Publication information
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Source: Commonwealth
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “From ‘Public Servant’ to ‘Ruler’”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 8
Issue number: 11
Pagination: 4

“From ‘Public Servant’ to ‘Ruler.’” Commonwealth Nov. 1901 v8n11: p. 4.
full text
socialism; government; society (criticism).
Named persons
William McKinley.


From “Public Servant” to “Ruler”

     IT is not difficult for the glib political hirelings of capitalism to distort the socialist ideal before unthinking listeners. A military state—organized force—designed to protect private property, is certainly an abhorrence of the socialist. The socialist wants a state that shall serve—that shall serve all the people. The socialist state does not contemplate a “ruler.” The socialist state is to be simply the consummation of that ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity which the American forefathers conceived, but did not know how to lay the fiscal basis for. It is astonishing how subtly the chief public servant of the United States has come to be called a “ruler.” The word is never seen in our mid-century literature. Republicans—with stupid absence of any republican conceptions—call the late President McKinley “one of the best rulers we ever had,” and for the last six or eight years the word has been commonly used to designate our chief executive. It indicates the death of the old republican conceptions and the gradual enslavement of the people to old reactionary ideas of government.
     The co-operative commonwealth, the goal of the socialist ideal, is a state that shall administer the affairs of all the people. No one will rule. All will serve. The only repressive function of the state will be to forbid repression, to insure absolute equality of opportunity to every child born into it. All that the anarchist hates in government would disappear under such a state, for no one could oppress where all men were free, and where the government’s sole care would be to preserve the freedom and opportunity of all.



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