online great books

#83- Belloc’s “An Essay on the Restoration of Property”

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This week, Scott and Karl read Hilaire Belloc’s “An Essay on the Restoration of Property.” Written in 1936, Belloc attempts to rectify the wrongs in both major economic theories by approaching the problem from an entirely new angle, offering his own program for property distribution. 

As Scott points out, “The whole idea underlying what he’s writing about is predicated on a much different notion of ‘the good’ that most people carry today… Belloc’s main concern is economic freedom.”

Property to Belloc is something that directly contributes to your economic freedom. Karl adds, “Property seems to have it’s own kind of rights, at least it’s own kind of interests.”

Would a propertied class be a more politically active and politically savvy class? Tune in to hear Scott and Karl discuss how Belloc illustrates the practical application of many such societal questions. 

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Comments

  1. Pingback: Muh Productivity – Tom Patrowsky

  2. Scott Hambrick

    We can’t show that wealth has created those effects. All we can show is correlation.

    We don’t know the hospital existed because of the industrial revolution. We don’t know Fleming or any other person survived childhood because of the IR.

    Germ theory, Harvey, Fleming, and Ideas are responsible for man of these goods you name. We can show causality with these ideas. Additionally, there is nothing about the germ theory, circulatory theory, or antibiotics that is predicated on a certain amount of wealth or industrialization. The ideas that germs cause disease and that the heart pumps blood, and the discovery of antibiotics could have been discovered and promulgated in ancient Greece. They weren’t. It took Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Galen in order to get to these new discoveries. It’s the ideas that are important.

    Additionally, people have traded freely and owned property for millennia. Property rights and trade in Greece and Rome were something we’d all recognize. Leisure isn’t new either. The peasant of the middle ages had much more leisure time than moderns. Read Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, etc. it’s clear that ancient Greece had a large and intelligent class of people who owned capital and traded. They had leisure. A lot. They were busy coming up with the bedrock ideas we’d need to solve problems later.

    There are a great number of people, revenue agents, and companies who want us to think that ever increasing business activity has been and will be our salvation. It’s in the business interest of many for us to be convinced of that. You might say there’s a profit motive in teaching us all this idea. Capitalism is an artificial intelligence that tends to bend all activities, especially training and schooling, towards it’s own ends.

    IF the lot of man has improved, it has been the human mind creating new ideas in pursuit of beatific vision that has been the driver.

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