Contents

Introduction
Part I-Declaration
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III (This page)
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Part II - Repudiation
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Part III -  Recantation
Chapter I      
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V  
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII

Conclusion

A Perplexed Philosopher

by Henry George

Part I, Chapter III:   Social StaticsThe Right of Property

Social StaticsThe Right of Property
     The chapter of Social Statics "The Right to the Use of the earth" is followed by a chapter on "The Right of Property." For the reason that Mr. Spencer has since referred to this chapter as to be taken in connection with what was said in the preceding one, it is also worth while to reprint it in full:—

     Social Statics, Chapter X - The Right of Property
Readers are referred to this link to read the chapter in Spencer's Social Statics.

     There is in this, it will be observed, no modification whatever of the strenuous assertion in Chapter IX of the equal, natural and inalienable right of all men to the use of land. On the contrary, so strongly, so uncompromisingly, does Mr. Spencer insist on the ethical invalidity of private property in land that he makes the formal consent of the community and the payment of rent to it a condition precedent to the individual right of property in things produced by labor. And, since no formal consent of this kind can be given until society has been well organized, he even goes to the length of denying that there can be any full right of property, or, indeed, any application of the principles of abstract morality, in any social condition lower than the civilized.
In brief, the argument of this chapter is—
1. That the right of the individual to his labor does not give individual property in the product of labor, because labor can produce only by using land, which does not belong to any individual, but to all.
2. But under the system of land tenure previously set forth as the only just one, in which the organized society assigns the use of a portion of land to an individual and collects rent from him for it, the conditions of the equal liberty of all are complied with, and the individual acquires a right of property in what remains of the product of his labor after paying rent.
3. This system, under which the social organization would let land to individuals and collect rent from them, does not countenance the system under which it would carry on production and divide the product among its members, since, the powers and application of men being different, this would give to some more than they are entitled to, and to others less.
4. This communistic or socialistic system is also condemned by the natural desire to acquire individual property.
5. The denial of individual property may be brought into the awkward dilemma of a denial of the right of the individual to himself.
6. The right of property having thus been established, the appropriation by one of property belonging to another is a denial of the law of equal freedom.

Continued

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Summary of pages in English: Land and taxation
 
 
January 2006