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Source: Philosophic Anarchism,—Its Good Side and Its Very Bad
Source type: book
Document type: essay
Document title: “Political Anarchism—Its Policy and Philosophy”
Author(s): Crawford, J. S.
Publisher: J. S. Crawford
Place of publication: Cherokee, Iowa
Year of publication:
Pagination: 5-52 (excerpt below includes only pages 17-19 and 39-40)

Crawford, J. S. “Political Anarchism—Its Policy and Philosophy.” Philosophic Anarchism,—Its Good Side and Its Very Bad. Cherokee: J. S. Crawford, 1911: pp. 5-52.
excerpt of essay
anarchism; William Godwin; William McKinley (political character); McKinley assassination (personal response); Leon Czolgosz; anarchists; anarchism (personal response).
Named persons
Sante Geronimo Caserio [first name misspelled below]; Leon Czolgosz; William Godwin; William McKinley; Auguste Vaillant.
The “five styled Intellectuals” (also “Imperial Five”) referred to below are: Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Karl Marx, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

The essay (excerpted below) constitutes the entirety of the book’s contents.

The excerpt below comprises two nonconsecutive portions of the essay (pp. 17-19 and pp. 39-40).

From title page: Written, Published, and Sold by J. S. Crawford, Cherokee, Iowa.


Political Anarchism—Its Policy and Philosophy [excerpt]

     We come now to a point on which turns the psychological mystery of modern life. No where [sic] in Godwin’s teaching is there to be found the slightest sanction of violence. Indeed his whole doctrine is a protest both express and implied, against coercion. Progressive improvement is to thrive only in an atmosphere of peace, mutual protection, individual freedom, and good will. “The general welfare,” self-control, nobility of purpose, and high morality are to be realized in the voluntary exercise of personality and individual liberty. William Godwin was an intellectual man, overly kind, overly sensitive, and sentimental, He lived in the shadow of feudalism and the great French Revolution. He felt that [17][18] the average man was oppressed and outraged by fiefs, grants, crown privileges, and patents of nobility but he was never violent except in opposing violence. Yet his teachings have led to crimes, the fiercest and most unjustifiable in history.
     William McKinley was perhaps as near a model man as ever sat in the Presidential chair. By inherent force of character and the inborn nobility of a kind heart as well as by his purely mental endowment he made his way from a middle walk of life. It well might have been thought that such a career would have a stimulating and ennobling effect upon the motives and ambition of such a man as Leon Czolgosz. Instead it seems to have filled the young Pole’s heart with secretive and morbid design. Ambition perverted, he broods in unreason. Nourished by unhappy reflections from within and unrestrained by a selfish interest in the affairs of men from without, he plots in silence against organized society. Absorbed and weak, one idea possesses him,—little did Godwin think that his teaching of philanthropy would react in misanthropy or that the remark of the Bishop of Warmie again would be made good: “They run to suffer punishment, no matter how horrible, as to a banquet!”
     Bloody assassination by dirks, revolvers, dynamite bombs, and infernal machines have thus come to be the product of a kind, visionary man [18][19] dreaming dreams of peace, good will, brotherly devotion to all mankind,—dreaming of a calm, he woke up a storm.”


     With this group of five styled Intellectuals, now compare the pictures of that other group of five sentenced to the gallows for homicide in Haymarket Square. The latter scowling of [39][40] visage as though nursing disappointment, sinister of aspect, weak outlines, no joy in the struggle of life, no spirit for the conquest of honors and competence:—There’s your contrast. And to be reassured, look into the faces of other Dynamic Anarchists: Poor, weak Leon Czolgosz sneaking a revolver; Sato Caserio with a stiletto in his sleeve; Vaillant with a bomb under his coat. No, this’s no heroism. The hero strikes in front and above the belt: It’s assassination and it’s weakness in disguise. Some of them have been students and in students’ garb disguised their infernal machines as books. Some have been banished out of the country and some have been imprisoned in the country. They have been shot, whipped, guillotined, garroted, hung, and sent to the electric chair. Some of them have blown their own heads off: Now how account for this? Simply enough—Fanaticism. Yea, and weakness enamored of strength, strength of the Imperial Five.



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