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sponsibility of ordinary process, or tenure; (4) the state should at once because in so grave a matter Rome assume its right and there should be no would ask to speak for itself, or because tax for the expenses of government but of the high standing of the respondent the rent on land alone. Here aswho is a doctor of divinity in his church, suredly are propositions which mean, at having obtained the degree many years least in principle, the most sweeping reago in Rome itself, does not much con- form the world has seen in centuries, cern. Of greater importance is the in- and compared with which Mr. George formation thus gained of the attitude himself confesses the abolition of slavwith respect to private property of the ery in this country was as nothing. Catholic church whose influence, great Whether this change would come upon as it is, lies largely in quarters from society as a shock-convulsive jarwhich some persons might look for in- or happily could be introduced with stant allies of just such theorists as easy motion, with smooth and noiseless Henry George. Nor is this conserva- cadence, we will not stop to discuss, but tive position of the church of recent will proceed to consider some of those date. As far back as 1846 Pius IX bulwarks in reason and in justice upon animadverted on communism, reprobat- which the rights of property are estabing its aims, principles and its various lished and on which, be it said, in forms. Like utterances on kindred evils civilized countries they have wisely have been solemnly and repeatedly reposed, save for brief intervals, from made by Pope Leo XIII. The church, time immemorial. therefore, no doubt looks upon the iden- In the beginning, when the earth was tification of Mr. George's theories with unoccupied, a man selected a spot and what it has already condemned in terms dwelt upon it. What he thus occupied as inexorable in logic. The case of —there being no previous occupantDr. McGlynn appears to have been became his own. Each individual simply the attempt of an authorized chose for himself. What quantity a representative of a church to teach man could take in this way is not the doctrines which he was advised the precise point now in question. But church did not sanction but distinctly certainly while it was not intended that repudiated. He did not resign. Justly, one man should have so much as to therefore, his authority was revoked. work damage to the rest of men, it was

The doctrines of Henry George may as clearly intended that what should be be briefly stated thus : (1) Private fairly necessary to him-what he could property in land is wrong; (2) it is re- work and use without such injury to his sponsible for great evils in civilized fellows-that so much at least should life and chiefly for the enslavement of be his own. And this is in agreement labor; (3) the rightful owner is the state, with the principles of the natural law, from which all land should be rented being one of those convictions that reawith some security from the state as to son alone imparts and that reside in mankind generally. That men may “a man has no more right to sell land and should own particular dwellings or than one has to say that he owns a homes is a dictate of reason. The right seat in a railway car because he bought to do so is witnessed and proved by the it of a man that alighted at the last stauniversal practice of enlightened and tion.” “What right have the dead in civilized peoples. In fact, one of the the land on this continent ?" (Speech first steps on the part of barbarous na- at New Haven.) These car illustrations tions toward civilization is the acquisi- which Mr. George uses a great deal tion and appreciation of permanent may be nice as figures of speech, but homes. It would be difficult to find they are of little weight as argument. anything that accords more with the Does he intend by these comparisons to lessons of human experience and right deny that there is such a thing as sucreason than the right of individual cession to a right? If he does not, his property in land, and if it is true that in language is meaningless. If he does, it some conditions of barbarism, where is absurd. The civilized world in speakland is held in common or subject to ing of conveyance means the conveythe control of a chief, such individual ance of right or interest only, and supright does not seem to be recognized, it poses the existence of a right or an inis because a sound principle of human terest to be conveyed. Suppose Mr. nature has been obscured or ignored. George bought a ticket from New York Fixed abodes may have been against to Chicago and at Buffalo stepped from the policy of rude nations in migratory the train and gave his ticket to a friend. periods and likewise against the wishes Would his friend have a right to ride in of warlike chiefs whose aim it was to the car to Chicago ? Would it make have the art of war alone considered any particular difference whether Mr. honorable and the arts of husbandry George expected to die within the next and commerce despised and neglected. five minutes after he gave the ticket or To such peoples and to such periods hoped to live for fifty years ? He concommon tenure and state ownership veyed all the right he had himself. He may have been adapted. But when could not give more. He might give wars cease and migrations end, man- less. By giving his ticket he gave his kind demand something better.

own privileges in the car, such as they Once it is established that a man may own land, his power to transfer it to an- The question then becomes, can man other follows as a manifest corollary. acquire an interest or right in land ? He merely parts with a right by his Is he forbidden to do so ? Is such acvoluntary act, and the act and the quisition repugnant or impossible? We power are essentially the same whether have seen that it is not repugnant and the parting take place by transfer dur- how it came about historically. Let ing life or by transmission to take effect us see if it is forbidden or impossible. after death. But, says Mr. George, All claim on the part of man to the



earth-or to any terrestrial thing-must their community ? Suppose he said to be traced to the gift of the Creator. them : “If I break any moral law with This is at once the first basis, and ac- respect to you, if I injure you or dam. cording to Blackstone,“ the only true age your property, punish me for my and solid foundation of man's dominion wrong or make me restore, and you over external things." That the earth will do me no injustice. But you canwas provided and then handed over to not ask me to give tribute to you for man's dominion must be equally rec- what is my own, or tell me that if I reognized, whether we accept or reject re- fuse you will take my home from me. ligion. In either case it will have to You have come twenty years too late." be admitted that as man did not create For the state to assume the ownerthe world himself, it came to him by ship of land is to say: “There are some extraneous act or presentation. abuses here. I shall interpose not to Whatever be the hypothesis of creation regulate them but to take away your that individuals may prefer, all will property, and into my own hands." agree that the earth was before man- Would such course be less than that he found it here a bountevus gift. usurpation? The state has a right to Now this gift, it seems to me, was to regulate, but may not usurp. mankind individually and not to man- If the earth is the gift of God to man, kind collectively—a gift to men, not to why, it may be asked, should not all states. For men were first, and states equally enjoy it? The earth is the afterward. It is in individual men that common heritage of all men-is a true rights reside originally. The state has proposition. Some men may lack the no right except what is derived from fruition of a share—is also a true propindividuals. If the state has a right to osition. This may seem contradictory, land, individuals have. Nobody can yet nothing can be plainer. The indigive what he has not. Pushing this vidual must put forth some appropriaprinciple to its ultimate conclusion, tive act of his own or waive his claim. neither the individual nor the state owns God gave to the first men the privilege the land, which is simple communism. of putting forth their exertions and

, To illustrate that man has rights prior taking to themselves out of the common to society and not derived from it, let stores of nature, such parts as their it be supposed that a man were to go immediate necessities required or their to a strange island, unknown and unoc- industry prompted. If we suppose that cupied, and were to pick out a home Adam, as the first occupant, owned the for himself. Twenty years afterward, whole world and not a mere spot, we six other men come, select homes, and need only consider all posterity his form society. Could the latter, with- heirs, who in their respective generaout violation of justice, compel the first tions enjoy or not, according to their man to pay tribute to them ? Could exertions and fair dealing with their they force him to become a member of brethren and co-heirs.

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Title to land is therefore founded on quired, he takes the example of his pen, two things, (1st) the gift of the Creator, which, he says, he bought from the sta

) (2nd) occupancy by man. Nor is this tioner, who bought it from the manuoccupancy controlled by man's cupidity facturer, who got his right from the man or will, but by the principles of natural who dug it from the ground; therefore and rational law-injustice being done the pen is his. But where did the man to none, the occupancy of so much and who dug the ore from the ground get in such manner as the voice of mankind his right? If a man may own an acre would declare to be reasonable. Some of ore out of which to make pens, why philosophers in explaining why title is may he not own an acre of clay? gained by occupancy, have attributed man cannot own land, the digger did it to the addition of bodily labor, by not own the ore and the pen does not which the face of the earth is changed. belong to Mr. George. According to Locke says: “The labor of a man's Mr. George himself it belongs to the

“ body and the work of his hands are state, which should be paid for the use properly his. Whatever, then, he re- of it, or at least for the value of the moves out of the state that nature hath raw material. provided and left it in, he hath mixed Finally, let the ownership of land be his labor with and joined to it some

transferred to the state as it is proposed, thing that is his own, and thereby and it would not settle the question or

, makes it his property." Some have ob- bring tranquillity. The multitudes withjected to this argumentation on the

out land would say : The state owns ground that it shows no absolute right. the land but will give it to those only No change or alteration by me of what that can pay a nice stipend in rent for belongs to some one else can make it it. The poor are barred from this privmine. No man can take the material ilege of the use and occupation of land. of another and by merely changing its The indigent and landless masses would shape or color call it his own. But loudly upbraid the government, and enLocke, it should be borne in mind, is couraged by the step that had been not speaking of material belonging to taken towards communism would beanother, but of the common stores of come in many places uncontrollable nature in the beginning The absolute and tumultuous. They would ill underright is from the bounty of the Creator; stand and ill brook the thought that relative right-that which a man has as

land-owners had been divested of propgainst his fellow-men-comes from his erty while they had got no spoils. If own occupancy, which is itself a degree they would not, under such pressure, of bodily labor. Mr. George declares rise in tumult and riot, it would simply that private ownership of land is im- prove that history does not always repossible and that all the titles are in- peat itself. A large part of the poorer valid, and yet to illustrate how property population being still unprovided for in other things may be lawfully ac- and unsatisfied by the new situation,

would clamor worse than ever, there and yet its overthrow in Europe was the would still be a place for a new Henry great victory which the common people, George, and the goal would be com- after long and bitter struggles, achieved munism.

against their despotic monarchs. When The right of property as now recog- at the beginning of the French revolunized in this country, Mr. George thinks, tion, when the deputies of the people got is “something that we have servilely control of the assembly, one of their first borrowed from England, where it is the acts was to abolish the feudal system. result of centuries of usurpation and In no sense can independent property fraud and where it did not reach full be called the result of usurpation and recognition until two centuries ago fraud, unless in this—that usurpation and when the feudal dues were shaken off." fraud drove the people to revolt and to "By the same course of usurpation and wrest it from the hands of usurping and tyranny,” he says, “this idea reached despotic kings. In both France and development among the Romans whom England, feudalism and monarchy went it corrupted and destroyed.” These down together, were buried in one are not accurate statements. Private grave and at the hands of the people. ownership of land prevailed all over Twice in its history Rome was concivilized Europe until the seventh cen- fronted with difficulties concerning its tury. When, however, civilization was lands, from which arose grave disorders destroyed by the Huns and the north- and civil conflicts. But never while ern barbarians, then took place merely Rome was great or growing great was for protection and as a military meas- an attempt made to destroy the right of ure, a sudden and general surrender of individual property or to transfer it to landed property to the state, and inde. the state. Neither was the stormy paspendent ownership was supplanted by sage of the Licinian law nor the turbufeudalism. The abolition of feudalism lent conflict of the Gracchi two hunwas but a return to former and better dred and forty years after, such an atprinciples of tenure. For if ever there tempt. Niebuhr has clearly shown that was a system calculated to aid and sup- these struggles were intended to acport tyranny, under which it was pos- complish the distribution of public lands sible to throw burdens the most intol. only, and not those of private citizens, erable upon the people, to crush merci- that the agrarian laws of the Gracchi lessly the spirits of free men until they were no infringement of the rights of were slaves, vassals, to chill all noble private property. Nor was it by the enterprise and keep the world at a dis- observance of other mode of tenure mal stand-still, a system born of war that Rome grew so great; for the citiand ever pregnant with it, destructive zen's right to own land was as fully recof peace, liberty and manhood, it was ognized in the earliest period of its feudalism in the middle ages. Mr. prosperity and dawning greatness as George is an apologist of this system, centuries after in the most dazzling

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