Mother Earth/01/05

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Monthly Magazine Devoted to Social Science and Literature

Published Every 15th of the Month

EMMA GOLDMAN. Publisher. P. O. Bo< 217. M.dison Squaro Station. New York. N. Y.

Entered as second-clas mailer April 9, 1906. at the post office al New York. N. Y., under the Act of Congress o! March 3. 1870.

VoL I

JULY, 1906

No. 5

LIGHT!

By Algernon Charles Swinburne. (From 5"o»^-j Before

Light, light, and light! to break and melt in sunder All clouds and chains that in one bondage bind Eyes, hands, and spirits, forged by fear and wonder, And sleek fierce fraud with hidden knife behind; There goes no fire from heaven before their thunder Nor are the links not malleable that -wind Round the snared limbs and souls that ache thereunder; The hands are mighty, were the head not blind.

Priest is the staff of king,

And chains and clouds one thing, And fettered flesh with devastated mind.

Open thy soul to see,

Slave! and thy feet are free; Thy bonds and thy belief are one in kind, And of thy fears thine irons wrought Hang weights upon thee fashioned out of thine own thought.

Observations and Comments

OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS.

The new Immigration Law excludes Anarchists from citizenship. The Solomonian decision that one must believe in organized government in order to be admitted to our hospitable ports is now applied to those who want to be naturalized. Whosoever believeth not in the beneficial mission of State and Government is not worthy of citizenship.

Mutual aversion in matrimony is considered sufficient grounds for divorce. Such aversion exists between the State and Anarchism. Surely, the State will not deny it; much less the Anarchists. Citizenship has no meaning to the latter, since their ideal of human liberty and righteousness goes beyond the narrow bounds of nationality; it is the international republic of free spirits.

Every organized government embodies only the bureaucratic force of the privileged few; to participate in, or be a part of it, is not in keeping with Anarchism.

In reply to our expulsion from citizenship we make the following proposition:—Since the State denies us the rights of citizenship, it must, to be consistent, exempt us from the duties" of citizenship, from the exercise of coercion and invasion. Government should exist for the law-abiding citizens only; those who neither approve, recognize or justify it, must have the right to secede. In appreciation thereof, we promise not to make use of any institution of organized force and violence; not to appeal for assistance or help therefrom; we guarantee that we shall under no circumstances call for the police and the protecting arm of the law; and in conclusion we declare ourselves willing to leave all laws, prisons, judges, jailers and hangmen to the respectable, goody, sensible

section of the community.

  • * *

The recent massacre of the Jews in Bialystock came up for discussion in the Duma the other day. There is no doubt that Tsarism is responsible for the awful persecution and slaughter of the Jews; through its agents it deliberately and carefully prepares the pogroms in order to divert the attention of its people from the real situation in Russia.

During the discussion, the chairman uttered the following very significant words: "It has been charged [3] that the Jews are becoming Anarchists. That is partially true. The Government by oppression is driving the persecuted members of that race to Anarchy. The difference between their status and ours is illustrated by the fact that if a robber enters our homes we have the right to shoot him; but if a Jew resists, troops are summoned and he is shot down as a revolutionist. Lack of lawful protection will make any people the enemies, not only of the present Government, but of all governments."

It is indeed the misfortune of all governments that they strengthen the very element they brutally attempt to suppress; namely, indignation, hatred and opposition

in all classes of society to their bloody regime. * * *

Public opinion had become quite seriously aroused over the Chicago meat-poisoners. It had almost begun to suspect that not only meat, but the entire food of the people, mental food included, is decayed and poisoned by our economy, the aim of which is not the welfare of humanity, but the profit of speculators.

Luckily for Armour, Swift and Nelson Morris, the paternal feelings of the State awakened into activity. Even Upton Sinclair, the Socialist, himself, in touching simplicity of heart, appealed to the President, expressing the hope that the highest magistrate of the land would spare no means to lay low the cattle- and men- destroyers of the stock-yards. Result, an investigation. Public opinion applauded. Oh, what bliss to have a strong- government! One that always calls the millionaires to account. How naive! The entire matter will soon lose itself in smoke and dust.

The meat-investigation, led by the government, is actuated by patriotic motives, of course. Therefore the first consideration must be our export; the primal duty of a capitalistic State must be to conquer and hold markets and not to lose them. A government, the earnest attempt of which were to disclose the unclean methods of the privileged robbers, would have to declare itself bankrupt, and thereby sign its own death warrant.

The truth of the matter is that governmental investigation is always designed to pacify the popular anger over the criminal business practices of men like Armour, Swift et al.

We shall soon be informed that the investigation dis- [4] -closed a few unpleasant features of the stockyards which really cannot be easily avoided in such a tremendous industry, but which will eventually be remedied.

People of this and other countries, you may now buy the stockyard products in good faith! The wisdom of paternal government stands sponsor for them.

In this way the good reputation of our national industry and commerce will be rescued from obloquy. The people will continue to be fed on carcasses and Government will again have proved itself the faithful

agent and patron saint of Capitalism.

  • * *

Too much common sense in this country! Common sense may suffice to discredit the story that the universe was created in six days or the legend of the Virgin Mary and the Child. Equally so may common sense be a necessary adjunct of horse-traders. But common sense is never sufficient to pave the way for great, liberating ideas. To accomplish the latter one must bear in mind the words of the father of Saint Simon. Every morning, when awakening his son, he greeted him with the following words, "Remember, my son, one must have enthusiasm to carry out great deeds."

  • * *

Several years ago the Italian king lamented the fact that his is a very dangerous profession. The same plaint was uttered by the Spanish king during the recent excitement in Madrid. The poor young man seems to eternally see the terrible bombs flying about his long kingly ears. Why will these reigning gentlemen not withdraw from their dangerous profession? Their parasite existence is as useless as it is injurious; it is neither necessary nor beneficial; it is a burden and a curse to humanity.

They really should welcome every bomb-thrower as an omen that their divine right has reached an end.