The first ever meeting of The Georgist Party of America was held at a Japanese restaurant in the River North area of Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, May 31st, 2015 at around 2 pm.
The following is a transcript of the speech by Adam J. Monroe, Jr., principle event organizer, on the necessity of a political party based on promoting Henry George (and the single tax on land).
AJM: Alright! Hahaha. Got your georgist ...got the g- ...wearing his georgism on his sleeve. (referring to an audience member entering the room (perfect timing, by the way! Thanks!) with actual geo-apparel (HG on a t-shirt and a giant land tax button)). That's right.
Ok. I should tell everybody that [we are] recording this meeting now on skype [I misspoke. I was thinking about the Zoom, this new recording device (and I had_intended_to Skype it, but did not get that part together in time). The meeting did NOT go out on Skype (that I am aware)] so that we can let other people enjoy it later. In case it's audible. Can you, are you, can you hear it well enough on the ...are you getting a good enough recording on this? See? We even have some technicians assisting us.
So, let me introduce everybody who I know. Logan and Cameron are part of the Landless Peasants Revolt. They're my..., the LPR; It's my private army. The LPR? Landless Peasants Revolt? (Attempted laughter) Yes. I did not make them wear rabbit ears, but, I thought about it. They wouldn't have done it. But, I just wanted to say that cuz it's hilarious [accidentally turns off mic for a sec] the thing about rabbits because, you know, you think about rabbits, you think about people who ...because there are some people who ...that ...they just don't ...they're not ...they're just regular, they're just people, they're just human beings and they're alive and then, the government shows up and says, "Hi! You're alive, right? Well, you're going to have to pay me. It's going to cost you." "What? What about the rabbits? You're not making them pay." "Well, yeah, but, ...there's just not enough money in harnessing the energy of rabbits. You, however, are a human being. We can make a lot of money off you. So, consider yourself impressed into the one percent's navy" "So, impressed these rabbit people, my cousins. They're landless peasants, so, just like the rabbits are also on our side, so, it's important to remember that we are supported by all the people who, who are, just don't know about things and just, you know, the animals, the plants, the trees, they would also like to see us do the single tax on land because, because that would be a big break for them and they could, like, prosper. And they wouldn't have to get poisoned all the time because we wouldn't be poisoning them because we would have choices. We would be able to choose. We would say, "you know what? I'm not going to buy poison on account of I don't have to. I can buy whatever I want to. But, we cant live like that because we are stuck, geographically. The society is bio-...
Ok, now, I'm going into georgism, but, first, let's talk about the Georgist Party because we are all agreed - we like the single tax. So, the thing about the Georgist Party is that the umm... All the other parties, they, they, they ... If you talk to them, they say, "Oh. Yeah. Well, you know, you should join us because we are kind of like what you said, but none of them are it and they're never gonna do it. They always promise. They've been promising forever and they never do it. And, they're not gonna do it unless you challenge them and say, "well, actually, we're going to do it, since you're not going to do it. So, instead of us joining you, if you want to do it, join us. We're the Georgist Party. If you're a georgist democrat, well then, you're... you know, the thing is if you're a georgist, it doesn't matter if it's never gonna happen or ...because it's the right thing to do. So, at least, you're not in the wrong mindset, trying to program, make yourself think that, uh, that, whatever this left right stuff they have going on is gonna fix things. But, like, "yeah, yeah, yeah, fight, fight hard because this is the best we can do." It's ...it doesn't fix anything. It just ...we continue on the path, in general, that just takes us to, you know, the same way civilizations always go, which is you get too stultified and then, and then, uh, everything that you don't want creeps in it's like, anyway, not to get into about the single tax, because we all agree, but, to say why we need the party, ... I have a lot of notes. Hold on.
Because there is a lot of resistance to having a political party. Right, Bob? [Bob Jene, Administrative Director of the Chicago branch of The Henry George School of Social Science was able to attend!]
BJ: Yeah. They ...
AJM: Even within the georgist movement, they are, like "no; we can't have a single tax party, you can't have a land tax party, you can't have a ...whole thing based on... But, why not? I mean the physiocrats were based on it, they established classical economics as we know it. What were they talking about? Talking about getting rid of these taxes and just taxing only land because it's economical, it's efficient and it's fair.
And so, it's just science. And then, uh, and then in the 20th century, a lot of ...we got in trouble because uh, people would say, "you know, you guys act like it's gonna solve everything," "But, ...it will." "You know, well if it's going to, well, you act like it's a religion."
But, really, you know who is ...who acts like things are a religion is the political parties we have now. These guys think that if you ...if like, ...they wait for you to say something to indicate whether you are on the left or the right. "What are they going to say? What are they going to say about abortion? What are they going to say about ...you know, uh, government cheese. Whatever. War. You know? What's going to tell me? Which side? Are they a good guy or a bad guy? You know? And it doesn't matter because both of... They are all stuck in this mindset that is that "oh. Oh, we, we pay the one percent, every month, most of our money to live on the planet, Earth? Ok. Well, aside from that, how can we argue? You know, how can we fight if we are not going to deal with the real problem? We're not going to deal with the elephant in the room, so, let's talk about everything else. Like ...gay people. Look! Those people are gay!" "Ok. Anyway, we are paying these people to live here and it's not their planet." "Yeah, but, look at that! Look at those guys! They're doing something crazy!" "Guess what? We're doing something crazy."
But, anyway. So, the thing is this is my experience is that it's not that difficult to ... See, maybe, I'm lucky because I didn't know anything about this until I was 23. And, then I heard about it and I was like "well, that makes sense" and, uh, and ...and so when I talk about it, I just ...it's, it's not so complicated, maybe, cuz, I can't think, ...complicated stuff, I cant get into it. But simple? When I explain it, other people are like "well, yeah, that makes perfect sense". And so I don't understand, when I went to a couple of georgist conventions, right? Because of who I am, they were like "oh, you can come for free; we want to talk to you" and so, they took me to a couple of conventions. I did that song for them, "The Party to Save the World" and that second song, the "Valhalla" song, did that for them, too. They liked it a lot. This is back in the late nine, early 90s, 90 or 91, something like that. And uh, but the thing is I was always thinking, "they're concentrating on education because it's non-profit. They're non-profit organizations, so, they can't get political. It's only education. So, their mind is about education. But, guess what? It doesn't take education. It just takes information. I convert half my Uber drivers! And it's a short ride! I am like, if we, they don't dare start talking to me because I will tell them about the single tax and they'll be like "wow! That makes perfect sense!" or "Man, my grandfather would hate that!" They are like "yeah, well, that's ...maybe."
But, you know, it's ...nobody is really against it because it's great for everybody. It's like um, see, me and Bob and Jeff, we're like older than you cats, but, uh ...you guys figure "oh, we're going to live forever, but it's like we're like "you know what? We could use some extra life." You know? And the thing that, the thing is that the priorities are messed up. It's true. Like about the healthcare thing they had recently. All this healthcare thing is like "yeah, it would be great if we, if the government were interested in our health, that would be terrific because they have all this money and uh, you know they could kill those people over there, but, they could also use that money to help us live ...instead of making bombs. Cuz, you know, they got this problem over here: cancer. We could cure that, we could cure this other thing, but, no, you want to make atomic bombs for everybody. You know? Priorities are messed up.
And so, the thing is the system treats us more like cattle on a plantation and that's why, like, the Georgist Party, we're the only people... The crazier things get, the more sense we make. They talk about ...the democrats are complaining to their party leaders about immigration (and then, uh, the republicans) because of labor, and they're saying "hey, that's gonna give us cheaper wages. That's not helping." You know, but, the democrats are like "no, no, no, it's gonna be good for politics". And the republicans are like "hey, man, uh, aren't you supposed to protect the national sovereignty? And who are these people? They might be terrorists or ... And there's even the demographic thing or racial. "Hey, what are you doing? You know you can't just force us to be ...ethnic cleansing, ethnically cleanse us without our permission, you know?" And, so, but, then, both the leadership say, "nah, nah, nah, bring all those people in. We want our ranch to be larger. The one percent just wants more cattle. They don't care about what you think or what they think or what you, combined, think. Because what are you going to do together, you lefties and righties who are both against this stuff? Nothing. The greens are going to help you. Libertarians aren't going to help you cuz they are also funded by the same people.
And that's why greens and libertarians, they're no good for us either. Both of them say ... Libertarians are like "oh, you should be a geo-libertarian". The greens are like "oh, we have land tax in the platform". We should be like "guess what? You know what? If you guys are really into the land tax, come over here to The Georgist Party. And actually, we don't have to do that because the people who decide things don't vote usually. And I am one of those people. I'm one of us. I'm like "you know as long as everything is ok, I'm not really having a problem". But uh, but when everybody finds out, when the two thirds who don't vote, when they see that it's so easy for them to just not have to work like slaves all the time anymore, they're gonna vote for that.
And so, the thing is that ... Oh, is the air conditioner too cold? [Running over to adjust the temperature.] Ok, back to the 70s! No, no, no, I turned it off. I didn't realize I had turned it down so low. Because I was performing. I apologize, being so selfish, I was just, I didn't realize it was just ...it kept getting colder and colder. Ok, so, I know, I realize I am going on and on, but, I have a lot to say about this and then, I'll ...
BJ: I heard this was going to be a cool meeting, but, ...
AJM: Hahaha! Well, at least it's not like, um, some kind of seedy, third world, back room, smoky ...where everybody is sweating all over our ...all over our plundered loot "heheheheh" with cigar smokes and uh, geisha girls.
But, ok, so, I have a bunch of great ideas, ok? For things that we can do that would really ... See, the thing is if we do something and then, somebody says, "well, what is that?" I mean if it's in the newspaper, well, they call them-, whatever that we did, protest or something somewhere or whatever, when they report on it, if they have no choice but to say, when they say, "who are you guys?" "Well, we're the georgists, we're the Georgist Party, the Georgist Party". "Well, what's that?" It doesn't matter. They can find out. Because when they find out, they're gonna go: "oh, well, that sounds great!"
And all of these, all these uh, these things where the georgists, many of these georgist organizations, the people in charge say, "oh that's no good. That'll never ... Oh, you can't do that". You know, the thing is ..it's poetry, it's music, it's inspiration, it's ... Poetry changes people, you know? They hear something and then, they have a different mind, they have a different view of the world. And I know that when I, I, before I found out about the single tax, I was pretty, you know, frustrated. I was like "you know? I don't know what's going on. This ... Everybody is such a jerk. What the hell is wrong with this world? And what is wrong with people? You know? So, I couldn't figure it out and it just makes you think "well, maybe I should be a jerk. Maybe, if I'm a big old jerk, I'll just think this place is hilarious." You know? And I think a lot of people adopt that attitude. And it's understandable, so, it's kind of hard to get really mad at anybody and say, "oh, I hate those people because ..." Guess what? They're mis-educated. They're misinformed. They have been brainwashed and that's why you hate them? It's not their fault. You know? And the thing is we, too, ... That's what we have to realize about the Georgist Party. We, too, are to some degree, ... We can't say that "I have not been brainwashed even one bit. They haven't touched my mind." Of course they have. They're working so hard at it. They spend so much time and energy just to influence you this much to ... to what? Not establish the Georgist Party of America.
This is what they don't want. Just us seven people, here: "don't ... That's ... Don't let them do anything or they might get mentioned in any press or anything because what we don't want people to hear is the phrase, is the expre-, the adjective, 'georgist,' because then, they're gonna say, 'what does that mean?' and we can't have that." Because there's no arguing with the single tax. I mean it's like...
Anyway, I made a, a thing [available here: ] that I'm gonna, that I want to hand out for you guys. I'm gonna give to you to take away. I didn't get a chance before, but, I'm gonna ... All I have to do is print it out on the computer upstairs and I can make copies for you right there on the thing. But, what it is is ... This is a list from cooperative individualism. Remember the website? Cooperative individualism? Bob Jene knows about it. Dodson. Edward Dodson has this great library online, very georgist library. It's very in-depth. You know about it, Jeff? Cooperative individualism. He has had this thing going on for a long time. And also, I wanted to give you guys a list of these sites and things that I know about, so, that you can access it and we can, you know, if we ...daisy chain and ... and then, and then, telling people and then, they have all that, those ten pieces of information.
Because the georgist movement, these people, they just, I don't know if it's a ... We get trapped into our thing. It's like we have a job. Bob, you have work to do, right? He has things to do at the school, at the Henry George School. He has to do this and do that and then, but, like "how much of it is like saying, "hey, you. Have you ever heard of Henry George?" Zero. Zero of it is about that because there's all this other stuff to do. You know? To be tax-free and non-profit, you have to do this, you have to do that, you have to x amount of this, x amount of that , ...but, we don't have to follow any of those rules! Haha! Because Sundays are closed in this place! So, we can do this any time we want!
And also, ...when ...because the news and stuff is always influencing us with this negative stuff, and then, ... I was telling this guy about it and I said I wanted to start my own political party and he said, "well, that's like a religion, you know?" And I'm like, "it is! These parties are, they're like religions. It's like a way of life. And that's why they have to keep indoctrinating themselves over and over and reinforcing stuff, but, you know, it's also good to, like, shed that stuff, reinforce the clear thinking, the like "no" like, because there's so many things that they come at us with in the news and things and they're like, it's like nobody is around who, who sees, you know, what the real solution is or what to do about it. What are you going to do? Fight? They set up the fight, so that no matter what side you're on, you lose.
And so, the only way to fight it, really, is to, is to do something like this. And at least, even if they say ... They say, "oh, it'll never happen. You know what? If it never happens, so what? At least we're not trying to do something bad. You know? We're not wasting our energy, we're spinning our wheels in the right direction instead of having maximum torque in some other direction. "Oh, look how far I'm getting in this wrong direction." You know, I think it's peaceful in my ...peaceful to me, at least, when I think "well. at least I know what's going on." At least, I understand and I don't feel like I'm terrible and that's why the ...it ...all this stuff is going on, it's cuz..." They try to make you feel terrible. Anti-humanism is the big thing out there, you know? They're so anti-people. And like, and they say... Oh, for example... I wrote this one down because this is very funny. You got your greed and you got your laziness. Those guys are greedy. Those guys are lazy. I mean, now I feel like I'm in a, doing a stand up comedian routine but, I mean, I mean, you know, you got your greedy people and your lazy people and then, you got your who? Who, who else is there? Ok, that's everybody, your greedy people and your lazy people because that's all of us. All of us like to have lots of stuff and even more extra stuff that we don't need in case we lose the stuff we have. That's greed, right? No, it's just being safe and having a little extra and like "who doesn't want to, you know, live well? I mean I think there's good reasons to live well cuz when I'm living well, I feel so much better and I treat everyone else so much better. Isn't that, isn't it better to live better and feel better and do better? "No. That's greedy or selfish. It's lazy. Why do you want to ...be happy? What's wrong with you? Terrible person." See? And they, everything that you want is like, s-, like with sugar, its bad for you cuz it tastes good, but, really, there's a lot of things that taste great that aren't bad for you at all, so... But, they try to make you think that if anything that's good, that you like, is bad. And everything bad is good. It's like Orwell.
But, um, but, anyway, I just have some, I have some cool ideas. So, we all agree that the Georgist Party is a great idea, right? So, the thing is the social media thing, there's all these groups, right? There's also a lot of twitter accounts. There's people on Twitter and we're not really coordinated. You know? Cuz everybody is trying to find everybody else on Twitter who is part of that and it's kind of like we're a group, but, we don't even know we're a group. We're an army. I made a list one time, RTF - handles, of handles, I got this RTF handles, land tax advocate handles, people who are like pro- you know, they're ,like 'into it'. They're like "yeah, I'm into it. It's cool." You know, they're not like 'anti-it'. And I got half way through and I'm like "well, I don't really have time for this right now, I'm going to come back and do this some other time but," I had no idea... We have an army on social media, but, no one is coordinating it. And, um, so, that's something to consider. We could do a little coordination with that.
And, um, like an official sign up page, like Jason Bessey was saying, how "these people are here,..." That was great! That kind of thing is like, "yeah, yeah, you see? A part of this stuff is organization, let's build it. Why not? And, um, and everybody is saying this is the "we want an official platform, we want a..." thing, but, I think that we should have competing things like... Don't y'all agree? Cuz that way, cuz if the word... It's just getting "georgist" out there. It's like if you have to... "Oh, your a pollution taxer and you want to call that, 'georgist,'" "Ok, close enough." You know? Because I just want people to hear "georgist".
And then, so, uh, ok, I have a great idea. It's called, "Rent Day". "Rent Day," cuz I was thinking, "hey, you know what would be fun is to protest empty lots". Instead of getting in the traffic and bothering ..., let's go out there where we're not gonna block any traffic, ...just, no one's there. Just poor people and empty houses are there. I mean we could just protest with some posters, but, will it get any press? I don't know, but, it might get some minor press or something. People would say, "look at that". But, it wouldn't be that difficult. How long does it take? Fifteen minutes? Just gotta get out there, do a protest, takes some pictures and go home. That's how they do it. You know? They engage in all kind of wild, kind of underground sort of tactics and look, we don't even realize until later. Unless you're on social media, you don't realize. Like the, when they showed you what really happened. They're like ...they show you the picture on the mainstream news and then, they show you the wider shot on Facebook. You're like "oh, I see what was really going on". The wide shot. The big picture. That's a nice name for a media, news organization, "The Wide Shot". But, uh, but this one is even better: "Rent Day". A rent day protest cuz it happens once a month on rent day. And everybody has to pay the rent, especially broke people. They're like "ach, man, rent ... khhh". You know? And a rent day protest would be like "what are you protesting?" You know? "Well, I'm protesting the fact that we're giving all of our money to pay these private parties for land and they didn't make it and they don't make it valuable and I'm giving them all my money and it's not fair. Cuz, really, I should own one three hundred millionth of this nation cuz I was born here just like everybody else; it's my land, too, and where is it? Give me my money." You know? Either pay me or give me my, my apartment and let me pay my land tax and that's it. Leave me alone. This is what we want: single tax. We're Georgist Party, we're protesting rent. "Wait, I'm confused." "Good; think about it, look into it, discuss things with you friends, his name was 'Henry George'. Why haven't you ever heard of him?" You know, "Rent Day," isn't that a kind of a cool thing? It's easy to remember: "Rent Day!"
And "rent parties". People have "rent parties" to pay the rent. Right? So, I though about throwing "rent parties," but, people would just think it's to pay the rent, but, isn't it? But, that's kind of a... I don't know. That's... "Rent Party?" But, um... Ok. Um, ok, just throwing stuff out there! We have until five p.m.! Restaurant's not open til five.
[Attendee asking for an intermission] If you want to, you wanna get a cigarette? Yeah, it's smoking time, folks. Alright, let's turn the music back on, ...
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