Utopia of Usurers

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Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are "The Man Who Was Thursday", a metaphysical thriller, and "The Everlasting Man", a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in , he wrote mainly on religious topics such as "Orthodoxy" and "Heretics".

Utopia of Usurers

Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown". Chesterton died in at the age of If you know the book but cannot find it on AbeBooks, we can automatically search for it on your behalf as new inventory is added. Ontological relativity: and other essays. Hebrew Humour and Other Essays. Ways of Paradox and Other Essays. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.

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  1. Utopia of Usurers (Wiseblood Edition).
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Byzantine Studies and Other Essays. Essentials of Mysticism and Other Essays. Recommend Documents. Aidan Mackey, Chesterton scholar, English gentleman, and Distributist inspiration.

Our grate This characterization is incorrect, as history would subsequently show, the abuses that Chesterton thinks he addresses are not products of capitalism, but of large organizations and state over-reach. It does not matter who is pulling the strings, whether business or socialists, both are detrimental to the freedom that chesterton guards so carefully. Aug 18, Mark Foster rated it really liked it. As a relative newcomer to Chesterton it is none the less quite clear this work is a little atypical to his oeuvre in this provocative, sometimes prophetic if slightly uneven work.

Certainly it's clear while the wit is a little less evident than usual, the righteous anger he feels against the capitalist 'usurer' is, whilst often present in his polemics, here most pronounced and a century on gives us a compelling reminder that Chesterton the Catholic and Chesterton the reactionary do not stand in As a relative newcomer to Chesterton it is none the less quite clear this work is a little atypical to his oeuvre in this provocative, sometimes prophetic if slightly uneven work.

Certainly it's clear while the wit is a little less evident than usual, the righteous anger he feels against the capitalist 'usurer' is, whilst often present in his polemics, here most pronounced and a century on gives us a compelling reminder that Chesterton the Catholic and Chesterton the reactionary do not stand in any way contradictory to Chesterton the revolutionary. Indeed his criticisms of the welfare socialism he was beginning to see as merely the piece meal reparations or worse social controls Capitalism makes to it's own anti-production have a great ring of truth with our current predicament today.

Though this fear of the encroaching 'state' maybe finds stronger footing in the superb 'Heretics' at times ie chapter regarding George Bernard Shaw, I was surprised here he conceives the idea that we are making the world more like a prison and the prison more like the world-more humane even, 'in order to enslave more of humanity in it'. And, along the way he practically invents the idea of 'thoughtcrime' in the process some 30 years before Orwell when he discusses how a person may eventually be considered 'mentally ill' at the convenience of the totalitarian states definition, therefor incarcerated under a pretext of protecting society from the subject or indeed from himself.

Reading this I have little doubt he would have seen the attacks against the 'welfare dependent' underclass of today and the egregious 'socialism' of usury risk for banking in their proper perspective. Marxism also gets a brief mention as heartfelt,earnest but to Chesterton essentially incorrect. He briefly dismisses its economic scientism saying they would have done as well to '..

But both the socialists and Marxists are viewed almost sympathetically by comparison as quite understandable attempts to counter the prevailing horrors capitalism. The cynicism he levels at the press and politicians and the inadequacy of the democratic process again feels pertinent. It is worth mentioning, as others have, Chesterton's rather wholesale and rather credulous acceptance of Anti German propaganda regarding the coming Great War.

It no doubt mars this book, and while he was never a jingoist is the crudest sense his nationalistic support of the war never faltered as far as I know.

Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays

As an Atheist living a century on, it is of course not hard nor surprising for me to disagree with Chesterton's conclusions on many things WW1,Homosexuality,Female Emancipation but by the same token history has clearly been kind to his views on many things too, who can consider his attacks on the Eugenics of the day as 'anti-progressive' now?

None the less the pleasure of Chesterton is clearly not in always coming to the same conclusions as him because the pleasure of Chesterton is seeing just HOW he considered people and ideas. Despite the breadth of his views it is a rare occasion I have found his arguments truly weak a rare exception being is arguments vs Female emancipation in the otherwise mostly excellent 'What is wrong with the world' which are not worthy of him IMO.

So this, while atypical and not by far his most sublime writing, is for me one of Chesterton's essential works.

The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton, Part 1 Of 2, Complete Audiobook

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. This view involved a deeply-held belief in the right of men to own personal property and a disavowing of the monopolization of production and resources by the wealthy few, emphases I have come across in other Chesterton writings but never seen as explicitly fleshed out as done here.

I would classify this book as a bit of a curiosity in the Chesterton cannon, not a primary work. Utopia will fascinate Chesterton aficionados, but his personal politics will not be of much interest to the rest.

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Further, the lack of annotations for his numerous references to minor political figures and the local histories of early 20th-century Europe will cause not a small amount of frustration for any reader, and my own enjoyment of the collection suffered for it. Here he is not writing to philosophize or moralize, he is writing to add his own booming voice to the scales of the decisions of his own day. Always a grand Catholic, his sanctified mind was set not simply toward the heavens, but passionately toward the issues of injustice facing his cultural moment.

Chesterton feared this inequality would lead to an effectively servile state and a democracy that was such only in name, while elections and laws were ultimately determined by and for the wealthy, fears expressed by many in our own recent history. Perhaps such prophetic ideas still and always ring true.


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  • 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 directions. I did not agree with every word he wrote, but I hung on every syllable.

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    I usually enjoy Chesterton. This collection of essays had a few more out-dated allusions than usual. Also, I hadn't realized how much he hated Capitalists. He had no love for Socialists, either, so I'm left wondering what economic system he would espouse. He made good observations about the excesses of greed and exploitation of the common man.

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    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 least. Oct 28, Debra rated it it was amazing Shelves: third-way. One of the classic texts for anyone interested in the rich heritage of Catholic social doctrine.

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    Reading it in the midde of the election season, I was amazed at how fresh and timely much of the book still is. Aug 07, Vicki rated it really liked it. Chestertonian economics. Aug 22, Larry rated it it was ok. It's fine. I guess. David Gross rated it it was ok Sep 03, Brian rated it liked it Dec 18, Clint Wehrly rated it really liked it Jan 24, Ken rated it liked it Jun 20, Miguel rated it really liked it Jul 03, Harley S Thompson rated it it was amazing May 22, Kate rated it it was amazing Sep 10, Ignasi Candela rated it liked it Nov 10, Neil Vandenberge rated it liked it Sep 19, Stephanus rated it really liked it Sep 27, Mani rated it really liked it Mar 28, Raymond A Lepesqueur rated it really liked it Apr 12, Henry rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Andrew rated it it was amazing Dec 04, Greg Reeves rated it liked it Nov 29, Purves rated it liked it Dec 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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