“To control the production of wealth is to control human life itself.”
In this 1912 classic, wide-ranging polemicist Hilaire Belloc presents a new economic history of Europe and makes his case for "Distributism", the author’s answer to the instability of capitalism and the stringency of socialism.
Belloc outlines the major economic transitions through the history of the West, arguing that the civilization began as servile and dependent upon slavery and only emerged with the advent of the Christian faith. The Middle Ages are highlighted as the optimal condition, marked by a fair distribution of property.
According to Belloc, distributism failed as a result of the government’s dissolution of monasteries, which led to the development of the unstable capitalist and socialist states.
Largely regarded as one of Belloc’s most compelling works, and certainly one of the more controversial, The Servile State serves as a paragon in unconventional thinking and Belloc’s signature lucid prose.