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Suzanne La Follette: The First Geolibertarian Feminist?

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  • Jason
    Hi All, The name Suzanne La Follette was recently brought to my attention by someone recently. An essay on her can be found at
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 1, 2010
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      Hi All,

      The name "Suzanne La Follette" was recently brought to my attention by someone recently. An essay on her can be found at http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml

      She was a libertarian feminist who wrote a book in 1926 entitled, Concerning Women, which is now out-of-print.

      Her mentor was Albert Jay Nock, and she was also influenced by Henry George's writings. Consider the following quote from the essay at the above link:

      • Believing that the subjection of women, like chattel slavery or "industrial slavery," had its basis in economics, La Follette considered that the primary way in which the State hurt women was through legally imposed economic disadvantages. Economic freedom was, in her view, far more crucial to women than political equality or the right to vote. "The ultimate emancipation of women then," she wrote in a passage that embodied the main thesis of her book, "will depend not upon the abolition of the restrictions which have subjected her to man - that is but a step, though a necessary one - but upon the abolition of all those restrictions of natural human rights that subject the mass of humanity to a privileged class."

        Her belief that economics was at the heart of women's problems led La Follette to a healthy skepticism about the reformist politics of the organized women's movement. "Even if we assume that the establishment of legal equality between the sexes would result in complete social and economic equality," she pointed out, "we are obliged to face the fact that under such a regime women would enjoy precisely that degree of freedom which men now enjoy - that is to say, very little." The State, she asserted, could be forced to renounce all legal discrimination against women without affecting its fundamental discrimination against the propertyless, dependent class - "which is made up of both men and women." She concluded that "until economic freedom is attained for everybody, there can be no real freedom for anybody ... The State represents the organized interest of those who control economic opportunity ... those who control men's and women's economic opportunity control men and women."

        La Follette had no clear-cut solution for the problem of State control of economics, except education. Considering the ballot "ineffectual," she thought it would only be useful when voters came to understand the true nature of the system. People needed to recognize that the "essential nature of freedom ... comes out in the abolition of monopoly, primarily monopoly of natural resources, resulting in complete freedom of the individual to apply his productive labor where he will. It is freedom to produce, and its corollary, freedom to exchange - the laissez-faire, laissez-passer of the Physiocrats." Showing the influence of Henry George as well as of the nineteenth century classical liberals, she also asserted, "The right to labour and to enjoy the fruits of one's labour means only the right to free access to the source of subsistence, which is land."

      It seems as if La Follette may have been the first geolibertarian feminist.

      Thoughts?

      Jason

    • Fred Foldvary
      Libertarian feminist Sharon Presley has written about Suzanne La Follette.
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 1, 2010
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        Libertarian feminist Sharon Presley has written about Suzanne La Follette.
      • Edward Dodson
        Jason, you wrote: The name Suzanne La Follette was recently brought to my attention by someone recently. An essay on her can be found at
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 1, 2010
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          Jason, you wrote:

          The name "Suzanne La Follette" was recently brought to my attention by
          someone recently. An essay on her can be found at
          http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml

          She was a libertarian feminist who wrote a book in 1926 entitled, Concerning
          Women, which is now out-of-print.

          Ed Dodson here:
          Thanks for the link, Jason. I have a listing for her in the School of
          Cooperative Individualism biographical history section. I will add a link to
          the above remembrance/biographical sketch.
        • walto
          ... Having read one of the essays linked to here, I see she was also an avid McCarthyite. W
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 2, 2010
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            --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Edward Dodson" <ejdodson@...> wrote:
            >
            > Jason, you wrote:
            >
            > The name "Suzanne La Follette" was recently brought to my attention by
            > someone recently. An essay on her can be found at
            > http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml
            >
            > She was a libertarian feminist who wrote a book in 1926 entitled, Concerning
            > Women, which is now out-of-print.
            >
            > Ed Dodson here:
            > Thanks for the link, Jason. I have a listing for her in the School of
            > Cooperative Individualism biographical history section. I will add a link to
            > the above remembrance/biographical sketch.
            >

            Having read one of the essays linked to here, I see she was also an avid McCarthyite.

            W
          • Scott on the Spot
            She was, and is, ahead of her and our time.
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 6, 2010
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              She was, and is, ahead of her and our time.

              --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Jason" <nysa71@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hi All,
              >
              > The name "Suzanne La Follette" was recently brought to my attention by
              > someone recently. An essay on her can be found at
              > http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml
              > <http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml>
              >
              > She was a libertarian feminist who wrote a book in 1926 entitled,
              > Concerning Women, which is now out-of-print.
              >
              > Her mentor was Albert Jay Nock, and she was also influenced by Henry
              > George's writings. Consider the following quote from the essay at the
              > above link:
              >
              > *
              > Believing that the subjection of women, like chattel slavery or
              > "industrial slavery," had its basis in economics, La Follette considered
              > that the primary way in which the State hurt women was through legally
              > imposed economic disadvantages. Economic freedom was, in her view, far
              > more crucial to women than political equality or the right to vote. "The
              > ultimate emancipation of women then," she wrote in a passage that
              > embodied the main thesis of her book, "will depend not upon the
              > abolition of the restrictions which have subjected her to man - that is
              > but a step, though a necessary one - but upon the abolition of all those
              > restrictions of natural human rights that subject the mass of humanity
              > to a privileged class."
              > Her belief that economics was at the heart of women's problems led La
              > Follette to a healthy skepticism about the reformist politics of the
              > organized women's movement. "Even if we assume that the establishment of
              > legal equality between the sexes would result in complete social and
              > economic equality," she pointed out, "we are obliged to face the fact
              > that under such a regime women would enjoy precisely that degree of
              > freedom which men now enjoy - that is to say, very little." The State,
              > she asserted, could be forced to renounce all legal discrimination
              > against women without affecting its fundamental discrimination against
              > the propertyless, dependent class - "which is made up of both men and
              > women." She concluded that "until economic freedom is attained for
              > everybody, there can be no real freedom for anybody ... The State
              > represents the organized interest of those who control economic
              > opportunity ... those who control men's and women's economic opportunity
              > control men and women."
              > La Follette had no clear-cut solution for the problem of State control
              > of economics, except education. Considering the ballot "ineffectual,"
              > she thought it would only be useful when voters came to understand the
              > true nature of the system. People needed to recognize that the
              > "essential nature of freedom ... comes out in the abolition of monopoly,
              > primarily monopoly of natural resources, resulting in complete freedom
              > of the individual to apply his productive labor where he will. It is
              > freedom to produce, and its corollary, freedom to exchange - the
              > laissez-faire, laissez-passer of the Physiocrats." Showing the influence
              > of Henry George as well as of the nineteenth century classical liberals,
              > she also asserted, "The right to labour and to enjoy the fruits of one's
              > labour means only the right to free access to the source of subsistence,
              > which is land."
              >
              >
              > It seems as if La Follette may have been the first geolibertarian
              > feminist.
              >
              > Thoughts?
              >
              > Jason
              >
            • roy_langston1
              ... Looks like I m not the first to understand the necessity for an equal, universal individual land tax exemption in a full rent recovery economy: The right
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 6, 2010
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                --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "Jason"
                <nysa71@...> wrote:

                > The name "Suzanne La Follette" was recently brought
                > to my attention by someone recently. An essay on her
                > can be found at
                > http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml
                > <http://www.alf.org/papers/LaFollette.shtml>
                ...
                > Thoughts?

                Looks like I'm not the first to understand the necessity
                for an equal, universal individual land tax exemption in
                a full rent recovery economy:

                "The right to labour and to enjoy the fruits of one's
                labour means only the right to free access to the source
                of subsistence, which is land."

                -- Roy Langston
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