Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc was a Frenchman who became a naturalised Englishman and a passionate Catholic. He was accused of being an Anti-Semitic. This piece come from an appreciation which reads as honest and rejects the charge that he was against the Jews It also puts what is very much the case against them to this very day. An interesting little biography, written from a left wing perspective is at Belloc - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRbelloc.htm

His book, which was assumed to be anti-Semitic but is not, is entitled The Jews  and available on line. So you can read for yourself, think for yourself and decide for yourself. There is comment at Reflections On Hilaire Belloc's Book The Jews in three parts.

Reflections on Hilaire Belloc’s “The Jews” (1922) [Part One of Three]
Reflections on Hilaire Belloc’s “The Jews” (1922) [Part Two of Three]
Reflections on Hilaire Belloc’s “The Jews” (1922) [Part Three of Three]


In Defence of Hilaire Belloc
5b. The Libel Case
Following his disillusionment with politics, Belloc established 'The Eye Witness'. It aimed to combat the distortion of news in the Press by its few rich owners and advertisers, and to expose corruption in high places. The basic view of those concerned with the paper was that the party political system, as represented by the then Conservative and Liberal parties, was a facade. Real power lay in the hands of a few rich and influential families ((MW 269)), who not only controlled the Press, but both political parties.

Belloc detested both international finance, which exploited and manipulated the ordinary working people, and Marxist socialism and communism which, by making the state the owner of all productive wealth, would be destructive of freedom of spirit. It was widely believed at the time that the leaders of both these forces were small groups of Jews. Because of this, a negative feeling developed towards them. Any increase in their power or influence was treated with suspicion, fear and antagonism.

A further cause of friction was the fact that Jewish families, and the Jewish Community in general, had strong international links through close relatives. This gave rise to the charge that Jews would place the interests of their relatives and trading profits above loyalty to the countries in which they lived. In this way Belloc's campaigning against corruption in high places became entwined with opposition to certain rich and politically influential Jews. Belloc recognised in 'The Eye Witness' that only a small proportion of Jews were involved, and he was not opposed to Jews on account of their race or religion ((RS 311)). 'The paper maintained an astonishingly high standard of intelligence and taste. Seldom reckless; serious but generally readable.' ((RS 307)). It printed contributions from well known authors such as H. G. Wells, Bernard Shaw and H.A.L. Fisher ((ANW 180)). The paper was a pioneer in what today would be known as 'investigatory journalism', aiming to challenge: 'The Establishment'.
Was he wrong? I would say not.


Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.
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Updated on 04/09/2016 07:37