Wealth and Want
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Winston Churchill

The Mother of All Monopolies
It is quite true that land monopoly is not the only monopoly which exists, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies - it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly. It is quite true that unearned increments in land are not the only form of unearned or undeserved profit which individuals are able to secure; but it is the principal form of unearned increment which is derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but which are positively detrimental to the general public.

Land, which is a necessity of human existence, which is the original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, which is fixed in geographical position. Land, I say, differs from all other forms of property in these primary and fundamental conditions.

The People's Rights
This is a longer speech, from which "The Mother of All Monopolies (above) is an extract.

Land Price as a Cause of Poverty

The immemorial custom of nearly every modern State, the mature conclusions of many of the greatest thinkers, have placed the tenure, transfer, and obligations of land in a wholly different category from other classes of property. The mere obvious physical distinction between land, which is a vital necessity of every human being and which at the same time is strictly limited in extent, and other property is in itself sufficient to justify a clear differentiation in its treatment, and in the view taken by the State of the conditions which should govern the tenure of land from that which should regulate traffic in other forms of property.

The republication of any Churchill work after sixty years is an event commanding widespread public interest. Such attention is owed the rich desert of The People's Rights, last published at the culmination of the election campaign of 1909/10, when the speeches from which Churchill compiled the book were delivered. ...

Henry George propounded that whilst people have the right to possess what they produce, or receive in exchange for their work, there is no such right to private ownership of the elements upon which all depend -- air, water, sunshine and land. Indeed, George held the right of access to these basic elements as strong and equal as the right to life itself, and that if private ownership of basic elements is permitted, suppression and exploitation of one class by another is inevitable. The consequent injustice must become more acute as the community develops.

Review of Churchill: His Radical Decade, by Malcolm Hill. by Richard M. Langworth



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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper