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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The form of its disappearance is well worth noting. The bargain implied was, that if the Slave Community of the Villa would produce for the benefit of its Lord not less than a certain cus- tomary amount of goods from the soil of the Villa, the Lord could count on their always exercising that effort by leaving to them all the surplus, which they could increase, if they willed, indefinitely.

Now, seeing the distaste which the remains of our long Christian tradition has bred in us for directly advocating the third solution and boldly supporting the re-establishment of slavery, the first two alone are open to reformers: This time, the one where the Distributist basis is set up.

Return to Book Page. Such a solution, the direct, im- mediate, and conscious re-establishment of slavery, would provide a true solution of the problems which Capitalism offers. This is the very antithesis of distributist principles.

To our ancestors not only for those few centuries during which we have record of their actions, but apparently during an illimitable past, the division of society into those who must work under compulsion and those who would benefit by their labour was the very plan of the State apart from which they could hardly think of society as existing at all.

The Servile Institution, though perpetually changing in the elements of its composition, was still an unchang- ing factor in the State.

Essentially, it is a State marked by artificial, government-created monopolies. I agree with Belloc’s critique of capitalism In fact, these new net tax receivers, because they are dependent upon the government for at least part of their subsistence, are a slave class as well under Belloc’s definition.

Generally, less taxes being paid is something to celebrate. Liberty Classics, []p. He claims that while a 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 no better than slaves. Either a man is free towork and not to work as he pleases, or he may be liable to a legal compulsion to work, backed by the forces of the State.

But wait a moment.

The sale of Christians to Pagan masters was abhorrent to the later empire of the Barbarian Invasions, not because slavery in itself was condemned, but because it was a sort of treason to civilisation to force men away from Civilisation to Barbarism. Belloc notes that Capitalism lacks moral and it drives theworld to changes that destroy Christendom, if it is not well managed. An alternative is needed, and the world can only do two ways. The sanction upon which social life reposes is, in our moral theory, the legal punishment enforceable in our Courts, and the basis presupposed for the se- curity and material happiness of our citizens is the possession of goods which shall guarantee us from anxiety and permit us an independence of action in the midst of our fellowmen.


This moral strain, therefore, arising from the diver- gence between what our laws and moral phrases pre- tend, and what our society actually is, makes ofthat society an utterly unstable thing. The restoration of well-distributed productive property among the masses.

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

Clothe me, the capitalist, as a capitalist, and because I am a capitalist, with special converse duties under those laws. They be- gan to fill the universities, the judiciary. The Crown less and less decided between great and small. 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.

Corporatist policies are generally thought of as monopolies and governments conspiring together to keep the working man in bondage to them with no hope of escape.

Full text of “The servile state”

Faith in all three has been shaken by subsequent events, just as Belloc would have predicted. Again, the Capitalist, free, individual direc- tor of production, will miscalculate stat sometimes he will fail, and his works will be shut down. In a book this short it can be very easily read in a single day one does not expect an exhaustive treatment, yet “methinks he doth protest too much.

With a proletarian it cannot be so.

Our study of servlie so- cial conditions, especially in the latter part, are mat- ter rather of inference than of direct evidence. Had property been well distributed, protected by co-operative guilds fenced round and supported by custom and by the autonomy of great artisan corporations, those accumulations of wealth, necessary for the launching of each new me- thod of production and for each new perfection of it, would have been discovered in the mass of small own- ers.

The England of that day was mainly agricultural, and consisted of more than four, but less than six million people, and in every agricultural community you would have the Lord, as he was legally called the squire, as he was already conversationally termedin possession of more demesne land than in any other country.

The Servile State

Collectivism would administer, would pay wages, would promote, would pension off, would fine and all the rest of it exactly as the Cap- italist State does to-day. There ztate asort of implied bargain here, in the absence of public powers and in the decline of the old highly centralised and stae system which could always guarantee to the master the full product of the Slave’s effort.


Spiritual conflict is more fruitful of instability in the State than conflict of any other kind, and there is acute spiritual conflict, conflict in every man’s conscience and ill-ease throughout the commonwealth when the realities of society are di- vorced from the moral base of its institution.

So much being grasped, we may recapitulate and say that a society like ours, disliking the name of “slavery,” and avoiding a direct and conscious re- establishment of the slave status, will necessarily contemplate the reform of its ill-distributed owner- ship on one of two models. Christianity changed that and created a society of relative equality–not egalitarian but not so iniquitous to bring about instability.

Still, it seems we fall short of Belloc’s vision of servile society, but not by much. It was in England that all its traditions and habits were formed ; and because the England in which it arose was already a Capitalist England, modern In- dustrialism, wherever you see it at work to-day, serville spread from England, has proceeded upon the Capi- talist model. My last definition concerns the Servile State it- self, and since the idea is both somewhat novel and also the subject of this book, I will not only establish hilair expand its definition.

The first is like a physician who should say to a man whose limbs were partially atrophied from disuse: By that time more than halfof the English were dispossessed of capital and of land. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Slavery exists in order that the Free should benefit by its existence, and connotes a condition in which the men subjected to it may de- mand secure existence, but little more. At any rate, it would have been a very different England indeed from the Eng- land we know, if the King had held fast to his own after the dissolution of the monasteries.

It was not machinery that lost us our freedom ; it was the loss of a free mind. Would have g The desperately needed correction on still widely held historical myths of the Medieval and Middle Ages periods, a critical assessment of the often ignored revolutionary economic effects of the Reformation, and a brilliant prediction the Keynesian globalist economic regime that won over its flip side of the same coin collectivist socialism.

Belloc neatly summarized the new servile order: It was a fun- damental conception of society. Can I discover any relics of the cooperative instinct.

How did such a catastrophe come about? But if you will define the relation between my em- ployees and myself, I will undertake particular re- sponsibilities due to my position.