Book IV

Epigraph to Book IV

For "Mars is a tyrant," as Timotheus expresses it; but justice, according to Pindar, "is the rightful sovereign of the world." The things which Homer tells us kings receive from Jove are not machines for taking towns or ships with brazen beaks, but law and justice; these they are to guard and cultivate. And it is not the most warlike, the most violent and sanguinary, but the justest of princes, whom he calls the disciple of Jupiter. -- Plutarch, Demetrius

Henry George
The Science of Political Economy

Book IV, The Distribution of Wealth



In accordance with the earlier usage I have planned the division of political economy for purposes of investigation into three grand divisions: I. -- The nature of wealth. II. -- The laws of production. III. -- The laws of distribution. Having passed through the first two grand divisions, having seen the nature of wealth and the laws of its production, we proceed now to the laws of distribution.


In the branch of political economy to which we now turn lies the heart of all economic controversies. For all disputes as to the nature of wealth and all disputes as to the production of wealth will be found at last to have their real ground in the distribution of wealth. Hence, this, as we shall find, is the part of political economy most beset with confusions. But if we move carefully, making sure as we go of the meaning of the words we use, we shall find no real difficulty.