By Hilaire Belloc, John Sharpe

This brief paintings is a software for estate distribution instead to the way it is deliberate by means of socialist states or evidently occurs in capitalist societies. it's a landmark of ecu social inspiration, trying to rectify the wrongs in either one of the most important monetary theories via drawing close the matter from a wholly unique approach. The essay is therefore an anticapitalist and antisocialist paintings of Christian and Catholic social notion during which easy truths approximately society and human nature are utilized to socioeconomics. it's a manifesto and a application for the Distributist League, of which Belloc and G. ok. Chesterton have been the first figures. It marks a key aspect within the heritage of monetary notion, and it's a basic textual content illustrating the effect of faith and philosophy on social idea and their useful program to societal questions.

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Sample text

As to the first answer: It has been widely said in the recent past that economic freedom can exist without the institution of property, because, under a Communist system, men own though they own corporately: they can dispose of their own lives, though such disposition be indirect and through delegates. This false argument is born of the dying Parliamentary theory of politics; it proceeds from the Hilaire Belloc 31 false statement which deceived three generations of Europe, from the French Revolution to our own day, that corporate action may be identified with individual action.

Our first approach, then, to the problem must be the consideration of what remedies are available by way of check, modification or prohibition, for meeting these seven lines of attack along which large property advances in its ceaseless campaign for absorbing or attempting to absorb small property and to turn the small owner into a proletarian. To the consideration of those remedies I will now turn. III T he practical problem before us is how to effect the beginnings, at least, of a restoration of property in this society of ours wherein property has been almost destroyed, its principles forgotten, and acquaintance with it lost in the determining majority of our fellow citizens.

On some very simple and universal point, which all understand, in which all are interested and on which all feel strongly, the desire of the bulk of people may be expressed for a brief moment by delegation. Men voting under strong emotion on one single clear issue, may instruct others to carry out their wishes; but the innumerable acts of choice and expression which make up human life can never work through a system of delegation. Even in the comparatively simple field of mere political action, delegation destroys freedom.

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