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Publication information
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Source: Arena
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Political, Economic, and Religious Causes of Anarchism”
Author(s): Newton, R. Heber
Date of publication: February 1902
Volume number: 27
Issue number: 2
Pagination: 113-25 (excerpt below includes only pages 119-20)

 
Citation
Newton, R. Heber. “Political, Economic, and Religious Causes of Anarchism.” Arena Feb. 1902 v27n2: pp. 113-25.
 
Transcription
excerpt
 
Keywords
anarchism (dealing with); society (criticism); McKinley assassination (personal response); McKinley assassination (lessons learned); anarchism (religious response); anarchism (causes); Leon Czolgosz (as anarchist).
 
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley; Jean Jacques Élisée Reclus [first name misspelled below].
 
Notes
From cover: Rev. R. Heber Newton, D. D.

The author is identified as residing in New York (p. 125).
 
Document

 

Political, Economic, and Religious Causes of Anarchism [excerpt]

     As the Civic Counselor of our own city writes: “The one permanent way out is to strike at the causes that produce these enemies of society—the bad home, the cramped opportunities, the false education. He who opens a school, who improves the tenements, who opens opportunities for labor—he most effectually drives anarchy from the land. We want no coddling of the poor, no sentimental dallying with perpetrators of dastardly deeds; but we do need to allay discontent by giving every man and every child an opportunity by honest labor to live an honest, hopeful, contented life. Opportunity for hopeful labor will take away the opportunity of perverted minds. He who makes government the friend of the common people, the servant of the masses, and who does away with the flaunting inequalities of wealth—he does more to dispel anarchism than he who merely cries, ‘Away with the wretch!’”
     Elise Reclus, the brilliant geographer, said: “We are all revolutionizers, because we desire justice.” The only sure way to stop the manufacture of revolutionists is to turn out justice from our industrial plant.
     To one or the other of these means for the prevention of anarchism we must be goaded. It may be that the martyrdom of our good President is to force open our blind eyes.
     The supreme lesson of the crime of September is that even our Republic must put its house in order, must make its government a real commonwealth, must make its industry humane, just, and Christian. McKinley will not have died in vain if his death warns our nation of the rocks ahead from selfish commercialism, from our apostasy to the worship of Mammon. Perhaps by such horrors our people will be made ready to consider whether no other and higher industrial order is possible, no saner and more Christian civilization is attainable in the orderly way of evolution. [119][120]

III.

     Below the economic causes of anarchism lie the religious causes, or, more strictly speaking, the irreligious causes of anarchism.
     It is more than a program of reform: it is a creed, passionately held and often heroically lived up to. Say what you will about Czolgosz, he took his life in his hand to assert his crazy creed. While men are willing so to do, we can only hope to prevent such crimes by dispossessing the false faith and inspiring the true one.

 

 


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