The Servile State

The Servile State

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Publisher: Cavalier Books
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Format: Paperback
Pages: 114
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In his treatise on European economic history, Hilaire Belloc explores the many failings of the Capitalist system. He explains that Capitalism emerged from the English Reformation, reached its present form during England's Industrial Revolution, and from there was exported to the rest of the world. “It was in England that the Industrial System arose. 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 Industrialism, wherever you see it at work to-day, having spread from England, has proceeded upon the Capitalist model.” Belloc also suggests that Capitalism has supplanted another, earlier system, one that had developed throughout Catholic Europe, a system he and his good friend G.K. Chesterton referred to as “Distributism.” “Property was an institution native to the State and enjoyed by the great mass of its citizens. Co-operative institutions, voluntary regulations of labour, restricted the completely independent use of property by its owners only in order to keep that institution intact and to prevent the absorption of small property by great.” “This excellent state of affairs which we had reached after many centuries of Christian development, and in which the old institution of slavery had been finally eliminated from Christendom, did not everywhere survive. In England in particular it was ruined.”
Hilaire Belloc:
Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc was an Anglo-French writer and historian. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, sailor, satirist, man of letters, soldier and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902, while retaining his French citizenship. Belloc wrote on myriad subjects, from warfare to poetry to the many current topics of his day. He has been called one of the Big Four of Edwardian Letters,[17] along with H.G.Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and G. K. Chesterton, all of whom debated with each other into the 1930s.

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D
D.
Excellent Work

If Servile State were more widely read, there would be far far fewer "socialists" in the world. This book criticizes capitalism from the standpoint of tradition, not pie-in-the-sky theories as spurious as classical economics itself.

A
Adrian G.
Eye opening

To say this book is an eye opener is an understatement. I'm sure all of us have an intimation as to the inadequacy of the current economic system. We instinctively recoil at the "conservative" who seems to be little less than capital's bulldog, yet his liberal alternative we find equally repulsive. In a little over one hundred pages, Belloc explains how these apparent foes are actually working together in creating the servile state; how the drive to provide unemployment insurance, minimum wages, and the like are really leading us to a state of servitude enforced by positive law. Though this book was written over one hundred years ago, it remains relevant today. I'm sure anyone who's lived long enough can see more ways in which the law restricts our economic freedom - for our own good of course - and how we, the proles, see it as a blessing.

W
Wilson
An excellent historical critique of Socialism and Capitalism

The Servile State is an excellent, clear and impressively brief (~150 pages) take on the problems of both Socialism and Capitalism. Mr. Belloc's thesis, put briefly, is that Capitalism--the concentration of the means of production in the hands of a few, coupled with political freedom for all--tends naturally to a loss of that political freedom, which he calls the Servile State. In contrast to Capitalism and the Servile State he points to the more distributed system which flourished in Late Medieval Christendom, in which ordinary men owned land and tools to produce their own food. He gives a historical account of the ubiquity of slavery in pre-Christian Europe, its gradual disappearance in the rise of Christendom, to be replaced by a distributed system, and finally its gradual re-emergence in the wake of Europe's apostasy.

Most importantly, he astutely points out the effect which the actions of Socialists and "social reformers" have on the Capitalist State--namely, to push Capitalism more rapidly in a Servile direction by yielding to "necessary compromises" which calcify capitalists and workers in their respective places. Mr. Belloc seems to conclude that the only possibility for a return to a healthy economic order, in which men provide for themselves and their families in security, freedom and independence, is our return to Christianity.

C
Colin Singleton
The Beginning of the Just Third Way

Disillusioned with late capitalism? This book is for you. Horrified by socialism and communism? This book is for you. Thinking that the two systems are actually more closely related than they are enemies? This book is for you! This book is basically the beginning of the movement that has become known as the Just Third Way, championed by the Center for Economic and Social Justice. It's the TradCat redpill I first swallowed before diving headlong into Catholic Political Economy.

Note: I haven't purchased this book from the fine people at Tumblar House, because I actually listened to an audio copy while driving to and from work for a week. That being said, I'll be picking up a copy soon enough.

T
Thomas Pearson
Two 👍🏼

What I have read so far is great!

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