cooperative individualism - lesson 4 - cooperative individualism redis

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This lesson covers the early success of Henry George and his colleagues to resurrect the so-called land question as a key component of cooperative individualism in the late 19th century.

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Cooperative Individualism: The Third Way to the Just Society LESSON 4 Cooperative Individualism Rediscovered

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Henry George

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Maksim Kovalevsky

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“Knowledge of history of economic doctrines enabled the author of Capital to determine at once the degree of originality of writers who forced themselves on the attention of the public by the striking form of their works. In saying this I have in mind mainly [Henry] George, for whom almost as much enthusiasm was shown at one time in England as for the person and doctrines of Rousseau in the 18th century.”

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“And when the last page was written, in the dead of night, when he was entirely alone, Henry George flung himself upon his knees and wept like a child. He had kept his vow. The rest was in the Master’s hands.” Henry George, Jr.

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“Irish landlordism is not merely a British interest in the sense that its spoils are largely drawn to Great Britain by Irish landlords residing there, or to pay interest on mortgages held by British capitalists -- but it is part and parcel of the system which enables the dominant class in Great Britain to live in idleness on the labor of their own countrymen, and they have the same direct concern in maintaining Irish landlordism as the slave-holders of South Carolina would have had in preventing a successful insurrection of slaves in North Carolina.”

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“We are beginning a movement for the abolition of industrial slavery, and what we do on this side of the water will send its impulse across the land and over the sea, and give courage to all men to think and act.”

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Philip Wicksteed

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Arnold Toynbee

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“I have known George’s book for a very long time. I always thought it, while full of fallacies and crude conceptions, very remarkable for its style and vigor, and while no economist would be likely for a moment to be staggered by its theories, it is very likely to seem convincing to the general reader.”

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“… because his doctrines are in many respects closely allied with those of socialism, and because he has done more than any other single person to stir and deepen in this country an agitation which, if not socialist, at least promises to be a mother of socialism.”

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Michael Davitt

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John Stuart Mill and step-daughter, Helen Taylor

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Rev. Edward McGlynn

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“… when the population shall have increased here as it has elsewhere in proportion to our extent of territory, we shall have precisely the same problem to solve, and the sooner we solve it the better. And so I quite agree with Michael Davitt to the full, and with Henry George to the full, and lest any timid, scrupulous soul might fear that I was falling into the arms of Henry George, I say that I stand on the same platform with Bishop Nulty, of Meath, Ireland. …”

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“But for that matter – to let you again into a secret – my private opinion is, that if I had to fall into the arms of anybody, I don’t know a man into whose arms I should be more willing to fall than into the arms of Henry George.”

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Louis F. Post

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Adolph Wagner

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Leo Tolstoy

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"This morning I read George instead of writing. …This is a very important book. This is a step forward of equal importance to the liberation of our serfs. This is the liberation of the earth from private ownership. …And it is necessary to read George, who defined the problem with precision and definitively. ... ”

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"After this there is no more debating, one has to take resolutely one side or the other. Personally I demand much more than he does; but his project is the first step of the ladder which I would like to climb. ”

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“Between Karl Marx and [Sidney and Beatrice Webb] came Henry George with his Progress and Poverty, which converted many to Land Nationalization. It was the work of a man who had seen that the conversion of an American village to a city of millionaires was also the conversion of a place where people could live and let live in tolerable comfort to an inferno of seething poverty and misery. …”

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“Tolstoy was one of his notable converts. …[B]ut most of the young men whom he had led up to it went through (like myself) into the Fabian Society and other Socialist bodies.”

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“Many events subsequent to his writing have gone to prove that Henry George was right. Each new phase of the social problem makes it still more clear that the disorderly development of our civilization is explained fundamentally … by ‘inequality in the ownership of land’. …”

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“Equality as to the use of Mother Earth, that and that alone secures to every one an equal opportunity to participate in production and full ownership by each producer of his own share. This is justice, this is order. Unless our civilization have it for a foundation, new forms of slavery will assuredly lead on into new forms of barbarism.”

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Max Hirsch

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“[W]ealth is gradually concentrating in fewer and fewer hands, a process which, if unchecked, must ultimately lead to the division of the population into two warring classes with no interest in common, a ruling plutocracy holding irresponsible power, and using it ruthlessly to oppress the people, confronted by a mass of hopeless proletarians for ever striving to shake off the yoke imposed upon them.”

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“All men have equal rights to the use of land, and each of them is entitled to the exclusive possession of all the wealth which his labour produces or his services procure, provided he infringes not the equal rights of all others. Disregard of the equal right to land necessarily involves violations of the unequal right to wealth. Social injustice in the production and distribution of wealth thus arises from the disregard of the equal rights of all men to the use of the earth.”

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END of Lesson Four

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