As the brilliantly written introduction to this book by IHS Press puts it: Though such a situation is almost incomprehensible today, being as we are so accustomed to working for someone else for a wage in order to support ourselves, it was not so long ago that men possessed real freedom to control their own destiny.
Suite F Norfolk, VA The publication of this magnificent essay is a hearty expression of that commitment. It is too late to reinfuse it by design, and our effort must everywhere be particular, local, and in its origins, small.
We shall find as we proceed in our search for Economic Freedom, that we cannot follow it for any distance without calling in the powers of the State, to contrast with, and as far as possible to destroy, the usurped powers of Big Business.
It will be a long, slow, hard process of swimming upstream, but it seems more likely to pay off in the long run. Because both are the rejection of private property.
So many Catholics today are confused about the subject of economics. With the rise of modern capitalism, the possession of real, productive property, which was once widely distributed among the majority of the population, was rapidly concentrated in the hands of a small minority of the population, leaving very few small proprietors and producers, and enslaving most of those that remained to the control of banks.
Such a system, which the great thinker calls distributism, will only materialize if it grows naturally in this or that local environment ready and determined to assimilate it organically.
Repeatedly he speaks of the need for the State to artificially foster the isolated and feeble seedlings of small property ownership at the expense of the rest of society, and is unapologetic about what this requires: The large organization can easily put all sorts of pressure on a parliamentary political system to enact laws and policies friendly to it.
But the odds against a reconstruction of economic freedom in a society which has long acquired the practice and habit of wage slavery is difficult beyond any other political task.
The choice lies between property on the one hand and slavery, public or private, on the other. Early on, he seems to say that a top-down fix is not the answer: But their activities are at the mercy of their masters.
I am certainly not wholeheartedly in favor of that proposition, but I could seriously entertain it. It is not quite impossible of achievement; at least, it is not quite impossible to start the beginnings of a change. How could this be? If it were quite impossible of achievement it would not be worth while wasting breath or ink upon it.
It is a confusion born of an ignorance that, sad to say, is practically universal. We now find ourselves, and our families, under the heel of a colossal conglomerate of finance, industry and government which is inimical and totally suppressive of Catholic family life.
Catholics, first of all, have to face the reality of their own ignorance and desire to be educated in this field. The restoration of Property must essentially be the product of a new mood, not of a new scheme. We say "defended" because once established, such a society must be maintained by consensus, by custom, and by law.
Modern economic "thought" would maintain that the "invisible hand" of the "free market" automatically guarantees the greatest amount of material and moral happiness for the greatest number in society; such nonsense should be easy enough to dismiss, in light of Enron, WorldCom, and you-name-which other scandal that has recently rocked Wall Street as a result of the "no holds barred" and "anything goes" economic vision.
I do not know whether it be possible to start even the beginnings of a change. The master class directs and is free: This essay will help a great deal in educating the reader in regard to the problem and the remedy.
This book was not written to condemn industry or technology. Just as some men in the not too distant past choose to inaugurate and implement the social-Darwinist economic free for all, so too may men today freely decide to move society in a different direction.
Papal encyclicals often dealt with issues of social justice.The essay is thus an anticapitalist and antisocialist work of Christian and Catholic social thought in which basic truths about society and human nature are applied to socioeconomics.
It is a manifesto and a program for the Distributist League, of which Belloc and G. K. Chesterton were the primary figures. Description. A landmark work in European social thought, Belloc provides a unique alternative to how property distribution is planned by socialist states and how it naturally occurs in capitalist societies.
Jan 01, · Hilaire Belloc’s Essay on the Restoration of Property is a fantastic paradigm-rocker. In it, he sets forth the shocking, but ultimately quite sensible claim that, far from being opposites, capitalism and socialism are essentially of the same genus; socialism just takes capitalism a bit further--to it’s logical conclusion/5.
An Essay on the Restoration of Property is Belloc's most famous Distributist tract, being a clear, concise, and straightforward sketch of how a society of real property owners might be re-established and defended.
"Re-established," because, contrary to popular opinion and our own personal experience, civilized society up until the last years.
Get this from a library! An Essay on the Restoration of Property.
[Hilaire Belloc] -- 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. It. An Essay on the Restoration of Property is Belloc’s attempt to do that.
I say attempt because ultimately it fails. (We are not speaking here of whether an individual can take a distributive approach to life but whether the dominant approach in a /5(3).Download