Source: Kansas Agitator
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “Jo McDill’s Musings”
Author(s): McDill, Jo
City of publication: Garnett, Kansas
Date of publication: 8 November 1901
Volume number: 12
Issue number: 23
|McDill, Jo. “Jo McDill’s Musings.” Kansas Agitator 8 Nov. 1901 v12n23: p. 1.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); Leon Czolgosz; presidential assassinations (comparison); anarchism (personal response); society (criticism).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Charles J. Guiteau; William McKinley.|
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 all right.
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 sun shines.
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 the newspapers.
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 frequency.
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.