Source: Socialist Spirit
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 1
Issue number: 2
|[untitled]. Socialist Spirit Oct. 1901 v1n2: pp. 16-17.|
|Virginia Constitutional Convention; McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); society (criticism).|
|Allen Caperton Braxton; Leon Czolgosz; Berryman Green; Thomas Jefferson; Richard McIlwaine; George Washington.|
THE most disastrous consequence of every public crisis is the temporary emotional
insanity into which it precipitates all minds which are not anchored to eternal
Progress rises only as these God-given truths possess our souls, giving us a positive basis for judgment, enabling us to stand firmly amid the whirl and tumult of stress and storm.
Every great crisis in life which we pass, resisting stoutly the unhinging influences of passion, holding firmly to principles proven immutable, moves us upward from the animal towards the spiritual.
We may all be yet characterized as animals on the road;—headed Godward, as it were; out of the jungle of mere instinctive action, toward the high peaks of calm reason.
The frightened desert animal, overtaken by the
dread simoon, travels round and round until he dies, smothered in the whirling
Man, knowing the higher law, trusting the things he knows, holds his eye to the unmoving star, until the bending palm trees of the oasis point his refuge.
The revolting crime of the assassination of the President served to exhibit the American people in their progress out of animalism.
Every animal characteristic found expression somewhere.
There was the ferocity of the tiger, principally displayed by the clergy; and the stupidity of the jack-ass, principally displayed by the police.
Every action, every utterance at such a crisis, exhibits clearly our progress out of beasthood.
Judge Berryman Green, eminent jurist of Virginia; and the venerable Reverend Doctor Richard McIlwaine—one of the most distinguished Presbyterian divines of the South, are still pretty close to the underbrush. Their law is the jungle law. 
These men are not conscious enemies of human freedom. When the storm broke they knew no star to steer by, and so they stepped backward, into the dark. Blind leaders of the blind, a great State followed them;—toward the jungle.
Virginia espoused the national spirit of 1776 and brought forth a Washington and a Jefferson; mothering a republic.
Espousing the national spirit of 1901 she brings forth a Green and a McIlwaine; mothering a despotism.
It is only when the tiger or the jack-ass predominates in us that we forget to steer by the immortal things:—the stars and the eternal principles.
The corpse that lay in the Capitol of the nation was not the result of free speech. It was a dramatic thing to say so, but it was a stupid lie.
The corpse that lay in the Capitol of the nation was the result of the same thing that prompted the action of Judge Berryman Green and the venerable Reverend Doctor Richard McIlwaine at the Virginia convention,—ignorance; ignorance of the Higher Law.
The animal instinct, comprehending near objects only, springs out to repress, to destroy; as the dog snarls at the man who is crushed against him in a crowd. So with Czolgosz; so with Judge Berryman Green; so with the venerable Reverend Doctor Richard McIlwaine.
The reasoning instinct seeks in the effect, the cause; and reaches unerringly backward past misleading objects to remove it.
Human society can rid itself of assassins only
by ceasing to produce them. Private murder cannot be stamped out by public murder.
No life will be sacred until all life is sacred.
Thou shalt not kill! means you Leon Czolgosz; and you Mr. Judge and Jury, and you man or woman whoever you are who desire the death of any living thing.
Now Rann, the Kite, brings home the night
That Mang, the Bat, sets free—
The herds are shut in byre and hut,
For loosed till dawn are we.
This is the hour of pride and power,
Talon and tush and claw.
Oh, hear the call!—Good hunting all
That keep the Jungle law.