Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “The Blues Versus the Reds: Suggestions for Laws against the Anarchists”
Author(s): Winchevsky, M.
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 1
Issue number: 2
|Winchevsky, M. “The Blues Versus the Reds: Suggestions for Laws against the Anarchists.” Comrade Nov. 1901 v1n2: pp. 34-35.|
|anarchism (personal response); anarchism (laws against).|
|Robert Buchanan; Richard Croker; Georg Herwegh; Peter Kropotkin; William Morris; Terence V. Powderly; Percy Bysshe Shelley; Algernon Charles Swinburne; Alfred Tennyson.|
|From page 34: Drafted by M. Winchevsky.|
The Blues Versus the Reds: Suggestions for Laws against the Anarchists
The blues, that’s what is the matter with us
all just at present.
The reds are at the bottom of it all.
The reds being dark red, we are troubled with blues which are dark blue, very dark blue, more dark in fact, than blue.
The blues, it is clear, have got to fight the reds.
The situation demands the adoption of drastic measures.
I, therefore, respectfully submit a few such measures, trusting that they will be amplified, and so amended, as to fully meet the requirements in the case.
In order to facilitate the universal understanding of the following laws against the reds, I deemed it proper to divest them in many instances of the legal phraseology. Should they, however, as I hope they will, be adopted and placed on the statute-book, the learned profession will, no doubt, so rephrase and redraft them, as to make them duly obscure and unintelligible to the lay mind.
Here is the draft in its present crude shape:
ANYBODY OR ANYBODY ELSE:—
Whether high or low or a church-beadle;
Whether masculine, feminine or neuter;
Without distinction as to race, creed, color, dye, true or false teeth, hair or profession;
Whether whiskered, bald-faced (not bold-faced), long-haired or pig-tailed;
Whether in or out of his, her or its wits, or senses, or any thing that may pass for, or be regarded as, such;
Whether in or out of office, be it sacred or profane, be it national, State, municipal, district, janitorial, mercantile, educational, journalistic (or otherwise impudent), street-cleaning, home, foreign, permanent or temporary, with or without reward, pay, compensation, emolument, or remuneration, no matter whether in shape of salary, wages, fees, perquisites, tips, bribes, railroad passes, theatre passes, grants, franchises, votes, name-handles, chairmanships, or compliments (as to youth and beauty) in the case of spinsters, ladies in general, and old bachelors;
Whether they be gifted with speech or be mute, or a cross between the two, if, that is, they be diplomatically constituted persons;
Whether quiet, noisy, whistling, or barrel-organically musical;
Whether they be policemen, or, on the contrary, watchful people; experts in handwriting or rather adverse to perjury as a trade;
Whether in or out of love, single or plural, free or encumbered, either with mothers-in-law or counsellors-at-ditto, with borrowing brothers or worrying lodge-brethren, with too frequent triplets, unmarketable poems, unbusinesslike scruples, with bibliomania, dear, i. e., costly friends, and other things and beings of the same nature, character, kind or description;
Whether they believe in free love, chained love; love in anticipation of a valuable death, love on the installment plan, love saleable to the highest bidder, love in exchange for a title, love for domestic use or foreign exportation; love platonic, histrionic, operatic, leg-high-up-ic, mormonic, morganatic, poetically constant, or, on the contrary, real love; love with or without regard to and for gastronomy and dyspepsia, to and for soup, with or without thrilling dime novels;
Whether they be smokers, chewers and coughers, or persons who expectorate for the fun of the thing;
Whether they be afflicted with a mania for pictures or drawings representing either landscapes, nude live stock, pure Comstock, in fact, any but watered stock;
Whether they make a living, or speeches, or money to burn, or fools of themselves, or matches (parlor, kitchen or diamond, settlement-girt safety matches), or anything else calculated to either give light or cause an explosion in a house;
Whether they be store-keepers, score-keepers, game-keepers, park-keepers, saloon-keepers, or in a general way keepers of all they can lay hands on;—
All these persons, both home-grown and imported, naturalized and denaturalized, carnivorous, herbivorous and eaters of the humble pie, will henceforth come under the meaning and intent of the following laws, rules, regulations, restrictions and ordinances, to-wit.:—
I. All anarchists, whether they are such or not, are to be swiftly and ruthlessly exterminated.
II. Under the designation of “anarchist” come all those who are commonly called “reds,” irrespective of their professions. (Harvard may remain crimson, provided the philological faculty unequivocally declare in writing that there is a distinction between crimson and red, and that there is, furthermore, no organic relation between crimson and crime.)
III. Everybody will be taken to be a red, i. e., a dangerous person in at least an embryonic stage, who shall be found wearing a red button, a red tie, a red ribbon, a red shawl or a red nose, being in the latter case unable to prove to the satisfaction of the authorities by means of a sworn affidavit of no less than three saloon-keepers, that he, she or it, as the case may be, has acquired the said red nose in a legal way.
IV. Anybody red in the face will have to satisfy the police that he, she or it has come by such redness in consequence of excessive drinking, through reading the biography of Richard Croker, through an Irish slap in the face, by the perusal of the Police News, or from some other cause equally unobjectionable.
V. If caught, reds may be lynched as if they had been blacks, lawlessness directed against the lawless being lawful, though technically lawless. (If caught, that is, by the people; should they be arrested by the police, they will be roundly abused and let go.)
VI. Henceforth each and every immigrant must bring along with him, her or it a certificate of good behavior from the old country, proving beyond any manner of doubt that he, she or it had in his, her or its native country been a good and faithful subject, had never been to a political meeting of a subversive kind, had never called anybody “comrade,” had never belonged to any trades-union, had taken no part in any strike, except by way of betraying the rebellious strikers, had been a church member, had gone to Sunday school when a youth, and had denounced to authorities every revolutionist within his, her or its cognizance.
VII. They would, furthermore, have to prove that they had nothing to do either with the Polish Insurrection, or with the Paris Commune, or with the Chartist movement, or with the Irish Land League, or with the Russian Nihilists, or with the Italian Carbonari, or with the German Social Democracy, or with the Carlists in Spain, or with the European opponents to Chicago canned beef, or any other dangerous malcontents; that they never read the early writings of Swinburne and Tennyson, nor the mature writings of William Morris and Herwegh, or any other poetry or prose of a seditious nature, most particularly the treasonable poems of Shelley, and certain deviltry of Robert Buchanan.
VIII. If a pregnant woman shall land on Ellis Island she shall be kept in Quarantine until such time as she may in a natural way give birth to a child. Should such child appear to the authorities suspiciously red in the skin, or too much of a squealing baby, thus giving signs of a discontented disposition, or manifest an objection to swaddling clothes, thereby be-  traying a proneness to an inordinate degree of freedom, or rebelliously kick in the washtub, or otherwise behave in a manner incompatible with good, lawabiding citizenship, in such a case both mother and child should be sent back to Europe, the United States Government paying the return passage, provided Mr. Powderly’s bill does not exceed three times the actual outlay.
IX. Open air meetings to be strictly prohibited, except when called by bona fide Republicans, anti-Hearst Democrats, the Salvation Army, the “horrible example” prohibitionists, soap-selling fakirs, a genuine dead horse in the street, as well as in the case of a long block on Broadway, of a juvenile crowd around a bonfire, of the outside brokers on Broad street, of a miniature prize fight, of a house on fire, and of an arrested youngster who may have purloined a loaf of bread, in which case a large assemblage may be permitted.
X. Poles, Italians and Peter Kropotkin should not be allowed to land at all. Should the latter somehow or other be found to have set foot on American soil he will be waylaid wherever caught, and sentenced without trial to ten years’ penal servitude in the S. L. P.
XI. Nobody shall be allowed to sell, vend, give, barter, present, transfer, send, forward, hand, or convey any books, booklets, leaflets, pamphlets, appeals, manifestoes, handbills, programmes, papers, magazines, annuals, almanacs, periodicals of any kind, and any and all printed, lithographed, typewritten, penwritten, or otherwise published, either in longhand or shorthand or any other way, which may contain, either openly expressed or implied or insinuated or visibly concealed matter savoring of rebellion against law and order, or the sacredness of property.
XII. In all school books the phrase in the Declaration of Independence, declaring all men to be born equal, as well as all phrases about liberty and happiness and all the rest of it to be expunged.