The Need for a Unified Action Plan
William W. Newcomb
[Reprinted from Land and Freedom,
I heartily agree with the view expressed by Mrs. Phillips. Any one
who has gone through the copious files of Mrs. Phillips' bibliography
on Georgeist action, as I have, would realize that she speaks with a
ripe knowledge of the efforts that have been expended within the last
fifty years of Georgeist activity. I should like to add a few words,
expanding on her suggestion.
At the Henry George School in 1936, the Henry George Fellowship had
an active letter-writing Committee under the direction of Edward Bell.
It was the time of the Ralston campaign in California, and this
Committee relentlessly bombarded editors and prominent men with
letters. Among the victims was Raymond Moley, who in his magazine,
Today, referred to the Georgeist reform as "crackpotism."
The Committee refused to let Mr. Moley rest, and after inadequate
excuses on the part of Mr. Moley which refused to pacify the Committee
his secretary finally had to inform the Committee that Mr. Moley had
gone to Florida for a vacation.
The workers in this Committee, with rapier thrusts that only a solid
grounding in Fundamental Economics provides, demolished the fallacies
of editors and columnists to such an extent as to demoralize their
swivel-chair pronouncements. If a small, determined group could make
their influence felt, it can be done much more effectively on a larger
scale. Let our strength be unified in its direction and persistent in
its efforts. Let us not only upset the serene placidity of the
editorial sanctum; let us select prominent writers whose
pronouncements are authoritative with great numbers of people. There
are many whose thought comes close to Georgeist thought, and they
should be won over to committing themselves more specifically. There
are, for instance, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Walter Lippmann, Dorothy
Thompson, Kathleen and Frank Norris, Johannes Steel, and many others.
Who shall it be first? All right, let us select Van Loon. For the
month of November let 5000 letters be sent to him, requesting that he
write an honest appraisal of the world in the light of the Georgeist
philosophy. For the month of December, we might follow the same
procedure in urging Walter Lippmann to give generously of the space in
his newspaper column to an evaluation of current events according to
Georgeism. And so on each month we would select a prominent personage,
and "let 'er go." Sit down now and write that first letter.
Mr. Van Loon's address is Red Book Magazine, 230 Park Avenue, New
Such a Committee should certainly be organized. It would go a long
way in making the Georgeist influence felt by the public.