Tuesday, July 31, 2018


“BY a very curious paradox, which it would be much too long to go into detail, but which it is amusing to notice, this power of taxing a very highly capitalist community is one of the things which is beginning to handicap our societies today against the Distributive societies. It used to be all the other way, and it seemed common sense that countries where you could levy large sums for State purposes of war or peace would win against countries where you could not levy such sums for public purposes. But the fact that you can tax so very highly a society of a few rich and many poor has been shown in the last few years to have most unexpected results. The very rich men pay all right; but the drain on the total resources of the wealth of the State weakens it.

“The money raised by taxation is spent on State servants – many of them inefficient and idle.

“Since it is so easy to raise large sums, there is a temptation to indulge in all sorts of expensive State schemes, many of which come to nothing. And this power of easy taxation, which was a strength, becomes a weakness.

“No one suspected this until taxation rose to its present height, but now it is clearly apparent; and we in England might perhaps be in a better way later on if there had been as much resistance to high taxation here as there has been in countries where property is better distributed.”

~H. Belloc: Economics for Helen, Chap. IV. (First published, 1924)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hilaire Belloc was born July 27, 1870

“STORM CLOUDS GATHERED OMINOUSLY over the village of La Celle St. Cloud, 12 miles outside Paris, on 27 July 1870. By four o’clock in the afternoon, as Elizabeth Belloc was in the final stages of childbirth, a violent thunderstorm heralded the arrival into the world of her son. Thereafter, whenever his mercurial temperament erupted into anger she would call him Old Thunder in reminiscence of the tempest which had accompanied his birth.”

~Joseph Pearce: Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, Chap. One—Cradle Refugee.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hilaire Belloc died July 16, 1953

Belloc in his home
I have quoted here a few paragraphs regarding Belloc's final days from Joseph Pearce's superlative biography, Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc.

“On 12 July, Eleanor Jebb discovered her father lying near the fireplace in a smoke-filled room. He had apparently fallen while poking the fire and had stumbled into the embers. Suffering from burns and from shock, he was taken to the Mount Alvernia nursing home of the Franciscan Missionaries at Guildford. A statue of the Blessed Virgin was taken from King’s Land and placed in his room where he could see it. On the evening of 13 July received the Last Sacraments. Two days later, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Belloc died, a few days short of his eighty-third birthday. 

“The funeral took place at West Grinstead parish church on 20 July. Following the Requiem Mass, Belloc’s body was lowered beneath the soil of his beloved ‘South Country’ and beside the body of his beloved wife. After a separation of almost 40 years, they were once more together. Parted by death’s devastation, they were now reunited by its embrace.

“The tributes poured in from friends and enemies alike. His co-religionists hailed the death of a hero. The Tablet devoted an entire issue to his memory with contributors, such as Douglas Woodruff, Ronald Knox, Christopher Hollis, James Gunn, Frank Sheed and the Bishop of Southwark queuing up to pay homage. To Knox he was ‘a Master of English Prose’, to the Bishop of Southwark a ‘Champion of the Church’. ‘Christendom has lost a great swordsman,’ lamented his old friend D.B. Wyndham Lewis in the News Chronicle, ‘more rigorous and sustained in an attack than Chesterton, less chary of wounding an opponent’s feelings, better equipped than his friend perhaps for dueling à outrance by reason of his French blood . . .’ The paying of homage was not, however, the preserve of Catholics, as the Catholic Herald proclaimed proudly, ‘The Nation Pays Tribute to the Master.’ MacDonald Hastings, writing in the Daily Express, declared that ‘Hilaire Belloc was the last of the giants of the golden age of English literature.’ The Daily Mail concurred, declaring him ‘the last of the giants’. The leader-writer in The Times placed Belloc ‘somewhere between Mr Pickwick and Dr Johnson’, echoing Father Martin D’Arcy’s dubbing Belloc as the ‘Catholic Dr Johnson’.”  

—Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, Chap. 31—The Fading.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


“DEMOCRACY, that is, the government of the community by the community: a state wherein a man stands equal with his fellows, and has to suffer neither subservience nor the corruption of flattery and power; a state in which office alone commands, and not being clothed with office—that is the ideal at the back of every man’s mind who cares for right in public affairs, and who has within himself anything left of private honor. It is simplest put by saying that democracy is the noblest form of government.”

~Hilaire Belloc: The Cruise of the Nona.

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