The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc

(Milwaukee: Cavalier, 1912), 113

  • Capitalism is inherently unstable, and will be replaced either by collectivism, distributism, or by the servile state
  • The Servile State: compulsory labor legally enforcible upon those who do not own the means of production for the advantage of those who do (17)
  • our civilization was originally servile (31)
  • but the Christianization of Europe dissolved this for a time (guilds and the distributive system) (36)
  • this failed when the king siezed lands from the Church and couldn't hold onto them, so a rich oligarchy formed (44)
  • the capitalist state in proportion as it grows perfect grows unstable (56)

    • capitalism presupposes freedom but tends to undermine the [economic] freedom of the majority non-owner (58)

  • Socialism: the desire for socialism leads to servitude
  • the servile state is a consequence of the reformation
  • To me (reading this in 2019), it seems that "economic" servitude is more what played out than "political" servitude as Belloc forsees. People aren't forced to work, but economic conditions compel them to. (64)