Publication information
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Source: Masses
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Direct and Indirect Action”
Author(s): Jones, Ellis O.
Date of publication: April 1912
Volume number: 3
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 8-9 (excerpt below includes only page 8)

Jones, Ellis O. “Direct and Indirect Action.” Masses Apr. 1912 v3n4: pp. 8-9.
Theodore Roosevelt (criticism); McKinley assassination (personal response: socialists).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz [misspelled below]; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.
“Written for The Masses” (p. 8).


Direct and Indirect Action [excerpt]

     But so is Roosevelt active. Where is there a more active man? And I rather think he would call himself direct! In one breath he inveighs against the malefactors of great wealth, and in another breath he inveighs against the malefactors of no wealth, calling them “undesirable citizens.” Such remarks contribute nothing to social progress. They are highly indirect. They merely skim the surface of things without touching the foundation. They are a commentary upon effects without reference to causes. The methods of Mr. Roosevelt are very much like the methods of Csolgosz. He no doubt thought he was a “direct actionist” when he shot McKinley. With crazed, exaggerated ego, the idea possessed him that he could improve the lot of mankind—surely not of himself—not by talking to the people and showing them where they were doing wrong, but, single-handed, trying to undo the work the people had done, by shooting the man the people had chosen to be at the head of the political organization. He succeeded in bringing about a sudden change in rulers, and I am prepared to argue that the change was rather for the worse than the better, but he did not aid one jot or tittle in bringing about a change in the character of the rule. He did not make a single contribution of value to a people distressed with economic ills of great magnitude.



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