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Re: [LandCafe] Digest Number 468

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  • Bernard Rooney
    ... the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not understand that land reform was progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary. It
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 21, 2006
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      > Posted by: "Wetzel Dave" davewetzel@...

      >
      > The overblown public sectors in Western Europe came up for discussion at
      > this conference, and the fact that in Sweden it is now over 50% of GDP which
      > is of course unsustainable.

      the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
      understand that land reform was
      progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.

      It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
      rather than Karl Marx.

      Do you seriously think that anyone, anywhere in the western world,
      whether the US, UK, Europe or anywhere else (not to mention the
      majority world), would willingly change their lot for that of
      Sweden's?

      Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending social democracy.

      I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
      'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks' (at
      this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
      Liberation' - OIL)

      Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?

      Remember that gulf oil is the easiest to extract and the best quality.
      Costs are estimated at 50cents a barrel. At prices of $50 or $100 how
      much rent would that be?

      That's not even to mention that gulf oil is the 'greatest material
      prize in world history', a source of 'stupendous strategic power'.
      People might remember that Japan lunged south essentially to control
      Indonesian oil, and Hitler struck to the Caucasus to seize oil.
    • Dan Sullivan
      ... Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping them all together leads to muddled analysis, just like lumping land with capital, as Marx did. The two
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 22, 2006
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        On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:52, Bernard Rooney wrote:

        > the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
        > understand that land reform was
        > progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.

        Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping them all
        together leads to muddled analysis, just like lumping land with
        capital, as Marx did. The two wholly incompatible terms are
        "progressive" and "socialist."

        "Progressive" as a term to denote a political view, originated in the
        United States shortly after the wide distribution of "Progress and
        Poverty." It connoted a view of human progress that differed widely
        from the socialist view. The progressive view of progress was that,
        while technological progress is linear, social progress is cyclical, and
        depends on both personal freedom and equality. Indeed, it viewed
        freedom and equality as aspects of the same essence, so that one could
        not exist without the other. The progressive view of society was also a
        highly spiritual (though not dogmatic or parochial) view.

        Socialism generally, and Marx particularly, viewed freedom as a
        bourgeois concept of a forgotten age. Marx viewed social progress as
        linear, and viewed the entrepreneur as someone who played a useful
        transitional rule, but who was superfluous now that everything major
        had been invented. Now that we had the steam engine, and what more
        could we need?

        It was Marx who most vehemently denounced the distinction between
        land and capital and who, in his own perverse way, rescued the landed
        aristocracy by derailing liberalism. By obliterating the distinction
        between earned wealth and privilege, he healed the woulds between
        the professional class and the privileged class, and he dissipated the
        energies on behalf of labor that had, up to that time, been focused on
        fighting privilege.

        Socialists have always been a parasites on legitimate "left" efforts.
        First they called themselves liberals, because liberalism was popular
        and socialism was not. Eventually, they corrupted the term. Then they
        captured the term "progressive" by starting a socialist magazine called
        "The Progressive."

        The vitality of the "sixties left" was also derived from challenged the
        orthodoxies of both capitalism and socialism. I was in the thick of the
        social upheaval of the time, challenging restrictive university
        policies, protesting the Viet Nam war, organizing workers at a major
        hotel-restaurant, organizing the local boycott of grapes for the United
        Farm Workers, helping launch an alternative radio station, using and
        selling drugs, and starting a co-op house that became known as a
        social center for free-thinking people.

        One of the most often used expressions within the sixties left was
        "control freak," but it was applied as often to socialists within the left
        as to people in the political establishment.

        As an example, the founders of the home schooling movement were
        not right-wing fundamentalists, as they are now stereotyped. They
        were basically educational free-thinkers who challenged the
        conservative, doctrinaire, regimented approach to education. John
        Holt, A.S. Neill, Charles Silberman, Neil Postman and Charles
        Weingartner were all required reading when I was an education major
        at the state-funded University of Pittsburgh (1969-72).

        Postman & Weingartner's most famous book was "Teaching as a
        Subversive Activity." The epigraph to the book was lyrics to a song
        by Tom Paxton. Considered radical-left by sixties standards, they are
        considered radical-right today.

        What did you learn in school today,
        dear little boy of mine?
        What did you learn in school today,
        dear little boy of mine?
        I learned that government must be strong.
        It's always right and never wrong.
        It's leaders are the finest men,
        And we elect them again and again,
        And that's what I learned in school to today,
        That's what I learned in school.

        Charles Silberman wrote "Crisis in the Classroom," which argued
        against public school indoctrination of any kind, and asserted, among
        other things, that there should be no required reading for public
        school students or, for that matter, for education majors. (The fact that
        his own book was required reading is one of life's little ironies.)

        A. S. Neill wrote about the dynamics of his free-school, Summerhill,
        where students learned whatever they wanted at their own pace, and
        where, in matters of education, the teachers were subordinate to the
        students' own desires. Students who came to this school lagged
        behind conventional school students for about three years and then
        shot past them.

        Finally, John Holt was *the* darling of the educational establishment
        with books like "Why Johnny Can't Read" and "Why Children Fail."
        His books became more and more popular until he realized and wrote
        that the very nature of government schools rendered them incapable
        of promoting freedom of thought, which was the spiritual essence
        behind educational growth. All of his books were immediately pulled
        from educational schools, and the books by the other authors
        discussed above soon followed.

        The educational bureaucracy preserved its niche by replacing control-
        freak conservatism with control-freak liberalism, and was thereby
        able to purge itself of the essential challenge that had transformed it, a
        challenge to control. Ignoring the actual history, it now stereotypes
        ideas that arose from the sixties left as being right-wing ideas.

        I was also a county chair of the Greens before there was a US Green
        Party. I had become involved in the green movement through the
        School of Living, which had been pioneering green concepts since the
        1930s, and had published a newsletter called "Green Revolution"
        since 1942. It started land trust communities and alternative money
        systems, taught about consensus governing, taught organic and raised-
        bed gardening techniques to help poor people grow wholesome food
        on small amounts of land, and preached about ecological sustainablity
        when almost nobody knew what that term meant.

        Its founder, Ralph Borsodi, incorporated the core concepts of Henry
        George into his teachings and writings, and thoroughly rejected
        Marxism and other schemes that relied on governmental intervention.
        His efforts, and those of people like him, is what launched the Greens.

        The Greens had rejected socialism for many of the same reasons that
        true liberals and true progressives had rejected it -- that it called for
        central control and intervention, that it did not appreciate the spiritual
        relationships that make society function, and that it dwelled on
        hostility and envy instead of harmony and vision. The US Greens
        focused on process, soliciting dissenting views and reconciling
        majority views with those views, and arriving at a consensus. A
        popular, esoteric and cryptic slogan on Green buttons and bumper
        stickers was, "I'd rather be talking about process."

        For a long time, US socialists dismissed the US Greens with
        condescending quips like, "you can't change the world by eating
        granola." But as large numbers of people started embracing Green
        ideas, and as socialism continued to be thoroughly rejected, an
        organized cadre of socialists invaded the Green movement, calling
        themselves the Green Left.

        They came to national Green Gatherings, held all-night meetings
        among themselves, and then tried to railroad their agenda through the
        main meetings of the Greens. They failed year after year.

        At one National Gathering that I attended (as a Gathering Organizer),
        one of the socialists had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the
        meeting, partly from frustration, but mostly from a lack of sleep. His
        socialist allies were too concerned with their own embarrassment to
        come to his aid, but a number of loving, caring, healing Greens
        instinctively went to him and helped him retire to a comfortable place
        where he could cry and express his despair. "Winning the issue,"
        which was so important to his socialist allies that they did not leave
        the floor, was secondary to a number of other greens who stayed with
        him and gave him solace. It was an vignette that symbolizes the
        contrast between the humorless, spiritual-less, control-obsessed
        socialists (of this country, at least) and the light-hearted, spiritual,
        open-process-oriented Greens.

        In any case, the US Greens voted down the idea of forming a Green
        Party every time it was proposed, for several reasons. One was that
        they viewed themselves as a broader social and spiritual movement,
        and did not want to get sucked into the preoccupation with political
        gains that characterizes political parties. Another was that they
        recognized that the US system was a truly two-party system, and that
        it was more effective to reason with political people than to compete
        with them, and to help Green candidates within the main parties than
        to run irrelevant candidates.

        However, they had no standing to stop someone else from forming a
        political party and calling it the Green Party, so the Green Left formed
        its own Green Party. As the party grew, the elements on which the US
        Green movement had been based began to fade, so that the modern
        Green Party is just socialism riding on a wave of environmentalism.
        Most of the Green Platform is strongly at odds with the Ten Key
        Values adopted by the US Greens, and most of the people who had
        formed and nurtured the Green Movement have left the party in
        disgust.

        The prime example of this loss of values is that one of the top agendas
        of the Green Movement was to de-institutionalize health care,
        opening it up to practices that had been shut out or discounted by the
        government-regulated system. Among these practices were
        acupressure, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractics, floatation
        (sensory-deprivation) tanks, herbalogy, homeopathy, kinesiology,
        lifestyle analysis, macrobiotics, massage, midwifery, organic farming,
        spiritual healing, veganism, whole-food diets and yoga.

        These alternative practices and the people who embraced them have
        been cast aside by the Green Party, whose core issue right now is
        Single Payer Heath Care, the total institutionalization of medicine.
        Also cast aside are the "key values" of diversity, decentralism, and
        personal responsibility. As the socialist "watermelon" greens took
        over, concerns of the original greens were cast aside.

        This is how it had been with the original progressive labor movement
        in this country as well. Indeed, the socialists joined progressive labor
        organizations and then proceeded to sabotage efforts that the
        organizations had embraced because those efforts had been
        championed by non-socialist factions.

        It is clear to me that there is no basis for a partnership with Marxists
        or with American socialists. Having no viability of their own, they
        leach the vitality out of movements they join and discard. They are, in
        my experience and from my reading of history, the parasites of the
        left.

        > It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
        > rather than Karl Marx.

        We deal with everyone, expressing our agreements and disagreements
        as we find them. Hayek and Friedman embraced freedom without
        equality, and Marx embraced equality without freedom. Neither
        concept is possible. The kindest thing I can say about the this
        assertion that we "deal with" Hayek and Friedman in any way other
        than quoting endorsements from them when appropriate, is that it is
        the product of a runaway imagination and an absence of fact-
        checking. If I did not embrace this kinder interpretation, I would have
        to say that it is a lie.

        The following crap is ignorant in both major senses of the word. It
        shows a complete ignorance of Georgist sentiments, for we have been
        adversarial to America's war in Iraq from the beginning.

        > Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending
        > social democracy.
        >
        > I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
        > 'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks' (at
        > this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
        > Liberation' - OIL)

        In this case, Bernard has no excuse for his allegations. He was on the
        land-theory list when these matters were discussed. (He quit the list
        when his penchant for ad hominem attacks got him moderated.)

        As illustration, I wrote two anti-war songs. (I have posted them on
        this list.) I sing them at anti-war rallies, and I sang them a number of
        times at CGO conferences, drawing applause from virtually everyone
        and criticism from nobody. Indeed, I have heard US imperialism
        attacked over and over, and have never heard a Georgist defend it in
        any way. If Bernard does not remember this, it is because he has
        chosen to forget.

        > Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?

        Done. (Again.)

        That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike about Marxists is
        their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
        does not join them. It's not just a character flaw some Marxists have;
        its a product of the Marxist tenet that envy is a useful emotion.

        Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you will, but it is not
        initiatory and it is not bogus.

        -ds
      • Wetzel Dave
        My friend Dan writes: Socialists have always been parasites on legitimate left efforts. Don t Georgists have enough enemies without trying to denigrate
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 24, 2006
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          My friend Dan writes: "Socialists have always been parasites on
          legitimate "left" efforts."

          Don't Georgists' have enough enemies without trying to denigrate and
          put off socialists like me from Henry's ideas?

          Dan also writes: "That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike
          about Marxists is
          their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
          does not join them."


          Re-read your own e-mail below Dan.
          Where is your discussion of socialist policies? - Since 1879 in the UK
          we have achieved the eight hour working day, the five day week, safer
          factories, mines and other workplaces, half-decent retirement pensions,
          free education and health services for all, free public transport for
          people with disabilities and elderly people, etc. etc. Which one of
          these policies do you oppose?

          I agree that Marx did not get everything right and I disagree with the
          concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat but regards economic
          theory have you actually read Marx's comments on land rent in the
          Communist Manifesto or his account of differential rent in Das Kapital
          Vol 3, Part 6?

          Surely as Georgists we need to show people of other political
          persuasions how LVT can help them achieve their objectives - not waste
          time denigrating them?
          Just this week I spent over an hour with a leading Conservative
          politician in London - not to attack his politics which I mostly
          disagree with, but to show him how LVT could help him cut other,
          damaging taxes - a subject close to his heart.

          Dave

          Dave Wetzel,
          Vice-Chair, TfL
          020 7126 4200


          -----Original Message-----
          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
          Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:10 PM
          To: landcafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

          On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:52, Bernard Rooney wrote:

          > the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
          > understand that land reform was
          > progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.

          Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping them all
          together leads to muddled analysis, just like lumping land with
          capital, as Marx did. The two wholly incompatible terms are
          "progressive" and "socialist."

          "Progressive" as a term to denote a political view, originated in the
          United States shortly after the wide distribution of "Progress and
          Poverty." It connoted a view of human progress that differed widely
          from the socialist view. The progressive view of progress was that,
          while technological progress is linear, social progress is cyclical, and

          depends on both personal freedom and equality. Indeed, it viewed
          freedom and equality as aspects of the same essence, so that one could
          not exist without the other. The progressive view of society was also a
          highly spiritual (though not dogmatic or parochial) view.

          Socialism generally, and Marx particularly, viewed freedom as a
          bourgeois concept of a forgotten age. Marx viewed social progress as
          linear, and viewed the entrepreneur as someone who played a useful
          transitional rule, but who was superfluous now that everything major
          had been invented. Now that we had the steam engine, and what more
          could we need?

          It was Marx who most vehemently denounced the distinction between
          land and capital and who, in his own perverse way, rescued the landed
          aristocracy by derailing liberalism. By obliterating the distinction
          between earned wealth and privilege, he healed the woulds between
          the professional class and the privileged class, and he dissipated the
          energies on behalf of labor that had, up to that time, been focused on
          fighting privilege.

          Socialists have always been a parasites on legitimate "left" efforts.
          First they called themselves liberals, because liberalism was popular
          and socialism was not. Eventually, they corrupted the term. Then they
          captured the term "progressive" by starting a socialist magazine called
          "The Progressive."

          The vitality of the "sixties left" was also derived from challenged the
          orthodoxies of both capitalism and socialism. I was in the thick of the
          social upheaval of the time, challenging restrictive university
          policies, protesting the Viet Nam war, organizing workers at a major
          hotel-restaurant, organizing the local boycott of grapes for the United
          Farm Workers, helping launch an alternative radio station, using and
          selling drugs, and starting a co-op house that became known as a
          social center for free-thinking people.

          One of the most often used expressions within the sixties left was
          "control freak," but it was applied as often to socialists within the
          left
          as to people in the political establishment.

          As an example, the founders of the home schooling movement were
          not right-wing fundamentalists, as they are now stereotyped. They
          were basically educational free-thinkers who challenged the
          conservative, doctrinaire, regimented approach to education. John
          Holt, A.S. Neill, Charles Silberman, Neil Postman and Charles
          Weingartner were all required reading when I was an education major
          at the state-funded University of Pittsburgh (1969-72).

          Postman & Weingartner's most famous book was "Teaching as a
          Subversive Activity." The epigraph to the book was lyrics to a song
          by Tom Paxton. Considered radical-left by sixties standards, they are
          considered radical-right today.

          What did you learn in school today,
          dear little boy of mine?
          What did you learn in school today,
          dear little boy of mine?
          I learned that government must be strong.
          It's always right and never wrong.
          It's leaders are the finest men,
          And we elect them again and again,
          And that's what I learned in school to today,
          That's what I learned in school.

          Charles Silberman wrote "Crisis in the Classroom," which argued
          against public school indoctrination of any kind, and asserted, among
          other things, that there should be no required reading for public
          school students or, for that matter, for education majors. (The fact
          that
          his own book was required reading is one of life's little ironies.)

          A. S. Neill wrote about the dynamics of his free-school, Summerhill,
          where students learned whatever they wanted at their own pace, and
          where, in matters of education, the teachers were subordinate to the
          students' own desires. Students who came to this school lagged
          behind conventional school students for about three years and then
          shot past them.

          Finally, John Holt was *the* darling of the educational establishment
          with books like "Why Johnny Can't Read" and "Why Children Fail."
          His books became more and more popular until he realized and wrote
          that the very nature of government schools rendered them incapable
          of promoting freedom of thought, which was the spiritual essence
          behind educational growth. All of his books were immediately pulled
          from educational schools, and the books by the other authors
          discussed above soon followed.

          The educational bureaucracy preserved its niche by replacing control-
          freak conservatism with control-freak liberalism, and was thereby
          able to purge itself of the essential challenge that had transformed it,
          a
          challenge to control. Ignoring the actual history, it now stereotypes
          ideas that arose from the sixties left as being right-wing ideas.

          I was also a county chair of the Greens before there was a US Green
          Party. I had become involved in the green movement through the
          School of Living, which had been pioneering green concepts since the
          1930s, and had published a newsletter called "Green Revolution"
          since 1942. It started land trust communities and alternative money
          systems, taught about consensus governing, taught organic and raised-
          bed gardening techniques to help poor people grow wholesome food
          on small amounts of land, and preached about ecological sustainablity
          when almost nobody knew what that term meant.

          Its founder, Ralph Borsodi, incorporated the core concepts of Henry
          George into his teachings and writings, and thoroughly rejected
          Marxism and other schemes that relied on governmental intervention.
          His efforts, and those of people like him, is what launched the Greens.

          The Greens had rejected socialism for many of the same reasons that
          true liberals and true progressives had rejected it -- that it called
          for
          central control and intervention, that it did not appreciate the
          spiritual
          relationships that make society function, and that it dwelled on
          hostility and envy instead of harmony and vision. The US Greens
          focused on process, soliciting dissenting views and reconciling
          majority views with those views, and arriving at a consensus. A
          popular, esoteric and cryptic slogan on Green buttons and bumper
          stickers was, "I'd rather be talking about process."

          For a long time, US socialists dismissed the US Greens with
          condescending quips like, "you can't change the world by eating
          granola." But as large numbers of people started embracing Green
          ideas, and as socialism continued to be thoroughly rejected, an
          organized cadre of socialists invaded the Green movement, calling
          themselves the Green Left.

          They came to national Green Gatherings, held all-night meetings
          among themselves, and then tried to railroad their agenda through the
          main meetings of the Greens. They failed year after year.

          At one National Gathering that I attended (as a Gathering Organizer),
          one of the socialists had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the
          meeting, partly from frustration, but mostly from a lack of sleep. His
          socialist allies were too concerned with their own embarrassment to
          come to his aid, but a number of loving, caring, healing Greens
          instinctively went to him and helped him retire to a comfortable place
          where he could cry and express his despair. "Winning the issue,"
          which was so important to his socialist allies that they did not leave
          the floor, was secondary to a number of other greens who stayed with
          him and gave him solace. It was an vignette that symbolizes the
          contrast between the humorless, spiritual-less, control-obsessed
          socialists (of this country, at least) and the light-hearted, spiritual,

          open-process-oriented Greens.

          In any case, the US Greens voted down the idea of forming a Green
          Party every time it was proposed, for several reasons. One was that
          they viewed themselves as a broader social and spiritual movement,
          and did not want to get sucked into the preoccupation with political
          gains that characterizes political parties. Another was that they
          recognized that the US system was a truly two-party system, and that
          it was more effective to reason with political people than to compete
          with them, and to help Green candidates within the main parties than
          to run irrelevant candidates.

          However, they had no standing to stop someone else from forming a
          political party and calling it the Green Party, so the Green Left formed

          its own Green Party. As the party grew, the elements on which the US
          Green movement had been based began to fade, so that the modern
          Green Party is just socialism riding on a wave of environmentalism.
          Most of the Green Platform is strongly at odds with the Ten Key
          Values adopted by the US Greens, and most of the people who had
          formed and nurtured the Green Movement have left the party in
          disgust.

          The prime example of this loss of values is that one of the top agendas
          of the Green Movement was to de-institutionalize health care,
          opening it up to practices that had been shut out or discounted by the
          government-regulated system. Among these practices were
          acupressure, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractics, floatation
          (sensory-deprivation) tanks, herbalogy, homeopathy, kinesiology,
          lifestyle analysis, macrobiotics, massage, midwifery, organic farming,
          spiritual healing, veganism, whole-food diets and yoga.

          These alternative practices and the people who embraced them have
          been cast aside by the Green Party, whose core issue right now is
          Single Payer Heath Care, the total institutionalization of medicine.
          Also cast aside are the "key values" of diversity, decentralism, and
          personal responsibility. As the socialist "watermelon" greens took
          over, concerns of the original greens were cast aside.

          This is how it had been with the original progressive labor movement
          in this country as well. Indeed, the socialists joined progressive labor

          organizations and then proceeded to sabotage efforts that the
          organizations had embraced because those efforts had been
          championed by non-socialist factions.

          It is clear to me that there is no basis for a partnership with Marxists

          or with American socialists. Having no viability of their own, they
          leach the vitality out of movements they join and discard. They are, in
          my experience and from my reading of history, the parasites of the
          left.

          > It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
          > rather than Karl Marx.

          We deal with everyone, expressing our agreements and disagreements
          as we find them. Hayek and Friedman embraced freedom without
          equality, and Marx embraced equality without freedom. Neither
          concept is possible. The kindest thing I can say about the this
          assertion that we "deal with" Hayek and Friedman in any way other
          than quoting endorsements from them when appropriate, is that it is
          the product of a runaway imagination and an absence of fact-
          checking. If I did not embrace this kinder interpretation, I would have
          to say that it is a lie.

          The following crap is ignorant in both major senses of the word. It
          shows a complete ignorance of Georgist sentiments, for we have been
          adversarial to America's war in Iraq from the beginning.

          > Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending
          > social democracy.
          >
          > I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
          > 'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks' (at
          > this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
          > Liberation' - OIL)

          In this case, Bernard has no excuse for his allegations. He was on the
          land-theory list when these matters were discussed. (He quit the list
          when his penchant for ad hominem attacks got him moderated.)

          As illustration, I wrote two anti-war songs. (I have posted them on
          this list.) I sing them at anti-war rallies, and I sang them a number of

          times at CGO conferences, drawing applause from virtually everyone
          and criticism from nobody. Indeed, I have heard US imperialism
          attacked over and over, and have never heard a Georgist defend it in
          any way. If Bernard does not remember this, it is because he has
          chosen to forget.

          > Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?

          Done. (Again.)

          That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike about Marxists is
          their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
          does not join them. It's not just a character flaw some Marxists have;
          its a product of the Marxist tenet that envy is a useful emotion.

          Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you will, but it is not
          initiatory and it is not bogus.

          -ds
        • Dan Sullivan
          ... Just calling it as I see it. It s not just about individual socialists, but about the socialist (and particularly, Marxist) mind-set. The track record of
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 24, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            On 24 Nov 2006 at 10:33, Wetzel Dave wrote:

            > My friend Dan writes: "Socialists have always been parasites
            > on legitimate "left" efforts."

            > Don't Georgists' have enough enemies without trying to
            > denigrate and put off socialists like me from Henry's ideas?

            Just calling it as I see it. It's not just about individual socialists, but
            about the socialist (and particularly, Marxist) mind-set. The track
            record of socialists, at least in this country, is that they only join a
            parade so they can run to the head of it and then turn it down a blind
            alley.

            > Dan also writes: "That reminds me. One of the things I really
            > dislike about Marxists is their proclivity for making ad
            > hominem attacks against anyone who does not join them."

            > Re-read your own e-mail below Dan.

            Re-read my last line.

            "Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you will, but it is not
            initiatory and it is not bogus."

            In typical Socialist fashion, Bernard had accused Georgists of allying
            with Hayek and Friedman, of defending neoliberalism, of joining
            neocon think tanks, and of supporting the Iraqi war. He knows better,
            and he has crossed the line between being a Rousseau and a
            Robespierre. Maybe it's because he is Australian, for the politics of
            that country are more like the politics of America. I think our country
            has the most absurd socialists in the world, and Australia is probably
            not far behind.

            > Where is your discussion of socialist policies? - Since 1879
            > in the UK we have achieved the eight hour working day, the
            > five day week, safer factories, mines and other workplaces,
            > half-decent retirement pensions, free education and health
            > services for all, free public transport for people with
            > disabilities and elderly people, etc. etc. Which one of these
            > policies do you oppose?

            I refer you to Clarence Darrow:

            Everybody nowadays is anxious to help do something for the poor,
            especially they who are on the backs of the poor; they will do
            anything that is not fundamental. Nobody ever dreams of giving
            the poor a chance to help themselves. The reformers in this state
            have passed a law prohibiting women from working more than
            eight hours in one day in certain industries -- so much do women
            love to work that they must be stopped by law. If any benevolent
            heathen see fit to come here and do work, we send them to gaol or
            send them back where they came from.

            All these prohibitory laws are froth. You can only cure effects by
            curing the cause. Every sin and every wrong that exists in the
            world is the product of law, and you cannot cure it without curing
            the cause. Lawyers, as a class, are very stupid. What would you
            think of a doctor, who, finding a case of malaria, instead of
            draining the swamp, would send the patient to gaol, and leave the
            swamp where it is? We are seeking to improve conditions of life
            by improving symptoms.

            http://savingcommunities.org/docs/darrow.clarence/abolish.html

            > I agree that Marx did not get everything right and I disagree
            > with the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat but
            > regards economic theory have you actually read Marx's comments
            > on land rent in the Communist Manifesto or his account of
            > differential rent in Das Kapital Vol 3, Part 6?

            Yes. He basically admits that surplus value is actually land rent. That
            makes his whole prior analysis of capital wrong. Unfortunately, you
            are the first socialist I have met who acknowledges that passage. Also
            unfortunately, Marx (or Engels in posthumous editing) made that
            passage so circuitous that there is no simple quote to be taken from it.

            > Surely as Georgists we need to show people of other political
            > persuasions how LVT can help them achieve their objectives -
            > not waste time denigrating them?

            Bernard has a long history of denigrating Georgists who don't agree
            with him, which is to say, Georgists who agree with George about
            socialism. However, I do not base my attitude on Bernard alone. I
            have worked in the left all my life, and I have seen this attitude over
            and over again from people who call themselves socialists. Again,
            maybe it's just American and Australian socialists.

            > Just this week I spent over an hour with a leading
            > Conservative politician in London - not to attack his politics
            > which I mostly disagree with, but to show him how LVT could
            > help him cut other, damaging taxes - a subject close to his
            > heart.

            That's exactly the point. The Georgist approach transcends left and
            right, providing for the legitimate concerns of both but also criticizing
            the errors of both. There are, within both camps, "wing nuts" whose
            agenda is not justice, but political monopoly on one side or economic
            monopoly on the other. Thus, right-wing nuts call those who
            challenge them communists, and left-wing nuts call those who
            challenge them fascists.

            Remember, landlords were once public servants who took too much
            power and became rulers. By putting public servants in control once
            again, socialism just repeats the cycle. Even if that makes things
            better for a while, it ultimately makes things just as bad or worse. In
            that light, conservatives are people who already have power over my
            life and want to keep it. Socialists, calling themselves liberals, want to
            "liberate" that control for themselves. They are "opposites" much as
            one bookend is opposite the other.

            The neocons in this country actually *are* fascists, what with all their
            "public private partnerships," which is the economic essence of
            fascism. For Bernard to ask if Georgists are in league with neocons
            and in support of the Iraqi war, just because we quoted Milton
            Friedman's support for land value tax as the least bad tax, is typical of
            the "purge" mentality I have so often seen among American socialists.

            Ironically, even Friedman had long been critical of neocon policies
            and of war. This is guilt by minor association with someone who is
            only guilty by a minor association.

            I once went to Philadelphia to join in a rally to save Mumia Abu
            Jamal from execution. (He is a radical black journalist who was
            convicted of shooting a cop, but it was clearly in the heat of passion,
            and not a first-degree murder, even if he did it, which some dispute.) I
            brought with me a statement by the local Libertarian Party saying that,
            even if Jamal was guilty, his time already served was more than what
            fits the crime, and that he should be released.

            While I was there, I noticed that there were seven different socialist
            parties represented. I struck up conversations with members of these
            parties, noting that there was only one Libertarian Party, and that it
            was much bigger than all seven socialist parties combined. I
            mentioned that this seemed ironic, in as much as libertarians preach
            individual initiative and socialists preach solidarity.

            Apparently the Socialist Party had split with the Communist Party for
            good reasons, as the US Communist Party was preaching violence.
            Then the Socialist Workers Party split from the Socialist Party in
            support of Trotsky. Then the Socialist Labor Party split from the
            socialist Workers Party because they were too dogmatic. Then the
            Socialist Freedom Party split from the Socialist Labor Party because
            they were too male-dominated. There were two other socialist parties
            that also split away, for reasons I did not discover.

            There is a framed Puck cartoon hanging in the Henry George School
            of Henry George holding up the world. On that world are people with
            picket signs. Some are fighting with police, but most are fighting with
            each other. The caption reads,

            A TOUGH JOB FOR THE ATLAS OF THE LABOR WORLD

            Henry George -- If you fellows up there don't keep quiet, I shall
            have to drop the whole thing!

            Over and over in the George's time, fighting within the labor
            movement was initiated by the socialist minority. They were expelled
            by the United Labor Party, and they were expelled again by Samuel
            Gompers when he formed the American Federation of Labor.
            Gompers supported Georgism and opposed socialism, but he declared
            that the AFL would support neither one because the bickering was
            destroying labor.

            There is an American Indian story of a scorpion who pleads with a
            frog to carry him across the stream. "But you will sting me," the frog
            replies.

            "Why should I do that?" the scorpion asks. "If I sting you, we will
            both drown."

            Reassured, the frog takes the scorpion on his back and proceeds to
            swim across the river. About half way across, the scorpion stings him.
            As the frog begins to die, he asks, "Why did you do that, as now we
            will both drown?"

            The scorpion replied, "Because it is my nature."

            On the other hand, there is a zen story of a monk who pulls a
            drowning scorpion from a puddle and is stung. The confused and
            frightened scorpion scrambles in the wrong direction and ends up
            back in the puddle, so the monk rescues him again and is stung again.
            The same thing happens a third time, the monk rescues him a third
            time, and is stung a third time.

            Someone asks the monk, "Why do you keep rescuing this scorpion
            after he keeps stinging you?" The monk replies, "Because it is my
            nature."

            I freely admit to not having the nature of that monk, but I have been
            stung by too many scorpion socialists and I want nothing to do with
            them. I wish them well, but there is no way I want them riding on the
            back of the Georgist movement or any other movement I support.

            Maybe the British socialists are different, or maybe they only think
            they are socialist. The right-wing nuts and the left-wing nuts both try
            to pretend that anyone who fights for social justice is a socialist, and
            many good people therefore think they are socialist.

            I recall an interviewer being taken aback when Fidel Castro told him
            that he (Fidel) had never read anything by Marx. Incredulous, the
            interviewer asked, "How can you call yourself a Marxist if you have
            never read Marx?"

            Fidel answered, "Marxism is something I feel in my heart."

            Perhaps many people are socialists "in their hearts" without actually
            knowing how much centralized control socialism entails. Some of
            them might also be scorpions, but most are not. I feel no apprehension
            about working with non-scorpion socialists, once I have made that
            distinction about them, nor with libertarians who have not thought
            through the property question but are open to doing so.

            Meanwhile, I shall remain warmongering neoclassical neocon to
            Bernard Rooney because I'll be damned if I am going to accept that I
            must convince him that I am not these things, or that I don't beat my
            wife.

            Lovingly,
            -ds
          • Harry Pollard
            Dave, I am pretty sure that were I not a Georgist, I would be a socialist - perhaps a free market socialist if that isn t a contradiction of terms. However,
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 28, 2006
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              Dave,
               
              I am pretty sure that were I not a Georgist, I would be a socialist - perhaps a free market socialist if that isn't a contradiction of terms.
               
              However, I'm a radical Georgist. I want to end privilege of all kinds once and for all. My view of socialism is that in practice they improve the living conditions of the serfs - but they are still serfs, while the wealthy and powerful remain  - and even increase.
               
              I have only experienced three overtly socialist countries, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK. All of them seem highly civilized. My experience in Sweden is limited to a month I spent in hospital there, after going to sleep on a motor scooter. I wouldn't advise that.
               
              The day before I was due to leave, I asked for my clothes so I could make the rounds in the local town. I wanted to thank the people who had been nice to the 'Englishman in the hospital'. They wouldn't give me my clothes. It was against the rules. So, I wandered around town in a loose unbelted, cloth hospital robe and hospital backless slippers. Had an enjoyable evening with several friends and I wasn't arrested.
               
              So, can that be my criticism of Sweden's socialist hospital system? No. My beef is with the large woman who used a hard scrubbing brush to clean me off when I was helpless!
               
              Typical socialist sadism.
               
              More seriously, the major problem of socialism seems to arise from redistribution of income from those who work to those who don't. All countries carry out a redistribution from those who have to those who haven't. Socialism takes it further.
               
              US redistribution seems to go indiscriminately to both rich and poor - 79% of the American budget consists of transfer payments. When I see that the Duke of Westminster received £3 million over 10 years I think that maybe we are closer than we admit.   
               
              The advantage that modern nation-states have is the enormous power to produce they enjoy. This is what maintains controlled economy systems that are by their nature inefficient. How long they can run without crashing is anyone's guess, however, they survive.
               
              The problem is the threshold between giving and getting. If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes apparent that you can do almost as well by not working. Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can allow you to do better than you could with a job.
               
              Officials try to stop this, but without being nasty, I'm not sure they can do much to prevent it.
               
              You have your Northern England where jobs aren't plentiful. We have the hell-holes of the urban ghettos with the added fear of being shot or knifed. (Maybe that's becoming true in urban Britain with 'no-go' areas.)
               
              What a shock to many Americans when Katrina exposed a horrible New Orleans that began only a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street, but which tourists never see. On the other hand, when I last went to the September Festival at Notting Hill Gate, there seemed to be more police than residents and visitors combined (maybe they were more noticeable).
               
              I would say that if capitalism hasn't the answer, then neither does socialism. Better to head for the Georgist solution that seeks to remove privilege and leave people free.
               
              Then, there is communism. I remember a high school student who regarded Henry George as a fool for seeking to reform society through the ballot box, when it can only be done from the barrel of a gun. Yep! His parents were communists.
               
              However, you are right about Marx.
               
              After boring us for two volumes, he brightens up in Volume III. Most important is his 'discovery' that surplus value disappears into ground rent. As it happens, his surplus value contention is pretty weak, but troubling is that given our enormous power to produce, as Henry said, 'Why is it so hard to make a living.'
               
              Well, we know why. Labor's production is being drained away by rent (actually rack-rent).
               
              Marx also pointed out that the Industrial Revolution was financed out of landlord rents. This leads me to ask - why then do we chase after the capitalists? It would make more sense to go after the people who financed capitalism with ill-gotten gains than the blokes who were trying to make it work.
               
              However, we both want the same thing. The well clichéd 'Liberty and Justice for All.'
               
              Nothing would please me more than to see Britain adopt full Rent collection and then begin to discard much socialist superstructure because it was no longer necessary.
               
              Meanwhile, we'll keep the discussion going.
               
              Harry
               
              *********************************
              Henry George School of Los Angeles
              Box 655  Tujunga  CA  91042
              818 352-4141
              *********************************
               

              From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Wetzel Dave
              Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 2:33 AM
              To: Dan Sullivan; landcafe@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

              My friend Dan writes: "Socialists have always been parasites on
              legitimate "left" efforts."

              Don't Georgists' have enough enemies without trying to denigrate and
              put off socialists like me from Henry's ideas?

              Dan also writes: "That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike
              about Marxists is
              their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
              does not join them."

              Re-read your own e-mail below Dan.
              Where is your discussion of socialist policies? - Since 1879 in the UK
              we have achieved the eight hour working day, the five day week, safer
              factories, mines and other workplaces, half-decent retirement pensions,
              free education and health services for all, free public transport for
              people with disabilities and elderly people, etc. etc. Which one of
              these policies do you oppose?

              I agree that Marx did not get everything right and I disagree with the
              concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat but regards economic
              theory have you actually read Marx's comments on land rent in the
              Communist Manifesto or his account of differential rent in Das Kapital
              Vol 3, Part 6?

              Surely as Georgists we need to show people of other political
              persuasions how LVT can help them achieve their objectives - not waste
              time denigrating them?
              Just this week I spent over an hour with a leading Conservative
              politician in London - not to attack his politics which I mostly
              disagree with, but to show him how LVT could help him cut other,
              damaging taxes - a subject close to his heart.

              Dave

              Dave Wetzel,
              Vice-Chair, TfL
              020 7126 4200


              -----Original Message-----
              From: LandCafe@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroup s.com] On
              Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
              Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:10 PM
              To: landcafe@yahoogroup s.com
              Subject: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

              On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:52, Bernard Rooney wrote:

              > the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
              > understand that land reform was
              > progressive/ left/anarchist/ socialist/ revolutionary.

              Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping them all
              together leads to muddled analysis, just like lumping land with
              capital, as Marx did. The two wholly incompatible terms are
              "progressive" and "socialist."

              "Progressive" as a term to denote a political view, originated in the
              United States shortly after the wide distribution of "Progress and
              Poverty." It connoted a view of human progress that differed widely
              from the socialist view. The progressive view of progress was that,
              while technological progress is linear, social progress is cyclical, and

              depends on both personal freedom and equality. Indeed, it viewed
              freedom and equality as aspects of the same essence, so that one could
              not exist without the other. The progressive view of society was also a
              highly spiritual (though not dogmatic or parochial) view.

              Socialism generally, and Marx particularly, viewed freedom as a
              bourgeois concept of a forgotten age. Marx viewed social progress as
              linear, and viewed the entrepreneur as someone who played a useful
              transitional rule, but who was superfluous now that everything major
              had been invented. Now that we had the steam engine, and what more
              could we need?

              It was Marx who most vehemently denounced the distinction between
              land and capital and who, in his own perverse way, rescued the landed
              aristocracy by derailing liberalism. By obliterating the distinction
              between earned wealth and privilege, he healed the woulds between
              the professional class and the privileged class, and he dissipated the
              energies on behalf of labor that had, up to that time, been focused on
              fighting privilege.

              Socialists have always been a parasites on legitimate "left" efforts.
              First they called themselves liberals, because liberalism was popular
              and socialism was not. Eventually, they corrupted the term. Then they
              captured the term "progressive" by starting a socialist magazine called
              "The Progressive. "

              The vitality of the "sixties left" was also derived from challenged the
              orthodoxies of both capitalism and socialism. I was in the thick of the
              social upheaval of the time, challenging restrictive university
              policies, protesting the Viet Nam war, organizing workers at a major
              hotel-restaurant, organizing the local boycott of grapes for the United
              Farm Workers, helping launch an alternative radio station, using and
              selling drugs, and starting a co-op house that became known as a
              social center for free-thinking people.

              One of the most often used expressions within the sixties left was
              "control freak," but it was applied as often to socialists within the
              left
              as to people in the political establishment.

              As an example, the founders of the home schooling movement were
              not right-wing fundamentalists, as they are now stereotyped. They
              were basically educational free-thinkers who challenged the
              conservative, doctrinaire, regimented approach to education. John
              Holt, A.S. Neill, Charles Silberman, Neil Postman and Charles
              Weingartner were all required reading when I was an education major
              at the state-funded University of Pittsburgh (1969-72).

              Postman & Weingartner' s most famous book was "Teaching as a
              Subversive Activity." The epigraph to the book was lyrics to a song
              by Tom Paxton. Considered radical-left by sixties standards, they are
              considered radical-right today.

              What did you learn in school today,
              dear little boy of mine?
              What did you learn in school today,
              dear little boy of mine?
              I learned that government must be strong.
              It's always right and never wrong.
              It's leaders are the finest men,
              And we elect them again and again,
              And that's what I learned in school to today,
              That's what I learned in school.

              Charles Silberman wrote "Crisis in the Classroom," which argued
              against public school indoctrination of any kind, and asserted, among
              other things, that there should be no required reading for public
              school students or, for that matter, for education majors. (The fact
              that
              his own book was required reading is one of life's little ironies.)

              A. S. Neill wrote about the dynamics of his free-school, Summerhill,
              where students learned whatever they wanted at their own pace, and
              where, in matters of education, the teachers were subordinate to the
              students' own desires. Students who came to this school lagged
              behind conventional school students for about three years and then
              shot past them.

              Finally, John Holt was *the* darling of the educational establishment
              with books like "Why Johnny Can't Read" and "Why Children Fail."
              His books became more and more popular until he realized and wrote
              that the very nature of government schools rendered them incapable
              of promoting freedom of thought, which was the spiritual essence
              behind educational growth. All of his books were immediately pulled
              from educational schools, and the books by the other authors
              discussed above soon followed.

              The educational bureaucracy preserved its niche by replacing control-
              freak conservatism with control-freak liberalism, and was thereby
              able to purge itself of the essential challenge that had transformed it,
              a
              challenge to control. Ignoring the actual history, it now stereotypes
              ideas that arose from the sixties left as being right-wing ideas.

              I was also a county chair of the Greens before there was a US Green
              Party. I had become involved in the green movement through the
              School of Living, which had been pioneering green concepts since the
              1930s, and had published a newsletter called "Green Revolution"
              since 1942. It started land trust communities and alternative money
              systems, taught about consensus governing, taught organic and raised-
              bed gardening techniques to help poor people grow wholesome food
              on small amounts of land, and preached about ecological sustainablity
              when almost nobody knew what that term meant.

              Its founder, Ralph Borsodi, incorporated the core concepts of Henry
              George into his teachings and writings, and thoroughly rejected
              Marxism and other schemes that relied on governmental intervention.
              His efforts, and those of people like him, is what launched the Greens.

              The Greens had rejected socialism for many of the same reasons that
              true liberals and true progressives had rejected it -- that it called
              for
              central control and intervention, that it did not appreciate the
              spiritual
              relationships that make society function, and that it dwelled on
              hostility and envy instead of harmony and vision. The US Greens
              focused on process, soliciting dissenting views and reconciling
              majority views with those views, and arriving at a consensus. A
              popular, esoteric and cryptic slogan on Green buttons and bumper
              stickers was, "I'd rather be talking about process."

              For a long time, US socialists dismissed the US Greens with
              condescending quips like, "you can't change the world by eating
              granola." But as large numbers of people started embracing Green
              ideas, and as socialism continued to be thoroughly rejected, an
              organized cadre of socialists invaded the Green movement, calling
              themselves the Green Left.

              They came to national Green Gatherings, held all-night meetings
              among themselves, and then tried to railroad their agenda through the
              main meetings of the Greens. They failed year after year.

              At one National Gathering that I attended (as a Gathering Organizer),
              one of the socialists had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the
              meeting, partly from frustration, but mostly from a lack of sleep. His
              socialist allies were too concerned with their own embarrassment to
              come to his aid, but a number of loving, caring, healing Greens
              instinctively went to him and helped him retire to a comfortable place
              where he could cry and express his despair. "Winning the issue,"
              which was so important to his socialist allies that they did not leave
              the floor, was secondary to a number of other greens who stayed with
              him and gave him solace. It was an vignette that symbolizes the
              contrast between the humorless, spiritual-less, control-obsessed
              socialists (of this country, at least) and the light-hearted, spiritual,

              open-process- oriented Greens.

              In any case, the US Greens voted down the idea of forming a Green
              Party every time it was proposed, for several reasons. One was that
              they viewed themselves as a broader social and spiritual movement,
              and did not want to get sucked into the preoccupation with political
              gains that characterizes political parties. Another was that they
              recognized that the US system was a truly two-party system, and that
              it was more effective to reason with political people than to compete
              with them, and to help Green candidates within the main parties than
              to run irrelevant candidates.

              However, they had no standing to stop someone else from forming a
              political party and calling it the Green Party, so the Green Left formed

              its own Green Party. As the party grew, the elements on which the US
              Green movement had been based began to fade, so that the modern
              Green Party is just socialism riding on a wave of environmentalism.
              Most of the Green Platform is strongly at odds with the Ten Key
              Values adopted by the US Greens, and most of the people who had
              formed and nurtured the Green Movement have left the party in
              disgust.

              The prime example of this loss of values is that one of the top agendas
              of the Green Movement was to de-institutionalize health care,
              opening it up to practices that had been shut out or discounted by the
              government-regulate d system. Among these practices were
              acupressure, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractics, floatation
              (sensory-deprivatio n) tanks, herbalogy, homeopathy, kinesiology,
              lifestyle analysis, macrobiotics, massage, midwifery, organic farming,
              spiritual healing, veganism, whole-food diets and yoga.

              These alternative practices and the people who embraced them have
              been cast aside by the Green Party, whose core issue right now is
              Single Payer Heath Care, the total institutionalizatio n of medicine.
              Also cast aside are the "key values" of diversity, decentralism, and
              personal responsibility. As the socialist "watermelon" greens took
              over, concerns of the original greens were cast aside.

              This is how it had been with the original progressive labor movement
              in this country as well. Indeed, the socialists joined progressive labor

              organizations and then proceeded to sabotage efforts that the
              organizations had embraced because those efforts had been
              championed by non-socialist factions.

              It is clear to me that there is no basis for a partnership with Marxists

              or with American socialists. Having no viability of their own, they
              leach the vitality out of movements they join and discard. They are, in
              my experience and from my reading of history, the parasites of the
              left.

              > It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
              > rather than Karl Marx.

              We deal with everyone, expressing our agreements and disagreements
              as we find them. Hayek and Friedman embraced freedom without
              equality, and Marx embraced equality without freedom. Neither
              concept is possible. The kindest thing I can say about the this
              assertion that we "deal with" Hayek and Friedman in any way other
              than quoting endorsements from them when appropriate, is that it is
              the product of a runaway imagination and an absence of fact-
              checking. If I did not embrace this kinder interpretation, I would have
              to say that it is a lie.

              The following crap is ignorant in both major senses of the word. It
              shows a complete ignorance of Georgist sentiments, for we have been
              adversarial to America's war in Iraq from the beginning.

              > Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending
              > social democracy.
              >
              > I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
              > 'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks' (at
              > this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
              > Liberation' - OIL)

              In this case, Bernard has no excuse for his allegations. He was on the
              land-theory list when these matters were discussed. (He quit the list
              when his penchant for ad hominem attacks got him moderated.)

              As illustration, I wrote two anti-war songs. (I have posted them on
              this list.) I sing them at anti-war rallies, and I sang them a number of

              times at CGO conferences, drawing applause from virtually everyone
              and criticism from nobody. Indeed, I have heard US imperialism
              attacked over and over, and have never heard a Georgist defend it in
              any way. If Bernard does not remember this, it is because he has
              chosen to forget.

              > Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?

              Done. (Again.)

              That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike about Marxists is
              their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
              does not join them. It's not just a character flaw some Marxists have;
              its a product of the Marxist tenet that envy is a useful emotion.

              Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you will, but it is not
              initiatory and it is not bogus.

              -ds

            • walter horn
              Bravo, Harry. Great post. W ... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Want to start your own business? Learn
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 29, 2006
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                Bravo, Harry. Great post.

                W

                --- Harry Pollard <henrygeorgeschool@...> wrote:

                > Dave,
                >
                > I am pretty sure that were I not a Georgist, I would
                > be a
                > socialist - perhaps a free market socialist if that
                > isn't a
                > contradiction of terms.
                >
                > However, I'm a radical Georgist. I want to end
                > privilege of all
                > kinds once and for all. My view of socialism is that
                > in practice
                > they improve the living conditions of the serfs -
                > but they are
                > still serfs, while the wealthy and powerful remain
                > - and even
                > increase.
                >
                > I have only experienced three overtly socialist
                > countries,
                > Sweden, Denmark, and the UK. All of them seem highly
                > civilized.
                > My experience in Sweden is limited to a month I
                > spent in hospital
                > there, after going to sleep on a motor scooter. I
                > wouldn't advise
                > that.
                >
                > The day before I was due to leave, I asked for my
                > clothes so I
                > could make the rounds in the local town. I wanted to
                > thank the
                > people who had been nice to the 'Englishman in the
                > hospital'.
                > They wouldn't give me my clothes. It was against the
                > rules. So, I
                > wandered around town in a loose unbelted, cloth
                > hospital robe and
                > hospital backless slippers. Had an enjoyable evening
                > with several
                > friends and I wasn't arrested.
                >
                > So, can that be my criticism of Sweden's socialist
                > hospital
                > system? No. My beef is with the large woman who used
                > a hard
                > scrubbing brush to clean me off when I was helpless!
                >
                > Typical socialist sadism.
                >
                > More seriously, the major problem of socialism seems
                > to arise
                > from redistribution of income from those who work to
                > those who
                > don't. All countries carry out a redistribution from
                > those who
                > have to those who haven't. Socialism takes it
                > further.
                >
                > US redistribution seems to go indiscriminately to
                > both rich and
                > poor - 79% of the American budget consists of
                > transfer payments.
                > When I see that the Duke of Westminster received £3
                > million over
                > 10 years I think that maybe we are closer than we
                > admit.
                >
                > The advantage that modern nation-states have is the
                > enormous
                > power to produce they enjoy. This is what maintains
                > controlled
                > economy systems that are by their nature
                > inefficient. How long
                > they can run without crashing is anyone's guess,
                > however, they
                > survive.
                >
                > The problem is the threshold between giving and
                > getting. If you
                > are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes
                > apparent
                > that you can do almost as well by not working.
                > Slipping across
                > into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In
                > fact, a little
                > untaxed work off the books can allow you to do
                > better than you
                > could with a job.
                >
                > Officials try to stop this, but without being nasty,
                > I'm not sure
                > they can do much to prevent it.
                >
                > You have your Northern England where jobs aren't
                > plentiful. We
                > have the hell-holes of the urban ghettos with the
                > added fear of
                > being shot or knifed. (Maybe that's becoming true in
                > urban
                > Britain with 'no-go' areas.)
                >
                > What a shock to many Americans when Katrina exposed
                > a horrible
                > New Orleans that began only a couple of blocks from
                > Bourbon
                > Street, but which tourists never see. On the other
                > hand, when I
                > last went to the September Festival at Notting Hill
                > Gate, there
                > seemed to be more police than residents and visitors
                > combined
                > (maybe they were more noticeable).
                >
                > I would say that if capitalism hasn't the answer,
                > then neither
                > does socialism. Better to head for the Georgist
                > solution that
                > seeks to remove privilege and leave people free.
                >
                > Then, there is communism. I remember a high school
                > student who
                > regarded Henry George as a fool for seeking to
                > reform society
                > through the ballot box, when it can only be done
                > from the barrel
                > of a gun. Yep! His parents were communists.
                >
                > However, you are right about Marx.
                >
                > After boring us for two volumes, he brightens up in
                > Volume III.
                > Most important is his 'discovery' that surplus value
                > disappears
                > into ground rent. As it happens, his surplus value
                > contention is
                > pretty weak, but troubling is that given our
                > enormous power to
                > produce, as Henry said, 'Why is it so hard to make a
                > living.'
                >
                > Well, we know why. Labor's production is being
                > drained away by
                > rent (actually rack-rent).
                >
                > Marx also pointed out that the Industrial Revolution
                > was financed
                > out of landlord rents. This leads me to ask - why
                > then do we
                > chase after the capitalists? It would make more
                > sense to go after
                > the people who financed capitalism with ill-gotten
                > gains than the
                > blokes who were trying to make it work.
                >
                > However, we both want the same thing. The well
                > clichéd 'Liberty
                > and Justice for All.'
                >
                > Nothing would please me more than to see Britain
                > adopt full Rent
                > collection and then begin to discard much socialist
                > superstructure because it was no longer necessary.
                >
                > Meanwhile, we'll keep the discussion going.
                >
                > Harry
                >
                > *********************************
                > Henry George School of Los Angeles
                > Box 655 Tujunga CA 91042
                > 818 352-4141
                > *********************************
                >
                > _____
                >
                > From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com]
                > On Behalf Of Wetzel Dave
                > Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 2:33 AM
                > To: Dan Sullivan; landcafe@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not
                > "Socialist"
                >
                >
                >
                > My friend Dan writes: "Socialists have always been
                > parasites on
                > legitimate "left" efforts."
                >
                > Don't Georgists' have enough enemies without trying
                > to denigrate
                > and
                > put off socialists like me from Henry's ideas?
                >
                > Dan also writes: "That reminds me. One of the things
                > I really
                > dislike
                > about Marxists is
                > their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks
                > against anyone who
                >
                > does not join them."
                >
                > Re-read your own e-mail below Dan.
                > Where is your discussion of socialist policies? -
                > Since 1879 in
                > the UK
                > we have achieved the eight hour working day, the
                > five day week,
                > safer
                > factories, mines and other workplaces, half-decent
                > retirement
                > pensions,
                > free education and health services for all, free
                > public transport
                > for
                > people with disabilities and elderly people, etc.
                > etc. Which one
                > of
                > these policies do you oppose?
                >
                > I agree that Marx did not get everything right and I
                > disagree
                > with the
                > concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat but
                > regards
                > economic
                > theory have you actually read Marx's comments on
                > land rent in the
                > Communist Manifesto or his account of differential
                > rent in Das
                > Kapital
                > Vol 3, Part 6?
                >
                > Surely as Georgists we need to show people of other
                > political
                > persuasions how LVT can help them achieve their
                > objectives - not
                > waste
                > time denigrating them?
                > Just this week I spent over an hour with a leading
                > Conservative
                > politician in London - not to attack his politics
                > which I mostly
                > disagree with, but to show him how LVT could help
                > him cut other,
                > damaging taxes - a subject close to his heart.
                >
                > Dave
                >
                > Dave Wetzel,
                > Vice-Chair, TfL
                > 020 7126 4200
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: LandCafe@yahoogroup
                > <mailto:LandCafe%40yahoogroups.com>
                > s.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroup
                > <mailto:LandCafe%40yahoogroups.com> s.com] On
                > Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                > Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:10 PM
                > To: landcafe@yahoogroup
                > <mailto:landcafe%40yahoogroups.com> s.com
                > Subject: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"
                >
                > On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:52, Bernard Rooney wrote:
                >
                > > the georgist movement failed because it
                > fundamentally did not
                > > understand that land reform was
                > >
                > progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.
                >
                > Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping
                > them all
                > together leads to muddled analysis, just like
                > lumping land with
                > capital, as Marx did. The two wholly incompatible
                > terms are
                > "progressive" and "socialist."
                >
                > "Progressive" as a term to denote a political view,
                > originated in
                > the
                > United States shortly after the wide distribution of
                > "Progress
                > and
                > Poverty." It connoted a view of human progress that
                > differed
                > widely
                > from the socialist view. The progressive view of
                > progress was
                > that,
                > while technological progress is linear, social
                > progress is
                > cyclical, and
                >
                > depends on both personal freedom and equality.
                > Indeed, it viewed
                > freedom and equality as aspects of the same essence,
                > so that one
                > could
                > not exist without the other. The progressive view of
                > society was
                > also a
                > highly spiritual (though not dogmatic or parochial)
                > view.
                >
                > Socialism generally, and Marx particularly, viewed
                > freedom as a
                > bourgeois concept of a forgotten age. Marx viewed
                > social progress
                > as
                > linear, and viewed the entrepreneur as someone who
                > played a
                > useful
                > transitional rule, but who was superfluous now that
                > everything
                > major
                > had been invented. Now that we had the steam engine,
                > and what
                > more
                > could we need?
                >
                > It was Marx who most vehemently denounced the
                > distinction between
                >
                > land and capital and who, in his own perverse way,
                > rescued the
                > landed
                > aristocracy by derailing liberalism. By obliterating
                > the
                > distinction
                > between earned wealth and privilege, he healed the
                > woulds between
                >
                > the professional class and the privileged class, and
                > he
                > dissipated the
                > energies on behalf of labor that had, up to that
                > time, been
                > focused on
                > fighting privilege.
                >
                > Socialists have always been a parasites on
                > legitimate "left"
                > efforts.
                > First they called themselves liberals, because
                > liberalism was
                > popular
                > and socialism was not. Eventually, they corrupted
                > the term. Then
                > they
                > captured the term "progressive" by starting a
                > socialist magazine
                > called
                > "The Progressive."
                >
                > The vitality of the "sixties left" was also derived
                > from
                > challenged the
                > orthodoxies of both capitalism and socialism. I was
                > in the thick
                > of the
                > social upheaval of the time, challenging restrictive
                > university
                > policies, protesting the Viet Nam war, organizing
                > workers at a
                > major
                > hotel-restaurant, organizing the local boycott of
                > grapes for the
                > United
                > Farm Workers, helping launch an alternative radio
                > station, using
                > and
                > selling drugs, and starting a co-op house that
                > became known as a
                > social center for free-thinking people.
                >
                > One of the most often used expressions within the
                > sixties left
                > was
                > "control freak," but it was applied as often to
                > socialists within
                > the
                > left
                > as to people in the political establishment.
                >
                > As an example, the founders of the home schooling
                > movement were
                > not right-wing fundamentalists, as they are now
                > stereotyped. They
                >
                > were basically educational free-thinkers who
                > challenged the
                > conservative, doctrinaire, regimented approach to
                > education. John
                >
                > Holt, A.S. Neill, Charles Silberman, Neil Postman
                > and Charles
                > Weingartner were all required reading when I was an
                > education
                > major
                > at the state-funded University of Pittsburgh
                > (1969-72).
                >
                > Postman & Weingartner's most famous book was
                > "Teaching as a
                > Subversive Activity." The epigraph to the book was
                > lyrics to a
                > song
                > by Tom Paxton. Considered radical-left by sixties
                > standards, they
                > are
                > considered radical-right today.
                >
                > What did you learn in school today,
                > dear little boy of mine?
                > What did you learn in school today,
                > dear little boy of mine?
                > I learned that government must be strong.
                > It's always right and never wrong.
                > It's leaders are the finest men,
                > And we elect them again and again,
                > And that's what I learned in school to today,
                > That's what I learned in school.
                >
                > Charles Silberman wrote "Crisis in the Classroom,"
                > which argued
                > against public school indoctrination of any kind,
                > and asserted,
                > among
                > other things, that there should be no required
                > reading for public
                >
                > school students or, for that matter, for education
                > majors. (The
                > fact
                > that
                > his own book was required reading is one of life's
                > little
                > ironies.)
                >
                > A. S. Neill wrote about the dynamics of his
                > free-school,
                > Summerhill,
                > where students learned whatever they wanted at their
                > own pace,
                > and
                > where, in matters of education, the teachers were
                > subordinate to
                > the
                > students' own desires. Students who came to this
                > school lagged
                > behind conventional school students for about three
                > years and
                > then
                > shot past them.
                >
                > Finally, John Holt was *the* darling of the
                > educational
                > establishment
                > with books like "Why Johnny Can't Read" and "Why
                > Children Fail."
                > His books became more and more popular until he
                > realized and
                > wrote
                > that the very nature of government schools rendered
                > them
                > incapable
                > of promoting freedom of thought, which was the
                > spiritual essence
                > behind educational growth. All of his books were
                > immediately
                > pulled
                > from educational schools, and the books by the other
                > authors
                > discussed above soon followed.
                >
                > The educational bureaucracy preserved its niche by
                > replacing
                > control-
                > freak conservatism with control-freak liberalism,
                > and was thereby
                >
                > able to purge itself of the essential challenge that
                > had
                > transformed it,
                > a
                > challenge to control. Ignoring the actual history,
                > it now
                > stereotypes
                > ideas that arose from the sixties left as being
                > right-wing ideas.
                >
                > I was also a county chair of the Greens before there
                > was a US
                > Green
                > Party. I had become involved in the green movement
                > through the
                > School of Living, which had been pioneering green
                > concepts since
                > the
                > 1930s, and had published a newsletter called "Green
                > Revolution"
                > since 1942. It started land trust communities and
                > alternative
                > money
                > systems, taught about consensus governing, taught
                > organic and
                > raised-
                > bed gardening techniques to help poor people grow
                > wholesome food
                > on small amounts of land, and preached about
                > ecological
                > sustainablity
                > when almost nobody knew what that term meant.
                >
                > Its founder, Ralph Borsodi, incorporated the core
                > concepts of
                > Henry
                > George into his teachings and writings, and
                > thoroughly rejected
                > Marxism and other schemes that relied on
                > governmental
                > intervention.
                > His efforts, and those of people like him, is what
                > launched the
                > Greens.
                >
                > The Greens had rejected socialism for many of the
                > same reasons
                > that
                > true liberals and true progressives had rejected it
                > -- that it
                > called
                > for
                > central control and intervention, that it did not
                > appreciate the
                > spiritual
                > relationships that make society function, and that
                > it dwelled on
                > hostility and envy instead of harmony and vision.
                > The US Greens
                > focused on process, soliciting dissenting views and
                > reconciling
                > majority views with those views, and arriving at a
                > consensus. A
                > popular, esoteric and cryptic slogan on Green
                > buttons and bumper
                > stickers was, "I'd rather be talking about process."
                >
                > For a long time, US socialists dismissed the US
                > Greens with
                > condescending quips like, "you can't change the
                > world by eating
                > granola." But as large numbers of people started
                > embracing Green
                > ideas, and as socialism continued to be thoroughly
                > rejected, an
                > organized cadre of socialists invaded the Green
                > movement, calling
                >
                > themselves the Green Left.
                >
                > They came to national Green Gatherings, held
                > all-night meetings
                > among themselves, and then tried to railroad their
                > agenda through
                > the
                > main meetings of the Greens. They failed year after
                > year.
                >
                > At one National Gathering that I attended (as a
                > Gathering
                > Organizer),
                > one of the socialists had a nervous breakdown in the
                > middle of
                > the
                > meeting, partly from frustration, but mostly from a
                > lack of
                > sleep. His
                > socialist allies were too concerned with their own
                > embarrassment
                > to
                > come to his aid, but a number of loving, caring,
                > healing Greens
                > instinctively went to him and helped him retire to a
                > comfortable
                > place
                > where he could cry and express his despair. "Winning
                > the issue,"
                > which was so important to his socialist allies that
                > they did not
                > leave
                > the floor, was secondary to a number of other greens
                > who stayed
                > with
                > him and gave him solace. It was an vignette that
                > symbolizes the
                > contrast between the humorless, spiritual-less,
                > control-obsessed
                > socialists (of this country, at least) and the
                > light-hearted,
                > spiritual,
                >
                > open-process-oriented Greens.
                >
                > In any case, the US Greens voted down the idea of
                > forming a Green
                >
                > Party every time it was proposed, for several
                > reasons. One was
                > that
                > they viewed themselves as a broader social and
                > spiritual
                > movement,
                > and did not want to get sucked into the
                > preoccupation with
                > political
                > gains that characterizes political parties. Another
                > was that they
                >
                > recognized that the US system was a truly two-party
                > system, and
                > that
                > it was more effective to reason with political
                > people than to
                > compete
                > with them, and to help Green candidates within the
                > main parties
                > than
                > to run irrelevant candidates.
                >
                > However, they had no standing to stop someone else
                > from forming a
                >
                > political party and calling it the Green Party, so
                > the Green Left
                > formed
                >
                > its own Green Party. As the party grew, the elements
                > on which the
                > US
                > Green movement had been based began to fade, so that
                > the modern
                > Green Party is just socialism riding on a wave of
                > environmentalism.
                > Most of the Green Platform is strongly at odds with
                > the Ten Key
                > Values adopted by the US Greens, and most of the
                > people who had
                > formed and nurtured the Green Movement have left the
                > party in
                > disgust.
                >
                > The prime example of this loss of values is that one
                > of the top
                > agendas
                > of the Green Movement was to de-institutionalize
                > health care,
                > opening it up to practices that had been shut out or
                > discounted
                > by the
                > government-regulated system. Among these practices
                > were
                > acupressure, acupuncture, biofeedback,
                > chiropractics, floatation
                > (sensory-deprivation) tanks, herbalogy, homeopathy,
                > kinesiology,
                > lifestyle analysis, macrobiotics, massage,
                > midwifery, organic
                > farming,
                > spiritual healing, veganism, whole-food diets and
                > yoga.
                >
                > These alternative practices and the people who
                > embraced them have
                >
                > been cast aside by the Green Party, whose core issue
                > right now is
                >
                > Single Payer Heath Care, the total
                > institutionalization of
                > medicine.
                > Also cast aside are the "key values" of diversity,
                > decentralism,
                > and
                > personal responsibility. As the socialist
                > "watermelon" greens
                > took
                > over, concerns of the original greens were cast
                > aside.
                >
                > This is how it had been with the original
                > progressive labor
                > movement
                > in this country as well. Indeed, the socialists
                > joined
                > progressive labor
                >
                > organizations and then proceeded to sabotage efforts
                > that the
                > organizations had embraced because those efforts had
                > been
                > championed by non-socialist factions.
                >
                > It is clear to me that there is no basis for a
                > partnership with
                > Marxists
                >
                > or with American socialists. Having no viability of
                > their own,
                > they
                > leach the vitality out of movements they join and
                > discard. They
                > are, in
                > my experience and from my reading of history, the
                > parasites of
                > the
                > left.
                >
                > > It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and
                > Milton
                > Friedman
                > > rather than Karl Marx.
                >
                > We deal with everyone, expressing our agreements and
                > disagreements
                > as we find them. Hayek and Friedman embraced freedom
                > without
                > equality, and Marx embraced equality without
                > freedom. Neither
                > concept is possible. The kindest thing I can say
                > about the this
                > assertion that we "deal with" Hayek and Friedman in
                > any way other
                >
                > than quoting endorsements from them when
                > appropriate, is that it
                > is
                > the product of a runaway imagination and an absence
                > of fact-
                > checking. If I did not embrace this kinder
                > interpretation, I
                > would have
                > to say that it is a lie.
                >
                > The following crap is ignorant in both major senses
                > of the word.
                > It
                > shows a complete ignorance of Georgist sentiments,
                > for we have
                > been
                > adversarial to America's war in Iraq from the
                > beginning.
                >
                > > Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start
                > defending
                > > social democracy.
                > >
                > > I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the
                > degraded
                > georgist
                > > 'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative
                > 'think tanks'
                > (at
                > > this stage, all tank and no think) in support of
                > 'Operation
                > Iraqi
                > > Liberation' - OIL)
                >
                > In this case, Bernard has no excuse for his
                > allegations. He was
                > on the
                > land-theory list when these matters were discussed.
                > (He quit the
                > list
                > when his penchant for ad hominem attacks got him
                > moderated.)
                >
                > As illustration, I wrote two anti-war songs. (I have
                > posted them
                > on
                > this list.) I sing them at anti-war rallies, and I
                > sang them a
                > number of
                >
                > times at CGO conferences, drawing applause from
                > virtually
                > everyone
                > and criticism from nobody. Indeed, I have heard US
                > imperialism
                > attacked over and over, and have never heard a
                > Georgist defend it
                > in
                > any way. If Bernard does not remember this, it is
                > because he has
                > chosen to forget.
                >
                > > Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?
                >
                > Done. (Again.)
                >
                > That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike
                > about
                > Marxists is
                > their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks
                > against anyone who
                >
                > does not join them. It's not just a character flaw
                > some Marxists
                > have;
                > its a product of the Marxist tenet that envy is a
                > useful emotion.
                >
                > Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you
                > will, but it is
                > not
                > initiatory and it is not bogus.
                >
                > -ds
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >




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              • Wetzel Dave
                Hi Harry, Many thanks for this note. Maybe from your perspective the UK is a socialist country but not from mine. THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  Re: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                  Hi Harry,
                  Many thanks for this note.
                  Maybe from your perspective the UK is a socialist country but not from mine.
                  THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not socialist.
                  Invading Iraq  is not socialist.
                  Privatisation of public utilities  is not socialist. 
                  Paying million pound bonuses to city slickers  is not socialist.
                  Allowing poverty to continue  is not socialist.

                  I agree that Henry George offers a brighter future.

                  But even HG suggested that with his land reforms and the common ownership of land wealth that the ownership of capital might develop on a co-operative  basis.
                  (I am a member of both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party in the UK).  

                  "If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes apparent that you can do almost as well by not working. Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can allow you to do better than you could with a job."

                  I agree - this is why I'd like to see the royal family, the members of the House of Lords and landowners all do an honest day's work! 

                  Best Wishes,
                  Dave

                  Dave Wetzel
                  Vice-Chair TfL
                  Tel: 020 7126 4200
                  --------------------------
                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: Wetzel Dave;  LandCafe <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tue Nov 28 22:39:23 2006
                  Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                  Dave,

                  I am pretty sure that were I not a Georgist, I would be a socialist - perhaps a free market socialist if that isn't a contradiction of terms.

                  However, I'm a radical Georgist. I want to end privilege of all kinds once and for all. My view of socialism is that in practice they improve the living conditions of the serfs - but they are still serfs, while the wealthy and powerful remain  - and even increase.

                  I have only experienced three overtly socialist countries, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK. All of them seem highly civilized. My experience in Sweden is limited to a month I spent in hospital there, after going to sleep on a motor scooter. I wouldn't advise that.

                  The day before I was due to leave, I asked for my clothes so I could make the rounds in the local town. I wanted to thank the people who had been nice to the 'Englishman in the hospital'. They wouldn't give me my clothes. It was against the rules. So, I wandered around town in a loose unbelted, cloth hospital robe and hospital backless slippers. Had an enjoyable evening with several friends and I wasn't arrested.

                  So, can that be my criticism of Sweden's socialist hospital system? No. My beef is with the large woman who used a hard scrubbing brush to clean me off when I was helpless!

                  Typical socialist sadism.

                  More seriously, the major problem of socialism seems to arise from redistribution of income from those who work to those who don't. All countries carry out a redistribution from those who have to those who haven't. Socialism takes it further.

                  US redistribution seems to go indiscriminately to both rich and poor - 79% of the American budget consists of transfer payments. When I see that the Duke of Westminster received £3 million over 10 years I think that maybe we are closer than we admit.  

                  The advantage that modern nation-states have is the enormous power to produce they enjoy. This is what maintains controlled economy systems that are by their nature inefficient. How long they can run without crashing is anyone's guess, however, they survive.

                  The problem is the threshold between giving and getting. If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes apparent that you can do almost as well by not working. Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can allow you to do better than you could with a job.

                  Officials try to stop this, but without being nasty, I'm not sure they can do much to prevent it.

                  You have your Northern England where jobs aren't plentiful. We have the hell-holes of the urban ghettos with the added fear of being shot or knifed. (Maybe that's becoming true in urban Britain with 'no-go' areas.)

                  What a shock to many Americans when Katrina exposed a horrible New Orleans that began only a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street, but which tourists never see. On the other hand, when I last went to the September Festival at Notting Hill Gate, there seemed to be more police than residents and visitors combined (maybe they were more noticeable).

                  I would say that if capitalism hasn't the answer, then neither does socialism. Better to head for the Georgist solution that seeks to remove privilege and leave people free.

                  Then, there is communism. I remember a high school student who regarded Henry George as a fool for seeking to reform society through the ballot box, when it can only be done from the barrel of a gun. Yep! His parents were communists.

                  However, you are right about Marx.

                  After boring us for two volumes, he brightens up in Volume III. Most important is his 'discovery' that surplus value disappears into ground rent. As it happens, his surplus value contention is pretty weak, but troubling is that given our enormous power to produce, as Henry said, 'Why is it so hard to make a living.'

                  Well, we know why. Labor's production is being drained away by rent (actually rack-rent).

                  Marx also pointed out that the Industrial Revolution was financed out of landlord rents. This leads me to ask - why then do we chase after the capitalists? It would make more sense to go after the people who financed capitalism with ill-gotten gains than the blokes who were trying to make it work.

                  However, we both want the same thing. The well clichéd 'Liberty and Justice for All.'

                  Nothing would please me more than to see Britain adopt full Rent collection and then begin to discard much socialist superstructure because it was no longer necessary.

                  Meanwhile, we'll keep the discussion going.

                  Harry

                  *********************************
                  Henry George School of Los Angeles
                  Box 655  Tujunga  CA  91042
                  818 352-4141
                  *********************************

                  ________________________________

                  From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Wetzel Dave
                  Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 2:33 AM
                  To: Dan Sullivan; landcafe@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"



                          My friend Dan writes: "Socialists have always been parasites on
                          legitimate "left" efforts."
                         
                          Don't Georgists' have enough enemies without trying to denigrate and
                          put off socialists like me from Henry's ideas?
                         
                          Dan also writes: "That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike
                          about Marxists is
                          their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
                          does not join them."
                         
                          Re-read your own e-mail below Dan.
                          Where is your discussion of socialist policies? - Since 1879 in the UK
                          we have achieved the eight hour working day, the five day week, safer
                          factories, mines and other workplaces, half-decent retirement pensions,
                          free education and health services for all, free public transport for
                          people with disabilities and elderly people, etc. etc. Which one of
                          these policies do you oppose?
                         
                          I agree that Marx did not get everything right and I disagree with the
                          concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat but regards economic
                          theory have you actually read Marx's comments on land rent in the
                          Communist Manifesto or his account of differential rent in Das Kapital
                          Vol 3, Part 6?
                         
                          Surely as Georgists we need to show people of other political
                          persuasions how LVT can help them achieve their objectives - not waste
                          time denigrating them?
                          Just this week I spent over an hour with a leading Conservative
                          politician in London - not to attack his politics which I mostly
                          disagree with, but to show him how LVT could help him cut other,
                          damaging taxes - a subject close to his heart.
                         
                          Dave
                         
                          Dave Wetzel,
                          Vice-Chair, TfL
                          020 7126 4200
                         
                         
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com <mailto:LandCafe%40yahoogroups.com>  [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com <mailto:LandCafe%40yahoogroups.com> ] On
                          Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                          Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 3:10 PM
                          To: landcafe@yahoogroups.com <mailto:landcafe%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"
                         
                          On 22 Nov 2006 at 10:52, Bernard Rooney wrote:
                         
                          > the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
                          > understand that land reform was
                          > progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.
                         
                          Those five terms mean five different things. Lumping them all
                          together leads to muddled analysis, just like lumping land with
                          capital, as Marx did. The two wholly incompatible terms are
                          "progressive" and "socialist."
                         
                          "Progressive" as a term to denote a political view, originated in the
                          United States shortly after the wide distribution of "Progress and
                          Poverty." It connoted a view of human progress that differed widely
                          from the socialist view. The progressive view of progress was that,
                          while technological progress is linear, social progress is cyclical, and
                         
                          depends on both personal freedom and equality. Indeed, it viewed
                          freedom and equality as aspects of the same essence, so that one could
                          not exist without the other. The progressive view of society was also a
                          highly spiritual (though not dogmatic or parochial) view.
                         
                          Socialism generally, and Marx particularly, viewed freedom as a
                          bourgeois concept of a forgotten age. Marx viewed social progress as
                          linear, and viewed the entrepreneur as someone who played a useful
                          transitional rule, but who was superfluous now that everything major
                          had been invented. Now that we had the steam engine, and what more
                          could we need?
                         
                          It was Marx who most vehemently denounced the distinction between
                          land and capital and who, in his own perverse way, rescued the landed
                          aristocracy by derailing liberalism. By obliterating the distinction
                          between earned wealth and privilege, he healed the woulds between
                          the professional class and the privileged class, and he dissipated the
                          energies on behalf of labor that had, up to that time, been focused on
                          fighting privilege.
                         
                          Socialists have always been a parasites on legitimate "left" efforts.
                          First they called themselves liberals, because liberalism was popular
                          and socialism was not. Eventually, they corrupted the term. Then they
                          captured the term "progressive" by starting a socialist magazine called
                          "The Progressive."
                         
                          The vitality of the "sixties left" was also derived from challenged the
                          orthodoxies of both capitalism and socialism. I was in the thick of the
                          social upheaval of the time, challenging restrictive university
                          policies, protesting the Viet Nam war, organizing workers at a major
                          hotel-restaurant, organizing the local boycott of grapes for the United
                          Farm Workers, helping launch an alternative radio station, using and
                          selling drugs, and starting a co-op house that became known as a
                          social center for free-thinking people.
                         
                          One of the most often used expressions within the sixties left was
                          "control freak," but it was applied as often to socialists within the
                          left
                          as to people in the political establishment.
                         
                          As an example, the founders of the home schooling movement were
                          not right-wing fundamentalists, as they are now stereotyped. They
                          were basically educational free-thinkers who challenged the
                          conservative, doctrinaire, regimented approach to education. John
                          Holt, A.S. Neill, Charles Silberman, Neil Postman and Charles
                          Weingartner were all required reading when I was an education major
                          at the state-funded University of Pittsburgh (1969-72).
                         
                          Postman & Weingartner's most famous book was "Teaching as a
                          Subversive Activity." The epigraph to the book was lyrics to a song
                          by Tom Paxton. Considered radical-left by sixties standards, they are
                          considered radical-right today.
                         
                          What did you learn in school today,
                          dear little boy of mine?
                          What did you learn in school today,
                          dear little boy of mine?
                          I learned that government must be strong.
                          It's always right and never wrong.
                          It's leaders are the finest men,
                          And we elect them again and again,
                          And that's what I learned in school to today,
                          That's what I learned in school.
                         
                          Charles Silberman wrote "Crisis in the Classroom," which argued
                          against public school indoctrination of any kind, and asserted, among
                          other things, that there should be no required reading for public
                          school students or, for that matter, for education majors. (The fact
                          that
                          his own book was required reading is one of life's little ironies.)
                         
                          A. S. Neill wrote about the dynamics of his free-school, Summerhill,
                          where students learned whatever they wanted at their own pace, and
                          where, in matters of education, the teachers were subordinate to the
                          students' own desires. Students who came to this school lagged
                          behind conventional school students for about three years and then
                          shot past them.
                         
                          Finally, John Holt was *the* darling of the educational establishment
                          with books like "Why Johnny Can't Read" and "Why Children Fail."
                          His books became more and more popular until he realized and wrote
                          that the very nature of government schools rendered them incapable
                          of promoting freedom of thought, which was the spiritual essence
                          behind educational growth. All of his books were immediately pulled
                          from educational schools, and the books by the other authors
                          discussed above soon followed.
                         
                          The educational bureaucracy preserved its niche by replacing control-
                          freak conservatism with control-freak liberalism, and was thereby
                          able to purge itself of the essential challenge that had transformed it,
                          a
                          challenge to control. Ignoring the actual history, it now stereotypes
                          ideas that arose from the sixties left as being right-wing ideas.
                         
                          I was also a county chair of the Greens before there was a US Green
                          Party. I had become involved in the green movement through the
                          School of Living, which had been pioneering green concepts since the
                          1930s, and had published a newsletter called "Green Revolution"
                          since 1942. It started land trust communities and alternative money
                          systems, taught about consensus governing, taught organic and raised-
                          bed gardening techniques to help poor people grow wholesome food
                          on small amounts of land, and preached about ecological sustainablity
                          when almost nobody knew what that term meant.
                         
                          Its founder, Ralph Borsodi, incorporated the core concepts of Henry
                          George into his teachings and writings, and thoroughly rejected
                          Marxism and other schemes that relied on governmental intervention.
                          His efforts, and those of people like him, is what launched the Greens.
                         
                          The Greens had rejected socialism for many of the same reasons that
                          true liberals and true progressives had rejected it -- that it called
                          for
                          central control and intervention, that it did not appreciate the
                          spiritual
                          relationships that make society function, and that it dwelled on
                          hostility and envy instead of harmony and vision. The US Greens
                          focused on process, soliciting dissenting views and reconciling
                          majority views with those views, and arriving at a consensus. A
                          popular, esoteric and cryptic slogan on Green buttons and bumper
                          stickers was, "I'd rather be talking about process."
                         
                          For a long time, US socialists dismissed the US Greens with
                          condescending quips like, "you can't change the world by eating
                          granola." But as large numbers of people started embracing Green
                          ideas, and as socialism continued to be thoroughly rejected, an
                          organized cadre of socialists invaded the Green movement, calling
                          themselves the Green Left.
                         
                          They came to national Green Gatherings, held all-night meetings
                          among themselves, and then tried to railroad their agenda through the
                          main meetings of the Greens. They failed year after year.
                         
                          At one National Gathering that I attended (as a Gathering Organizer),
                          one of the socialists had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the
                          meeting, partly from frustration, but mostly from a lack of sleep. His
                          socialist allies were too concerned with their own embarrassment to
                          come to his aid, but a number of loving, caring, healing Greens
                          instinctively went to him and helped him retire to a comfortable place
                          where he could cry and express his despair. "Winning the issue,"
                          which was so important to his socialist allies that they did not leave
                          the floor, was secondary to a number of other greens who stayed with
                          him and gave him solace. It was an vignette that symbolizes the
                          contrast between the humorless, spiritual-less, control-obsessed
                          socialists (of this country, at least) and the light-hearted, spiritual,
                         
                          open-process-oriented Greens.
                         
                          In any case, the US Greens voted down the idea of forming a Green
                          Party every time it was proposed, for several reasons. One was that
                          they viewed themselves as a broader social and spiritual movement,
                          and did not want to get sucked into the preoccupation with political
                          gains that characterizes political parties. Another was that they
                          recognized that the US system was a truly two-party system, and that
                          it was more effective to reason with political people than to compete
                          with them, and to help Green candidates within the main parties than
                          to run irrelevant candidates.
                         
                          However, they had no standing to stop someone else from forming a
                          political party and calling it the Green Party, so the Green Left formed
                         
                          its own Green Party. As the party grew, the elements on which the US
                          Green movement had been based began to fade, so that the modern
                          Green Party is just socialism riding on a wave of environmentalism.
                          Most of the Green Platform is strongly at odds with the Ten Key
                          Values adopted by the US Greens, and most of the people who had
                          formed and nurtured the Green Movement have left the party in
                          disgust.
                         
                          The prime example of this loss of values is that one of the top agendas
                          of the Green Movement was to de-institutionalize health care,
                          opening it up to practices that had been shut out or discounted by the
                          government-regulated system. Among these practices were
                          acupressure, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractics, floatation
                          (sensory-deprivation) tanks, herbalogy, homeopathy, kinesiology,
                          lifestyle analysis, macrobiotics, massage, midwifery, organic farming,
                          spiritual healing, veganism, whole-food diets and yoga.
                         
                          These alternative practices and the people who embraced them have
                          been cast aside by the Green Party, whose core issue right now is
                          Single Payer Heath Care, the total institutionalization of medicine.
                          Also cast aside are the "key values" of diversity, decentralism, and
                          personal responsibility. As the socialist "watermelon" greens took
                          over, concerns of the original greens were cast aside.
                         
                          This is how it had been with the original progressive labor movement
                          in this country as well. Indeed, the socialists joined progressive labor
                         
                          organizations and then proceeded to sabotage efforts that the
                          organizations had embraced because those efforts had been
                          championed by non-socialist factions.
                         
                          It is clear to me that there is no basis for a partnership with Marxists
                         
                          or with American socialists. Having no viability of their own, they
                          leach the vitality out of movements they join and discard. They are, in
                          my experience and from my reading of history, the parasites of the
                          left.
                         
                          > It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
                          > rather than Karl Marx.
                         
                          We deal with everyone, expressing our agreements and disagreements
                          as we find them. Hayek and Friedman embraced freedom without
                          equality, and Marx embraced equality without freedom. Neither
                          concept is possible. The kindest thing I can say about the this
                          assertion that we "deal with" Hayek and Friedman in any way other
                          than quoting endorsements from them when appropriate, is that it is
                          the product of a runaway imagination and an absence of fact-
                          checking. If I did not embrace this kinder interpretation, I would have
                          to say that it is a lie.
                         
                          The following crap is ignorant in both major senses of the word. It
                          shows a complete ignorance of Georgist sentiments, for we have been
                          adversarial to America's war in Iraq from the beginning.
                         
                          > Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending
                          > social democracy.
                          >
                          > I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
                          > 'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks' (at
                          > this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
                          > Liberation' - OIL)
                         
                          In this case, Bernard has no excuse for his allegations. He was on the
                          land-theory list when these matters were discussed. (He quit the list
                          when his penchant for ad hominem attacks got him moderated.)
                         
                          As illustration, I wrote two anti-war songs. (I have posted them on
                          this list.) I sing them at anti-war rallies, and I sang them a number of
                         
                          times at CGO conferences, drawing applause from virtually everyone
                          and criticism from nobody. Indeed, I have heard US imperialism
                          attacked over and over, and have never heard a Georgist defend it in
                          any way. If Bernard does not remember this, it is because he has
                          chosen to forget.
                         
                          > Perhaps people would like to indicate their stand?
                         
                          Done. (Again.)
                         
                          That reminds me. One of the things I really dislike about Marxists is
                          their proclivity for making ad hominem attacks against anyone who
                          does not join them. It's not just a character flaw some Marxists have;
                          its a product of the Marxist tenet that envy is a useful emotion.
                         
                          Consider this an ad hominem counter-attack if you will, but it is not
                          initiatory and it is not bogus.
                         
                          -ds
                         
                         




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                • Harry Pollard
                  Dave, My golly, you sound like a real socialist! One of my complaints about the US is the absence of real socialists and communists. All we seem to have are
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Re: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"
                    Dave,
                     
                    My golly, you sound like a real socialist!
                     
                    One of my complaints about the US is the absence of real socialists and communists.
                     
                    All we seem to have are these bland "liberals" who are nothing like real Liberals, but are essentially "patch and glue the existing system" politicians. Perhaps, supporting such things as a minimum wage allows them to avoid the real question, which is why are wages so low. 
                     
                    The LA Times reported that asking  rent  for  Southern California residential units now average $1,413 per month - rather more than someone working for a minimum wage gets to take home. This means a minimum wage worker with a family must take 2 or more jobs, move to areas where gunshots ring out during the night, and share a small apartment with another family.
                     
                    Not just in Los Angeles - there are 3,141 counties in the US. In only 4 of them could a minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom apartment. 
                     
                    So, the new Democrat Congress will certainly raise the minimum wage - even though "all devouring Rent" will gently rise to swallow the increase.
                     
                    And it won't do a damn thing about the real problem.
                     
                    To find a real and knowledgeable Marxist I had to go 12,000 ft up Mount Whitney where a little store was managed by someone with a PhD in Marxism.
                     
                    Over the years, I became known to him as "the Georgist". Interestingly, he began to talk free market as the years went by. He was a nice chap - don't know whether he is still there.
                     
                    With regard to the cooperative ownership of Capital, the Georgist economy should have a lot more people with savings and many fewer who want to borrow (unlike the present where relatively few lenders service a multitude of borrowers).
                     
                    Real interest rates are therefore likely to fall and loan sharks won't easily earn a living.
                     
                    So ownership of Capital is likely to become widespread remembering the caveat that this depends on what people want.
                     
                    Harry
                     
                    *********************************
                    Henry George School of Los Angeles
                    Box 655  Tujunga  CA  91042
                    818 352-4141
                    *********************************

                    From: Wetzel Dave [mailto:Davewetzel@...]
                    Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 12:56 AM
                    To: henrygeorgeschool@...; LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                    Hi Harry,
                    Many thanks for this note.
                    Maybe from your perspective the UK is a socialist country but not from mine.
                    THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not socialist.
                    Invading Iraq  is not socialist.
                    Privatisation of public utilities  is not socialist. 
                    Paying million pound bonuses to city slickers  is not socialist.
                    Allowing poverty to continue  is not socialist.

                    I agree that Henry George offers a brighter future.

                    But even HG suggested that with his land reforms and the common ownership of land wealth that the ownership of capital might develop on a co-operative  basis.
                    (I am a member of both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party in the UK).  

                    "If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes apparent that you can do almost as well by not working. Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can allow you to do better than you could with a job."

                    I agree - this is why I'd like to see the royal family, the members of the House of Lords and landowners all do an honest day's work! 

                    Best Wishes,
                    Dave

                    Dave Wetzel
                    Vice-Chair TfL
                    Tel: 020 7126 4200
                    --------------------------
                     

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: Wetzel Dave;  LandCafe <LandCafe@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tue Nov 28 22:39:23 2006
                    Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                    Dave,

                    I am pretty sure that were I not a Georgist, I would be a socialist - perhaps a free market socialist if that isn't a contradiction of terms.

                    However, I'm a radical Georgist. I want to end privilege of all kinds once and for all. My view of socialism is that in practice they improve the living conditions of the serfs - but they are still serfs, while the wealthy and powerful remain  - and even increase.

                    I have only experienced three overtly socialist countries, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK. All of them seem highly civilized. My experience in Sweden is limited to a month I spent in hospital there, after going to sleep on a motor scooter. I wouldn't advise that.

                    The day before I was due to leave, I asked for my clothes so I could make the rounds in the local town. I wanted to thank the people who had been nice to the 'Englishman in the hospital'. They wouldn't give me my clothes. It was against the rules. So, I wandered around town in a loose unbelted, cloth hospital robe and hospital backless slippers. Had an enjoyable evening with several friends and I wasn't arrested.

                    So, can that be my criticism of Sweden's socialist hospital system? No. My beef is with the large woman who used a hard scrubbing brush to clean me off when I was helpless!

                    Typical socialist sadism.

                    More seriously, the major problem of socialism seems to arise from redistribution of income from those who work to those who don't. All countries carry out a redistribution from those who have to those who haven't. Socialism takes it further.

                    US redistribution seems to go indiscriminately to both rich and poor - 79% of the American budget consists of transfer payments. When I see that the Duke of Westminster received £3 million over 10 years I think that maybe we are closer than we admit.  

                    The advantage that modern nation-states have is the enormous power to produce they enjoy. This is what maintains controlled economy systems that are by their nature inefficient. How long they can run without crashing is anyone's guess, however, they survive.

                    The problem is the threshold between giving and getting. If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes apparent that you can do almost as well by not working. Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can allow you to do better than you could with a job.

                    Officials try to stop this, but without being nasty, I'm not sure they can do much to prevent it.

                    You have your Northern England where jobs aren't plentiful. We have the hell-holes of the urban ghettos with the added fear of being shot or knifed. (Maybe that's becoming true in urban Britain with 'no-go' areas.)

                    What a shock to many Americans when Katrina exposed a horrible New Orleans that began only a couple of blocks from Bourbon Street, but which tourists never see. On the other hand, when I last went to the September Festival at Notting Hill Gate, there seemed to be more police than residents and visitors combined (maybe they were more noticeable).

                    I would say that if capitalism hasn't the answer, then neither does socialism. Better to head for the Georgist solution that seeks to remove privilege and leave people free.

                    Then, there is communism. I remember a high school student who regarded Henry George as a fool for seeking to reform society through the ballot box, when it can only be done from the barrel of a gun. Yep! His parents were communists.

                    However, you are right about Marx.

                    After boring us for two volumes, he brightens up in Volume III. Most important is his 'discovery' that surplus value disappears into ground rent. As it happens, his surplus value contention is pretty weak, but troubling is that given our enormous power to produce, as Henry said, 'Why is it so hard to make a living.'

                    Well, we know why. Labor's production is being drained away by rent (actually rack-rent).

                    Marx also pointed out that the Industrial Revolution was financed out of landlord rents. This leads me to ask - why then do we chase after the capitalists? It would make more sense to go after the people who financed capitalism with ill-gotten gains than the blokes who were trying to make it work.

                    However, we both want the same thing. The well clichéd 'Liberty and Justice for All.'

                    Nothing would please me more than to see Britain adopt full Rent collection and then begin to discard much socialist superstructure because it was no longer necessary.

                    Meanwhile, we'll keep the discussion going.

                    Harry

                    *********************************
                    Henry George School of Los Angeles
                    Box 655  Tujunga  CA  91042
                    818 352-4141
                    *********************************

                  • Dan Sullivan
                    This revolution of values must go beyond traditional capitalism and communism. We must honestly admit that capitalism has often left a gulf between superfluous
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 30, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      This revolution of values must go beyond traditional capitalism
                      and communism. We must honestly admit that capitalism has often
                      left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has
                      created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many
                      to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged smallhearted men
                      to become cold and conscienceless so that, like Dives before
                      Lazarus, they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken
                      humanity. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an
                      economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish
                      ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-
                      centered. Equally, communism reduces men to a cog in the wheel
                      of the state. The communist may object, saying that in Marxian
                      theory the state is an 'interim reality' that will 'wither away' when
                      the classless society emerges. True -- in theory; but it is also true
                      that, while the state lasts, it is an end in itself. Man is a means to
                      that end. He has no inalienable rights. His only rights are derived
                      from, and conferred by, the state. Under such a system the fountain
                      of freedom runs dry. Restricted are man's liberties of press and
                      assembly, his freedom to vote and his freedom to listen and to
                      read.

                      Truth is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical
                      communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails to see
                      the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the truth in
                      individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life is social.
                      Communism fails to realize that life is personal. The good and just
                      society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of
                      communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles
                      the truths of individualism and collectivism.

                      ...The problems we now face must take us beyond slogans for their
                      solution. In the final analysis, the right-wing slogans on
                      'government control' and 'creeping socialism' are as meaningless
                      and adolescent as the Chinese Red Guard slogans against
                      'bourgeois revisionism.' An intelligent approach to the problems of
                      poverty and racism will cause us to see the words of the Psalmist --
                      'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof' -- are still a
                      judgment upon our use and abuse of the wealth and resources with
                      which we have been endowed.

                      -- A Testament of Hope: The Essential Speeches and Writings of
                      Martin Luther King Jr, pp.629-630

                      On 30 Nov 2006 at 8:55, Wetzel Dave wrote:

                      > THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not socialist.

                      > Invading Iraq is not socialist.

                      > Privatisation of public utilities is not socialist.

                      > Paying million pound bonuses to city slickers is not socialist.

                      > Allowing poverty to continue is not socialist.

                      I think it is more accurate to say that those things are not egalitarian.
                      Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry? (Russia,
                      China, North Korea) or or participate in military adventures? (Russia,
                      China, North Korea, Cuba) Do they not have political corruption and
                      insiders who are enriched at public expense? Did China and North
                      Korea not allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds
                      of thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation and
                      engage in other travesties against their own people?

                      These are not the best socialist countries, but they are among the
                      biggest. The biggest are usually the most abusive, which is one of the
                      reasons the United States is so bad. We were much better before we
                      were powerful.

                      Some socialists think they have a monopoly on the idea of equality,
                      but I think socialist analysis is deficient in that regard. Is socialism
                      better than monopoly capitalism? To some people it is. Maybe heart
                      disease is better than leukemia, too. That doesn't mean we have to line
                      up in support of one in order to fight the other.

                      > I agree that Henry George offers a brighter future.

                      Well, that is the point, isn't it? Remember, this exchange began, not
                      with a denunciation of socialism, but with a denunciation with
                      Georgists for not lining up with the socialists.

                      The approach I take, and the one I think the Georgist movement tries
                      to take, parallels Thomas Jefferson's maxim. "Honest commerce with
                      all nations, entangling alliances with none." The key word, I think, is
                      "entangling." We can work with people who happen to be socialists or
                      capitalists, but when one of them tries to entangle us in their system
                      by demanding that we should stay away their chosen adversaries, then
                      we have to set them straight about who we are and who we are not.
                      As individuals, some of us might be socialists and some might be
                      capitalists, but we, as a movement, are neither.

                      There are very good libertarians, but the right-wing knee-jerk
                      libertarians are horribly, horribly wrong. There are very good
                      socialists, but the left-wing, knee-jerk socialists are also horribly
                      wrong. Generally, the knee-jerk socialists are the ones who think there
                      are no good libertarians, and the knee-jerk libertarians are the ones
                      who think there are no good socialists. I think that, apart from when
                      one is tapped by the doctor's rubber hammer, there are no good knee
                      jerks.

                      Those who are open to reason will join with us, and those who are not
                      will insist that we join with them and renounce their enemies. I do not
                      want to lose reasonable people on one side of the political spectrum in
                      order to get the support of unreasonable people on the other.

                      Anyone who suggests that Georgists support war, neoliberalism, and
                      neoconservatism at the same time, while also saying we are in league
                      with Hayek and Friedman (who, by the way, oppose all those things
                      themselves) is not an ally worth having. There is no advantage in
                      swelling our ranks if they are swelled with back-stabbers.

                      > But even HG suggested that with his land reforms and the
                      > common ownership of land wealth that the ownership of capital
                      > might develop on a co-operative basis. (I am a member of
                      > both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party in the UK).

                      If you read George's chapters on cooperation in Science of Political
                      Economy, you will see that most genuine capital *is* held and used
                      cooperatively, in the better sense of spontaneous cooperation, but not
                      in the inferior sense of directed cooperation that socialism embraces.

                      I have them online, although I have some bugs to work out of the
                      formatting. Here are the two chapters. The second one is more
                      pertinent to this discussion.

                      http://savingcommunities.org/docs/george.henry/spe309.html
                      http://savingcommunities.org/docs/george.henry/spe310.html

                      Although Georgists have not pursued the logical outcome for capital,
                      a careful analysis of George's laws of rent, wages and interest shows
                      that (in the absence of a bad monetary system), the return to capital
                      will gradually fall to near-zero, once risk and depreciation are factored
                      out. Basically, capital will become so abundant and so well
                      distributed that it will command no special reward beyond its utility.
                      Cooperation will arise without "cooperatives," except where
                      cooperatives enhance efficiency, which is seldom the case.

                      > "If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes
                      > apparent that you can do almost as well by not working.
                      > Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most
                      > attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can
                      > allow you to do better than you could with a job."

                      > I agree - this is why I'd like to see the royal family, the
                      > members of the House of Lords and landowners all do an honest
                      > day's work!

                      Is there any egalitarian philosophy that does not want to see that?

                      -ds
                    • Wetzel Dave
                      Dan writes: Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry? (Russia, China, North Korea) or participate in military adventures? (Russia, China, North
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 1, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dan writes: "Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry?
                        (Russia, China, North Korea) or participate in military adventures?
                        (Russia,
                        China, North Korea, Cuba) Do they not have political corruption and
                        insiders who are enriched at public expense? Did China and North
                        Korea not allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds of
                        thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation and engage in
                        other travesties against their own people?"

                        I don't recognise any of these countries as socialist.

                        To me democratic socialism is as far removed from communism as others
                        would claim free market capitalism is from fascism.

                        I organised a demonstration outside the USSR's London embassy in August
                        1968 when the USSR sent tanks into Czechoslovakia to crush Alexander
                        Dubcek's "Prague Spring" and his attempt to create "Communism with a
                        human face".

                        Of course I also demonstrated outside the American Embassy against the
                        War in Vietnam in that same year.

                        I want more socialists to understand LVT.

                        However, the continual sniping at socialists from some Georgist quarters
                        will just put them off.
                        I try to show Socialists (and Conservatives) how LVT harmonises with
                        their aspirations - I don't expect them to throw out their current
                        ideology in total before accepting that annual land value capture could
                        play a useful role in improving society.

                        Dave

                        Dave Wetzel,
                        Vice-Chair, TfL
                        020 7126 4200


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On
                        Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                        Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:22 PM
                        To: landcafe@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                        This revolution of values must go beyond traditional capitalism
                        and communism. We must honestly admit that capitalism has often
                        left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has
                        created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many
                        to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged smallhearted men
                        to become cold and conscienceless so that, like Dives before
                        Lazarus, they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken
                        humanity. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an
                        economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish
                        ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-
                        centered. Equally, communism reduces men to a cog in the wheel
                        of the state. The communist may object, saying that in Marxian
                        theory the state is an 'interim reality' that will 'wither away' when
                        the classless society emerges. True -- in theory; but it is also true
                        that, while the state lasts, it is an end in itself. Man is a means to
                        that end. He has no inalienable rights. His only rights are derived
                        from, and conferred by, the state. Under such a system the fountain
                        of freedom runs dry. Restricted are man's liberties of press and
                        assembly, his freedom to vote and his freedom to listen and to
                        read.

                        Truth is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical
                        communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails to see
                        the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the truth in
                        individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life is social.
                        Communism fails to realize that life is personal. The good and just
                        society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of
                        communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles
                        the truths of individualism and collectivism.

                        ...The problems we now face must take us beyond slogans for their
                        solution. In the final analysis, the right-wing slogans on
                        'government control' and 'creeping socialism' are as meaningless
                        and adolescent as the Chinese Red Guard slogans against
                        'bourgeois revisionism.' An intelligent approach to the problems of
                        poverty and racism will cause us to see the words of the Psalmist --
                        'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof' -- are still a
                        judgment upon our use and abuse of the wealth and resources with
                        which we have been endowed.

                        -- A Testament of Hope: The Essential Speeches and Writings of
                        Martin Luther King Jr, pp.629-630

                        On 30 Nov 2006 at 8:55, Wetzel Dave wrote:

                        > THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not socialist.

                        > Invading Iraq is not socialist.

                        > Privatisation of public utilities is not socialist.

                        > Paying million pound bonuses to city slickers is not socialist.

                        > Allowing poverty to continue is not socialist.

                        I think it is more accurate to say that those things are not
                        egalitarian.
                        Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry? (Russia,
                        China, North Korea) or or participate in military adventures? (Russia,
                        China, North Korea, Cuba) Do they not have political corruption and
                        insiders who are enriched at public expense? Did China and North
                        Korea not allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds
                        of thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation and
                        engage in other travesties against their own people?

                        These are not the best socialist countries, but they are among the
                        biggest. The biggest are usually the most abusive, which is one of the
                        reasons the United States is so bad. We were much better before we
                        were powerful.

                        Some socialists think they have a monopoly on the idea of equality,
                        but I think socialist analysis is deficient in that regard. Is socialism

                        better than monopoly capitalism? To some people it is. Maybe heart
                        disease is better than leukemia, too. That doesn't mean we have to line
                        up in support of one in order to fight the other.

                        > I agree that Henry George offers a brighter future.

                        Well, that is the point, isn't it? Remember, this exchange began, not
                        with a denunciation of socialism, but with a denunciation with
                        Georgists for not lining up with the socialists.

                        The approach I take, and the one I think the Georgist movement tries
                        to take, parallels Thomas Jefferson's maxim. "Honest commerce with
                        all nations, entangling alliances with none." The key word, I think, is
                        "entangling." We can work with people who happen to be socialists or
                        capitalists, but when one of them tries to entangle us in their system
                        by demanding that we should stay away their chosen adversaries, then
                        we have to set them straight about who we are and who we are not.
                        As individuals, some of us might be socialists and some might be
                        capitalists, but we, as a movement, are neither.

                        There are very good libertarians, but the right-wing knee-jerk
                        libertarians are horribly, horribly wrong. There are very good
                        socialists, but the left-wing, knee-jerk socialists are also horribly
                        wrong. Generally, the knee-jerk socialists are the ones who think there
                        are no good libertarians, and the knee-jerk libertarians are the ones
                        who think there are no good socialists. I think that, apart from when
                        one is tapped by the doctor's rubber hammer, there are no good knee
                        jerks.

                        Those who are open to reason will join with us, and those who are not
                        will insist that we join with them and renounce their enemies. I do not
                        want to lose reasonable people on one side of the political spectrum in
                        order to get the support of unreasonable people on the other.

                        Anyone who suggests that Georgists support war, neoliberalism, and
                        neoconservatism at the same time, while also saying we are in league
                        with Hayek and Friedman (who, by the way, oppose all those things
                        themselves) is not an ally worth having. There is no advantage in
                        swelling our ranks if they are swelled with back-stabbers.

                        > But even HG suggested that with his land reforms and the
                        > common ownership of land wealth that the ownership of capital
                        > might develop on a co-operative basis. (I am a member of
                        > both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party in the UK).

                        If you read George's chapters on cooperation in Science of Political
                        Economy, you will see that most genuine capital *is* held and used
                        cooperatively, in the better sense of spontaneous cooperation, but not
                        in the inferior sense of directed cooperation that socialism embraces.

                        I have them online, although I have some bugs to work out of the
                        formatting. Here are the two chapters. The second one is more
                        pertinent to this discussion.

                        http://savingcommun
                        <http://savingcommunities.org/docs/george.henry/spe309.html>
                        ities.org/docs/george.henry/spe309.html
                        http://savingcommun
                        <http://savingcommunities.org/docs/george.henry/spe310.html>
                        ities.org/docs/george.henry/spe310.html

                        Although Georgists have not pursued the logical outcome for capital,
                        a careful analysis of George's laws of rent, wages and interest shows
                        that (in the absence of a bad monetary system), the return to capital
                        will gradually fall to near-zero, once risk and depreciation are
                        factored
                        out. Basically, capital will become so abundant and so well
                        distributed that it will command no special reward beyond its utility.
                        Cooperation will arise without "cooperatives," except where
                        cooperatives enhance efficiency, which is seldom the case.

                        > "If you are on the working side of the threshold, it becomes
                        > apparent that you can do almost as well by not working.
                        > Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most
                        > attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can
                        > allow you to do better than you could with a job."

                        > I agree - this is why I'd like to see the royal family, the
                        > members of the House of Lords and landowners all do an honest
                        > day's work!

                        Is there any egalitarian philosophy that does not want to see that?

                        -ds
                      • Dan Sullivan
                        ... But they are clearly Marxist, or at least set out to be Marxist, and you have already cited Marx as the ultimate socialist. ... Yet both are oxymorons.
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 1, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On 1 Dec 2006 at 12:39, Wetzel Dave wrote:

                          > Dan writes: "Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear
                          > weaponry? (Russia, China, North Korea) or participate in
                          > military adventures? (Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba) Do
                          > they not have political corruption and insiders who are
                          > enriched at public expense? Did China and North Korea not
                          > allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds of
                          > thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation
                          > and engage in other travesties against their own people?"

                          > I don't recognise any of these countries as socialist.

                          But they are clearly Marxist, or at least set out to be Marxist, and you
                          have already cited Marx as the ultimate socialist.

                          > To me democratic socialism is as far removed from communism
                          > as others would claim free market capitalism is from fascism.

                          Yet both are oxymorons. Democratic process cannot regulate runaway
                          bureaucracy any more than free-market processes can regulate
                          runaway monopoly. Certainly Stalin is not what the socialists had
                          intended, any more than Hitler was what the fascists had intended.
                          Indeed, Stalin constantly purged the ideological socialists and Hitler
                          called the leading German fascists to a meeting and had them
                          machine-gunned.

                          The problem is that socialism ultimately leads to totalitarian states
                          simply because it is impossible for democratic process to cope with
                          managing the complexities of economic regulation. Just how does the
                          voter determine which politicians voted to appoint the regulators who
                          hired the bureaucrat who oversaw the manager who hired the engineer
                          who crafted the defect that caused the steel to be too rust-prone and to
                          shorten the life of his automobile?

                          In a non-socialist world, the consumers just start telling each other,
                          "Don't by a Datsun. They rust out in no time." First thing you know,
                          Datsun no longer exists. The company is reorganized under the name
                          Nissan, but they no longer make rust-bucket cars.

                          > I organised a demonstration outside the USSR's London embassy
                          > in August 1968 when the USSR sent tanks into Czechoslovakia to
                          > crush Alexander Dubcek's "Prague Spring" and his attempt to
                          > create "Communism with a human face".

                          Well, this isn't about whether you are a good guy or not, is it? It's
                          about whether Marxist socialism is a viable approach that we should
                          get in line with.

                          > Of course I also demonstrated outside the American Embassy
                          > against the War in Vietnam in that same year.

                          Not me. We don't have American Embassies in the United States. In
                          any case, I don't see your point. If it is only that some socialists
                          oppose war, so do some capitalists. Yet the natures of both socialism
                          and capitalism involve monopoly control, and that is what war is for
                          in the first place.

                          > I want more socialists to understand LVT.

                          I want more people to understand LVT. I include socialists in that, but
                          I also include anti-socialists.

                          > However, the continual sniping at socialists from some
                          > Georgist quarters will just put them off.

                          Here, Dave, is where you just plain misunderstand what is happening.
                          This thread was started by a socialist sniping at Georgists for quoting
                          Milton Friedman. I can go back through land-theory and show you
                          that same socialist sniping at Georgists over and over and over.
                          Maybe that didn't offend you or commend your attention because he
                          was trashing someone else's perspective instead of criticizing the
                          socialist perspective. Sadly, most people are vastly more incensed by
                          the fouls committed by players on the opposing team than by players
                          on their own team.

                          > I try to show Socialists (and Conservatives) how LVT
                          > harmonises with their aspirations - I don't expect them to
                          > throw out their current ideology in total before accepting
                          > that annual land value capture could play a useful role in
                          > improving society.

                          So do I. The only person who suggested that others throw out their
                          ideology in total was the socialist who started this thread. Why did
                          you not point your criticisms about sniping and expecting people to
                          throw out their current ideology to the to the person who started this
                          thread by actually doing these things? To refresh your memory, here
                          is what your socialist ally wrote:

                          the georgist movement failed because it fundamentally did not
                          understand that land reform was
                          progressive/left/anarchist/socialist/revolutionary.

                          It thought that it should deal with Fred Hayek and Milton Friedman
                          rather than Karl Marx.

                          Quit acting as a tool for neo-liberalism and start defending social
                          democracy.

                          I shudder to ask, but i truly wonder whether the degraded georgist
                          'movement' would have joined the neo-conservative 'think tanks'
                          (at this stage, all tank and no think) in support of 'Operation Iraqi
                          Liberation' - OIL)

                          This isn't some idiosyncracy of Bernard's either. It is typical of many
                          such comments I have heard from American socialists over the years,
                          which is why I said that maybe it's just the socialists in anti-socialist
                          countries that behave this way. However, there are Marxist concepts
                          like class envy and class warfare that bring out this kind of intolerant
                          behavior.

                          My own comments have been critical of both socialism and
                          capitalism. If you thought they were only anti-socialist, it's because
                          criticizing socialism is more taboo for you than criticizing capitalism.
                          That's perfectly alright, as long as you don't come down on the side of
                          someone who engages in name-calling just because many of us
                          happen to like Milton Friedman's endorsement.

                          -ds
                        • Paul Metz
                          I always believed LVT offers a - or even the - Third Way - the Holy Grail everyone is searching while we have it and sit on it. The Romans have a lesson: while
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 2, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I always believed LVT offers a - or even the - Third Way - the Holy Grail everyone
                            is searching while we have it and sit on it.
                             
                            The Romans have a lesson: while the Senate continued debate, the war was lost.
                             
                            Taxation is a professional art, an instrument, not an ideology. Taxation of scarce
                            factors could very well make sense in all ideologies.
                             
                            Paul Metz


                            From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Wetzel Dave
                            Sent: vrijdag 1 december 2006 13:39
                            To: Dan Sullivan; landcafe@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                            Dan writes: "Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry?
                            (Russia, China, North Korea) or participate in military adventures?
                            (Russia,
                            China, North Korea, Cuba) Do they not have political corruption and
                            insiders who are enriched at public expense? Did China and North
                            Korea not allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds of
                            thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation and engage in
                            other travesties against their own people?"

                            I don't recognise any of these countries as socialist.

                            To me democratic socialism is as far removed from communism as others
                            would claim free market capitalism is from fascism.

                            I organised a demonstration outside the USSR's London embassy in August
                            1968 when the USSR sent tanks into Czechoslovakia to crush Alexander
                            Dubcek's "Prague Spring" and his attempt to create "Communism with a
                            human face".

                            Of course I also demonstrated outside the American Embassy against the
                            War in Vietnam in that same year.

                            I want more socialists to understand LVT.

                            However, the continual sniping at socialists from some Georgist quarters
                            will just put them off.
                            I try to show Socialists (and Conservatives) how LVT harmonises with
                            their aspirations - I don't expect them to throw out their current
                            ideology in total before accepting that annual land value capture could
                            play a useful role in improving society.

                            Dave

                            Dave Wetzel,
                            Vice-Chair, TfL
                            020 7126 4200


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: LandCafe@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroup s.com] On
                            Behalf Of Dan Sullivan
                            Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 10:22 PM
                            To: landcafe@yahoogroup s.com
                            Subject: Re: [LandCafe] "Progressive" is not "Socialist"

                            This revolution of values must go beyond traditional capitalism
                            and communism. We must honestly admit that capitalism has often
                            left a gulf between superfluous wealth and abject poverty, has
                            created conditions permitting necessities to be taken from the many
                            to give luxuries to the few, and has encouraged smallhearted men
                            to become cold and conscienceless so that, like Dives before
                            Lazarus, they are unmoved by suffering, poverty-stricken
                            humanity. The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an
                            economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish
                            ambition that inspire men to be more I-centered than thou-
                            centered. Equally, communism reduces men to a cog in the wheel
                            of the state. The communist may object, saying that in Marxian
                            theory the state is an 'interim reality' that will 'wither away' when
                            the classless society emerges. True -- in theory; but it is also true
                            that, while the state lasts, it is an end in itself. Man is a means to
                            that end. He has no inalienable rights. His only rights are derived
                            from, and conferred by, the state. Under such a system the fountain
                            of freedom runs dry. Restricted are man's liberties of press and
                            assembly, his freedom to vote and his freedom to listen and to
                            read.

                            Truth is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical
                            communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails to see
                            the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the truth in
                            individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life is social.
                            Communism fails to realize that life is personal. The good and just
                            society is neither the thesis of capitalism nor the antithesis of
                            communism, but a socially conscious democracy which reconciles
                            the truths of individualism and collectivism.

                            ...The problems we now face must take us beyond slogans for their
                            solution. In the final analysis, the right-wing slogans on
                            'government control' and 'creeping socialism' are as meaningless
                            and adolescent as the Chinese Red Guard slogans against
                            'bourgeois revisionism. ' An intelligent approach to the problems of
                            poverty and racism will cause us to see the words of the Psalmist --
                            'The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof' -- are still a
                            judgment upon our use and abuse of the wealth and resources with
                            which we have been endowed.

                            -- A Testament of Hope: The Essential Speeches and Writings of
                            Martin Luther King Jr, pp.629-630

                            On 30 Nov 2006 at 8:55, Wetzel Dave wrote:

                            > THE Trudent nuclear arms programme is not socialist.

                            > Invading Iraq is not socialist.

                            > Privatisation of
                            public utilities is not socialist.

                            > Paying million pound bonuses to
                            city slickers is not socialist.

                            > Allowing poverty to continue is not
                            socialist.

                            I think it is more accurate to say that those things are not
                            egalitarian.
                            Do socialist countries not engage in Nuclear weaponry? (Russia,
                            China, North Korea) or or participate in military adventures? (Russia,
                            China, North Korea, Cuba) Do they not have political corruption and
                            insiders who are enriched at public expense? Did China and North
                            Korea not allow poverty to continue? Did Russia not allow hundreds
                            of thousands of people to be subjected to Chernobyl radiation and
                            engage in other travesties against their own people?

                            These are not the best socialist countries, but they are among the
                            biggest. The biggest are usually the most abusive, which is one of the
                            reasons the United States is so bad. We were much better before we
                            were powerful.

                            Some socialists think they have a monopoly on the idea of equality,
                            but I think socialist analysis is deficient in that regard. Is socialism

                            better than monopoly capitalism? To some people it is. Maybe heart
                            disease is better than leukemia, too. That doesn't mean we have to line
                            up in support of one in order to fight the other.

                            > I
                            agree that Henry George offers a brighter future.

                            Well, that is the point, isn't it? Remember, this exchange began, not
                            with a denunciation of socialism, but with a denunciation with
                            Georgists for not lining up with the socialists.

                            The approach I take, and the one I think the Georgist movement tries
                            to take, parallels Thomas Jefferson's maxim. "Honest commerce with
                            all nations, entangling alliances with none." The key word, I think, is
                            "entangling. " We can work with people who happen to be socialists or
                            capitalists, but when one of them tries to entangle us in their system
                            by demanding that we should stay away their chosen adversaries, then
                            we have to set them straight about who we are and who we are not.
                            As individuals, some of us might be socialists and some might be
                            capitalists, but we, as a movement, are neither.

                            There are very good libertarians, but the right-wing knee-jerk
                            libertarians are horribly, horribly wrong. There are very good
                            socialists, but the left-wing, knee-jerk socialists are also horribly
                            wrong. Generally, the knee-jerk socialists are the ones who think there
                            are no good libertarians, and the knee-jerk libertarians are the ones
                            who think there are no good socialists. I think that, apart from when
                            one is tapped by the doctor's rubber hammer, there are no good knee
                            jerks.

                            Those who are open to reason will join with us, and those who are not
                            will insist that we join with them and renounce their enemies. I do not
                            want to lose reasonable people on one side of the political spectrum in
                            order to get the support of unreasonable people on the other.

                            Anyone who suggests that Georgists support war, neoliberalism, and
                            neoconservatism at the same time, while also saying we are in league
                            with Hayek and Friedman (who, by the way, oppose all those things
                            themselves) is not an ally worth having. There is no advantage in
                            swelling our ranks if they are swelled with back-stabbers.

                            > But even HG suggested that with his land reforms and
                            the
                            > common ownership of land wealth that the ownership of
                            capital
                            > might develop on a co-operative basis. (I am a member of
                            >
                            both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party in the UK).

                            If you read George's chapters on cooperation in Science of Political
                            Economy, you will see that most genuine capital *is* held and used
                            cooperatively, in the better sense of spontaneous cooperation, but not
                            in the inferior sense of directed cooperation that socialism embraces.

                            I have them online, although I have some bugs to work out of the
                            formatting. Here are the two chapters. The second one is more
                            pertinent to this discussion.

                            http://savingcommun
                            <http://savingcommun ities.org/ docs/george. henry/spe309. html>
                            ities.org/docs/ george.henry/ spe309.html
                            http://savingcommun
                            <http://savingcommun ities.org/ docs/george. henry/spe310. html>
                            ities.org/docs/ george.henry/ spe310.html

                            Although Georgists have not pursued the logical outcome for capital,
                            a careful analysis of George's laws of rent, wages and interest shows
                            that (in the absence of a bad monetary system), the return to capital
                            will gradually fall to near-zero, once risk and depreciation are
                            factored
                            out. Basically, capital will become so abundant and so well
                            distributed that it will command no special reward beyond its utility.
                            Cooperation will arise without "cooperatives, " except where
                            cooperatives enhance efficiency, which is seldom the case.

                            > "If you are on the working side of the threshold,
                            it becomes
                            > apparent that you can do almost as well by not
                            working.
                            > Slipping across into the non-work area becomes most
                            >
                            attractive. In fact, a little untaxed work off the books can
                            > allow you
                            to do better than you could with a job."

                            > I agree - this is why I'd
                            like to see the royal family, the
                            > members of the House of Lords and
                            landowners all do an honest
                            > day's work!

                            Is there any egalitarian philosophy that does not want to see that?

                            -ds

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