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Worth Quoting

There are but three social arrangements which can replace Capitalism: Slavery, Socialism, and Property.

                                                                                                --Hilaire Belloc
                                                                                               The Servile State

Comments

Nina Cornelsen said…
Property is a social arrangement? That's a new concept to me.
Scot said…
He's talking about a socio-economic paradigm. Property for Belloc and other Distributists means productive property that many people own either privately, e.g. you own your own writing business/shop or farm or auto garage, etc. or you band together with others becoming employee-owners of a medical clinic, school, factory, etc.
Nina Cornelsen said…
...as opposed to socialism, in which the state owns everything, and slavery, in which some humans are owned by others. I think I understand. The "property" system sounds similar in concept to an Israeli moshav, which is distinct from capitalism in that, while property is individually owned, the people conduct business together for the collective good of the community.

What's not clear is whether "property" is really entirely distinct from capitalism. Doesn't it play a role within the capitalistic system? Both of your examples exist in our capitalistic society. Or is the author arguing that American "capitalism" is tainted by other socioeconomic paradigms?

I may be totally off base. I'm constructing all these ideas from one quote and a two-sentence summary. /-:
Scot said…
No sweat, Nina. Distributism is different from Capitalism in that it (one, is a Catholic economic system) says that most or all of the people in society should be owners of productive property, not just the 1% of capitalists. Property as it is now, is mostly in the hands of the super-rich.
Nina Cornelsen said…
I see. Is the basic argument that people tend to take better care of the things they own?
Scot said…
No. The basic argument is wealth accumulates with those who have property. If productive property was much more widely dispersed through a society, more people could create their own job security as well as have access to wealth.
Nina Cornelsen said…
I'll think about that.

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