History's Verdict on the Land Question
Albert Jay Nock
[Originally appeared in the Freeman.
Reprinted in The Freeman, November 1937]
The land question is much in the news these days. The Spanish war
broke out. Investigators studied Spain's economic situation to find
out why; their answer was, the land question. Peasant outbreaks in
Puerto Rico, in the Philippines, in Cuba brought similar inquiries -
and the same answer. And so with Mexico, with Japan, with every
country where the question assumes a spectacular role. But what,
precisely, is the land question and why?
Dr. George Raymond Geiger, author of "The Philosophy of Henry
George," answered these questions in his book, "The Theory
of the Land Question." Not merely in the dimensions of prosperity
and depression, of peace and war, but of the rise and fall of
civilizations he traces he course of the land question in history. He
gives a comprehensive definition of land and explains the meaning and
the peculiarities of land value.
Drawing upon the notable work of Professor Harry Gunnison Brown, he
engages in controversy with contemporary economists on moot points in
except for a very moderate amount of educative value that may probably
be held to proceed from the agitation of such projects.
Thus the fundamental differences between the radical and the liberal
nay be seen, even from this brief sketch, to be considerable.