Henry George’s Perspective on War and Peace

By ALANNA HARTZOK

ABSTRACT – This essay examines Henry George’s perspective on war and peace. With justice added to the foundation in the way that Henry George proposes, the conditions of inequality and conflict that lead to war will no longer prevail. George saw that trade prohibitions furthered elite rule, militarization, and a worldview of “them” versus “us.”

George’s great contribution was to see how these big issues of War and Peace bore directly upon the constellation of rules governing the relationship of people to planet, humans to humus, earthlings to earth. Social arrangements not based on the fundamental and equal human right to the earth lead inevitably to a gross imbalance of political power and thus to government corruption, odious public debt, war, and preparations for further war. Although he warned us of what might befall the United States if it took the imperialist path, George seemed hopeful that the highest and best moral purpose of our nation would prevail.

The paper concludes with an assessment of contemporary devices that protect the interests of the few over the many— subsidies, the ballooning national debt, the ever-widening wealth gap, mega-cities, and the full-spectrum-dominance objective of U.S. imperialism.

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