Anyone for Belloc?
#1
I would like to generate discussion on Belloc. I see at least two people have him in their avatars and that he was perhaps more discussed in the past at FE, but not so much now.

Strangely, I only really discovered HB maybe 18 months ago - strange because I have been more or less inhabiting traditional Catholic circles for at least 6 years.

Really, I have been STUNNED. The man was prophetic on so, so, so much.

It seems to me that many of the kind of people here at FE owe a lot to him, directly or indirectly. (For me it was indirect, until I discovered him last year).

But a question I have is what do we owe Belloc to? He seems to have been an original, blazing a trail ...

I think of Chesterton - who I confess I have hardly read properly yet - but it seems (from my admittedly superficial perspective) that he owes so much to Belloc. As their publisher Frank Sheed said, who knew them both:

“There was Chesterton, of course, but then Belloc had so much to do with the making of Chesterton and Chesterton not much with the making of Belloc.”

So here is one question I am with. So much is owed to Belloc, but what does Belloc owe to ...

Would be grateful to hear any thoughts on this or anything else regarding HB.

(Finally, on a perhaps too self-serving note, I have a lot about Belloc at my blog under the label Hilaire Belloc - and I might post some things/links here to facilitate this conversation if anyone is interested in it. Also was not sure where to post this. Belloc is not "Theology and Philosophy" but he is Catholic history and culture. Maybe Vox will want to move this somewhere better?)

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#2
Belloc is awesome. He also seems pretty sure that Muhammadism is a mere Christian heresy, which I'm definitely inclined to at least partially agree with.
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#3
I love Belloc too.  I've only read a few of his works unfortunately (I'm working on it, but 8 months of college every year puts a damper on pretty much all my reading Cry().

I have the talk from the last CFN conference called "Hillaire Belloc: Hammer of Historians"  That'll be my Christmas vacation entertainment.
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#4
He was an atheist and a fabian socialist... until he experienced something (I think it was a miracle) that he said he would never disclose to anyone.  He became Catholic and renounced socialism. 

He and Chesterton knew that socialism was an attempt to correct the evils of capitalism, but unfortunately an attempt that instead spawned more evils.

So, they both thought, "What would Catholic economics look like today if we hadn't had to deal with the atheists and Protestants and their capitalism and socialism?

Distributism!  Which comes from the term "Distributive Justice".  They realized too late that "distributism" sounds like communism, even though the only thing they really have in common is an opposition to capitalism.  But the name stuck. 

Chesterton and Belloc.  Two very different people, yet two excellent Catholic intellectuals.  I don't think we'd have a Tolkien if it wasn't for them.
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#5
I'm for Belloc!  I especially liked The Crisis of Civilization.

His writings may be largely responsible for an effort in the 20th/21st century to find a Catholic middle ground between capitalism and socialism.

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#6
(11-06-2013, 12:18 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: I'm for Belloc!  I especially liked The Crisis of Civilization.

His writings may be largely responsible for an effort in the 20th/21st century to find a Catholic middle ground between capitalism and socialism.

Not a middle ground, a rejection of both.
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#7
The power of the State must be invoked for restoring economic freedom just as it has been invoked for destroying economic freedom.

Hilaire Belloc, The Restoration of Property, 1936
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#8
(11-06-2013, 12:43 PM)LoneWolfRadTrad Wrote:
(11-06-2013, 12:18 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: I'm for Belloc!  I especially liked The Crisis of Civilization.

His writings may be largely responsible for an effort in the 20th/21st century to find a Catholic middle ground between capitalism and socialism.

Not a middle ground, a rejection of both.

Yes a middle ground. He rejected socialism to the left, capitalism to the right, and argued for distributism which is in the middle. Virtus stat in medio.
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#9
(11-06-2013, 12:43 PM)LoneWolfRadTrad Wrote:
(11-06-2013, 12:18 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: I'm for Belloc!  I especially liked The Crisis of Civilization.

His writings may be largely responsible for an effort in the 20th/21st century to find a Catholic middle ground between capitalism and socialism.

Not a middle ground, a rejection of both.


Yes, good to clarify that.

But I think you go too far in saying this Lone Wolf Trad:

(11-06-2013, 12:43 PM)LoneWolfRadTrad Wrote: He was an atheist and a fabian socialist... until he experienced something (I think it was a miracle) that he said he would never disclose to anyone.  He became Catholic and renounced socialism. 

Belloc was extremely pious as a child. Reading him as a 12 year old can take one's breath away (I'll try to find something).

By the time he got to Oxford, he had lapsed a little ...

But then he married this beautiful, pious Irish-American called Elodie Hogan. His fervour was rekindled - for life.

I asked above to what do we owe Belloc ...

One beautiful, pious Irish-American may be a key! Women used to do so much to help us stupid men in this way. They still do, of course, but not like back then ...



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#10
(11-06-2013, 01:05 PM)jake-the-rake Wrote: The power of the State must be invoked for restoring economic freedom just as it has been invoked for destroying economic freedom.

Hilaire Belloc, The Restoration of Property, 1936

A great example of how Catholics cannot embrace Libertarianism (as a whole that is).
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