness to our customers, that to take part to a Greater partnership, that of people working harder for the enjoyment of all.


In Rerum novarum, Pope Leo XIII states that people are likely to work harder and with greater commitment if they themselves possess the land on which they labor, which in turn will benefit them and their families as workers will be able to provide for themselves and their household. This happens in Local Communities all days and the Pope puts forward the idea that when men have the opportunity to possess property and work on it, they will “learn to love the very soil which yields in response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of the good things for themselves and those that are dear to them.” This citation clearly states that owning property is not only beneficial for a person and their family, but is in fact a right, due to God having “...given the earth for the use and enjoyment of the whole human race”.

A single consultant is not enough to advise well all his/her clients, while a large law firm is too much organized to be able to cross different knowledges and give a summary of different problems and solutions with a single and efficient opinion. St. Basil the Great said that "In the healthy eye is the ability to see", just like in the soul is the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the soul, life which is his/her "vital breath". In the same way, only an common spirit in a small team is able to cross knowledge and give to the single client and advisor that vital breath, enabling him/her to do a summary of different problems and solutions with a single and efficient opinion.

The role of philosophy, into a good advise, is the same of a clear attention to the essence of a human being: every man, and woman, has problems of all sorts in his existence, related to internal and external passions, as obstacle to freedom of his soul. "We must devote every care to the soul, through the philosophy of freeing it as if it were in prison, in a place that binds it to bodily passions". (St. Basil the Great)

The great masters of the church, liturgical texts, and monastic literature speak of the salvation of the soul. But this could have led to the risk of neglecting the resurrection of the body. S. Basil never neglected the care of the salvation also of the body. This explains his attention to the poor, to communities and to philosophy and knowledge.

To save oneself means to save oneself from a difficult situation in which we find ourselves, eventually in danger of death. This is the situation of all of us, and an advisor can be of help as an envoy of the sky or as the member of a larger community. It was easy to compare the salvation of the soul, which is a necessity of the Gospel, with the teaching of the philosophers, as St. Basil did in the quoted text.

However, Saint Basil was very coherent in these things. He had begun to devote himself to an intense spiritual life among the Egyptian hermits. But he left them, because it seemed to him that in that place there was not enough room for fraternal love, and for the care of resurrection including the care of fraternal love as care also of the body.

He therefore became one of the main legislators of community monastic life, in which an individual wants to save himself together with others, in soul and body, in which "the plurality of the brothers has a single soul and a single heart". The Church is the only body of Christ and has in the Holy Spirit a common soul.

Basilio expressed in his rules what Chomjakov enunciated in the modern era with this beautiful formulation: "In hell everyone goes alone, but in heaven I can only go with the others".

An advisor takes part to comnunities as a collaborator to common salvation. And the knowledge of the consultants is not anything distant from the reality of men, it is not a set of abstract theories, but it is something that as would say Marziale ("Pagina nostra homine sapit") has the taste of our humanity OTOH, The etymology of the word "sapience" is "sapid", from the Latin "sapio", which means "to taste" and as St. Basil said: it is easier to know what taste honey has when it is tasted than when it is only known.

In the same way, advisors and small firms of advisors are men and know the difficulties of the men.

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