"There is no reason to complain. Had I been in the judge's place and he in mine, I would have sent him to the gallows inside of twenty-four hours." The attitude of this brave Bohemian boy is superior to that of his older comrades. Louis Lingg understands the situation. He knows that Anarchy has challenged the State. He knows that the State has picked up the gauntlet. He knows that it is a duel to the death.
Both Lingg and his comrades, however, are fatally weak in that they do not really represent Anarchy. They have challenged in Anarchy's name, but to institute and secure one of the most revolting of Archies,—the Archy of compulsory Communism. They propose to win and uphold it by methods the most cruel and bloody. The strength of a righteous cause against tyranny lies in the fact that, as long as it remains itself innocent of offence, its persecution will bring it popular sympathy and aid. The so-called Anarchists of Chicago, by making their cause unrighteous, by announcing their readiness to commit any offences, however enormous, and by standing on a platform of Communistic tyranny, have cast aside this strength, alienated this popular sympathy for injured liberty, and thrown it upon the side of the enemy, And what is worse, by adopting the name of the real friends of Liberty and thus confusing the popular mind as to the character of Anarchy, they perhaps have made it possible for the enemy to carry out, sustained by popular sanction, what it dared not before attempt, from fear of popular rebellion,—the immediate suppression of the true Anarchists, who pursue Liberty as an end through Liberty as a means. If we could have gone on in our own way, we should have grown stronger and stronger, until the State would have had to face the alternative of frank surrender on the one hand, or, on the other, death in the last ditch through sacrificing popular support by assuming the offensive against innocent autonomists. As it is, the road to our sure triumph will probably be a much harder one to travel.
But what of the terrible predicament, it will be asked, in which these men who have injured our cause now find themselves? The answer is ready. They are of the noble few who, however mistaken as to the way of obtaining it, desire universal human comfort and for it are willing to cast their lives into the balance; we will snatch them, therefore, from the jaws of the wild beast, if we consistently can. To that end everything shall be done short of treason to our cause. But
there we stop. If we cannot save these men except by re-