So do the luxuries personally enjoyed by the big capitalists today. Belloc is still very much the historian, even in the present Essay. In other words, the practical thing is not to attempt to undermine industrial capitalism at once and as a whole — that can only be done by a change in the religion or philosophy of the citizens; nor even to attempt to make suddenly a great breach in the defence for that could only be done with weapons we do not possess but to seek out those points, however apparently insignificant, in which the reversal of the great process can be sporadically begun. It should be used to establish and conserve corporate credit with the Guild to which — as we shall describe in a later article — the small distributor should belong; it should even be used, perhaps exceptionally, to subsidize the starting of the small man. Entsprechend wenden sich die Idee gegen z. The evil has gone so far that, though the preaching of a new doctrine is invaluable, the creation of new and effective immediate machinery is impossible.

Only where the bulk of the cells are healthy can the whole organism thrive. Such a statement will Hilaire Belloc 61 sound fantastic in the ears of those who are accustomed, as all modern men are, to implied materialism. Only then, after their destruction, was the field free for the growth of plutocracy in politics and Capitalism in the economic structure of the State. Recommended for those with an interest in economic theory. In the natural order of capitalism, the financial system is supposed to serve the economy of production — goods and services, jobs and incomes — but the narrow values of Wall Street have become the master. His actions are of moral value to him if they are undertaken upon his own initiative; not if they are undertaken under compulsion. Here, as in nearly everything else, the right process has been largely reversed; men take what is imposed upon them and not what they themselves choose.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property

He will rextoration directly in industry as many men as rsetoration be required to work the machine. There must be some official machinery for fostering the propagation of small property just as there is official machinery today fostering the destruction of small, widespread property by large owners: And to understand the necessity for this we must get rid of the false category whereby men think in terms of two contrasted methods which they call Socialism and Individualism.


Here, as in nearly everything else, the right process has been largely reversed; men take what is imposed upon them and not what they themselves choose. It is apparent in every economic activity, and in one department of it, the ease of negotiations, is perhaps more striking than the rest.

It marks a key point in the history of economic thought, and it is a fundamental text illustrating the influence of religion and philosophy on social thought and their practical application to societal questions.

Another striking example is breweries. For in such a state of society the Servile State the determining note is lack of freedom: We can only try to restore it as an experiment: Notwithstanding all his difficulties, the tiller of the soil still represents the natural order of things willed by God.

Increase of revenue, not ownership, is the object of most men. It examines that purpose, and proceeds to propose means which are fitted to achieving it.

But whereas the Servile State to which we are now tending can be complete, the Proprietary or Distributist State neither can, nor should be, complete; for it cannot of its nature be mechanical. This has always seemed to me great folly.

But, as in the case both of the distributor and the craftsman, we can make a beginning. But wait, hold on a minute–I thought capitalism was all in favor of private property. It is notorious that in certain districts, in certain trades covering great numbers of people, choice is still exercised and has a great effect.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property by Hilaire Belloc

The Peasant, as being by far the most important of all these and the foundation of all, I reserve to a separate chapter. A landmark work in Pdoperty social thought, this reference provides a unique alternative to how property distribution is planned by socialist states and how it naturally occurs in capitalist societies. He has lived to see the thing come about, in this country at least; for the small man in the milk trade has almost disappeared.


It’s so pleasant to propertyy through his arguments. Littlejohn rated it really liked it.

Today in England, and to a less degree in many other countries, widespread property has been lost. Another point in which the reader may think me guilty of omission is the absence of any full discussion upon the new schemes of Social Credit.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

It was not Capitalism that came first and gradually dissolved the institution of well-divided property; it was the conditions under which alone well-divided property could survive, and had survived for centuries, which were first destroyed. There were landless men, many of them, by the end of the Middle Ages, and there were already many men working at transport and exchange, and in the Crafts, who had not enough property to count.

But such an ideal is inhuman and, therefore, not to be fixedly attained, because man is a social animal.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

If anything ;roperty to be done, it will have to be done soon, and resolutely. The railway worked in favour of those who desired to centralize effort for their own advantage; it restoratiin a new support for an already founded capitalist system. Now, the obvious intellectual answer to the main question: It is half true; but the falsehood attached to the half truth vitiates the whole statement.

The large organization can easily put all sorts of pressure on a parliamentary political system to enact laws and policies friendly to it. If we look at our present industrialized society we perceive, of the two other opportunities for particular action, the opportunity for restoring the small distributor that is, the small shopkeeper and the bellod for restoring the small workshop that is, the craftsman.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

A book by one of the original distributists. It is true that there cannot be economic freedom without purchasing power and it is true that economic freedom varies in some degree directly with purchasing power; but it is not true that purchasing power is equivalent to economic prroperty.