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Egads, I hate Georgism

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Egads, I hate Georgism

Posted by Stephan Kinsella on April 25, 2007 10:58 AM

Rothbard just demolishes Georgism in his The Single Tax: Economic and Moral Implications and A Reply to Georgist Criticisms. I’m reading now Doherty’s excellent book, Radicals For Capitalism, and I must say that when I read the parts about “early” or “proto-libertarians” being influenced by Georgism (or being Georgists), it drives me nuts. I think this is even worse than nutty Galambosianism; even worse than the outright socialism and leftism that some libertarians flirt with in youth before they get some sense. At least no one pretends socialism is libertarian. Why anyone would ever think Georgism makes any sense whatsoever, or is compatible with libertarianism, I have no idea. It has always seemed to me to be pure economic crankism and yet another form of socialism. In my view, our libertarian movement and philosophy should have nothing to do with Georgism.

Update: see Sue Donimus, Georgism Cannot Solve Land Conflicts and


{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Harold Kyriazi August 29, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Almost all the early, iconic libertarians favored a sharing of the unimproved value of natural resources, including land. (See Charles Sprading’s “Liberty and the Great Libertarians”, from 1911 or so). I think I did a decent job of comparing and contrasting Murray Rothbard’s and Henry George’s views in a chapter of “The Critics of Henry George”, titled “Reckoning With Rothbard.” Rothbard’s view did not emerge in a favorable light. Here’s one of many links: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_2_63/ai_n6141845/?tag=mantle_skin;content

  • Jonathan Hall December 14, 2016, 12:34 am

    There are three ways to enslave.

    1 Chain the slaves away from the resources they would use if free.

    2 Chain the resources away from the slaves.

    3 Take what the slaves have made for themselves.

    Capitalism is type 2 slavery, and is very harsh. Socialism is type 3 slavery, and we allow it in limited form because type 2 is so much worse.

    It is not necessary to live under slavery or limited slavery. The practice of life is the taking of natural resources and changing their form. Freedom is doing this without interference. Thus freedom is access to nature and the results of ones labor. Nature is limited so we are faced with the choice of equal freedom or domination. There is no third choice.

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