By D. J. Webb
Writing on land is, for me, unfinished business. I found a year or two ago that supporting John Stuart Mill’s views on land was controversial in “libertarian” circles. I could presume that many of those who oppose a land value tax have large houses and have benefited from government policies that have fuelled capital appreciation of properties, particularly in the south of England. But imputing a motive to the commenters does not answer their queries as such. Part of my reluctance to write on land stems from a desire not to unduly distress Dr Gabb. Continue reading
by James Tuttle
The following article was written by Kenneth Gregg and published at CLASSical Liberalism, September 4, 2005.
What is necessary for the use of land is not its private ownership, but the security of improvements. It is not necessary to say to a man, ‘this land is yours,’ in order to induce him to cultivate or improve it. It is only necessary to say to him, ‘whatever your labor, or capital produces on this land shall be yours.’ Give a man security that he may reap, and he will sow; assure him of the possession of the house he wants to build, and he will build it. These are the natural rewards of labor. It is for the sake of the reaping that men sow; it is for the sake of possessing houses that men build. The ownership of land has nothing to do with it. –Henry George Continue reading
The Land Question in Classical Liberal Thought And the “Georgist” Contribution to Classical Liberalism: A Bibliography by Chris R. Tame, Edited with an Introduction by Sean Gabb
The purpose of this Bibliography is manifold. It aims to provide a wide ranging guide to Henry George’s work, to that of Georgist writers in the English language (i.e., primarily American and British), to the “precursors” of Georgism, and to its principal critics. It also offers a selective listing of the competing Land Nationalisation school. In addition it provides an extensive listing of the broader literature on the land question, emanating from liberal, radical, conservative and socialist writers. The relatively small body of secondary scholarship regarding land issues is also featured.
I like to think I understood  the basic idea and the potential  of “Big Society” early on; in fact before the brand name even reached the airwaves, when we heard mutterings about free schools, I wondered if that idea was going to be cast wider to encompass other policy areas.
I have an advantage in this: I am an admirer of Albert Jay Nock, and in particular of his short book, “Our Enemy the State (pdf) ” (of which there is also an audio book recording, by me, here  and here ). Nock was one of the first libertarian thinkers I ever read, mainly because apart from considering himself a thoroughgoing anarchist, and an admirer of Thomas Jefferson, Herbert Spencer and Franz Oppenheimer, he was also a fan of the Henry George’s Single Tax and I was at the time also convinced of his arguments.
In “Our Enemy the State” he posits that the “state” and “society” are diametrically opposed constructs and that any increase in state power or functions necessitates a lessening of the effectiveness of and appetite for social power to produce solutions to social problems: Continue reading