Source: Cigar Makers’ Official Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 27
Issue number: 1
|[untitled]. Cigar Makers’ Official Journal Oct. 1901 v27n1: p. 8.|
|anarchism (personal response); society (criticism); anarchism (causes); anarchism (dealing with).|
|J. Pierpont Morgan.|
We are of the opinion that very few mentally
sound people really embrace the principles of anarchy, as applied to government,
or really hope to see any such theories put into practice in this country.
We understand there are two kinds of anarchists or people who have deluded themselves into the belief that they are such. One class style themselves the philosophical and the other the physical-force anarchists. The former are possibly a harmless but highly impractical species of humanity with whom it is, we believe, a fad more than a serious proposition. They have succeeded in picturing out in their own minds a state of society wherein the human family has become so perfect that it will not require very many laws to govern. Society nor the organized state need have fear of this branch of anarchy. The physical-force anarchist is largely the product of discontent, and has no well-grounded ideas of the theory of anarchy or of its application to organized society or the state. To our mind, those who profess to be physical-force anarchists and want to apply it in this country, where we have the opportunity to settle all questions of state along the lines of peaceful reason and through the ballot, have not the brains to conceive any theory of government nor the capacity to execute either, if both were furnished them. They are moral perverts with weak minds and cowardly hearts. They may and probably do think there is something wrong with society, but they haven’t either the knowledge or the patience to apply correct methods. They imagine the accumulated wrongs of centuries can be righted in a day. Poorly fed and scantily clothed people see J. P. Morgan, fresh from his fight against the Steel Workers’ Union, which is composed of law-abiding, loyal citizens, roll through the country in what is said to be the most elegant and richly appointed train that ever a wheel turned under with seventy-two ministers as his guests and they wonder! Seventy-two ministers accepting the would-be trade unions’ crusher’s hospitality, riding on passes to the convention, may set some people thinking. People with a heart that beats for humanity read in the papers that Mrs. 400’s dog, Fido died and was buried with all solemnity, and at a cost of $1,000; and when they see men, able-bodied and loyal, looking for work and cannot find it and without 10 cents with which to buy food for themselves or dependents, it may arouse a spirit of resentment within them. When they hear that the 400 at Newport gave an elaborate banquet and reception to dogs belonging to the members of that exclusive set, and then contemplate the fact that millions of honest, loyal human beings can scarcely earn enough to feed their little children, it may arouse anything but a kindly feeling in their hearts. Dogs living on porterhouse steak, ice-cream and champaign, and little children living on bread and water, clothed in rags and housed in ramshackle tenements, is not a sight to inspire the gods. The flaunting of great wealth, ground from the blood and bones of the toiling masses, in the face of the struggling, honest, industrious poor breeds discontent and is largely responsible for the dangerous anarchist. We acknowledge that the capitalists have a right to spend their money as they please. If they want to spend it on their dogs or for the purpose of buying foreign titles, all well and good. We have no more right to say what they shall do with their money than has the $2-a-day man to say how the $3-a-day man shall spend his income. But if their actions breed discontent and dangerous members of society, then let the responsibility rest where it belongs.
Pious, patriotic manufacturers, who have been hiring and importing the cheapest kind of cheap labor, hold up their hands in holy horror and shout the loudest against the class they have helped to create.
Abject poverty, when contrasted with arrogant wealth, has a tendency to beget the dangerous member of society; and in seeking a way out, we should not lose sight of the cause and effect. Let us be rational and reason with ourselves and study the question in the calm light of reason. We will then reach better conclusions and the surer way out. Correct reasoning brings correct methods. Questions settled in a spirit of passion and vindictiveness are seldom settled right. Misdirected revenge and cowardly passion killed the president. We should not now kill liberty and freedom of speech and the press with the same implements. The laws of repression and oppression are impotent, and have always failed. Despotic Russia has more laws of repression than any other country, yet the blood-thirsty Nihilist thrives and reaches its greatest numbers in that country. The same can be said of any other country where the laws of repression and oppression are the greatest. There is less anarchy of the dangerous type in liberal England and America than there is in countries where tyranny and repression dwell and rule instead of liberty and freedom. This indicates that we are more in need of liberty and justice than we are of restrictive laws. We abhor the cowardly assassins, the causes which create him, and are anxious to eliminate both. The great question is how best to do this. If it is true that abject poverty and the wide difference in the condition of the propertyless and the enormously rich is the prime cause of discontent, then it naturally follows that the surest way and the best way is to adopt methods that will tend to bring about a more just distribution of the bounties of earth and the profits of labor. We offer the trade-union movement and system as the best. Trades unions shorten the hours of labor, increase wages and otherwise—in a perfectly legal way—improve the moral, material and intellectual welfare of their members. They, in a measure, bring about more contentment and peaceful, law-abiding citizens than any other agency. No trade-unionist ever assassinated a president. Trades unions are gradually improving the condition of the masses and lifting up the depressed worker and causing a more equal distribution of the wealth which abounds in plenty for all. Down deep in the hearts and minds of all the people there exists deep resentment and horror for the assassin and the bloody deed that has stained the pages of our history; and we believe that there also exists an honest desire to prevent its repetition, and by proper means such as will not interfere with the right of free speech and the freedom of the press.
We invite all to study the trade-union movement and to give it their assistance and encouragement. Any reactionary measures, born of hate and vindictive passion, will be more dangerous to the perpetuity of our free institutions and the peace and happiness of the people of this country as a whole than any other agency.