Roosevelt, Czolgosz and Anarchy
We will speak out, we will be heard,
Though all earth’s systems crack;
We will not bate a single word
Nor take a letter back.
We speak the truth, so what care we
For hissing and for scorn
While some faint gleamings we can see
Of freedom’s coming morn?
Let liars fear, let cowards shrink,
Let traitors turn away,
Whatever we have dared to think
That dare we also say.
The shooting of President
McKinley by Leon F. Czolgosz has brought the question of Anarchy
prominently before the public mind. Unfortunately, Anarchy has been
in the hands of its bitterest enemies, has been venomously misrepresented,
maligned, and every species of crime laid at its door, those knowing
the least about it howling the loudest against it. The Anarchists
have been held up to public execration as a set of human monsters,
who, hating mankind, are seeking to destroy its institutions by
killing its rulers and abolishing its governments; the inference
being that government is the great mother and protector of society,
and that were it to be abolished the whole human race would lapse
into a state of barbarism. The triumph of Anarchy, we are told,
would mean the destruction of all liberty, the rending of every
human tie and the annihilation of civilized society.
The thoughtful person will see at once
that no such propaganda as that could be carried on in any country,
were it possible that individuals existed so excessively depraved
as to espouse it. Thoroughly convinced of the justice and truth
of their ideas, the Anarchists waited until the wild fury had spent
itself and reason returned before attempting to dispel the utterly
false ideas regarding the aims and objects of Anarchy which its
enemies have so generously spread among the people; for, unlike
their enemies, Anarchists always address themselves to reason and
never to the blind furies—prejudice and hate.
In the following pages we propose to give
a brief review of the possible causes that led up to the shooting
of President McKinley, the relation the act bears toward Anarchy,
a criticism of the attitude of the press, the President, and of
the possible effect of legislation having for its purpose the suppression
of Anarchy, closing with a short essay on Anarchy and the methods
of its propaganda. 
In the mad frenzy of the hour, men vied
with each other in making proposals of the most atrocious methods
of punishment for the Anarchists. Many gentlemen of education, professing
the broadest principles of humanitarianism and Christian love—ministers
and public educators—so far forgot all their former avowals and
the teachings of the meek and lowly Carpenter of Nazareth, the forerunner
of Anarchy, whom they profess to follow, as to cry aloud for vengeance
upon the Anarchists.
This spirit of wolfishness did not manifest
itself nearly so much among the common people as it did in the so-called
upper strata of society. In proof of the attitude of “society” people
towards the much-abused Anarchists, we will quote from the “National
Tribune,” of Washington, D. C. The editor of the “Tribune” moves
in the highest ranks of “society,” and is much esteemed by the dignitaries
of Church and State. He attends the social gatherings and costly
dinners, and can rightly be said to have given expression to the
views of his aesthetic and well-fed Washington society readers when
he delivered himself of the following: “This is one of the times
when an aroused public vengeance should have full sway, unhampered
by legal interference, and every avowed Anarchist have no further
grace than the time to take him to the nearest tree.”
If an Anarchist printed a venomous, inhuman
suggestion like that, in reference to newspaper editors, he would
be given a long term of imprisonment and his paper suppressed. But
when a highly “cultured” society gentleman sits at his mahogany
desk and such vile barbarity flows from the point of his gold pen,
he is given a round applause [sic] and the seat of honor at the
next social function. That is the difference between being an Anarchist—an
honest man with unpopular opinions, and a capitalist editor—a hypocrite
who panders to the vicious passions of his readers in order to retain
their support of his pernicious newspaper. That such insidious vaporings
could find a ready ear among the self-styled “better” class is a
sad commentary upon its culture and refinement. The culture that
approves such viciousness is worthy of the Cannibal Islands; certainly
not of a community claiming for itself the top-notch of civilization.
If any excuse could be found
for the terrible onslaught of the pulpit and press at the hour of
McKinley’s death, when so many lost their patriotic heads, certainly
no such excuse can be brought forth in defence of Roosevelt for
his venomous attack upon Anarchy and Anarchists in his message to
Anarchy, says Roosevelt, in effect, is
not the outgrowth of unjust social conditions, but the daughter
of degenerate lunacy, a vicious pest, which threatens to uproot
the very foundation of society if it is not speedily stamped out
by the death, imprisonment and deportation of all Anarchists, insinuating
that he is the right man in the right place at the moment of society’s
great danger. He recommends to Congress that special laws be passed
dealing most strenuously with Anarchy; and the party puppets have
flooded the clerks with a most ludicrous assortment of anti-Anarchist
“Anarchist speeches and writings are essentially
seditious and treasonable,” foams the rough rider. But the “Century
Dictionary,” recognized as a much higher authority on definitions,
has a different story to tell:
“Anarchy.—A social theory which regards
the union of order with the 
absence of all direct government of man by man as the political
ideal; absolute individual liberty.”
If we are to accept this latter definition
as against Roosevelt’s, it will be seen that his attack is leveled
against those who are fighting for Liberty—and this is the point
we want to bring out most clearly in the course of our essay. Roosevelt
is training his batteries upon the purveyors of Liberty, declaring
it treason for them to write or speak of a future when society will
not need a president or a congress to squander billions of wealth
annually upon wars and the coronation of European kings. If anything
should sound treasonable to the ear of a true American, it ought
to be the vicious attack of Roosevelt upon Liberty under the guise
of an attack upon a bogie he has set up and called “Anarchy.” He
trusts to the ignorance of the people, not to their intelligence;
he is so fond of telling them at election time, to think Anarchy
a pest, that in stamping it out he may also stamp out every radical
idea and clear the way for the full consummation of Morgan’s and
Rockefeller’s ideal of an empire.
Nothing short of absolute ignorance or
wilful [sic] knavery could have inspired the utter misrepresentation
of Anarchy which Roosevelt’s message contains. His attack is as
vicious as it is untruthful; his language bombastic, and is a beautiful
contrast to the tender, ambiguous phraseology of that portion of
his message devoted to the trusts. His screed was assuredly not
addressed to the citizens’ intelligence, but to the low, rough-riding,
animal-killing passions, and inspired by that shoot-a-fleeing-enemy-in-the-back
sentiment which pervades the atmosphere of Washington.
It was exceedingly thoughtful, if not very
manly, on the part of Roosevelt to direct such a malicious attack
upon Anarchy and the man that made him president. For, had he passed
the subject quietly by, or spoken less strenuously, there might
have been some among his subjects wicked enough to have hinted that
perhaps he secretly rejoiced in the perpetration of an act that
landed him with a bound and without the fatigue and worry of a political
campaign upon the uppermost round of the ladder of his life’s ambition.
But now, since he has so ably availed himself of his literary talent,
none, except indeed the “vile” Anarchists, will dare to question
the fathomless depths of his sorrow. Indeed, it may readily be seen,
if one but glance at his masterful literary effusion, that nothing
but a supreme burst of patriotism, seeing his country in such imminent
danger from the Anarchists, could have induced Roosevelt to tear
himself away from the quiet seclusion of the Senate chamber, don
the flowing robes of office and assume the arduous duties of President.
If Anarchism is what Roosevelt
would have us believe it to be, a peace-loving, common-sense people
will dismiss it at once to the oblivion to which it rightfully belongs
without the heroic intervention of Roosevelt and his Congress of
political spoilsmen. If, on the contrary, it is what every investigator
knows it to be—a criticism of the present unjust state of society,
with its billionaires and paupers, and an effort to show the people
a better and more truly civilized and equitable mode of social production
and consumption, where each individual will have free access to
the means of life, can share fully the product of his toil and enjoy
all the benefits of liberty—full Liberty, not the Liberty granted
by law; for Anarchists claim Liberty as a natural inalienable right
of every individual,  and any
“granting” of it is simply the removal of some criminal political
restriction—if, we repeat, Anarchy represents an honest effort of
intelligent men and women to solve the great social problem now
crying out so bitterly for solution, by analyzing history, showing
the trend of evolution, and advising the people to follow it and
cease being led astray by the Rockefellers, Morgans and their tools
in office and elsewhere, then, we say, Roosevelt has no right to
interfere. And in trying to prevent the spread of these ideas he
assumes the role of a tyrant, and must be classed with the kings
and despots of the Old World.
If men have not the privilege to think
and speak differently from the President and the ruling class, which,
let it not be forgotten, is the millionaire class, without being
hung, cast into prison and deported, then we may as well give up
prattling about our “Free Country” and admit at once that it is
Before the Revolution our forefathers complained
of the despotism of King George in suppressing free speech and imposing
taxation without representation. They rose in rebellion against
these wrongs, and were not satisfied with redressing them alone,
but, on the advice of Anarchist Tom Paine, who saw how well the
people governed themselves during the period of the rebellion when
there was no government—Anarchy—in these colonies, raised the further
and more vital question of the right of the King to rule over them
at all. They dismissed the King and elected a President—changing
the form but not the substance of the evil under which they had
suffered. However, in framing their Constitution they were particular
that the abuses under which they suffered the most when the King
ruled should not be repeated under the rule of the President. Therefore,
the freedom of speech was especially provided for in the Constitution.
But Patrick Henry’s warning, that “eternal vigilance is the price
of liberty,” was not heeded by the people. And, gradually, as the
power of the people HAS been supplanted by the power of the trusts,
that freedom HAS been abridged and annulled, until to-day we see
the President and Congress preparing laws for the punishment of
those who speak and write about a social philosophy with which they
do not agree.
This is common to all rulers, whether elected
of God or of the People: that, being rulers, they rule in the manner
best calculated to serve their own ends; and all this cant about
the people ruling is the veriest nonsense. Constitutional checks
even do not thwart them, for they either openly violate the Constitution
or cunningly interpret it to suit their purposes.
Roosevelt, working upon the credulity of
the people and their blind faith in the pulpit and press, is endeavoring
to defeat the very letter of the Constitution by having laws passed
ostensibly against a bugaboo it suits his purpose to give the name
Anarchy, but really and actually against free speech and free press.
That will be the entering wedge. Once such laws are on the statute
books the rest will be easy. All radical editors and speakers may
be cast into jail and left there to rot.
Anarchists have no fear
of any laws Roosevelt may enact for the suppression of Anarchy.
For they know only too well, if he and Congress do not, the utter
futility of attempting to legislate ideas out of the country. Certain
individuals may be persecuted. Persecution manures the soil upon
 which ideas grow. Hang a man
on a scaffold and you hang his ideas on the stars.
The wholesale arrest of Anarchists and
the sacking of their homes without even the warrant of law when
a copy of an Anarchist paper was found in the pocket of Czolgosz,
their retention for weeks in jail and their final discharge without
a particle of evidence or cause for their arrest other than the
fact of their being Anarchists, has done more for the spread of
Anarchy than years of agitation by the Anarchists themselves. Even
Roosevelt’s tirade helps the cause along, for since its publication
very many people, stimulated by its fierceness and not willing to
take him as the sole authority on Anarchy, have evinced a desire
to investigate further. That is all the Anarchists want, and very
many of them are willing to submit to such persecution quite often
if by no other means can the people be drawn to an investigation
of their ideas.
If the Revolutionary traditions of the
country are to be outraged by the passage of medieval legislation
against “Anarchy,” it will be easy for every Anarchist to evade
them. In the first place, the “Anarchy” that Roosevelt speaks about
has no existence outside the spacious recesses of his rancorous
Presidential imagination; and, secondly, no man need proclaim himself
an Anarchist, or that what he writes or speaks is Anarchy. How is
Roosevelt to know what is Anarchy unless he catches the sound of
the word or sees it printed? Who is to decide what utterances are
Anarchistic and therefore “treasonable?” Are the learned gentlemen
of the club and pistol to be stationed at every meeting place and
be the censors of speech; and won’t it first be necessary to open
classes in sociology in every police station in the country for
their instruction? And must not the judges, state’s attorneys and
press censors be also instructed on the subject if they are to render
intelligent and “just” decisions upon the “crime of Anarchy?” Must
we not station one or more thoroughly instructed censor, at a good
salary, in every town and city in the country? Must they not have
power to say what can and what cannot be printed? And then what
shall have become of our boasted freedom of speech; and won’t ours
then be a country like Russia—or worse, a despotism complete?
History is surely repeating
itself. The martyrdom suffered by the Christians under Nero is to
be visited upon the Anarchists under Roosevelt. The Christians were
accused of every conceivable crime. No charge was heinous enough
to lay at their doors. They were hunted down like wild beasts. Nero
fed them to the tigers for the amusement of the aesthetic and “cultured”
Roman “upper class.” Roosevelt would feed the Anarchists to the
disease germs that infect his jails; but his efforts to stamp out
Anarchy will be as fruitless as were Nero’s to stop the growth of
Granting Czolgosz was an
Anarchist, what sort of reasoning is it whereby every Anarchist
in the country is to be held responsible for his act and Anarchy
suppressed? When Guiteau, a Republican, killed President Garfield
no one suggested the suppression of the Republican party; and when
Pendergast, a Catholic, killed Mayor Harrison no one thought of
deporting all the Roman Catholics. Why not have fastened Guiteau’s
offence upon the Republican party, and Pendergast’s upon the Roman
Church? The idea is absurd. But how much less absurd than the attempt
of Roosevelt to hold Anarchy responsible for the act of Czolgosz?
In placing the blame of McKinley’s death
upon the Anarchists[,] Roosevelt, to be logical, must himself accept
responsibility for the death of Garfield and the recently [sic]
cowardly murder—a cowardly murder, because the assassin hid himself,
fearing to stand out in the open and take the consequences of his
act, as did Czolgosz—from ambush of Governor Goebel of Kentucky;
an inherently vile and contemptible act, for the murder, if not
committed by the Republican candidate himself, was committed by
one of his paid henchmen that he might plant himself in the murdered
man’s seat which he immediately did. Czolgosz killed McKinley because
he regarded him as one of the chief instruments with which a cruel
system of capitalism was exploiting himself and his fellows. Czolgosz
killed McKinley because he loved his fellowmen more than his own
life; and no rational-minded person, even though he condemn the
act in itself, can fail to recognize the nobility of character that
will inspire a man to give up his own life, hoping thereby to call
attention to the wrongs being perpetrated upon humanity.
At all times and in all ages the men who
have been loved most were those who did most for their fellowmen,
and what more can any man do than give up his life for his kind?
It is the motive which inspires an act that makes it good or bad.
A pure motive lends purity to a rash act. If the act of Czolgosz
were inspired by some personal grievance he might have had against
McKinley, if it were the result of some real or fancied personal
injury, all men alike might justly regard him as a common assassin.
But Anarchists and many who are not Anarchists discriminate between
acts inspired by motives of narrow personal revenge and those acts
performed with the hope of benefiting humanity. Hence, they do not
class Czolgosz as a common assassin, but as a lover of mankind.
Instead of condemning him, they try to explain the causes which
actuated his deed.
Czolgosz had learned from
personal observation in the various cities which he visited that
thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands, of his fellow beings were
struggling desperately with the pangs of hunger, while he read in
the papers of the $50,000 feasts of the rulers and exploiters of
those same struggling ones. He had seen troops sent to Chicago,
Pittsburg [sic], Buffalo, Albany, Idaho, Brooklyn and elsewhere
to help the rich defeat the poor workingmen who struck against starvation
wages by shooting them down like dogs. He had seen the working of
McKinley’s policy of “benevolent assimilation” in the Philippines,
how thousands of liberty-loving natives were being massacred for
the “crime” of resisting the invasion of his troops—all those wrongs
and many more grouped themselves in his mind and moved his feeling
heat to pain. Tortured to the limit of endurance by the sight of
a suffering humanity, he registered a final protest against a 
cruel system that starved men, women and children while food lies
rotting in the storehouses. McKinley was a prominent representative
of a vicious system of wage slavery which is oppressing the people,
and for that Czolgosz slew him.
The shooting was a social act, a mere incident
in the great struggle going on between the oppressed and oppressors,
between the forces in society which are making for progress and
those which are attempting to block the onward march of Evolution.
Czolgosz was an implement in the hands
of Evolution, and to condemn him for his act would be as silly as
to condemn the flood for sweeping away the village built in the
bed of the river. Through experience, people have learned that it
is safest to build their villages on the heights. And so, through
a further experience with the innumerable forces that surround them,
and of which the act of Czolgosz was a part, that it is safest and
best to build their society upon the heights of individual self-government
and to cease ruling and exploiting each other at the point of the
bayonet and the muzzle of the cannon.
McKinley reaped only that which he had
sown. He armed men with the most improved implements of destruction
and sent them forth to shoot down men striking for bread at home
and defenceless men, women and children in the Philippines who have
dared to assert a right once so dear to every American—the right
of self-government. And as McKinley has made war upon these people,
exterminating and enslaving them, when an individual, exasperated
by such tyranny, makes war upon him, there is no just cause for
complaint. All that can be done is to learn the lesson suggested
by an act inspired by the wrongs of government and the consequent
misery resulting therefrom.
To say that Czolgosz was
inspired to commit his act by Anarchist speeches and literature
explains no more than to say he was inspired by reading the Declaration
of Independence, which lays it down as a principle of nature that
all men are created free and equal and entitled to Liberty and happiness,
all of which blessings he saw, without the aid of an Anarchist telescope,
that himself and his class were denied absolutely. But if he had
studied Anarchy and learned the truth that Labor creates all wealth,
that to the producers belong the product, and that by the eternal
law of Justice and Equity only the producer should enjoy it; if
he learned that the rich and mightly [sic] American Plutocracy appropriated
the wealth produced by the American worker, robbed him by all the
devices their crafty brains are capable of conceiving, Taxes, Rent,
Interest and Profit being the legal names for the principal forms
of robbery; that through the liberal distribution of a portion of
this plunder, politicians, preachers and newspapers are purchased
to glorify the system of robbery and keep the toilers in ignorance
of the fraud being perpetrated upon them, by feeding their minds
upon garbeled [sic] news, perverted history, religious cant and
patriotic twaddle; if, we repeat, he learned these few of the many
unpleasant truths that might be mentioned about our detestable system
of wage slavery, don’t blame Anarchy, unless you want that the truth
shall not be known. If you do not want to know the truth, then the
thing to do is proceed at once and get rid of the Anarchists, Socialists
and a host of “dangerous” elements which “infest” society. Deport
the Anarchists to some desert island or hang them as did the Chicago
police at the bidding of the rich legal robbers of Labor in 1887.
But they have found that hanging will not
do, that, for every Anarchist hanged (legally murdered, as Governor
Altgeld proved) thousands have sprung up, and that thousands are
being attracted to the cause every year by reading the famous speeches
they delivered before the court. And the cowardly vengeance perpetrated
upon the body of Czolgosz will not tend to impress humane people
overmuch with respect for government.
The wrath of government is a terrible wrath,
its vengeance a double vengeance, a hideous and ghastly vengeance.
It crisped the life and soul of its victim with the powerful electric
spark; and ere the heart had yet stopped beating, and while the
blood was still warm in his veins—the vengeful thirst for gore not
yet satiated—it burned his limped body in acid and lime. Oh, thou
government! Merciful exampler [sic] of Christian love! Is it thou
who would guide the race of Man to a higher and a nobler plane of
life? By thy acts we know thee, and for thy acts you are condemned
by all men who have eyes and can see.
To show that the Anarchists
are not alone in the belief that government is the expression of
the chief evil in society—the desire to exploit the labor of others—we
append quotations from a few of the world’s great thinkers:
“Law grinds the poor, and the rich men
rule the law.”—Oliver Goldsmith.
“Government is, in its essence, always
a force working in violation of Justice.”—Leo Tolstoi.
“No person will rule over me with my consent.
I will rule over no man.”—Wm. Lloyd Garrison.
“Government is the great blackmailer. *
* * No good ever came from the law. All reforms
have been the offspring of Revolution.”—Buckle.
“In vain you tell me that artificial government
is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing—the
thing itself is the abuse.”—Edmund Burke.
“In general, the art of government consists
in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens
to give it to another.”—Voltaire.
“The trade of governing has always been
monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals
of mankind.”—Thomas Paine.
“Whatever form it takes—Monarchic, Oligarchic
or Democratic—the government of man by man is illegitimate and absurd.
* * * As man seeks justice in equity, so
society seeks order in Anarchy.”—Proudhon.
“Did the mass of men know the actual selfishness
and injustice of their rulers, not a government would stand a year;
the world would ferment with Revolution.”—Theodore Parker.
“I am convinced that those societies (as
the Indians) which live without government, enjoy in the general
mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live
under governments. * * * That government
is best which governs least.”—Thomas Jefferson.
“That government is best which governs
not at all, and when men are prepared for it, that is the kind of
government they will have.”—Henry Thoreau.
“A man who cannot be acquainted with me,
taxes me, ordains that part of my labor shall go to this or that
whimsical end; not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the
consequences! Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes.
What a satire is that on government. * * * 
Every actual State is corrupt. * * * Good
men must not obey the laws too well.”—Emerson.
“Law in its guarantee of the results of
pillage, slavery and exploitation, has followed the same phase of
development as capital; twin brother and sister, they have advanced
hand in hand, sustaining one another with the sufferings of mankind.
* * * Judiciary, police, army, public instruction,
finance—all serve one God, capital; all have but one object—to facilitate
the exploitation of the worker by the capitalist.”—Peter Kropotkin.
“By no process can coercion be made equitable.
The freest form of government is only the least objectionable form.
The rule of the many by the few, we call tyranny. The rule of the
few by the many (Democracy) is tyranny also, only of a less intense
“There is no government, however restricted
in its powers, that may not, by abuse, under pretext of exercise
of its constitutional authority, drive its unhappy subjects to desperation.”—John
Thus we see what a loathsome thing is government
to the great man. The Thinkers, Philosophers, Humanitarians, the
men to whom we owe the progress of society, have always abhored
[sic] government, and their efforts have been to teach men to govern
themselves, and not sublet the task of governing to corrupt rascals
or even honest men. For honest men sometimes aspire to office, hoping
thereby to correct the evils of society. But they very soon discover
their mistake. They find honesty a very burdensome thing in office,
and is largely outweighed by rascality. So they must either succumb
to the temptation of spoils and become rascals themselves or retire
in disgust, leaving the whole corrupt business in the hands of the
Hannas, Roosevelts, Crokers and Platts, gentlemen who have made
the trade of governing a profitable business, and with whom those
who love truth and honesty have nothing in common.
It has always been those who have analyzed
and criticised the forms of society that have awakened the people
to their errors and spurred them on to better modes of life. Great
minds have ever bewailed man’s inhumanity to man.
It was the great Heine who said: “This
old society has long since been judged and condemned. Let Justice
be done. Let this old world be broken to pieces, * *
* where innocence has perished, where man is exploited
by man. Let the whited sepulchres full of lying and iniquity be
And Victor Hugo painfully asks:
“What kind of society is it which is based
upon inequality and injustice to such an extent as this?”
Wendell Philips, the giant champion of
Truth and Freedom in America, speaks thus:
“Whenever you have met a dozen earnest
men pledged to a new idea—wherever you have met them, you have met
the beginning of a Revolution. * * * Revolution
is as natural a growth as an oak—it comes out of the past. *
* * Every line in our history, every interest
of civilization, bids us rejoice when the tyrant grows pale and
the slaves rebellious.”
Patrick Henry, who roused Virginia to arms
against King George, said:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as
to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what
course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me
Ever reviled, accursed—ne’er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
“Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
“Art thou, and war and murder’s endless
O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven,
The truth that lies behind a word to
To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure,
That sayest all which I for goal have
I give thee to the future!—Thine secure
When each at least unto himself shall
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
I cannot tell . .
. but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will
Not rule, and also ruled I will not
—John Henry Mackay.
Anarchy springs from a higher
conception of human relations awakening in the breast of the mass
of mankind as a result of the experience of the ages. Once the dream
of the poet and philosopher, it is now upon the lips of the workers
in factory, mine and farm. The enemies of Anarchy—the exploiters
of labor whose privileges it would destroy—raise the cry of conspiracy
against it. As well to charge Evolution with being a conspiracy.
If the electric light is a conspiracy against the tallow candle,
if the Pullman train is a conspiracy against the stage coach [sic],
if the self-binding harvester is a conspiracy against the sickle,
if the modern civilized man is a conspiracy against the savage—then
Anarchy is a conspiracy against government. Well, if you like, Anarchy
is a conspiracy. It is the conspiracy of the future against the
past, of the rose against the weed, of love against hate, of humanity
against barbarity, of knowledge against ignorance, of progress against
retrogression, of reason against belief, of science against superstition,
of liberty against slavery, of honesty against hypocrisy, of truth
against falsehood, of rationalism against mysticism. This is the
conspiracy of Anarchy. Now let the governments of the world proceed
to stamp it out.
Anarchy gives to the words Liberty and
Freedom a new meaning.
Govern thyself and thyself alone.
Thy neighbor’s freedom hold sacred as thy
Thus doth Anarchy—the highest present conception
of human freedom—address the individual.
Restrict your rule exclusively to yourself
and the armies and navies of the world will immediately vanish,
and millions of men whose special art is now the taking of human
life will turn their myriad hands to its preservation and enjoyment.
The gory-handed wholesale murderers who now glory in deeds of war,
because it is popular and their only means of raising to high station,
will have to seek other and more humane methods of gaining popular
The countless millions of wealth, the produce
of your brain and brawn, that you now lavish on petty statesmen,
who write laws and keep you in “order,”—and slavery—may be turned
into a means for your own happiness and development when you have
discovered order and Liberty within the confines of your own being.
The enormous profits and fabulous wealth
accumulations of the captains of industry, the promoters of trusts
and combines, who you now permit to control and regulate the work
of your hands and the thoughts of your mind, will vanish like darkness
before the light ere the dawn of the era of “no masters high or
low” has well begun.
As no man made the land, it is therefore
wrong for any man to claim it as his own and charge rent for the
use of it. To each man what he himself can use; to no man any more.
There will then be enough for all and to spare. To the builder belongs
the house. When land is free all men may build for themselves, in
compliance with their own ideas and desires, the homes which will
furnish them with comfort and help secure to them the full enjoyment
of health and happiness.
The factory and mill are built by those
who work them, but who must sell themselves for a wage to the men
who claim them as their own. Anarchy says, to the builders belong
the factory and mill. By their united labor have they built them
and the great machinery for lessening the work of creating the necessaries
and comforts of life, and unitedly should they control, produce
and enjoy the product of their skill and invention, and no man take
more of the responsibility than his equal share. Then each man will
be the social equal of his neighbor, none claiming to be greater
or entitled to more of the social product than equity dictates.
The workers in factory, mine and on the farm, each requiring the
product of the other’s toil, will exchange on a basis of equity.
Under Freedom—Anarchy—injustice will be impossible.
Free access to land and other means of
production will destroy every incentive to crime. The stomach makes
nearly all the thieves and murderers. Hunger makes men desperate.
Desperate men take desperate risks and perform desperate deeds.
Crime is a social disease which multiplies with injustice, and which
only Freedom will eliminate.
Under Freedom—Anarchy—an enlightened public
opinion will take the place of laws and jails. The basis of society
being love and comradeship, instead of brute force, as to-day, government
and politics, which breed hate among men, will not be tolerated.
If any restraint will be needed, in ostracism will be found a sufficient
punishment. No man likes to be shunned by his neighbors. Indeed,
so strong is the love of approbation that only under the strain
of severe necessity does any man ever do ought that incurs the displeasure
of his fellows.
Peace, Love and Brotherhood are the inevitable
consequences of Anarchy.
“Your Anarchist ideals are very beautiful,”
it will be said, “but your methods of propaganda are barbarous.”
Be not too hasty, friend. Have you read the Anarchists’ literature?
Have you studied their daily lives? No! Then wait until you do so
before pronouncing a verdict against them. If you learned that very
many Anarchists, so far from being the blood-thirsty hyenas you
no doubt picture them, are vegetarians, so revolting to their moral
senses is the taking of life even of the lower creation, you would
Anarchist groups are not suicide clubs
organized to kill kings and rulers. Such lies are terrible slanders
upon the intelligence of the Anarchists. The Anarchists, of all
men, are the last to entertain the delusion that a handful of intellectual
weaklings called kings and rulers are so powerful that their removal
will issue in the Millennium. It is not the rulers, but the ideas
existing in the minds of the people, that enslave them.
Who has ever seen a government? All we
see is the policeman’s club. 
But the Anarchist sees the idea behind it, and knows that immediately
that idea is destroyed the club will fall harmlessly to the ground
[sic]. The fight, then, is one of ideas—the Anarchist idea of Freedom
against the governmentalist’s idea of authority.
The Anarchist is essentially a man of ideas,
and he is forever searching for fertile soil in which to plant them.
With tongue and pen, he battles with the hosts of ignorance and
authority. Being an Evolutionist, he knows that only through ceaseless
agitation will his ideas gradually take root and finally become
the dominant thought of the world.
The Anarchist has no elaborate programme
by which to issue in the “reign of Anarchy;” he is too sensible
for that. He knows the world does not move according to programmes;
that programmes soon become crystalized [sic] codes, which, instead
of facilitating progress, obstruct its path. A programme or platform
is good only for to-day; to-morrow we shall need a different one.
When the time comes for the transformation of society, the means
will suggest themselves. After the revolution has taken place in
the minds of the people, it may outwardly take the form of an insurrection.
This has been the history of society, and will surely repeat itself
while government persists, as it has always done, in preventing
the gradual application and practice of the new ideas as they develop.
All this, however, will take care of itself. The Anarchist concerns
himself, now, only with the spreading of his ideas of an ideal society,
knowing that once they have taken a firm hold on the public mind
the practice will then be up for consideration and will solve itself,
as all great questions have ever done.
Openly and boldly, then, let us proclaim
the new idea, for he who compromiseth is a coward. Break away from
the old mooring. Adjust yourself to the new mode of life, and your
happiness will be increased a thousand fold. Raise in your might
and shatter the bonds that bind you to a code of two thousand years
past. Cast aside the customs your evolution has outgrown. Awaken
to the new.
Anarchy infuses the human heart with feelings
of comradeship and a love of Liberty, Justice and right-doing beyond
comparison. That one word—Anarchy—encompasses all the hopes and
aspirations of the new Humanity, that Evolution is slowly but surely
developing among us. Marching across the threshold of the new century,
enrapped [sic] with the crimson banner of brotherhood and holding
aloft the flaming torch of Liberty, Anarchy leads the way to the
land of freedom, burning as she goes the cobwebs of ignorance and
superstition which ages of statecraft and priestcraft have woven
across the path of progress.