Marketing Georgism
in the Culture of Contentment

Ian T.G. Lambert

[An address given at the Council of Georgist Organizations conference,
Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, June, 1992]

The Culture of Contentment

We live, in the age of the contented. So says John Kenneth Galbraith in his latest book. The Culture of Contentment[1] is one of those seminal essays which is able to capture the state of society at a particular moment in time and thereby start a whole new political debate. In Galbraith's case, it is American society, but (as he points out) his observations are equally true of the rest of the industrialised world. If, as Georgists, we are to understand the nature of the battle in which we are called to fight, we must appraise the nature of our adversary. This Professor Galbraith has christened "The Culture of Contentment". His message is clear. Post-Reagan America is now in the grip of ah electoral majority which is supported at a relatively comfortable level by the current politico-economic system. They are the contented, and they will vote as an electoral block against any encroachment on their comfortable life-style.

This culture of contentment displays a callous indifference to the disadvantaged minority and, when drawn into debate, has the gall to justify its position on the basis of utilitarianism -- the doctrine of the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Utilitarianism, when first advocated by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, sought to justify sacrifices demanded of the few who were rich to help the many who were poor. Now it is the few who are poor who have to make sacrifices to support the comparative many who are rich. Thus, have we reached the position dreaded by Tocqueville: the Tyranny of the Majority.

The resistance of the contented majority is not a resistance to government as such. On the contrary, it is Big Government which sustains them, with subsidies for rich farmers, tax cuts and reliefs for the rich (to incentivise them), the privatisation of gains and socialisation of losses in the banking and finance industries (through deregulation combined with the increase of federal deposit insurance), and an enormous military defence budget, off which countless businesses feed.

This is the familiar culture of the gravy train, against which Henry George himself fought. But it has changed. The numbers who have bought into the gravy train now include a whole middle class, not merely the industrial Robber-Barons George had to contend with. Our adversaries are different now from a hundred years ago. A more sophisticated armoury is displayed against us, and we must use new weapons in our cause. So, too, this change in our adversaries means a change in our constituency. Our supporters have changed, and must be reached in new ways.

Why Georgism needs to be Marketed

There are two reasons why marketing is so important for Georgism.

The first is a question of efficiency. Because Georgism has a moral message, because it seeks to remedy economic injustices, we are sometimes confused into thinking that we do not need to be more commercial -- "professional" might be a better term -- in trying to get our ideas across,. We tend to confuse the virtuous with the inefficient.

In our minds, we have to distinguish between activities which are intrinsically not commercially viable (for example, helping the mentally handicapped), and activities which are simply inefficiently run. We often mistake our own inefficiency for something more virtuous than it is. The failure of Georgism in recent years has a lot more to do with our own inefficiency than we like to think. We prefer to think that we have been over-run by the forces of reaction and contentment, but in truth we have been inefficient in getting our message across. We should riot think ourselves virtuous merely because we are squandering our resources.

The second reason is, in the longer run, much more important. Georgism must endeavour to live up to its own ideals. Georgism must exemplify what it stands for, not by what it says but for what it is and how it operates.

Georgists are passionately in favour of the free market. We all believe in free trade. Yet, what do we do with our ideas, our policy recommendations and our writings? We scatter them around, in the vain hope that they will fall on fertile (rather than stony) ground. We tend to congratulate ourselves for our "self-sacrifice", and devotion to the cause -- for how much effort we put in for so little return, confusing return and effect -- thereby sending a subliminal message which runs deeply counter to Georgism's message that the self-sacrifice demanded by socialism (and any other form of statism) is an evil. We publish George's works with the aid of subsidies from a charitable foundation, we seek grants, subsidies and benefits for research. We tend to grumble that the free market will not support our activities, so that charity must, while at the same time we spread a message of charity for none and economic justice for all.

If we truly believe that the free market is the best way to allocate goods, services and resources, we should commit ourselves to using the market more to spread our ideas and our philosophy.

The success or failure of any political philosophy depends on its ability to draw in new members. Man is an inherently social animal, and most people will be attracted to Georgists before they are attracted to Georgism. That is why how we run our own house is so important. That is why marketing is so important to us.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is human activity directed to satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes.

A market is simply a place where buyers and sellers meet to trade, to exchange.

The lifeblood of every society is trade. It is common to all human societies. Whatever else the Europeans brought to the Americas five hundred years ago, they did not bring the idea of trade. Even the most primitive peoples trade, both internally among each other and externally with other people. To this day, the many shops across America quaintly called "trading posts" bear witness to the long gone days when the Indians peaceably traded with the White Man.

Everybody trades -- from the mega-rich to the homeless poor. And the reason we do so is because we all gain from it. In free exchange, each party gives up what he values less in return for what he values more. Each party gains. Each party wins, and there are no losers. Nobody is made to sacrifice that others may gain.

Now, all markets are consumer-led. It is the consumer who goes to the market to obtain what he wants. It is his demand that causes producers to produce and supply.

Marketing involves many things within an organisation, but its goal is always the satisfaction of consumer demand. During this century, Georgism has gradually lost touch with its market, because its consumers have changed. We know that our adversaries have changed, but we do not always realise that this means that our constituency - our consumers - has also changed. There is a whole new generation waiting to hear our message, if only we can reach them.

Georgism's Goal

Some of you may have heard of Robert Townsend, former CEO of Avis Rent-A-Car, author of "Up the Organisation" and now business consultant. In Bob Townsend's view, every organisation should have a stated business goal which is known to everyone in the organisation and which helps to focus their efforts. This has to be simple, so simple that you do not have to write it down to remember it. At Avis, it took them about six months to hone down their business goal to simply this: the renting of vehicles without drivers to customers. It has to be that simple.

Such an organisational goal must not be confused with higher and more generalised objectives, such as: satisfying our customers; making money; keeping a loyal and happy workforce. Such stated objectives do not focus our efforts. They tell us what we know already, without indicating how we are seeking to achieve it. Nobody ever set up a business simply to "make money" -- other than a counterfeiter!

Likewise, as Georgists we must not confuse our ultimate aspirations with our organisational or political goals. Of course, we want to achieve liberty, justice and peace; but these are not Georgism's organisational goals. They do not focus our efforts. So what are?

When I first thought about this, I saw Georgism as having twin goals: land value taxation and the free market. But to say that we have twin goals seems to imply either that they are independent or that some sort of trade-off or compromise between them may be needed. This is one of our great mistakes. We do not have twin goals, but a single goal with two elements. Land value taxation and the free market are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have a truly free market without land value taxation, for private property in land is the mother of all other monopolies. You cannot have a free market unless government abolishes all taxes which fall on production. Equally, you cannot have a proper system of land value taxation without a free market -- as Georgists who have visited Russia and Estonia have tried to get across -- because LVT is a tax according to the market rental value of land. If there is no real market, determining the "rent" of land becomes an arbitrary function performed by the state.

Packaging Georqism

While this may be our organisational goal, we have to remember that a product has to be packaged to be sold. It is a mistake to think that your organisational goals will also serve as a name or description for your product. Bob Townsend's company was not called: "The Renting of Vehicles to Customers Corporation" for good reason. First, such a name has no appeal (other than a purely intellectual one); and secondly, it doesn't distinguish the corporation from any other company in the same field or business.

Brand names are crucially important; but they do not have an intellectual origin. They are devised not for their conscious mental appeal, but for their subconscious appeal. Names such as "Fairy Liquid" and "Coca-Cola" are new language created by businesses and the meaning of which is likewise created by them - by association.

The implications for Georgism are clear. In terms of our goal, of land value taxation and the free market, whatever the movement chooses to call itself may be irrelevant. It does not have to be, for example, "The International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade". It is what people associate with the name that really counts.

The recent agonising over a name for our movement has been the cause of much dissipation of individual energies. Whether it be "Geocracy", "Geonomics", or just plain "Georgism" what matters is not how the name sounds to us, but what the public come to associate with that name. For example, "Liberalism" today is a very different political philosophy from a hundred years ago, but that is of little consequence today. What matters is whether or not the "public associate anything definite with the term "Liberalism"; in Britain, they clearly no longer do.

We must ensure that the public know what we stand for: land value taxation and_ the free market; and that they associate our name with that policy.

Who is the Georqist Consumer?

If we are to market Georgism successfully, we must know what its market is -- who its consumers are. To borrow a phrase from John Burger, we must go after prospects not suspects. It is easy for us to identify who will be opposed to our ideas and policies -- the vested interests of the culture of contentment. It is more difficult for us to focus on precisely whom Georgism will appeal to; but it is a vitally important task for us.

I have thought hard about the qualities we should look for in a prospective Georgist. it seems to me that the following are essential:

  • that he (or she) is disaffected with current politics, and current economics;
  • that he is , to a greater or lesser extent, an individualist, and not a collectivist;
  • that he likes to think for himself and is not afraid of holding unpopular or controversial views, if he truly believes in them;
  • that he believes, whether vaguely or clearly, in the idea of social and economic justice; and
  • that he believes that the answers to our social and economic problems lie somewhere beyond capitalism and socialism.

These seem to me to be the essentials. Anyone having these qualities is a potential Georgist (a prospect not a suspect), and it is our responsibility to make him a committed Georgist.

In terms of well-known personalities, there are many whose support we should seek. Recently, four have come to my mind: first is Robert Nozick, the author of Anarchy, State and Utopia, which in the 1970's was the fountainhead of modern libertarianism. He has publicly acknowledged that he no longer holds the views expressed in his earlier work. He has been afflicted with a social conscience, and thinks his earlier views must be modified, but he is not entirely sure how. (Doubt is one of our greatest assets.)

The second is Noam Chomsky, heralded by many as the intellectual leader of the Left in America. He is fiercely anti-statist and anti-nationalist. At one time, he described himself as an "anarchist socialist", which is something of a contradiction in terms. Here is a figure fumbling for a political creed that combines liberty and social justice, freedom from poverty and freedom from state intervention. Here again is someone looking for a third way, something new.

The third is a British businesswoman, Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop retail group. She is someone committed to environmentally friendly free enterprise, to new ideas, to a free and fair society, to a new political philosophy. She is passionately interested in peace between nations and environmental issues. Here again is someone who is certainly not socialist, who has experienced capitalism as an entrepreneur and has significant misgivings, who is searching for something new.

The fourth is the film actor Martin Sheen, whose commitment to helping the homeless (particularly of Southern California) is well known. He recently played a guest cameo role as a vagrant in a film drama about a fight to keep a homeless shelter: "Original Intent". Here again is a new prospect for us.

Such people are, in my view, all potential Georgists; but to win them over, we have to show that Georgism is a rich and diverse philosophy extending far beyond local tax reform in a few American cities -- a whole new approach to political and social problems.

Apart from such individuals, who can give us a higher profile, credibility and financial support, there are also interest groups for whom Georgism has so much to offer. The following come to my mind:

  • local governments, not wedded to party politics, but interested in practical measures, such as tax reform; we know of the great work that Steve Cord continues to carry on in towns and cities in America, particularly Pennsylvania;
  • national governments which have abandoned their previous ideology, and who have significant misgivings about both capitalism and socialism; the former soviet states are ripe for conversion to Georgism, and many Georgists are playing an active role there;
  • the coloured population of America; their struggle continues; they have seen the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century and the abolition of segregation in the 1950's; we must show them that their next step on the road to liberty and justice is to champion the human rights of all to access to land;
  • the young, particularly those who are unable or only barely able to afford to buy their own homes; even though they are far better qualified than their parents and grandparents;
  • environmental groups of all kinds; the Green Party in Britain was decimated in the recent general election, partly beqause those in the culture of contentment voted en bloc for conservatism but mainly because, in the greatest depression for sixty years, they had no credible economic policies. We have to be selective here; many environmentalists tend to extreme authoritarianism in economic matters; such fanatics are often not worth talking to; but there are many environmentalists (Anita Roddick for one) who want to preserve a responsible free market and who see governments as a large part of the problem -- the Soviet Union had an appalling environmental record.

We must narrow our focus and talk to people who are genuinely interested in hearing us; the culture of contentment will only delight in wasting our time and dissipating our resources.

We Need to Listen More

Jean Paul Sartre said that most conversations are merely competing monologues!

A major difficulty we have as Georgists is that our whole frame of reference is different from most people's. It is hard for us to have a sensible conversation with economists, for example, without first clarifying the sense in which we use terms such as "capital" and "rent". However, most attempts to create a new frame of reference for people are dismissed as attempts at ideological indoctrination. With the demise of the Cold War, we live in a highly unideological world. Therefore, rather than impose a point of view on others, we must help people to undermine their own and to reconstruct it.

Our greatest asset is doubt - the doubt of other people. The psychiatric profession tell us that it is impossible to cure a patient who will not admit that he is ill. There is no point in our talking to those who are certain they the answers. Georgists far too often serve up the solution and then ask what the problem is. It is only when people will admit that they have a problem, which their philosophy, their economics, their political theory or their religion has no answer to, that we can really break through.

To do this, we have to let people speak for themselves. One of the psychoanalyst's great skills is to refrain from talking. As a patient talks arid pauses, the ensuing silence encourages him to talk further, to work things out for himself. So must we help people think things through for themselves. There are many different levels of understanding. We must get people to understand Georgism at some level. Appeals to blind faith or simply to "put your trust in us" may have some success initially, but the real strength of Georgism is not the integrity of Georgists, but its merits as a rational system of political economy.

We need to listen a lot more. As I said in my presentation at the Santa Fe conference two years ago, in the words of Lao-Tsu: "The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step". We must take that step towards the public and listen to them.

We need to Keep our Message Simple

In marketing we have an approach called the "KISS" philosophy - Keep It Simple, Stupdi. The greater the complexity, the fewer the people you reach and the lesser the impact you have.

Georgism is an essentially simple philosophy. Anyone can understand it. We must make it clear that, while we have a lot to say and to contribute, it is not because Georgism is long and complicated, but because we have a lot of simple things to say on many different subjects.

The power of the Georgist programme lies in combining essentially simple ideas: the free market and land value taxation.

We need to Communicate more Effectively

We live in an age of audio-visual imagery. It is very different from Henry George's day. There have been immense technological changes in the media, which have not only altered the way we communicate; they have altered the way we think.

In George's day, there was no radio, television, video or cinema. If you were informed at all, you had to be able to read continuous prose, and this accounts for the astonishingly high literacy rate, particularly in America[2]. Nowadays, few people need to be able to read well to be kept informed of current affairs. The radio, television, video, or cinema all inform him with much greater intensity, and with much less effort on his part, than books, newspapers or magazines.

People sometimes point to the tremendous growth in sales of newspapers and magazines as a sign that we are becoming more literate; but all our newspapers and magazines acknowledge, in their very form, the supremacy of imagery over abstract thought. A Times reader of even sixty years ago would have been astonished to find photographs in his newspaper, let alone the colour ones we have today. But few magazines and newspapers sell today without photographs, cartoons, graphics and imagery of every description.

Likewise, following the inventions of the telephone, and mass transportation, few people today need to be able to write continuous prose to be able to communicate effectively.

This change in our media of communication has also radically changed public discourse, particuiarly in politics. Audio-visual images communicate with greater intensity, but also with less breadth. It simply is not possible on radio and television to communicate with the same detail as it is in the printed word. For one thing, all audio and audio-visual communications must proceed at the pace of the slowest listener or viewer. When you read a newspaper, you can read at your own pace and flick back and forth; but when you are listening to the radio or watching television, you have to take in what is being said at the pace it is being given out. Books and newspapers are therefore a very private medium of communication, radio and television a very public one.

Political philosophies are now marketed like coca-cola, with images, slogans and bite-size statements of policy goals. If Georgism is to communicate effectively, it must be prepared to simplify its message.

This change in communications means we must move on from George's works of continuous prose -- which many people today, alas, find difficult to read -- to more effective communications, using modern technology: graphics, imagery, cassette and video tape. And let me be the first to acknowledge my sins in this respect; for I have long produced learned works of prose in the Georgist cause. They have their place in the fight for intellectual credibility, but they will not reach a mass audience.

That is why, last year, inspired by Gill, Icreated a greetings card incorporating a Georgist symbol. It appears (in black and white) on the cover of this paper.

The symbol is a triangle, with the globe inside. The left-sector is coloured red, representing the red of left-wing politics -- of socialism. The right sector is coloured blue, representing the blue of right-wing politics -- of conservatism. The third sector is coloured green -- representing the green of environmental politics -- not left nor right, but out front. The circle at the centre is white, the colour which you get when you combine red, blue and green light. It is the colour of peace. It represents the Georgist philosophy, at the heart of events, uniting the extremist and errant philosophies of socialism, conservatism and environmentalist. The circle represents a perfect figure -- the ideal society -- and encompasses the globe, emphasising that Georgism is an international philosophy. The three-sided triangle emphasises that Georgism is a three-dimensional philosophy, a philosophy which takes us up into the third dimension, above the flat earth of two-dimensional politics which our society currently moves in. The triangle also symbolises Georgism's emphasis on the three factors of production: labour (red), capital (blue) and land (green).

Above the symbol, there are the three hedings: "Peace, Harmony and Economic Justice", which are our ultimate objectives.

The experience has been very interesting. The cards have had much greater impact than my papers, because they are simple, and graphic. They capture the fact that Georgism is new, that it is holistic, and, most of all, that we have to look at things in a new way.

I guarantee that, long after you have forgotten my presentation today, you will remember that symbol.

It is thus that, we must communicate.

We Heed to Trade Ideas

I was going to say we need, to "synthesize", but that sounds too complicated. We need to trade ideas. Georgism has a huge amount to offer other people, in economics, in politics, in sociology, in religion. But they also have things to offer us. Marketing involves exchange, and we must be prepared to exchange ideas with others.

There are several reasons for this. Most important of all is the fact that, if we are to make any political progress, we must work with others, seemingly of a different persuasion. We all know that tyrants keep their control over a people by dividing and ruling. We all know that such a people must unite to conquer. So must we. Our adversaries delight in distinguishing us from their political movements and we seem to enjoy being different. This is a tragedy. Progress for us involves uniting up with others, not breaking down into smaller and smaller highly differentiated groups.

As an intellectual process, it is very easy to analyse, to break things up into their components. So dominant has analysis become that some philosophers maintain that philosophy is just analysis! But the great hallmark of man is not his ability to distinguish between things, but to discern that which is common to several things which are different. This is how we formulate concepts in our minds, from various different perceptions. It is only by such a process that something like philosophy can even exist.

In exactly the same way, it is a highly important task for us to identify the elements of other political philosophies which are common to our own, whether it be 1ibertariariism, environmentalism, conservatism or socialism. It is only from a common ground of shared values and ideas that we can make any progress at all.

This does not involve compromising our principles, abandoning our commitments to land value taxation and fee trade. It involves filling the gaps in and building on our philosophy.

During this year, I have been to three other conferences. In Rio de Janeiro, I attended the Congress of Political Economists' conference. They are committed to evolving a concept of "economic democracy". There was tremendous interest in Henry George. In April Gill and I attended the British Deming Association conference in Birmingham (England). The ideas of W. Edward Deming in the field of business management are very important for us. Henry George had no particular theory or philosophy of management of the individual enterprise. Deming's ideas supplement his ideas in political economy. Equally, I am convinced that Georgism is very important for the long term success of Deming's ideas in the west. Deming's philosophy is radical, and it will really only work when operating throughout society. Deming needs a politico-economic philosophy to ensure the success of ideas at the management level.

Finally, I attended the Ludwig Von Mises Institute conference at Jekyll Island, Georgia, on the subject of the Federal Reserve System. Austrian economics has a lot to offer Georgism, and Georgism has a lot to offer it. If Georgism is to be a credible economic philosophy, it must develop a sound understanding of our monetary problems and advocate credible solutions. Since George's day money has effectively been nationalised and has become entirely subjective, following the abandonment of the gold standard.

I am convinced that Georgism needs to follow a programme of active synthesis, tying itself into ideas in other fields. My recent paper, called "Out of the Crisis with Deming, George and Mises" is an attempt in this direction.

We must create a free market world of ideas, in which people can move freely and exchange ideas. We must exemplify our belief that there is no property in truth, knowledge or wisdom. We must help to break the protectionist mentality of our own and other movements, that constantly seeks to separate and isolate. Between protectionist blocks there can never be true dialogue, only competing monologues and eventual war.

Let us never forget that whenever two people are quarrelling, a third person is usually quietly benefiting at their expense.

Success is Failure turned Inside-Out

Our greatest opportunity lies with those who have failed and who will admit to their failure. W. Edwards Deming was able to help turn around Japanese industry, because Japan was in a crisis. They knew they had to change. They were willing to risk -- they had nothing to lose -- and they sought out Deming. Ironically, Deming tried to sell his ideas to American industry for thirty years, without success, before turning to help Japan. Today his portrait hangs in the foyer of Toyota's headquarters in Tokyo, as a tribute to the American who taught them all about quality.

Success is failure turned inside out. The psychiatric patient who subscribes for therapy is already half way to being cured. Admitting failure is the start of recovery. That is why a great opportunity lies for us in the former Soviet Union.

It is also why our task is so much more difficult in America, where the demise of communism is seen as a vindication of capitalism with all its faults.

What Return can we Make?

Marketing involves trade. We must use our ability to trade more . The whole essence of trade is free exchange. When we are marketing our ideas and policies, we should be prepared to ask for something in return. It may be money, but it does not have to be.

We should be prepared to charge at commercial rates for consultancy advice, for example, to local and national governments. We should approach the matter commercially. If we want to sell the power of our ideas to them, we can give a credit for the first however many hours of advice. Given out confidence in the power of Georgist ideas, we should also be prepared to charge fees according to results, for example, cost savings or economic growth.

The pricing of goods and services is not a science; it is an art. One of the curious truths of marketing is that goods and services which are lowly priced are not greatly valued by the consumer. Somehow, charging more makes people think that what they are getting is worth more. This is very important for us. Our courses at schools and in correspondence are priced far too lowly. Charging more will enable us to improve the quality of the printing, publishing and teaching. That is important because it has truly been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

We realise that many of our students could find it difficult to afford courses and materials. The solution to this is not to reduce prices but to give discount vouchers. A person who is unemployed can be given a $75.00 discount voucher for a $100.00 course. If you do that, he will believe that he is getting $100.00 of value. Moreover, the wealthier person, whose cost of doing a course is not money but time - his opportunity cost -- will have no difficulty in paying $100.00, $200.00 or even $300.00. In fact he is much more likely to take the course if it costs that much, than if it costs only $25.00, because time is his most valuable commodity.

Similarly, if we want to encourage people to take all 3 or 4 courses, we can give them a credit voucher at the end of the first course, entitling them to a discount on the cost of the next next course if they enroll within, say, 60 days. We can offer students on the course the opportunity of introducing the course to others and, if they enroll, obtain a discount voucher from other courses, or to buy books (I am sure an arrangement with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation can be reached). At the completion of the courses, we can offer a discount voucher on the cost of attending the next CGO conference. In this way, we can coax people from enrolling on their first course to eventually becoming active Georgists.

But we should also consider consideration other than money or money's worth. If we have unemployed students, their scarce resource is money, their abundant resource is time. We must make use of their time.

This will not only help us. It will help individuals to play their part. Nearly every Georgist convert I meet wants to do more, and is frustrated that he cannot.

What can the Individual do?

There are many Georgists, and I am one, who are isolated Georgists. We have no schools, associations or groups to attend, to meet friends and exchange ideas. But, though isolated, we are not solitary. We can communicate with other Georgists, by post and fax, in journals and at conferences such as this one.

I see the task of such isolated Georgists as being to recruit new members. In a democracy, political action, even legitimacy, comes through strength of numbers. As I travel round, I have come to think of myself as an evangelist -- literally, a bringer of the good news. Here are some ideas for what an isolated Georgist can do:

  1. When you go to stay with people now, rather than buy them chocolates as a gift, you can bring a copy of the abridged version of Progress and Poverty or the new paperback version of Protection or Free Trade.
  2. For some people who are good friends and influential in their field, you can pay for an additional subscription of "Land and Liberty" -- I think it costs just £2.00 per annum for an additional subscriber. Not only does this keep up the communication of Georgist ideas, it increases the circulation, which is very important (for example) in generating advertising.
  3. You can encourage friends and others to take the Henry George Institute correspondence courses, run by Bob Clancy. They are an excellent introduction to Georgist economics.
  4. With the help of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, you can donate copies of George's works to libraries, at colleges and publicly. (Earlier this year, with the help of Oscar, we managed to donate a complete set of George's works to the International College of the Cayman Islands).
  5. As you now know, we have generated a Georgist greetings card -- actually, it had its generation in my frustration that we did not seem to have a Georgist Christmas card.
  6. I also write articles, usually in an attempt, to open up communication with others in other fields or institutions -- from the Deming Association, to the Mises Institute, to the Congress of Political Economists to the Institute of Taxation.
  7. People often do not like having to pay for papers or articles, even when the money is ploughed back into the organisation. Such money is often only used to print more copies. So I have now taken to asking a new price for some of my papers or articles. It is this:

    "If you have enjoyed reading this article, we should like something in return. Our price is this. Please make two photocopies of this article and pass them on to people who you think may be interested, together with this same message. In this way you can repay us and help us to spread our ideas. Thank you."

    This is an important way of spreading our ideas, and generating a new "sales team" of Georgists.

These are just some of the ways you can help, on your own.

Conclusion: Westward look! The land is bright.

We are faced today with the powerful inertia of the culture of contentment. It is this, not socialism, which is our current adversary.

To overcome that inertia, we need to become more professional in how we spread our ideas and our philosophy. We need to market Georgism. We need to go after prospects, not suspects.

Most importantly of all, we need to be persistent. We must follow up our contacts, follow through with our ideas. We are starting to make visible progress in Russia, Estonia and South Africa. Over years of battle, we have made terrific progress in Pennsylvania.

It can take many years of laying the ground to be able to break through. When you build a new building, you start with plans and calculations. You have to lay the foundations. People passing by the site may see no visible progress, but that does not mean that progress is not being made. Very soon they will be surprised to find a building there.

When people talk to me, depressed at how little progress we seem to be making, I like to quote them these lines of Arthur Hugh Clough:

And while the tired waves vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, in creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent flooding in the main,
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly
But westward, look! The land is bright.