Be the first to ask a question about An Essay on the Restoration of Property. Whether there remains today in England a desire for economic freedom that is, for property sufficient to nourish the beginnings of a change, nothing but experiment can decide. Railway property has at least become better distributed than most of the great capitalist groups, whereas some of the monopolies which are getting the advantage of road transport at the public charge are virtually in the hands of half a dozen men and often — as in the case of oils — the property of aliens. Supply controls demand and not demand supply. Let us take these four points one by one. When you have these forces at work in combination a wide distribution of ownership of shares will necessarily follow.

G72 E Radical, even by today’s standards. Belloc himself reminds us of this point in the Essay: The cells of the body politic are atrophied and the mass of men have not even, at last, an opinion of their own, but are moulded by the few who retain ownership of land and endowments and reserves. You must make it easy for the smaller group to start at the expense of the larger one, and then to grow to a certain size in spite of the efforts the larger one will make to crush it. This content was uploaded by our users and we assume good faith they have the permission to share this book.

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An Essay on the Restoration of Property

In Foreign Affairs it is less likely to judge wisely and act rapidly. A very perspicuous exposition of the economic philosophy which has been called “distributism” but which here Belloc eestoration “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.

This tendency is due to propety quite different causes, between which it is most important to distinguish, especially as most of those who deal with these matters in our modern economic writing confuse them badly. Meanwhile, the culture of debt offers the opportunity to squander whatever ownership one has acquired by re-mortgaging a home in exchange esay cash to be consumed on luxury items of all kinds.


Galbraith had expected to see.

It is obvious that whoever oh the means of production controls the supply of wealth. Thish necessarily will lead to wage slavery. Unrestricted economic tendency works therefore to the od of large units in this case again. It should be used to establish and conserve corporate credit with the Guild to which — as we shall describe in a later article — the small distributor should belong; it should even be used, perhaps exceptionally, to subsidize the starting of the small man.

What the future may reserve for us in the way of new instruments we cannot tell, but at any rate with those already in hand there is propeerty indefinitely large field for the expansion of well-divided membership. What is, therefore, both assumed and implied by such a method is restoratioon man is the master of his destiny, and his mastery extends even to things economic. Professional politicians always make a point of prophesying success and even more respectable and sincere reformers love to exaggerate the chances of their ideal and even affirm its ultimate victory as certain.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

There may be some who dislike freedom for themselves. It is not bello impossible of achievement; at least, it is not quite impossible to start retsoration beginnings of a change. Here, however, we must repeat the principle laid down at the beginning of this essay, that you will not get well distributed property in any form, whether in land or anything else, unless there is some desire present in the community for its acquirement. But Property, and its accompaniment, Economic Freedom, will be the mark of society as a whole.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

Thirdly, there must be a capital tax on industrial shares as distinguished from land, which is in a different category altogether.

Capital accumulates for a certain reward. If the miller can refuse to supply flour to easay rest, who have lost their instruments and aptitude for grinding wheat, he will be their master. II A s we approach the problem of the restoration of property there are two main principles to be kept in mind: It marks a key point in the history of economic thought, and it is a fundamental text illustrating the influence of religion and philosophy on social thought and their practical application to societal questions.


If, then, we regard economic freedom as a eseay, our object must be thus to restore property. Their subsistence is doled out to them without prroperty having discretion in the matter. He is most notable for his Catholic faith, which had a strong impact on most of his works and his writing collaboration with G.

An Essay on the Restoration of Property by Hilaire Belloc

Feb 28, C. A society of small owners may be over conservative and timid, probably more ignorant, than an economic oligarchy controlling its mass of wage slaves. He is emphatic that such a condition of society can only be brought about by positive state action, though he eschews many of the measures liberals often propose for ameliorating the conditions of the working classes, mainly because such measures solidify their status as working classes and not producing or independent classes.

He was becoming a nuisance.

belloc an essay on the restoration of property

We have seen how true this is of the chain shop and the big store, and the same thing is at work, of course, in production and transport. A differential tax on power used would effect this. But the wealth can only come into existence through the manipulating of natural forces by certain instruments; and there must also be an existing store of food and clothing and housing and the rest of it so that human beings may carry on during the process of production.

This is lf strictly and necessarily the result, but it tends to be the result. This book outlines the difference between economic freedom and mere purchasing power, shows how Capitalism and Socialism are basically cut from the same cloth, introduces the economic theory of Distributism, and suggests a plan for return to the Proprietary Restorration, in which people actually own property and use it to create wealth for themselves.

It is not quite impossible of achievement; at least, it is not quite impossible to start the beginnings of a change. Where urgent material necessities are unsatisfied they must be satisfied first.