The Need for a Unified Action Plan

William W. Newcomb

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, September-October 1940]

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 York.

Such a Committee should certainly be organized. It would go a long way in making the Georgeist influence felt by the public.