[Marxism] Piketty is No Piketty » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jun 20 07:51:44 MDT 2014


If you mention Henry George (1839-1897) these days, someone may chirp, 
“Single Tax”, and that’s it!; his Progress and Poverty (1879) is now 
largely forgotten. But about a year ago I chanced upon an  eloquent 
quotation about it.  “From the banks of the Ganges..” it began and then 
went ‘round the globe, citing men and women who, as they labored in 
deepest poverty and ignorance, read and struggled to understand his 
message that a full, prosperous, dignified life, then denied, was 
already attainable for every man, woman and child in that 135-year ago 
present.

I “got it” when I finally read  Progress and Poverty last fall. What is 
most memorable is George’s beautiful and thrilling – no other words fit 
– passion for human equality. Already at that early date his vision rose 
beyond continent, nation, race and gender.

Apparently because of that, countless Henry George clubs sprang up – 
‘From the banks of the Ganges’ to wherever else laboring people wrestled 
with their fate.[4] Thus clewed, I began to recall that a few of the 
old-timer socialists, communists and IWW’s  I had known way back had 
mentioned being first tutored in progressive ways in one of those clubs, 
or perhaps just by talking to an even older old-timer who had “learned 
his (in two instances, her) Henry George”.

There is some curious affinity between George and Piketty. Both share 
that economist’s preference for the ‘gated’ economic universe mentioned 
earlier and which therefore shouldn’t be (George) or can’t really be 
(Piketty) altered by political action from the outside. Accordingly, 
both introduce what economists call an “externality” to fix things; in 
George a single tax on land, in Piketty a single tax on wealth. 
Different, but there is that affinity. First Henry George.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/20/piketty-is-no-piketty/



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