The Land Lords

Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies --
it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.
-- Winston Churchill

The law locks up the man or woman who steals the goose from the common.
But the greater villain the law lets loose, who steals the common from the goose.
-- 17th century protest against English enclosure

Facts about Land Ownership

Timber Land Lords

The Top 100 Private Land Lords in the U.S.

Maps of Corporate Landholdings


Wealth Against Commonwealth
By Henry Demarest Lloyd

(Harper, 1894)

Whose Common Future? Reclaiming the Commons
By The Ecologist
(New Society Publishers, 1993)
Surveys the enclosure of the commons and the historical and modern forms of resistance to privatization and the centralization of power.

Who Owns America?: Social Conflict Over Property Rights
Edited by Harvey M. Jacobs (University of Wisconsin Press, 1998)

The Guardian of Every Other Right : A Constitutional History of Property Rights
By James W. Ely
(Oxford University Press, 2nd edition 1997)
Surveys the relationship between property rights and the Constitution, examining property ownership from the colonial era to current land use controversies.

No Trespassing!: Squatting, Rent Strikes, and Land Struggles Worldwide
By Anders Corr
(South End Press)
History of direct action movements focusing on land.

The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution
by Christopher Hill
(Penguin Books, 1975)
History of the Diggers, Levelers and Quakers.

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one's native land.
Euripedes (431 BC)


The very lands we all along enjoyed
They ravished from the people they destroyed...
All the long pretences of descent
Are shams of right to prop up government.
'Tis all invasion, usurpation all...
'Tis all by fraud and force that we possess
And length of time can make no crime the less...
Daniel Defoe, Jure Divino (1706)


To prove a legal title to land one must trace it back to the man who stole it.
Lloyd George


Diggers Archives (1960s Diggers, English Diggers, etc)

This Land is Ours

OneWorld's Big Issues Land Rights

Henry George Institute

Henry George Websites

UN FAO Land Tenure Section

Earth Liberation

EarthSharing's web links

Global Commons Institute

Common Assets Headquarters

Privatization of America's Public Lands

National Council for Public-Private Partnerships

It was all prices to them: they never looked at it: why should they look at the land? They were Empire Builders: it was all in the bid and the asked and the ink on their books...
Archibald MacLeish, Wildwest

Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and eminently worthy of the superstructure. Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The land, the earth God gave man for his home, sustenance, and support, should never be the possession of any man, corporation, society, or unfriendly government, any more than the air or water....
-- Abraham Lincoln

Solving the land question means the solving of all social questions... possession of land by people who do not use it is immoral - just like the possession of slaves.
-- Leo Tolstoy

Men did not make the earth.... It is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.
-- Tom Paine

The club is all their law, stand up now, stand up now,
The club is all their law, stand up now.
The club is all their law to keep men in awe,
But they no vision saw to maintain such a law.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

-- from The Digger Song
by Gerrard Winstanley and Leon Rosselson

When the "sacredness of property" is talked about it should always be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property. No man made the land. It is the general inheritance of the whole species...
[Landlords] grow richer, as it were in their sleep, without working, risking, or economizing. What claim have they, on the general principle of social justice, to this accession of riches?
-- John Stuart Mill

Ground rents are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Ground rents are, therefore, perhaps a species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them.
-- Adam Smith


The earth is given as a common stock for men to labor and live on.
-- Thomas Jefferson


The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is Mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.
-- Moses, in Leviticus XXV



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