"We have let Brutality die out too much."



"We have let Brutality die out too much."





An Amazing New “Periodical of Protest”

Volume I., Number I, Reviewed with All the Sympathy It Deserves—“A Journal for the Sane and Strong”—An Effort to Organize All the Opponents of the Humanitarian Movement in England.

By Rollin Lynde Hartt.

A Thousand Books of Fame

[Dr. Redbeard is the Laureate of Brutalitarianism, and his great work, “The Survival of the Fittest: or the Philosophy of Power,” deserves to be the textbook of our cause. —ED. Brutalitarian.]

For a long time I have seen it coming. Peace Societies, Audubon Associations, Red Acre Farms and S. P. C. A.’s couldn’t be allowed to have things all their own way. Sooner or later the opposition would be heard from; and at last the hour has struck. For here comes Volume I, Number I. of the “Brutalitarian”—“A Journal for the Sane and Strong.”

“We have let brutality die out too much,” said George Warrington Steevens. “At the bottom of all distinguished races,” says Nietzsche, “the beast of prey is not to be mistaken.” The Rt. Hon. Alfred Lyttleton cheerfully declares that “all men who are Patriots and Sportsmen must feel that there is about War, once commenced, something of a Magnificent Game.” Says Mr. Cecil Chesterton: “The soldier who kills a Zulu in fair fight is fulfilling the Golden Rule to the letter.” The Rev. Raymond Blathwayt asks: “May we not now and again put aside the rather maudlin and canting idea that punishment is only reformative?” and adds: “I would urge the rehabilitation of a cruel and degrading penalty, just because its cruelty appeals to what is justifiably cruel in our nature, and also because it degrades still further an already degraded scoundrel.”

Hence the “Brutalitarian.” Published in England it seeks to save the British Empire and as much more of the world as it can reach, from the yawning, sizzling abyss of tender heartedness; for “it is full time in this age of decadent humanitarianism, that some trumpet-tongued protest were raised against the prevalent sentimentality, and that there should be an attempt to organize and consolidate the forces—at present scattered and isolated—that make for manliness and patriotism.”

Now I confess that I roared long and loud when I first caught sight of the “Brutalitarian.” Then the roar gave room to the inward chuckle that greets an ingenious bit of cleverness; the new journal, I said, must surely be some novel brochure got up by the Humanitarian League to satirize their opponents. But no! The thing is no joke; it is no trick. A vast and characteristically British solemnity weighs soggily upon its every paragraph. It is dead in earnest. It assails the humanitarians with venomous ire. For lo! They are “undermining the vigor of the national character.” “Obscure and contemptible though they are in themselves,” they have “weakened the discipline of the English prison system” and abolished “that most useful form of punishment, the tread-wheel,” while even the “cat” is in “grave danger.” “By securing the abolition of the Royal Buckhounds, they have deprived our national field sports of the prestige which they enjoyed through their association with the Crown; and so on, in quite a number of other departments of our national life. All this might have been prevented if we had bestirred ourselves ten years earlier.”

Sad—is it not? —that the “Sane and Strong” should have wasted ten years! Worse yet, the “sane and strong” have “made the fatal error of quibbling over words,” and of “trying to pose as the true humanitarians in opposition to our adversaries, a game in which the fanatics of the Humanitarian League—prepared as they are to go any length—have inevitably worsted us. What we have now to do is to make a bold stand against the bigotry which threatens us all alike—in our foreign policy, in our criminal law and prison system, in our science, in our sports, in our fashions, in our diet—in everything. Our opponents are fond of using the term ‘brutal’ in an opprobrious sense; we take up the word like a gauntlet!”

By way of launching its highly praiseworthy campaign, this “journal for the sane and strong” speaks its mind “rather more fully on one or two of the typical subjects with which we shall have to deal.” The first of these subjects is flogging, which the “Brutalitarian” calls “one of the most essential planks” in its platform. “If we are fools enough to allow the use of the lash to die out, goodbye to all the sterling traits in an Englishman’s character! It is through flogging that the Englishman has developed that toughness of fibre and splendid moral stamina which is the wonder of an envious world; and shall all this be cast aside, as if it were nothing, because a few sickly, neurotic humanitarians are averse to the infliction of physical pain? But if we are to preserve and perpetuate this wholesome discipline, it can only be by consistency. If we run away from our principles and admit, for example, that females should not be flogged, how can we hope permanently to retain that most efficacious of punishments in the case of the male sex?”

The second exhibit of “The Brutalitarian’s” honorable intention runs thus: “Just as we shall refuse to favor women by supporting the present unjust system of unisexual punishments, so we shall refuse to do them the wrong of blaming them where they are no more to blame than men are—as, for example, in the absurd and illogical outcry against feathered headgear. Never did our friends make a greater blunder than in allowing the term ‘murderous millinery.’ Invented and launched at us by the craft of the Humanitarian League, to become a proverbial and accepted expression, for it has done incalculable injury to our cause.” And in support of his laudable position the Brutalitarian editor quotes the Catholic Dictionary as saying: “As the lower animals have no duties, since they are destitute of freewill, so they have no rights, for right and duty are correlative terms. The brutes are made for man, who has the same right over them which he has over plants and stones.” Philip Austen’s delicate sentences are also made to do duty in the service of the new movement. Said that great-hearted worthy: “The morality which satisfies St. Augustine may surely be considered good enough for the English Churchman today. It is found that an advocacy of the rights of brutes is associated with the lowest phases of morality.”

What a marvelously well-read man must this editor be! He can run his shears around numberless “heart-throbs,” and paste them just where he wants them. I blush to own that the poems of Dr. Ragnar Redbeard have hitherto completely escaped my attention, but I learn that he is “the Laureate of Brutalitarianism,” and from him the cultivated editor quotes the following very uplifting stanzas:

Might was Right when Caesar bled upon the

stones of Rome;

And 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 today.

The Strong must ever rule the Weak is

grim primordial law;

On earth’s broad racial threshing-floor the

Meek are beaten straw;

Then ride to power o’er foemen’s necks, let

nothing bar your way;

If you are fit, you’ll rule and reign, is the

logic of today.

But George Warrington Steevens furnishes by all the finest “copy” for the “Brutalitarian” scissors. How splendid these manly sentences of his” “This (the new humanitarianism) is throttling patriotism and common-sense and virility of individual character. Our forefathers burned and marooned and beheaded and shot and fought cocks. On these unhumanitarian principles they built the British Empire.”

It would be a grievous mistake, however, to suppose that the “Brutalitarian” intends to content itself with mere scribbling and printing. Not in such easy fashion is the British Empire to be twitched from the clutch of doom. No; stern measures are in store and tremble, mortals!!—the “Brutalitarian” has “a bombshell up its sleeve.” By way of conclusion to its stirring proclamation, the “Brutalitarian” declares: “We are confident that the resolute and consistent position which we thus take up will win us the respect of the public, and will lead to a determined rally, under the banner of brutalitarianism, of the forces of sanity and common-sense. We have not yet arrived at the point of forming our executive committee; but the public may be assured that when the names of our patrons and supporters are announced they will be a guaranty of the thoroughness with which our policy will be signalized, and will convey a plain intimation to our humanitarian opponents that in the future they will have to deal with a more formidable foe than any they have yet encountered.”

Meanwhile the confident editor trusts that “the patriotic press in general, and especially those papers which represent the interests that are threatened by the fanatics of the Humanitarian League,” will note the appearance of the “Brutalitarian.” I hope they will!

Boston Evening Transcript, November 12, 1904.

From Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1904.

New “Brutality” Fad.

[From the London Brutalitarian.]

What could be more pitiful than the plea put forward by the naval lords, for instance, that boys of the royal navy are not “flogged” but “birched,” in spite of the fact that every public school man in the country knows that the terms are identical?

The Brutalitarian will at least make it impossible for our friends to repeat these errors, for it will frankly, fully, and consistently uphold flogging (under that name), whether with birch, or cane, or “cat,” or any other instrument, as the mainstay of British education.

War and sport, flesh eating and vivisection are all kindred practices which must stand or fall together.

From The Minneapolis Journal, November 11, 1904.

Certain members of the English aristocracy have started a magazine called “The Brutalitarian; a Journal for the Sane and Strong.” It calls the modern finer feelings, “decadent humanitarianism.”

It advocates the revival of the lash and claims for every teacher “the right to whip any pupil under the age of 21.”

Brutalitarian ought to have a tremendous subscription list.

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