Publication information
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Source: Liberty
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Logic and Common Sense”
Author(s): Tucker, Benjamin R.
Date of publication: September 1903
Volume number: 14
Issue number: 13
Pagination: 5

Tucker, Benjamin R. “Logic and Common Sense.” Liberty Sept. 1903 v14n13: p. 5.
Ernest Howard Crosby; Leon Czolgosz; McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists); McKinley assassination (personal response).
Named persons
William Jennings Bryan; Ernest Howard Crosby; Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.
Click here to view an excerpt from Crosby’s response (Whim, Oct. 1903) to Tucker’s editorial.


Logic and Common Sense [excerpt]

     To my paragraph of some months ago criticising my friend Ernest Crosby for opposing violence and at the same time abetting the State, he answers, in his interesting and illogical journal, the “Whim” (if you wish a sample copy, address P. O. Box 288, Newark, N. J.), that he pleads guilty and alleges extenuating circumstances. These circumstances are the remorse that he felt after declining to vote in 1896, and the happiness that he felt after voting for Bryan in 1900. But all the doers of violence whom Mr. Crosby so persistently denounces can offer the same plea. Mr. McKinley undoubtedly felt supremely happy in pursuing the policy which Mr. Crosby is fond of characterizing as “island-stealing and manslaughter.” If to do the things that one feels happy in doing is a good excuse, why has Mr. Crosby never given Mr. McKinley the benefit of it?
     “We preach logic and practise common sense,” further answers Mr. Crosby, “for the secret of sane living is to go on compromising while shouting ‘No compromise’.” Yes, I remember very well and very painfully that a couple of years ago, when a young man by the name of Czolgosz, who “preached logic,”—that is to say, who dreamed, as Mr. Crosby dreams, of a time when violence shall be no more,—also “practised common sense,”—that is to say, resorted, as Mr. Crosby resorts, to violence when it made him happy to do so,—Mr. Crosby, who preaches not only logic, but also universal love, ignored this other gospel too, and adhered to his practice of common sense by promptly joining the snarling human pack and denouncing Czolgosz as “a perverted wretch.” Yet the offence of this young man, who compromised his logical ideal by shooting McKinley as Mr. Crosby continually compromises his logical ideal by voting for invasive laws, consisted simply in a discovery of Mr. Crosby’s “secret of sane living.” Why should Mr. Crosby exhaust the vocabulary of hatred in describing the conduct of those who share his secret? And, on the other hand, why should I put questions such as these to Mr. Crosby? Nothing can embarrass a man who “preaches logic and practises common sense.”



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