Distributism is an economic philosophy, developed especially by two English Catholic writers, G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. It advocates a society of widely distributed private property. It opposes both of the major streams modern economic thought, collectivist (communism, socialism) and individualist (lassiez-faire capitalism). It advocates that property, in particular productive property, be neither held solely by the state, nor concentrated in the hands a few wealthy capitalists and corporations, but be rather in the hands of individual men and women, and families.
One holding such position does not necessarily advocate a policy of confiscation to attain such a society. Part of achieving it may well be simply taking away the perks the government gives to big business.
To a capitalist objection that such an ideal is contrary to free competition a Distributist might reply that competition within a well regulated framework is a good thing. But if competition is left completely unregulated a few individuals may gain the upper hand, and gain such economic power as to keep other players off the field, and so, in the end, competition must not be allowed completely free reign if only in order that healthy competition may be maintained.
Notable distributists include Dorothy Day, Pope Leo XIII, G. K. Chesterton, and Heuy Long.