Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Land and freedom (Volume 31) online

. (page 1 of 46)
Online LibraryOutdoor Advertising Association of AmericaLand and freedom (Volume 31) → online text (page 1 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

From the collection of the

f d


z m


u v e q ijibrary


San Francisco, California

VOL. XXXI, No. 1 WHOLE No. 164

January February, 1931

Land and Freedom


An International Record of Single Tax Progress Founded in 1901

Georgism and The Mexican Revolution

Prof. R. B. Brinsmade

Our Australian Letter

Percy R. Meggy

Lecture Work of James R. Brown

Reviews of Louis Post's
Prophet of San Francisco

The San Diego Campaign

Chester C. Platt





An International Bi-Monthly Magazine of Single Tax Progress

Published by

SINGLE TAX PUBLISHING Co., at 150 Nassau Street, New York
JAMAICA OFFICE, 72 Johnson Avenue, Jamaica, Long Island


HERMAN G. LOEW, Pres., 305 Broadway, New York City

OSCAR H. GEIGER, Treas., 150 Nassau Street, N. Y. City

GEORGE R. MACEY, Sec., 165 Broadway, N. Y. City

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: -In the United States, Canada and Mexico,
$2.00 per year. Libraries and Reading Rooms, $1.00. Club sub-
scriptions, 5 for $7.00. Payable in advance.

Entered as second-class matter Oct. 2, 1913, at the Post Office,
New York, N. Y., under the act of March 3, 1897.



No. 1, WHOLE No. 164


ENGLAND: J. W. Graham Peace.

GERMANY: Adolph Damaschke, Lessingstrasse II, Berlin.

AUSTRALIA: Percy R. Meggy, Sydney, New South Wales.

NEW ZEALAND: Hon. P. J. O'Regan, Wellington.

SPAIN: Antonio Albendin, Cadiz.

DENMARK: Abel Brink, Copenhagen.

BULGARIA: Lasar Karaivanove, Plovdiv.

HUNGARY, Prof. Robt. Braun, Budapest.

MEXICO: Prof. R. B. Brinsmade, Av. Pal Legislative 40, Mexico City.





Prof. R. B. Brinsmade













W. C. Wright 23





Paking the full rent of land for public
*- purposes insures the fullest and
best use of all land. In cities this
would mean more homes and more
places to do business and therefore
lower rents. In rural communities it
would mean the freedom of the farmer
from land mortgages and would guar-
antee him full possession of his entire
product at a small land rental to the
government without the payment of
any taxes. It would prevent the hold-
ing of mines idle for the purpose of
monopoly and would immensely in-
crease the production and therefore
greatly lower the price of mine products.

Land can be used only by the em-
ployment of labor. Putting land to
its fullest and best use would create an
unlimited demand for labor. With an
unlimited demand for labor, the job
would seek the man, not the man seek
the job, and labor would receive its
full share of the product.

The freeing from taxation of all
buildings, machinery, implements and
improvements on land, all industry,
thrift and enterprise, all wages, sal-
aries, incomes and every product of
labor and intellect, will encourage men
to build and to produce, will reward
them for their efforts to improve the
land, to produce wealth and to render
the services that the people need, in-
stead of penalizing them for these
efforts as taxation does now.

It will put an end to legalized robbery
by the government which now pries
into men's private affairs and exacts
fines and penalties in the shape of tolls
and taxes on every evidence of man's
industry and thrift.

All labor and industry depend basic-
ally on land, and only in the measure
that land is attainable can labor and
industry be prosperous. The taking
of the full Rent of Land for public pur-
poses would put and keep all land for-
ever in use to the fullest extent of the
people's needs, and so would insure
real and permanent prosperity for all.

Land and Freedom





No. 1

Comment and Reflection

time is ripe for trying compulsory unemploy-
ment insurance as the only tested device for re-
ducing the misery and poverty that follow these inevitable
waves of industrial unemployment." So says The New
Republic in concluding an article on the subject. We say
now, and we have believed for a long time, that such
papers as The New Republic, despite a formidable list
of contributors, are a distinct detriment to the cause of
real economic progress. It is impossible to believe that
some among those who comprise its editorial staff Bruce
Bliven, for example is not perfectly well aware that it
is not compulsory unemployment insurance but Justice
that provides a remedy for present conditions, and that
when they speak of the "inevitable" waves of unemploy-
ment they know that these are not inevitable at all. Or
do they ?

TTOW much longer can papers like The New Republic
* *- conceal from their readers a poverty of thought in
multitudinous seas of words ? It is supposed to be a
very radical paper because it says a kind word for Soviet
Russia now and then and disapproves of imperialistic
policies in Haiti and Nicaragua. So far so good. But
what about the economic situation ? We believe one or
more of the editors of The New Republic know. Are
they lockjawed by the management as one of them was
for so long by the "capitalistic" newspaper for which
he wrote. In a word are the editors of that paper free
men and is the paper itself free ? Knowing that every
metropolitan newspaper is the organ of some economic
or financial group, we are impelled to ask just who it is
that The New Republic represents ?

pHE resources of the English vocabulary are a con-
venient refuge from the more obvious explanations.
We have spoken of this before and we continue to be imp-
pressed by the expedients that language supplies to the
resourceful who would dodge the plainer but incon-
venient implications. Andre Maurois, in the New York
Times, is the latest to supply us with a fine example
which we commend to our friends of The New Republic.
He says: "Financial and industrial crises are, above
all, psychological phenomena and collective neuroses."
Repeat that to the man who is looking for a job!

T3LEASE do not laugh. This is modern thinking.

-*- There are tons of it. It is to be found in hundreds of
magazine articles and is bound up in books. It has
earned for many a reputation for profoundity. It will
be looked at curiously by coming generations, much as
we regard the strange speculations of the old theologians,
which are much more enlightening, for in these latter,
despite their general sterility, glimpses of spiritual truth
are discernable.

"IT 7HAT is the matter ? What is it that keeps these
* writers from seeing the truth. Or do they see it ?
The earth is a closed reservoir. The stream of tribute
that goes to a privileged class is wrung from labor in
blood and tears. The poverty and destitution are due
primarily to the denial of access to the earth. And, last
of all, why should they fail to see the efficacy of that
remedy that would open the great natural storehouse,
lift the burden from the shoulders of the poor, and turn
the stream of economic rent into the public treasury ?

FT would be very interesting to note the different explana-
-* tions of the present depression. Such a collection
would furnish a curious but not a very enlightening array
of reasons, weird, distorted, fantastic. Some are merely
inadequate, like the following: "The fundamental cause
of the trouble is the lack of new enterprise due to an un-
satisfactory market for capital investment." Thus John
Maynard Keynes in the Forum for January. Mr. Keynes
is an international authority on business and finance. He
talks of what he calls "consumption goods" and "cap-
ital goods," the first being those which satisfy human
wants and desires, such as food and clothing. "Capital
goods" are those which are used to promote the produc-
tion of other goods, such as raw materials, industrial
machinery, factory buildings and the like. His sugges-
tion is that production and consumption be speeded up
by the great central banks of the creditor nations joining
together in a concerted attempt to restore confidence
to what the calls "the international long-term market."
The slump is due, according to Mr. Keynes, to higher
rates to lenders than it is possible for new enterprises
to support. Borrowers as well as lenders have been at
fault, according to Mr. Keynes, for they have encouraged
lenders to expect much higher rates as they took part in


stock exchange booms, or sought to make good their
losses from falling prices.

A LITTLE vague, perhaps very much so as an ex-
** planation, for it seems not to have occured to him
that the only money that banks can lend is money derived
from production, that the failure of a revival of industry
does not lie with the banks but must be traced to the
sources of production. He makes no reference to tariffs.
This might lead him directly to the trail where the land
question lies only partly concealed. But the trouble with
Mr. Keynes and like minded observers is that they are
concerned with symptoms and not with causes. And they
move these symptoms like figures on a chess board, plac-
ing now one and now another in a position of supposed
advantage. They never really play the game out because
of the missing chess men, but it is a great game while it
lasts. And they talk of banking and capital which
banks of course do not supply without reference to the
missing chess men, Land, Economic Rent and Taxes.

The Secret Is Out

TN another column we have expressed our distrust of
The New Republic and our belief that it serves but
poorly the cause of progressivism. This complaint was
based chiefly on what that paper has refrained from
saying, sins of omission in its varied preachments, not
definite pronouncements upon which we could comment.

In our mild but long continued bewilderment as to
what this periodical stood for, if it stood for anything
at all, we earnestly hoped for some statement of policy
that might go a little ways toward reassuring its readers
that it had some sort of programme that might be use-
ful in these "times of hesitation" and general muddle-

At last we have it from one of the editors, Edmund
Wilson, in an article in issue of Jan. 14, entitled "An
Appeal to Progressives. " Let us hope that there are few
progressives like those to whom this appeal is addressed.
This article is featured on the cover with a running head,
"Should American radicals take communism from the
communists and come out unreservedly for the collective
ownership of the means of production?" To such a pass
come those who have no anchor but drift with the drift-
ing tide.

We are told that the liberalism which The New Republic
has stood for in the past was derived primarily from
Herbert Croly's book, "The Promise of American Life,"
written more than twenty years ago. Croly offered in
this book "an original interpretation of American history
which in its field set a new standard of realism." So says
Mr. Wilson. That is no doubt important. We suppose
that we need some realism now and then.

That we may understand just what we are to^ ex-
pect from this new declaration of policy a few quo-

tations from this remarkable article may be given.

"The time may come, Croly tells us, when the fulfill-
ment of a justifiable democratic purpose may demand
the limitation of certain rights to which the Constitution
affords such absolute guarantees. " This is quoted approv-
ingly, as is the following:

"What was needed was a frank confession that genuine
democracy meant not unlimited freedom but a sensible
and systematic curtailiment of the right of everybody in
the interests of all."

And Mr. Wilson says further on: "A genuine opposi-
tion, must, it seems to me, openly confess that the Decla-
ration of Independence and the Constitution are due to
be supplanted by some new manifesto and some new
bill of rights. "

We would remark that "A systematic curtailment of
the rights of everybody in the interests of all," has been
the plea and defence of every despotism since Nero. But
it comes curiously from the mouth of a "progressive."
The idea that democracy demands the curtailment of
any right is a wholly new doctrine. Of course, to rush
pell mell into the arms of communism demands that
human rights along with property rights must go into
the discard.

Mr. Wilson is in a panic and the article is a wail. He
sees the present system crumbling. He thinks the alterna-
tive is communism. He is mistaken it is freedom. Sal-
vation lies in the very thing he denies the establishment
of human rights, the contempt for which the French
Assembly told us was responsible for most of the ills of

Maybe we shall embrace communism. But Mr. Wilson
has given us some excellent reason why we should not.
He tells us this in a great many words and promises to
return to the subject in a future number. For the time
being we leave him beside the Wailing Wall.

Henry George and

The Gladstones

A/TARY GLADSTONE, Her Diaries and Letters,"
*''* is a fascinating book. We could perhaps have
been spared the somewhat irritating evaluations of her
editor, Lucy Masterman. Hereafter we shall contend
that all volumes of Letters and Diaries appear unedited
(except as emendated) and printed without comment.

This book is intensely interesting. It introduces us
again to nearly all the great Victorians, and Mary Glad-
stone's remarks are shrewd, interpretative and revealing.
We can pardon the wholly unquestioning admiration
for her great father and her contempt for "Dizzy," senti-
ments quite natural in a devoted daughter, whose sym-
pathies not less than her intellectual qualities are wholly

But it is what she says of Henry George that is of in-


terest to readers of LAND AND FREEDOM. On August 17,
1883, she writes:

Yesterday I began "Progress and Poverty," supposed
to be the most upsetting book of the age. At present
Maggie and I both agree with it, and most brilliantly
written it is. We had a long discussions. He (W. E.
Istone, the Prime Minister) is reading it, too.


>n September 6: Finished reading "Progress and
Poverty" with feelings of deep admiration felt des-
perately impressed, and he is a Christian.

On March 8, 1884, she writes:

On the way to Town Hall for George's lecture. At first
it seemed very doubtful whether he would be heard, and
he was not well or up to the mark. Still, on the whole,
considering the audience disagreed with him and were
undergraduates, his fate was better than was expected,
and certainly he has a good deal of the genius of oratory
about him, and sometimes the divine spark he is also
a man possessed, and he often carried one away. Ques-
tions were asked him of all kinds at the end. He did not
flinch, and had a wonderful way of leaping to his feet
and answering with great spirit and manliness.

Again she writes:

To Trinity, where we had tea with Professor Stuart,
meeting Mr. Henry George. Professor Stuart boldly
rushed into "Progress and Poverty," and long and earnest
and keen was the discussion on nationalizing the land,
etc. We tried our very utmost to convert him, but alas!
he far more nearly converted us. He deeply impressed
us with his earnestness, conviction, and singleness and
height of aim. I don't think we made the slightest im-
pression on him, and he was very quick and clear in argu-
ment. Helen and Mr. Sedley Taylor and Mr. Butler,
and the son of Henry George, sat mum throughout. I

i made two or three desperate ventures, and got red as
my gown, but felt crushed. Perhaps Professor Stuart

. hardly stood to his guns. Walked to chapel with the man,
and he told me of his horrid meeting at Oxford. Mem. :
.xird Rayleigh in ante-chapel, and Henry George. We
iined with Professor Stuart; also present, Nora Sidgwick.
Stories only at first, but we got on to George
md luxuries, and long and earnest was the discussion.

Later in her Diary she says:

We had, over tea, a conference with George; Herbert
.Gladstone), and Professor Stuart, chief questioners and
examiners ; Alfred Lyttelton listening and putting in
much sympathizing with Mr. George. A great success,
'or they much liked and softened towards the good little
nan; and as to Maggie, she was converted. On the whole,
ic stood his ground well.

That the subject was on her mind is revealed later by
an entry in which she tells of a dinner at which she sat
next to Alfred Milner, afterwards Viscount Milner, and
talked of Henry George, but does not tell us what was
said. A dinner in London a few days later found her seated
with James Russell Lowel and the question of compensa-
tion to land owners was brought up. Lowell said he would
not have been in favor of compensation to slave owners
DUt thought there was a difference in kind as property
Detween slaves and land. She breaks off, as she frequently

does, with some girlish irrelevance, "He was a kill-joy
somehow all the way through.' '

Of Henry George she says, with deep feeling:

"I think he impressed us all very deeply, and even if
his remedy left the world in as bad a condition as it is
now, I feel unspeakable admiration for the man who is
fighting this battle. I often feel that we have no business
to have one moment of peace or happiness because of
the intense misery around us. He has not a moment's
rest because of it and I honor and revere him for it. "

She expresses her regret at the behavior of the Ox-
ford students:

"I am very sorry indeed to hear how disgraceful had
been the meeting at Oxford. At Cambridge, though they
disagreed with him utterly, they treated him with cour-
tesy. Arthur Lyttelton and Prof. Stuart went with me,
and they were both struck. He answered questions in
such a spirited way, I thought, leaping to his feet, and
sometimes his action is so fine. We mean to tackle him
once more."

An amusing entry is the following:

"Some one, chaffing Miss Max Muller, asked her
whether she was not afraid Mr. George would run off
with her father's forks and spoons, she answered, No,
since her father had paid for them with his earnings an
answer that sounds sufficiently orthodox!

How explain, in view of the interest excited by the
visit of Henry George, and the favorable impression
made by his teachings on the Prime Minister's favorite
daughter, that the only reference ever made in Parlia-
ment by the Great Commoner to "Progress and Poverty"
was a sneer?

HHE idea of a gasoline tax to pay for roads, has been
-^ been pushed to the front * * * by land specu-
lators to avoid paying * * * a part of the increased
land values which the roads create * * *

The popular political slogan is: "When in doubt, put
a tax on gasoline!" Princeton, N. J. Packet

T T E who owns more land than is necessary for him to
*- -*- feed himself and his family is not only a party to,
but is to blame for that want and depravity and all those
miseries from which the masses of the people suffer.


VERY one knows very well, knows without a doubt,
with all his being, that all men are equal. And, at
the same time, he sees round him the division of all people
into two castes; the one laboring, oppressed, needy and
suffering; and the other idle, oppressing, living in lux-
ury and making merry. He not only sees this, but willy-
nilly, on one side or another, he takes part in this division
of people which is rejected by his conscience; and he can-
not fail to suffer from the consciousness of such a con-
tradition and from his participation in it.



Georgism and the

Mexican Revolution




ClNCE 1910 the United States has been deluged with
*-' a flood of news regarding the Mexican revolution.
As this "news," which had to do with political, economic
and social changes, has usually been colored for partisan
purposes, it should be labelled rather "propaganda" and
always viewed with distrust unless it can be verified
from original sources. In response to a request from your
programme committee, I venture to offer a little of this
original evidence, which I have been able to garner dur-
ing a continuous residence, since 1911, in both urban and
rural sections of several Mexican states.


The Revolution began in the winter of 1910 and within
a few months had toppled over the bronze image, with
feet of clay, which had been worshipped for 34 years.
The apostle of revolt, Francisco Madero, was eloquent
and honest but with poor judgments, as proved by his
acceptance of the national presidency when he had no
administrative talent. This mistake of his resulted in
constant minor revolts, which were terminated in 1913,
by his betrayal by the trusted general, Victoriano Huerta
who then became president. This counter-revolution
resulted in a general renewal of civil war and, when
Huerta was finally ousted himself in 1914, the revolutionary
leaders Carranza, Villa and Zapata, soon began to disagree
and fight each other. However, Carranza was cunning
enough to obtain his recognition by the U. S. in 1915 and
to adopt a new national constitution at Queretaro in 1917
under which he became President. The next election in
1920 produced the usual revolt, when Obregon succeeded
in overthrowing the Carranza government and seating
himself as president, after he had first reconciled the Vill-
ista and Zapatista factions to his own (Carranzista) and
stopped the civil war which had raged destructively for
six years. The next election in 1924 caused the revolt
of candidate De La Huerta which was unsuccessful, as
was also the rebellion last year of candidate Valen-
zuela for the "election" which took place this spring.
Meanwhile, the revolt of the Cristeros (Catholics) broke out
in the West and was active from 1926 till ended by the
truce of last year between Church and State.

An American from Main Street, accustomed to judge
things from his local standpoint, would imagine that some
vital principles must have been at stake (as in his own
Civil War) to cause all the slaughter just outlined. But
he would be quite wrong and might be easily convinced
of his mistake by a perusal of H. H. Bancroft's " History

of Mexico," where he would learn that such turbulence was
the normal condition of independent Mexico, from 1811
onward, until Porfirio Diaz seized the presidency, as a
Rebel general, himself, in 1876. The internal tranquility
maintained for 34 years during the Diaz regime was the
usual thing in modern white Europe but a freak of chance
in this medieval Amerindian' land, all of whose prevailing
conditions favored anarchy, as may be easily shown. At
the Conquest in 1521, the Spaniards found here an Amer-
indian population of Neolithic men living in the middle
stage of Barbarism, a cultural stage beyond which the con-
queror's ancestors had advanced more than 40 centuries
previously ; even in 1910 only 10 per cent of the Mexican
population was of pure white blood. Thus Diaz had three
contemporaneous cultures; the modern civilized of the
larger cities, the Medieval civilized of the small towns,
and the Barbarian of the Indian villages and egidos. Next
he had a political organization which, liberal in theory,
had been imported from European or United States sources
and never been readjusted to suit Mexican society. Finally
Diaz found a feudal economic organization, with scarcely
any middle class to act as a buffer between a small selfish
aristocracy of hacendodos (great landlords) and an illiterate
and poverty-stricken proletariat. Unfortunately, Diaz
rested content with the temporary success of his twin
policies; the maintenance of internal peace and encour-
agement to foreign investors, and neglected to provide
for a future of political stability when his own senility or
death would leave his autocratic centralized administra-

Online LibraryOutdoor Advertising Association of AmericaLand and freedom (Volume 31) → online text (page 1 of 46)