Source: Mother Earth
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “The McKinley Monument”
Date of publication: September 1907
Volume number: 2
Issue number: 7
|“The McKinley Monument.” Mother Earth Sept. 1907 v2n7: pp. 275-77.|
|McKinley memorial (Buffalo, NY); United States (government: criticism); William McKinley (criticism); William McKinley (presidential character); McKinley presidency (criticism).|
|Marcus Junius Brutus; Julius Caesar; Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley; Nero.|
The McKinley Monument
BUFFALO now has a McKinley statue. The unveiling has been characterized as
a “national event,” participated in by “the whole Nation,” which has not yet
recovered from the alleged great loss it had sustained through the shot of Czolgosz.
Our Republic has grown very unrepublican. The country our forefathers had in mind was to be the land of a free people, enjoying equality. To-day we are ruled by Cæsars and Crœsuses who have long since abolished the simple republican virtues. Of the old Republic nothing remains but the name; its essence is a plutocracy.
And the people? They are exploited and oppressed—in the name of the people. Their bondage is skilfully veiled by an appearance of independence and liberty. Modern governmental policy consists in hypnotizing the enslaved masses into the belief that they are sovereigns.  That is the character of our democracy. Democracy and Republicanism are twins representing the most refined political method of masking our social and economic bondage. Democracy is the triumph of the deception practiced upon the people; the web is spun so finely that the ordinary man fails to see its meshes.
It is not very difficult to arouse a people against a Nero. Yet what titanic efforts are required to convince the citizen that his paper sovereignty is but the rope with which his masters strangle his independence and the Nation’s prosperity!
If the Nation and the people are identical, what interest have the millions of America in a McKinley monument? But if the money kings, usurers, gamblers and canned meat patriots constitute the Nation, then it has reason indeed to glorify McKinley: Was he not, as Chief Magistrate, their most faithful servant? It was the representative of the money bags that Czolgosz struck down. Let them, then, mourn his death, for they may truthfully say that in McKinley they lost and able and zealous protector. They have reason to mourn, to be grateful and to build monuments, to honor the memory of their good servant.
But the Nation, the people? Have they anything to be grateful for to McKinley? Has he ever championed their interests? Was he their President? Was he not ever willing and ready to suppress every manifestation of popular dissatisfaction? Was he not constantly at the beck and call of the capitalists, ready to put the army at their disposal whenever the “common” people endeavored to lighten their burden? He could be relied on at all times to aid his plutocratic friends to the extent of his presidential power, to still further oppress and subjugate labor. His régime, dropping all appearances, boldly revealed the conspiracy between State and Capital, for their mutual aggrandizement at the expense of the working masses. McKinley’s mission consisted in the endeavor to remove the last barriers that stood in the way of the monopolists’ complete triumph. And though such policy meant the life-blood of hundreds of thousands, did he care? Was he moved by the cries of the orphans and the tears of the widows, those countless  victims of King Greed, whose untiring and faithful servant he was?
The McKinley monument marks the final evolution of the Jeffersonian Republic into an imperialistic plutocracy. It symbolizes political corruption, judicial venality and a colonial policy of brutal violence, oppression and exploitation, as practiced on the Filipinos. It characterizes the greed for markets, land robbery and the worst commercial instincts that the McKinley régime fostered and encouraged. It represents Mammon, upon whose altar are daily sacrificed countless men, women and children, whose blood is shed for the greater glory of our Christian civilization. In fine, the McKinley monument is the symbol of Imperialism—the mailed fist of capitalism—whose mission it is to strangle independence and aid capitalistic exploitation at home and abroad.
The Buffalo monument is an insult to the American proletariat. The workingman who still retains a spark of manhood must turn his back upon this symbol of his shame and degradation.
The future historian, if free from prejudice and plutocratic influence, will stamp McKinley as the pliant tool of trusts and monopolists.
To-day the deluded still cry: “The King is dead! Curses upon his murderer!” But greater and more lasting than Cæsar’s fame is the beloved memory of Brutus.