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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Some- times it was a private individual who was in this posi- tion, sometimes a corporation, but in every village you would have found this demesne land absolutely owned by the political head of the village, occupying a considerable proportion of its acreage.
Now imagine either of these men at issue with the existing state of Capitalist society and attempting to transform it. The enforcement of a contract probably bind- ing one’s whole life is not consonant with freedom.
During some centuries which theChurchraised, permeated, and constructed, Europe was grad ually re- leased or divorced from this immemorial and funda- mental conception of slavery ; to that conception, to that institution, our Industrial or Capitalist society is now upon its return.
Aug 16, Raul rated it really liked it Shelves: America continues down the well-trodden path of servility, with only a fraction of its citizens decrying the process and still fewer really understanding the system’s failures. What freedom is, or is not, in so far as mere measure of time is concerned though of course much else than time enters inhuman habit determines; but the enforcing of a contract of service certainly or probably leaving a choice after its expiration is consonant with free- dom.
Othercauses had contributed to this deplorable re- sult. What does this expanded government do? A man thinks of himself, of his chances and of his security along the line of his own individ- ual existence from birth to death.
The two classes, created legislatively in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, have solidified this process. The central theme of this stae is that capitalism inevitably moves towards a welfare state by the enslavement of the masses, who own no property thereby the means of productionto a massive economic machine with no boundaries for its ever extending reaches.
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 beings, introduces a third factor of the utmost importance.
The Immemorial past of Europe is a Servile past.
It pun- ishes theft as an abnormal incident only occurring when, through evil motives, one free citizen acquires the property of another without his knowledge and against his will. One could prove the tendency towards the Servile State in England to-day to a man who knew nothing of the past of Europe ; but that tendency will seem to him far more reasonably probable, far more a matter of experience and less a matter of mere deduc- tion, when he knows what our society once was, and how it changed into what we know to-day.
The typical American suburban home—commonly prohibited by zoning laws and restrictive covenants from housing any kind of productive work—is simply not part of the distributist vision.
The more society moves away from practicing the Christian faith the more society moves towards a servile state. By loose metaphor and for rhetorical purposes men who dislike Collectivism for instance or the discipline of a regiment will talk of the ” servile ” conditions of such organisations. Nearly all the receipts of the Crown were customary. Oct 03, Sean rated it really liked it. The Serf of the early Middle Ages, of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries, of the Crusades and the Norman Conquest, is already nearly a peasant.
Have I made myself clear? 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.
Along what line of least resistance will either be led? The Collectivist,on the other hand, proposes to put land and capital into the hands of the political officers of the community,and this on the understanding that they shall hold such land and capital in trust for the advantage of the community.
So true is all this that the stupider kind of Col- lectivist will often talk of a ” Capitalist phase ” of society as the necessary precedent to a ” Collectivist phase. 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.
It fought against the new wealth, the struggle of the Civil Wars ; it was utterly defeated ; and when a final settlement was arrived at inyou have all the realities of power in the hands of a small powerful class of wealthy men, the King still surrounded by the forms and traditions of his old power, but in practice a salaried puppet. Electricity and the internal combustion engine—both favorable to family-scale production—would be encouraged; steam and water power would be taxed.
There is no conceivable lin k in reason or in experience which binds the capitalisation of a new process with the idea of a few employing owners and a mass of employed non- owners working at a wage.
Property is a term used for that arrangement in society whereby the control of land and of wealth made from land, including therefore all the means of production, is vested in some person or corpora- tion.
The ‘wealthy’ are being made the slaves of the ‘poor’. So in practice this doctrine means the management of the means of production by those who are the public officers of the community. Still, there are some sections that certainly bear thinking about and should be read and re-read.
That class of large land- owners which already existed and controlled, as I have said, anything from a quarter to a third of the agricultural values of England, were too strong for the monarchy. Such a proportion may seem to us to-day a wonder- fully free arrangement, and certainly if nearly one- half of our population were possessed of the means of production, we should be in a very different situa- tion from that in which we find ourselves.
The evil proceeded indirect historical sequence, proceeded patently and demonstrablyfrom the fact that England, the seed-plot of the Industrial System, was already captured by a wealthy oligarchy before the series of great discoveries began.
The Servile State
These soon become in each new department of the produc- tion as truly necessary to belooc production as labour and land. He saved as he willed, he invested, he built, he drained at his discretion, and if he improved the land it was to his own profit. 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.
Can I discover any relics of the co-operative instinct among such men? Aug 27, Pedro Rocha rated it really liked it.
The Servile State | Liberty Fund
This was not meant just as a criticism of the modern welfare state, as many conservatives now suppose. Our legal mach- inery has become little more than an engine for pro- tecting the few owners against the necessities, the de- mands, or the hatred of the mass of their dispossess- ed fellow-citizens.
I say,” of the last generation.