The Assassination of President McKinley
As we are about to go press [sic]
the message is flashed across the wires from Buffalo that the life
of President McKinley is at an end. We are sincerely sorry. Life
is a sacred thing and he who deprives a fellowman of his life injures
all society. The Socialist is opposed to murder in any form, even
under the guise of war, and his sympathies go out to all who suffer
bereavement in this manner.
Anarchy has no greater opponent than
Socialism. The police may spread their nets over the face of the
earth, they may resort to the most cruel and despotic methods to
wipe out all trace of the sect that believes in assassination, but
anarchy will not disappear until the rising sun of Socialism dispels
the darkness in which anarchy thrives.
It is unfortunate that there are many
untutored minds in which the impression still remains that there
is a connection between Socialism and anarchy. This impression cannot
be effaced in a moment, but time will tell, and as the Socialist
party proves its principles by its works this foolish idea will
be eradicated. Already the capitalist press is forced to take notice
of the distion [sic], and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, in a lengthy
editorial, explains that “Socialism and anarchy are as far apart
as the poles.”
We do not feel called upon to join
in the clamor begun by the capitalist press for revenge. The Socialist
is not bloodthirsty, and cannot endorse the utterances that fill
the columns of the daily papers crying for the blood of the assassin.
The law is there to punish the criminal. That is sufficient. The
St. Louis Republic, referring to the anarchists, says:
“From them the fundamental law of
this free land, which forbids cruel and unusual punishments, should
be suspended, and the MOST CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT that human
ingenuity can devise should be relentlessly applied to deter the
devils from the pursuit of their inhuman lust for blood.”
This is worse than barbarism. It is
almost inconceivable that a paper read by many thousand enlightened
people should dare in this day and age to make such an inhuman suggestion.
It is not surprising that in a society where such utterances are
allowed to pass there also be men of the type of Czolgosz the anarchist.
From Buffalo comes rumors, evidently
not without foundation, that the prisoner is being brutally tortured
in the hope of forcing a confession of a plot. The details as published
are horrifying. That such a thing should be permitted is a disgrace
to America and the Socialist would not be true to his principles
if he did not protest against it with all his might. If Czolgosz
can be tortured then anyone can be tortured at the will of some
cruel police chief.
Again we say we have no sympathy for
the assassin. He should be punished like all murderers, according
to law. But there are incidents in connection with this sad affair
which must not be overlooked by Socialists, who are ever watchful
of the interests of the working class. The blood thirsty [sic] daily
press is attempting to lash the public mind into a fury for a purpose.
It is desired to secure the enactment of legislation, ostensibly,
against anarchists. But those laws, when once enacted, will not
touch the anarchist. They will not wipe out anarchy. But they will
be so framed as to apply in times of labor trouble to labor organizations.
Let the trade unionists be wary of hastily drawn resolutions on
the assassinationfor [sic] they may soon find that their own words
will be used to secure the enactment of laws to oppress them instead
of the anarchists. There are conspiracies on foot that are far greater
and more dangerous to the laboring class than even the alleged conspiracies
of anarchist groups.