Single Tax Movement Recalled

Henry L.T. Tideman

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, May-June 1941]

[Mr. Tideman, Director of the Chicago Henry George School, had copies of our Fortieth Anniversary Number sent to all the Chicago instructors, with the following letter: "This issue of LAND AND FREEDOM has in it an article covering some of the interesting history of the Henry George movement, facts which should be part of the stock-in-trade of every teacher in the Henry George School. I urge you to read it all carefully. There is nowhere else in so small compass so much historical information to serve as a back-log for the fire that burns in those who wish to carry on our great work. ... You may, when you have perused this copy, find it worth while to invest. This magazine is always interesting and the best of its kind." ED.]

Your bit of history in the January-February issue of LAND AND FREEDOM, entitled "Forty Years of the Struggle for Freedom," aroused my old sympathies for the men and women who devoted so much effort, with so seemingly little, though really large, result in reaching the minds of folk with the message of Henry George.

I was one of them. They were and are my friends. We held conventions. We organized. We contributed funds for campaigns in the validity and tactics of which we had profound doubts. The good work was carried forward. Organizations came and went. Individuals carried on. May I suggest an analogy?

A nation needs organization for defense from attack from without, from abuse of its people by their own government, and to enable its individuals to defend themselves from imposition by their fellows; but only on special occasions, such as war, does such organization need to be concentratedly purposeful. The normal course of social life is a compound of the lives of its individuals. As long as the market is free unorganized, unregulated it affords the fullest opportunity for the production of wealth.

So, it seems to me, in the advancement of ideas, the less we organize to regulate the effort, the more widely will knowledge spread. With all proper respect for those who put their faith in organization, this is one lesson I draw from your splendid resume.