Servile state and liberty



Publication Details

Melleuish, G. C. (2012). Servile state and liberty. S. Withnall. Howe and G. Moens In The Sun Rises in the West: The Rule of Law Together with Property Rights - Foundations of Western Law and Liberty Conference (7-8 October), 2010, Perth Western Australia. International Trade and Business Law Review, XV 424-431.

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International Trade and Business Law Review


Hilaire Belloc invented the idea of the servile state as a condition in which 'those who do not own the means of production shall be legally compelled to work for those who do, and shall receive in exchange a security of livelihood." He argued that there were only three solutions to what he saw as the unstable nature of capitalism: the Servile state, collectivism, or his preferred solution, the Distributive State, 'in which the mass of the citizens should severally own the means of production.' For Belloc, the servile state was linked to a social order in which people would be allowed 'sufficiency' and 'security' in return for their labour.

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