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Ralph Borsodi

Ralph Borsodi (1886 – October 26, 1977[1]) was an Georgist beliefs.


  • Life and work 1
  • Influence 2
  • Selected works 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and work

Born in New York City, he spent the earliest years of his life in Manhattan. His father was a publisher who had connections in the advertising field, and Ralph worked in this business as a boy. By the age of 22, Borsodi was personally testing the idea of moving "

  • (1927)The Distribution Age
  • (1929)This Ugly Civilization
  • (1933)Flight from the City
  • 1974 interview

Available at Soil and Health Online Library:

  • The School of Living
  • Heathcote Community

External links

  1. ^ The New York Times obituary has October 27 as his death date. Obituary, New York Times, 11 November 1977, p. 29
  2. ^ Gould, Rebecca Kneale. At Home In Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America, University of California Press, 2005, p. 8
  3. ^ Miller, Timothy. The Quest for Utopia in Twentieth-Century America: 1900-1960, Syracuse University Press, 1998, p. 128
  4. ^ Shi, David. The Simple Life, University of Georgia Press, 2001 p. 227
  5. ^ a b James J. Martin's biography of Laurance Labadie states that his colleague,Mrs. Loomis, recognized the historical continuity of the ideas dating back to Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, and Benjamin Tucker.
  6. ^ Shi, pp. 228-9
  7. ^ Obituary, New York Times, 11 November 1977, p. 29
  8. ^ McCarthy, Daniel (2007-03-12) Enemies of the State, The American Conservative


See also

  • The Distribution Age (1927).
  • This Ugly Civilization (1929).
  • Flight from the City (1933).
  • Prosperity and Security, A Study in Realistic Economics (1938)
  • Inflation Is Coming (1948)

Selected works

A number of Borsodi's texts can be found in the Social Criticism section of the Soil and Health Online Library.

Borsodi was cited as an important modern critic and creative thinker by libertarian movement.[8]


Borsodi died in Exeter, New Hampshire in October 1977, survived by his wife Clare and two sons - Edward M. and Ralph W. - by his first wife Myrtle Mae Simpson.[7]

Borsodi spent decades analyzing the ills of modern society and imagining remedies for the problems. His 1968 work, published in India, and titled Seventeen Universal Problems of Man and Society, catalogued his research and can be considered the beginning of a modern taxonomy of human problems and solutions. His followers felt he usually was working at solving problems at least 20 years before most analysts realized the problem existed. For example, it is said he predicted the inflation of the 1970s some thirty years before it came. One of his interests was in local currencies, and he started an experiment with such a currency in his home area, Exeter, New Hampshire; however, the project came to an early end with Borsodi's failing health. He created a commodity-backed bartering currency called the Constant, reminiscent of Josiah Warren's "labor notes" at the Cincinnati Time Store. These appeared first as paper notes, but in 1974, coin-like pieces, called Globes, were minted and sold in 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce .999 silver denominations. The non-profit organization that sponsored them was the International Foundation for Independence, Inc., but the Globes were minted and sold by an organization called Arbitrage International.

With Bob Swann, Borsodi created a land trust that functioned as an economic, banking, and credit institution, probably influenced by the ideas of Josiah Warren.[5] Called the Independence Foundation, Inc., Borsodi intended it as a new and ethical way of making low-cost, cooperatively shared credit available to people who wanted to build homesteads in the community. This institution made it possible to provide people access to land without their having to pay outright for property in the beginning.

Borsodi is chiefly known for his practical experiments in self-sufficient living during the 1920s and 1930s, and for the books he wrote about these experiments. The Distribution Age (1927), This Ugly Civilization (1929), and Flight from the City (1933) are his best known works.[6] He established a School of Living in Rockland County, New York during the winter of 1934–1935. Before long about 20 families began attending regularly from New York City, spending the weekends at the school. Some commentators claim Borsodi’s books inspired "hundreds of thousands of people" to follow his example during the Great Depression. In 1948 Borsodi self-published, even doing his own typesetting, Education and Living a two-volume work designed to suggest a curriculum for the ongoing School of Living. In 1950, Borsodi moved to the Town of Melbourne Village, whose founders had been influenced by his teachings. Mildred Loomis, his most devoted student, continued the work of the School of Living into the 1970s when it was headquartered at Heathcote Community in Freeland, Maryland.

[5].Laurance Labadie, and Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Josiah Warren [4],Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Thomas Jefferson Borsodi was also influenced by [3]

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