Progressive Movement

Upton Sinclair: The Consequences of Land Speculation are Tenantry and Debt on the Farms, and Slums and Luxury in the Cities

Dan Sullivan's comments:

Of course, what happened when lefties like Upton Sinclair sold out to the expedient of class envy, was that the privileged classes strategically caved on these other taxes, so that now we do tax the rich man's stocks and bonds (and also the poor man's retirement funds) and his inheritances (if he is not rich enough to hold them overseas) and his wife's jewels (which merely causes unemployment among jewelers). And since these various unprincipled measures have been disastrous, people are now suspicious of any tax that falls on the rich, including the one proper tax, for which Mr. Sinclair, had he not been impatient for cheap victories, would have held out.

It is often asserted that Henry George paved the way for the Progressive Movement, which in turn paved the way for the Socialist Movement. This passage, to me, is the *essential* description of how our own "allies" derailed us.

Thus I regard as critically important, the following passage from paragraph 18 of Tom Paine's "Agrarian Justice":

"While, therefore, I advocate the right, and interest myself in the hard case of all those who have been thrown out of their natural inheritance by the introduction of the system of landed property, I equally defend the right of the possessor to the part which is his."

We must oppose those who would make public property private, but we must equally oppose those who would make private property public. In my opinion, Georgism was undone, not by its enemies, but by its shallower allies who were more enamored of victory than of principle.

The rest of the Upton Sinclair article is wonderful, but this passage is especially wonderful in its own perverse way, because it is a window into exactly where the movement went astray. ... read the whole article