Jetsam and Flotsam
Mr. John R. Dos Passos, a member
of the New York Bar and author of a well-known work on the law affecting
stockbrokers, desires that the congress of the United States should
call an international conference to consider the suppression of
anarchism. This idea is not a new one, nor capable of doing much
to supply a prompt remedy for the evil. It will be remembered that
some three years ago such a conference was convened in Rome, a great
deal of interest was evoked by it, much discussion took place and
resolutions were adopted for the mutual surrender of criminal anarchists.
But since this conference the anarchists have offered the cruellest
[sic] sort of testimony to their disregard for its deliberations—they
have boldly assassinated the King of Italy and President McKinley.
Perhaps the most effective way of dealing with this cancerous growth
in the body-politic is for each member of the family of nations
to make it a legal offense to attempt to promote the aims and interests
of anarchism by word or deed within its borders. This done, there
would be no need for international concert beyond some provisions
for the extradition of this class of offenders.
Having done this, the powers should
agree upon a suitable island and transport thither all persons convicted
of any such offense; provide them plentifully with the usual weapons
used by anarchist assassins, appropriate implements for agriculture
and fishing, etc., and such supply of food, clothing and household
effects as might be necessary to start them in business. After that
let them work for their own living, and live or starve as they might
elect. As people of this class consider that all governments are
objectionable, give them none, but merely provide a gun boat to
see that they are not taken away from the island, and leave them
to work out their destiny according to their own will and pleasure.
They might perhaps in the course of a short time realize something
of the desirability of law and order, and probably find out that
all men are not born equal. If the result should prove to be the
same as happened to the Kilkenny cats, the world would be none the
worse for the legacy of their tails, and a wholesome lesson would
have been taught to kindred spirits still at large.