Welcome to MAIWelcome to MAI


"Hello, I'm William McKinley."
partial cover image from "American Boys' Life of William McKinley"                                              
About MAI
Disclaimer
Help MAI


Who I Am
Contact Me



 


Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Lucifer, the Light-Bearer
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Archism Versus Anarchism”
Author(s): Harman, Moses
Date of publication: 12 October 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 39
Series: third series
Pagination: 316-17

 
Citation
Harman, Moses. “Archism Versus Anarchism.” Lucifer, the Light-Bearer 12 Oct. 1901 v5n39 (3rd series): pp. 316-17.
 
Transcription
full text
 
Keywords
archism; anarchism; Leon Czolgosz (as anarchist); McKinley assassination (personal response); Moses Harman.
 
Named persons
John Wilkes Booth; Leon Czolgosz; James Donnegan; Ulysses S. Grant; Horace Greeley; Abraham Lincoln; James Russell Lowell: William McKinley; William Tecumseh Sherman; Hyrum Smith [first name misspelled below]; Joseph Smith; Herbert Spencer.
 
Notes
The date of publication provided by the magazine is October 12, E. M. 301.

Whole No. 886.

Alternate magazine title: Lucifer, the Lightbearer.
 
Document

 

Archism Versus Anarchism

     The words ARCHISM and ARCHY are seldom heard or seen in English; “government” or “rulership” being used instead, but now that Anarchism, Anarchy and Anarchist are so generally used and so generally misrepresented it is well to look after the real meaning, the origin and pedigree of these terrible words.
     By reference to Donnegan’s Greek and English Lexicon we find that they are derived from the Greek verb ARCHEIN, “to be first; to begin; to command; to be a chief or ARCHON”—ARCHON “a leader; a chief.” ARCHEARCHY—is defined as “the beginning; first cause; the act of leading—hence magisterial rank.” To get the derivative word “Anarchy” from this root word the prefix AN, meaning NOT, or privative, is used.
     If, then, the Greek words Anarchism and Anarchist are proper to be used in English the parent words Archy and Archism are equally proper, and in order that the two opposing principles, leadership or rulership on the one hand, and equality or freedom from rulers on the other, may be clearly set forth and compared[,] I propose to use the words Archism and Archist, as well as their derivatives Anarchism and Anarchist.

ANARCHISM A NEGATIONNON-INVASION.

     From the origin of the words, then, it is easily seen that to be an Archist is to believe in leadership, rulership, or government of man by his fellowman, while to be an Anarchist is to reject rulership or leadership, and leave every man to be his own ruler, his own master, governor or king.
     In the true and etymologic sense, therefore, the Declaration of Independence is an Anarchistic document, and the war of the American revolution was simply a rebellion of Anarchism against Archism, or of Anarchists against Archists. The principle that “all men are created equal,” with equal right to “life liberty [sic], and pursuit of happiness,” means simply a denial of the right of some men to rule other men. To say that the ruler and the ruled are equal as to rights is a flat contradiction in thought as well as in words. The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness implies and includes the right of every man to be his own ruler—“to do as he pleases so long as he does not invade the equal right of others,” as Spencer puts it.
     That this was the thought and the aim of those who threw off the yoke of Britain is easily shown from their writings, and that such was the general understanding of the basic theory of our civil codes, our fundamental laws, is readily inferred from such maxims as “government of the people, by the people and for the people”—“the people are the real sovereigns,” etc., etc. This implies, if it means anything, that the people elect their AGENTS, their SERVANTS, to do their will, for to say that they elect their RULERS when they themselves are the rulers, is to juggle with words and to talk nonsense.
     In fact, to the best of my knowledge and belief the idea that we elect our rulers is one of comparatively recent origin. Not till after the great civil war, not till after we began to spell nation with a big N, not till the right of peaceful separation had been drowned in fraternal blood, did we as a people begin to talk of our rulers, after the fashion of the governments of the old world.
     From the foregoing definitions it is seen that Anarchism is a negation, a denial—a denial of the right of one man to rule another without that other’s consent. But every negation contains an affirmation. The denial of the right to rule others is equivalent to the affirmation of the right of every man to rule himself, to own himself and to direct his own acts or efforts so long as he grants to all others the same right.
     To put it in other language: Anarchism means non-invasion, while Archism means invasion, unless the subject of rule consents to be ruled.

CZOLGOSZ AN ARCHIST.

     If these definitions be correct, then Czolgosz at Buffalo was an Archist, not an Anarchist, as he is said to have claimed to be. In trying to overthrow rulership he invaded the right of the MAN McKinley to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and he invaded also the right of McKinley’s subjects, his voluntary subjects, to have him for their ruler.
     To kill a ruler is not to kill rulership, as it has been proved times without number, but to strengthen it many-fold by arousing sympathy for the invaded ruler and indignation against his invader.
     If Czolgosz had desired to help Anarchism his act was illogical, ill-advised, foolish, INSANE, inasmuch as the legitimate and necessary result was just what we see—a tremendous accession of power to Archism, to rulership and rulers. If he was and is an Archist in disguise, or if he was hired by Archists to kill McKinley, then his act was rational, it was logical, just as some of the early Christians were rational and logical in their course when they voluntarily sought martyrdom in order to hasten the triumph of Christianity.

*     *     *

     As a means to an end nothing has ever equalled [sic] martyrdom of its apostles in order to secure the triumph of an idea, a theory or doctrinal propaganda. It was the martyrdom of Joseph and Hiram Smith, and the driving of their followers into the wilderness, that gave to Mormonism the power and numbers it has since attained. If some zealous anti-Dowieite were to shoot the “Overseer of Zion” in his pulpit, nothing more would be needed to make this newest religious sect one of the most numerous and powerful in Christendom.
     Ju[s]t so with the doctrine of Archism—rulership of man by man. The tiny pocket pistol in the hand of Czolgosz [316][317] at Buffalo has done more to advance the cause of Archism, of mon-archism, of imperialism, of centralized power, in this country than did all the heavy and costly armaments of war against Spain and against the “insurgent” Filipinos—just as the single pistol ball sent through the brain of Abraham Lincoln by Wilkes Booth did more to make Nationalism (with a big N) a success in the United States than did all the victories of Grant and Sherman on their many fields of battle.
     Like McKinley Lincoln was an Archist. He believed in government of man by man. To save the Union, the national government, he became an invader. He invaded the soil of the Southern states; invaded the homes of the people; destroyed their crops, their stores, their mills and left their women and children to starve, besides killing thousands of their men in battle, and when the Southern half of the United States was in a manner laid waste and its regular armies all defeated or captured, then by his own death, more than by any act of his life, was the work of nationalization completed. “The blood of its martyrs is the seed of the church,” is as true in the civil and political realm as in the religious.
     In thus saying I wish to cast no censure upon the memory of Abraham Lincoln. If it be possible for a lawyer and politician to be a MAN—a true man, an honest man, intellectually and morally so, I think Abraham Lincoln was a man, honest and true. To condemn him for being an Archist would be to condemn myself, for all through the years of blood and terror known as the civil war I too was an Archist. Before Sumpter [sic] fell I said, as did Horace Greeley, “Better peaceful separation than a Union pinned together with bayonets—Erring Sisters, go in peace!” But when the “flag” was fired upon I too lost my head. In the name of “patriotism” I joined the Home Guards and later helped to organize a regiment and when I could not go with it, on account of physical disability, I went with the boys—my brothers and cousins, as far as I could; then volunteered to go to the front as army nurse, until I was turned back by the head of the Sanitary Commission at St. Louis, because no civilians were then allowed to pass the picket lines.
     A Unionist in a slave state, an abolitionist before the war, I did not believe the forcible liberation of the slaves would be just to the masters or beneficial to the slaves themselves, but having yielded to the “majority” I worked for many years with the Republican party to help it make Archistic “reconstruction” in the South a success, and therefore repeat that I have no words of censure for Abraham Lincoln or for those who with him believed that the Union, the Nation, was of more importance than the lives and property of the citizens, whether “loyal” or “disloyal.”
     Neither have I a word of censure for William McKinley or for those who with him believe in the “manifest destiny” of the Anglo-Saxon race to rule the West Indies and the Philippines, and to establish an empire on the ruins of the American republic. I simply claim my equal right, as a citizen of the world, to express my honest thought on governmental as well as all other questions, and since my personal observation and experience for more than half a century convince me that it would be far better for us as a people to return to the Anarchistic principles of the Declaration of Independence of 1776, I am willing to “sink my present repute for the freedom” to think, speak, write and publish that thought, paraphrasing Lowell’s immortal utterance.

 

 


top of page