that Ruskin is, he would know that, in the absence of monopoly, the price of an article worth producing at all is governed, not by its utility, but by the cost of its production, and that James consequently, though his plane should enable William to make a million planks, could not sell or lend it for more than it cost him to make it, except he enjoyed a monopoly of the plane-making industry.
The fallacy in "the position of William" remains undiscovered. Perhaps a few more such failures to discover it as Mr. Stimson's may convince the people that there is no fallacy there to be discovered. On the whole, the original policy of James's friends was the safer one,—to ignore "the position of William" on the ground that his champion, Mr. Ruskin, is not an economist, but an artist.
[Liberty, October 8, 1887.]
It will be remembered that, when a correspondent of the Standard signing "Morris" asked Henry George one or two awkward questions regarding interest, and George tried to answer him by a silly and forced distinction between interest considered as the increase of capital and interest considered as payment for the use of a legal tender, John F. Kelly sent to the Standard a crushing reply to George, which the latter refused to print, and which subsequently appeared in No. 102 of Liberty. It may also be remembered that George's rejecion of Kelly's article was grounded on the fact that since his own reply to "Morris" he had received several articles on the interest question, and that he could not afford space for the consideration of this subordinate matter while the all-important land question was yet to be settled.
I take it that the land battle has since been won, for in the Standard of September 3 nearly three columns —almost the entire department of "Queries and Answers" in that issue—are given to a defence of interest, in answer to the questions of two or three correspondents. The article is a long elaboration of the reply to "Morris," the root absurdity of which is rendered more intangible by a wall of words, and no one would know from reading it that the writer had ever heard of the considerations which Mr. Kelly arrayed against his position.
It is true that at one or two points he verges upon them,