Henry George began a weekly newspaper, called The Standard, on January 8, 1887.
This appeared in the first issue:
I begin the publication of this paper in response to many urgent requests, and because I believe that there is a field for a journal that shall serve as a focus for news and opinions relating to the great movement, now beginning, for the emancipation of labor by the restoration of natural rights.
The generation that abolished chattel slavery is passing away, and the political distinctions that grew out of that contest are becoming meaningless. The work now before us is the abolition of industrial slavery.
What God created for the use of all should be utilized for the benefit of all; what is produced by the individual belongs rightfully to the individual. The neglect of these simple principles has brought upon us the curse of widespread poverty and all the evils that flow from it. Their recognition will abolish poverty, will secure to the humblest independence and leisure, and will lay abroad and strong foundation on which all other reforms may be based. To secure the full recognition of these principles is the most important task to which any man can address himself today. It is in the hope of aiding in this work that I establish this paper.
I believe that the Declaration of Independence is not a mere string of glittering generalities. I believe that all men are really created equal, and that the securing of those equal natural rights is the true purpose and test of government. And against whatever law, custom or device that restrains men in the exercise of their natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness I shall raise my voice.
Confident in the strength of truth, I shall give no quarter to abuses and ask none from their champions. The political corruption that shames our democracy, the false theories that assume that a nation’s prosperity lies in shutting itself in from free intercourse with other nations, the stupid fiscal system that piles up hundreds of millions of dollars in our treasury vaults while we are paying interest on an enormous debt; the aping of foreign nations that insists upon standing armies and navies modeled on aristocratic plans; the judicial system that offers a mockery of justice on one side and condones evildoing on the other; the false philanthropy that gives a dole while it denies a right; the lip worship of a just God and the heart worship of the Golden Calf — all these are to my mind parts of one connected whole whose foundations are in the denial of the equal rights of man to the use of Nature’s bounty; and in attacking and exposing them as opportunity may offer, I shall render easier the exposure and abolition of the great wrong from which they primarily spring.
I shall endeavor to conduct this paper by the same rules on which a just man would regulate his conduct. I shall not wittingly give currency to an untruth, and, if I inadvertently do so, will endeavor to repair the wrong. I shall endeavor to be fair to opponents and true to friends. I do not propose to make everything that shall appear here square to my own theories, but will be willing to give place to views which may differ from my own when they are so stated as to be worthy of consideration. I hope to make this paper the worthy exponent and advocate of the great party yet unnamed that is now beginning to form, but at the same time to make its contents so varied and interesting as to insure for it a general circulation.
I ask for The Standard the active aid of all who wish to see such a paper firmly established . . . .
A copy of The Standard is available on DVD from the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation website bookstore.