cooperative individualism - lesson 5 - cooperative individualists surv

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The proponents of cooperative individualism quickly became marginalized after the death of Henry George in 1897. However, they continued to do all they could to convince others that the laws of the land were unjust and systemic change was needed.

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Cooperative Individualism: The Third Way to the Just Society LESSON 5 Cooperative Individualists Survive as a Fringe Community

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“Though we may not speak it openly, the general faith in democratic institutions, where they have reached their fullest development, is narrowing and weakening; it is no longer the confident belief in democracy as the source of national blessings that it once was. Thoughtful men are beginning to see its dangers, without seeing how to escape them; they are beginning to accept the view of Macaulay and to distrust that of Jefferson. ...”

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“The people at large are becoming used to the growing corruption; the most ominous political sign is the growth of a sentiment which either doubts the existence of an honest man in public office or looks on him as a fool for not seizing his opportunities. That is to say, the people themselves are becoming corrupted. …”

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“Where this course leads is clear to whoever will think. As corruption becomes chronic; as public spirit is lost; as traditions of honour, virtue and patriotism are weakened; as law is brought into contempt and reforms become hopeless; then in the festering mass will be generated volcanic forces which will shatter and rend when seeming accidents give them vent. …”

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“Strong unscrupulous men, rising up upon occasion, will become the exponents of blind popular desires or fierce popular passions, and dash aside forms that have lost their vitality. The sword will again be mightier than the pen, and in carnivals of destruction brute force and wild frenzy will alternate with the lethargy of a declining civilisation.”

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Theodore Roosevelt

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“The mass of the American people are most emphatically not in the deplorable condition of which you speak, and the ‘statesmen and patriots of to-day’ are no more responsible for some people being poorer than others than they are for some people being shorter, or more near-sighted, or physically weaker than others. If you had any conception of the true American spirit you would know we do not have ‘classes’ at all on this side of the water. …”

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“Some of the evils of which you complain are real and can be to a certain degree remedied, but not by the remedies you propose; others are imaginary, and others, though real, can only be gotten over through that capacity for study, individual self-help which is the glory of every true American, and can no more be done away with by legislation than you could do away with the bruises which you receive when you tumble down by passing an act to repeal the laws of gravitation. ”

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“A tax on land would be an unjust and iniquitous system, but a tax on land values would be the best and fairest system that the world has ever known. Laws which would bring about the taxation of land values would be of more service to humanity than any legislation ever yet enacted. …”

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“So, I say to the farmers here tonight, that this Single Tax, of which I am proud to be an advocate, would be to the over- burdened farmers and workingmen the greatest boon, the greatest blessing, the greatest godsend that any country ever knew."

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“The Republic rightly boasts of great achievements, and it has in reserve power for great things to come. But half-way measures will be worse than futile, since they will give growing time to Privilege. The one sure way to cure the ills that afflict the nation is to destroy Privilege at the root. And that, and only that, accords with the mandates of Justice. ”

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"The land question is, indeed, the question of the deliverance of mankind from slavery produced by the private ownership of land, which, to my mind, is now in the same situation in which the questions of serfdom in Russia and slavery in America were in the days of my youth. …"

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"The difference is only that, while the injustice of the private ownership of land is quite as crying as that of slave ownership, it is much more widely and deeply connected with all human relations; it extends to all parts of the world (slavery existed only in America and Russia) and is much more tormenting to the land slave than personal slavery. …”

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"It will and must be solved in one way alone: by the recognition of the equal right of every man to live upon and to be nourished by the land on which he was born -- that same principle which is so invincibly proved by the teachings of Henry George."

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Joseph Fels

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“When Joseph Fels died in 1914 at the age of sixty he was as famous around the world as William Jennings Bryan and Robert M. LaFollette. The fact that he is totally unknown today … is a melancholy commentary not only on individual fame, but on the way in which social movements which in their time enlisted the energies of multitudes of people can fade out of memory. Even social historians and economists know little of the link between Fels and the single-tax movement founded by Henry George.”

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Ernest B. Gaston

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“Our motto is not "each for all and all for each" but "every one for himself -- under the law of equal freedom." Not "from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs," but "equal opportunities to all and to the laborer the full product of his labor."

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Booker T. Washington

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“Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.”

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Herbert H. Asquith

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“It is right and just that the community should reap the benefit of the increased values which are due to its own expenditure and its own growth. …We (the Government) desire to have time to carefully consider the best way of giving effect to the principles I have enunciated.”

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Joseph Chamberlain

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“It is quite true that land monopoly is not the only monopoly which exists, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies -- it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly. …”

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“It is quite true that unearned increments in land are not the only form of unearned or undeserved profit which individuals are able to secure; but it is the principal form of unearned increment which is derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but which are positively detrimental to the general public. …”

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“Land, which is a necessity of human existence, which is the original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, which is fixed in geographical position. Land, I say, differs from all other forms of property in these primary and fundamental conditions. …”

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“All goes back to the land, and the landowner, who, in many cases, in most cases, is a worthy person utterly unconscious of the character of the methods by which he is enriched, is enabled with resistless strength to absorb to himself a share of almost every public and every private benefit however important or however pitiful those benefits may be. …”

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Sun Yat-sen

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“The teaching of your single taxer, Henry George, will be the basis or our program of reform. The land tax as the only means of supporting the government is an infinitely just, reasonable, and equitably distributed tax.”

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END of Lesson Five

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