History's Verdict on the Land Question

Albert Jay Nock

[Originally appeared in the Freeman. Reprinted in The Freeman, November 1937]

The land question is much in the news these days. The Spanish war broke out. Investigators studied Spain's economic situation to find out why; their answer was, the land question. Peasant outbreaks in Puerto Rico, in the Philippines, in Cuba brought similar inquiries - and the same answer. And so with Mexico, with Japan, with every country where the question assumes a spectacular role. But what, precisely, is the land question and why?

Dr. George Raymond Geiger, author of "The Philosophy of Henry George," answered these questions in his book, "The Theory of the Land Question." Not merely in the dimensions of prosperity and depression, of peace and war, but of the rise and fall of civilizations he traces he course of the land question in history. He gives a comprehensive definition of land and explains the meaning and the peculiarities of land value.

Drawing upon the notable work of Professor Harry Gunnison Brown, he engages in controversy with contemporary economists on moot points in except for a very moderate amount of educative value that may probably be held to proceed from the agitation of such projects.

Thus the fundamental differences between the radical and the liberal nay be seen, even from this brief sketch, to be considerable.