Source: Mother Earth
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Reflections of a Rich Man”
Date of publication: October 1906
Volume number: 1
Issue number: 8
Pagination: 47-48 (excerpt below includes only page 47)
|“Reflections of a Rich Man.” Mother Earth Oct. 1906 v1n8: pp. 47-48.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists); McKinley assassination (sympathizers).|
|Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.|
Reflections of a Rich Man [excerpt]
I vividly recollect my feelings when I learned
that Leon Czolgosz had shot President McKinley.
I saw a mighty arm raised from the deeps and heard a voice whisper in my ear, “The conspiracy between the government and the rich to rob and oppress the people has become known to us. The magic of your power, maintained through ignorance and fear, has lost its hold. We emerge from the abyss to a new dawn; we come to destroy the old, decayed structure and in its stead to erect one of beauty and strength.” I was terrified—just for a moment. Then I was seized by violent anger. Have we labored in vain? Have all our deep-laid schemes proven futile? The political webs that our governmental spiders have so artfully spun to enmesh the human flies,—have they been torn asunder by the desperate awakening of a Czolgosz?!
The family fosters obedience; our schools inculcate patriotism; the church stultifies mental growth; our courts are designed to uphold the precious lie of equality before the law; furthermore, the majority are being weakened and unnerved in factories and mines—is all this insufficient to perpetuate the power of capital?
Is it possible that the act of a solitary being could tear off the mask of the face of authority, religion and capital and expose their real nature?
Not that I value the life of any individual, though he be President—what disturbs me is the realization that the fetters we have forged for body and mind so easily yield to the effort of a determined will.
The breaking light of the new day terrifies me.