Salvation Army hymn again! "The force of events" within the State will ever lead the attraction of State methods to predominate. The State must go! How? I neither know nor care; I have no patented or unpatented "method" to foist upon a long-suffering community. Let the inevitable come as it will; I can protest then as now. If the "brutal Communists" of Chicago, as Liberty called them, had been more theoretical in their methods, they would not now be lying under the shadow of the gallows for "conspiracy" to resist invasion of individual rights.
In fact, to realize "the method of Anarchy," I am forcibly reminded of an incident which occurred when I risked my life to spread cheap labor over the South. A young lieutenant was sent out with a platoon to make a reconnaissance, and on his march came to a river which was not fordable. Drilled in army methods, he followed his instructions to make a requisition on the quartermaster if he needed anything. "Realizing the power he was exercising and understanding the military situation," he sent in a requisition for a platoon of men eighteen feet high! If he had waited till the water had run by, he might have crossed easily, but then, as now, nature and men remained constant factors.
Sadly, Dyer D. Lum.
It is no wonder that Mr. Lum feels sad. I should feel not only sad, but ashamed, if the responsibility of the above article rested on my shoulders. It is such a bundle of absurdities, such a labyrinth of analogies that cross each other at every turn, such an unmethodical mass of errors, that it is impossible to pursue any method in answering it. There is so little about it that is structural or organic that it must be dealt with more or less at random. Perhaps I shall strike in a not altogether wrong direction if I point out to Mr. Lum that the State which he is trying to abolish is not the State as institution, but simply the existing State. He is like the slave who is so utterly destitute of an idea, so thoroughly incapable of a generalization, in short, so entirely and exclusively practical, that he cannot appreciate the remoter fact that his oppression rests upon an almost universal belief in mastership, but can see no further than the concrete master whose lash he feels. If one of his fellows were to reason from the latter back to the former and seek some method of striking at the foundation of the tyranny, this slave would sneer at him, as Mr. Lum sneers at the "Theoretical Anarchist"; but to one of his fellows who should snatch the lash from the master's hand and beat him to death, though with no other thought than of straightway kneeling to another master, this slave would lift his hat, as Mr. Lum "lifted his hat to the thrower of the Chicago bomb." I care as little as Mr. Lum how the State goes, but I insist that it shall really go,—that it shall be abolished, not reformed. That it cannot be abolished until there shall exist some considerable measure and solid weight of absolute and well-grounded
disbelief in it as an institution is a truth too nearly