The Meaning of War

I found the following in The Complete Libertarian Forum, Kindle location 24600. It's two centuries old. When will they ever learn? - never. Therefore, they (government) must be abolished.

A suggestion from Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence and pioneer psychiatrist.
Signs of War
In order more deeply to affect the minds of the citizens of the United States with the blessings of peace, by contrasting them with the evils of war, let the following inscriptions be painted upon the sign, which is placed over the door of the War Office.

1. An office for butchering the human species.
2. A widow and orphan making office.
3. A broken bone making office.
4. A wooden leg making office.
5. An office for creating public and private vices.
6. An office for creating a public debt.
7. An office for creating speculators, stock jobbers, and bankrupts.
8. An office for creating famine.
9. An office for creating pestilential diseases.
10. An office for creating poverty, and the destruction of liberty and national happiness.

In the lobby of this office let there be painted representations of all the common military instruments of death, also human skulls, broken bones, unburied and putrefying dead bodies, hospitals crowded with sick and wounded soldiers, villages on fire, mothers in besieged towns eating the flesh of their children, ships sinking in the ocean, rivers dyed with blood, and extensive plains without a tree or fence, or any other object, but the ruins of deserted farm houses.

Above this group of woeful figures, let the following words be inserted, in red characters to represent human blood: “National Glory.”


Alex R. Knight III's picture

Jim, for we hard copy CLF owners, what issue was this in?  :-)

Jim Davies's picture

August, 1973.

Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture

Good post. The only think I might add to it is that there should be room under this listing for people to inscribe their names if they favor war. Anyone who speaks in favor of it must sign such a statement and show it to all of his children and relatives---and to the people at his church! They may all pile on in favor, but at least they couldn't pretend afterward that they never were for it, as so many Bush-leaguers did as the first decade of the new millennium grew long in the tooth.

Glen Allport's picture

Wow, Jim: thanks for unearthing this "blog post" by Dr. Rush. It has real impact.