Socialism versus Natural Law

Bolton Hall

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, July-August 1936]

I have not yet been able to find Socialists who can agree upon any definition of Socialism. They talk about how wealth should be distributed or well-being procured.

Now, my definition is that a Socialist is one who believes that people can be made better or happier by authority, provided the authorities be either themselves or those who think as they think.

An Individualist, on the other hand, is one who believes in liberty and that free competition will in the end bring the best results under Herbert Spencer's definition of liberty; "So to use your own faculties as not to interfere with the exercise of similar faculties by others."

You will find that most people are Socialists without knowing it. Men like Morgan, Frick, and so on, believe that if the best people were allowed to rule, meaning by the best people like themselves, they could do better for society than society could do for itself.

To try to regulate others as far as it goes beyond equal liberty, is to set our own wisdom up as superior to that of the creative mind which has been experimenting with mankind for at least some tens of thousands of years, probably for tens of millions. As nothing occurs except as the effect of causes, all things are as they must be.

Of course, I think that to allow persons to charge others in land prices or land rents for living upon the earth is the main infringement of liberty and is also in itself immoral.