The Czolgosz Autopsy
from the reports of the Czolgosz autopsy that the assassin cannot
be excused upon the plea of having been a degenerate. Neither can
he be looked upon as a person of natural criminal bent. He is but
an example of intelligence misdirected, enthusiasm gone wild and
an egotism no greater or less than many a well-balanced man possesses.
Given the same amount of intelligence, directed into some special
channel, say science, for instance, and Czolgosz to-day would be
alive and respected. Combine with this the enthusiasm which was
part and parcel of the man’s nature toward a thing in which he was
interested and he could have counted upon a fair share of success.
He probably was one of those people who require a hobby. If they
chance to bestride a harmless one nobody is hurt and the world goes
on its way no worse and no better for their peculiar choice of steeds.
It is from just such natures as these that all the isms are recruited.
The man of lower intelligence cannot grasp the thought germs and
assimilate the soupcon of truth that is in every ism, dogma
or theory, therefore the man of low intellect is not to be feared
except as a tool of others for his cowardice generally prevents
his going into a crime which requires any courage, therefore he
harms himself more than he harms any one else. Just how men like
Czolgosz are to be protected from the heresies and vile pollutions
of anarchism and its kind, while there is any life left in anarchism,
it is difficult to see. But let us not be possessed of the
idea that it is only the degenerate and congenitally criminal who
are in danger from anarchistic propaganda. More than one Czolgosz
is being made to-day through environment and opportunity. There
can be no luke-warm legislation upon the subject. McKinley has past
[sic] beyond all the concerns of mortality; perhaps he died
to awaken a nation to a menace that has been feeding and sleeping
among us and that is reaching out to poison the minds and hearts
of men who might have claimed the better things of life, but who
are polluted into such as Czolgosz.