Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"The family...is more important than the state"

MEN cannot live as free citizens, capable of free contract, enjoying economic liberty, feeling their lives secure, unless they have property. By such laws as shall put property into many hands, until at least a determining number of citizens own, can society be saved. In no other way can it be saved, unless we call a return to slavery salvation.

The family is the true unit of the state, and is more important than the state. The state exists for the family, not the family for the state. Property is necessary for its normal and healthy being.

Men labor for sustenance and produce sustenance with certain instruments. Over those instruments they who labor should have control, that is, property.

Some activities function best — or can only function — in large groups. In these cases there may be shareholding – but the shares held as property. When monopoly is inevitable, by all means let it be controlled by the state, but first be certain that it is inevitable, and if you find it rising as an artificial growth, cut it down at once. A society built on ownership safeguarded by corporate rules, will restore to us our “Daily Bread” which we have lost. Immediate necessities must be relieved for the moment; but our aim should be a stable society in a contented world. How that may be reached is the subject of what follows.

~Hilaire Belloc: The Way Out, Chap. 1.—To Begin With.

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