Whose Failure Is It Anyway?
[An address delivered to the Board of Directors of
Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, December 2001]
An Assessment of 20th century liberal democracy, the performance
of the Georgist movement, and Prospects for the 21st Century
"As for his reputation - that went
straight into the underworld of economics, and there he exists
today; almost-Messiah, semi-crackpot, and disturbing questioner
of the morality of our economic institutions"
Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers, p. 190
THE FAILURE OF GOVERNANCE
1.1 A "peculiarly suitable" tax
IN 1879, Henry George rescued from near obscurity the theory of
public finance that had been elaborated by Adam Smith as "peculiarly
suitable" for financing industrial society.
The theory affirmed the positive characteristics of rent as the
taxable income. Two hundred years of model-building and practise have
confirmed Smith's theory of public finance. The ethical dimension to
rent as public revenue was famously stressed by John Stuart Mill, who
noted that landowners could hibernate and they would still grow rich
in their sleep. It was not surprising, therefore, that the veracity of
this policy was endorsed as recently as 1990 by Nobel prize-winners
Franco Modigliani, William Vickrey, Robert Solow and James Tobin.
Despite both the efficiency argument, and the justice of the case
(usually presented in terms of land being God-given, and therefore we
all had an equal right of access to it), the policy now associated
with American social reformer Henry George has not been adopted by the
leading liberal democratic societies. The two most remarkable cases in
which the policy was adopted, with profound economic benefits, were
Japan (the emperor exercised absolute power) and Taiwan (when the
nationalists had their backs to the seas). The democracies, with the
remarkable exception of Denmark, failed to adopt this ancient policy.
Why? Was it due to the failure of Georgists, or is the explanation
rooted in the structure of the Western democratic system?
1.2 A structural flaw in politics
WESTERN democracies were offered the fiscal reform. Both the USA and
UK, for example, engaged in a passionate public debate about the need
to fulfill their mandates by responding to the will of the people. In
Britain, this will found its expression in 1910 when legislation was
successfully enacted. We need not go into the detail of why there was
no progress beyond this point, for the point I wish to make is this.
The failure to adopt Land Value Taxation (LVT) exposes the structural
impediments in democratic politics. Despite its popularity,
governments persistently managed to obfuscate, prevaricate and
denigrate a policy that would have delivered balanced budgets, rates
of economic growth in excess of those achieved in the 20th century,
which would have moderated (if not abolished) the business cycle, and
removed institutionalised poverty.
1.3 Betrayal of the markets
LVT delivers a revenue process that deepens the efficiency of the
The efficiency argument was heavily promoted as a justification for
not yielding to the Marxist argument that planning was the fair way to
share the benefits of the industrial economy. And yet, despite the
official doctrine, governments administered tax regimes that
systematically reduced the efficiency of entrepreneurship, investment
decision-making, the pattern of consumption and the conditions that
prevailed in the labour market.
Thus, on the economic front, we see that the liberal democracies
failed to comply with their declared principles. Why this was (and
remains) the case, must be a subject for extensive investigation: it
is sufficient, here, to note the failure of policy-makers to deliver
on their self-declared aim -- of enhancing the competitiveness of the
free market economy.
1.4 Markets and Marxism
HENRY GEORGE'S groundwork -- his lecture tours of three continents,
his editorship of a newspaper, his mayoral campaign -- helped to
establish a global movement that was committed to promoting this
fiscal philosophy. Clearly, it failed to make an impact: if the
liberal democratic governments that were committed to optimum policies
for governance were not willing to undertake the change, arguably
there was little that could be done by a movement that was
committed to the democratic process. This stands in contrast to
Marx's acolytes, who determined on a course of violence to achieve
If it can be said that Georgism, as an organised movement, failed,
then that failure stems from the naivety in accepting the principles
of the prevailing paradigm!
- Throughout the 20th century, Georgists promoted LVT on the
basis of justice. That argument cut little ice with the
political parties, which are driven by expediency.
- Georgists published studies that demonstratedthat the markets
would fall far short of optimum levels of efficiency, for so long
as monopoly rents remained in the private domain. Georgists
believed that reason, and the logic of the markets, would prevail.
They were wrong.
Faith in the liberal democratic model was misplaced. Georgists
retained a naivety that was to disappoint generations of activists.
They sought to negotiate change within the terms of a rationalist
model of knowledge and politics that did not correspond with the
reality. The Georgist model was perceived as standing outside the
realms of the paradigm. Contrast this with the Marxist model which,
inspired by the Romantic reaction against the Cartesian dualism model
of knowledge and of society, could be accepted as an intelligible
The liberal democracies are not free market-based systems. They are
planned (to a more or less degree), to suit the privileged
expectations of clients ranging from the multi-national corporation to
the homesteading farmer. Marxist planning, therefore, was not an alien
concept. Georgist concepts of freedom were alien, because --
ironically -- they sought to achieve the ideals embedded in the US
Constitution. Georgism holds that all men and women are born free, and
are entitled to equal access to the opportunities of life. They saw
that these goals were thwarted by the monopoly power inherent in the
land market. That power needed to be neutralised, and there was one
free market solution only that could deliver a free market: LVT. But
governments, by their actions, remained determined to resist the
policy. The significant exceptions were the UK's Labour Governments
after World War II; they did try to capture the "unearned
increments". But their laws were so imperfectly crafted that the
Tories were justified in removing them from the statute book on three
Failure in the 20th century, therefore, was systemic. This must be
the starting point for any attempt to realign reform action. Knowing
the "enemy" is the first task, before selecting the
strategies that may deliver the goals (the goal is not controversial:
a Georgist society).
We may now ask: could Georgists have done more to overcome the
GEORGISM IN THE 20th CENTURY
2.1 Don't flog a flog dead horse
MY OBSERVATIONS are based on personal experiences of the kind shared
by many people in the second half of the 20th century.
I have spent 30 years studying the ramifications of the philosophy
Progress and Poverty. For the past 15 years I have been
engaged full time as a Georgist activist, and for the last 9 years I
have been closely engaged in debates in a society that was actively
seeking to transform itself from one form of social organisation to
another (Russia). By profession a communicator - hand having spent 20
years as a journalist with a national Sunday newspaper - I ought to
have enjoyed some advantage in communicating the philosophy of Henry
Whether my record is one of failure, or not, ultimately depends on
the answer to the question: Have the lessons of this activism been
learnt, and will they animate new strategies that might work?
In the last few years, as my studies and direct action crystallised
into an understanding of the challenges faced by Georgists, I came to
appreciate the nature of the problems that confront those who question
the legitimacy of ownership rights to the rent of land. The first
point is this: / now know for certain what does not work! My
conclusions, therefore, may have some value to activists who are
exploring alternative strategies to the ones that have hitherto
2.2 The lessons of history
THE 20th century presents us with hard historical evidence that is
At the beginning of the century the English colonies of New Zealand,
Australia and South Africa drew the bulk of their revenue from the
rent of land. This was not the result of the work of Henry George (as
far as we know).
They did what came naturally: use the taxable surplus to
finance the infrastructure of new social systems. Rent is the measure
of the surplus that can be spent through, and on behalf of, the
community. The three colonies were joined by Denmark in acknowledging,
in a socially significant way, an understanding of the logic of rent
as public revenue. It has been downhill ever since (with the sole
exception of Hong Kong).
As the colonies matured, the retreat was driven by the wish of a
minority to appropriate rent as private revenue. The Land Tax in the
four above countries is now so insignificant as to be hardly worth
worrying about.4 The focus on the local property tax became almost
wholly irrelevant as the centralised economy evolved during the
century. In Scotland, for example, the local property tax now
constitutes just 9% of general government receipts. The debate about
land reform in Scotland is directed by the political parties to the
local property tax, which has become the traditional way to sideline
discussion about structural reforms to the fiscal system controlled by
the national exchequer.
Complementing the fiscal realities is a body of scholarly literature
that is safely sanitised against the Georgist paradigm. Although the
scientifically correct logic of land taxation is occasionally allowed
to intrude into economic discourses, the impact is neutralised by the
disclaimers and sarcasm about Georgists being zealots, members of a
cult. This ensures that the credentials of the authors are not
impugned through association with the Georgist philosophy.
In summary, then, in the 20th century we observe the regressive
closing down of the politics and epistemology associated with the most
conservative and honest of public revenue raisers -- the rent of
nature's resources. This was a failure of governance in the liberal
democracies, for which Georgists are not responsible.
I have made no measurable impact on this history despite being the
single most productive originator of new materials published in the
past 15 years, in my roles as author or editor. I have questioned
whether this may be due to imperfections in my skills as communicator,
but such an explanation would trivialise the nature of the problem
that confronts us. Nor would it explain why equally competent
Georgists (deploying their skills in other professional spheres) have
been similarly ineffective. So how would I account for the total lack
of public interest in Georgist doctrines? And can we derive, from a
deeper understanding of the problem, fresh strategies targeted more
precisely at the obstacles that undermine people's willingness and/or
capacity to accept the philosophy of Henry George?
2.3 The constraints on Reason
IN A rational society, advocacy based on Reason ought to be
sufficient to commend new ways of improving the quality of people's
lives. The logic of Georgist economic theory is impeccable.
Furthermore, our science-based culture, with its fascination for
empirical studies, ought to have readily grasped the Georgist
paradigm. For abundant studies verify the doctrines.
- Historical events include Japan (1870-90) and Taiwan
- Field studies confirm the administrative practicalities
of the reforms (see, e.g., the two pilot studies of Whitstable in
Kent in the 1960s and 1970s).
- Longitudinal studies (HK: 1850-2001) confirm the
sustainability of the benefits.
- Pilot reforms provide local endorsement and empirical
evidence (the Pennsylvania two-rate tax, to say nothing of the
century of data from NZ, Australia and South Africa).
Despite this wealth of evidence, which in other spheres of social
policy would be deemed to be more than sufficient to justify
government action, politicians continue to prevaricate when approached
with the recommendation that they consider this fiscal reform. They
resort to a few standard cop-out lines:
- "If this is such a good idea, why hasn't it been adopted
- "You need a pilot study to prove the effects".
The rule of Reason is suspended in the discourse on Georgist
philosophy. Academics, who ought to have been of central importance in
the quest for the truth, have proved to be one of the key obstacles:
they are compromised by the desire to protect their intellectual and
professional investments in conventional wisdom.
Thus, pursuing the strategies employed in the 20th century to "prove"
the case appears futile. It distracts, by sending people into
circuitous decline (known as "chasing your tail"). In
economics, for example, there is little more to be gained by following
the red herrings that are floated by cynical academics, who merely
wish to distract Georgists from their mission.
But we cannot place all the responsibility on social scientists for
their lack of objectivity. The Georgist movement itself must share
some of the responsibility, for allowing itself to be trapped into a
dead-end approach to the discussion of science and policy formulation.
It is not sufficient to attribute the problem exclusively to
self-interest. Most politicians are well intentioned. They
do wish to improve the lot of their constituents, and they
don't usually look gift horses in the mouth. Ours is the
greatest gift they could hope to receive, and yet we have failed to
make them understand. Are Georgists now part of the problem?
2.4 A Simple Idea?
INCOMPREHENSION. That is the key concept. 1 have come to learn that
it constitutes the single most telling way to summarise our problem.
I can spend two hours talking to a seemingly open-minded person who
will then conclude: "Yes, but, we must have income taxes to
redistribute income to help the poor in society".
/ might as well have spent the two hours talking to a blank wall.
Georgists are perplexed because they think their proposal to shift
taxes on to the rent of land is "a simple idea". This tells
me that advocates of the Georgist paradigm have also become
victims of the epistemological process by which Henry George is
safely denigrated as an "underground" philosopher.
During the 20th century, Georgist philosophy was boiled down to a
simple idea: the simple expedient of capturing rent (or, in the USA,
applying the two-rate tax) in place of other taxes (or not, in the
case of the 2-rate tax). This simplification came with a heavy mental
People whose imaginations were animated by the simple idea peered
into a hinterland that was a vision of what society could be like. But
that hinterland was not peopled by anyone. It was a private domain.
Each of us was the sole occupant of that blurred future.
We have not shared our visions with others. Publicly, we talk about
minuscule shifts in the local property tax, which perplexes people:
they wonder why we are so fixated on this philosophy, when they are
actively concerned with grand schemes (such as ameliorating poverty).
They hear proposals for marginal change in a petty tax. They don't
see the broad picture, because they are excluded from the hinterlands
of our minds.
In fact, the Georgist philosophy entails a complex prospectus. We
claim that it would deliver a wonderful future, based on organic
evolution: but we do not spell out how this would be achieved, step by
step. We claim that it would be a non-violent transformation. But we
have failed to share with others some of the possible visions of what
society might look like, depending on what they freely chose it to
Georgists are now frozen in time. To break out of the inertia that
cloaks our minds entails hard labour. It means study, evaluation,
testing; meticulous documentation, visionary summaries; the
combination of passion and reason; and an unwillingness to compromise
with the integrity of our philosophy.
2.5 Defining the end-game
THE GEORGIST project is not fiscal reform, but the freedom of people
to achieve the possibilities latent in our genes and in our cultures.
The re-socialisation of rent - and the privatisation of people's
savings and earned incomes - is a pre-condition for fulfilling this
goal. But since people have been schooled into accepting the
privatisation of rent,
our initial challenge is to evolve a new theory of history.
Our starting point is the hard economic fact that the arts,
institutions and processes that are collectively deemed to constitute
civilization are primarily the product of social activity
financed out of the rental surplus of agricultural communities. That
being so, the privatisation of rent necessarily leads to the
perversion of society, which in turn necessarily debases the attitudes
and behaviour of individuals.
To make Georgist fiscal reform a credible political project, then, we
need to shift the terms of debate away from trivial real estate-based
arguments. We need to document the awesome reality that many of our
social pathologies may be traced back to rent privatisation. This is
such a startling proposition that an enormous amount of work has to be
undertaken (of a research and writing nature), if we are not to be
written off as crackpots.
Our initial project needs to be nothing less than a comprehensive
review of civilisation, combined with a re-appraisal of the approaches
to knowledge about nature and society in the past 300 years.
- Language itself has been perverted. Mason Gaffney
illustrates this in a particular case (neo-classical economists).
A similar exercise needs to be undertaken for philosophy (e.g.,
the significance of Ludwig Wittgenstein to the Georgist mission
needs to be explained).
- Law as a process of social control needs to be
re-analysed, to re-evaluate glib phrases like "the rule of
law". Language as it was deployed as a tool of coercion in
jurisprudence needs to be assessed in a historical context (cf
Olivia Smith's The Politics of Language 1791-1819).
- Politics needs a similar investigation, particularly
with reference to the social contract theories on which the modern
theories of rights of the individual are based. Especially
important is the reappraisal of John Locke, and the manner in
which modern constitutions have been skilfully drafted to close
our collective minds to our natural right of equal access to the
resources of nature, and to narrow our options for achieving
- Sociology is the discipline held in lowest esteem,
except that the young Herbert Spencer revealed how lethal it could
be as a tool against the land monopolists. We need to rehabilitate
the subject so that it may serve as a major tool of
- Environmentalism is an approach to the Georgist society
that will not work if people fail to integrate their emotions and
aspirations into an understanding of what makes the world really
go round. That understanding will not be realised without a new
insight into history of the kind that would demonstrate the
compatibility of Science with Spirituality. Environmentalists
direct their animosity in a most unhealthy way against science
(attributing responsibility for ecological havoc to the Cartesian
mind-set). This is an example of poor workmen blaming their tools.
This assertion, however, must be documented, if it is to be
perceived as credible.
- Spirituality: We need to explain that the
secularisation of techniques for acquiring knowledge does not
necessarily entail the abandonment of faith. The separation of the
sacred from the profane was driven by a private agenda that had
little to do with epistemology and everything to do with the
privatisation of nature.
People want to restore meaning to their lives. That will not
happen without something like a process of social therapy (which, in
an informed society, entails little more than engagement in the
democratic process). The goal is to repair the fabric of society by
removing falsehoods and misconceptions, and by identifying the
omissions in our knowledge. The cumulative effect would be to re-open
people's minds, and enable them to comprehend what we mean
when we talk about rent, land and the realities of a better future.
2.6 Split spaces & personalities
THE LIST of intellectual challenges is open-ended. Concrete problems,
as well as abstract theories, need our attention if policy-makers are
to improve their performance. An example is the disgraceful confusion
over the nature of the interface between the private and public
versus private debate proceeds without adequate working
definitions of what is meant by "the public sector" (for
example). As a consequence, the rent-seekers continue to run rings
around governments in the quest for subsidies.
So a major project is to redefine space. The spatial context
within which we live our lives has been injured to the point where it
fractures our personalities I believe that we can tease out a
discourse on this theme from the works of Freud. In doing so, we begin
to reintegrate personality, and work towards a healthy society from
which the pathologies (e.g., institutionalised poverty) would ebb
The intellectual challenge that I am defining may appear daunting.
The volume and depth of work that is required if we are to break
through to public awareness is of a frightening order, but we have to
start somewhere. Our resources appear limited, but they are not. We
have access to a wide range of thinkers and sympathisers who could
initiate the work, in the belief that the initial results would arouse
interest of the kind that would lead to a cumulative addition to the
resources at our disposal. Once the ball gets rolling....
The working hypothesis is that the private control over the
public side of our personalities and social lives through the
manipulation of language, psychology, spirituality, etc., is
unavoidable if rent remains in the private domain.
If this thesis is correct, we may begin to formulate new themes to
justify the re-socialisation of rent.
Put simply, we cannot reclaim our humanity -- which originated in
the social context -- unless we re-socialise the material surplus that
communities need to finance the arts, sciences and forms of behaviour
that constitute the civilised order.
If my diagnosis is correct, the bias of the work that ought to be
sponsored by a problem-solving Georgist institution is in favour of
fundamental research. Contemplation, book learning and writing
constitute the starting point for a fresh approach to our mission.
The results need to be quickly disseminated in a form that mobilises
further work within the existing resources of Georgism, while simultaneously
animating the outsiders who are yearning for a more profound
understanding of the roots of the dysfunctional global order. This
makes it necessary to publish materials in a format that speaks of
quality, accessibility and excitement.
This priority does not imply that we abandon an engagement with the
world today. We are morally bound to help those who ask for it. It was
through such an engagement that some of the most fruitful hypotheses
and empirical projects of the past 10 years originated. A particularly
important example: it was because of our work in Russia that Tideman &
Plassmann agreed to undertake their work.
2.7 A new concept of Georqism
GEORGISTS need to renew their faith in their project by resisting the
categories imposed upon them by those who would neutralise people's
sense of justice.
Our goal -- if we are to pitch for the property rights and the
consistent application of the fiscal principles contained in
Progress and Poverty -- is nothing less than a
counter-revolution to the revolution of the 17th century. If this
appears as a daunting mission, we need do no more than look back to
the examples in history where language, truth and logic were
transformed (perverted in the two cases cited below) by small bands of
people in the pursuit of private agendas.
- Locke and his band of regicidal revolutionaries pulled off a
remarkable coup in the late 17th century. Locke's Two
Treatises originated as a work of propaganda. It was adopted
by the rent-privatisers, which meant that it would colour the
minds of the constitution-writers (e.g., the American
- Marx was rewarded for all his time spent in the British Museum
with a total transformation of unbelievable proportions in the
20th century. This was achieved by developing a new theory of
history and of society from which could be teased out a few
slogans fit for the streets.
- In both those cases, it took a century or more for the
original writings to find their expression in the legal documents
and political institutions that shaped the governance of hundreds
of millions of people in the 20th century. We may dare to hope
that 1879 may soon come to haunt those who have imprisoned us in
our minds. But this won't happen unless we provide the
intellectual tools that free our minds.
Our problem is one of systemic proportions. This has self-evident
implications when considering (a) appropriate action, and (b)
priorities in the deployment of resources. For example, we cannot
achieve our goal by relying on inter-personal strategies. The scale
and time-frames of the problems that we need to address -- from the "clash
of civilisations" to the institutionalised poverty in the rich
nations -- cannot be resolved on a one-to-one contact basis.
Politicians frankly admit that they have limited shelf-lives: we need
to appeal for change on an inter-generational basis. Nor can we place
too much reliance on any one professional group (such as academics),
given the propensity to accommodate the current requirements of
employers and policy-makers.
The primary problems that confront the world today not only appear to
be intractable; they are intractable, because they flow from a
systemic flaw in the foundations of western culture. The system has
developed techniques for moderating the destabilising effects of that
single flaw, but these are continually defeated: cf. cyclical
breakdowns in the economy, group crises stemming from alienation,
psychosomatic ailments that deprive people of the enjoyment of decent
lives, ecological degradation, and so on.
As Georgists, we challenge that system by threatening to remove one
of its most cherished features: the unearned income from land. To
succeed, we need to demonstrate how people may empower themselves to
modify or remove the buttresses that preserve injustice and
inefficiency. This is a proposal that, initially, would evoke fear: we
are proposing a shift in attitudes that have been ingrained by
hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years of coerced behaviour.
People fear change, and they need to be sympathetically guided through
to an understanding of the possibilities of a better future.
Fortunately, we are aided by the fact that we are offering a win-win
project: no-one need actually lose.
There are many propitious "signs in the wind" today to
suggest that, with the correct comprehension, people would apply
common sense and vote for what is in their best private and social
interests. But this will not happen without the leadership from those
who are entrusted with the guardianship of a sacred idea.
Now, with the citizens of the United States in desperate need of help
to revisualise their national and personal identities, it would be a
good time for us to exit the private occupation of the hinterlands in
our minds, and start to construct the good society in cooperation with
For Georgists, the first step in this direction is the
redefinition (through self-education) of our minds, to sharpen the
focus of the precious visions that are contained in our minds.
 The views expressed in this paper are those of
the author; they do not necessarily represent the views of any of the
organisations with which he is associated. This document is NOT to be
reproduced in any format whatsoever, or circulated, without the
permission of the author.
 These economists were among 30 distinguished academics and real
estate professionals who signed an Open Letter to Mikhail Gorbachev.
Appendix in Richard Noyes (ed), Now the Synthesis, London:
 The most telling piece of evidence is the poverty of data (cf
rents, titles to laid) which are needed to ensure efficieney-in the
land market. Despite the propaganda that stresses the primacy of the
price-signalling system, the information that would maximise
efficiency (and undermine monopoly) is totally neglected by
governments. This cannot be explained in terms other than a congenital
unwillingness to provide the information.
 Hong Kong is the exception that proves my general rule. The
fiscal foundations were laid by the land-owning aristocracy that
directed the Foreign Office in the 1840s, HK was regarded as Britain's
private estate on the edge of the Chinese mainland. It was not
legally possible to switch, at any stage in Britain's tenure of the
colony, to property rights based on fee simple. Leasehold was the sole
option for possessing land; from which it followed that a "consideration"
had to be paid to the agency that held the original lease -- the
 But we can still squeeze more political mileage out of economic
projects. Two important examples of work-in-progress: (1) The
quantification of losses stemming from deadweight taxes is a potent
tool that was totally neglected - as a political/promotional tool --
until Tideman and Plassmann began their work. A new Losses of
Nations is required (but see the forthcoming volume by Ronald
Banks, Dead Loss: Gordon Brown & the Treasury, London:
Othilla. (2) Integrating the FIRE sector and the Georgist paradigm,
based on the work of Michael Hudson, to demonstrate the capacity of
the theory to incorporate changes to the character of the economy in
the 20* century - and its resilience in the face of looming changes in
the 21" century.
 This may explain why the Georgist movement has been able to
operate as a broad "church" of idealists who spanned the
spectrum from the extreme right (libertarians) to the extreme left
(Marxists). There was no internal conflict because there were as many
visions of what society could be like as there were Georgists.
 Georgists have been intimidated into boiling down the
vision to a few simple statements about the local property tax, but we
have contributed to that process. I recall a conversation with Vie
Blundell, who ran the London organisation for many decades, who
cautioned us against making unsubstantiated statements. He illustrated
his concerns by referring to a Georgist who lived in Birmingham, who
had a list of 100 problems that would be solved if only we would
introduce LVT. Those problems ranged from child-beating to alcoholism
and goodness knows what else: all listed on a single page. This was a
case of a good-hearted soul wanting to share his vision with the rest
of the world, and not knowing how to do it without attracting
 A start is made in Fred Harrison, "Herbert Spencer: The
shaming of the science of society", Geophilos, Spring
2001 (01 )
 Fred Harrison, "The Cultured Mind: Science & the
Enslavement of Nature". Geophilos, Autumn 2000 (00(1])
 Archaeology and anthropology currently lend comfort to
discreditable opponents of the Georgist paradigm. For example, Robert
Heilbroners The Worldly Philosophers (now into its 7lh edn.),
claims that ancient civilisations were not based on an economic
process that can be treated by what we now call economics. And: "....all
societies, once they move from the level of hunting and gathering to
that of Command, create categories of privilege and disprivilege,
ranging from aristocracy to slavery, from class to caste, from the
rights of property to the disadvantages of penury" (p.318). This
implies a hopelessness about the future that is corrosive, ft is
unwarranted. It abolishes from our mental landscapes the unique
qualities of the Indus civilisation, for example, which we are
entitled to designate a Georgist civilisation BC. Critiques of some
errors in anthropology and archaeology appear in Geophilos, Spring
One essay addresses the roots of the Indus culture, in a discussion
about what a post-Taliban society might look like in Afghanistan. The
other reviews the Marxist prejudices introduced into archaeology by V.
Gordon Child, which Heilbroner, a champion of democratic socialism,
would have found ideologically congenial.
We could not have criticised Heilbroner's nonsense, had the
Schalkenbach Foundation not financed projects engaging archaeologists
and philologists (assembled for seminars inspired by Michael Hudson).
 Russia's President Putin is an example of someone in need of
further help. Western commentators have greeted his signing of the
Land Code on October 26, 2001, as a capitulation to the privatisation
project. But in November 2001 the Duma passed a law that doubled
the Land Tax rates. This should be viewed in the light of Putin's
repeated declarations in favour of the standard Georgist tax-shift
formula. This story receives no space in the Western media. Nor will
it feature in the analyses by scholars who operate within
predetermined mind-sets that defeat their quest for objectivity. It is
for Georgists to provide the documented story for the Western