Who Are Anarchists?
Among the great dailies of Chicago
the “Chronicle” has earned the distinction of treating Anarchy and
Anarchists with more fairness, impartiality, honesty and honor than
any other. Though using these much abused and much execrated words
in their popular, unscientific, unphilosophic and irrational sense
the “Chronicle” has earned the gratitude and respect of all fair-minded
people by such editorials as the following, which appears in its
edition of Sunday, September 22:
Doubtless there are many in the
United States who will cordially indorse [sic] a plan suggested
in Europe for a conference on Anarchism. The idea is to send
dangerous Anarchists of all countries to a remote place, probably
an island in the Pacific.
At first glance this seems to
solve the evil, but serious difficulties arise as to who are
Anarchists, and shall every type of Anarchist be expatriated?
Rev. John P. Crosser, in addressing the Presbyterian ministers,
said that the Anarchy which most threatened the life of the
government and its institutions was the Anarchy of the boulevard
which bribed legislatures. Shall we include, then, these denizens
of the boulevard in making up the lists for the island in the
Pacific? And if these, why not those who defy law in evading
the payment of legitimate taxes in support of the government?
This negative attack on authority is little better than open
And what is to be done with the
clergyman who would gladly have taken the law into his own hands
and killed the assassin at once? Is this defiance of law to
be countenanced? And what of the clergyman who wished the bullet
had turned against certain leaders in the Democratic party rather
than against the chosen leader of the Republicans?
The mad Chicago enthusiasts, Pearce,
Weinland, and Meyers, who would have taken summary vengeance
on the Anarchists in custody in the county jail, proved their
own spirit of Anarchy. So, too, did the employes [sic] of the
Heywood & Wakefield Rattan Company when in their righteous
indignation they would have hanged the graceless Remlick if
the sane John De Roche had not persuaded them to refer the matter
to the proper authority.
Rev. John A. Vance thinks Anarchy
comes from Russia, and Dr. Gunsaulus would have a wall of protection
against human beings with “intellects gnarled and twisted by
ages of tyranny” in the old country. The fact is, Anarchy is
not confined to any one locality or to any one class of intellects.
It is found among the sharply intelligent, who are keen enough
to defy law and gain their ends by subverting law, as it is
among the most degraded, who are too ignorant to escape the
law. It is found on the boulevards and in the slums, among the
clergy as among the laity.
In a time like this it is well
enough for each one to examine his own temper and conduct of
life. It is possible he is guilty of more Anarchy than he is
In its issue of September 24 the
“Chronicle” says editorially:
Among the worthy utterances at
the Coliseum Sunday were these by Rev. Thomas E. Cox: “All history
witnesses the futility of tyranny to uproot Anarchy or suppress
the growth of liberty.” “America symbolizes liberty, freedom
of speech, freedom of worship and a free press. If a republic
cannot foster these and flourish it cannot exist at all.”
Such utterances are timely when
the air is so full of vague and passionate clamor for the “stamping
out” of Anarchy.
They are worthy of the thoughtful
attention of those who evidently have no clear idea of how the
stamping out is to be accomplished, and still more of those
who impulsively invoke Anarchy in one of its manifestations
to stamp out Anarchy in another of its manifestations.
To every right-minded person it must
be gratifying to know that not all the great dailies of the big
cities are joining in the mad dog cry of “Stamp out Anarchy and