Sunday, March 25, 2007

J. K. Ingalls, Reminiscences, Chapter 14

Joshua King Ingalls, Reminiscences of an octogenarian in the fields of industrial and social reform. New York : M.L. Holbrook ; London : L.N. Fowler, 1897.


Following Mr. George came Edward Gordon Clarke, who, in "Man's Birthright" and "The People's Right to Wealth," gave the public, the logical and Mathematical extension and completion" of the theory of Progress and Poverty. Mr. Clarke's diagnosis leads him to regard two per cent. as Nature's indicted rent rate; to be gathered by government as a tax, to be applied to the support of government and the advancement of the well-being of the people. This two per cent. rate he bases upon the ordinary death rate of mankind, when every one has to give back to Nature for the use of mankind, whatever may have been held at the time of decease. They hold therefore a reversionary interest, which is simply a rent. "This rent," he says, is a foreordained, definite collection, fixed in the frame work of nature."

Mr. Clarke divided wealth into two parts, "the property of Nature, that inalienable gift of God to all generations, and the value created by individuals;" doubtless meaning through labor. He disclaims for himself and for Mr. George the imputation of ever having "touched Metaphysics." Yet his base of contention is one of the most metaphysical phrases ever uttered by that prince of metaphysicians, Aristotle, and only paralleled by another phrase of his "Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum." And the one is as appropriate in physics as the other is in ethics and economics. I pointed out in Social Wealth in chapter "Taxation as a remedy" (1895) that this school of reformers were "ignorant of or else affected to ignore the 'law of use,' that the doing and enjoying of a use are logically inseparable." "That [92] tax or confiscation so far from being in accordance with nature, was corrective and subversive of nature, and intended not at all to 'complete economical science,' but to correct nature's blunders. What neither seem to comprehend is that the civil power to collect rent, make compulsory exchanges and enforce unequal contracts, is the evil to be abated, and not the inability of nature to bestow her bounty as she desires, or to effect the equality she intends."

Why a "foreordained, definite collection," should be dependent on frail human legislation for realization requires for answer a profounder metaphysician than ever Aristotle thought of being. Mr. Thaddeus B. Wakeman suggested that M. Clarke had expanded George's single tax theory till he had exploded it, and there is certainly no reason why the increment from all sources of increase should not be taxed back, as well from trade, finance, superior capacity and strength, as from superior fertility of land, or a choice location for business or pleasure.

In 1889 I had first acquaintance with Hugh O. Pentecost, the erratic but talented editor of Twentieth Century. He had at first adopted Henry George's Single Tax theory; but on reading Social Wealth, had taken up the vacant land question in earnest. At this time also Mr. Thomas L. M'Cready had separated from Mr. George and joined the Twentieth Century staff. There had been much discussion as to the question whether, should abolishing vacant land ownership fail to kill rent, Single Tax would be right. Most of the dissenters from Single Tax being disposed to admit, that in such case it would be necessary as a means to remedy the evil. In December of that year I handed to Mr. Pentecost a paper assuming that, in the case supposed, rent would be proven economic, and therefore to be right, or like, other economic quantities, capable of beneficient use and just appropriation. I then pointed out the distinction between economic rent, arising under equal freedom and equal, opportunity and monopolistic rent enforced by denial of freedom and opportunity, through exclusion from the earth, and the natural resources and raw material available to industry. Mr. M'Cready attacked the position, showing on general principles that there could be no justification for rent, and that no such thing as economic rent [93] existed at all. Not noting that I had stated that it was subject to the vibratory action, and sometimes plus and sometimes minus, he appeared to antagonize my position, since these quantities cancel each other, the mean being zero.

I had no difficulty in showing this, and that economic rent interest and profits originated in these different degrees of productiveness of differing soils and situations, ability to labor, to forecast the relations of supply and demand, and choose between immediate and remote satisfaction. Rent of land is what one rends or takes from the products over the consumption required to obtain them. Interest is what is rended or rent from the fruits of labor in any field of activity, above the amount consumed. Profit is what is taken from commodities in process of exchange in excess of what is consumed in the process. Where there is no excess of products over consumption, there can be neither rent, interest or profit, nor motive to exchange.

It is therefore unquestionable that the increase, accumulation or whatever it may be called, is due to a single fact, that wealth has been produced beyond what has been consumed in the service. Under natural or economic law, this excess or surplus would belong to the one producing it, whether his labor were employed directly in actual production, in required transportation or in the necessary services in circulating and exchanging.

Mr. M'Cready was a man of remarkable qualities of mind and of heart. Many of his contributions were brilliants. His letter in Twentieth Century, May 15, 1890 from his garden is "a thing of beauty," a humorous sketch imagined between Dr. Lyman Abbot, Col. Ingersol, and M'Cready's colored man Lewis, who "worships a distinct and positive personality. He wears a beard." Sits on a great arm chair in a court paved with gold and precious stones, which appears a little hazy to Lewis who has never seen any thing resembling them but a few glass heads. He is certain that when he shall get there he shall have a gold crown, golden slippers, and have a golden jewsharp in his mouth. "The Colonel's deity, as I understand it is a simple non-existence—a bit or nothing surrounded by space. And the God which Dr. Abbott reverences is a cross between the two, distinctly personal as to his feelings, but remarkably indefinite in other respects." And he intimates that if they "could [94] get together for a few hours and turn themselves inside out, each one of them might learn something. Meantime I would get out my garden tools, and worship God after my own fashion, by planting a row of beans. I do not believe in a God. I do not believe in no God. But I have a most abiding faith in God. And I hold this faith not because somebody else has taught me; but simply and solely because experience has shown me that with it life is possible, while without it life is impossible."

The Twentieth Century never made good the loss of this gifted and upright man. On receiving the news of his death I sent the following note to Mr. Pentecost:

"I write to express my sorrow for the loss of your co-laborer, Thomas L. M'Cready. He was only known to me through the columns of the Twentieth Century. The void his dropped pen has made will be difficult to fill. I seem to miss him as a well known friend."

Other writers I esteemed in Twentieth Century, were sometimes those I had sharp controversies with. Hugo Bilgram, C. L. James J. M. L. Babcock, Mrs. Imogene C. Fales, Miss Baldwin, Mrs. Dietrick, John M. Campbell, Alfred C. Cross, A. P. Brown, J. W. Sullivan, Bolton Hall, Thaddeus B. Wakeman, Clinton Loveridge and others. Controversy with them turned mainly on freedom of unused land vs. Single Tax. Free Banking against Government Banking. Credit money against metallic or commodity money and as between Land Reformers and Finance Reformers, the question, which was fundamental in Social Science, the land or the money issue.

In reply to a number of articles as to whether freedom of issuing money would free vacant land, the following was published in Twentieth Century, July 24, 1890.

This question can only be determined when we have a clear comprehension of the causes which produce rent, interest, and speculative profits, and of the relations which these subversions of justice sustain to each other. The fundamental fact in each is the ability of man to produce, from the land, with the natural materials and forces, more than he consumes in a given period. By itself, neither land nor labor produces anything in an economic sense. Only the labor of gathering makes the spontaneous productions of the earth [90] subjects of exchange. Labor of itself is abstract, produces nothing till it is applied to matter.

But since labor so applied can produce more things for human use than is consumed by the laborer in producing it, the result usually exceeds the "cost limit," and yields a surplus or "increase," This is the prime source of all increase over actual consumption, furnishes the only pretext at justification for rent, interest, or other form of exaction without equivalent service, and is the only plausible ground on which trained ignorance or studied prevarication reared the now exploded theories of the "wages fund" and "iron law of wages;" as stupid as they were wicked.

When the laborer, in equal freedom, is able to possess this increase or surplus, he is in a condition to exchange on equal terms with the surplus produce of others; and whether this be on a basis of cost of production, will not matter, so long as the same rule applies to the respective exchangers. One cannot justly take the entire product of another's labor by simply repaying the bare cost, from his own.

What present methods mean is exactly this: a subverted exchange, in which the landlord, money lender, and privilege holder is able to purchase "the whole product of labor" by returning to the laborer its actual outlay, taking the entire surplus fruits of any work, in consideration of supplying or returning the necessary things consumed. What the ownership of man thus did for the slaveholder vacant land does for the landlord, legal tender, coinage laws, and bank charters do for the money lender, and tariff laws, patent laws, etc., do for manufacturers and speculators.

Nothing has ever stood or does now stand in the way of equitable exchange but the senseless superstition that the increase or surplus produced by labor belongs to some one other than the worker who has produced it. Privilege to hold vacant land out of use is clearly the primal agency in compelling idleness and in perpetuating the poverty of the lowly. And we can never lose sight of this fact without peril to all humanity reform. It may appear desirable and feasible to get usury and trade profits first out of the way. Although resting substantially on the same ground, we should reflect [96] that rent, interest, and profit each is based on a distinct legal vice. To repeal or counteract any one of them therefore could work the abolition of the others, and could only affect them remotely.

Mr. Bilgram, Miss Baldwin and Mr. Babcock think that the interest rate affects the rent rate. But in proportion to decrease of interest on money will be the increase of the price of land and the rent will be unaffected.

Mr. Pentecost seems to think that we might allow Government to have its legal tender, so that it "did not prevent Tom, Dick, and Harry from making money of their own," letting slip for the moment the fact that, while we have a legal tender at all, the debtor, pushed for payment, would be compelled to sell the money of T., D., and H., which he might hold, for what it would bring, and buy legal tender at the price put upon it by those who were able to lock it up.

Now, the point I wish distinctly to emphasize is this: The repeal of pernicious monetary statutes will relieve us only from those grievances which are distinctly financial. Their repeal can have no important effect on those statute-created monopolies, which abridge one's right to manufacture and sell; much less can such repeal affect in any favorable way those who are deprived of home and opportunity of applying their labor productively, and who have no security to give, however plenty money may be, or however low the rate of interest.

It could be wished that Mr. Babcock had given us some key his conundrum, as to how free money could abolish rent, taxation of tariffs, patent rights, etc., under which the people suffer. So as I know, the "vacant landers" are willing to unite in any feasible reform of the money legislation, when it means repeal, but they cannot patiently see the fundamental land question pushed aside for the sake of trying new experiments with legislative interference which have always had pernicious results, whether applied to pet schemes of making and issuing money or to "sovereign remedies" in manipulating the taxing power.

There was another who entered the field, Michael Flurscheim, a Swedish Socialist, a capitalist and proprietor of large Iron Works who accepted the Single Tax theory and other progressive ideas, [97] with modifications of his own. He criticized some of my articles in the paper and suggested that I should read Mr. George's book on the Perplexed philosopher

The following forecasts of the land question was published in Twentieth Century in response to criticisms from Mr. Flurscheim.

It would seem that a complete acquaintance with the past and present tendencies of human society, should enable us to foresee to some extent the character of future institutions. But imperfect knowledge of the sequences of social phenomena, and of the laws which determine the evolution of industry, lead us greatly astray in our estimate of the positive effects of arbitrary will, autocratic or democratic. This question of the ownership or dominion of land is the fundamental one in social advancement. Numerous theories, remedies, plans and schemes are offered as a solution of a problem, hut partially understood. From absolute dominion, by the state, involving the state superintendency of all industry and denial of all individual property in land to "free trade in land," as proposed by the Cobden Club, with unconditional dominion to the highest bidder; in other words to a plutocratic regime, there are many steps and shades. Among these, land nationalization, and single tax are the least positive; yet they form the skirmish line of the advancing hosts of belligerent socialism against the equally belligerent individualism, to the great perplexity of Herbert Spencer. Their great strength, from a philosophic point of view, is their facility in substituting hypothesis for facts, equivocal terms for exact phraseology, and the use of different words with identical meaning to signify different things. To them monopolists rent and economic rent are without practical distinction; voluntary and compulsory competition are one and the same; willing and forced co-operation are without a difference, and unlimited dominion of vacant land and "occupying ownership" mean but the same thing. On the other hand the single taxer, at least sees a wide difference between "unearned increment" or "income from the rent of land" due or perspective, and "interest on the money" for which the land has been sold or mortgaged. How can one fail to furnish deductions to order with such facilities, even without the habit of passing by all points telling against their remedy as of no practical consequence.

In a recent number of the Twentieth Century, in allusion to my [98] "the two rents contrasted," I am asked without any notice being taken of one of the six plain and broad distinctions given, to concede the whole question at issue. It is assumed that there are three factors in production, labor, land, ("assistance of nature,") and "the co-operation of human society." It is also assumed or implied that justice requires the mutual product to be divided into corresponding parts, to the individual worker the share due to his work if he wrought alone, which could barely subsist him at best; the balance, nature's and society's shares, to the community.

The only interest the producer of wealth can have in these hypothetical shares is to see that his own product is not diminished to a moiety or less by the false pretenses preferred by some lord of privilege to personate both nature and society; so that both the laborer and the land may be robbed: the land of its fertility and the laborer of his product.

The idea that nature contributes a share, capital a share, and society a share, to the productiveness of labor, is but a conception of barbaric times, to justify invasion and the forcing of tribute. Following in the thought ruts of unscrupulous advocates of power, where, as Gibbon says "the steps are silent, the shades are almost imperceptible, and the absolute monopoly is guarded by positive law, and artificial reasons." Mr. Henry George, after repeatedly declaring that "the factors of production are dual, not tripartite," this he finds "a distinguishing force, co-operating with that of labor," (and hence that "it is impossible to measure the result by the labor expended," but "renders the amount of capital and the time it is in use, integral parts in the sum of forces," and so infers economic interest as well as rent. Now whether there are two, three, four or five factors, seems a matter of little account to him, so that he can avoid the intellectual effort of getting out of the time-worn ruts. The too utter stupidity of all these manufactured reasons for positing economic rent as other than an economic quantity, is seen when we notice that the shares of society, capital and nature are never claimed by their hypothetical ghosts, but by men who declining labor nevertheless seek a division of its earnings. Where nature's share goes to enrich her and increase her power, or the fertility of the soil, and where capital's share goes to furnish new plants and extend [99] employment, no worker is wronged, no industry plundered or hampered. A passion not for the enjoyment of equal freedom, but for dominion over the places and productions of others, generates invasion and meddlesome interference. It is not the Scottish crofters, but Mr. Winans who stands in the way of industry, and causes all the crowding of one upon the other. When the salts and gases nature has lent to production are returned to her, her claim is satisfied. Her forces are persistent, her energy inexhaustible. When the plant is kept good, and increased as needed, capital's share is consumed.

But society's share? Co-operation of labor doubtless gives larger production; but to whom is this due? To those who "work together" or to those who have declined to co-operate, barred the paths of industry, and deprived labor of opportunity; withheld the earth from man and blocked the wheels of progress in every serious struggle? Yet these are the parties who now reap the unearned increment, and receive the rent, and to whom government renting or confiscation of rent, will award shares, and to the idle vagrant, as to the wealth producers, who so far have shared only bare subsistence.

Mr. F. in a friendly way asks me to concede the whole question as to the permanence of economic rent, and could he assure me in certain points as to the nature of the government leases, and that his premises were not mere shadowy hypotheses, I should be glad to please so courteous an opponent. That economic rent would increase under government control or under single tax, with unlimited leaseholds, forceful collection of rents, and remain undistinguishable from rack rents however "'immense," I have not the least doubt. But that the condition of labor would be improved by such renting or taxing, my reasons for doubting will be given directly.

I am told "we can claim all that part of our produce which we obtain without being in the way of others, i. e., by barring their access to natural opportunities." But why protect any one in forcing such privilege? If the two can agree why should society interfere? Is it the home and tilled acres, of the occupier, or the landlord's dominion of vacant land that bars out labor from all opportunity? What but privileged monopoly stands in the way of each one having as much as he desires, or can rationally occupy, without disturbing others? No attempt is made to prove such necessity yet he [100] say government can not he justified in interfering until such exigency arises. It would have been to the point to show that any man would be wronged or crowded because he could not occupy and use the same land at the same time that another did. Where is there the pretence that such a thing is probable? Ricardo's theory has collapsed; not only failing to account for the cause of rack rent, but to show that economic rent is a permanent quantity, which economic law cannot equilibriate. The Malthusian theory of population is dying of age. The later decades of this century show a narrowing of the increase in the birth rate, in all civilized societies, even in this youthful and bountifully land endowed nation, while in some it has reached its maximum, or is already on the decline. But suppose it were otherwise, and that increased population made access to land more and more difficult, instead of rendering the necessary quantity for one's support constantly less and less? How can renting of government or confiscating rent, increase the amount of land or diminish population, or even improve the disposition of those who seek to invade one another's domicils? Ricardo and Malthus treated British land ownership as an "Order of Nature," or a conferment of "Divine right." No idea of common or joint property as a personal right was conceived by either of them. Unless a man has a normal right (if only that of might) to private ownership of his person, the space necessary to be in and the surroundings necessary to life, then he must obtain or assume to have obtained by tacit social compact, the right of property in himself, and to room and opportunity to labor, because, two persons cannot occupy the same space or belongings at the same time, any more than can two atoms. But Mr. George is not in a position to profit by Mr. Spencer's perplexities. Mr. Spencer has reached a forecast which certainly justifies a "perhaps" or "possibly," while the end to which Single Taxers deem social evolution tending is simply an impossible one. The primitive "communal ownership," from which "tenancy in common," in English law had its source, and of which "joint tenancy" was a variation, is the earliest and crudest form of land ownership in social life, The tendency to change to separate and private ownership of land was developed soon after property in movables arose, and gradually grew into extended domain, without intelligent limitation to cheek its encroachment [101] on popular rights and invasion of the persons and properties of individuals. Nor has property in land, by our laws at present any restrictive conditions, such as attach to property in movables. To forecast progress, indicating no improvement, in human conditions, is to discredit the experience of the ages. From their own showing, it does not appear that single tax or even land nationalization can improve industrial or social interests. With the limitation of leases suggested by Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace, some improvement in human affairs might possibly be realized; but I know of no single taxer of note who accepts the idea. Mr. Flurscheim indeed speaks of "certain restrictions," but gives no hint as to what they should be. Without positive "limitation of estates in land" to "occupying ownership'' either plan would only facilitate the reduction of the land and all productive property to a state of commercial monopoly. For two or three centuries, the regime of feudal ownership has been quietly changing from militant land dominion to the feudalism of trade. Landed property is no longer the inheritance of "an order of nobility," with its laws of primogeniture and entail; but has been absorbed by capital in its extension of dominion over the entire field of human activity. With or without remuneration to landlords, national control would he a surrender of all wealth producing industries to be capitalized: since a monopoly of leases, of unlimited quantities of land would enable all agricultural business, and all home-making to be put in trust, as other businesses are being.

The land of this country was from the first, national or common domain. The nation has sold it and given allodial titles. Only by exercising the right of eminent domain, can a rod of it be lawfully taken, and only for strictly public use. Only state socialism could reach the desired end, and which would prove a subversion of our political system. But suppose it otherwise? There would be not a possibility but a great certainty that it would again pass to private control through treachery of public officials as before.

With unlimited leases to the highest bidder, no poor man could obtain land, all rents would be monopoly rents, and workers must remain the serfs of those who had money to forestall possession, as in barbaric days the weaker was forced to leave the land or accept involuntary servitude. He had the "right of trial by combat," the [102] measuring of arms and swords or bludgeons. Bidding on unconditional leases will give us the trial by measurement of purses, (unless we have a friend at court), with a tolerable certainty of being forced into involuntary idleness. This conflict will not be a struggle for the occupation of the best land, but for any land however poor, or situation however mean, and to retain the humble home one has toiled to rear and beautify.

But all this has "no practical bearing," with our theorists. With the capture of the economic rent, things will go on swimmingly! But how! The difference between a deed and a lease is only one of time. A lease is a deed of sale of the use of land for one year, or one hundred years. (The shorter the time the worse and more hazardous for the occupier). A deed allodial ownership, is a lease of the same use "forever." The unconditioned lease increases the facility for engrossing through the law of the market the business of land speculation, as buying on margins facilitates stock speculation. The government would doubtless get the economic rent, which will prove a plus and a minus quantity. The successful leaseholder will have the monopoly rent, which will prove a wholly positive. and with all industrial progress, a constantly increasing quantity.

"But (says Mr. Flurscheim) if the reform will increase the worker's wages five fold, it must increase the economic rent," See! I see. Leaving out the significant if, it seems necessary to remind out friend that productive labor gives the only fund from which rent taxes can be paid. So if the laborer's hire is multiplied by any ratio, great or small, the rent taker's and tax eater's income must be divided by a corresponding ratio. The plus of the worker's will thus be quite balanced by the minus of the rent gatherer's end of the economic scale. With considerable perturbation, no doubt, the liberating tendency will as certainly be developed, as that water will seek its level from any external disturbance.

Shall we never be able to have it understood that the laborer does not suffer seriously because the best land and the first (or even second or third) class opportunities are closed to him, but because all land and all opportunities are barred by unconditioned deeds which do not differ in their operation from unconditioned leases. Had the bars best be taken down think you or shall we attempt to do what [103] nature readily does when let alone, to librate incidental inequalities by stationing a government agent at the gate to collect the admission fees to the economic show? This will certainly benefit the showmen and the boodlers of politico-commercial combine, but would be carrying us backward to premedieval times, with the ancient tax-farmers, masquerading as landlords. I recognize no sign of progress in the wish to substitute bureaucratic for pluto-aristocratic toll gathers. It is now the unconditioned dominion "over earth and man" which invades freedom and "gets in the way of workers." The depredations on commerce are not less, now that the agents of government "sit in the seats of customs," than when the buccaneer collected them on the high seas, or when the ancient baron fortified the mountain pass, and gathered tribute of every traveler.

I have not read "Social Statics" since its first appearance, more than forty years ago. Patrick Edward Dove's book was republished in this country about the same time. I found in the latter the anticipation of Henry George's entire land and tax scheme, and the identical course of reasoning by which he buttressed his "sovereign remedy." It then appeared to me a quack remedy, although a lucid diagnosis of the disease. As to Spencer's book, I have a vivid recollection of his imaginary talk with the backwoods squatter on unused land, and how the "man of straw" he set up to show off his intellectual progress, floored the philosopher in the first syllogistic round, and of course, with the very words which the latter, thorough his English love of fair play, had felt compelled to put into the mouth of his lay figure. With a dumb antagonist, however, he was able to retain his feet, and ultimately silenced his speechless opponent by arguing of "absolute right;" although as a philosopher, he only made the squatter urge a relative right. He had found the land unused, had worked it without complaint from any one, and thought he had a better right to hold it than any man or any collection of men had to take it from him. It seemed to me then and did after reading "Progress and Poverty," that the man of straw had much the best of the argument. And Mr. Spencer himself now appears to think so. With his motive in expressing his perplexities I have nothing to do. We are all too ready to impugn the motives of opponents. Their facts and logic we cannot scrutinize too closely. To Spencer's objections [104] to land-nationalization and state Socialism, I have seen no convincing answer, from any quarter. Neither he nor his critics appear to recognize any alternative other than unconditional communal ownership of land, on the one hand, and unlimited private dominion on the other. Either of which renders freedom impossible. Standing between these however, is private "occupying ownership." Had Mr. Spencer observed this, he would have reached a conclusion satisfactory to himself and one requiring no "possibly" or "perhaps." He failed by side-tracking, at its last stage, his own train of thought. He says: ''As the individual, primitively owner of himself, partially or wholly loses ownership of himself during the militant regime, but gradually regains it as the industrial regime develops, so possibly the communal proprietorship of land, partially or wholly merged in the ownership of dominant men, during evolution of the militant will be resumed as the industrial type becomes fully developed."

In point of fact, the ownership of persons through conquests in war, and purchase in trade, has under the industrial regime at length resolved itself into an ownership limited to one's self. Analogy would require then that the primitive ownership in land the right of domicile appropriate to the use of the individual being lost under warlike dominion, would be resumed under industrial rule, and perfect the worker's ownership of himself and of his environment; the community also regaining its eminent domain over unused or co-operatively used land, while the quality of private property would only attach to that exclusively occupied in person. Mr. Spencer is doubtless correct in supposing that private property in one's person and in the product of one's labor will continue to grow mere and more sacred. He is astray when he says that property in land, not being a thing produced by labor, will in the future be held less sacred than now. He wholly misses that portion of land which becomes private property by its relation to the laborer. He is right doubtless as regards dominion of land, which involves subjection of labor whether by the capitalist, feudal lord or state. This must necessarily disappear under equal freedom, or our era of industry retrograde to barbaric slavery or savage vagrancy. That property in land, which labor has created by co-operating with and moving it to productive use, will also without doubt grow to be held more and [105] more sacred, as our industry develops and as distributive justice becomes the watch-word of a higher civilization. Then and hardly till then will the forms of co-operation best suited to the times and the people, have fair play, or indeed any opportunity of trial. Nothing can be done in that direction while the great mass of the co-operators are landless and homeless. Without the earth for a fulcrum, the hypothetical lever of the reformer is powerless. Intelligence, not blind will, it is most probable under equal freedom, will render co-operation, communism and other forms of industrial life voluntary and rational, without awakening the barbaric desire of the one or of the many to force companionship or crude purposes on any. When the bars are taken away, rack rent will cease and economic rent will be set free. This will secure the occupation of the best places, and the working; of the best fields by the best methods of co-operation. The worker will no longer seek the protection of the military power, against himself, nor shirk or shrink from mutually beneficial efforts. It is difficult to conceive of a positive or increasing rent requiring forcible libration, or such as is available for taxation, when only about ten per cent. of our land (exclusive of Alaska) is in any use, whatever and the most of that is second or third class. The best sites in cities and for cities are in the same ratio, kept out of use by usurpation, not by individuals getting in each other's way.

To this communication he only responded by a personal letter; saying in substance, that the time of action had come, and the time of theorizing and discussing doctrines had passed. He was on his way to Kansas and Topolobampo and debate must give way to work. How he emerged from the enterprise, I am not informed. If Mr. Owen and a few have made well out of it, certainly, many have sacrificed health, and whatever they took into the movement, and also their lives. I see yet nothing to change the view I expressed in the above communication, to which I came more than forty years ago, that industrial freedom was essential to any intelligent and successful enterprise in the direction of Social and co-operative industrial organization. [106]

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