The Servile State

The Servile State

5.0 1
by Hilaire Belloc
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Servile State, published in 1912, is Hilaire Belloc's foray into economic theory and philosophy. In it he promotes the idea of "distributism," as opposed to capitalism and socialism. "The servile state is that in which the mass of men shall be constrained by law to labor for the profit of a minority," Belloc says. And this state is the ordinary and natural ends of

Overview

The Servile State, published in 1912, is Hilaire Belloc's foray into economic theory and philosophy. In it he promotes the idea of "distributism," as opposed to capitalism and socialism. "The servile state is that in which the mass of men shall be constrained by law to labor for the profit of a minority," Belloc says. And this state is the ordinary and natural ends of both capitalism and socialism, though they may arrive there by different routes.

In contrast, Belloc envisions a society in which each individual strives to be the owner of means of production, rather than a worker who merely earns wages. By owning what he needs to make his living, man can experience true freedom. It has happened before, he says, most notably in Britain before the Protestant Reformation.

Modern readers will hear many echoes from Belloc in today's campaigns for co-ops and locally-owned businesses, which seek to replace large corporations with smaller operations that more adequately distribute wealth. Students of economics and history, as well as those interested in politics and the effects of economics on society, will find this a thought-provoking and galvanizing read.

French writer and thinker HILAIRE BELLOC (1870-1953) is known as "the man who wrote a library." He expounded extensively on a number of subjects, including French and British history, military strategy, satire, comic and serious verse, literary criticism, topography and travel, translations, and religious, social, and political commentary. Among his most famous works are The Path to Rome (1902) and Emmanuel Burden (1903).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440476433
Publisher:
CreateSpace
Publication date:
11/29/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
116
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer and historian who became a naturalised British subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, satirist, man of letters, and political activist. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G. K. Chesterton. 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.

His most lasting legacy is probably his verse, which encompasses cautionary tales and religious poetry. Among his best-remembered poems are Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion and Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death"'

Belloc was born in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, to a French father and an English mother, and grew up in England. Much of his boyhood was spent in Slindon, West Sussex, for which he often felt homesick in later life. This is evidenced in poems such as, "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill".

Three of his best-known non-fiction works are The Servile State (1912), Europe and Faith (1920) and The Jews (1922).

From an early age Belloc knew Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, who was responsible for the conversion of his mother to Roman Catholicism. Manning's involvement in the 1889 London Dock Strike made a major impression on Belloc and his view of politics, according to biographer Robert Speaight. Belloc described this retrospectively in The Cruise of the Nona (1925); he became a trenchant critic both of capitalism and of many aspects of socialism.

With others (G. K. Chesterton, Cecil Chesterton, Arthur Penty) Belloc had envisioned the socioeconomic system of distributism. In The Servile State, written after his party-political career had come to end, and other works, he criticized the modern economic order and parliamentary system, advocating distributism in opposition to both capitalism and socialism. Belloc made the historical argument that distributism was not a fresh perspective or program of economics but rather a proposed return to the economics that prevailed in Europe for the thousand years when it was Catholic.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Servile State 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago