“Might was right when Caesar bled upon the stones of Rome. Might was right when Joshua led his hordes o’er Jordan’s foam; and might was right when German troops poured down through Paris gay. It’s the gospel of the ancient world and the logic of to-day.”
The Anarchic Outrage
(To the Editor.)
Sir, —There is a suggestive item in your article on the Anarchists and the country from which most hail, wherein you say, “Another outrage has to be added to these—again an Italian, again the knife.” As a country given over so wholly to the church, it surely should be the cleanest both in a religious and a moral sense, or at any rate where conflict should not be the fiercest, and particularly, if there be virtue in religion, it should not be the chief breeding - place of executive Anarchism. Not many who have knowledge of the conditions of the worker world in its wider sense and of the crowded out outcasts will fully endorse your heavy condemnation of these overstrained beings who, in despair, sacrifice their own lives, and endanger the lives of dozens of their own near friends or associates, in these truly mad attempts on the lives of kings and emperors. What the type of men are who undertake this outrageous method of calling attention to the woes of the outcast poor is depicted with startling clearness in Zola’s latest work, “Paris.” But the type, as therein portrayed, deserves some better fate than the “wheel or torture.” These outrages tally more with the type of Mrs Lynn Linton’s “Joshua Davidson,” but who are wholly in despair as to better conditions being ever obtained from the ruling powers, and more particularly from monarchic forms, the extreme representation of which may be found in Emperor William of Germany, who counts himself God-ordained and ruling by Divine right.
“The Hohenzollerns had their crown from Heaven” was his dictum in 1890, and he has gone stronger than this since. Vaillant, as to whose trial a long account appeared in Joseph Cowen’s “Newcastle Chronicle” in 1894, in his statement before the Court, said, “Among all the sufferers in the lower classes, those lower classes that are beneath the heel of the upper, there are two sorts of men.” These he described, one as taking life as he found it, and like a slave enduring it. “The other kind of man, on the contrary, thinks and studies, and perceives the social iniquities around. Is it his fault that he sees clear, and suffers to see the sufferings of others? And then he throws himself into the struggle and becomes the bearer of the public reviling’s. This is what I have done, for I am one of the last kind of men. And mark well: the sound of my bomb was not the cry of Vaillant in revolt, but the cry of a whole whose suffering people voice, sooner or later, must be heard.” The corn-cornerer Leiter, of Chicago fame, cared not for the Italians, starving to death for want of bread, which his cornering made it harder for them to get—his gain, had he succeeded, being more dollars—their portion, for want of the corn, being death. As the money power attains its tighter and I tightening grip, its weight goes to support monarchic institutions, and thousands of the poor fall sacrifice, but call less attention than mere injury to one of the “divine right” order.
PUT YOURSELF IN HIS PLACE.
New Zealand Times, 21 September, 1898