name anarchist excites a terror something like the fear of a venomous
snake. The study of them as a class is not productive of either
pleasure or interest, as some other subjects are, but, from a sociologic
standpoint, few subjects are more important. On account of our recent
sad bereavement it assumes unusual prominence at this time.
As a result of comparison and analysis
this type is found among the criminal and insane in the large class
of degenerates. All three do murder and other acts of violence,
but from different motives. A common murderer represents one individual
against another, while an anarchist makes war upon society as an
institution and attempts to break it up. The former is an enemy
of good society from personal motives, the latter is hostile only
as the representative of an organized class.
As is suggested by the principals
in the assassination of P MK,
anarchists compose two smaller classes—leaders and followers—which
are respectively the brains and tools of the organization. Discontent,
a malignant feeling of dissatisfaction, pervades them all and rises
at times to the heat of an epidemic, which spreads as by a contagion.
At these times, not the individuals as such themselves, but the
officers of the government are held responsible for the fancied
wrongs and become the objects of assault.
The control of the exciting cause
or causes and the repression of the outbreaks of this social disease
constitute a great task. The infliction of severe punishment, which
we in our indignation feel like bringing upon the poisoned criminal,
is at once suggested, but will no more protect from further violence
than will the death of one patient stamp out a contagious disease.
The death of one anarchist will not prevent the making of others.
By it the seeds of dissatisfaction are liable to be further spread.
From the point of view here assumed and reasoning by analogy, isolation
and quarantine are most prominently indicated, or, as N
suggests in the Medical Review of Reviews, “segregation and
breaking up their headquarters form the only remedy.” The nature
of our government possibly favors or allows the spread of anarchy,
but as the people are now anxious and determined that repressive
measures be instituted, we shall look to our legislators and executive
officers to carry out their, the people’s, will.