Source: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Monthly Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Anarchy”
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 35
Issue number: 11
|“Anarchy.” Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Monthly Journal Nov. 1901 v35n11: pp. 689-90.|
|Johann Most (incarceration); anarchism (personal response); anarchism (laws against).|
|The “brush manufacturer named Kling” referred to below cannot be identified.|
Herr Most, the rabid anarchist who has been allowed
to voice his treason through his paper, which should have been suppressed long
ago, has been sent to prison for a year for his villainous utterances relative
to the murder of the President; and Die Freiheit, the German edition
of his paper issued at Stuttgart, Germany, has been suppressed, and the publisher,
a brush manufacturer named Kling, imprisoned.
The law of New York under which Most was imprisoned reads as follows:
A person who willfully and wrongfully commits any act which seriously injures the person or property of another, or which seriously disturbs or endangers the public peace or health, or which openly outrages public decency, for which no other punishment is expressly prescribed by this code, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
We heartily approve of the sentence of this rabid
un-American advocate of violence and treason towards a country under whose benign
influence he desires to live that he may speculate on the credulity of his dupes
whom he attempts to convert into criminals and incites them to criminal acts.
But the law of New York is entirely too ambiguous. There should be no question
as to its meaning nor its application. The person or persons guilty of vicious
treasonable utterances, and those who are responsible for the publication of
vicious treasonable doctrines tending toward treason and murder, should be named
as amenable to a special code.
Such a law as above quoted, under which Most was sent to prison, if the decision was left to the legal prejudice of some judges, such for instance as judges who have enjoined members of organized labor from paying dues or contributing to the support of men on a strike, would endanger the liberty of one who quit the service of another, because it might be said that it injured the property rights of another.
Members of organized labor generally abhor such doctrines as anarchy, and there is no factor in society that can do more in helping mould both public opinion and law to fit the emergency made necessary for the suppression of this treasonable lot. But we do not want revolution. We want to evolve something that will cure the disease complained of—a law that denies no reasonable liberty, yet protects the individual and the national and state laws, the creation of the voice of the majority.  Emigration restrictions and specific laws made to fit specific conditions are needed; and the interest of no class is more involved in the various proposed remedies than laboring men. While they do not ask any special privileges, no law should be created that can be perverted and used at will against them, while it would be a dead letter applied to others who disturb property rights and the public equally as much.
We want to impress upon the mind of all organized labor the necessity of taking part in both the upbuilding of moral obligations to right law and loyalty to government, and have no mean share in helping to mould the law for the suppression of evil, and anarchy in particular.