Land & Liberty explores how our common wealth should be used and shared. This is the key to a new social contract between private life, the public sector and our resources. In short a sustainable agreement between the individual, the community and the environment that would naturally create an agreeable liberated society.
Who was Henry George and what’s so special about his ideas?
In 1879 George wrote and published a bestseller on political economy Progress and Poverty. By the twentieth century the wisdom he expounded was recognised and supported by many of the world’s most respected thinkers:
Photographs of these people to follow… (we will do a design page for you and email it tomorrow)
Tolstoy, Einstein, Churchill, Keller, Shaw, Huxley, Woodrow Wilson, Stiglitz, and Friedman.
Today George’s philosophy is more relevant than ever but he recognised in Progress and Poverty the following sentiment:
“The truth that I have tried to make clear
will not find easy acceptance. If that could be,
it would have been accepted long ago. If that
could be, it would never have been obscured.”
These words are inscribed on his gravestone.
Henry George is mostly remembered for his recognition that the systems of taxation employed in his day are unjust, inefficient, and ineffective. He saw how taxes discourage wealth creation, positive economic activity and employment and prevent people and nations from realising their full potential.
Today those same tax systems still exist throughout the world. By offering an alternative, George showed that taxes are unnecessary. But Henry George’s ideas were not limited to his proposal to change taxes.
Key to ‘the truth’ that George tried to make clear is that everything is bound to act in accordance with the laws of its own nature. He saw these laws of nature operate everywhere – at all times – and throughout a creation that includes man and society. He understood that people and societies can only behave ethically and succeed where they recognise those universal natural laws and act in harmony with them.
Henry George’s work and thinking is as relevant in today’s society as it was in 1879 – it’s just his work has been obscured – but he warned that would happen.