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Saving Communities

Bringing prosperity through freedom,
equality, local autonomy and respect for the commons.

Socialism vs. Single Tax

A Verbatim Report of a Debate held at Twelfth Street Turner Hall, Chicago, December 20th, 1903

PDF version of original pamphlet
Published by CHARLES H. KERR & COMPANY (Co-Operative) 56 Fifth Avenue, Chicago

For Socialism

Ernest Untermann
Seymour Stedman
A. M. Simons

For Single Tax

Louis F. Post
Henry H. Hardinge
John Z. White

With Portraits of Karl Marx, Henry George, and the Six Debaters (in the original)

The Chairman (Hon. Frank W. Jones, ex-Senator of Massachusetts):

Ladies and gentlemen - It is entirely unexpected to me to have the honor and the pleasure of presiding at this debate today. I came over as a spectator because I saw in a newspaper an announcement that you were to discuss the question of Socialism and the Single Tax. We have six speakers and these speakers are to be allowed thirty minutes each. The affirmative will be by the Socialist speaker and he will be controverted in a thirty-minute argument by the Single Tax speaker, and the Socialist will have ten extra minutes at the close of the series of thirty-minute addresses in which to close the debate, and we propose to keep closely to the time. I now have the pleasure of introducing to you the first speaker in the affirmative, Mr. Untermann, who represents the Socialist side.

Ernest Untermann:

The subject of this debate is formulated in the following resolutions: "Resolved, That it is to the interest of the working class to take up the propaganda of Socialism rather than that of the Single Tax."

Mr. Dinkelspiel, the funny philosopher of Hearst's Chicago American, stated one of his great half truths when he said : "It is easy to be a philosopher; all you have to do is to think of something that somebody else said and then sit down and say something different." We Socialists say something different from the Single Taxers, but we gladly waive our claim to be included among Mr. Dinkelspiel's philosophers. The Single Taxers, on the other hand, can not lay any claim to be included among the distinguished Dinkelspielers, because they have never said anything else, anything different, about land reform ever since Moses, the first land reformer, laid down the rules for his followers. Numerous Single Tax ideas are found in the Old Testament, and the same Old Testament also shows that land is not the only means of exploitation. For there was free land galore in Jacob's time, yet he worked fourteen years for Laban in order to get what the people of that time considered as means of production, two wives.

In spite of the numerous stringent rules which forbade land speculation during the time following the patriarchal age, nevertheless the great mass of the Jews and of all ancient nations believing in the principle of private ownership of the means of production were very nearly landless. Periodical redistribution of land was then resorted to as a means of relieving the conditions, yet no matter how often it was tried it always proved futile. To demonstrate this let me mention a few conspicuous examples:

In 594 B. C. Solon of Athens forbade mortgages on farms and landed property. He fixed a maximum allowance of land ownership, and thus he freed the farmers by giving them land, and yet he lived to see these same farmers whom he freed again landless, and during the time of the Tyrants the great mass of the Athenian people were again without land.

Rome started with common ownership of land, took up private ownership, tried various schemes for freeing the land and ended in the morass of immense latifundian estates tilled by slave labor.

The early Christian Church denounced speculation and monopoly of land, yet that did not prevent the Catholic Church from becoming the great feudal lord of the middle ages.

The Reformation armed the peasants of middle Europe against the feudal lords, yet the freed peasants very soon groaned under the load of mortgage and tenantry.

From William the Conqueror to Wat Tyler, from Wat Tyler to Cromwell, from Cromwell to the Chartist movement, from the Chartist movement to the Irish League - these are some of the stages in the attempt to free the land, for the English people, and they have not got it yet.

The French revolution freed the peasants by giving them land, only to rob them of their rights of common and their secular rights; to load them with a burden of taxation, to deliver them into the hands of land sharks and money sharks, and to force them to compete with their primitive tools against the great landlords and their mighty machines.

The United States gave away millions of acres to settlers, with practically no compensation, and yet today of 15,963,965 private families as many as 11,236,423, live in mortgaged or rented homes.

In Russia when it was found that after the freeing of the serfs from feudal rule so many peasants had become landless that there was considerable falling off in taxation, the czar resorted to the measure of declaring the land common property, making the commune liable for the debts of its members, and apportioning out to these members land in order that they might all have an equal opportunity - to pay taxes. When these peasants showed their ingratitude at being so freed and revolted, they very soon found themselves face to face with "freedom" in the shape of the knouts and the swords of the Cossacks. The ungrateful rebels were whipped publicly and sent to the mines of Siberia. In the United States the capitalists do not yet send us to Alaska when we rebel against their freedom. They may do that by and by, when, in accordance with Senator Spooner's suggestion, the President of the United States will be elected for a term of twenty years, and when the Dick military bill will have turned this country into a military despotism. As yet the capitalists are satisfied with sending us to the free land in the free bull pen (laughter), when we refuse to yield them profits. (Applause.)

There in the bull pen we will have plenty of leisure to consider the advantages of free competition with scabs and of the freedom that is thrust upon us at the point of the bayonet. The Single Taxers want to give us free land instead of the bull pen, so that we may live at the lowest margin of subsistence and pay to the capitalist government, as does the Russian peasant, all that we produce above that margin. And if then we rebel against that capitalist government the same as the Russian peasants, we will go back from the free land to the free bull pen. (Laughter.) It may be necessary for some of our Single Tax friends to go through some such experience in order to find out that capitalist oppression under the Single Tax is little, if any, different from capitalist oppression under capitalism. (Applause.) These short hints may suffice to demonstrate to you that there are more things between human freedom and free land than are dreamed of in the Single Tax philosophy.

If in spite of thousands of years of earnest effort to free the land, you still leave millions of the oppressed landless, there must be some fundamental mistake which all forms of land reform have overlooked. Now I do not claim that because those reforms failed to accomplish what they were designed to accomplish the Single Tax for that reason will also fail to accomplish that now, but I have a right to ask: What was it that made all those land reforms futile, and does the Single Tax now go to the bottom of the matter? If we put the question in this way we at once come to the parting of the ways between the Single Tax and Socialism.

Before the modern Single Taxer ever thought of the Single Tax the Socialist had already analyzed it and rejected it as absolutely inadequate. The early sessions of the International Workingmen's Association had taken it up and dropped it. As early as July 21 and 22, 1872, the English branch of the International Workingmen's Association met at Nottingham, England, and at that congress the Single Tax idea, coupled with money reform, a kind of cross between the Single Tax and Populism, was already used to combat the Socialist program, the Socialization of land and all the means of production and distribution.

As early as 1853, Lassalle, the Socialist leader in Germany at that time, writing to Marx about Ricardo's theory of ground rent, said that he regarded it as the "Most eminent communist feat." And in 1863, in writing to Rodbertus, a German economist, he referred to the idea of abolishing ground rent by levying a tax on it, and asked: "How can that be done? Very simple; simply by levying a tax which will leave free the land of the lower classes, but tax all the margin of cultivation out of the land of the higher classes." Yet Lassalle never indulged in any illusions as to the efficacy of that Single Tax idea for the emancipation of the working class. In the first place, he knew that it would not be applicable, and could not be enacted in his time. In the second place, he recognized that this very Ricardian theory of ground rent was based on the distinction that the poorest land, while it might not yield any ground rent, still might yield enormous profits on capital. In other words, he saw plainly that the abolition of the landlords would not abolish the industrial capitalist, hence would not abolish capital and relieve wage labor.

But the world rolled on, and suffering humanity patiently waited for the Moses that was to lead it out of the capitalist Egypt. And in 1880 a new star appeared on the horizon with the once brand new idea of freeing the land by levying a single tax on it. That star was Henry George. (Applause.) He unreservedly accepted the Ricardian theory of ground rent, and he fell so in love with it that he built on it his Single Tax scheme which he magnified into a beautiful philosophy that would bring down justice and emancipation from the clouds. He entirely overlooked the fact that today the agricultural classes are no longer the essential element in production, but that the essential element today is the great capitalist class with its modern machine production and its great army of dependent wage workers. (Applause.)

But thirty-two years before Henry George's "Progress and Poverty" was written, and fifteen years before Lassalle wrote that letter to Rodbertus, a twin star had arisen in the proletarian firmament - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. (Applause.)

They did not regard the Ricardian theory of ground rent as the "most eminent Communist feat." Much less did they magnify it into a fundament for a new world philosophy. They recognized that the Ricardian theory of ground rent dealt simply with a phenomenon which was in no way calculated to offer a solution of the social problem. They recognized that it was merely a symptom that pointed to a deeper cause. And investigating that cause, they found the key which opened all the secrets of capitalist production and history: The Economic Interpretation of History.

In 1848 Marx and Engels expressed the greatest historical truth when they said that "The history of all societies based on private property is the history of class struggles." And when Marx in his introduction to his "Critique of Political Economy" said: "The economic forces of production form the fundament on which are built up human laws and from which arise all political, religious and moral ideas," he took politics, law, religion and ethics down from the clouds and placed them on a scientific foundation that has not been shaken since. All the leading economists of the world, capitalist and all, today use the Marxian method of investigation, although they very seldom give him credit for it. (Applause)

The Marxian Conception of History clearly shows that great historical changes are not brought about by the magnificent personalities of certain great and inspired men. It shows that great historical changes flow from changes in the economic basis and that political phenomena are determined by those changes in the economic basis; that the thoughts of men are reactions caused by natural and social environment, in the same way that chemical changes in the stomach suggest the thought that the individual must eat.

Summed up, the Socialist philosophy says in so many words that the economic foundation of society determines the form of human thought and activity; that a society based on production for private profit consists of classes with antagonistic interests. Such society is subject to certain laws. In following those laws, economic antagonisms are gradually intensified by the concentration of wealth and the means of production in the hands of great capitalists and the creation of a large body of dependent workers who have no other means of existence but the sale of their manual or intellectual labor power to the owners of the means of production. One class after another rises through changes in the economic system, becomes politically supreme, and uses its political power for the maintenance of its rule against all other classes.

Today in the present capitalist system we distinguish three great economic categories : Above is the great capitalist class, the owners of the great machinery of production. At the bottom of society, the great mass of the wage working class, the dependent proletarians. In between them there is a so-called middle class, which is partly proletarian and partly capitalist in character. So far as, with the minority of that middle class, their capitalist interests prevail over their proletarian interests, to that extent they belong as parasites in the capitalist class. But the great mass of the middle class today is practically reduced to the level of the proletarian wage workers, and their economic and political interests are on the side of the wage workers. Between the great capitalist class and the working class there gradually arises a struggle for the conquest of the political powers. Owing to the disappearance of the capitalist class as an essential factor in production, that struggle will end in the conquest of the political power by the working class. The victory of the working class will abolish all classes and all class antagonisms, because there is no lower class below the working class whom they might subjugate. The historical force, the historical party, that will bring about the victory of the working class is the International Socialist Party. It is international because exploitation is world wide and cannot be abolished in any single country separately. Therefore the workers of the world must unite to abolish exploitation all over the world. (Applause.)

I hope I shall not hear the hackneyed and irrelevant objection that I am preaching class hatred. The enunciation of the doctrine of the class struggle is no more an appeal to class hatred than the enunciation of the doctrine of the struggle for existence by Darwin was an appeal to species hatred. When I say to a man: "A leech is sucking your blood," I am not telling him to hate that leech. He will hate it anyway and get rid of it. And when I say to the working class : "The capitalists are parasites who are sucking your blood," I am not telling them to hate those parasites. They hated them before I told them. I am simply telling them not to vote either for the capitalist parasites or for those parasites of parasites, the capitalist politicians. I am advising the working class to unite politically against the capitalist class and to abolish all class antagonisms and causes for class hatred by voting for the party of their class, the Socialist Party. (Applause.)

Equipped with the Marxian philosophy of history, we are at once enabled to point out why former reforms were futile and failed, and why the Single Tax is inadequate to meet the present problem. First of all, we say, then, that whoever wants to alleviate the suffering of humanity must have a comprehensive grasp on the history of humanity. He must also take into account the economic classes. He must furthermore recognize that the moving force of history is not sentimentalism but definite, hard and cruel material laws by which the great mass of humanity is swayed. (Applause.)

A hasty glance at the history of ground rent suffices to show that ground rent has gone through many different phases and forms, and therefore the Ricardian theory of ground rent is not applicable indiscriminately to any and all historical periods. If I had time I could easily show that it falls far short of meeting the problem, if applied to the present time. Before the Single Taxer therefore can apply his philosophy he must first of all know that the particular form of ground rent which he wishes to abolish is the product of a definite historical period. What does he mean by ground rent, and what does he mean by land values that he wants to tax? Does he mean the land values that arise simply out of the speculative increase of land price? Does he mean the land values that arise out of improvements put into the soil? Does he mean land values that change with the various crops that you put into the soil? I hope the gentleman on the other side will not fail to answer these questions, because it is important that we should know. Or do they mean that, together with those speculative and agricultural land values, they will also take what is produced on the land by the aid of capital? In the first three cases I can show that the Single Tax will fail to accomplish what the Single Taxers claim for it, and in the fourth case the Single Tax would not be the Single Tax. (Applause.)

In regard to the first three forms of ground rent, I may say in general that this is not the essential form of exploitation at all. The essential (form of exploitation is today carried on in giant industries which are organized for the exploitation of wage labor. (Applause). How it is that capitalist exploitation exceeds the exploitation through land may be shown by this simple example which I shall illustrate by round figures. In ~goo the total value of industrial products amounted to about twelve billion dollars. The wage workers employed in those industries received in wages two billion dollars, leaving ten billion dollars in the hands of the exploiters. In rent those wage workers paid from their two billion dollars one billion dollars to the landlords. The wage workers could have afforded much better to lose that one billion dollars of rent than to lose that ten billion dollars of profit. (Applause.) Now, do not accuse me of being unjust to the poor capitalist because I am not counting what he pays out for raw materials and incidental expenses, because in that case I am going to show you by statistical figures that at no time in the history of the United States did the capitalists have enough money to pay the wages and pay for the raw material in one single year, let alone pay profits or dividends.

A tax on speculative land values, on the other hand, does not touch the grand industrial combinations. The steel trust, the oil trust, the egg trust, the fruit trust, the packing trust, all these great trusts own practically no land capital compared with the value of their industrial capital. (Applause).

Census Bulletin No. 122, dated December 30, 1901, enumerates 183 industrial combinations whose total capital amounted to $1,432,804,920. The total land capital of those combinations amounted to only $152,266,753, or one-ninth of the total capital used for exploitation. Tax every cent of land value out of their hands and they would still have eight-ninths left to continue exploitation. Nor would they pay that tax if it were imposed on them, for having in their control all the production and distribution they would shift the Single Tax in the form of prices to the shoulders of the consumer. (Applause.) We Socialists say that the Single Tax is simply a fiscal measure urged with great zeal by the Single Taxers for the purpose of taxing themselves, and they have the nerve to come before the working class and ask them to help them in such a suicidal policy. (Applause.)

The Single Taxers claim that the capitalists could not continue exploitation after the Single Tax was instituted, because the workers would flock in droves to the free land. Perhaps they would, if they believed the Single Taxers. But pause and consider. If you leave these great industries and go out on the free land with bare fists to produce, you will throw humanity back into the primitive stage of production and rob it of thousands of years of evolutionary effort by leaving these great machines, your product, in the hands of the exploiters. (A voice, "That's right.") If these machines cannot be used, then you must return to the primitive stage of production, without the hardihood of the primitive savage. (Applause.)

And how would the great mass of people in the United States, the most numerous class - the small peasantry - be benefited by the Single Tax? If the Single Tax is a tax on improvements also, then it is simply a tax which puts a premium on depreciation and decreased production, because no one will care to put any improvement on the land when the whole margin of cultivation is taxed out of him. So the Single Tax, as far as the small farmers are concerned, means simply an increase of taxation for them, and I recall that Henry George claims himself that they would have to pay more tax. It is true he claims that there would be many benefits they would get from the Single Tax, but I have shown you that instead of being benefited they would be exploited still more. To rush to the country is to give up the amenities and productive advantages of association. In that case many workers would prefer to work for wages rather than to starve on free land.

Under the Single Tax the farming class in the United States would be transformed simply into tenants of a capitalist government. We want to oust the capitalist government, and in order to oust that capitalist government we need a political party of the workers. But the Single Taxers do not believe in a separate political party for the working class, but they have a very peculiar affinity for the democratic donkey who uses his political power to crush labor when it strikes for higher wages.

The capitalist system will fall in obedience to the great economic and political laws to which it is subject, but above its ruins will tower the giant statue of labor, that true God of Liberty who will dethrone that lying prostitute of the dollar almighty, the capitalist Goddess of Liberty. (Applause.) The victory of the working class will not only free the men, but also the better half of humanity, the women. (Applause.) Socialism will write a new Declaration of Independence which will read: "All men and women are born equal and have an equal right to life, liberty and happiness."

The Chairman:

You have listened to a most scholarly presentation of the Socialist question by our friend Mr. Untermann, which has given us great intellectual pleasure and profit. We have with us to open the debate on the side of the Single Tax one of the most eloquent and able advocates of that question in the United States, and it gives me pleasure to present to you Mr. Louis F. Post. (Applause.)

Louis F. Post

Ladies and Gentlemen - I am going to move to strike out of the record those complimentary remarks of the chairman,

The Chairman: The motion is not in order. (Laughter.)

Mr. Post:

I make the motion now, because maybe the audience will want to make it when I am through. (Laughter.)

Now, ladies and gentlemen, this question, correctly read by my adversary who opened on the other side, invites us to consider if it is to the interest of the working classes to take up the propaganda of Socialism in preference to that of the Single Tax. Well, if we should ask confirmed Socialists whether it is to the interest of the working classes to take up Socialism instead of the Single Tax, of course they would say yes. If we should ask confirmed Single Taxers if it is to the interest of the working classes to take up Socialism instead of the Single Tax, of course they would say no. So there is absolutely no use in our debating this question before Socialists and Single Taxers. They have made up their minds. The men and women we must address are the working classes. Do they consider it to their best interest to take up Socialism in preference to the Single Tax? Unless we can convince them, our debate either way is of no great moment. It is only as what we say may go out to and influence the working classes that it can be of any real benefit.

Now, the working classes, as my friend has already stated, do not include merely the men and women who work for hired wages, who work as hired men or hired women; but a very large proportion, as he says, of the middle class also really belong to the working classes, because their interests are the same as the interests of the working classes. To that extent, of course, we agree. So we are addressing a great mass of people, some of whom are in what we call distinctively the working class, and others of whom are in the middle class, but all of whom really belong in the working class. All of them have identical interests so far as the interests of labor are concerned. It is the interests of labor against the interests of exploiters of labor - that is the real question that we confront. (A voice, "Hear, hear.")

My friend observes that it is rather nervy on the part of the Single Taxers to propose the Single Tax philosophy to the working classes as a remedy for their condition. It may be, ladies and gentlemen, I don't know, I would rather leave that to the working classes to decide than to my good friends who represent the Socialist side of this question. But if that is nervy, if it is nervy for Single Tax men to propose their remedy to the working classes, what shall we say of the nerve of my good friend who comes upon this platform and tries to convince the working classes that figures which are cooked up in the figure-cooking factory at Washington are worthy to be presented anywhere to an intelligent audience? (Applause.) I am not going to waste any time in discussing figures purporting to show certain facts. Figures are not enough in themselves; you must mix common sense with them. Even if those figures about twelve billions and two billions were true, that there were twelve billion dollars' worth of product and two billion dollars of it paid as wages to labor, the question arises, What labor? Hired manual labor alone. That is the only kind that is meant. What about self-employed laborers? What about the labor of the self-employed American farmer, of which there is no record at all? Those other figures, the ten billion balance, how far do they go to compensate men who are not hired workers? We are not told by the figure-cooking factory at Washington. The figures are utterly unreliable to begin with, as a matter of fact; and if they were true, my friend's application of them has no bearing and really no value with reference to this discussion.

Now, I say it is the working classes that we must address on either side - the working classes that are not yet convinced either that Socialism or Single Tax is what they want. This is an important question. It is a vitally important question to you, my friends of the working class, because the time is rapidly coming when labor strikes will cease to be effective. They have almost ceased to be effective now. (Applause.) There is only one place where labor can strike and strike effectively, and I think my friend will agree with me that that place is at the ballot box. (Applause.)

Whether you are inclined toward Socialism, or whether you are inclined toward Single Tax, the place you have got to strike at is the ballot box. And whether you shall strike there for the Single Tax or for Socialism is a vital question. I do not claim to be a prophet, but I do believe that the real contest, at least in this country, the first really great labor contest at the ballot box is going to be between the principle of the Single Tax on one side and the principle of Socialism on the other. (Applause.) I do not care what the names may be. It may not be called the Single Tax on the one side, it may not be called Socialism on the other; but the underlying principles of those opposing schools are the principles which we shall have to fight over at the ballot box. So, my friends of the working classes, it is for you to consider, and to consider very seriously, which side you will vote with when this question comes up for your decision. It is true that in many respects we have views in common. Socialism and the Single Tax touch at many points. But fundamentally they are apart. In principle they are hostile, and the working classes must so consider them.

Now, what is the issue that we are to meet? I am going to assume that the working classes want what's right; that they want what is fair between man and man. My friend has said that sentiment does not move the world, that nothing but materialistic conditions, nothing but materialistic aspirations moves the world. In the short run that is often true. We are going through a period now when it seems to be true. But he who reads history and reads it with an open mind, can see that in the long run the greatest force in human society throughout all history has been the appeal to sentiment, the appeal to men's ideas of the rightness and fairness of things. (Applause.) So I believe today that the great mass of the working classes of all kinds can be appealed to with reference to what is right. No, they do not need to be appealed to. They are not seeking what is wrong. The demand they are making is for what is right. And I doubt if my friend upon the other side will deny that fundamentally that should be the human aspiration - to reach a condition of righteousness as between man and man, fairness as between man and man, in our economic life.

In the first place, then, we want to preserve the right, and to advance farther and farther towards the right - towards fairness.

In the next place, we want to preserve the material advances that have been made. Some of our friends seem to imagine, as my friend has already indicated, that what the Single Tax men are urging upon the working classes is that they should go back to primitive conditions. But we start out with the understanding, admit the demand of the Socialists, that the material advances which have been secured shall be retained. I am willing to rest our whole case upon that proposition. If what we propose is going to get rid of the material advances already made, we lose our case before the working classes. What the Single Tax demands, and demands as strenuously as Socialism does, is that all material advances that have been made shall be retained and secured. No one proposes to send men under the Single Tax out to eat sand on free land a thousand miles away from all civilization. (Applause.) One needs but to read the literature of the Single Tax to see that I am not merely stating my own opinion. I am stating the principle of the Single Tax philosophy.

What we want is right, don't we? We want to preserve the material advances that we have made. And we want personal liberty. Those are three things that the working classes surely require, surely demand. Those are three things, at any rate, that the Single Taxers demand. We have not got them now. The working classes have not got them now. The working classes are not fairly treated; they are not getting righteous treatment; they are not getting the benefit of the material advances that have been made; they do not have personal liberty. My friend can say nothing about "bull pens" that I won't echo with all the vigor at my command. The working classes haven't got those three things; and if you will analyze the situation you will find that the reason they haven't got them may be summed up in one or two explanations.

In the first place, they are under-paid for their labor. There is no man that works who gets the full product of his labor. I do not have to go to Washington for statistics to prove that. All I need to do is to point to the men who get a great deal without labor. They cannot get it from any other source than from the men and women who do labor. (Applause.) The working classes are not getting what they earn; they are not getting fairness; they are not getting the best out of the material advances of civilization, not as much as they ought to get. They are not getting what they earn, I say. That is one of the explanations. And they are disemployed. There is lack of employment. You could probably sum it all up in those two things : Inadequate pay for work, and the army of the unemployed - more men than there are jobs. The men out of jobs compete with the men who have jobs, and so wages are kept down.

Those are the two conditions. There is the sore: There is the diagnosis of social conditions at present - of the social state with reference to the working classes. Poor wages underpay; and a lack of employment relatively to the number of people that seek to be employed. (A voice, "How are you going to remedy it?")

My friend, I will come to that in time. We have to proceed in order. One step at a time, and the closer we hold to that one step at a time the more likely we are to get at the truth. If we start with the truth, and then try to build up from that, we are very likely to reach a true solution. I am trying to build up from what seems to me to be the truth.

Now, as to the remedies of this condition of underpay and lack of labor opportunity. The Socialist remedy in substance comes down to this - whatever form it may be stated in - that organized society should furnish opportunities for work; that it should do so by taking over all the land and socializing it, as it is said, and all implements of production, and making, so far as the large industries are concerned, a great organized social workshop where everybody should have employment; and then by regulating wages. That is to say, organized society shall as a matter of fact furnish employment to all and shall regulate the wages of all. That is what it comes down to. No matter how the Socialist proposes to get it, no matter what steps he expects to take, that is what it all sums up in - a great governmental workshop in which everybody shall be employed - (applause) - I am glad to recognize by the applause that I am stating it correctly - a great governmental workshop with wages regulated by organized society.

Now, that can be made to give work to all, and it can be made to give wages to all - if the man on horseback doesn't ride in and ruin the whole concern. (Applause.)

I am not, however, criticizing: I am comparing the two philosophies - stating what they propose.

On the other hand, the Single Taxers propose merely this - no matter what their method; if their method is wrong it won't work, and it is open to criticism; we are submitting it to your criticism - what they are aiming at, what they are trying to get is to remove the obstacles which prevent there being a natural demand for labor, demand not merely from employers, but by one man of another, that natural demand which will always keep the demand for labor in excess of the supply of men wanting work. (Applause.)

I am going to give you a simple and crude illustration for the purpose of making it concrete, nothing more, simply that you may see my point better. Suppose, under existing conditions, that for every ten men who want to work there are only nine opportunities, only nine jobs. That is, in a rough way, our present condition - more men than jobs. Under that condition you can see that wages are bound to go down, for you have got one man out of work all the time, or the equivalent of one man, competing against the others. Ten men competing each against the other for only nine opportunities; that is the present condition, crudely illustrated as it may be. What the Single Tax men propose, if their method will accomplish it - what they propose is to reverse that and to open up opportunities so that there shall all the time be ten jobs for every nine men: or more jobs than men. (Applause.) When you have that condition, more opportunities for work than you have workers offering to work, then you will have no unemployed army at any time, and you will have wages tending all the time upward toward the full earnings of the man. And that is the only way of determining what the earnings of men are.

What do men want? Work? That is not what they want. They want what work will get. What they want is food, clothing, shelter, and those things that we call luxuries. That is what the working classes want. Why don't they get them? They make them all. The working classes make all those things. Why are they without them? Do they give them up voluntarily? If they do, it is their right. But I do not believe that they give them up voluntarily. They give them up under some coercion. What is the coercion?

Our friend on the other side says that the coercion is the monopoly of machinery, the monopoly of capital. Monopoly of what? Monopoly of capital? Well, let us stop a moment and see what is meant by capital. Is a factory capital? I suppose it is, with all its equipment of buildings and machinery. Is the ground on which it stands capital? If it is, then you are speaking of two entirely different things under the same name, and may be charging to capitalism evils that result from landlordism. Now, capital - machinery and all such things - is produced by labor itself, by laborers. How does it get away from them? It is not a question of the history of the past; It is a question of the present hour, because all the capital that exists today would last but a little while if labor ceased utilizing and maintaining it. Labor is producing it all the time. How does it slip away? It is not enough to say that it slips away because somebody has got it monopolized. You have to go deeper and inquire what are the conditions under which it is produced.

We know that labor produces all that is produced. We also know that labor cannot create it. Then how can it produce it? Only by getting access to the natural source from which it must come. You have got to go to the land.

My friend is mistaken in imagining that the farm question is the land question. He seems to think that nobody but farmers live on land. Why, if you measure land by the demand for it and its value, we use more land in cities than do our farmers. The mines furnish material as well as the farms. The city furnishes sites, the great country furnishes the highways that control industries and control commerce. The land question is the globe question. It is the question of the ownership of the earth. Labor has got to go to the globe for all the capital that it produces and for all the products of that capital. The Single Taxers put land into a category alone and make capital another category. They say land is the natural source of labor products, and that man must have access to it. Having that, he can make and use capital. Not having that, he is under the control of men that you may call capitalists if you wish, but who are really landlords.

We have some men in Chicago that own $18,000,000 of stock in a street car company worth $27,000,000 on the market. The plant of that company, the machinery, etc., is worth but very little. What makes that twenty-seven millions of value? The monopoly of the streets of Chicago, the monopoly of the land which the streets are built upon in Chicago. (Applause.) And yet you say that man is a capitalist. We say he is a landlord. * You say that is capitalism. We say it is landlordism. (Applause.)

Now, we propose to abolish landlordism, for it is landlordism that is the base of industrial trouble. We propose to abolish landlordism. But let me ask you to remember that "landlordism" is broader than the term "landlord." I think I have indicated to you that what is called a capitalist may to a very great degree be a landlord, although he does not go by that name. Don't let us be misled by the terms of our friend Mr. Untermann, but let us look at the substance of the thing. To the extent that a man's wealth is capital he is a capitalist but to the extent that it is land, he is a landlord, whether he goes by the other name or not. That is the essence of the thing.

We propose to abolish landlordism. How are we going to do it? Think a moment of what land value is, which is what we propose to levy taxes upon. We propose to tax men; but we propose to levy the tax in proportion to the value of their land. My friend wants to know what ground rent is, what land value is. There is no difficulty in defining it. You can find out from Single Tax books, you can find out from Socialist books, you can find out by talking with your real estate agent, what land value is. He will tell you what land value is if you go to talk about renting or buying, but if you go to talk about the Single Tax with him he don't know any more about what land value is than my friend does who wants us to explain it. (Laughter.)

We would tax land value. But the mere taking of the money into the treasury is not all of it. If we could only devise a way by which we could throw the equivalent of all the land values into the ocean, or burn up all wealth that represented land values, we should produce an immensely better condition than we have now, because the land values that go to people now through land monopoly, excite other people to buy land. A great many of them buy in the wrong place, and that land does not go up in value, but the speculation is going on all the time, and it monopolizes the land of this whole continent, here in the city and out over the country, until eighty millions of people are actually crowded, in this immense country of ours. But they are crowded not by other people; they are crowded by wire fences that arc stretched across the land under this Landlordism that exists here in the cities and also in the country. (Applause.)

One effect of taxing land value would be to remove all taxation from industry, so that if a man wanted to build a house he would have no burden of taxation on the materials, and the burden of taxation which now begins at the time the house is done would be gone. What is the result? It makes men want to build houses. You could build more houses, you could build better houses. What does that mean? A greater demand for labor. The very moment that occurs you are getting to a point where you' have ten jobs for nine men instead of nine jobs for ten men.

But that is not all. The thing grows. As you take away land values you remove all incentive to hold land out of use. Vacant land would then be of no value in the market. It would not be monopolized, because there would be plenty more vacant land as good. When you have done that you make it still easier to build houses, you make it still easier to do any of the things that labor makes its living by doing, you have a still closer approach to the abolition of monopoly; and if you get it completely done, if you bring it up to the ideal, then you have a condition in which no man will coerce labor, because labor cannot then be coerced.

Let me give you an illustration of that point, for I have a minute or two of time for that purpose. Suppose a continent should rise up in mid-ocean, and that is more than a thousand miles away. Suppose it to be a rich continent. Let there be an assurance that there never shall be land monopoly there, and that labor shall always be free to go from this continent to that. Let that be a continent where any man can go and take up land. Now, with that assurance, that the land shall never be monopolized, that the Single Tax, for instance, shall be in operation, cities will spring up there, great industries will spring up there. Where will they come from? From the labor of the men who find there a better place to exercise their labor power than here. Wages will rise there to the full earning of the laborer. And how long, let me ask, would they then be less here?

In conclusion, let me ask you men and women of the working classes to consider this: The Single Tax will begin to yield its benefits step by step from the very start. The very moment that you abolish taxation of personal property you will begin to get some of its benefits. The moment you abolish taxation of products of labor generally, you will get more. The moment you turn a larger part of the rent of land into the public treasury, you will get more. Make it progressive and you get the benefit progressively all the way from the beginning. But with Socialism you first have got to win an election, and you have got to hold your power, and you have got to change the old order; you have got to abolish the existing condition of things-root and branch. (Applause and a voice, "Three cheers for Socialism.") You do not begin to get any benefit whatever under Socialism until you have done all that. (Applause). Socialism is revolution, is it not? (A voice,"Yes.") The Single Tax is progressive. (A voice, "No.") Yes, it is progressive. There you have an essential difference between them, which, if there were no other, whether you like it or not, my friends, will appeal to the working classes in favor of the Single Tax. It will give them benefits as it goes along. That advantage will appeal to human nature over a movement that gives no benefit until you have organized a party that can control the whole world and have abolished the old order of things and set up a new order. Even under your own philosophy, my Socialist friends, you do not begin to get any benefit from Socialism until that time comes. You begin to get the benefits from the Single Tax from the very moment that you begin even in the most timid way to put it into operation, and those benefits grow and grow as you advance.

Now I can understand that confirmed Socialists, such as compose this audience, may very well say (applause) - I knew it (laughter) - confirmed Socialists (prolonged applause). How much time have I, Mr. Chairman?

The Chairman:

A minute. I wish to say that we do not care to have interruptions of a speaker. You will have an opportunity to hear both sides.

Mr. Post:

Since I have but a minute this is all I care to say. You Socialists who are confirmed may be willing to wait until you uproot the existing order; you may be willing to forego any benefits until that long distant time comes. But the great mass of the working classes are not willing to wait that long nor to act in that way. (Applause.)

The Chairman:

It is a healthy sign of the times that of a winter afternoon an audience of this size, some two thousand people, will gather to listen to dry economic questions. I have thought many times during the past few years that we were slowly drifting into the grasp of an oligarchy, but when I see an audience of this size and this intelligence leaving the comfort of their homes to listen to arguments, and arguments which appeal only to reason, I have hope. I have been told that warmer things are yet to come. It becomes my pleasure now to present to you one of the gentlemen who will attempt and probably will warm up the discussion to a higher temperature than it has yet reached - Mr. Stedman.

Seymour Stedman:

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen - Mr. Post in almost the opening sentences of his address made the statement that sooner or later the Socialist cause, perhaps not under that name, would be launched against the Single Tax movement. I can well understand why that may be possible. The Single Tax is simply the crowning of capitalism. (Applause.) It stands for shifting the taxes of a portion of the capitalist class upon the shoulders of another part of the capitalist class - namely the landowners. And by doing that they do not at all claim or believe that it will result in the abolition of all classes. The Socialist movement will live and thrive and grow until there are no classes within the civilized world. (Applause.)

Seeing that it is Sunday, it may be well to read a little from the Single Tax Koran. I read from page 358 of "Progress and Poverty" : "To buy out the individual property rights would merely be to give the landholders, in another form, a claim of the same kind and amount that their possession of land now gives them. It would be to wrest from them by taxation the same proportion of the earnings of labor and capital that they are now enabled to appropriate in rent."

As stated before, the Single Tax simply contemplates a change in the form of taxation and it does not for one moment propose to abolish exploitation. Socialism will abolish exploitation. That is why Socialism is revolutionary in its character. (Applause.) And let me say here that in using the term "Revolutionary" Socialists do not at all mean physical force (applause), but we mean by revolution not a mere reform but a complete change in the fundamentals of society. On the 10th of August the French revolutionists enfranchised the citizens, abolished titles and overthrew the nobility, which formed the fabric of feudalism, and there was no blood shed on that day.

Mr. Post stated that the speaker who preceded him announced the doctrine of material interests. The speaker who preceded him in substance, said this: That the material interests of a people is that which governs and determines their laws, mode of production, their lives, morals and ethics. He did not mean that sentiment, religion, ethics and morals failed to play any part in molding the character of men. The class in control determines the prevailing standard of morals and religion, and its purposes are always consistent with their materialistic aims and interests, which it requires and nourishes. Mr. Post forgot his earlier statement, and in conclusion said : "What does the working class want? It wants food, it wants clothing, it wants shelter." There is the materialistic argument that the Single Tax ethical preacher sets forth to prompt you into action and to urge the working class to dispossess one class of capitalists in favor of another. (Applause.)

He talks about rights, and then he fails to define them. He talks about natural monopoly, and I hope the speaker that follows me will define that.

Mr. Post, in reply to Mr. Untermann, said: "Mr. Untermann asks, ‘What are land values'?' In reply Mr. Post said : "Go and ask a real estate broker, go and ask your landlord, read books on Single Tax," and then proceeded to say, "We will take that," never making any attempt himself to answer the question. (Applause.)

He says "the Socialists propose a government that shall regulate things in a stereotyped manner." The Socialist movement in its program and its purposes must conform to the economic evolution and tendencies of the time. We realize that by organized industry and associated effort, today we have the social regulation and the social method of production and distribution of wealth, but the contradiction exists in the private ownership of these socialized means of production, and the Single Taxers propose to let it stand and continue.

I ask the speaker who will follow me to answer, do you believe in profit? Let us not have any evasion of that question. (applause.) The moment you believe in profits, you must believe in interest. Interest and profit you can calculate to infinity, but the possibilities of actual production are finite. The moment you uphold profit you uphold a system of Carnegies and Rockefellers, and the private ownership of the means of production and distribution. (Applause.)

Furthermore, the Single Tax proposes that no man would go into a factory and work for less than he could earn upon the land. They tell us that with free land we may all build more homes. But what are we going to build more homes with? Will we all become carpenters? What will we wear and eat while we are building those houses?

Furthermore, the Single Tax proposition that a man can go upon the land and maintain his existence, is a reversion of progress, a degeneracy to the ancient system of savage life, because what you can produce without the modern methods of production and distribution is exemplified by all savages that exist to-day, and we know their limitations and capacity for production. We cannot in our production ignore the machine as a means of wealth creation.

In speaking of farmers, I call attention to the fact that they are averaging about $29 a month, excluding all interest upon the capital invested in land or utensils which they use in their production.

Moreover, I want to ask Mr. White how he would apportion land values where among a thousand men who have labored for a year, to find-an oil well, who have spent their time to enrich the community, but failed through accident, and some other man who by chance finds the oil well? What would he tax that land, and what would you pay those who lost in the original search and who have nothing to show for their effort?

We have a real Utopia built by Mr. Post on free land on an island a thousand miles from shore. Mr. Post had it populated by emigration and forgot the most essential thing in populating the island, which was a steam boat. (applause.)

And then the question arises who owns the steam boat? At the present time the water is free and yet we know that the steam boat traffic is an industry owned by a few and, monopolized. Let us assume that you go out there on the island and one man has a Mergenthaler machine, the type and capital with which to run a newspaper, hasn't that man an advantage over a man who comes there with no capital except the ability to run a Mergenthaler, and who has absolutely no money with which to compete with the man who owns the machine? We may say in Chicago to a man out of work, "We have got free land." But what he wants is profitable employment. He goes down to Marshall Field, and says, "I want a job as counter jumper. I am a man out of work. If I was employed here, I might get a salary of twelve dollars. I want a salary here working for you." Marshall Field replies, "No, we don't need you." The job hunter replies, "Well, but the land is free, and if you don't employ me at twelve dollars a week, I will go out here to 67th street (seven miles from the center of business) and build a department store." (Laughter.) "No," Marshall Field would say, "You can't do it, your capital is insufficient." "Well, I will get a hundred men and women who will pool their savings and together we will all buy a department store." Field would reply, "That's right, you go out there and put up a department store, my place will continue here at the corner of State and Washington streets, and after you have run for about a year, I will go out there and buy in your goods at bankrupt sale and sell them here as a job lot." (Applause.)

Furthermore, the great industries of this country at the present time do not rest upon land value, or the proprietorship of land by them. You can go to countless cities around Chicago and they will give you a factory site for the purpose of inducing you to locate there. The Standard Oil Trust is not in the business of owning territory or oil wells. It owns refineries, which stand between the laborer in the refineries and on the land, and the consumer in the market. Not only that, but the sugar beet and cane refineries are not based upon land ownership. They go to a little town and talk to the farmers and tell them what they can make in growing beets, and then build a factory there. The value of that trust does not rest upon the beet farms or cane fields that are owned by the farmers; it is based upon the fact that they have millions of dollars' worth of plants and machinery and buildings in which the refining is done.

You can go down the list and single out one industry after another. The higher priced land means that instead of having one-story houses to live in, we have five-story and six-story flats and live away up in the air with a lot of vacant land around us. A beautiful dream. A Utopia of - plenty of land and high buildings.

Every single workingman in this hall wants what: Better houses, better clothes, better working conditions and higher wages to raise his standard of life. What does the capitalist want? He wishes to pay lower wages and impose longer hours. He does not produce for utility; he does not produce for use. His interest is entirely different from that of the working class, arising from an entirely different motive in the production of wealth.

With competition, you have a warfare condition for domestic markets. The failure of the local market means that you must contest with the world powers for foreign markets. Your contest for foreign markets means that you must maintain armies and support navies, and all that goes with the perpetuating of class rule or government.

You tell us about government. The Socialists can agree, perhaps, with the logical Single Taxer, for the logical Single Taxer lands in one of two camps. He becomes either a communistic anarchist or a Socialist. (Applause.) And your government will live as long as the Single Tax will be in operation, because government is the police power and the force that is used by the dominant class to further its own material existence and perpetuate itself. Government will never fall until all class war disappears, and that will come when you have industrial freedom.

He wants liberty. Who is to define your liberty? Always heretofore in history the class that had control have told you in what your liberty consists. They tell you what our freedom shall be. Tell us, Mr. White, will the Single Tax abolish classes, will it abolish the economic antagonism of classes? Will it abolish on the one hand the workers searching for food and products to consume, and on the other hand the men who own and control the industries and run them for profit? Will it change the motive and the purpose which arrays these two great classes against each other? Mr. Post has said that you cannot accomplish that until you accomplish it throughout the world. Sir, we know it. The capitalist class is a world class, but so is the proletariat. (Applause.)

Let us contemplate for a moment what Single Tax intends. What is the curse and idiocy of the modern system? The waste that is based upon the present form of industrial society. One of the strongest points in Socialism is that it will do away with the waste that exists in the competitive life in which we live. There was appropriated for your schools only about two hundred million dollars a year, but for armies, eight hundred and fifteen million dollars a year, an amount that would reproduce the buildings of thirty-seven complete world fairs, such as we had in Chicago in 1893. The destruction by war of property alone, eliminating the question of men, in the last century was something like 1,405 billion dollars, enough to erect over six thousand world's fairs. This will give you some conception of the loss of effort and the waste that exists under present conditions. How many instances are there? Take advertising, pick up your daily paper, examine the street cars, go along the thoroughfares and look at the bill-boards and you can imagine the terrific amount of waste there is in this line. Consider the useless persons that exist at the present time - one hundred thousand in the penitentiaries. I admit that there may be such a thing as congenital criminals and antisocial characters, but the great class of criminals are produced by the economic struggle, which saps the life of the people.

We see a man who is a hobo on the street, and we think, "Well, there is one man that has spent a useless life and he is a wreck," but if you go down to his past, you may find that he was taken off the farm and put into a glass factory when he was six or seven years of age; that he worked there ten years to create profits, which the Single Taxers believe in-and it has completely sapped his vitality and life.

There are about 80,000 or 90,000 lawyers in the United States, with an equal number of clerks. (Applause, and a voice, "You are a lawyer.") Yes, it is true, as long as there is a working class that is stupid enough to labor from seven o'clock in the morning until six at night and perpetuate this system, I shall get down at ten o'clock in the morning (laughter); as long as this system plays favorites, I shall try and be one of them. When socialism comes, I suppose I shall have to earn an honest living.

You have a large number of insane, and I want to call attention to the fact that the isolated life and hardships of the American farm send more men and women per capita to the insane asylums than do the cities. Free land would increase the hardships of the farm, and the Single Tax may thus increase the insanity that exists. (Applause.)

They tell us about coal lands, and the unused coal fields which exist. I grant it. Can we increase the pay of the coal miner by opening up the countless fields that exist surrounding us in other states, and increasing competition among them by your process? Instead of having one general store you will have half a hundred. Did you ever notice that where there is only one grocery store in the neighborhood, the owner will open the store at six o'clock, seven or eight, and close reasonably early, but if another man comes in and starts a grocery store next to him and he opens at seven and closes at nine, the other must do the same. Each must open as early and close as late as his rival. By doing that through competition you are wasting your labor and lives in competition. The Socialist proposes that you use your labor for actual production and the blessings of life. (applause.)

What does the system of competition produce in morals, in ethics? It puts sand in your sugar and turmeric in your mustard, chicory in your coffee and alum in your baking powder - adulteration on every hand. The Senate of the United States appointed a committee to investigate the subject of adulteration, and I read from the report of that committee:

"The adulteration of prepared and manufactured foods is very extensively practiced, and in many cases to the discredit of our manufacturers." (How pathetic.) "It is only fair to say, however, that a large proportion of American manufacturers who are engaged in adulteration of food products do so in order to meet competition."

That is, the manufacturers say: "We would like to quit adulterating goods, but in doing so our competitors would take the trade away from us."

The first thing that every man is confronted with, and the paramount thing, is the struggle for existence. If the man next to him employs machines, he must do the same. If he employs women and children he must secure women and children. If one adulterates his goods, becoming a criminal, the other must follow him in his career of crime, or must cease to live or become a wage worker working for his heartless competitor. (Applause.) And I want to know how the opening of land (if it will not decrease, but on the contrary, increase, competition) will do away with adulteration? They tell us that we haven't competition now and that we are going to get that when we get the Single Tax. Whether you call it voluntary rivalry or emulation or competition, what you mean is the struggle for profit, whether you call it by one name or another. It makes no difference what the name, the result is the same; the capitalist competitors are both after profits. The motive is the same.

Furthermore, let us understand this : In all historic epochs we have had contests between classes. Do you think manufacturing and landed interests will unite on the Single Tax program? By no means. The factory legislation in Great Britain was due to the fact that the agricultural proprietors endeavored to shift the burden of taxation upon the cities and towns, the bourgeoisie. Those in the towns endeavored to shift it back upon the land, and the earlier factory legislation was due to the conflict between those two classes, making concessions favorable to the employes of their rivals, which resulted in some beneficial legislation to laborers, the result of capitalist conflicts rather than the organized effort and protest of the working classes. So from capitalist conflicts some benefit comes at times to the workingmen.

The Single Tax, as a fiscal measure, proposes the confiscation of land. You say you are taking land values. That is all that has any utility to society, and when you take all in land that has any utility to society, you then advocate confiscation - a capitalist revolution.

The gentleman speaks of the public opinion which must be aroused. Do you know what public opinion is? Let me illustrate it. In the summer when the days are warm and the thermometer is dancing away up in the nineties, the Chicago papers come out and say that business is dull because the people are all out of town. We know who are out of town; those who can afford to go to the mountains and the seaside. They are the people, and those are the people that make public sentiment. Let me tell you now that if you had a marriage in this hall between people of questionable intellect, but with much paraphernalia; the Chicago American would be loaded down to-morrow morning with two or three pages devoted to it (laughter), while this meeting will probably get about three lines, and it may not get that much. Were it not for the fact that the Single Taxers dearly love the democrats more than they do the republicans, I do not think we could get even those three lines.

Mr. Post tells you that Mr. Untermann says as a class we ask the support of the middle class. Let us not misunderstand that middle class proposition and their support of us. That is only partially explained by the statement made by Mr. Post, and even by Mr. Untermann. The man who is working in a grocery store, or in a small business, working twelve or fourteen hours a day, should join the Socialist movement, because with Socialism, his hours of labor would be cut down to a civilized basis and his income would be raised to permit him to enjoy some of the luxuries of life.

But do you for one moment suppose that those people who belong to the class depending for their existence upon the continuance of the wage system will come to us? We know well they will not. We know that like the democrats and republicans in Haverhill, Mass., they will unite against us. (Applause.) We know that like the Manufacturers' Associations which unite the capitalists against the trade unions and the Economic Leagues of proprietors and capitalists united against the Socialists. We know that when there is a strike of delivery teamsters at one department store, the capitalist who is a rival of that store will send over to deliver his rival's goods. We understand the unity of interest which capitalist class have against the Socialists, and we also understand the unity of interest which every intelligent workingman must recognize in each other, against the capitalists, and that their salvation comes only from a recognition of that and their economic class interests expressed at the ballot. (Applause.)

Mr. Post referred doubtingly to the figures that had been made by the statisticians in Washington. Certainly, they cannot be regarded as favoring Socialism. (Applause, and a voice, "Sure.") And if they do, we can refer to the more open and obvious lessons to which we can draw attention. We know that if in this hall at this moment it should be proclaimed that the land was free, every man who had money would desire to invest where he could draw the largest return, and if he thought he could make more by investing in something else than building houses he would be governed accordingly.

The Single Tax is not a philosophy. It is a proposed patch work for the purpose of remedying certain presumed abuses of the capitalist system. Socialism, on the contrary, is far different. We recognize certain changes which have taken place in the past and which show the evolution from savage to barbaric life, and from barbaric to civilization or capitalism, and an inevitable change into a new form of industrial existence. These changes and occurrences lead us to believe, with a great deal of certainty, that the next industrial era which will follow the present will be Socialism.

We recognize that you cannot destroy a single link in the process of social evolution, but you can, through industrial activity, hasten the death of an epoch that is injurious to the men or women who are passing through it. You can no more destroy an essential link in the process through which the evolution of society is taking place, any more than you can eliminate any stage in life (childhood or maturity), from conception to death. The Socialists propose to gather all the achievements and utilities of the past which can be of service to society, and to take full advantage of all modern methods of production and distribution, collecting the riches of the past and the wealth of the present, and march forward to industrial freedom, comrades in the greatest cause, and striving for the noblest achievement that ever warmed the heart or inspired the brains of men. (Applause.)

The Chairman:

I think you will agree with me that the temperature is higher (laughter), and I have no doubt but what the thermometer will rise still higher. (Laughter.) You know it is always good policy to keep the good things until the last, and without any reflection upon those who have gone before in this argument I have no doubt that the other gentlemen will send us all up to the boiling point. I now have the pleasure to present Mr. Hardinge, who will take issue with the last speaker.

Henry H. Hardinge

You should not disappoint the audience by telling them what they are going to get. They might not get it.

Socialism is, to my mind, the unscientific protest of the dissatisfied. (Hisses.) You are taking up my valuable time by hissing. Not that I am opposed to dissatisfaction. All of the progress of the human race flows from intelligently directed dissatisfaction. But I am opposed to anything that is unscientific, because it will not work. What is science? It is the discovery and the application of the laws and the forces of nature to the uses of mankind. This is the beginning and the end of science. It is based upon a recognition of natural laws. If there is any one thing that scientists do lay particular stress upon, it is the existence and immutability of natural laws and the persistence of force. Socialists-and with particular reference to the gentleman who will follow me, Mr. Simons-have many times in my hearing in public, repudiated the existence of natural law, which is the basis of all science, so that it is almost pathetic to hear them insist upon the fact or statement or principle that Socialism is nothing if it is not scientific, and yet repudiate its foundation.

Be that as it may, Mr. Stedman has raised many questions. He says that under the Single Tax, if you could not make money by investing in land you could invest it in buildings. True, that is just what you would do, because there are only two things you can put money into; one is land and the other is labor; one is monopoly and the other is industry. Under the Single Tax you would not have to buy monopoly; there would be no monopoly to buy. Therefore, in spending money, whether you are a rich man or a poor one, you would buy labor, if you bought anything, because there would be nothing else to buy. What effect would that have upon the labor market? If a man were, for example, a millionaire - if there were such a thing under the Single Tax, and I doubt it very much - if he did spend money he would spend it in buying things and nothing but things, because, if you eliminate land monopoly, what have you got in which men can invest money? In order to produce anything at all you need land. For instance, here are some gentlemen in New York paying five millions cash for a site along Broadway and putting four and a half millions into the largest and finest office building in the world - paying half a million more for the chance to put the building there than for the building itself. They are paying four and a half millions for labor and five millions for monopoly. Under the Single Tax they would have all of that $9,500,000 to spend for labor, and then would have a building more than twice as valuable. That is one of the supreme advantages of the Single Tax; it will compel every man who buys anything to buy labor, because when you buy a house or a loaf of bread or a pair of shoes, you are buying labor, because they are made by labor.

Now, as to classes and the class struggle and the class consciousness which Socialists everywhere insist upon so urgently. Classes and the differentiation of society into classes are simply the result of institutions that make classes. Forty years ago we had chattel slavery in America. Two classes were involved, the slave owner and the slave. With the abolition and extinction of the institution of slavery both classes went by the board, and the only way to destroy present classes is to destroy the institution on which they are based-land monopoly. This the Single Tax will do; it will dispense with landlordism and landlords and monopoly of every kind.

As to competition and the competitive age, this is not the competitive age in any proper sense of the term, or any proper interpretation of the term "competition." This is the monopolistic age. There never was a time in the history of the world when monopoly reigned as supremely as it does to-day, and hence competition was never at so low an ebb. Competition has not free play to-day. Nowhere has it half a fair chance. Monopoly is in control of nearly everything, and competition is throttled and almost destroyed. This is certainly the monopolistic age. All of the evils of which Socialists complain grow out of monopoly and not competition; this includes the evils in competition itself, which is one-sided and not universal as it would be under the Single Tax. Natural competition would be the great distributor of wealth and social advantages. The Single Tax is a tax upon monopoly, and the basic monopoly at that.

As to the coal trust and other trusts mentioned, Mr. Stedman has said that there are very few of the great industrial combinations to-day which owe their existence to the ownership of land. Let US examine this statement. The coal trust consists of nine railroads combined with all or nearly all of the available hard coal beds of Pennsylvania, consisting of about 450 square miles of territory. Without railroads you cannot get a pound of hard coal to the market. Nine railroads tap that vast region. The result is that by controlling the railroads and ore beds they control the situation, dictating to the American consumers what they shall pay for coal and to the miners what they shall get as wages for producing the coal. The Single Tax will be a tax in Pennsylvania exclusively upon land values, and the bulk of Pennsylvania land values lies in the coal beds of Pennsylvania, the cities and the oil region, three of the most valuable things they have, and the Single Tax will strike them and strike them hard, and the operation of the same laws that tax land values will force unused coal beds into the market, which will compel the use of the coal beds, which will employ more labor, which will enormously increase the visible supply of coal, which will increase the demand for labor, which will increase wages, and by the same bold stroke that you increase the demand for labor and increase wages you will increase the supply of coal. (Applause.) You need simply to reverse the process of starving the market and charging higher prices to the consumer. You simply turn it around, reverse it, have more . work for the worker,' more coal for the consumer, higher wages for the miner and cheaper coal. Land cheap, wages high. That is what the Single Tax will do in regard to the coal trust.

So far as the railroad problem is concerned, a railroad is but "Two streaks of rust" and a right of way, and the right of way is the only thing which does not wear out, which does not have to be repaired. It is the only thing that gets more valuable as invention goes on and population multiplies. The basis of the railroad trust is certainly land monopoly, and more than half of the capitalized value of the railroads in this country consists in land monopoly pure and simple. The railroads are capitalized at about eleven billions. The Single Tax is a tax upon land monopoly.

As to advertising, we see as plainly as anyone the enormous waste resulting from advertising to-day. No way to get rid of goods, the market is out of balance. The trick is. not to make goods, but to sell goods, to find a market. This is not because there are not enough people to buy goods; no, not through scarcity of people, but of money. There are not enough buyers for goods because purchasers have not got the money to buy back the goods they have made. They have not got the money because they do not get wages enough. They do not get wages enough because work is scarce, and work is scarce because of land monopoly, .and the worst feature of land monopoly is land speculation. The Single Tax is a tax upon land monopoly and will destroy it and destroy it forever. (Applause.)

And when you destroy land monopoly and make opportunities free to all men, how much freer can opportunity be under Socialism or any other ism? Subtract land from man and what is left? Nothing, because we are made of it. Land is the basis of all production, and if you are the owner of the land you can control the people. Unless you solve this problem you cannot solve the social problem. If you own the capital and I own the source of capital I will control. If there were but 2,500 people in the world and I owned the land there would be just 2,499 too many in the world, and they would have to come to me and make their bargain with me if I insisted on my legal rights. The Single Tax will destroy the private ownership of the earth in the only intelligible, practicable, simple, scientific and just way that it can be destroyed, and it will work, and that is why the landlords fear it.

As to wasted energy, a gentleman sent me a letter yesterday and he said: "I know that it will cost much more to get these things which you make for us on the market than it will cost to make them." What kind of a social condition have you got if that is true, when men need and make useful things everywhere, and yet it costs more to get those things to the people who need them than it does to make them? Now, if that is not commercial and industrial upsidedownedness, then there is no such thing, and it results from scarce opportunity.

Who would define liberty? Mr. Stedman asks. What is liberty? Those only can define it who understand it. It is the right to live. What does the right to live amount to if the right to labor is destroyed or taken away from you? Where does liberty come in, or what does the pursuit of happiness amount to if a man cannot pursue anything without paying a price to somebody for the privilege of working, or being free, or being happy?

Armies and navies, says Mr. Stedman, are to defend the capitalists. All the armies and navies of the world have one object and one purpose, and that is this: to grab and to hold land. Everywhere in the world that is true. We do not need an army in Chicago. All our vast industrial and commercial enterprises here are carried on by productive industry and without armies and navies. Armies and navies consume everything, they produce nothing. We do not need them in the city; we need policemen only, and under the Single Tax we would not need one where we now need a hundred, for nearly all policemen are employed in suppressing the victims of land monopoly. Why do we want armies and navies elsewhere? To grab and hold land, that the land monopolists who own this country may use said lands for the exploitation of other peoples, as they do our own people who are landless. Armies and navies have but one object and no excuse, that the exploiters of labor may grab and hold land. No nation can grab and hold land in outside territory without armies and navies. Land monopoly rests upon the use of armies, navies and policemen, the visible expression of physical force. There is no natural or just excuse for land monopoly, and moreover, if the men who to-day get the benefit of land monopoly through the use of the armies and navies had to pay, as they would have to pay under the Single Tax, the value of their monopoly would dwindle down to the point of ultimate extinction.

As to the making of goods for profit and not for utility and use, I challenge that statement. I challenge it because it is not true and I can prove it. I am a mechanical engineer. I use the finest kind of measuring instruments and tools. Without this perfection I cannot accomplish my ends. I find in these things the visible expression of the most beautiful workmanship. They are constructed for use and utility, and unless they are so constructed they would be utterly useless for accurate work. He said goods were made to sell and not to use. I tell you they are made to use primarily and to sell incidentally. (Applause.)

So with food, clothing and shelter, the sale is incidental, because when a man is running a shoe factory if he produces more shoes than he has personal use for, he must exchange them for things he has use for; therefore the sale of shoes is incidental, for unless people wanted to use them he would cease making them. And so through the whole complex series of exchanges, unless at bottom all goods were made to use they would not be sold, and under a fair industrial adjustment all things would be made both to use and to exchange. That is all there is to production carried on as it is to-day. It is utterly useless to produce unless exchange takes place, and under the Single Tax there would be fair exchanges.

As to the steel trust, about a year and a half ago, Mr. Schwab, who knows as much about steel as any man in this audience, for he is a shop man, brought up in the works at Pittsburg, went before the industrial committee at Washington, was examined, and gave his testimony. He was asked this question by the chairman of that committee: "Mr, Schwab, don't you think the steel trust is over-capitalized?" He said : "No, I don't." "Why?" "Because in the Connellsville coking region of Pennsylvania there are 60,000 acres of coal, the best coking coal in the world for steel making purposes. We have got it. We own it. That land was appraised and the value was based upon the prsent and the expanding uses of steel, for this is the steel age. That land is worth now $60,000 an acre and $60,000 multiplied by 60,000 gives $3,600,000,000." That value in private hands represents nothing but tribute-levying power, nothing but land monopoly, nothing but land value. You may not know what land values are, Mr. Stedman, but Mr. Schwab does. (Applause.) He said: "The $3,600,000,000 is more than twice our present capitalization. I think we are under-capitalized." In his testimony he did not say one word about steel mills, rail mills, plate mills, bloom and billet mills, blast furnaces or the various machinery and capital entering into the production of steel plates, blooms, rails, sheets or anything of the kind. What he did say was that the steel trust rested on land monopoly in the State of Pennsylvania, a monopoly given to them by the laws of Pennsylvania and upheld by the people of Pennsylvania. He was talking about, thinking about and discussing nothing but land monopoIy. He did not care for the rest because he knew he could duplicate every rail mill, steel mill, billet mill, bloom mill, steamship and ore dock. That is not what constitutes the monopoly. The monopoly exists in the ownership of that which can not be duplicated. You cannot duplicate land because land cannot be made by man, not an ounce of it, and for that reason those who own it have an ab'solute monopoly. You cannot find a substitute for,it, and the men who own it have got an absolute monopoly, and the Single Tax would destroy that. (Applause.)

When Mr. Schwab was before the Marquette Club here in Chicago he said: "You have heard many complaints about the steel trust being over-capitalized. Let me tell you something. Up in Michigan, in Minnesota and in Wisconsin we own or control between eighty and ninety per cent. of the best available iron ore beds discovered in this country for making iron or steel, When you consider the enormous production of steel and the increasing demand for it all over the world, you will see that this is the steel age." He never said a word about bloom mills, plate mills, billet mills or blast furnaces. He was thinking about the monopoly of the source of supply. That was the only thing he was interested in. And he said this in substance to the industrial commission and the Marquette Club: "Land monopoly in Pennsylvania, land monopoly in Michigan, land monopoly in Wisconsin and land monopoly in Minnesota is our sole source of power, our sole source of monopoly." The only power of the steel trust to underpay workmen and overcharge customers lies in its monopoly of land and the tariff on steel, amounting to $11 per ton. The Single Tax will destroy both at one fell swoop. (Applause.)

The Standard Oil trust. The Standard Oil trust owes its monopoly to two things, the private operation and ownership of railroads and pipe lines based upon franchises and land values and the private ownership of oil wells. Abolish this by the Single Tax and there is nothing left of the standard oil trust as a monopoly, and if the average citizen could buy transportation just as he can now buy postage stamps, without favoritism, he would not have to pay thirteen or fourteen cents a gallon for six cent gasoline. People pay that now only by virtue of land monopoly secured to the trust under statutory law.

As to the sugar trust. The Single Tax is a tax on land values only. When you abolish all tariffs the sugar trust will lose its power to do evil. The evil power of the sugar trust is simply the power to overcharge customers for refined sugar, and that it does by means of the differential tariff on refined sugar and the prevention of foreign competition by the tariff. The Single Tax will operate to destroy the tariff and thus destroy whatever there is of power for evil in the sugar trust.

As to the steamship trust - there is no steamship trust. It went to pieces when Mr. Schwab and Mr. Morgan waterlogged and sunk it. The ocean cannot be monopolized, hence steamship trusts are ephemeral, they cannot last, they haven't got their feet upon the ground, like the fabled Anteus, and the coal trus, and would never be thought of were it not for the private monopoly of docks and terminal facilities now controlled by the railroads, and the Single Tax will render both forever impossible.

As to Marshall Field and these other gentlemen who own department stores, Mr. Stedman said that Marshall Field would say to these other men who wanted to start a department store, "Go on and start your store, and in a year from now I will buy your goods as a bankrupt stock." Mr. Field might also say to them, "Your capital don't amount to anything. You haven't got the right place to sell goods. You are not on the right kind of dirt. The kind of dirt to sell goods on is down on State street, and I have got a monopoly of a large section of State street. I have the customers, and if you want to get customers you have got to come down here alongside of me where the customers are. Your capital don't amount to anything. You are no use as capitalists." (Applause.) You have proved conclusively that the power of capitalists does not consist in the ownership of capital merely, but in ownership of monopoly. Mr. Field would be powerful only as a landlord and not as a man engaged in production, exchange or useful industry. (Applause.)

Mr. Stedman asked, "Gentlemen, how are you going to ascertain the value of oil land?" Well, it took Mr. Crowther, of the King Crowther combination, of Texas, just seven years to get control of 7,500 acres of land. Why did he do that? In order to engage in production? Not at all. In order to become useful to his fellow men? Not at all. In order to get a land monopoly, so that he might sell out to those who needed oil in their industries i that is why he did it. The land speculator is not a useful citizen and society does not need him. He is simply the man that gets there first. Land monopoly is at the bottom of your oil trust, your oil kings and your millionaires. Mr. Crowther is said to have "got" several millions; he "made" nothing. Now, Mr. Stedman, how did this man ascertain the value of that oil land?

As to rent, profit and interest. To divide the present system of distribution into rent, profit and interest, as Socialists do, is just as foolish as to talk about the human family being divided into three classes, men, women and human beings. All there is to society is men and women. All there is to distribution is rent, wages and interest. You call a landlord a monopolist and class his rent as profits; he calls it interest on his investment - two names for the same thing. The vast bulk of so called interest now paid is rent, ground rent for the use of the earth. The power of Shylock, which both Socialist and Single Taxer condemn, arises. not from tire avarice of the man who takes the last pound of flesh, but from the necessities of his victim which drive him into the Shylock's den. The Single Tax will abolish such necessities by making people free, by making industry free. All industry is based upon land. By making the land, the source of all wealth, free, men can then engage in production under such conditions that they will not need the aid of a Shylock, and all will have plenty without going to a Shylock. No matter how greedy the Shylocks are, they can not extort by the mere fact of greed, for it takes two to make a bargain, and the very instant you make men free you take away the advantage of any Shylock to crush his fellow men. You can not crush an eggshell unless you have something on the other side, even with the weight of Jupiter. And you have got to have something underneath the worker to compel him to give up the bulk of what he produces for the opportunity to work. Why does he do it now? Because his hand is palsied by lack of opportunity, and the "thing on the other side" is land monopoly. What is it today that stands between industry and its products? Three things only: land speculation, taxes upon production and taxes upon exchange - just three. The Single Tax would abolish taxes upon production and tax land monopoly only. It would abolish taxes upon exchange, and tax land values only. It will remove the taxes from these two things and place the burden upon the other thing, on land speculation. Every vacant piece of land is a tramp factory. When you abolish land monopoly you leave industry in a condition for unhampered production. Men will, be free to produce what they like, where they like, when they like, and how they like, and there will be a more equitable distribution, for by the same bold stroke that you abolish land monopoly you abolish the three things which now stand in the way of industry - you abolish the desperation, the poverty, and the dependence of the worker. The dependence of the worker explains his willingness - no, not willingness, but necessity, for giving up the bulk of his products for the opportunity to work. As soon as that dependence is abolished, so soon does he become free as an American citizen should be. Now you Socialists have got to deal with this question of taxation. You have to meet it. You can not abolish it without abolishing all government. I am not opposed to government; I am not an anarchist, nor yet are you. What will you do with it? You have got to deal with it. There are only two things you can tax: one is labor and the other is land monopoly. If you tax labor as it is now taxed, by taxing personal property, and everything in sight produced by labor, you will do the very thing that brings about our present industrial problems, the very condition you wish to destroy. If you ever achieve political power you will have to do this first. If you do that, you will abolish the very evils that you are organized to combat, and nothing else will be left to combat, for what can a people not accomplish when they are industrially free?

We want co-operation; so do you, and we know how to get it. We want it to be voluntary and universal. We know that men co-operate because it is natural and necessary, because men seek to gratify their desires with the least exertion, and if you remove the trinity of burdens, prohibitive land values and taxes upon production and exchange, you will at once make production perfect, unlimited and universal; and the moment you do that you will have the free industrial system that the world today is looking forward to; for already the sun of liberty has risen above humanity's horizon, and when it reaches the full zenith of its power and glory no Socialist, no Paternalist, no Protectionist, no advocate of the extension of governmental power and no apologist for privilege will be able to look upon its face and live. (Applause.)

The Chairman:

The general summing up and conclusion of the arguments in favor of Socialism and the Single Tax will be given by two well-known gentlemen, after which ten minutes will be given to Mr. Simons on the Socialist side of the question.

I will now present to you Mr. Simons.

A. M. Simons:

For one thing, I want to thank our opponents. I want to thank Mr. Post that he came out here and said two things: in the first place, that they were willing to rest their case with the working class omf the world, and in the second place that the coming struggle which is to shake the foundations of society was to come between Socialism and Single Tax. We know what that means. The Single Tax to-day is but the tail of the democratic kite, and Haverhill, Brockton and a dozen other places have shown that democrat is but another name for republican, and justify what we have always said, that in the last great line-up between plutocracy and Socialism, the Republican party and the Socialist party, standing face to face will fight the battle of humanity in America. (Applause.)

I want to take up for a moment, before proceeding to my main discussion, some of the things that Mr. Hardinge put before you. He told us that the Single Tax would compel everybody to buy labor. May I ask Mr. White, who is to follow, who there would be that would sell labor, if everybody was to buy? If there are buyers then there are sellers. (Applause.) And we know enough about what is the result when human flesh and blood, the power of muscle, the skill and brain of the workers is sold in the markets of the world to not want to move a finger to carry that phase of society on through another stage of our existence.

Again, he told us that to-day was not competitive; that to-day was monopolistic, but the fact of the thing is that the evil of competition of which we are complaining is here. (Applause.) And he gave no evidence whatever to show that the Single Tax which should usher in this era of glorified and beatific competition would take away the damnable waste of advertising, of armies, of lawyers, of the whole mass of parasites that to-day ride upon the backs of the working class in America.

He told you that the armies were the real foundation of your land monopoly. Was it to secure land monopoly that soldiers shot down strikers in the City of Chicago in 1894? (Applause.) When soldiers and sailors are sent beyond the seas is it to acquire land? No, it is to acquire human beings that they go there, that is, the possibility of consuming the things that American laborers are creating and which capitalism denies them any opportunity to enjoy. (Applause.) When to-day in the "bull pens" of Colorado the soldiers are carrying on a reign of terror beside which that of the Cossacks of Russia is mild indeed, they are doing it not to add more territory to the United States, not to produce more rent for the landlord, but to give more profits to the Rockefellers and the Gateses who own the Colorado Iron and Fuel Company. (Applause.)

He told us the Single Tax would make so many more buyers you would not any longer need to advertise. Evidently this gentleman never had any experience in the advertising world. It is when the buyers flock on State street that the State street merchants advertise. Why do they advertise? Did you see as much advertising in the time when those streets were deserted, in the terrible panic times of 1894? No, the greater the crowd of buyers the more the waste that is spent in decorating bill-boards, covering up and padding our magazines, sending an army of drummers across the country, and the greater the general waste, not simply of dollars, but of the life and blood and energy of the working class of America. (Applause.)

We asked them who would define liberty, and he told you that those who knew the most would define it. That was not a very clear explanation, because I don't believe we would all agree as to which one knew the most. I will answer the question for him that in any stage of society it will be that class which dominates and rules and controls the social organism. Under the Single Tax, as under capitalism, with two classes, there would be a ruling and exploiting class. I do not want any ruling class to say what shall be liberty for you and me. I say that you have no right to define liberty for those who chance to belong to the working producing classes. There is a fact that these gentlemen utterly overlook; that every stage of society has a different definition for right and wrong and liberty and all these catch-phrases which are juggled here. Under Socialism there would be a different definition. The class that would do the defining, that would decide what was right and wrong and what was liberty, would be the great producing class of the world, who would then be the Social rulers and the Social whole. (Applause.)

Again, they took up the trust question, and I want to make a few comments along that line and then since I am going to devote the most of my talk to the subject of industrial concentration, I may come back to these questions again:

He told us a few things that I do not want you to miss. He told us that the steel trust rested almost exclusively upon land monopoly. I hold here in my hand "Trust Finance," by Edwin F. Mead, recognized as the greatest authority in the realm of trust finance, the man who foretold that Morgan was trying to sell gold bricks when he started the steel trust; that compelled the steel trust to issue a statement in order to explain away those predictions, and then every one of those predictions proved true, and who to-day is feared by Wall street as well as recognized. And he tells us what? He tells us that with regard to these coke ovens, with regard to these coal mines, that they are a source of weakness because in them is tied up capital, while substitutes are being constantly found for the Connelsville coal.

On page 281 he says: "Since 1893, however, and especially since 1897, this monopoly of the Connellsville coke maker, upon which President Schwab places such a high value, has been gradually undermined. The agencies which have brought this about are the by-product coke oven and the open-hearth process of steel making. In the by-product process, first introduced into the United States in 1893, the coal is coked in a high narrow retort; that is to say, under heavy pressure, and by the application of external heat, no air being admitted to the coal. By this method it has been found practicable to produce a strong coke from a great variety of coals. Western Pennsylvania is full of coking coals, which, while unsuitable for the beehive oven, do very well in the by-product oven. Coke is now made by this process from coal produced outside the Connellsville region, by a number of independent steel companies, the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company, the Cambria Steel Company, and the Maryland Steel Company being among the number. There is no longer much doubt that any steel company which can pay $100 to $200 per acre for coal land can make itself independent of the coal land of the Connellsville region." Thus he shows that a change in the tools and methods of production has rendered the land monopoly valueless and proves once more that capital has supplanted land as the dominant industrial factor.

He goes on to show why land ownership is of little importance to the men that are ruling the industries of the world to-day. Do not our opponents know that a national bank is forbidden by law to own land? Because it is such a disadvantage, the ownership of land by a great life insurance company is looked upon as indicating its probable downfall. In the great field of "high finance" where to-day industries are made and wrecked and social forces formulated and controlled and governments set up and used as puppets, the land is looked upon as an incumbrance and a nuisance.

Now, then, I want to take up this whole question of concentration. Not to-day, but in the early days of capitalism, competition was looked upon as the great ruling social force. On it rested the entire fabric of capitalism, and when monopoly came in it seemed to those whose lives depended on the perpetuation of capitalistic exploitation, and rightly, that the whole great structure was tottering to its fall. And so they did not see what the socialist foretold a half century ago, that "one capitalist devours many," that the larger the industrial unit the cheaper it could produce, and the cheaper it could produce the larger the industrial unit grew. And as transportation became improved and communication perfected and the circles of the market grew larger and larger, the territory within which a single industry could dominate grew and grew and grew like the circles around a pebble cast into the water, until at last, for many lines of industry, it became coterminous with the equator and the meridians, and the whole great world became one market in which the master who rules in any industry could rule supreme. Well, when the concentration first began along certain lines the little capitalist who felt himself squeezed to the wall began to howl and he tried first to meet it with anti-trust laws, and then he tried to explain it away with his philosophy; he tried first with anti-trust laws to correct and stop it, and then he tried with his philosophy to show that it had no right to exist anyhow. (Laughter.) To him concentration was something abnormal, something out of the way, something "unnatural," my friend. (Laughter.) It was simply that despairing howl of a class that felt the great wheel of industrial progress rolling over it and sought to stop it by pushing with their puny hands.

But still it grew and grew and grew, and their explanations did not seem to explain. Their anti-trust laws did not seem to check it, and finally some of them took up the line of national or governmental ownership, by which they sought to put in the hands of the government the whole income from the great trusts and leave the little field open for the small exploiters still to graze in. So the Single Taxer who realized that the landlord was squeezing him, and the man that owned a little shop out on West Madison street or on Milwaukee avenue, whose rent was of mighty importance, thought that if he could get rid of it he would be free to run Marshall Field out of business. Marshall Field cared nothing for the land, because only a few of the great department stores own land; they pay it over to a landlord in the form of rental, and, if you make that rental higher, then it would certainly keep the little fellow out, and if you make it lower, then it certainly would help the big fellow. You can take either horn of the dilemma. So the small capitalist seeks to enter a field in which he can live and still ride upon the backs of the workers, and naturally he turns to various phases of reform. He is not satisfied alone with the taxing of land. He is continually adding something else to the idea of land monopoly. He has to bring in the coal beds, then the little strip of land that the railroad runs on. Because anything touches the land, therefore it is the land which constitutes the land monopoly, until it finally reaches the height of the ridiculous by Henry George, Jr., telling us that the tobacco trust rested upon the ownership of a little chunk of land down in Cuba which the trust had bought only after its position had been assured, and it had dominated the world for three or four years. This was his argument, that the trusts can not exist without land. This is all the land the trust owns, and therefore, the tobacco trust, touching this piece of land, must be made a monopoly by virtue of that ownership. It sounds very much like some of the arguments that Mr. Hardinge has put up. He was great on these successive clauses as lines of argument, as you probably noticed. But as a matter of fact concentration could not reach a high point until the time should come when the industry should be practically free from land, and concentration found its first field in those industries most thoroughly removed from the land.

It goes into the banking industry in which the owners are forbidden by law to own land. It comes into the railroad industry, in which the ownership of land is infinitesimal. It goes into a whole mass of others where land is of less and less importance.

Oh, but that brings in a new argument, that of "special privileges." They tell us that the sugar trust exists because of the tariff. What under the sun has the sugar trust got a lobby for in Washington; what is it working for? Free trade with Cuba. (Applause.) That is what they are working for. It is said that the tariff is the foundation of industrial trusts, and yet trusts are located in England, the classic land of free trade. Over there they have nothing but free trade, and Chamberlain wants to put a tariff on it to stop concentration. Too much "privilege" over there. How do they account for the fact that today the Coates thread works, located in Paisley, Scotland, owning no land save what it stands on, is dominating the market, dividing the entire world between its different branches regardless of free trade or tariff, patent legislation and land legislation of every possible form and kind? No. You can go into any country in the world and you can find that, no matter what these "privileges" are, wherever capitalism is there the trust is formed. But let us analyze that term "special privilege." It is simply another way of saying that the capitalists use the government in their own interest. Of course they do - of course they do. (Applause.) When the capitalists of America want one kind of a law they have it, and when they want another they have it, and "special privilege" is simply a general term for the various things that these members of the capitalist class of America or any other country want from the government at various times.

But the Socialist contemplates concentration from another point of view. He says it is a perfectly logical - "natural," if you like that word better - evolution from a previous condition, and he says to you that it grows larger and larger until it divides society into two great classes, the capitalist class upon the one hand and the laboring class upon the other; the workers with hand and brain upon the one hand, and the parasites who live upon those workers upon the other. Those classes are struggling, first in the economic field, then in the political field, to gain economic advantage, to gain the food and the clothing and the shelter that Mr. Post told you they wanted. And finally, they see that the time will come when that class will become the ruler-when the working class will become the rulers by virtue of their overwhelming numbers. Then the question arises, what will they do? why, act in accord with their material interests, to be sure. What are those material interests? They are demanding the end of the condition which today holds them in slavery. That condition is the ownership of the things that they must use in order to live. Therefore the workers propose to own those things. They cannot own them individually because they are indivisible and they are more economical of operation on a large scale, and therefore they propose to own them collectively, and they propose to use the social organism, which they would control, for the purpose of operating those industries.

But, says Mr. Post, you propose to tear down and destroy and revolutionize. We do propose to revolutionize, not to tear down and destroy. We hurl back the accusation upon those that say we would tear down and destroy. It is they who would reduce the standard of living, for those men of the working class who through their union have raised it a trifle above what the savage could raise from the soil, down to the point of what man with naked hands wrests from the niggard soil - a mere subsistence. We do not propose to tear down. We propose to use the whole structure and push it on to its legitimate conclusion. We propose to take the magnificent machinery into which the life blood and skill and strength of generations and generations of workers have been poured - we propose to take that for the use of the workers.

I want to ask them again as I have before, if they justify the return from the ownership of capital. That is the whole question on which we differ. We do not justify their landlord. We stand here to make no plea for him. But we ask them do you justify the capitalist? That is the question. And by capitalist we mean not some man who, owning a little shop, is more than half a worker. That is not what the word means in the literature of today, in the language of today, in the public thought of today. We means those men that live by virtue of ownership and that hire other men to do the superintending, the bossing, the managing and the organizing; the men whom the French call the rentier class as distinguished from the entrepreneur class; the men who own stocks and bonds and mortgages, and who by virtue of that ownership are able to reach into the pockets of every man who toils and take from him from 5 to 90 per cent of all that he produces and keep it for their own use. Do they justify that? If they do, then Mr. Post was right when he said that the last great struggle was coming between Socialism and the Single Tax. (Applause.) As for us we are not interested in the squabbles between these wings of the capitalist class. Today we find that the continued slavery of the working class rests upon the perpetuation of the quarrels between their masters, and it is for that reason that we antagonize the Single Tax, because we see in that an instrument to weld the chains firmer upon our wrists. We see that the struggle is pushing forward on a clear field between capital and labor, and that they seek to come between and help to give the pretendedly warring parties of capitalists more excuse for continuing that farcical fight.

And that brings us to the question of tactics and the means of getting what we want, and there we break clearly and firmly with the Single Taxer. The Socialist shows you here that the interests of the working class are in everlasting war with all forms of exploitation, whether of the landlord or the capitalist. (Applause.) And we carry that war into the political field, and we cannot fellowship there with any whose interests are opposed to us. Therefore we seek to express in the political field that class war which is running through society, which we did not create, but the concealment of which is so important for the continuance of capitalism. We seek to express that condition in the political field, and as quick as that is done our victory is assured. Therefore the only hope of a continuation of capitalist rule is to be found in these pretended divisions. Here it is that the Single Tax becomes of value, because it affiliates with one of the great political parties today and lends its support to them. So they have to bear the sins of that party. When they fasten themselves on to the democratic party they accept responsibility for the treatment of the southern negro, while they ask our sympathy through the tears they shed over the poor Filipino. They accept with that, if you please, the fact of anti-boycott laws in Alabama and the absence of child labor legislation of all kinds throughout the sunny south. (Applause.) That is supposed to be of little importance; it is of more importance than may appear at first sight. For today capitalism is shifting its center of domination to the southern states, and if it can build its stronghold amid a disfranchised negro laboring class and on the bodies of helpless child slaves with the help of the philanthropic Single Taxer of the north, it can maintain its rule for many years over the exploited wage slaves of the north and south. (Applause.)

For that reason we attack them, and so we place in opposition, first our philosophy, and in that today we in common with the whole scientific world recognize no "natural" or "unnatural" laws. He wanted me to say something about that. If that term "natural law" has any earthly meaning at all, it means the laws that are found today in the realms of physics and chemistry - the laws of chemical affinity and the laws of gravitation. And do they pretend to tell us that land values and rent are determined by laws of gravitation or chemical affinity? "Natural law," like any other law of any kind whatever, is simply an expression of the fact that there is an observed succession of phenomena. They claim to have observed a certain succession of phenomena in society which we deny exists, and so we ask you to judge between us on the proof submitted and not on the phrases applied, if you please. (Applause.)

And so we tell you that the Socialists look upon this concentration as the "natural" (if you like the word) outgrowth of our competitive system of today: We look upon it as a desirable thing, because it abolishes the tremendous waste of competition, and it certainly does not put any heavier yoke upon the laborer than is upon him today, for if you did he could not maintain his efficiency, hence he would not be as valuable a laborer and you could'not squeeze him. And so we are not interested in the question of whether we have big capitalists or whether we have little ones. We are not interested in the question of whether we have one boss above of us or whether we have fifty. But we are interested in the question of getting rid of all bosses, all mastership, all exploitation. (Applause.)

Then again Mr. Post made one other statement that I want to thank him for, and that is when he said he wanted to leave his case with the working class of the world. That is a mighty significant thing, and I am glad that we have got the Single Taxers on record on that. The working class of the world have shown that they care very little for the Single Tax. (Applause.) And today when you look over the entire capitalist world and you see the gathering hosts that are following the red flag of Socialism; when you see them lining up all over the world, today some thirty million strong in followers, over eight million strong in votes, and when we see this mighty army marching on and joining hands across the sea, from far away Japan over across America, from the golden gate to the coast of Labrador, on across the Atlantic and across the Russian steppes; when we see that tremendous body moving in solid step against enthroned tyranny and exploitation; when we see the mighty fight that is coming, it is at least a consolation to know where our enemies are. And therefore we thank him for the fact that he tells US that in that final day he is going to be on the other side, against that mighty army of the workers. (Applause.) Not that we would not welcome him as an individual to our ranks. But we must hew to the line; we cannot stop to discuss where the chips may fall. And so we would rather know men as open enemies than as doubtful friends. But we do not believe that he will be an open enemy. We believe that the great mass of the Single Taxers today will take the other wing of that logical development that Mr. Stedman pointed out, and land in the Socialist movement. (Applause.)

Let me then sum up. On the one side, on the side of the Single Tax, stands the defenders of all the terrible waste of our society today, the four times the public school fund spent for army and navy, and ten times the public school fund spent in advertising; stands for the defense of capitalist exploitation as such; stands in the field of tactics for support of the democratic party, one of the great divisions of the capitalist class, and I would like to know how they will stand when that party fuses with the republican party in Chicago as it has elsewhere before the specter of Socialism. (Applause.)

On the other side, under the banner of the Socialists, stands the determination to enjoy the full fruition of all that modern science and the skill and brains of the working class have produced; stands the determination to end all forms of exploitation; stands the determination to use all the instruments of production that the mind of man has devised and man's skill and strength made possible for the production of wealth and the conservation of all that wealth for the use of the producers and none else; and that stands for a society that shall be ruled by the working class, when all are members of that class, and that stands today for the great worldwide revolt of the workers who are to form a society that shall know no class, no exploitation, no landlords, or capitalists. I thank you. (Applause.)

The Chairman : The closing argument and analysis for &e Henry George Association will be made by that well-known advocate, John Z. White, whom I take pleasure in presenting to you. (Applause.)


Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: As we Single Taxers have patiently submitted to being compared to Dinklespiel, and have patiently submitted to certain suggestion that our logical faculties were more or less out of order, I trust that the assembled Socialists will patiently submit if I say some things not in severe criticism, but in explanation of my own mental attitude. I do not ask you to agree with me. When my neighbors agree with me I begin to get suspicious of myself. (Laughter.) Nearly all my neighbors support the protective tariff; I don't. Nearly all my neighbors support landlordism; I don't. I am used to being associated with the minority, and I have no objection to being in the minority this afternoon. (Applause.) But being in the minority does not in any way give the majority a right to express its superiority over me physically. (Applause.) We have recently passed a law at Washington whereby men must not disbelieve certain things, on pain of being thrown out of the United States, and, another bill is introduced under which we must not disbelieve certain things, on pain of being put behind bars. Now there's a whole lot of things I disbelieve. Among other things, I disbelieve Socialism (applause); and I do not propose to be put behind bars for this disbelief, physically or metaphorically, unless by compulsion. I want to find out whether this audience is of the same temper as that which is endorsing this legislation at Washington.

Single Taxers are not Dinklespiels; that is admitted. Much obliged. Socialists are opposed to Single Taxers, and we may possibly draw a conclusion.

We are told the International Association dropped the Single Tax when it was proposed many years ago. That settles it; they dropped it. Napoleon I. dropped the needle gun when it was placed in his hands, and for failure to realize the value of the needle gun, the breech-loading rifle, Napoleon died on St. Helena. The mere fact that somebody has dropped something proves nothing, except that he dropped it. (Applause.) That is the historical method of getting at matters.

"Historic changes in society flow from changes in the economic basis." Marx said so, Engels seconded the motion, the International Association voted unanimously, and that settles that.

This sort of history is not good history. No man in this audience is determined wholly by his material surroundings. Some men are largely determined by material affairs. Some men are determined almost entirely by emotions, and I am sorry to say that my experience has been that the Socialist groups in Chicago are a complete confirmation of the latter assertion. (Laughter.) I notice that the appeal this afternoon is made to the emotions, made to the sentiments. The gentlemen who appealed to you are tolerably well acquainted with their audience. (Laughter, and a voice, "Tell us something about the Single Tax," and hissing.)

I am doing the talking now. (Applause.) I want to find out whether I am to be put behind bars metaphorically or not. This is my turn; and the minute you overstep that line, gentlemen, you furnish me with the chiefest argument against your system. (Applause.) This is not the first of this sort of interruption. I have met it before. I scorn a man who is not square. I despise a man who is not square.

"The Single Tax will fail because land rent, ground rent, has gone through many phases historically." That ground rent goes through many phases is true. It is going through a lot of them now.

Our railroads, we are told this afternoon, give control of industries; that it is not land which gives control of people and control of wages; and the element of land in railroads is referred to as infinitesimal. A gentlemen by the name of Larrabee, who was once governor of the State of Iowa, wrote a book in which he gave all of the figures he was able to gather from all sources, and these figures show the element of land in railroad values is more than 50 per cent. But that 50 per cent is "infinitesimal !" An expert gives $11,000,000 as the physical value of the Chicago City Railway, and $27,000,000 as the market value of its stock, a difference of $16,000,000. Isn't that land? If not, what is it? (Voices, "Water," ‘Wind.") Wind? The gentleman needs to read some book on political economy where terms are defined, and he will find that wind, which labor has not touched, is land in the economic sense. Land in the economic sense includes water and all natural forces.

We are told by the first speaker, Mr. Untermann, that the landlord would shift the tax, even if we could institute it. I merely refer him to the literature on this question. It is a matter that was settled before Henry George was born. You might just as well tell me that the mathematical axiom that the whole is equal to the sum of all the parts is not sound, as to come at me with the proposition that landlords can shift a tax laid upon the value of land. Why don't you tell me that a stone thrown up in the air will stay there? A story is told of the extreme cold of California in the early days. A cat leaping across an open space froze stiff and remained in the air. A man to whom this story was told said, "Nonsense, the law of gravity would bring it down." "Yes," said the story teller, "but the law of gravity was froze up too." (Laughter.)

As to the figures, they were disposed of, I think, by Mr. Post.

Capital does not last. Land does. All through history labor has been held in subjection. What held it? Something that lasted all through history, and something that still continues. What is it? What things have continued in all the history of humanity? Two things, man -and the globe on which he lives. (Applause.) To hold man in subjection you will have to either enslave his body, make him a serf, or hold the land on which he must live if he lives at all.

Capital: a gentleman wanted to know what we meant by capital, if we believe in capital continuing, if I remember the question correctly.

Mr. Post: "Capitalism."

Mr. White : If we believe in capitalism? Well, then he went on to tell us what the word meant. He says, as I understand him, it means the power which some man has to hold another man in subjection and to take what his labor earns. If that is what he means, we certainly do not believe in it. But what has that got to do with this question? We are considering a method which will remove this power. (Applause.) We understand that laboring men are despoiled. You understand that laboring men are despoiled. We are both opposed to the process. (Applause.) Now, what shall we do in order to destroy the process? (A voice, "Join the democratic party.") There is another gentleman who thinks he knows something about the matter, and it looks very much as though he does.

Mr. Post referred to a revolution, and our friends on the other side denied the purpose of a bloody revolution, and in support of that position referred to the surrender of the feudal tenures in France, but so far as they were able concealed from this audience the fact that that surrender was voluntarily made in response to a national sentiment, not in response to a change in the physical basis of economic life. Mr. Post did not imply a bloody revolution. He meant a complete upsetting and rebuilding of social institutions. That does not mean blood, nor did he mean it. Blood may or may not be incidental to the result. That is the position that your writers take.

Then they want to know what profit is, and want no evasion of the question. In reply we say, here is the globe, the planet, with sufficient capability for all that live on it. Maybe I am mistaken. Maybe some of our Socialistic exhorters can prove that notion wrong. It is also my notion, that if we would get something to eat, we will grow it out of the ground, out of this earth, out of this planet; that if we want a house to live in, we will get the material out of this planet; that if we want clothes, we will find the material provided by this planet, and with our labor we will make every article which we will use as clothing. Now, what becomes of the articles? Under our law some men own the earth and they won't let us use it unless we will pay them for it. Therefore, we have to give a part of what we produce to those who own the earth, and they call such income rent; and we look upon it as 100 per cent "profit" to the landlord. That is one form of what we mean by profit. Then we notice that men who do the work get something, get a part of what they produce, and we look upon that as profit to them. We know that some men have made tools with which production may be accelerated, and they are given a part of the total product for the use of their tools, and we look upon that as a portion of profit. Upon what basis is there any other division? Here are rent, wages and interest, and each represents a profit to those who receive it. That is what we mean by profit. Now, when you say rent, wages, interest and profit, it is as though you were to say men, women, children and human beings. If it is not that, why not?

Mr. Field could tell the 100 men supposed to conduct a co-operative store that he would buy them out in a few months when they broke up, because "that is not the place to put up a department store. This is the place down here, and I have got it." What is the "place?" Is it not a part of the surface of this planet that we call the earth? Isn't it land? And according to their own statement, viewing the facts that they as rational men perceive, Marshall Field's cinch, his power, lies in the "place" that he holds, that he monopolizes. He monopolizes this, gentlemen, under law, and we propose that the Single Tax will fall upon the value of that place, and all advantage that comes to Mr. Field from the possession of this place will flow, through the operation of this tax, into the public treasury. Now, if there is any advantage, and my friends point out that there is, in the ownership of this place, then that advantage under the operation of this tax will not inure to Marshall Field, but will inure to the people of Chicago, because they control their own treasury if they want to. (Applause.)

Then, "will the Single Tax abolish classes?' Why, of course we think it will. We assert that it will. You assert that it will not. Making answers to questions of this sort is simply a form of begging the question; it is not argument. It is understood that you believe that only Socialism will abolish classes. It is also understood that we believe that the Single Tax will abolish classes.

Why am I asked this question? Do you want to find out whether I believe in social classes or not? No, of course I don't. (Applause.) In the dictionary sense of the term, in the historical sense of the term, I am a democrat. In the party sense of the term I am a democrat, or not, as my notion of expediency determines. If I think they are going to abolish the tariff, I will be with them. If I think they are going to re-elect Grover Cleveland I will be opposed to them. (Applause.) In the next election, if they put up Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Gorman, I will in all probability, so far as I can see now, vote the Socialist ticket. (A prolonged applause, and a voice, "We don't want your vote.") Perhaps you won't applaud just so loudly when I tell you why. (Laughter.) I will vote that ticket because I know you haven't got any chance on earth to win. (Laughter.) As much as I dislike the republican party under Roosevelt, I like it better than I do the Socialist Party. As much as I dislike the democratic party under Grover Cleveland or Gorman, I like it better than I do the Socialist Party. But I am opposed to all three. (A voice, "Don't vote at all.") Wouldn't vote at all, the gentleman says. That is like little Mary, who says, "Well, if you are going to do that, - why, I won't play; I will go home; so now." I do not think there is any considerable dignity in that position.

"Socialism will do away with waste." Well, I don't know. They tell us about the waste of advertising and war. If a war is in defense of liberty and in opposition to tyranny, gentlemen, I view it as anything but waste. (Applause.) During the American revolution a foreign king endeavored to maintain tyranny in this land. That war, from the standpoint of the American patriots, was of the highest degree of productive utility. When we proposed to overthrow the institution of chattel slavery in the South, it was necessary to levy war in order to accomplish the result. I view that war as anything but waste. I think a fair comparison, a reasonable and direct comparison, would be of this nature: Suppose Socialism in possible operation; then suppose the Single Tax in operation; where in these two cases would appear the greater waste? And I will insist that the Single Tax, under free competition, will furnish you the highest point of production and the lowest possible point of waste. Upon the other hand, your Socialistic arrangement, no matter how you may order it, will give you the lowest point of production, and therefore as a consequence the highest point of waste (applause), for a reason which was pointed out by one who endorses Socialistic principles. In one of your recent histories of the growth of the Socialistic ideal in the modern world it was stated that every time one of your Socialistic societies hired a man from outside, this man did twice as much work in a day as any member of the commune ordinarily did. Therefore, I insist that governmental control, public control, of all industries will remove the force that is necessary to carry material civilization to its greatest height - that of individual initiative. That is the power which all of your Socialistic arrangements is calculated to kill. Free competition is absolutely necessary to remove tyranny. I want to remove tyranny, but I insist that it is not necessary to destroy individual ambition in order to accomplish that result. (Applause.) There is the dividing line. If you will allow all men to produce, associating in such way as they will, but deny to any man the legal authority whereby he can crush or trample upon, or in any manner dictate to another - just that moment will each and every man stand free.

You talk about a man with a great warehouse full of machinery. What good is that machinery to him if he cannot get men to run it? And if he would get men for this work, must they not be removed from direct cultivation of the ground? We are told that if the land were free workingmen could only get at it with their bare hands. Did you ever see a community grow up in that kind of style? Are you talking seriously? Do you mean to debate this matter on its merits? That is not the way modern primitive societies began, nor ancient primitive societies either. Not within the range of history has civilization ever begun in that kind of style. Are you practical men? Are you talking about real things, or are you talking about the figments of your distorted imaginations? (Applause.)

They want to know how the Single Tax would open coal land. To illustrate: A few years ago there was a very lucrative industry for private parties in the river beds of the Carolinas, where a man with an old horse, an old wagon, old harness, old pick and old shovel, and in an old suit of clothes, poor, a distinctive representative of the Southern "white trash," could go down into the river bed and fill that wagon with phosphate and haul it up to the depot and sell it just as a farmer does his grain, and he could make two, three, four, five or six dollars a day. A law was enacted giving to a corporation the control of this phosphate in the river beds, and immediately this very man was reduced to a position first of a dollar and a half a day, for he was working for a corporation, then a dollar and a quarter, then ninety cents, and then negroes were imported and herded in stockades, and one of them shot while trying to escape. Now, put your tax on those phosphate beds today, and will they hold them idle? They are not fully using the phosphate beds. They are using them in spots just as in the anthracite coal region they are using the coal deposits in spots. Spread your taxes over that three billions of land value referred to by Schwab, the Connellsville coal, and will they leave it in the ground, as they are doing now? Take it home to yourselves. Suppose you own it individually and we put our tax upon it, where will you get the money with which to pay that tax?

You will get it in one way and one way only, and that will be by putting men at work digging coal. When you do that, and all other landlords do that, where are they going to get the men from? (Applause.)

They want to know if competition puts sand in sugar. Yes, it does; and it caused men in the Black Hole of Calcutta to tear out one another's eyes. A few minutes before they were perfectly peaceful; they were outside in the fresh air. Competition acts differently in different conditions. That is, it does among all people except Socialists. (Applause.) If you have a Socialistic state I know of no reason on earth to prevent men doing things that they ought not to do. If you know how they come to do it, then you are probably like the representative of the Civic Federation down here before the city council the other day, who said that the duty of the state is to make persons and property safe. We told him to put the persons in Joliet and lock the property up in the First National Bank safety deposit vaults and they would be safe. That is the duty of the state, under his definition. I do not think that is the duty of the state. It is the duty of the state to make persons and property safe in freedom. (Applause. )

"Socialism will reduce hours." I don't know whether it will or not. You think it will. But we do know that all of the Socialistic institutions that have been attempted up to today, many under very favorable circumstances, have gone to pieces. However, as I understand it, this matter of reduced hours is not a necessary part of socialistic philosophy. The philosophy of Socialism is this: that through the process of evolution a few men known as the landed aristocracy, as feudal lords, over-lords, lords paramount, got control of the ancient civilization, and the economic necessities of the trading and manufacturing classes compelled them steadily, slowly, with many fluctuations and discouragements, to force their way through this old aristocracy until they assumed control of the political, social and religious institutions, assumed control of all the forces of civilization, dictating policies and commanding the situation. Today the necessities of the laboring class, we are told, are compelling laborers to do the same things for this middle manufacturing class that it formerly did for the landed class; it is forcing its way up through, - and will assume control of all political, religious and social forces and dictate their management in their own interest. This is the idea of Socialism that I have gathered. I simply want to challenge the assertion that the middle class have ever got rid of the ancient aristocracy. It is not true. The ancient landed aristocracy is now in control - (applause) - today, as in the ancient time, it is the landed interest, no matter in what guise, that dominates the economic situation everywhere.

"We are all going to invest in houses when the land is forced on the market." Then, "when there are no more people needing houses, we will invest in something else." - Yes, and we will keep on investing in "something else" till, in all lines, returns on investments are equal, and continue equal, and are maintained at an equality. Because every fellow can go into that line which is offering the advantage, as shown by larger margins. That is what we mean by free competition. (Applause.)

They want to know, when all buy labor, according to Mr. Hardinge's proposition, who will sell. why, gentlemen, if I make a thing and sell it to you, and you make a thing and sell it to me, each of us has bought labor. That is, we have bought the energy that is expressed in the article that is placed on the market. I thought an explanation of the simplest form of barter would furnish a clear statement that even a Socialist might understand. (Laughter.)

They want to know if it was for land that the soldiers shot people in the streets of Chicago. Yes, and for nothing else. (Applause.) What was being done here in Chicago? According to the 1894 authorities laborers and strikers here, and the mobs, were destroying the value of Chicago property. (Applause.) That is what they claimed was being done in Pullman, that is what they claimed was being done at Homestead, that is what they claimed was being done in the Couer d'Alene, that is what they claimed was being done everywhere; that they were destroying the value of property. What is it that goes down in value? The value of land falls, and nothing else.

Mines tied up capital, according to Schwab, and that was one of its weaknesses, according to Mr. Mead. You can see that easily enough. Here is a corporation that has a million dollars and spends three quarters of it for land and has the other quarter left to invest in machinery, and has not capital enough to carry on the business economically as a result, because so much is locked up in land. That is what Mead's testimony meant.

"Ownership of land against the national bank law." Why? The men that framed the national bank law knew that they were giving to the owners of the banking business a monopoly. They knew that when you put the money monopoly on top of the land monopoly all history proves that you have a power which will crush every other commercial force that exists in that territory. Therefore the right of a national bank to own land was denied. That was the reason for it. Notoriously so.

"Capital need not fear." We say it need not, so long as your agitation is of such a nature, gentlemen, that it does not indicate knowledge of natural commercial law; so long as your agitation is of the kind that Emperor William of Germany found in J. Pierpont Morgan, when, in his interview, he said that "Talk as we would, after two hours' speech with Mr. Morgan, I could not discover that he had any knowledge of the great antagonisms and harmonies that control the commercial world." So long as any agitation fails to realize the nature of these antagonisms and harmonies, just so long it will fail to solve the social riddle. It was only when mechanical laws and chemical laws came to be known and to be applied, that the modern world became a possibility. It was not the dissatisfaction, it was not the unrest; it was the increase in knowledge that made all these things possible. I thank you. (Applause.)

The Chairman: As we approach the close, I think I may say that we have much to congratulate ourselves on this afternoon, to be able to be here and listen to the able, scholarly and eloquent manner in which these gentlemen have discussed these economic questions. The closing presentation from the Socialistic standpoint and analysis of the previous arguments will be made by Mr. Simons, who will be given ten minutes, after which we will close.


I scarce know just how seriously to treat the combination of sneers at the audience and assertions and reckless denials that have been put before you by the last speaker as a debate.

His roasting of the audience comes with especially poor grace from a member of an organization that forbade Socialists an opportunity to speak upon its floor, and that shut off its outdoor meetings because questions were asked. (Applause.) I regret that our members have interrupted sufficiently to give an excuse for such action and the consequent rebuke.

Now, let us turn for a moment to the other points. I want to say that the sneer at Marx and Engels and at the Socialists as being followers of two men, comes also with mighty poor grace from a philosophy of one man and one book. (Applause.)

We asked him to answer this question, that the fact might better be brought to the front, whether or no he stood for the defense of capital and the capitalist, the ownership of stocks, of bonds, mortgages and instruments by which wealth was taken from the worker. He, like all the other Single Tax speakers, carefully side-stepped the question and replied by telling us, when we asked about profits, that he thought of a globe spinning in space, and then talked as if we could all build houses. He made no attempt to define capital, but only replied with a sneer; only asserting and never arguing.

Again, he told us that if we meant by profit on capital anything else than payment for the use of tools to the maker of the tools it was nonsense, thus showing that his idea, as we have said all the way through, was that of the old primitive domestic production of individuals who exchanged their products, and that he had no comprehension of the great complex capitalist organization of society where things are made to sell and not to use. Notwithstanding what he said about everything being made for use, I wonder if they put sand in the sugar and poison in other things in order that we might use them or in order that they might sell them. (Applause.)

He made another assertion. He said equality would come from the Single Tax, and that it would break the power of the capitalist, but he forgot to tell us, and none of them did, how changing the capitalist landlord from the individual landlord to the state landlord would break the power of either landlord or capitalist, so long as there were ruling classes and a capitalist controlled government.

Again, he told us with regard to tactics, when we asked him if he believed in classes he said, no, he did not believe in them, but he did not tell us how or why they would disappear. Another bare assertion.

Again, when it came to the question of tactics, he told us that if the democrats and republicans put up certain particular puppets in order to attract attention that he would flop from one side to the other; showing that it was men, not principles, for which he worked. (Applause.)

He declared that he was opposed to tyranny and that war in opposition to tyranny was not waste, but the worst statistics that we had quoted were the statistics of the army and navy of America, and I do not believe that he, an anti-imperialist, will claim that even money spent in foreign war was in defense of tyranny. Certainly the money that was spent in Colorado, that was spent at Homestead, that was spent at Pullman, that was spent at Pittsburg, that has been writ by the million throughout the country in putting down the working class at the behest of industrial capital, was certainly not in defense of tyranny. That was the waste we asked you to talk about, and not the waste of the revolutionary war or the French revolution. (Applause.) He told us when it came to a comparison of waste that we had offered no argument, and then - I quote him verbatim, and if I am wrong I would like to be corrected by the stenographers at the close. He said, "I assert that the Single Tax will be economical and Socialism wasteful," and a lot of Single Taxers in the audience applauded him and thought he said something. (Applause.)

Again, he stood up here and quoted a statement as to the greater productiveness of individual labor, and he thought that we would not recognize the book from which he quoted, but we did. He quoted from Hillquit's "History of Socialism and the Socialist Movement in America," but he was not honest enough to tell you that the quotation referred to what was done in the Oneida community after it had turned into a purely capitalist corporation. (Applause.) We know that quotation.

Again, we met the old ghost that has died a thousand times, a thousand deaths, that Socialism would destroy incentive; that a system that would make it possible for the worker to receive all his product would destroy the incentive for production; that if we take away the system of legislation that today enables employers to make men contract away a right to their earnings, that compels them to live on the smallest subsistence, that grinds them down until their individuality is sunk in a number, until they are known only by a series of numbers - that if you take that away you would destroy individuality. (Applause.) I want you to note that I am not asserting, I am putting up facts. (Applause.)

Again he told us that the man on the margin of whom he was talking was a man that had a rich phosphate bed at his very door. Unfortunately, there isn't any in my back yard. And my friend there would not have that sort of thing under the Single Tax for every man. The marginal producer would be the man who works with bare hands. He says that today in primitive communities they do not begin with bare hands. I was born and raised on the frontier of America, and I tell you that the tools we had were little more than our hands; there was a little more than an ax. That was about the only thing we had to work with, outside of a sharpened stick and hoe that we used to put our corn in with, and I want to tell you that I don't want to go back to that state of society if I can possibly help it. (Applause.) On the frontier prairie of today it is true you do not begin with bare hands, because the man that goes out there is simply the agent of the capitalist who is sent out there to produce profits on the land with the complex tools he uses. Those tools practically belong to a capitalist who lets him use them to create profit. But wherever you have primitive industry you have little more than bare hands. Where is he going to get the improved machinery? If he is going to build it up in each little community, if he is going to go through the whole slow process of reproducing these things, then we say that is a tremendous social waste.

Again, the question came as to whether Socialism would bring shorter hours and again he offered the wonderful argument - I quote him verbatim - "I don't know about that." We showed him that it would abolish these tremendous wastes, we showed him that it would utilize all the powers of society, and he does not know whether it would shorten hours.

He says that the German Emperor William said that J. Pierpont Morgan did not understand monopoly. I guess he did not read that interview right. What the Emperor said of Morgan was that he wondered that he did not understand Socialism; that is what he said. (Applause.) The question of what the working men of Germany who are Socialists are going to do to him was what interested the Emperor, and don't you ever forget it.

Now, then, in conclusion we offer to you on the one side a great worldwide army of the workers of the world that stand on a clear cut and uncompromising program to secure the material interests of themselves and their families and the heritage of all the world for the workers. On the other side are a handful that seek to exempt the small masters or exploiters from the squeezing of the landlords. We have on one side a single taxer playing the puppet before the different divisions of the capitalist class. On the other side, the big army of the workers of the world standing firm for all the product for those who labor. "Choose whom ye will serve," and you will vote either the republican or the Socialist ticket. I can assure you that in the end you will have to swallow the Socialist ticket, even if you do not like it, or else stand for capitalism. (Applause.)


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