Land and Liberty
: "Tierra y Libertad
", ) is an anarchist political
. It was originally used by the revolutionary leaders of
the Mexican Revolution
revolution was fought over land rights, and the leaders such as
and Pancho Villa
were fighting to give the land
back to the natives from whom it was expropriated either by force
or by some dubious manner. Without land, the peasants were at the
mercy of landowners for subsistence.
Similarly, during the Russian
, the main concern of the peasants was to free
themselves from subservience to landowners, to get a plot of land
if they had none, or to expand on their land holdings.
Consequently, the Russian peasants welcomed the Russian Revolution
under the banner "Zemlya i Volya": "Land and Liberty".
The slogan of "Tierra y Libertad
was also used during the Spanish
(1936–1939). In 1995, a film covering the Spanish Civil War
was released with the
title Land and
In a narrow sense, the possession of land meant freedom from the
landowner. And this may have been the main concern of both the
Mexican and Russian peasants.
In a broader sense, the slogan can be interpreted to mean that the
necessary (though not the sufficient) condition of liberty is
something like possession or access to subsistence land. If
possession or access to land is a necessary condition of liberty,
then its deprivation results in some form of slavery: tenancy
. Access to land is only a
necessary condition because even with access, the government may
impose taxes to such an extent that one is not free. For example, in
Ukraine in 1932–1933, Stalin was
removing from the peasants their agricultural products to the
extant that he produced an artificial famine which directly or
indirectly killed roughly 14,000,000 people.
). So, the possession of or access to
subsistence land is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition
In the following passage, F. A. Lange points out the relation of
the possession of land to liberty:"In former times the marauding
minority of mankind, by means of physical violence, compelled the
working majority to render feudal services, or reduced them to a
state of slavery or serfdom, or at least made them pay a tribute.
Nowadays the dependence of the working classes is secured in a less
direct but equally efficacious manner, viz. by means of the
superior power of capital; the labourer being forced, in order to
get his subsistence, to place his labour power entirely at the
disposal of the capitalist. So there is a semblance of liberty; but
in reality the labourer is exploited and subjected, because, all
the land having been appropriated, he cannot procure his
subsistence directly from nature, and, goods being produced for the
market and not for the producer's own use, he cannot subsist
without capital. Wages will rise above what is wanted for the
necessaries of life, where the labourer is able to earn his
subsistence on free land, which has not yet become private
property. But wherever, in an old and totally occupied country, a
body of labouring poor is employed in manufactures, the same law,
which we see at work in the struggle for life throughout the
organized world, will keep wages at the absolute minimum" F. A.
Lange, Die Arbeiterfrage. Ihre Bedeutung fur Gegenwart und Zukunft.
Vierte Auflage. 1861, pp. 12, 13. Quoted by H. J. Nieboer, Slavery:
As an Industrial System
(Ethnological Researches), 2nd edition,
1909, p. 421.
Appropriation as title
Land and Liberty
is the title of a publication produced in
Britain by the supporters of the land value taxation programme
described by Henry George in his book Progress and
. The journal was first published towards the end of
the nineteenth century, originally under the name "Land Values". It
was given its present title just before World War I. At present,
the journal is quarterly. Articles are mostly about economics and
political topics, with special reference to their relationship to
land tenure and taxation. An almost-complete archive of Land Values
and Land and Liberty
is held at the library of The School
of Economic Science
in Mandeville Place, London.