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Source: American Monthly Review of Reviews
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Anarchist Movement”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 24
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 388

“The Anarchist Movement.” American Monthly Review of Reviews Oct. 1901 v24n4: p. 388.
full text
Named persons
William McKinley; Leo Tolstoy.


The Anarchist Movement

It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the word “anarchist,” like the word “socialist,” should have come to be used so loosely and indefinitely as to include men of widely different ways of thinking. Thus, all the followers of Count Tolstoy, and all believers in the doctrine of non-resistance, are philosophically anarchists, because they deny the right to exercise authority,—and without authority there could be no such thing as government or state. But the adherents of this creed of non-resistance are, of course, as much opposed to violence against governmental authority, on the one hand, as they are to the exercise of coercion by the government itself. Quite apart from philosophies, creeds, and doctrines, the anarchist movement is the extreme expression of individual or social discontent. It can doubtless to some extent be hunted down as essentially treasonable and criminal; but it must not for a moment be forgotten that a very large measure of freedom of speech and general liberty is the best safeguard against the dangerous plotting of anarchists. Nothing has been more clear since the assassination of President McKinley than the fact that this great nation as a whole is absolutely untainted with the horrible virus of anarchism. That there are anarchists here and there in many towns and cities is evident enough, but they are not part and parcel of the community; they are extraneous. Their assassination of the President of the United States has had no more effect upon the firmness of our institutions than a puff of dust from the desert might have upon the Great Pyramid.



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