delivered by the
AUSTRALIA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
Even a cursory look reveals a world now gripped by numerous wars over territory, and bedeviled by political instability, economic insecurity and growing social inequality. Towards the end of the nineteenth-century a book was written which analysed these enormous social problems and provided a remedy.
This book was Progress and Poverty. Its author was an American, Henry George.
A Classic Bestseller of the Time.
Twenty-five years after its publication it had sold over two million copies making it easily among the most widely-read book on economics ever written. In this book George pointed to a weakness in our most basic economic institution, private property in land. Since it was written its teaching has been endorsed by so many famous men and women that it is hard to imagine why both the book and its author are now all-but forgotten. The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy offered this reason. Those who profit from landed property use all possible means to conceal from themselves and others the truth and to crush, extinguish and distort it, or, if these do not succeed, to hush it up ("A Great Iniquity"). The object of the Association for Good Government is to get the principles enunciated in Progress and Poverty and in George's other works and give the public discussion that they deserve. These teachings fall easily into three kinds:
A philosophy of natural rights, notably the inalienable right to use land & nature's bounties and to work for one's just wages;
A political economy developed from the Ricardian theory of rent; and
Public policies directed against monopoly, notably a "single tax" on the value of land.
The progression of courses, from introductory, intermediate, through to economic history, reading courses and advanced courses allow time for discussion and reflection.
Click on the links of George's major publications below to read and reflect for yourself.