Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One : Part 03, Chapter 06 : Henry George’s "Secondary Factors"

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1897

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(1854 - 1939) ~ American Father of Individualist Anarchism : An individualist Anarchist, Tucker (1854Ð1939) was a person of intellect rather than of action, focusing on the development of his ideas and on the publication of books and journals, especially the journal Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The evil to which this [tariff] monopoly gives rise might more properly be called misusury than usury, because it compels labor to pay, not exactly for the use of capital, but rather for the misuse of capital." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "Even in so delicate a matter as that of the relations of the sexes the Anarchists do not shrink from the application of their principle. They acknowledge and defend the right of any man and woman, or any men and women, to love each other for as long or as short a time as they can, will, or may. To them legal marriage and legal divorce are equal absurdities." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "It has ever been the tendency of power to add to itself, to enlarge its sphere, to encroach beyond the limits set for it..." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)

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Part 03, Chapter 06

Henry George’s Secondary Factors.

[Liberty, September 24, 1887.]


In trying to answer the argument that land is practically useless to labor unprovided with capital, Henry George declares that labor and land, even in the absence of secondary factors obtained from their produce, have in their union to-day, as they had in the beginning, the potentiality of all that man ever has brought, or ever can bring, into being.(104 ¶ 1)

This is perfectly true; in fact, none know it better than the men whom Mr. George thus attempts to meet.(104 ¶ 2)

But, as Cap’n Cuttle was in the habit of remarking, the bearin’ o’ this ere hobserwation lies in the application on’t, and in its application it has no force whatever. Mr. George uses it to prove that, if land were free, labor would settle on it, thus raising wages by relieving the labor market.(104 ¶ 3)

But labor would do no such thing.(104 ¶ 4)

The fact that a laborer, given a piece of land, can build a hut of mud, strike fire with flint and steel, scratch a living with his finger-nails, and thus begin life as a barbarian, even with the hope that in the course of a lifetime he may slightly improve his condition in consequence of having fashioned a few of the ruder of those implements which Mr. George styles secondary factors (and he could do no more than this without producing for exchange, which implies, not only better machinery, but an entrance into that capitalistic maelstrom which would sooner or later swallow him up,—this fact, I say, will never prove a temptation to the operative of the city, who, despite his wretchedness, knows something of the advantages of civilization and to some extent inevitably shares them.(104 ¶ 5)

Man does not live by bread alone.(104 ¶ 6)

The city laborer may live in a crowded tenement and breathe a tainted air; he may sleep cold, dress in rags, and feed on crumbs; but now and then he gets a glimpse at the morning paper, or, if not, then at the bulletin-board; he meets his fellow-men face to face; he knows by contact with the world more or less of what is going on in it; he spends a few pennies occasionally for a gallery-ticket to the theater or for some other luxury, even though he knows he can’t afford it; he hears the music of the street bands; he sees the pictures in the shop windows; he goes to church if he is pious, or, if not, perhaps attends the meetings of the Anti-Poverty Society and listens to stump speeches by Henry George; and, when all these fail him, he is indeed unfortunate if some fellow-laborer does not invite him to join him in a social glass over the nearest bar.(104 ¶ 7)

Not an ideal life, surely; but he will shiver in his garret and slowly waste away from inanition ere he will exchange it for the semi-barbarous condition of the backwoodsman without an ax. And, were he to do otherwise, I would be the first to cry: The more fool he!(104 ¶ 8)

Mr. George’s remedy is similar—at least for a part of mankind—to that which is attributed to the Nihilists, but which few of them ever believed in,—namely, the total destruction of the existing social order and the creation of a new one on its ruins.(104 ¶ 9)

Mr. George may as well understand first as last that labor will refuse to begin this world anew. It never will abandon even its present meager enjoyment of the wealth and the means of wealth which have grown out of its ages of sorrow, suffering, and slavery. If Mr. George offers it land alone, it will turn its back upon him. It insists upon both land and tools. These it will get, either by the State Socialistic method of concentrating the titles to them in the hands of one vast monopoly, or by the Anarchistic method of abolishing all monopolies, and thereby distributing these titles gradually among laborers through the natural channels of free production and exchange.(104 ¶ 10)

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Chronology

November 30, 1896 :
Part 03, Chapter 06 -- Publication.

February 21, 2017 17:13:53 :
Part 03, Chapter 06 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 19, 2019 13:46:21 :
Part 03, Chapter 06 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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