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Source: Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art
Source type: magazine
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “Anarchism and Atheism”
Author(s): Constable, F. C.
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 92
Issue number: 2397
Pagination: 432

Constable, F. C. “Anarchism and Atheism.” Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art 5 Oct. 1901 v92n2397: p. 432.
full text
McKinley assassination (international response); McKinley assassination (religious response); anarchism (international response); anarchism (religious response); atheism; Leon Czolgosz (religion).
Named persons
F. C. Constable; William McKinley.


Anarchism and Atheism


To the Editor of the SATURDAY REVIEW.

Wick Court, near Bristol, 1 October, 1901.     

     SIR,—Though this letter is belated for publication, I cannot refrain from writing to suggest that the underlying reason for the world’s outburst against anarchists has been missed. The foul murder of Mr. McKinley does not, even in the present age, stand alone for brutal cruelty. We, now living, have experienced as foul murders of Armenians by the Turk and of Chinamen by the Russian. All qua the particular facts equally excite our horror and disgust. But I think it will be admitted that mankind generally regards the late murder in the United States as distinct in kind; I think the horror and disgust it excites are also distinct in kind. If this be so we must look beyond the particular fact of the murder of the particular man. Some deep-seated feeling in mankind must have been affected which was untouched by the other equally brutal murders.
     I venture to think that whatever men declare with their lips there is in nearly all a deep-seated belief in an ultimate living cause, in a living God. Even if this feeling be merely instinctive, a bare survival or an unconscious effort (?) at solving the lesser difficulty by the creation of a greater, I think it exists. Now as surely as it is a necessary axiom for the true socialist that a conscious ultimate Deity exists, so surely is it a necessary axiom for the true anarchist that a conscious ultimate Deity does not exist.
     The anarchists’ axiomatic denial of a living first cause explains, I think, the exceptional horror and disgust we feel at the President’s murder. Consciously or unconsciously our deep-seated belief in God is outraged—the murderer is not a mere human offender, he is a conspirator against heaven.

I remain,                                             

Yours truly,                                




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