HENRY BOOL'S APOLOGY FOR HIS JEFFERSONIAN ANARCHISM.
"That government is best which governs least"
Incidentally showing that the recipients of the people's pap, And the public press, by omission and commission are common-cause adepts in keeping 4'the dear people11 in Egyptian darkness as to the natural truths of self-sovereignty.
(See rejected advertisement, pagi 35.)
I do not talk religion to yout ye men of the world.
I say nothing of love or pity or Christianity.
I 9peak your own language and conjure you in the name of fair play.
You who spurn the man that takes an unfair advantage of his competitors in sport or at the card-table, you are at the same time playing the game of life with loaded dice.
You are forever insisting on any handicap of wealth and rank, however excessive, that you may be able to command, and yet you hold up your heads as if you were honorable.
You force men to pit their broken-down nags against your thoroughbreds,—their leaky scows against your steam-yachts,—and are proud of the show you make 1
By your own code you should be expelled from every respectable club, cut by every self-respecting man, and sent for good and all to Coventry.
You have yet to learn that life is a game no whit inferior in its demands on your honor to whist or tennis or the turf, and that you must extend your code to it or be justly ruled off the course.
"Sincerity and truthfulness form the basis of moral character'1 is the dictum laid down by a Cornell professor. The Ithaca Journal, by its refusal to open its columns for personal vindication in these regards, is the compelling cause for my inviting your perusal in this separate form of my side and thus enabling you to judge between us as to which side has trodden under foot the aforesaid dictum of ethical philosophy. Nathaniel Hawthorne, after considerable official relations with the Genus politico paid his respects in the following words: "I want nothing to do with them. One thing I have gained by my Custom House experience—to know a politician. Their hearts wither away and die out of their bodies. Their consciences are turned to India rubber, or to something as black as that and which will stretch as much." How then can one feel aggrieved at the refusal of such gentry to allow the public to read the other side.
Written at white heat under intense provocation as far as I am concerned there's "naught set down in malice." The iooo to i comparison might in cooler moments have been tactfully scaled down somewhat, for, "am not I a man and a brother" applies at bottom to the wearers of the boots and spurs as well as to those such civilizing forces are brought to bear on.
Without doubt the personal element is too prominent, but, for the individual to travel from childhood's miasmatic swamps of church and state toryism to manhood's "delectable mountains" of cost-carrying freedom had to be superlatively personal and with much travail of soul. The emotional also is too much in evidence, but "can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard his spots?" The piece meal manner and my own limitations are responsible for the repetitions here set down. For the writer was reared to black boots rather than paper. The reader will therefore forgive this weakness and also the solecisms, crudities and expletives as well as the paucity of argument in its proper sense. The anarchist woods though are full of "the real thing" in argument for which "ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
I very much misliked to use private personal experiences but I felt it incumbent on me to do so in the effort to gain entry for vindicatory words to the same public medium as originated the despicable star chamber movement, all to no avail however. I now leave the record in its original setting for my smaller public's perusal as a slight help to their enlightenment as to <he true inwardness of this deliberate movement in favor of ignorance and prejudice on the one hand and the perpetuation of partisan political power on the other.
I reproduce all necessary matter from other sources to render consecutive form intelligible. Lest some carping critic complain of in-exactness, I may say quotations herein are mostly from memory and hence only roughly rendered.
(Ithaca Journal, Monday, Sept. 10, 1001.) HENRY BOOL DESCRIBES THE SCHOOL OP ANARCHISTS TO WHICH HE BELONGS. A DISTINCTION DRAWN BETWEEN THE CZ0LG0S2 AND
OTHER TYPES OK ANARCHISTS-MR. BOOL HAS ISSUED A
PAMPHLET DEFINING HIS POSITION—NOT IN SYMPATHY WITH VIOLENCE.
[The untimely publication of thia article was protested against, but, to make the pile complete, it had to be reproduced here.]
Just now when every loyal American citizen is so keenly sensitive to the awful crime of Czolgosz, the alleged Anarchist assassin of the President, anyone who may have the brutal temerity to directly or indirectly express satisfaction concerning the assassin's insensate and cruel deed, is quite liable to receive swift and merited chastisement or rebuke therefor.
Instances of such unfeeling and treasonable utterances are constantly cropping out on every hand and it is by no means singular that the mistake is often made of confounding the principles and beliefs of the socialists with those of the so-called Communists and Nihilists, or Anarchists, who would destroy all existing law and order
and permit crime and absolute disregard for all restraint to run riot.
Since President McKinley's murder at the hands of an alleged representative or tool of the latter class of irresponsible and crack brained persons, it has been currently reported on the streets of this city that our respected fellow townsman and citizen,-Henry Bool, the well-known former furniture dealer, was an avowed Anarchist and a sympathizer with Czolgosz and his cruel and utterly senseless crime.
In order that these incredible reports concerning so excellent and law-abiding citizen as Mr. Bool might be effectually silenced or explained and accounted for in a manner entirely satisfactory to his many friends, a Journal representative, who has known Mr. Bool quite well during the past quarter of a century or more, called upon him at his beautiful home on Oak Avenue yesterday afternoon. The reporter was at once invited into Mr. Bool's library and study, for Mr. Bool is an ardent student of affairs, generally, and of the social problem in particular.
Without circumlocution the reporter, after the customary greeting, stated the object of his visit and respectfully requested Mr. Bool to make any statement which might seem proper at this time. In reply, Mr. Bool, in substance, said:
"Whatever I might say at this time, when the entire land is plunged in grief and filled with horror at the senseless act of a madman, and whose awful crime no American citizen can deplore more than I do, would possibly be misunderstood, and therefore of little, if any avail.
"I am what might be called a voluntary Socialist, I am not a • Communist, or Nihilist, or such an Anarchist as Czolgosz, and the cl&s of so-called Anarchists to which it is said, he claims to belong.
111 am a believer in the doctrines of the individualistic school of Anarchists, to which Garrison, Emerson. Proudhon, Thoreau, Spooner, Andrews, Warren and Tucker belong. The school to which the assassin, Leon Czolgosz, it is claimed, belongs is diametrically' opposite in its teachings. I have an essay or address which I delivered on urgent invitation, two or three years ago before a social circle in this city, and which has been published in a booklet. This embodies, under its title, 'Liberty Without Invasion, Means and End of Progress,1 some of my views on the great social problems of the day. Here it is, if you care to read it. Any views expressed therein
by me I have no hesitancy of repeating in the columns of the Journal, or elsewhere, if occasion requires.
"Of the three ministers of the gospel who heard this address one said, 'It's all right1; another said, 'It does not matter what Mr. Bool's opinions may be, he is a member of the household of God'; the third said, 'you go some further than I do, but most of your positions can't be controverted.1 Out of three Cornell professors who heard or read it, one wrote me 'there is much truth in scientific Anarchy.' Another said, 'I am an Individualist and therefore in substantial agreement with you. You lack historic perspective, is about the only difference between us/ The third professor remarked that he was in sympathy with any movement for the betterment of humanity, but personally favored the State socialist ideas most."
The Journal representative accepted the booklet handed him by Mr. Bool It was published in December, 1898, in this city. In addition to his booklet Mr. Bool presented the Journal representative with several other pamphlets and leaflets, of which he had an extensive collection, one of which is styled "State Socialism and Anarchism." by Benjamin R. Tucker. In addition to this current literature on Socialism and Anarchism, Mr. Bool possesses a remarkably well-selected library of works pertaining to governmental and economic affairs, by standard writers.
Following are a few selections taken verbatim from his booklet, entitled "Liberty":
"I hope I'm, fully justified in speaking out. Evolution being true, the worm has in it the potentiality of a god, and this is justification enough for one seeking to find himself."
"Unsatisfied desire must be my state until the basic principle* of liberty be applied to the affairs of men. This insisted upon, humanity's future will be secure. Individual sovereignty is better than any and all kinds of paternalism. Better the dinner of herbs, with right conditions for all than the stalled ox of unearned affluence to the few." ^
"The case may be logically rested right here without more ado. Liberty is Alpha and Omega,—means and end,—the balm in Gilead. The rubbing in of this balm is all that remains to be done, 'The application on't/ as Captain Cuttle had it"
"We must not be impatient. It takes a hundred years to make a gentleman. It may take a thousand to inaugurate Liberty among men, but, whether it takes a hundred or a thousand years, 'the house of bondage must be come up from.' "
"Individuality is based in the very nature of things; the very lowest organisms exemplify it; we cannot get away from it if we would, and we would not if we could. Who would change his own individuality for another ? When each minds his own business, not only is he within his right, but he is in harmony with the spheres. Compulsion never yet convinced a child. The compulsion of natur* is inexorable; even the child soon learns that fire will burn, and the sooner he learns the better."
(Editorial, IthAOA Journal. Monday, Sept. 16. 1901.)
OUR PLAIN DUTY.
The duty of the Republic is plain. It must rid itself of Anarchists. It must do it in an orderly and lawful manner. It must not be hasty, nor carried away by the bitter grief and vast indignation that now move it. Never in the history of the Nation was there greater necessity for calm consideration and wiie counsel and deliberate judgment in dealing with a problem vital to the welfare of every man, woman and child within its borders.
There is a certain spirit of anarchy abroad in the land among those who are most bitter in their denunciation of Anarchists. It has been growing with fearful rapidity and spreading its baleful blight over all the country. It has been seen in the frequent lynch-ings of negroes in the South and Southwest; in the mob violence of the North and East; in the readiness of a certain class of the people to take the law into their own hands on small provocation; to override the law; to abrogate the law; to strangle the law. This is nothing less than anarchy.
Moreover there are in this country many persons who are avowed Anarchists. Their number is unknown, but it is alarmingly large. Ithaca has learned with surprise and indignation that some of its people.are believers in this dreadful doctrine. It has learned that we have in this community those who have no words of sympathy for the victim of Czolgosz's bullet, and no words of condemnation for the Anarchist who fired it. It seems incredible, but it is true. These men are known and named on our streets and feeling against them runs high.
There is just one way for this and all other communities to deal with these misguided persons, pending the time when the Congress shall frame laws that shall deal with them. They must be made to feel the weight of public opinion. There must be no violence. Anarchy thrives on violence. Witness the Russia of today. There is a weapon more potent than the sword or the knout or the halter for these people, and that is public opinion ; an expressed contempt and abhorrence that shall lead all good citizens to refuse to have any dealings whatever with them.
Not to recognize these foes of our Republic on the streets; not to buy of them or sell to them; not to employ them or work in their employ, is the right of each citizen. If each should exercise this right and thus show his detestation of the doctrine that led to the killing of our President, and his abhorrence of those who hold these doctrines, the brood that now threatens not only the prosperity and welfare of all of us, but also the very existence of th« Republic that we love, would soorv scatter.
Before long, we shall certainly have laws that will check the rush of the alien Anarchists to these shores. We may have laws that will check the dissemination of anarchistic doctrines here. It is to be hoped that we will have laws that will make it possible to rid this land entirely of these emissaries of the Devil himself. Until there are such laws, the people of the United States can give the world an object lesson in obedience to law, and at the same time give the Anarchists unmistable proof of their hearty and enduring abhorrence. .t
(Publication Refua#d by Ith*c* Journal.)
EXPLANATORY COMMENT FROM HENRY BOOL. Mr. Editor:—
In yesterday's Journal you published an interview with me against my expressed wish. In the same paper, you advise the boycott and the taboaon those of my political theory. You do not and have not, in all your reiterated strictures, vouchsafed one explanatory word as to the basic truth on which such opinions stand, and yet you know full well that it is a theory universally misunderstood.
There is nojxoore consistency in your holding Anarchism responsible for the insensate deed of Crolgosz, than there would be for me to hold the Republican party responsible for a Guiteau's mad act
You wisely deprecate hasty and unlawful acts, and with the same breath you advise lawless action in subtile lynching form on your fellow man, simply for his opinions. Is this just ? Is it expedient even ?
The martyred Garfield said, "Unjust criticism and false accusations are, in the long run, more injurious to the press than to its victims." How wise and how judicial are these words 1 Speaking of Garfield,—I can fill your broadside with wise words from thf lips of all three of the martyred Presidents in support of the everlgating principle of individual self-government, which at the last sifting apells Anarchism.
Then, too, I can furnish you proof that the existing President has recently paid a friendly (I am not sure but I might say fraternal) visit to a publicly-professed anarchist, and the fact of his having patronized this said anarchist by buying of his industrial product is attested by T. Roosevelt's own signature. May I not with propriety advise you, Mr. Editor, to take the cue from your leader and retract your advised lynching-boycott-tabdo ? I invite you to publish herewith all the proofs.
This is my thirtieth year in Ithaca. To a degree, my life has been an open book. I am not a "goody-goody," and yet, to give an -instance of my principles, I am practically a lifelong homily for existence without intoxicants or narcotics, and yet ray respect for individual sovereignty is such that I would protest to the last gasp against gods or men employing force against any man and whatever habit he may indulge, if hit habit did not overlap his responsibility to bear his own burden. Deed is greater than Creed, surely 1 But I cast aside personalities as being only transitory, in favor of principles that are eternal.
The choice between government by the consent of the governed and absolutism is logically inevitable. There is no half-way house. If the people are ever to swim, they must first-person-singular enter i the water.
Lowell says, "If you stick a feller through, Government aint to answer for it, God'll send the bill to you." This is anarchiam to * * dot. Don't be scared at a word. Abolitionist was a term of* reproach, and wasn't the name Christian to, too ? , Anarchist* are not thugs or cut-throats. They believe not in kiUiqg*; Number* pt;
them do not even use meat because meat makes their kin to offend in the killing. Their ranks have to be composed of intelligent people,—ministers, librarians, professors, engineers, government officials, et a/. They are believers in absolute free trade, and exemplifiers of self-expression as being the only policy that promises permanency in political, religious, social or business life.
Don't study tbeir principles, or you will land where I. am in these regards; for with Heine, We do not take possession of our 'ideas, but are possessed by them. They master us and force us into the arena, where, like gladiators, we must fight for them.11
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 1901.
(Editor!*] in Ith*ca Journal of S*pt 17, 190J.)
Anarchism is the doctrine that government should be abolished. That is the accepted definition, and is thus given by Anarchists. "Anarchism," says one of the apostles of the cult, Stephen T. Byington, "is a theory of political science and is opposed to government in the political sense." Benjamin R. Tucker, another apostle of the doctrine says that Anarchism maybe described as "the doctrine that all the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and that the Stale should be abolished." "Whoever stands on the other side of the line which divides the camp of the ruling possessors of power from that of the people has come under the ban. Let the people carry out the sentence," says Johann Most. "Revolution is nothing but defence/1
From the teachings of Tucker and Byington to those of Most the steps are easy and plain. It makes no difference under what benevolent and well sounding phrases the Followers of the first promulgate the doctrine of the duty of abolishing government; the underlying principle is the same that leadi Most to say, as he has said ; "Save humanity by blood and steel, poison and. dynamite," and that led Leon Czolgosz to slay the President of the United States.
We have a word of advice for the well-meaning persons who give a certain air of respectability to this penurious creed, and defend a principle that, carried to its logical coadtttkm, has struck down the head of a great nation of freemen, plunged * nation into mourning, shaken the confidence of men in their fellow men and even in an over-ruling God, and cruelly slaughtered one whose life was devoted to the welfare of his fellow men.
And the advice is that these persons either cease to disseminate their devilish beliefs, or confine their preachments to their own intelligent and altruistic circle, being careful that they do not reach the ears of ordinary persons whose zeal to speedily accomplish what these mild-mannered Anarchists preach, may lead them to murder more men whom the people of the United States have called to administer their affairs.
It is not given to all Anarchists to live in the rarified air which these benevolent opponents of the laws of God and man breathe with such evident satisfaction, without being impelled to do something besides talk. The leaders and the talkers take precious good care of their hides, but they can always find Brescis and Czolgoszes who naturally come to think that actions speak louder than words; and with such Anarchists action means murder.
The people of the United States have had quite enough of Anarchists of whatever stripe. They find it difficult to distinguish between the man who preaches the doctrine of Anarchy and the man who does the deeds of Anarchy. Please God, this nation will soor> have laws that will forever stamp out in this free land this brood of vipers, these preachers of the gospel of assassination, these foes to all that makes a people good and great. If such laws are not enacted and executed, if in the name of free speech, this damnable license is permitted, there are those of us who will say "as many a sad-eyed Roman must have said, eighteen centuries ago, I prefer civilization to the Republic."
REJOINDER TO EDITORIALS JS THE JOURNAL OP TUESDAY, SEPT. 17, 1901. (PUBLICATION REFUSED.)
He's really, "an amoosin' cuss/' is your Editor Smith. He's like the tree-climbing coon, the further he goes, the more he shows "his hindermost parts." In other words, the more he demonstrates his ignorance and culpability. In his quotations fyom Tucker and Byington, he, as it were, plucks a feather from the swan's wing, exhibits it, then expects the man on the street to estimate the length of the bird's necW Ah, does he so expect? Does he not rather
expect to foster further the movement in favor of ignorant prejudice ?
Then, too, these terrible views of Tucker's and Bvington's lead on to those of Most's. Yes, so does going west to 'Frisco lead on to London. He writes of mobs 1 He could, if he so choose, find out the anarchist jury and judiciary systems take care of such possible mobs, but mobs grow by what they feed on under Authoritarian tyranny.
Then, again, such doctrines are incentives to murder. As well say, do not eat, for it will lead on to gluttony; or do not educate, for there are educated fools and forgers.
As to the "rarified air" he speaks of—I opine it to be precisely the same element from which the maiden's sigh and Jove's thunder proceed, the difference consists in political prostitutes using this element for revenue purposes to stifle liberty while Anarchists pour into its hopper hardly wrought revenue for the advancement of liberty.
Anarchy is not the doctrine "of abolishing government" and your quotations prove it though you do wrench them from their context. Your gratuitous advice falls flat, the animus, like that of the silversmiths of Demetrius renown, stands out altogether too prominent.
You speak of "the leaders." ' We acknowledge no leaders, we are simply individuals of varying degrees of intellectual acumen determined to work and wait for the force of ideas to do the evolutionary work of enlightening public opinion which work alas! sadly needs doing even in the editorial rooms of the would-be leaders in their up to now successful efforts to darken and stifle intelligent public opinion.
We plead guilty to agreeing, with ye oracular editor and the "sad eyed Roman," and prefer "Civilization to the Republic" and we are therefore trying to attain to that goal so devoutly to be wished.
Ithaca, N. Y., Sept. 20, 1901.
Mr. George E. Priest,
Joint Proprietor of Ithaca Journal, Dear Sir:
Some two years since, you as a friend of nearly thirty years standing, advised me to hold quiescent my political views, not because of their erroneousness, but because of their liability to be misunderstood by the general public.
• On Sunday last, a Journal hireling (I use the •word "hireling" in
no opprobrious sense, but "as the hireling fleeth because he is a hireling," so he goeth for the same reason) invaded my domicile for an interview as to my alleged political views. I was insulted by his first question as to whether I advocated assassination or not. Remembering your advice, I asked, "is Mr. Priest privy to this"? He replied, "Mr. Smith sent me." Mr. Smith being also a hireling, the presumption is that you, therefore, are privy to this deliberate purpose to make partisan political capital at the bier of the nation's dead, by ghoulishly and insultingly attempting to drive home the, (known to you at least,) current falsehood that Anarchists are thugs and murderers. I protested to your agent that this time, of all others, was inopportune to talk any kind of politics for publication. As he was quite importunate, I asked him to hold the matter open and I would consider the best form for my views to take and report later. Feeling that sinister intention was in the air, I presented myself at the Journal office early Monday morning, and essayed to further explain myself, when, behold 1 compositor's copy of this "interview" was placed before me. As further demur was evidently futile, I made one correction of fact and added a few lines of my own to this proof.
While one of your men- mataphorically kissed me, the other stilettoed the truth as to my principles in Monday's issue. After reading the article, I scribbled impromptu explanatory comment for the next day's issue, as being the only thing I could do to set my point of view before your readers, after you had incontinently and arbitrarily gotten me pilloried in print. I reckoned without my host, however, as it was flatly refused insertion, even by paying therefor. I now enclose this matter with further comments on Tuesday's editorial, and this letter for insertion in your paper. Fair play being a jewel, I trust you will see the propriety of granting this small measure of justice to me.
The Century Dictionary defines anarchy as being "a social theory which regards the union of order with the absence of all direct government of man by man as the political ideal; absolute individual liberty." About every epoch-making man or book from the Carpenter's Son's time down have had in them either the seeds or the fruit, in varying degrees of ripeness, of this principle. What about Christ's "Generation of Vipers"? What about Walt Whitman's work ? It is
egoistic, if it is anything. I particularize him because of yesterday's timely reading from him. It is nothing more than Jeffersonian Democracy driven home. The name Protestant stands for private judgment.
Our conservative University President, a few years since, made a most eloquent plea for individualism in religion in one of our churches. This principle is equally applicable to all human affairs. Look out on Nature ; she never repeats herself, and analogy illustrates the truth of the ever present ego. No two blades of grass are alike even. All through the animal creation the same holds good, and when we come to human nature, we have the perfected flower of anarchism. No two can have the same point of view, or see eye to eye. We are brought into the world alone. 41 Each heart knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger does not intermeddle with its joy." We have to tread the wine-press of death alone. When free and equal opportunity is denied criminals obtain. With real freedom, each ego, fit to survive, would discover what was good for itself, and in the finding gain strength. Just so long as Adam Smith's incontrovertible principle that "labor is the true measure of price" is set at naught, just so long are we to expect the resultant "perishing upper classes" on the one hand, and the equally pitiful criminal and pauperized class on the other. The former capture food, love and leisure by the force of intellect and cunning from the sweat of the brow of the producers.
From the time in my teens when 1 was confirmed by a lawn-sleeved bishop, until now, I have many a time and oft endeavored to fit the conventional hat on my unconventional head by saying, "Let this cup pass from me, Lord," but the Socratic daemon within me would cry, "Dare to thyself be true and thou canst not be false to any man/1 If all the nations of the earth be of one blood, pray examine your own heart, and you will forget not to remember to desire to do justice and love mercy. It has been well said, "One with God is a majority," but a mere unlettered man has at times to be a host unto himself.
I have never been given to crying, "Who is on my side ? Who"? and were 1 to do so now, I fear me, not even one eunuch would be with me.
I wish to be open-minded. If I am in error, I am ready to sit at the feet of any modern Gamaliel. No ex-cathedra say-so will convince. Prove to me there is but "a step from Proudhon to Czolgas2f" and I will kow-tow with the best of them. Till then, I propose to stand erect. As I want not something for nothing, I am willing to pay according to Proudhon's, to me, true principle of •'equality of function,11 to be privileged to learn what is true and of good report.
The Encyclopedia Britannica states the. kernel of the anarchistic theory of government as formulated by Proudhon: "An ideal to which the highest religion and philosophy look forward as the goal of man; not as one, however, which can be forthwith reached through the wholesale destruction of the present frame work of society, but through a long process of ethical and .social improvement." This "long process" is estimated by a sanguine comrade to need five hundred years for its consummation.
With the historic background of Bunker Hill, Plymouth Rock, Peterloo, Smithfield and Runnymedc, you must admit that time fights for freedom, despite the Canutes and Bourbons of the past or the present, if I could conjure you with "thoughts that breathe and words that burn,1' I am persuaded you would do your stent for the preservation and propagation of freedom of thought, freedom of spccch and freedom of trade, and thus help on the attainment of the anarchistic evolutionary ideal.
From President Schurman'a Lyccum Speech, (Journal Report, Sept. 19,) with remark® thrrcin by a Christian comrade. ' '*
tiir state essential.
For the State is essential to the life of man. It is formed in order to secure life, it continues in order tp improve life. The State is not an affair of mere convention; it. is rooted in human nature, like the family; and it is imposed on man by the general and permanent conditions of his life. Man is born to be a citizen; he docs not come into the world as an unrelated unit, he enters intQ an existing social order where duties not of his own making are already, predetermined for him. It is thus that the powers that be are ordained of God. The ideal of the anarchist, the goal for the attainment of which he kills men as ruthlessly as summer flies, is the overturning of all political institutions and the adoption of the unrestrained and promiscuous life of brutish herds. With the anarchist, therefore, there can be nothing but war to the knife. For we believe that government, which he would abrogate, is the corporate reason and justice of the community. And we believe that the State, which he would undermine, is a natural and divinely ordained organization both for the attainment of material security and prosperity and the perfection of human and social life,—a partnership in things subservient to our animal nature, but also, in the fine language of Burke, "a partnership in all science, a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection."
Happily neither our Republic has been endangered nor our government dislocated by the crime and folly of the anarchist. The Republic holds on the even tenor of its way and will endure as long as it has the support of free and intelligent citizens. God preserve the American spirit I Long live the Republic !
MR. IIYINGTON'S COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE.
President Schurman is hard on anarchists. He says, "Thou wouldst destroy the State; the State, then, in self-protection must destroy thee/*
Observe, he is not quoting the law, "He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.1> Perhaps he thinks that taw would cut both ways in this debate. According to President Schurman, it is not because a man was killed at Buffalo that another man is to be killed. The reason is, "Thou wooldst destroy the State*" This argumentation has no sense unless it applies equally to all who would destroy the State. Take the most famous one^—Tolstoy. Everybody knows he would destroy the State; if we forgot it, he would remind us through a megaphone tomorrow. Then the State must destroy Tolstoy—must it ?
I do not wish to charge President Schurman with anything worse than he has done. I thought at first that the only logical conclusion was to kill Tolstoy. If so, I might have heapt up epithets such as "brutish, atrocious, medieval buncombe," and no man could have denied the justice of them. But the parallelism of the President's .words suggests another interpretation, a law of strict retaliation. If one tries to destroy the State by violence, the State shall do violence to him; if one tries to destroy it by disobedience, the State shall disobey him; if one tries to destroy it by argument or rhetoric, the State shall argue and rhetorize against him. This sounds as fair as one can really expect in this wicked world. The only question is whether it will quite satisfy President Schurman. There are plenty of anarchists who would be glad to compromise on the proposition that they should disobey the State and the State should just— disobey them. But, so far as I see, he must have meant this, or else an intolerable barbarity; or else his words have no thoroughly definite meaning, but were a mere flower of declamation.
It can hardly be denied that his spcech contains some expressions of this last kind. He talks of "the majestic fabric of government which has been slowly reared by the loftiest efforts of countless generations of mankind,—a thing compact of reason and right and cemented with the tears and blood of heroes, patriots arid martyrs"! These words do not refer to history. The origin of government in nearly all races on earth is unknown. We have little reason to suppose this origin honorable, much reason to doubt that it was slow; see Herbert Spencer. Since records began, the loftiest political efforts pf the generations have been employed in making the harsh governments of early times less governmental; where a government has been made stricter, history after some centuries has commonly judged the transaction to be discreditable and pernicious. If President Schurman is asked to give his opinion on the practical details of the "thing compact of reason and right/1 he will make its compactness look like a bath-sponge. But it is "cemented with the tears and blood of heroes, patriots and martyrs"! Right true are those words, just as the power of William the Norman was cemented by the tears and blood of the massacred North of England. The men whom the world venerates as heroes, patriots and martyrs are commonly those who have stood against government Such cement is adhesive, tough, flinty hard,—and explosive.
"Man is born to be a citizen; he does not come into the world as an unrelated unit, he enters into an existing social order where duties not of his own making are already predetermined for him. • It is thus that the powers that be are ordained of God." N<Jte, Man existing order," "powers that be." Adams, Hancock and Waahte^ton fought against the powers that were. Bither condemn ttitm, or admit that this argument does not give ground for condemning those who aim to transform the existing social order into a higher, freer, ungovernmental social order. There was a time, I believe, when a man's citizenship, and the jurisdiction of the laws over him, were fixed by his birth in a certain tribe ; he did not become unamenable to his government by residing in a distant country. Then the words "born a citizen," "not come into the world unrelated," had an obvious force. If the force of those words could safely be violated by making governmental jurisdiction a matter of geographical boundries, we can hardly be in the greatest danger on this account if we make citizenship voluntary even for natives. If it is rooted in human nature that men should associate, organize, and defend each other, then they will do these things when the matter is left to their voluntary action. In fact, they do.
"The ideal of the anarchist is the overturning of all political institutions and the adoption of the unrestrained and promiscuous life of brutish herds." I do not wish to bring reckless accusations against anybody on the basis of a guess as to his probable mental operations—nor ought President Schurman to do so; and I am afraid he has gone near to doing it. I do not think I am gqilty of reckless accusation if i propound the guess that President Schurman, whenever he may have studied the writings of anarchists, has sometimes jumped to conclusions beyond what the words under his eye really forced upon him, being guided partly by some preconception (it need not be the most vulgar one) about the character and tendencies of anarchists; that he has (he could hardly do otherwise) taken the words of some few anarchists, doubtless prominent in their respective schools, as representing all anarchists; that he has looked into anarchism with the idea of investigating an unpractical theory, rather than of conceiving a possible working order of civilized society; that, while he doubtless tried to make good sense of anarchism from the supposed, standpoint of the anarchist, he never tried to make good sense of it from hfs own standpoint—never spent an hour by the clock in considering wKat lie and those who are in sympathy with him would do if they had no government, could not establish one, but had to depend on their voluntary action and voluntary association for th«ir common defense and for other common interests. % I dare to guess that in some of these ways President Schurman has failed to
make himself so competent a witness as-he might before undertaking to instruct an irritated crowd about the ideal of the anarchist; for I do not think he has borne fair testimony.
The idea that anarchist theories naturally lead to assassination is parallel to the sixteenth-century idea that Baptist theology naturally led to the disorders which were then associated with the name ••Anabaptist," or to the European idea of a hundred years ago about "republicans." Remember Shelley's lines :
"Learn from me how atheists and republicans can die"t Nobody is bound to favor the anarchist ideal. A man of conservative temper can never be utterly wrong for preferring to bear the ills he has rather than fly to others. But no more can a radical man be blamed for preferring to fly from the ills he has. It would seem as if ordinary intelligence should see that anarchism is a social scheme which could presumably be made to work somehow, whether well or not, and that it offers a credible hope for escaping in a measure from some of the ills we have. The fact that it is favored by many very successful business men ought to suggest this.
Stkvf.n t. Byington.
From Prof. Boyuton's 8p«*ch. (Journal Report, Sept. lt>.)
Professor Boynton denounced Anarchy of all classes from the teachings of Proudhon down to the maniacal belief of the Czolgosz school. He showed that the one is but a step to the other.
At the close, Miss Cousens, instructor in elocution, read Walt Whitman's poem, "Oh, Captain I My Captain I"
Ithaca, N. Y., Sept. 21, 1901.
Mr. George E. Priest,
Ithaca, N. Y. Dear Friend:
I mark this missive private, not on my own account as I would just as lief have it posted on the billboards, for in hearing "general affronts to goodness, those are asses which are not lions." I have received unvarying kindness from you from the first, and sympathy more than once. Do you forget the time when I broke down through a sympathetic word of yours relative to my marrying a moneyless widow "with ten children tied to her skirts1?* I have ever been ready
♦Substitute heart for "skirts" and the sentence will be literally exact to convey this woman to the pprtals of the church of her choice and have a standing offer to accompany her to that church's service on alternate Sundays providing she will accompany me on the off Sunday to the church service that approximates most nearly to the tenets of my mind and heart. This is the exemplifying of my doctrine of individual responsibility, and hearing the other side also, rather than the "these twains shall be one flesh" absurdity. I often wade through one of blow-hard Talmage's sermons as an alterative to my more regular pabulum. My sympathy has cost me $50,000, and I am dam glad of it. Your picture is the only one of any man or woman, outside of my family, that I have placed framed in my house, so you can see what a little (seeming) kindliness will do. Human nature is the same in the large all through, but the worm will turn. "Scratch a Russian and you will find a Tartar." Why, the very orthodox devil is but a fallen angel, and he is really my God in preference to the conventional God of the conventional crowd, for the devil doubts and examines. Then, for Christ's sake be careful. There is intellect on my side of the camp. I don't claim it for myself, but it's there, and if you fellows keep sitting on the safety valve of free thought and free expression, you must not expect tenderness. There is not a man amongst us who believes for one moment in force, that is, physical force uuless we are pushed to it.
But look at the Boers when pushed to the corner, and see what a handful of men of ordinary intelligence can do with a world power, and if they still keep determined and hang together they can prove that they have hardly begun to fight yet.
"I am in this fight till hell freezes over, and then on the ice afterwards on skates," unless it is proved to me wherein I am wrong. Then a little child shall lead me. I have always been quiescent unless put upon. I am not desirous to place "pearls before swine" in this matter. You know I never said a direct word to you till after, Smith-like, you kept murdering the truth. C. C. Piatt pounded and pounded on to me to express my view in that address case.
Quietly to educate is all we have ever had in mind. Ours are ideas, ideals; but if ideas and ideals are out of order now, when the bell will they be in order. Progress has been set back, to all appearance, one hundred years in the last four, and I grieve as no words can express thereat.
I placed that sentence about McKinley at the head of the letter as a sop to the pimps and poltroons, but I cut it out after consideration. I do not speak half the truth there anyway, not because a single life is gone. Tennyson said somewhere, in his beautiful poetic way, that the single life is of little or no account/ but bedause it put the pendulum of progress still farther off the proper swing, so that I even fear me it will not go back in my time, so drunk is the average man become.
Why, Priest, I have not had one-sixth of the sleep I should, since the bloody, insane deed was done. Thursday night like a fool, I was led into reading the Journal, and the consequence was a sleej> less night.
Schurman and Boynton orated, ranted, worse than ranted,— made the truth into a lie, and pandered beside the lamented coffin to the worst passions of men, and you know that of the average man, five in the hundred sums up the thinkers.
Your man Friday (Smith) in giving me worse than the cold shoulder, said, "I want to hear nothing of anarchists," and he is more ignorant than you were, I believe. Wood said he did not want to read anything about them and said he would help hang or deport every one of them.
Elbert says, "To know all is to forgive all," but it will be pretty hard work. I can live and be in better mental and physical health on one dollar per week,f My woman has enough to live on in her simple way, and my old maid sister is on the verge of the grave. What effect, therefore, think you, this threat of a boycott or taboo ? I value the good opinion of all. I prefer, too, the good opinion, 1000 to i, of the lowest laborer more than that of those in power nevertheless. Now with this in view, how puerile it is for any sucker to think that threats will avail anything. The devil is said to have said, in Job's time, "Skin for skin, all that a man hath will he give for his life," and that is right in the abstract. But there are plenty of men who would willingly give up that life, if by doing so they
♦'Are God and Nature then at strife, That Nature lends such evil dreams? So careful of the type ahe seems, Socareleaaof the single life."
t Victuals only is meant in this connection, honest water being tbe drink.
could be fully satisfied that even a sufficiency of human happiness could be secured to warrant it. Why look out on the sea captains, the engineers, even the common laborers, and see how cheap they hold life when, in some cases, only one other life is at stake.
Now, if this poor demented Sloshgosh did this damnable thing with those sentiments in his mind, how had we ought to treat him ? Confine him, surely! because he in that case would be unbalanced, but not hurt a hair of his head. And yet, what did that theological mountebank Talmage say he would have done before he even could have known of the actual A of the matter of motive ? More bloodthirsty than the murderer even, taking the worst view. I feel it in me, Mr. Priest, that I can go down into the Styx with sangfroid in a given set of circumstances. I hope the circumstances will never arrive, and I don't expect them to, and merely hint to you of my heart impulses to show you how perfectly ridiculous and droll to me the scurrilous threats of a neurotic scribe are to one who when only ten or eleven years old cowed the physical force of a beefy schoolmaster when he tried by such force to convince the boy of wrongdoing. Before that time I helped the mother of eight children, of whom I am the youngest, do culinary and other work* and the father at gardening and other work. Having left school at the age of thirteen (I could manage to tell a big A from a bull's foot), for the work of life and from that day to this the iron of "Man's inhumanity to Man" has pierced my soul, and yet my lines have been cast in comparatively pleasant places. I'm no paragon and in "the light of clear reason have never made a sacrifice" in what little I have done in helping to lift "the cloud of oppression and error which like the mists on the mountains envelop the world." I might have done more. If I had done less I should have been recreant to the still small voice. The boy is father to the man. I began to think that my right hand had lost its cunning in these regards, but these damn-fool tactics of the so-called powerful and elect ones to intimidate even this little one miserably must, shall and will fail.
Very truly yours,
P. S. This is a "heart to heart" (I hope) talk, with no correct-inga nor after patching, bad spells and all go in. But before you destroy it, I want a copy of it, if you please, which I now can't stop to take. Monday morning at 6:26, I expect to go tt) Buffalo, possibly to be gone ten days there and at Olean, N. Y. A letter will reach mc at the latter place as late as Monday the 30th.
Second P. S. I find you will not be home till the middle of next week, so I decided to take a copy of this rambling human document, and to save your eyesight and temper, I send you a copy. "I know what I have believed, and am persuaded that neither life nor death, nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come" can budge me. To save my neck, I might lie like Galileo, but otherwise rely on me. B,
PUBLISHED IN ITHACA DAILY NEWS.
The reproduction below illustrates the close connection between incendiary editorials and anonymous threats. That the minds of the "little ones" fed on such inflammatory pabulum, are liable to be easily incited to violence, is now quite evident.
Abraham Lincoln said, "when a white man governs himself, that is self government. But, when he governs himself and also governs some other man, that is more than self-government,—that is despotism. What I do mean to say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent."
These words unequivocally imply absolute free-trade, free production and self-ownership and self expression coupled with self responsibility. Holding this theory, I deprecate all kinds of force, but the force of peaceful persuasion for its attainment, and even this kind of persuasion has never yet been at all usual to me, nor would I now be pilloried in public but for the uncalled for and partial publicity of my views recently in your daily contemporary.
Simply holding to this theory academically,—a theory by the way that, from present indications as to its consummation lies, alas in the dim, distant perspective of aeons of time and yet its practicability can be demonstrated to any open mind of average capacity as the raw material therefor lies at the threshold of sociology science. I repeat simply holding this self-evident theory is the head, front and entrails of my offending and for which I am under the ban of penpy-a-liners and uncouth hodges.
Right here, (on the principles of giving the devil his dUe lfrUo far as one can), I may record the item$ that "the thirteen comawnifts
recently arrested without warrant, denied the right of bail and held for upwards of two weeks and then all released without a scintilla of cvidencc of their law breaking." This. too. ;»fter the most private possessions of the prisoners had been ransacked by the minions of law and order. As if this were not enough, the prat office authorities are holding back from the mails the last issue <f their vehicle of public expression. And this is the twentieth centiry and the United States of America, and not the mediaeval period aid Cathay.
refused insertion as an advertisement in the ithaca journal
AND DAILY NEWS.
Wanted—Adults devoid of prejudice, even though unwilling to get off the m asses1 backs, to such will be furnished "without money and without price"—if they will engage to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" the same—a course of reading in proof that the gospel of Anarchism is a gospel of "peace on earth and good will to man" and in perfect accord with evolutionary progress. Apply in any old way to Henry Bool.
TO MAKE MEN FREE.
Krom The T)rnver News.
To make men free hns been the dream Of every noble soul on earth — To bring a better time to birth ;
To see the future's hills agleam With the first, holy light Of a new era bright. Prom which the human might
Of ages speed* away, Its sable folds withdrawn Before the golden dawn, Where earth goes rolling on Into the grander day.
To make men free from court and throne. Free from the money-changer's greed, Free from hypocrisv and creed, Free from the dreaned lash of need,
And free to reap where they have sown ;
Free from earth's scourge the conqueror, Free from the murderous lust of war, Free from the robber's cry of more,
And free to have their own :
Free voluntarily to share
Their blessings for the common good ;
Free to each other's burdens bear, In helpfulness and brotherhood ;
Free in security to live
And seek the blessing of content;
Free in the freedom love can give, The freedom of enlightenment (
To make men free ! It is with me The dearest purpose of my heart, That I may know and do my part.
To help the cause of liberty ;
My energy and life to be
Made consecrate to the one theme, The single purpose and the dream,
In every land, to make men free— To make men free.