Publication information
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Source: Physician and Surgeon
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Anarchists”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: September 1901
Volume number: 23
Issue number: 9
Pagination: 422

“Anarchists.” Physician and Surgeon Sept. 1901 v23n9: p. 422.
full text
anarchism (personal response); anarchism (psychology of); anarchism (dealing with).
Named persons
William McKinley; William B. Noyes.



     THE very 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 PRESIDENT MCKINLEY, 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 NOYES 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.



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