BELLOC SERVILE STATE by H. BELLOC THE SERVILE STATE By HILAIRE BELLOC ” If we do not restore the Institution of Property we cannot. The Servile State has ratings and 31 reviews. Joe said: Hilaire Belloc offers us a concise history of economics in Europe generally, and the distribu. In , Hilaire Belloc published The Servile State, in which the Englishman prophesied that the world was moving to a reestablishment of.

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To solve Capitalism hllaire must get rid of restricted ownership, or of freedom, or of both. But any such process of gradual buying by the small man from the great, such as would seem natural to the temper of us European people, and such as hilare since taken place nearly everywhere in countries which were left free to act upon their popular instincts, was interrupted in this country by an artificial revolution of the most violent kind.

Even supposing that there was some ma- chinery whereby the justice of the new distribution could be assured, how could I avoid the beoloc and innumerable separate acts of injustice that would attach togeneral redistributions?

This book proposes a third option instead. The goal was to place families in productive homes, with small workshops, loom rooms, food-preservation facilities, chicken coops, and gardens as the norm.

It is becoming more and more evident that with every new reform and those reforms commonly promoted serville particular Socialists, and in a puzzled way blessed by Socialists in general another state emerges more and more clearly.

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Net tax receivers become de facto employees of the State, and thus have no natural incentive to upset the status quo. Mar 30, Matt Cavedon rated it really liked it.

The Crown less and less decided between great and small. Such a digression, being purely historical, is not logically necessary to a consideration of our subject, but it is of great value to the reader, because the knowledge of how, in reality and in the concrete, things have moved better enables us to understand the logical process whereby they tend towards a par- ticular goal in the future.

To its immediate and conscious acceptance, how- ever, there is an obstacle. And in the course of three centuries, it transformed Britain from a land of owners into by a place where a third of the people were indigent and 95 percent were dispossessed of all capital and land.

Competition is, as a fact, restricted to an increasing extent by an understand- ingbetween the competitors,accompanied, especially in this country, by the ruin of the smaller competitor through secret conspiracies entered into by the larger men, and supported by the secret political forces of the State.

Under these circumstances, there could be neither capitalist nor proletarian. Dutcher rated it liked it Shelves: He begins his exposition with a thesis as remarkable as it is shocking, “[T]hat industrial society as we know it will tend towards the re-establishment of slavery.


When we talk of the Means of Production we sig- nify land and capital combined. Slavery had gone, and in itsplace had come that establishment of free possession whichseemedsonor- mal to men, and so consonant to a happy human life. I shall then proceed to show that at its first in- ception all Collectivist Reform is necessarily de- flected and evolves, in the place of what it had in- tended, a new thing: Every circumstance of that society, the form in which the laws that governed ownership and profit were cast, the obligations of partners, the relations bet ween ” master ” and ” man,” directly made for the indefinite expansion of a subject, formless, wage-earning class controlled by a small body of owners, which body would tend to become smaller and richer still, and to be possessed of power ever greater and greater as the bad business unfolded.

It was in England that all its traditions and habits were formed ; and because the England in which it arose was already a Capitalist England, modern In- dustrialism, wherever you see it at work to-day, having spread from England, has proceeded upon the Capi- talist model.

The Natural Family | Hilaire Belloc’s The Servile State:

More and more the great could decide in their own favour. That strong central government which should protect the community againstthe rapacity of a few had gone gen- erations before. It would seem, therefore, that all problems con- nected with the production of wealth, and all discus- sion thereupon, involve but two principal original factors, to wit, Labour and Land, But it so happens that the conscious, artificial, and intelligent action of man upon nature, corresponding to his peculiar char- acter compared with other created beoloc, introduces a third factor of the nilaire importance.

That is what happened in France, and it might perfectly well have happened here. This is the original defence of distributism by Belloc.

The Servile State

In a word, the man who desires to re-establish pro- perty as an institution normal to most citizens in the State is working against the grain of our existing Capitalist eervile, while a man who desires to establish Socialism that is Collectivism is working with the grain of that society.

They worked under an officer of their own, sometimes nominated, sometimes elected: In social practice, all that is re- quired of him is that his family should till its quota of servile land, and that the dues to the lord shall not fail from absence of labour.

The restoration hilairs well-distributed productive property among the masses.

Recent commentators have been unsure where to place this volume on the ideological spectrum. In a book this short it can be very easily read in a single day one does not expect an exhaustive treatment, yet “methinks he doth protest too much.

Thus, when we say that a man is ” dispossessed of the means of produc- tion,” or cannot produce wealth save by the leave of another who “possesses the means of production,” we mean that he is the master only of his labour and has no control, in any useful amount, over either capital, or land, or both combined.


Apart from domestic slaves with- in the household, slavery in the old sense which Pagan 46 THE SERVILE DISSOLVED antiquity gave that institution had been transformed out of stzte knowledge, and when, with the eleventh century, the true Middle Ages begin to spring from the soil of the Dark Ages, and a new civilisation to arise, though the old word servus ihe Latin for a slave is still used for the man who works the soil, his status in the now increasing number of documents which we can consult is wholly changed ; we can certainly no longer translate the seevile by the English word slave; we are compelled to translate it by a new word with very different connotations: No reformer will advocate it ; no pro- phet dares take hilaie as yet for granted.

To refuse man the opportu- nity for the production of wealth is to refuse him the opportunity for life ; and, in general, the way in which the production of wealth is by law permitted is the only way in which the citizens can legally exist, ii THE SERVILE STATE Wealth can only be produced by the application of human energy, mental and physical, to the forces of nature around us, and to the material which those forces inform.

Coming as it did upon a people which had already largely lost its economic freedom, it took at its very origin a Capitalist form, and this formithasretained,expanded,and perfected through- out two hundred years.

Its first apparent effects came to light in the seventeenth. Possibly I would gain more from another reading.

By the time they appeared, England had already been captured by an oligarchy. It seems clear that few contemporary conservative pundits who cite these titles have actually read them; fewer still have understood them. Belloc is skeptical that the first could be achieved, and argues that an attempt at collectivism is doomed to fail and result in the third option, the servile state that borders on returning to something akin to stste with complicity from the state that distinguishes between owners and workers the distinctions already baked in to things like workers’ comp rules and agency, and since Belloc’s time healthcare benefits.

University of Chicago Press,p.

Why did the vast increase in the powers of production, in xtate and in accumu- lation of wealth, turn the mass of Englishmen into a poverty-stricken proletariat, cut off the rich from the rest of the nation, and develop to the full all the evils which we associate with the Capitalist State?