Jo McDill’s Musings
At the time President McKinley was
assassinated, I offered to bet ten dollars that Czolgosz voted the
Republican ticket. It appears now that I would have won the money
Guiteau was a Republican, and turned
assassin because he had no share in the spoils.
Czolgosz was a Republican, and turned
assassin because he perceived that our government, as now administered,
benefits the few to the detriment of the many. As Czolgosz saw it,
no government at all would be better than a government for the few.
Both men are the outgrowth of modern
Republicanism. A Republican politician seeks office for what he
can make out of it in dollars and cents. Honor and the good of the
people are cast to the winds. The incitement to political action
would disgrace a barbarian. It follows that when such men fail to
win what they seek, they are filled with bitterness and hate. Guiteau’s
cup of hate boiled over in the pistol of the assassin. Other men’s
hate boils over in secret cabals and underhanded dirty work in the
effort to overthrow rivals. As a result of the unworthiness of Republican
politicians, the party is a seething mass of warring factions. The
wonder is that there are not more Guiteaus.
Czolgosz may, or may not, have had
a sincere regard for the welfare of the working people. Whatever
he felt, it is evident that he held government in detestation. No
sane man hates good government, and, from my standpoint, no sane
man can believe in Czolgosz’s methods. No wrong can be righted by
wrong methods. Czolgosz’s methods are not only wrong, but diabolically
wrong. It was the votes of millions of men that placed McKinley
in the office of president. McKinley was the instrument, not the
power. He was a club in the hanes [sic] of a giant.
If the anarchists were to, in one
day, kill all the officers in the United States, it would not avail
to destroy the government. The constitution would still live. The
mass of the people would still favor government, and, within twenty-four
hours of the slaughter of officers, government would be temporarily
reorganized, and law would again reign with the same authority as
if it had not been assailed. Briefly, the human race will never
accept the theory of anarchists, or, at least, not until humanity
has attained to perfeetion [sic]; and that time seems to
be too remote for contemplation or discussion.
As a matter of fact, we have nothing
to fear from the Czolgosz type of anarchist. The dangerous anarchist
is one who undermines the constitution; who defeats the ends of
law, and who uses the instruments of the constitution to defeat
the objects of the constitution.
It must not be assumed that there
are no such anarchists. They are plentiful in number and powerful
in wealth and influence. Money and falsehood are their weapons.
They sandbag their victims in the dark or drug them with the stupefying
decoctions of false hopes. This class of anarchist is the anarchist
at the top. Strange as it may seem, it is neverthless [sic]
true that wherever the anarchist destroyed government, it was the
anarchist at the top who brought about the necessary conditions
that produced destruction. In every instance, in all history, it
was the ruling classes that overthrew governments and wrecked civiliztion
[sic]. It may be claimed that the French revolution was an
exception. The French revolution could not have occurred had it
not been for the brutal treatment of the masses at the hands of
the classes that ruled. The French revolution, with its bloody reign
of terror, was the work of French kings, French nobles and French
clergy. It was they who brutalized the people. Rendered ferocious
through the suffering of poverty and brutal injustice, the people
turned upon their oppressors, and the destroyer was, in turn, treated
to a feast of his own preparation, in which his blood deluged the
earth, and his flesh became carrion.
That man is blind who cannot see that
such conditions as prevailed in Rome before her overthrow, or prevailed
in France before the revolution, are already ushered in, in America.
Briefly, wealth is the power behind
legislatures, courts and officers, and the effect is to oppress
the masses in robbing labor of a fair share of its reward, and refusing
the laborer that perfect justice that insures the perpetuity of
good government, or any government at all. That wealth is the power
behind government is demonstrated in a hundred ways, and that falsehood
is used to deceive the people is as capable of proof as that the
These top anarchists, who collect
dividends off the people on watered stock, refuse to pay even a
decent share of the taxes. To water stock and collect dividends
thereon, and dodge taxes on the accumations [sic] of modern
brigandage, it was necessary to buy legislatures, pack courts and
subsidize congress and the executive. It was also necessary to own
To-day, justice carries no certainty
of success when the suit is against a corporation. No law against
corporations, if any such succeeds in enactment, is sure of enforcement.
No truth appears in the columns of many newspapers if such truth
would tend to arouse a hostile public sentiment to the encroachment
of the corporations upon the rights and happiness of the masses.
We have searched the stage of an organized conspiracy. We have the
anarchy of treason.
If not being enough to refuse justice
and withhold the truth, the conspirators resort to the blackest
of falsehood. Be he farmer, mechanic or employe [sic] in
a factory or on a railroad, he must be content and keep his mouth
shut. Any protest, mild or otherwise, is met with a flood of abuse
and misrepresentation, and injunctions multiply with accelerated
The shotted cannon is being cast for
strikers, and labor organizations, if the [sic] exist at
all, will be forced into dark and secret places, as if their members
were criminals of the darkest color. A raid is being planned upon
free speech and a free press, and as preliminary to the sweep of
heavy battalions, the scouts are in the field. Those bulwarks of
a free people will be assailed within the next half-dozen years,
unless the foes of top anarchy muster to the combat in such numbers
as will drive the foes of good government into the deeps of eternal
infamy and oblivion.