Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Call to Action

The Distributist League
Founded by G.K. Chesterton
President: Hilaire Belloc
Hon. Secretary H.D.C. Pepler
7/8, Rolls Passage, E.C.4. Temple Bar 2869

The League for the Preservation of Liberty by the Restoration of Property is the only society of its kind. Yet it presents the social ideal which nine men out of ten would probably in normal circumstances regard as normal. It offers a criticism and correction of our abnormal Capitalist and Proletarian society, which differs from all those current in politics and the Press, not in degree, but in direction. It is not merely a moderate sort of Socialism. It is not merely a humane sort of Capitalism. Its two primary principles may be stated thus: -

“(1) That the only way to preserve human liberty is to preserve property; that the individual and the family may be in some degree independent of oppressive systems, official or unofficial.

“(2) That the only way to preserve property is to distribute it much more equally among the citizens, that all, or approximately all, may understand and defend it. This can only be done by breaking up the great plutocratic concentration of our time.” -G.K. Chesterton

The next executive is to be held on Tuesday, April 6, at 7 o’clock. The chief business will be to prepare the agenda for the special meeting on Saturday, April 17, when the relations between the branches, independent members and the executive want to be planned on a national basis. The annual General Meeting is called for Saturday, May 29, at 3 o’clock.

We are glad to welcome two new branches, one in Northampton, the other among the students of Cotton College.

But each member of the League is a branch in himself. It is probable that he does not receive the nourishment from the parent trunk which he looks for, This is due in part to the nature of our association. Our founder’s function was to teach, not to organize. G.K. Chesterton and H. Belloc have probably between them said all that asks to be said on the need for a more equitable distribution of property; the time has now come when we must either act or die. The teaching period is over. We have to protect the property and to safeguard the interests of “the small man,” independent craftsman or trader, and the family.

It is to be hoped that by the next annual meeting we may have a clear constitution and an organizing secretary who can go about the country to strengthen and unite our members in a common policy. It will be well if another honorary secretary can also be discovered. Since my appointment we have lost our founder and the time which I had hoped to give to the League has had to be given to the paper. It is true that a lively League will inevitably produce a lively journal and that I might have done better as a secretary than a journalist; but I have no vocation for either job and hold them only until a grateful membership relieves me of them.


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