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Freeland A Social Anticipation   By: (1845-1924)

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This book contains a translation of Freiland; ein sociales Zukunftsbild , by Dr. THEODOR HERTZKA, a Viennese economist. The first German edition appeared early in 1890, and was rapidly followed by three editions in an abridged form. This translation is made from the unabridged edition, with a few emendations from the subsequent editions.

The author has long been known as an eminent representative of those Austrian Economists who belong to what is known on the Continent as the Manchester School as distinguished from the Historical School. In 1872 he became economic editor of the Neue Freie Presse ; and in 1874 he with others founded the Society of Austrian National Economists. In 1880 he published Die Gesetze der Handels und Sozialpolitik ; and in 1886 Die Gesetze der Sozialentwickelung . At various times he has published works which have made him an authority upon currency questions. In 1889 he founded, and he still edits, the weekly Zeitschrift für Staats und Volkswirthschaft .

How the author was led to modify some of his earlier views will be found detailed in the introduction of the present work.

The publication of Freiland immediately called forth in Austria and Germany a desire to put the author's views in practice. In many of the larger towns and cities a number of persons belonging to all classes of society organised local societies for this purpose, and these local societies have now been united into an International Freeland Society. At the first plenary meeting of the Vienna Freilandverein in March last, it was announced that a suitable tract of land in British East Africa, between Mount Kenia and the coast, had already been placed at the disposal of the Society; and a hope was expressed that the actual formation of a Freeland Colony would not be long delayed. It is anticipated that the English edition of Freiland will bring a considerable number of English speaking members into the Society; and it is intended soon to make an application to the British authorities for a guarantee of non interference by the Government with the development of Freeland institutions.

Any of the readers of this book who wish for further information concerning the Freeland movement, may apply either to Dr. HERTZKA in Vienna, or to the Translator.


ST. LOYES, BEDFORD: June , 1891.


The economic and social order of the modern world exhibits a strange enigma, which only a prosperous thoughtlessness can regard with indifference or, indeed, without a shudder. We have made such splendid advances in art and science that the unlimited forces of nature have been brought into subjection, and only await our command to perform for us all our disagreeable and onerous tasks, and to wring from the soil and prepare for use whatever man, the master of the world, may need. As a consequence, a moderate amount of labour ought to produce inexhaustible abundance for everyone born of woman; and yet all these glorious achievements have not as Stuart Mill forcibly says been able to mitigate one human woe. And, what is more, the ever increasing facility of producing an abundance has proved a curse to multitudes who lack necessaries because there exists no demand for the many good and useful things which they are able to produce. The industrial activity of the present day is a ceaseless confused struggle with the various symptoms of the dreadful evil known as 'over production.' Protective duties, cartels and trusts, guild agitations, strikes all these are but the desperate resistance offered by the classes engaged in production to the inexorable consequences of the apparently so absurd, but none the less real, phenomenon that increasing facility in the production of wealth brings ruin and misery in its train.

That science stands helpless and perplexed before this enigma, that no beam of light has yet penetrated and dispelled the gloom of this the social problem, though that problem has exercised the minds of the noblest and best of to day, is in part due to the fact that the solution has been sought in a wrong direction... Continue reading book >>

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