Publication information
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Source: Essays
Source type: book
Document type: essay
Document title: “Anarchism and Crime”
Author(s): Labadie, Jo
Publisher: Labadie Shop
Place of publication: Detroit, Michigan
Year of publication: 1911
Pagination: 9-29 (excerpt below includes only pages 22-24)

Labadie, Jo. “Anarchism and Crime.” Essays. Detroit: Labadie Shop, 1911: pp. 9-29.
excerpt of essay
anarchism; McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); Leon Czolgosz.
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; James A. Garfield; William Goebel; Carter H. Harrison, Sr.; Tom L. Johnson; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Peter Witt.
From title page: The Labadie Booklets.


Anarchism and Crime [excerpt]

     Now, have you any true idea what Anarchism aims to do? You have been told they want to kill the rich and divide their goods equally; that every Anarchist goes about like a battle ship, armed to the turret with whiskey bottles and dynamite and daggers and guns and bombs. If you believe this kind of stuff then you are indeed as gullible and foolish as the plunderbund, press, pulpit and politicians think you are. It is quite natural, however, for one inclined to these things himself to think others are also. [22][23] In the absence of knowledge to the contrary one is apt to judge others by himself. Nearly every assassination, every murder, crime of every description against public men and women for years past has been imputed to Anarchists. It is a wonder they were not charged with the killing of Lincoln and Garfield and Goebel and Harrison and others. Indeed, President McKinley’s death was certainly taxed to Anarchism, notwithstanding the fact that it was proven that the poor unfortunate Czolgosz was a republican, voted at republican primaries, and no doubt was insane as the result of a boyish vice. These facts come to me by letter from Peter Witt, city clerk of Cleveland while Tom L. Johnson was mayor. Mr. Witt will undoubtedly give you the facts too if you ask him.
     “Czolgosz was not an Anarchist,” writes Mr. Witt. “To charge that he was is simply ridiculous. He was   *    *    *   insane. In politics he was a republican, and as such voted at the republican primaries for several years. This fact I brought out shortly after the assassination by going over the election records. These records have since been destroyed, not because [23][24] of what they contained but to make room for later ones. His father and brothers voted at the same primaries.”
     This ought to forever silence the criminal charge that Anarchism was responsible for the assassination of McKinley. But it probably will not. This kind of a lie dies hard.
     From my point of view the killing of another, except in defense of human life, is Archistic, authoritarian, and, therefore, no Anarchistic can do so. It is the very opposite of what Anarchism stands for. Can one be an Anarchist and do Archistic acts any more than one can do anti-christian deeds and be a christian at the same time? Can one steal and be honest? Can one go east and west simultaneously? Is up and down the same thing?



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