The Servile State
Hilaire Belloc observed that when great power is held be a propertied class, a slave class is necessarily created. To redress the imbalance, the have-nots will be provided for by the state, which thereby becomes what Belloc calls “the servile state” – what we today call “the welfare state.” Belloc saw this as a return to an ancient type of society in which slavery flourished.
To Belloc, socialism was an erroneous response to the inequalities of the industrial state. Applying socialism in a capitalist setting would lead to a return to a slave or servile society on a large scale and would inevitably lead to a loss of freedom. Belloc, instead, wanted a system under which all people would own property, be self-supporting and therefore free and able to fend for themselves against efforts of governments to constrict freedom through passage of coercive laws in the name of humanitarianism and social security.
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