The Natural Economic Order/Part II/Chapter 1

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Part I, Chapter 17 The Natural Economic Order
Part II. Chapter 1. Meaning of the Word Free-Land
written by Silvio Gesell, translated by Philip Pye
Part II, Chapter 2
1929.



1. Competition among men can be carried on equitably and in accordance with its high purpose only if all special private or public rights over land are abolished.

2. All men without exception have an equal right to the earth without distinction of race, religion, culture or bodily constitution. So everyone must be allowed to move wherever his heart, his will, his health prompt him to go, and there to enjoy the same right to the land as the natives. No private individual, no State, no society may retain any kind of privileges over the land. For we are all natives of the earth.

3. The idea of Free-Land admits of no qualification. It is absolute. In relation to the earth there are no rights of nations, no prerogatives of sovereignty, no rights of self-determination of States. Sovereignty over the earth rests with men, not with nations. For this reason no nation has the right to erect boundaries and to levy import-duties. Free-Land means that the earth is to be conceived as a globe on which there is no import or export of goods. Hence Free-Land also implies universal free-trade and complete elimination of all tariff boundaries. National boundaries must become simply administrative boundaries, such as, for instance, the boundaries between the separate cantons of Switzerland.

4. From this description of Free-Land it follows that such expressions as "English coal", "German potash", "American oil" and so forth can be understood only in a geographical sense. For everyone, no matter to what race he may belong, has the same right to English coal, German potash and American oil.

5. The land is leased to the cultivators by way of public auction in which every inhabitant of the globe, without exception, can compete.

6. The rent so received goes to the public treasury and is distributed monthly in equal shares to mothers according to the number of their young children. No mother, no matter from where she comes, will be excluded from this distribution.

7. The parcelling of the land is governed entirely by the needs of the cultivators. That is, small lots for small families, large lots for large families. Also large tracts for communistic, anarchistic, social-democratic colonies, for co-operative societies, or religious communities.

8. Any nation, State, race, language-community, religious body or economic organisation seeking to restrict Free-Land in any way is to be outlawed.

9. The present landowners will receive full compensation, in the form of government securities, for the loss of their rents.