Might is Right: The Rebel Poetry of Covington Hall... | Kevin I. Slaghter (ed)
Hail to the first of rebels! To the chieftain, strong and brave,
Who sounded first the bugle-call of freedom to the slave!
Who never yet has faltered through time’s long and
Lucifer, the Morning Star, the splendid and the bright!
This collection of poetry is largely culled from the three labor journals that Redbeard-inspired Wobbly activist Covington Hall edited from 1913 to 1916: The Lumberjack, The Voice of the People, and Rebellion.
Hall was one of the top poets of the labor movement in the Progressive Era, and an active writer and teacher for many decades until his death in 1951. Being a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, a labor organization known for pitched street fights and “direct action,” in Hall we find the greatest advocate of the Chicago social-Darwinist Ragnar Redbeard, and his infernal book Might is Right. That inspiring book was highly critical of any paid labor, much less Union organizing for workers as a class. Like so many radicals of the day, Hall looked past the conflicting parts to focus on the core message: the only foundation for right is the ability to enforce one’s will on others.
The poems contained within this booklet are mostly from the pen of Hall, but also others that he found worthy to print in his own journals, including Dadaist anarchist sculptor Adolf Wolff, and “Satanic Socialist” Henry M. Tichenor, author of The Sorceries and Scandals of Satan. They represent that curious melding of Might and Blasphemy and Labor in often stirring but sometimes satirical ways.
Featuring an original introduction by editor-in-chief of UnionOfEgoists.com Kevin I. Slaughter, and a second by a contemporary of Halls, singing his praises as a poet of rebellion.
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