The farmer knows that man, by his labor, is to control material things; that material things are not to control man. There may be some who dislike freedom for themselves. Notwithstanding all his difficulties, the tiller of the soil still represents the natural order of things willed by God. For though the family exchange its surplus, or even all its production, for the surplus of others, yet it retains its freedom, so long as the social structure, made up of families similarly free, exercises its effect through customs and laws consonant to its spirit: The third proviso is that in this attempt to restore Economic Freedom, the powers of the State must be invoked. There will be many comparatively poor, and some comparatively rich.

There are seven main ways whereby healthy normal human society with a mass of well-distributed ownership can degenerate into a Capitalist society, the mark of which is the exploitation of the many by the wealthy few, and the power of plutocracy over all. In its absence general culture ultimately fails and so certainly 28 The Restoration of Property does citizenship. Justice in the matter of small sums is sold by the lawyers at a preposterous cost, and on larger sums is still very high through the cost of appeals. It only becomes so by bad human arrangements which can be bettered. Martin Mostek rated it did not like it Jun 10,

I doubt heavily that it is possible to plant successfully even the small seedlings of economic freedom in our society, here, in England, today.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

He wrote several novels, such as Mr. Preface, footnotes, typesetting, layout, and cover design copyright IHS Press. What the power to obtain ab especially, of course, bank credit means today we shall discuss when we come to examine the part played by finance in industrial Capitalism; but we note here that the advantage enjoyed in this department by the larger unit is, again, as in the other instances given, out of proportion to the size of the units engaged.

After that I shall ask how a similar policy can be applied to the land; in od last section I shall deal with the political organization necessary for consolidating the position of small property by guild and charter, and corporate credit when it shall have been restored.

Well-divided property will not spring up of itself in Capitalist society. It is necessarily present under Communism, or under well-divided property, and indeed in any economic system whatsover. I would, therefore, in the consideration of a practical programme, set out the various points of that programme in an order almost exactly the opposite of the intellectual order, and would begin with the things that can be done even now, at once, with some chance 56 The Restoration of Property of partial and limited success.


The larger organization can often afford to take legal advantage of the smaller organization, because the latter simply cannot afford the costs of carrying on a court case, even one they ought to win. For instance, though I have spoken much of distributing shares in corporate enterprise, I have spoken little of machinery whereby the holder of few shares could velloc given some real control over the policy which his company pursues.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property

You must drain, cut channels, embank; and having done so, you must see to it that the banks, drains and channels shall be maintained against the constant effort of nature to drag the land back to swamp again. The evil from which we are suffering today is not the evil of State prlperty but the evil of the loss of Freedom. Men will not forego a present for a future good save on terms of incre- Hilaire Belloc 49 ment.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

It examines that purpose, and proceeds to propose means which are fitted to achieving it. Hilaire Belloc 37 As we all know, there was some confused protest at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and throughout its earlier stages; there was violence used to try and prevent the enclosure of the commons and there were riots against belooc new machines.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property by Hilaire Belloc

Chesterton were the primary figures. There were parts of Europe, however, in which the clock was set back, notably in Great Britain. If you own the copyright to this book and it is wrongfully on our website, we offer a simple DMCA procedure to remove your content from our site. The Possessors alone remain to enjoy economic freedom, the dispossessed — the very great majority — are deprived of it; but there is already at least security of some revenue for nearly all, and there can, with proper organization, be sufficiency for all as well.

If both the larger and the smaller unit are producing a particular article at a pound, both in competition sell it at fifteen shillings, each will be losing five shillings on every sale.

And, if society as a whole is screwed up, how will a top-down imposition work? But, apart from his numbers, the mere presence of the secure small owner, after we had made him secure, would have remedial effect. 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.


He is emphatic that such a condition of society can only be brought about by positive state action, A very perspicuous exposition of the economic philosophy which has been called “distributism” but which here Belloc calls “the proprietary state,” meaning a state in which the character of the society and its institutions is largely influenced by freeholders and the so-called “self-employed.

Unrestricted economic tendency works therefore to the advantage of large units in this case again. At any rate, he started to make the hotels in question furnish themselves completely to his advantage — to purchase furniture they did not need 74 The Restoration of Property at a higher price than they should have paid — in order to fill his own pockets as a seller of furniture.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property – Hilaire Belloc – Google Books

There is, first of all: But wait, hold on a minute–I thought capitalism was all in favor of private prope Here’s the full review: This short work is a program for property distribution as an alternative to how it is planned by socialist states or naturally happens in capitalist societies. There was something of a proletariat before this great revolution took place. The effect of plutocracy in corrupting the legislative machine needs in theory no demonstration, for we all know nowadays that such corruption is ubiquitous, and nowhere does it work with greater force than under a yhe system.

He pointed restoratiom that the expenses of distribution would be vastly reduced by one system controlling the whole mass of small milk walks as they existed not so long ago. I have discussed only opportunities for restoring property in modern England. Let us consider these seven dangers more essaay. But in practice the danger is not so great as it seems, for the various forms of retail distribution are fairly well-established; there are divisions apparent to ordinary common sense, and propeerty is poperty true that many of them, as it is, can only come into existence through a licence granted by, or purchased from, the State — tobacconists, for instance.

That is manifestly a usurpation of social power and should be destroyed. It is too late to reinfuse it by design, and our effort must everywhere be particular, local, and in its origins, small.

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