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Source: Bay of Plenty Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Tauranga, New Zealand
Date of publication: 18 September 1901
Volume number: 29
Issue number: 4201
Pagination: [2]

[untitled]. Bay of Plenty Times 18 Sept. 1901 v29n4201: p. [2].
full text
anarchism (international response); anarchism (compared with socialism).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.



THE crime which was committed a few days ago in America once more draws the world’s attention to the existence in almost every land of a class of malcontents who are irreconcileable [sic] to any form of government which at present exists and who, it is pretty safe to assume would be satisfied with no other form unless it were one in which they themselves were in the position of those they seek to depose. Known at various times by various names, they have of late years most generally received the title of anarchists throughout all Europe and America and even they themselves seem to take kindly to this dreadful designation, which signifies everything the reverse of law, order, peace, public and private safety and the sanctity of human life. At one time the name was almost synonymous with “socialist” but latterly there has come to be a distinction between the two, until, though some bond of sympathy still exists, the extremes of the two classes have drifted pretty wide apart. The socialists have worked themselves upward while the anarchists have gone downward and of this it may be taken as a sign that over the crime of ten days ago the socialist press of Europe has been apparently silent as regards comment, good or bad. The Socialists are gradually evolving a scheme for the reconstruction of human society, the lines of which many may approve in theory though believing them to be impossible in practice, but the aim of the anarchists appears to be merely to establish a reign of terror and destruction, as a means of eliminating, what they consider to be the evils of the existing forms of government, yet offer no scheme for the rebuilding of a better system than that which they seek to destroy. Their action is in fact very similar to that of a fretful child given a tangled piece of string,—failing to at once disentangle it, he shakes it violently, thereby making the muddle worse, and then proceeds to cut it asunder here, there and everywhere. It may be remembered that a couple of years or so ago an international conference on the anarchist question was held in Italy but it proved abortive, as it might have been foreseen that it would, the only real and lasting remedy being the reaching of absolute perfection in the arrangement of human affairs,—a perfect civilization. Anarchism is not a product, as some claim, of our civilization but of our civilization’s defects, just as typhoid fever is not the result of drainage but of defective drains. Anarchism has its strongest holds where the conditions of life are the hardest, as in the big continental cities, it being there that the inequalities which constitute the chief defects of civilization are most to be encountered and where those who suffer from them are gathered together in the greatest numbers; hence to hunt down anarchists is to seek to rub off or cover up the outward and visible signs of the inward disease,—it is treating the symptom, not the cause. Whether or not the lion will ever lie down with the lamb, capital with labour, the rulers with the ruled, in peace and contentment, we must leave for future centuries to see, but if these marvels ever come to pass, the cure for anarchy will have been found, as its causes will have been removed and the symptoms will therefore disappear. If this happy state be ever reached any stray creature then professing the dread doctrines of anarchism, will be but a pitiable homicidal maniac, who upon developing the symptoms of his disease, will be humanely confined and treated by the latest scientific means for the alleviation and cure of that disease. Of the anarchists of to-day even, there is good reason to doubt the sincerity of many and the sanity of some. For their number and the extent and ferocity of their alleged intentions, they accomplish remarkably little, the majority of them having evidently a wholesome dread of incurring any risk to their own precious skins, evidently preferring the melodrama of denunciation to the tragedy of execution. The world, however, can ill afford to lose even one McKinley and the success of Czolgosz will probably lead to a more stringent international understanding as regards the treatment and toleration of anarchist cranks and their followers than has hitherto existed.



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