The Assassination—Its Cause
The Terrible Deed.
Wm. McKinley shot by
The head of the U. S. Government shot
by an Anarchist!
An innocent, kindly American, trying
to do his duty, shot by the self-centred Pole, who only said: “I
am an Anarchist. I did my duty.”
The world is turned dumb. J. Pierpont
Morgan, the most powerful man on earth is thunderstruck to silence,
retires to consult his partners and remains inaccessible.
Senator Hanna, keenest political manager,
cries out, “My God, it can’t be possible.”
Here is a shot heard round the world
in every household from Odessa to Chicago. The multitude of civilized
men and women who do no thinking but to think all’s as it should
be, shiver with fear and horror at this unheralded thing.
In their panic they call for the strong
man to suppress this Red Terror. Men say, Roosevelt would take good
care of these savages. Increase the army, multiply the police, banish
the Anarchists, suppress free speech, exterminate these hell-dogs
who infest the world.
And is that all? No more to be said
or done by men who were created to think and progress? Here is a
phenomenon to be explained. This man is a product of the times and
every intelligent person must demand, Why?
This is the third assassination
of an American President. The other two had their origin in the
fierce struggles of their times. Lincoln’s death was due to the
passions of the civil war, Garfield’s to the fight for official
power. And this attack upon McKinley is the offspring of the present
class strife as exhibited in the great strikes.
Before any news had come as to the
person of the assassin, an acute observer was overheard to say to
a group in front of the bulletin boards, “You will find this man
is an intelligent Anarchist and a workingman.” In fact, this Czolgosz
proves to have been employed in one of the steel corporation mills.
He is clearly a product of the proletarian class in the United States
today. He and all his family are wage-workers and very poor.
Subsoil of Injustice.
ism would be impossible. The Anarism would be impossible.
[sic] The Anarchists see as clearly as the Socialists the terrible
injustice of the capitalistic system of exploitation. They seek
the remedy in violence, either rebellion or assassination. Therein
they are wholly wrong. Socialism holds life sacred and has always
contended against the Anarchist method.
But here is the point to be observed
by every member of the capitalist class now in power, the class
which now feels itself responsible for the suppression of Anarchy,
the class which is responsible for present conditions.
It will be utterly impossible to prevent
these violent outbursts while injustice underlies society.
Your whole capitalist system is built
upon a process which denies human rights. Your vast accumulated
fortunes are robbed from the workers. Your robbery has the sanction
of law. It is supported by force. The worker has no redress. His
strikes and boycotts fail him. He finds his largest unions and widest
combinations helpless against the mighty aggregations of capital.
The unintelligent worker—like the
labor union editor quoted elsewhere—calls for violence and revolution.
The Socialist worker, having studied and learned, insists calmly
and deliberately upon the peaceful methods of education, co-operation
and the ballot.
But the radical, turbulent spirit,
the extreme individualist, the stern, tragic sort of man that is
always to be found, resolves to use his personal power to the utmost.
He defies. He throws himself against the world. He kills.
The Only Remedy.
How can you stay his
hand? How suppress the fiend?
Never by violent methods like his
own. For every Anarchist you hang, a score of others will spring
forward to be hung—SO LONG AS YOU LEAVE UNTOUCHED THE SUBSOIL OF
INJUSTICE, FROM WHICH ALONE THEY DERIVE THEIR SUSTENANCE.
Violence breeds violence. “They who
take the sword shall perish by the sword.”
Socialism pleads for justice, for
the rights of man, for peace on the earth. Socialism will be emancipation,
co-operation, just distribution of the wealth of the world.
Until men are allowed to get these
things, all now seen to be possible in the near future, that is,
until Socialism wins, nothing under heaven can prevent the occasional
rise of this terrible man of violence and blood.