On the Origins of War
Herbert S. Bigelow
[Reprinted from the Single Tax Review,
"This war has robbed me of no cherished belief. It has amazingly
confirmed my faith in true Christianity. It has unmasked the lie of
civilization. It has revealed the bankruptcy of conventional religion.
But the religion of Jesus stands forth as the world's supreme need.
"Real Christianity the world has never tried. Society is founded
upon a denial of the doctrine of brotherhood of the great Nazarene.
"That young Astor should inherit a portion of Manhattan Island
worth fifty or a hundred million while other children of God inherit
not even the assurance of a job of hard labor and poor pay -- that is
a social crime -- a sin against humanity.
"This war is, in the providence of God, a retribution for our
social sins. The private appropriation of the social value of land and
the consequent disinheritance of millions of men, our brothers, this
is what makes jobs and trade scarce and men cheap. But for our social
bungling there would be more jobs than men everywhere.
"When we are wise and Christian in our social relations men will
not lie and cheat and murder for trade, for they will have all the
trade they want. This is the most ghastly and also the most glorious
war in history. In my judgment, it will bring to the world a new and
contrite spirit, a spirit of practical religion, manifested in a new
and wonderful social justice."