“a toast to dear old Bolton Hall”


Bolton Hall, single tax anarchist – the song!

The great things you find online! Kevin Carson’s recent post on Georgism led me back to the work of Bolton Hall. I read through his collection of children’s stories, “Monkey Shines,” over coffee yesterday and read parts of “The Game of Life” last night. It’s hard to overstate what a fine writer and sane thinker Hall was. But here’s a taste:

The Social Poultice Society

The subject for the evening was, “How to Abolish War.” The President suggested, that, as a matter of course, we should prohibit the use of dum-dum bullets, and that we might also compel combatants to fight with sticks, as we have compelled prize-fighters to wear gloves.

A woman delegated from the Pink Cross Society said that what was really necessary was to heal the wounded.

The Light Cross delegate said that immorality inevitably went with war; so that all that was needed was to stop immorality.

A teacher wrote a book to show that it was necesary to first dig up some dead soldiers to see whether it was really war or “the personal factor” that caused them to die.

The Disturber of the Peace then explained that we have killed in the Philippines only 30,000, but that the railroads killed over 2,000 each year in the United States alone; that our war had cost only $400,000,000, but that our advertising cost $100,000,000 every year; that our soldiers have violated a few women in Luzon, but that 40,000 women are violated in New York brothels every night; that fatigue and wounds are nothing compared with the strain of business and the horror of losing one’s job. Just then, the Secretary hurriedly rose, and the Disturber moved that it be “resolved by this Society that the slaughter being greater, the waste infinitely larger, the miseries more intense, and the crimes more horrible in our industrial war than in our military war, our fist duty is to stop the industrial war.”

But one cannot open men’s eyes with an oyster knife.

The Game of Life, 171-172.

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About Shawn P. Wilbur 2702 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.