Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/359

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
343
343
Land and rent.

one that tends to establish an artificial inequality; and that the worst of all inequalities,—the inequality of liberty, or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it the equality of slavery. The first or second would at the worst fail to entirely abolish natural inequalities.

The possibility of valuable land becoming vacant is hardly worth consideration. Still, if any occupant of valuable land should be foolish enough to quit it without first selling it, the estate would be liable to seizure by the first comer, who would immediately have a footing similar to that of other land-holders. If this be favoritism, I can only say that the world is not destined to see the time when some things will not go by favor.

Egoist's argument that free competition will tend to dis- tribute rent by a readjustment of wages is exactly to my purpose. Have I not told him from the start that Anarchists will gladly welcome any tendency to equality through liberty? But Egoist seems to object to reaching equality by this road. It must be reached by law or not at all. If reached by competition, "competition would be harassed." In other words, competition would harass competition. This wears the aspect of another absurdity. It is very likely that competitors would harass competitors, but competition without harassed competitors is scarcely thinkable. It is even not improbable that "class distinctions" would be developed, as Egoist says. Workers would find the places which their capacities, conditions, and inclinations qualify them to fill, and would thus be classified, or divided into distinct classes. Does Egoist think that in such an event life would not be worth living? Of course the words "harass" and "class distinction" have an ugly sound, and competition is decidedly more attractive when associated instead with "excel" and "organization." But Anarchists never recoil from disagreeable terms. Only their opponents are to be frightened by words and phrases.

 

 

ECONOMIC RENT.

[Liberty, November 5. 1892.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

I have often seen it claimed that under the Anarchistic organization of society economic rent would disappear, or be reduced to an insignificant amount. But I have never yet been satisfied with any explanation of the way in which this is to be brought about.