Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/457

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
441
METHODS.

down each other. Fatal error, to think they can intimidate the capitalists, who are mostly men of courage and superior to the masses, and as sincere in their opinions as to their rights to the property they control. Then, the rebels will be in small bodies and unable to concentrate, for the authorities will hold the depots and use trains, if they are run at all, to concentrate troops at given points, which the rebels will be unable to reach. This will afford the capitalists an excuse for a strong government, and progress will be retarded. The net gain will be money in the pockets of manufacturers of guns and other war munitions, and a strong government, with loss incalculable to the workers, who will lose some of the liberty they now have, and have to pay the cost of the war. If I could control the men in all these labor organizations, I could, without even lifting a toothpick other than to write with it, in a perfectly quiet way, bring capital to its kneesĀ ; or, if I thought it just and wise, force proprietors to sell their property at cost, or less. A resort to arms is suicidal to the side that initiates it. Moral force once clearly perceived as a social principle will be found to yield inexhaustible working power to defend natural rights. The simplicity of the thing is so apparent when you once strike a true lead that all brute force would cease. What a glorious chance the Irish had to rid themselves of landlords and politicians! Had the no-rent policy been adhered to one year, the landlords would have been beggared. The price of land would have been discovered to have its only basis in monopoly, seizure, legal title. One such success would have opened the eyes of all civilized men to the weakness of brute force in a contest with moral force, and would have shown the ease with which governments could be rendered powerless. What a fraud and shadow they are, terrible only to childish men! If there were a God, he would never forgive Parnell and the priests for furling the no-rent banner. If we could get but one such illustration of passive resistance on a large scale, Anarchy would be an accomplished fact.

I can add nothing to these wise words, nor can I make plainer their valuable lesson.

Leaving now our consideration of the actual throwing of the bomb, surrounding which, as I said, there is some doubt, let us glance a moment at what has happened since, regarding which there can be no doubt. The conduct during the last fortnight of the police, the courts, the pulpit, and the press, including many of the labor organs themselves, has been shameful in the extreme. Mammon's priests have foamed at the mouth; the servants of Plutus who sit in editorial chairs have frothed at the point of the pen; the stalwart graduates of the slums who are licensed and paid to swing shillalahs over the heads of unoffending citizens have shrieked for vengeance; and wearers of judicial ermine on which there is room for no new spots have virtually declared their determination to know no bounds of right, mercy, or decency in dealing with any Anarchist who may be brought before them. Spies and Fielden have been arrested and held for murder, though they are not known to have done anything worse than to speak their minds; nearly every one in Chicago who has dared to avow himself an

An-