Source: Railway Conductor
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Fruit of Anarchy”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 18
Issue number: 10
|“The Fruit of Anarchy.” Railway Conductor Oct. 1901 v18n10: pp. 770-72.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); William McKinley; anarchism (personal response); anarchism (dealing with); Jonathan P. Dolliver (public addresses); anarchism (government response); anarchism; Frank W. Gunsaulus (public statements).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Jonathan P. Dolliver; Frank W. Gunsaulus; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
|An asterisk (*) below indicates where the author omitted text from Senator Dolliver’s address (as identified in the original editorial).|
The Fruit of Anarchy
The month of September, 1901, has recorded upon
its pages one of the foulest deeds in the world’s history. Our President, William
McKinley, came to his end at the hand of an assassin at Buffalo, New York, while
shaking hands with a people among which he knew no distinction of race or color.
William McKinley was a kind and genial servant of the public, a gracious reflector of their judgment and their enthusiasm. His noble deeds will ever be cherished by his countrymen and looked upon as a living monument by coming generations. In the ranks of the immortals he has taken his place forever and far beyond the reach of hate and envy, of bullet and assassin, he stands beautified with Lincoln in the memory of his countrymen and garlanded with the laurel wreath of victory whose leaves can never fade. His life work was devoted to the upbuilding of the country he loved so dearly and everywhere do we see evidences of the great mind that conceived those plans that have been the means of drawing together not only our own people which were separated by sectional lines for so long, but while he dominated our affairs his influence was felt in every civilized country on the globe, establishing the most cordial relations.
His speech at Buffalo enshrined him in the hearts of the workingman and the common people from whose ranks he sprung. Yet while his words had scarcely ceased ringing in the ears of those who heard him the assassin’s shot rang out, and was followed by the words, “I did my duty.” There is every reason to believe that Czolgosz was commissioned to commit the crime. It cannot be denied that all his conduct is based upon anarchistic doctrine. He will forfeit his worthless life in consequence of his act, but that matters not to him. He went into the commission fully expecting such an end as will be meted out to him. He has, from the standard of an anarchist, achieved a brilliant success, and his example will be followed by others if possible. Civilization must do all it can to make it impossible. Anarchy must be made infamous with prevention as sure as punishment. All teaching and inciting of murder and murderous doctrines should be punishable with death.
Treason has been suggested as a name for any attempt upon the life of the President or other high official of the United States, but before this could become a fact an amendment to the Constitution of the United States would be necessary, which at present provides only as follows: In levying war upon the United States or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. The right to freedom of speech would also have to be abridged  for no one will deny that the privilege of free press and free speech constitute the very soil in which anarchy thrives. Congress has power to make laws providing for punishment with death any attempt upon the life of the president of the United States, or other high officials, including all conspiracies of a like nature, if it will do so; it has also the power to prevent importation into this country of such persons as are known to hold ananchistic [sic] sentiments or who cannot contribute to its welfare. Our institutions are held too sacred to longer permit these infernal red rags to disgrace our land. If the purpose of our laws cannot be subserved without the enactment of Federal laws making anarchy an [sic] capital punishment, then let it be done.
Hon. J. P. Dolliver, our Iowa senator, made use of the following vigorous language before an audience in the Coliseum at Chicago, and which will be heartily endorsed by every reader of T C :
The government of the United States has given no attention, and the government of the several states but little, to the activity in many of our cities of organizations, inconsiderable in numbers, which boldly profess to seek the destruction of all government and all law. Their creed is openly written in many languages, including our own, and its devotees the world over do not try to conceal the satisfaction which they take in these deeds of darkness.
The crime of the 6th of September, though evidently committed under the influence if not the direction of others, easily baffles the courts, because, being without the common motives of murder, it leaves no tracks distinct enough to be followed, and for that reason escapes through the very tenderness of our system of jurisprudence toward persons accused on suspicions, however grave.
A government like ours is always slow to move and often awkward in its motions, but it can be trusted to find effective remedies for conditions like these, at least after they become intolerable. But these remedies, in order to be effective, must not invade the sense of justice which is universal, nor the traditions of civil liberty which we have inherited from our fathers.
The bill of rights, written in the English language, stands for too many centuries of sacrifices, too many battlefields sanctified by blood, too many hopes of mankind, reaching toward the ages to come, to be mutilated in the least in order to meet the case of a handful of miscreants whose names nobody can pronounce. Whether the secret of this ghastly atrocity rests in the keeping of one man or many we may never know, but if the President was picked out by the hidden councils for the fate which overtook him, there is a mournful satisfaction in the fact that in his life, as well as in his death, he represented American manhood at its best.
I have studied with some degree of care such literature as the working creed of anarchy has given to the modern world, and in all the high places of the earth it could not have chosen a victim whose life among men made a more complete answer to its incoherent programme of envy and hatred and idleness and crime. Without intending to do so, it has strengthened the whole frame work [sic] of the social system, not only by showing its own face, but by lifting up before the eyes of all generations this choice and master spirit of our times, simple and beautiful in his life, lofty and serene in death.
The creed of anarchy, in common with all kindred schools of morbid social science, teaches that only the children of the rich find their lives worth living under our institutions, and therefore in order to emancipate the poor, these institutions must be overthrown. The biography of William McKinley records the successful battle of at least one young man in the open arena of the world, and tells the story of his rise from the little schoolhouse, where he earned the money to complete his own education, to the highest civic distinction known among men. One life like that put into the light of day, where the young men of America can see it, will do more for the welfare of society than all the processions that ever marched behind beer wagons through the streets of Chicago, carrying red flags, can ever do it harm. The creed of anarchy knows no country, feels in its withered heart no pulse of patriotism, sees under no skies the beauty of any flag—not even ours, that blessed symbol now draped in morning [sic] which lights us this time of national affliction with the splendor of the great republic. *
The creed of anarchy rebels against the state, and with infinite folly proposes that every man should be a law unto himself. It is more mischievous because more pretentious than the common levels of crime, for without disdaining the weapons of the ruffian it does not hesitate to seek shelter under the respectability that belongs to the student and the reformer.
It ought not to be forgotten that these conspirators, working out their nefarious plans in secret, in the dens and caves of the earth, enjoy an unconscious co-opera-  tion and side-partnership with every lawless influence which is abroad in the world. Legislators who betray the commonwealth, judges who poison the fountains of justice, municipal authorities which come to terms with crime—all these are regular contributors to the campaign fund of anarchy.
That howling mass, whether in Kansas or Alabama, that assembly of wild beasts, dancing in drunken carousal about the ashes of some negro malefactor, is not contributing to the security of society; it is taking away from society the only security it has. It belongs to the unenrolled reserve corps of anarchy in the United States. Neither individuals nor corporations nor mobs can take the law into their own hands without identifying themselves with this more open, but hardly less odious attack upon the fortress of the social order. The words which came spontaneously to the lips of William McKinley as he sank under mortal wounds and saw the infuriated crowd pressing about his assailant, ought to be repeated in the ears of the officers of the peace from one end of the land to the other, in all the years that are to come—“Let no one hurt him; let the law take its course.”
The creed of anarchy teaches that popular government is a fraud and that enactments made by the people for themselves are no more sacred than arbitrary decrees promulgated by tyrants and enforced by bayonets. *
Anarchy says “Vote no more.” The example of William McKinley, who in a public service of more than a quarter of a century, half of it in the field of controversial politics, never once disparaged the motives of those who did not agree with him, nor spoke an unkind word of an opponent, who allowed neither the cares of business nor the fatigue of travel to nullify his influence as a citizen, and never failed at any election to stand uncovered before the ballot box in the precinct where he had a right to vote, already has familiarized his countrymen with the higher ideals of civic duty which dedicate the heart and brain and conscience of America to an intelligent interest in public affairs.
The creed of anarchy despises the obligations of the marriage contract, impeaches the integrity of domestic life, enters into the homes of the people to pull down their altars and subject the family relation, which is the chief bond of society, to the caprices of loafer and the libertine. *
The fatal word in the creed of anarchy is “atheism.” Until that word is spoken, until all sense of the moral government of the universe and the spiritual significance of human life is lost, it is impossible to conceive, much less to execute, this malignant propaganda against the rights of mankind. It is not necessary to think or speak unkindly of the noted men, many of them living a life of scholarly seclusion, remote from the practical, everyday problems which confront the police of all countries, who in the last generation have made the most influential contributions to the speculative literature of atheism. I doubt whether their influence will be permanent, either for good or evil.
No man who brings nothing with him except a blind faith in natural laws, which nobody made and nobody administers, will ever find a permanent discipleship in a world like this. It is their misfortune that their works have had the most influence among those who have been least able to understand them. *
We believe that the red flag of anarchy should
never again be permitted to float under the same sky with the Stars and Stripes.
“Anarchy has its foundations in atheism, which leaves the universe Godless and
therefore without government. Only when a man ceases to believe in God does
he appeal to murder and ruin. Anarchy does not believe in any judgment or in
any consequences eternally attached to an act of wrong. We see its product and
result in the loathsome assassin,” are the words of Dr. Gunsaulus. “Our civilization
is grounded in christianity. It believes in God as the supreme ruler and the
ultimate court of justice.” That there are anarchists in almost every community
will not be denied, but they are extraneous. Their assassination of the President
of the United States has no more effect upon the firmness of our institutions
than a pea-shooter would have upon the protected sides of the battleship Iowa.
The blow aimed at the government fell short for want of power, but struck down
one whom we loved; a man of lofty aim, of pure purpose, of mighty mind, of tender
heart, of sublime soul—even as the end came bowing his head in submission to
the Divine will—“Thy will be done.”
His life was, indeed, one worthy of emulation. In the coming years when the eulogist seeks a name to fire the heart of right ambition and teach the truth that real greatness springs from virtue, loyalty and love, he will turn away from those crowned kings and throned monarchs, from dusty archives and fallen nations of the past, to point to our illustrious martyred President whose memory we bless.