Publication information

Lucifer, the Light-Bearer
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “‘The Ultimate of Anarchy’”
Author(s): Harman, Moses
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 38
Series: third series
Pagination: 308-09

Harman, Moses. “‘The Ultimate of Anarchy.’” Lucifer, the Light-Bearer 5 Oct. 1901 v5n38 (3rd series): pp. 308-09.
full text
Chicago Chronicle; the press (criticism); McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); anarchism (personal response); anarchism (criticism); anarchism; McKinley assassination (personal response).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Thomas Jefferson; William McKinley; Herbert Spencer; M. M. Trumbull.
The date of publication provided by the magazine is October 5, E. M. 301.

Whole No. 885.

Alternate magazine title: Lucifer, the Lightbearer.

“The Ultimate of Anarchy”

     The power of the press—especially the daily press, since a large part of the people read no other, is probably greater, for good or ill, than any other single agency. Of the great Chicago dailies the “Chronicle,” classed as “Democratic Independent” by its friends, has seemed most fair and rational in its treatment of Anarchism and the Anarchists, so-called, and for this reason I have quoted more frequently from its columns than from any other, and now to show how far off the mark the fairest and apparently the most honest and honorable of these dailies can be, when defining Anarchy and its objects, I herewith insert the first half of [308][309] the leading editorial of last Friday’s issue—September 27. Under the head, “No Legislation Needed,” The “Chronicle” says:

     A law journal has discovered a reason why congress should legislate for the protection of the federal executive and other officials charged with responsibility under the general government.
     It is that the Anarchist dreads nothing but death and that in certain states the penalty for willful murder is only imprisonment for life. Had President McKinley been assassinated in any of those states his assassin could not be subjected to the death penalty, and, by inference, an adequate lesson would not be taught to those inclined to like crime.
     It is erroneous to assume that the Anarchist dreads nothing but death. To the Anarchist reason is wholly wanting. There is no starting point from which a sane mind can proceed with an Anarchistic mind to the end of a logical argument upon any subject.
     The fundamental proposal of the Anarchist is that there shall be no government on earth. The word “anarchy” comes from the Greek. The “arch” part means government or rule; the prefix “a” is privative and the combination signifies “without rule.”
     Every human being who adopts this fundamental believes that he or she has a natural right to do anything and everything he or she believes it right to do. There is to be no other standard, moral or legal.
     Brought down to practice, it means that should A and B enter each upon a path broad enough for only one each would have the right to throw the other down the abyss if the path happened to be between mountains and they approached each other from opposite directions or either undertook to catch up with and pass the other. How shall sanity argue with insanity?
     Annihilation is the ultimate of Anarchy. Were its professors logical they s ould [sic] annihilate themselves. If they were generous they would leave life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to their fellow men who find existence precious and its responsibilities binding.

     These paragraphs show as plainly as words can express, either that the editor does not read the literature of philosophic Anarchy or that his object is to mislead his readers.
     To show what the logic, the “ultimate,” of Anarchy really is, let any impartial investigator read the pamphlet “Thomas Jefferson,” by the late Gen. M. M. Trumbull of this city, in which pamphlet it is clearly shown that the author of the Declaration of Independence was an Anarchist—in theory though he found it impracticable to carry out his theory in practice. The world of mankind was not yet ripe for the adoption of the highest and best in the science of human government, which highest and best is well stated in the definition of Anarchy given by the “Century Dictionary,” namely:
     “A social theory which regards the union of order with the absence of all direct government of man by man as the political ideal; absolute individual liberty.”
     The world was not ripe for the practicalization of Anarchy in Jefferson’s time and the privileged classes—the political leaders, the clergy and the lawyers, have taken good care since then to make Jefferson’s maxim, “that government is best which governs least,” still more impracticable if not impossible.

     Does any man in his right mind believe such talk? It is because the logic of Anarchy is the exact opposite of this and because Anarchy is the only cult that leaves to all the right to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” that causes it to be so thoroughly hated and misrepresented by its enemies. The ultimate of Anarchy is well expressed by Herbert Spencer in his Dat[a] of Ethics, wherein he says:
     “Each has the right to do as he pleases so long as he invades not the equal right of others;” the practicalization of which ethical maxim would remove all necessity of government of man by his fellow man, and this again discloses the true inwardness of the hatred and misrepresentation of Anarchy and Anarchists as now voiced by the press, the pulpit and by all the agencies controlled by the machinery of church and state, including, of course the public schools.


     If the “Chronicle” has said “It is erroneous to assume that the murderer dreads nothing but death,” and that hence the infliction of the death penalty would not tend to lessen the crime of murder, he would have talked rationally. But because an ignorant, uneducated man—uneducated except in the lore of the Catholic church whose record is one of murder and assassination since its organization as a church, because this product of bad heredity and environment, unknown to Anarchist societies, suspected of sinister designs by those to whom he tried to introduce himself as a friend of Anarchy—because this man, Leon Czolgosz, whose brother declared him to be “too lazy to read and study,” chose to seek notoriety by killing the President of the United States, the whole country goes insane with rage and fear lest their government and institutions are all to be destroyed and its privileged classes deprived of their right to rob and murder their fellowmen according to law!