The Science of Henry George

Robert Clancy

[Reprinted from the Georgist Journal, No.74, Winter, 1991-92]

If we can put a man on the noon, why can't we -

House the homeless?
Reduce unemployment?
End the crime wave?
Solve the drug problem?
Control dishonesty in government?
Have a decent educational system?
Bring about world peace?

These are among the laments that are heard. Well, why can't we?

Let us take the man on the moon. For eons man yearned to fly and some dreamed of flying to the moon. Some looked at birds and tried the idea of imitating birds' wings. All efforts failed. It took a lot deeper study and effort before the principles of flight were understood and much experimentation before it was achieved. As for escaping the earth's gravity, it took an even more intense study, step-by-step development and massive efforts.

Einstein's concentrated studies of physics led to his celebrated formulas which in turn led to the development of the atom bomb. Einstein was a strong advocate of world peace, but his exhortations on this produced little effect.

There's a clue here as to the trouble. A concentrated delving into the profound secrets of the universe gets us somewhere. A hope, a dream, a preaching, without such delving doesn't get us very far.

What is needed is the same quality of thought and effort in social and economic affairs as in science, physics, technology. This is not yet appreciated. So we continue with ineffectual expediencies.

Few are those who explore to the bottom of the matter, as did Henry George. He reasoned and observed and probed to the basis of it -- the land and the right relation of man to the land. A formula more potent than Einstein's is there ready to be applied -- as soon as people are ready to go deeper than complaints about and palliatives for our problems.