ECONOMIC RENT = COMMUNITY

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THE ABC’s Q & A, on the topic of mental health/illness, was pretty good last night.  There seemed to be some recognition that depression may have something to do with mortgage debt and/or a lack of “community”, especially in the country.

On this site, I’ve often put the case that we lose a sense of community when land rent becomes privatised instead of captured for necessary revenue. It’s public community property, of course, yet increasingly we allow it to be privatised.

Last night’s Q & A reminded me of this piece from anthroposophist, Carl Flygt:-

“My eyes were opened when I first read Henry George. Suddenly I had an economic explanation for why modern man has lost his soul, his sense of ease, wholeness, mystery and profundity. I could understand in concrete terms why the people I met and knew were full of conceit and vanity, of angular superficiality, of debasement and shame, without emotional subtlety in their expression, incapable of objectivity in their thinking, loudly cynical and humourlessly fearful. I could see also why I shared these qualities. From George I could understand that we had all accepted something radically wrong in our social contract, that in giving up many of our personal liberties in exchange for the greater liberties afforded by society, we had also given up an immensely great freedom, a spiritual freedom. Furthermore, and most amazing to me, we had no idea that we had done it.

What is this spiritual freedom we have lost through economic error? It is the freedom possessed in rudimentary form by the indigenous peoples of the world before their way of life was lost to economic development. It is the freedom of man in harmony with nature and the world soul, the free cultural life of the natural man in rational and reverent exchange with forces he understands or at least knows intimately and respects. As Henry George put it, it is the freedom of a man in full possession of the rights to his labour and to the fruits of that labour.”