Lesson 1: The Meaning of Political Economy

Please read the Introduction and Part I, Chapters 1 - 7

NOTE: These lessons are posted here for self-study. Enrolled students will be given access to Web forms on which they may enter and send their answers.
1. In George's view, why is it particularly difficult for political economy to achieve commonly accepted answers to its most basic questions?            | Text |

2. Henry George urges his readers to            | Text |

a. finish reading his book before they reject his theory.
b. continue to study political economy.
c. accept no statement that they can doubt
d. reject the theories of Karl Marx.
e. read his earlier works before tackling this one.
3. Why is terminology of particular importance in political economy?            | Text |

4. Give examples of terms that differ in meaning in common speech and in political economy.            | Text |

5. According to Henry George, average people

a. know no more about political economy than they do about biology or physics.
b. almost all have some theory of political economy.
c. are perfectly capable of understanding the basic principles of political economy.
d. are often confused by vague or contradictory definitions.
e. All of the above except - a - b - c - d -
6. Name and define the three factors which constitute the universe, in George's view.            | Text |

7. Explain the difference between body economic and body politic. Why does George say the "body economic" comes first?            | Text |

8. What is civilization?            | Text |

9. According to George, what is the most important distinction between human beings and other animals?            | Text |

10. Why does George view knowledge to be more important than skill to the development of civilization? Do you agree?            | Text | Supplement |

11. Give an example of misunderstanding that is caused by the confusion of sequence and consequence.            | Text |

12. What is a "law of nature"? Give two or more examples.            | Text |

13. What makes political economy a science?            | Text |

14. In political economy, why is it especially important to distinguish between natural law and human law?            | Text |

15. Which of the following is a statement of natural law?

a. You can't fight city hall.
b. My country, right or wrong.
c. There's no accounting for tastes.
d. Seat belts save lives.
e. None of the above.