The Rule of Law

John R. Fuchs

[Reprinted from Fragments, July-September, 1967. At the time of this writing, J.R. Fuchs served as a Texas jurist and as President of the International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade]

(Author's Note: To Frank Chodorov, land monopoly and the income tax were the cornerstones of iniquity. This essay, discussing the man-made laws upholding such misconcepts, is respectfully dedicated to Frank's memory.)

WE (I mean all of us, but principally the lawyers) are continually admonished by our Bar Presidents, Professors of Law, and Ministers of the Gospel that we must be "Bold and Courageous" in upholding the "Rule of Law" and the Truth.

If it be true, that it does take boldness and courage to be intellectually honest, then for God's sake, let us be bold and courageous.

Before we, citizens of the United States, can effectively proclaim the truth for which we stand, our own country must be free of basic blemishes. If not, the rule of equity will be invoked against us. Unfortunately, we are living and maintaining a basic untruth which is nothing short of a lie. This is strong language, but nothing less will describe it properly. It is a lie that stinks to high heaven. It has been accepted without question for centuries; in fact, for ages; consequently, today it is taken for granted.

What is this lie that the present Rule of Law embraces? Why is it that such an atrocity to reason and morals has not been detected and eradicated long ago? But first, what is it that is so basically wrong? It is a fact that in our Constitution and by our laws, land - Mother Earth - is treated as personal property. It is put in the same category as all the things created by the hand of man. Further, as was true in the case of slavery-property in man, the large majority of economists, lawyers, legislators, and religious-minded people, feel a compulsion to warp economics, law, and religion to justify and continue this unholy concept and social error. Such a condition lies at the root of practically all social and economic problems, and we are forced to increase taxes and spend more of our money through government in our attempts to give economic medication to evil symptoms which should not exist in the first place - certainly not to the degree we now know them to exist.

All the laws passed by parliaments and legislative bodies cannot change this truth, that land is a gift of the Almighty Creator not to just a few, not to any selected group, but to all men! As long as we permit some men to charge (at a profit) other men for the right of living on earth - as long as we deny this truth - do not take the action it demands of us - we do not present our best and most solid front to Communism; nor can we put our house into the order that today's situation requires. In other words, we do not come with clean hands; we are vulnerable.

We are far ahead in the physical sciences, and we are far behind in our social and political sciences. The reason for this is that physical sciences not only recognize but utilize and apply their basic truths, better designated as axioms. In social sciences too, Basic axioms are known; however, we do not apply or make use of them. The reason is simple: it would run counter to the filling of the pocketbooks; those that enjoy economic and social special privileges are loath to give them up. So confused are we as a people that 'millions of people who would gain greatly by these just changes are also loath to seek this better way.

I am not unmindful of the great freedoms that we enjoy under our Bill of Rights, but this enjoyment is greatly handicapped and marred by the maladjustment existing by reason of the failure to recognize and apply the fundamental differences between naturally private and naturally public revenue.

When the Sixteenth Amendment was adopted, it gave the Federal Government a key to all the private treasuries of our Free Enterprise System. Merely pointing out this obvious fact does not cure anything unless we can show what steps the government should take to supplant and supersede the monstrosities of the Income Tax, which this Amendment created. The solution is a relatively simple one; yet this very fact is one of the causes of why it is overlooked. Step by step, we must take the burden of taxation from the dynamic elements of production, and place it on the static element. By the dynamic elements, we of course mean, all the activities that Commercial Enterprise is engaged in, and by the static element we mean the land - Mother Earth. Man did not and cannot create land.

Land-rent is almost wholly diverted from the public treasury into pockets of the private holders of the land-the government is forced to resort to the Income Tax and many other destructive direct and indirect taxes. These are the basic causes of poverty. Simple justice demands that we should leave to the people the value they create and to the individual the values, wages, and interest he creates.