The act of the madman, Czolgosz,
at Buffalo last Friday, was deplorable.
Murder, to take the life of another,
is a frightful thing, but to assassinate is the most monstrous act
in the category of crime.
The assassin is a coward—an abominable
creature, usually an insane person, a pervert, or a cold-blooded
wretch with a heart of stone. The assassin strikes in the dark and
stabs in the back. A snake utters a warning before it strikes, but
the assassin is too cowardly and satanical to warn his intended
victim and give him a chance for his life.
Assassination or murder cannot be
abolished by law. The crime is as old as the human race. Sometimes
murder is committed by individuals, sometimes by nations. War is
murder on a large scale, and, therefore, all the more horrible and
To expect that Congress can enact
a law that will prohibit assassination by increasing the penalty
or imprisoning someone who may be suspected of being murderously
inclined is to pin faith on something unrealizable, for suspects
may be innocent while those with murder in their hearts walk at
large, and penalties are recklessly disregarded by those who are
consumed by the desire to take life and commit crime.
The best method to be pursued is to
foster education. Teach the people the injustice and wastefulness
and criminality of war instead of encouraging the war spirit and
thirst for blood. Teach men to worship Justice more and Greed less.
Teach them to improve conditions so that not a human being shall
be in want or misery.
Let us remove the cause of crime,
and in order to do that we must consider the economic life of the
people. When all men are in full enjoyment of life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness, when the gaunt wolf of hunger no longer
haunts the door of labor, when the fear of poverty no longer exists,
crime will disappear for the reason that the cause has been removed.
Can poverty, the mother of crime,
be removed? It can if the people decide that it shall be because
there is now more than enough wealth produced to provide every man,
woman and child of this nation with all the necessities and comforts
of life and most of the luxuries as well. The capitalists, who hire
labor to produce wealth for profit rather than for use, are devising
ways and means of exporting over two billions of that wealth in
order to prevent a glut in the American market. This average of
$150 per family could be very well used at home. But it is only
one item showing the tremendous possibilities of this nation.
There is no excuse for a condition
where the many eke out a bare subsistence and the few pile up millions
and billions of wealth that they cannot use, and so long as this
state of affairs exists, so long as the capitalistic profit system
of production exists, it need not be surprising that half crazed
cranks spring forth here and there and blindly attempt to wreak
vengence [sic] on those whom they believe to be responsible
for present unjust conditions.
Anyone who is not a fool knows that
to shoot down a President or King does not change anything, for
a successor will take his place immediately. The Anarchists, to
our notion, have gone daft on the term “governmentalism,” which
they are continually mouthing, and their absurd and contradictory
tactics prove that the theories that they wish to impress on the
people are equally as unreasonable and senseless. Either they resort
to physical force or follow a vague line of non-resistance. Either
they are terrorists or as meek and inoffensive as a lamb. Either
they are rampant devils or angels of peace.
These unbalanced people are wonderfully
dissembling and versatile. First, they are uncompromising Anarchists,
with a wagonload of phrases, which sound smart, and are either for
war to the knife or disgustingly humble. Secondly, when the fit
seizes them, they pose as socialists and in the next breath denounce
socialism, and studiously avoid working or voting for a Socialist
party for fear of compromising their holy principles. Thirdly, they
howl as length against “governmentalism,” condemn Socialist parties,
and then vote the Republican and Democratic tickets and take political
jobs. Last fall Herr Most voted the Republican ticket and one of
Czolgosz’ former friends in Newburg informs us that the would-be
assassin did the same thing. If we desired, we could give the names
of local Anarchists who voted for Bryan and also for Mayor Johnson.
And yet these freaks have the audacity
to claim to be Socialists and attempt to make socialism answerable
for their damphoolery!
But it won’t work any longer!
There is now a Socialist party in
the field that controls a hundred thousand votes that has rescued
socialism from the confusion and chaos of freakdom and fakirism,
and the name and principle will be protected from conniving adventurers
of every brand.
Let the Socialist party press, speakers
and members everywhere take a firm stand to defend the good name
of their splendid movement against the cowardly, underhanded onslaughts
of ignorant and vicious elements, whether they be Republicans, Democrats,
Anarchists or deleonized fanatics. The time to temporize has passed.
Show them no quarter. If those who pretend to be “socialists, too,”
do not subscribe to the platform and principles of the Socialist
party, endorse its tolerant and reasonable tactics, and show a clean
political and personal character, they should be denounced as frauds
and held up to public scorn.
Fair-minded, decent people sympathize
with the Socialist party and are gradually rallying to its support,
and their good will must be retained at all hazards.