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Source: Gunton’s Magazine
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Problem of Anarchy”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 301-02

“The Problem of Anarchy.” Gunton’s Magazine Oct. 1901 v21n4: pp. 301-02.
full text
anarchism (dealing with).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz.


The Problem of Anarchy

As we have said, the execution of Czolgosz will be neither adequate reparation for the crime nor protection for the future. The real problem, which ought now to receive determined and unremitting attention, is how to protect our institutions from this destructive menace of anarchism which has operated so successfully in European countries in recent years and found so firm a foothold here. The air is full of suggestions for drastic remedies, and calls for vengeance, but the problem is not to be solved so readily. In protecting liberty, we must not go so far as to destroy it. In driving out anarchism, we must not erect into law a policy and methods which later and in other directions can be perverted into instruments of oppression. We are compelled by the very nature of our institutions to draw the line between liberty and license. We must preserve the rights of free speech and free assemblage as necessary safeguards against despotism, but we must also protect ourselves against such of the results of this liberty as tend to destroy the only adequate guarantee of liberty itself—that is, government and law.
     The problem is more serious for us than for any other nation. On the one hand, the United States is becoming more and more an asylum for anarchistic propagandists driven from Europe, and, on the other, our constitution will not let us use the radically drastic measures so easily available in a monarchy. Anarchy [301][302] is bred under despotic conditions utterly unlike anything to be found in this country, but when the anarchist arrives here and sees the forms of government still in evidence, knowing nothing of the difference in its character and operation from that he left behind, he takes advantage of the freer environment to strike the blows he sought to strike at home. Because of his embittering experience under one type of government, and ignorance of our own, our very freedom from despotic restrictions places us at his mercy. Therefore, in his case, we cannot rely on the broad general safeguards which are ample to secure law and order with those brought up under our own institutions and conditions. Special measures become absolutely essential to meet the special danger.



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