Assassination a Fruit of Socialism
TFortnightly Review has an
article on the above subject by Geoffrey Langtoft. The murder of
President McKinley, he says, compels him to once more draw the attention
of the public to the above subject. In the October number of 1900,
he remarks, he wrote an article in the Fortnightly
showing that the endeavour, so often made by apologists of democracy
to discriminate between Socialism and Anarchism, however it may
be sought to be justified on abstract and philosophical grounds,
rests upon no solid logical basis, and is practically futile, inasmuch
as Anarchism is found in actual affairs to be the natural and necessary
fruit of Socialism, and almost invariably exists in association
therewith; and, secondly, to demonstrate that these noxious political
growths are the progeny of democracy itself, thus suggesting that
the problem of effectually dealing with Anarchism may prove to be
insoluble so long as democratic principles are permitted to formulate
and dominate the policies of leading nations without adequate check
from those higher and more stable elements of national life which
are represented by proprietorship and intellect.
“McKinley was neither an Oriental
despot nor a constitutional monarch, but the elected ruler of a
free Republic. Out of twenty assassinations, eleven,” the author
states, “have been actually elected persons. Hence it is clear that
Anarchists and Socialists are in revolt against authority per
se, against all forms of authority, and not merely against such
phases of it as are represented by absolutism: they are enemies
of all law and of all order, they are foes of civilisation itself.
In their insensate hate and fury they would, if they could, destroy
all ordered and civilised society, and as they cannot do this they
take their revenge by foully murdering the most eminent representatives
of such society. Men and women who are thus at war with society
should receive no quarter.”
After a glowing description of the
effect of Emma Goldman’s speeches upon Czolgosz and the execution
of his crime, he says:—“What is to be said of rulers who with their
eyes open sanction a propaganda of rapine and murder and allow it
to be carried on under their very noses, not spasmodically or sporadically
or secretly, but deliberately and openly and continuously by means
of organisations, newspapers and other literature, and public meetings?
This at least must be said of them, they are guilty not merely of
the folly of placing their own lives in jeopardy, but of the crime
of grossly betraying the most precious and sacred interests of their
respective nations, of which interests they are put in trust. Their
policy is suicidal. Nemesis is sure to dog their footsteps, and
in the end he will deliver his blow. President McKinley’s assassination
is in the nature of a retribution upon the people of the United
States for their sins of omission in this matter. Take this Emma
Goldman, for example. Ought such a woman to be at large? Her character
is well known. For years she has been lecturing up and down the
States, vehemently denouncing all laws, divine and human, and stirring
up her hearers to deeds of violence and outrage. She specially singled
out Mr. McKinley for attack, contemptuously referring to him as
‘Emperor McKinley,’ sneering at his supposed friendship for the
Czar of Russia, with whom she has bracketed him as an oppressor
of the workers. Eight years ago she was sent to prison for ten months
for her revolutionary violence. Ten months! And then let loose again!
What a farce! Now she has been 
arrested again. . . . . No evidence, as if the incitements to violence
with which her every lecture teems were not evidence enough.
“But Emma Goldman does not stand alone.
There is Johann Most, for example, who was sent to prison here for
sixteen months for defending the murder of the Czar. . . . . This
creature continues to carry on his infamous work though perfectly
well known to the authorities.
“American Anarchists are mostly foreign
immigrants, Italians and German Jews being specially prominent,
and their headquarters are now at Spring Valley, Illinois, whence
emanates their journal, L’Aurora, an organ of revolution.
. . . . According to L’Aurora of April 27 of this year the
Anarchist programme is as follows:—
“‘Free use of things.
“‘Communal possession of all the means
of social wealth, and the machinery of production, of ways and communication,
of land, of mines, of water, &c.
“‘The abolition of all private property.
“‘The doing away with government,
with class, with militarism, with judges, with the nobility and
bureaucracy. Social emancipation.
“This programme bears a close family
resemblance to all the Socialist programmes which have been issued
during the last thirty years, from that of Gotha down to those of
the present year. This Gotha programme, issued in 1875, after enunciating
the familiar Socialist principles, said: ‘Starting from these principles,
the Socialist Labour Party of Germany seeks by all lawful means
to establish a Free State and a Socialist society,’ &c. The same
ideas, and almost the very same words as those in L’Aurora
of April last. . . . . It is highly significant that in programmes
subsequently issued by the German Socialists in connection with
conferences at Wyden and Halle, the phrase by lawful means
in the second section of the Gotha programme was omitted. This fact
indicates that Socialism, as is abundantly proved by other evidence,
has entirely changed its character of late years. It has degenerated
into a propaganda of violence and terrorism, seeking to effect its
end by revolution. There is nothing surprising in this development.
It has grown naturally out of the germ of Socialism. Joseph Babœuf,
‘the father of modern Socialism,’ who was guillotined in 1797, set
himself to propagate the ideas of Rousseau and Brissot. Proudhon
laid down as a principle that ‘property is robbery.’ Bakunin, who
was a friend both of Proudhon and Marx, was a dangerous revolutionist
and conspirator, and after being expelled from various continental
countries settled down in London to carry on his infamous work.
The same thing is true of Marx, who is styled ‘the father of scientific
Socialism,’ and who was the chief founder of the International.
“In 1848 Marx and Engels wrote a manifesto
for the International Socialists, which was, and is, regarded as
a sort of confession of faith.
“This document declared:—
“‘The Communists do not seek to conceal
their views and aims. They declare openly that their purpose can
only be obtained by a violent overthrow of all existing arrangements
of society. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution.
The proletariat have nothing to lose in it but their chains: they
have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!’
“This need not be pursued further.
Enough has been said to prove 
the point which I wish to drive home, which is, that there is no
essential difference between the teachings of Anarchists and Socialists.
Both are in antagonism to existing social order, both propose to
overthrow all the institutions of society by violence, both mark
out rich men and rulers as enemies who are to be destroyed, and
both deliberately use outrage and murder to accomplish their ends.
The harvest which we are now reaping has grown from seed which was
sown during the French Revolution, of which Socialism in its modern
manifestation is the offspring. The Reign of Terror has in a sense
never ended; it has but assumed a different form and spread to other
The author then gives a list of twenty
monarchs and rulers who were murdered during the nineteenth century,
which, he says, teaches a serious lesson, that lesson being that
as the principles of Democracy and Socialism spread so do assassinations
multiply. “Democracy has brought us to rapine and outrage and violence;
to murder—murder organised, systematised, cold-blooded.”
The writer concludes: “My space is
filled. Upon the discussion of a cure for this lamentable state
of things I cannot now enter. It must suffice to repeat with emphasis
my deep and settled conviction that the root cause of the evil under
consideration is Socialism, of which Anarchism is but the effect.
Wise peoples and rulers will deal directly with the cause and leave
the effects to look after themselves. As things stand at present
almost everybody is using the word Anarchism where they ought to
use the word Socialism; they are mistaking the effect for the cause.”
The author quite misunderstands or
wilfully [sic] misrepresents the doctrines of Social-Democracy.
Socialism and Anarchism are as opposite as the two poles, both in
principles and in tactics. He would stigmatise Socialists as holding
principles inimical to State government. Anarchists, on the other
hand, declaim against us as upholders of State tyranny. Probably
the writer knows this as well as we. What excites his wrath is that
the capitalist system of exploitation is menaced by both Anarchists