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Utopia of Usurers

G. K. Chesterton

Book Overview: 

“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability. They generally have to pay men to organise the mine, exactly as they pay men to go down it. They often lie about the present wealth, as they generally lie about their past poverty. But when they say that they are going in for a “constructive social policy,” they do not lie. They really are going in for a constructive social policy. And we must go in for an equally destructive social policy; and destroy, while it is still half-constructed, the accursed thing which they construct.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . of truth, his difficulty is this and simply this: More food, leisure, and money for the workman would mean a better workman, better even from the point of view of anyone for whom he worked. But more food, leisure, and money would also mean a more independent workman. A house with a decent fire and a full pantry would be a better house to make a chair or mend a clock in, even from the customer's point of view, than a hovel with a leaky roof and a cold hearth. But a house with a decent fire and a full pantry would also be a better house in which to refuse to make a chair or mend a clock—a much better house to do nothing in—and doing nothing is sometimes one of the highest of the duties of man. All but the hard-hearted must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it. As he stood gazing at the leaky roof and the rickety cradle in a pensive ma. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This collection of Chesterton essays compiles a number of brief discourses on political and economic topics, very much directed at persons and issues of his own day. Ostensibly these writings were selected and compiled as the clearest examples of Chesterton’s own political-economic thought, an objec

Lúcidos comentarios sobre las contradicciones e incongruencias del discurso benefactor del capitalismo desde premisas cristianas y reformistas.

I am a big Chesterton fan but much of this book went over my head because the social problems of his time are different than ours. Capitalism was much more dangerous then in England than it is now in America. Of course our real problem is Socialism, which Chesterton also did not like (e.g. his love/

Some of the most thought-provoking political and social commentary I've read in years. It's hard to believe Chesterton's essays are nearly a century old; they are hugely applicable to the current cultural problem of equating financial success with virtue, and the problem of media bias (in many direc

This book is foundational to my calling, my philosophy of art and society, and my understanding of culture.

I wish every Crypto Conservative who slimes along trying to claim Chesterton as one of their own every ten years or so was forced to read this book.

That's right fuckos, go ahead and promote the work of a man who wanted to dismantle capitalism and was in favor of radical land redistribution.

Post Scr

For over thirty years, G. K. Chesterton has been one of my favorite authors, but this month has made me question my evaluation to some extent. First I read Lord Kitchener, which had the virtue of being short and crisp; but The Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays displayed the author as a fish out of

As usual, Chesterton is a master at explaining things and getting to the heart of the matter. He makes some very pithy points that will leave you pondering for awhile. That being said, his attacks on capitalism as a whole, while also attacking communism in the same breath, is confusing to say the le

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