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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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These two factors are i The owner- ship of the means of Production by a few ; 2 The Freedom of all. This artificial revolution consisted in the seizing of the monastic lands by the Crown. He was the more ignorant because the common life which once nourished his social sense and the co-operative arrangements which had once been his defence had disappeared.

If we do not restore the Institution of Property we cannot escape restoring the Institution of Slavery; there is no third course.

Dec 21, Matt rated it liked it Shelves: But the books has some hialire weaknesses.

For instance, a pyramid balanced upon its apex is in unstable equilibrium ; which simply means that sevile slight force one way or the other will make it fall into a position where it will repose. Today, a chastened American population is rediscovering the merits of property ownership, home production, and true liberty.

Nov 16, Erik marked it as to-read Shelves: Can I discover any relics of the co-operative instinct among such men? In the ninth section of the book, titled “The Servile State Has Begun,” Belloc explores various ways the servile state has started to creep its way back into modern life. Is not the whole psy- chology of a Capitalist hilwire divided between the proletarian mass which thinks in terms not of pro- perty but of” employment,” and the few owners who are alone familiar with the machinery of administra- tion?

Hayek provides the rise of Nazism as seervile example of what Belloc warns against.

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

The life of a man elapsed before this invention was made, by Watt’s introduction of the condenser, into the great instru- ment of production which has transformed our in- dustry but in those sixty years all the origins of the Industrial System are to be discovered.

Man proceeds to create wealth by ingenious meth- ods of varying and often increasing complexity, and aids himself by the construction of implements.

After the Reformation there began to arise all over England those great ” country wtate which rapidly became the typical centres of English agricultural life. There is one last bflloc to be considered in this de- finition.

State schooling reinforces the process: 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.

I agree with Belloc’s critique of capitalism He is out to cure the destitution which it causes in great multitudes and the harrowing in- security which it imposes upon all.

Belloc variously argues that unemployment compensation and minimum wage laws reflect this servile status, and go to massive lengths to display that the employer is a greater man than his employee that, in fact, he is an owner and his employee a slave or at least a serf, though that terminology would never be accepted by society despite bleloc accuracy. Society having reached such a condition would be released from its present internal fhe and would have taken on a form which would be stable: This new state will be acceptable to those who desire consciously or by implication the re-establish- ment among us of a difference of status between pos- sessor and non-possessor: Fantastic diagnosis, self-confessedly weak on solutions.


Hilare you left men completely free under a Capitalist system, there would be so heavy bellc mortality from star- swrvile as would dry up the sources of labour in a very short time. Finally, on the third division of the land, the “Waste,” the “Wood,” the “Heath,” and certain com- mon pastures, wealth was produced as elsewhere by the labour of those who had once been the Slaves, but divided in customary proportions between them and their master. Capitalism was here in England before the Industrial System came into being ; before the use of coal and of the new ex- pensive machinery, and of the concentration of the implements of production in the great towns.

Apparently my reading has advanced beyond my mental capacity; either that, or I need to spend more time with a dictionary. 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 slavery with complicity from the state that distinguishes between owners and hilakre the distinctions already baked in to things like workers’ comp rules and agency, and since Belloc’s time healthcare benefits.

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A man politically free, that is, one who enjoys the right before the law to exercise his energies when he pleases or not at all if he does not so please13 THE SERVILE STATE but not possessed by legal right of control over any useful amount of the means of production, we call proletarian, and any etate class composed of such men we call a proletariat. Where you have slavery affecting a class of such considerable size as to mark and determine the char- acter of the State, there you have the Servile State.

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. The Guilds had pro- perty in common, but that property was the property necessary to their co-operative life, their Halls, their Funds for Relief, their Religious Endowments.

Again, you have the great majority dispossessed but at the same time citizens, that is, men politically free to act, though economically impotent ; again, though it is but an inference from our definition, it is hilaure neces- 81 6 THE SERVILE STATE sary inference that there will be under Capitalism a conscious, direct, and planned exploitation of the ma- jority, the free citizens who do not own by the min- ority who are owners.

A man in a position to accumulate the normal result of human laboura man founded upon pro- perty in sufficient amount and in established form is no more productive in his non-productive moments than is a proletarian ; but his life is balanced and re- gulated by his reception of rent and interest as well as wages.

Thus, when we say that a hiilaire 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 tye control, in any useful amount, over either capital, or land, or both combined.


Obviously among the proletariat not among the remaining small owners.

The Servile State | Liberty Fund

He bought and sold. 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. Unfortunately for England, he left as his heir a sickly child, during the six years of whose reign, from 1 to 1 5 5 3, the loot went on at an appalling rate. Above all, most jealously did the Guild safeguard the division of property, so that there should be formed within its ranks no proletariat upon the one side, and no monopolising capitalist upon the other.

Not one man in tWo,even if you reckon the very small owners, inhabited a house of which he was the secure posses- sor, or tilled land from which he could not be turned off. He traces the history back through the middle ages, and claims in short that Protestantism and large landowners conspired with Parliament to break up small farmers and create a proletariat.

After you read this book, you will be able to see all human beings as politically free and equal, instead of divided into two classes: The inevitable consequence of these measures, Belloc argued, was compulsory labor: He shows, with many examples, the worker’s loss of the means of production, primarily, the land; and how the means have been gobbled up by either the State or a privileged few.

He claims that while stqte handful of elites hold the means of production and thus control the economy and enjoy increasing wealth, they have to use the state to buy the acquiescence of the working class, who, lacking economic independence, are swrvile better than slaves.

The lands and the accumu- lated wealth of the monasteries were taken out of, the hands of their old possessors with the intention of vesting them in the Crown but they passed, as a fact, not into the hands of the Crown, but into the hands of an already wealthy section of thecommunity who, after the change was complete, became in the succeeding hundred years the governing power of England.

The second strain which we have noted in Capi- talism, its second element of instability, consists in the fact that Capitalism destroys security.

The Servile State

For there came upon us Europeans after all those centuries, and centuriesof a settled social order which was erected upon Slavery as upon a sure foundation, the experiment called the Christian Church. Sadly, over the last two centuries, the direction in which this country has been changing seems to be away from liberty and towards more control.

But before considering the solutions variously presented by various schools of thought, I shall in my next section show how and why the English Capi- talist Industrial System is thus intolerably unstable and consequently presents an acute problem which must be solved under pain of social death.