By Bayard Boyesen.
I will arise and answer
And swear to any sin
Save that of the market dancer
That wears the painted grin.
And I will hold my measure
Beside the greatest man,
Though I trill the rounds of pleasure
With every harridan.
Though the flesh be weak or taited,
The soul is still aglow,
For never the lie that's painted
Outshone the truths I know.
So when the years are breaking
The boundries of my den
And a tyrant hope's forsaking
The candied darks of men.
I will arise and answer
And thank what gods there be,
Who paid the market dancer
But left the truth to me.
OUR SEVENTH BIRTH DAY
ANOTHER year has rolled on in the young life of, MOTHER EARTH,-and what a life it has, been! Surely it is not claiming too much for this fearless fighter of an unpopular cause, when we say that few revolutionary publications have had such a struggle, or such difficulties and hardships to over-come, as MOTHER EARTH has had in the short span of its existence.
Noone, unless he has himself been on the firing line, can appreciate what it means to face a world of prejudice, of relentless opposition, and mental inertia, not only in the enemy's camp, but even on the part of those who are more or less akin to the mission of our magazine. The transition stage is no easy period for any of us; but hardest it is for those who have only half broken with the Old, and are not yet ready to accept the New, or to understand their own comrades who will persist in pursuing a new course.
Therefore the reason is not far to seek why some of the very people, whose ideas MOTHER EARTH represents; have remained rather indifferent to the fierce battle it had to wage to assert itself against all odds.
But our magazine has asserted itself, unflinchingly, for six years, without compromise or weakening, till now; its seventh birthday. The last year has been a particularly trying one for many reasons, chief among them the effort of realizing the dream baby, Alexander Berkman's book. A dream baby, indeed. Its realization has taken almost as long a time, and by far greater travail and difficulty, as it took Darwin to gather his material for the revolutionizing of science, -just 20 years. True, the book will not revolutionize anything except the lives of those who have conceived and nurtured the child in pain. But for MOTHER EARTH the dream would still be far away from reality, and if the perseverant little fighter had accomplished nothing else, it may well be content that it has lived long enough to see its most fervent hope realized.
Verily, the seventh birthday is the most significant in the career of MOTHER EARTH. The Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, by the editor and coworker, is not only born, but it is getting ready to send forth its greetings to every part of the world, a living witness of what love and zeal for a great purpose can accomplish.
But there is another vital event this day of birth, the return to our shores of the brilliant foster-father of our magazine" Paul Orleneff. It was his genius that earned the means for the first baby outfit of M. E. Possibly that may account for the struggle it has had to make: anything that would be worthy of the friendship of such an uncompromising spirit as Orleneff must itself never swerve from its lofty goal.
Paul Orleneff is still the freelance and rebel of freedom in art, the only atmosphere in which real art can truly express itself. He is greater, deeper, and more sublime than on his first visit. Hence his struggle must be more difficult than ever. But whatever his disappointments, he knows at least that his foster baby, MOTHER EARTH, has stood the test of fire and has emerged greater in fortitude, more passionately than ever the spokesman of freedom and beauty against all the ugliness and pettiness that has turned the world into a vale of tears.
The age of miracles is no more. Instead, this age requires almost superhuman perseverance to accomplish its difficult tasks,-and if MOTHER EARTH had done nothing else, but prove what perseverance and a strong will to do and dare can accomplish, it has surely not lived in vain. After all, the world judges by results, not by the price or effort entailed, and our magazine itself is the supreme result.
Mothers are proverbially partial, hence unable to give a fair estimate of the worth of their child. Yet it is not altogether partiality, when I say that a publication which is always on the firing line, ever the enemy of all social and moral values, always attacking the cherished institutions of the average self-satisfied philistine, ever pointing to the new light that is slowly but inevitably rising out of the clouds upon the social firmament, one that caters to none, not even its own comrades, one whose path has been quite solitary, with but few kind friends to minister to the needs of the lone wanderer, must have filled some vital need in this wilderness of ideas, this slaughterhouse of ideals, America. Else it would have gone under long before its seventh birthday.
No doubt, MOTHER EARTH could have done more if only its friends were more numerous, or at least more interested in the growth and development of the magazine. An encouraging sign of both was demonstrated by our good comrade, M. H. Woolman, who through the generous contribution of a 100 new subscribers increased the number of M. E. readers by 500. If more of our faithful few would emulate the example of Comrade Woolman, the magazine would not merely be safe from troubled waters, but the energies thus conserved could be turned to good intellectual account. We must therefore on this birthday occasion, as on previous ones, turn to those devoted friends who have stood by MOTHER EARTH through all the stress and strain of the last six years, and appeal to them further to extend their solidaric aid and to help us at least with as many new adherents as we have gained during last year. If there is anyone prosperous or ardent enough to follow the example of our good Comrade Woolman, to open up a new offer to subscribers, we feel confident that we can get others to follow suit. Or if our friends will undertake to get us 5 new subscribers, we will meet their efforts with a copy of Brieux's plays. This is not to be taken in the sense of bribery. We make this offer because Brieux's plays ought to be read by every radical, yet the price of the book-$1.50-makes it prohibitive for the very people who would most enjoy and benefit by it. On the other hand, no expense except a little interest in our magazine is entailed in getting 5 subscriptions. Hence our offer.
Friends, MOTHER EARTH is more determined than ever to live and fight. But to live longer and fight stronger it needs your support and assistance as the inspiring force that urges it onward to ever greater tasks, to bigger and more daring efforts in the battle for our ideal of human brotherhood and freedom.
OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS
ADVOCATES of the Zodiac theory no doubt have an explanation for the "Ides of March." We have not. We do know, however, that March is the Red Month, and the present one bids fair to rival that of I87I. True, we see no Commune on the horizon; but the month starts off very well.
The Coal Strike in England, and the one threatened here, are inspiring spectacles. For the second time within a year "effete" old England has made the world marvel at her virility. Germany with her "four million Socialist votes" becomes pathetic in her backwardness in the face of this marvelous exhibition of solidarity on the part of the British workers.
The lesson of these two strikes cannot fail to impress the workers everywhere with their power. Perhaps it is premature to say that these events prophesy the breakdown of the capitalist system, with its age-long superstitions. It is, however, the greatest strike in history, and the, end of the lane seems nearer than it did. We do not, of course, expect the impossible. Still, some of the Tax Reformers-they have them in plenty in England-and the "Perfect-Gentleman Revolutionists" may get a headache thinking how much more effect Direct Action is than political action. Revolutionary action is not according to Hoyle, and the capitalist always likes to play the game according to rules, provided he makes the rules. Perhaps in time even the "intellectuals" of the Socialist party may see the light. We decline to speculate on the improbable, however.
All hail to the British miners who are blazing the trail so that their more near-sighted brothers may see it. In this connection we have pleasure in submitting the following appeal from Union No. I06, Western
Federation of Miners, and would ask all exchanges to reprint the same.
Bisbee, Arizona, Feb. 25, I912.
We, the members of Bisbee Miners Union No. 106 W. F. M., in regular meeting assembled, unanimously resolve that:
Whereas the coal miners of Great Britain are about to be engaged in a gigantic struggle with the master class, and realizing the, necessity of concerted action along industrial lines;
Therefore we ask the General Officers of the Western Federation of Miners to communicate with the United Mine Workers of America to the end that no coal be mined for, or shipped to, Great Britain during the impending strike.
Be it further resolved that a copy of the above resolution be forwarded to the labor press throughout the country for publication.
E. J. MACCOSHAM,
B. F. COUGHLAN,
Resolution Committee. Secretary Bisbee Miners' Union, No. 106.
* * *
THE industrial revolution at Lawrence, Mass., still continues, with the prospect of victory in the air. Already the employers have offered a 5 percent increase, but the mill workers refuse to accept it. The average wage is $6.00 a week for 60 hours, or ten cents an hour. The two hours the legislature very kindly legislated off, without providing for the twenty cents to be left on, reduces the net gain for the workers, if they accept this offer, to just ten cents a week. Fortunately the workers have some real bona-fide revolutionists in "Bill" Haywood, James Thompson, Gurley Flynn, and others, to point this out. As a result, the offer has been rejected.
Although the workers out on strike number but 22,000, the whole country is aware of the struggle. The investigation now going on at Washington, with "Mrs. Taft as an interested witness, has disclosed things that would shock a' Red Indian. Two of the strike leaders have been arrested on a charge so absurd that it must make the law-abiding citizen-not peculiarly interested-blush for shame. It is probably the first
time in a strike that men have been arrested for killing one of their own people. Held on the only charge that is unbailable,' murder, a writ of habeas corpus is denied them; yet the son of an ex-mayor of Lawrence is released on $2,000 bail on a charge of "planting enough dynamite to blow Lawrence off the map."
As if this were not enough, the authorities commit acts that make even the plutocratic New York Sun protest. The brutalities perpetrated upon women and children have never been surpassed even in this glorious country. It has come to this, that parents are not allowed to send their children out of the city. Babies are torn from their parents' arms, and the parents arrested, for what? Cruelty. The reason for all this is obvious. The mill owners want the children to remain in the beleaguered city, hoping that when the parents see the little ones cry from hunger, they will submit to the tyranny of their masters.
A few weeks ago the press of the country stormed and raved at the brutality of the McNamarras, and even some good friends of ours wanted to know if there "was no other way." "Try love," some say. Take the first train to Lawrence, and try love on those "monsters with the bloody lips," as Galsworthy calls them, and see how effective love will be. Strange that love never seems to improve the workers' condition: it requires blood and tears. We would it were otherwise; but, then, we are not running this universe. That's Jehovah's job, and blood and tears are a specialty of his.
Win or lose, the workers of Lawrence have shown a spirit magnificent, and we hold out our hand to them in the brave struggle they are making, not only for themselves, but for future generations. In connection with the Lawrence strike, we wish to call the attention of all sympathizers to the Fair and Ball to be held Monday, March 18, at Murray Hill Lyceum. The affair, held under the auspices of the Lawrence Strike Committee of New York, is for the benefit of the strikers, and it is hoped that every friend of labor will contribute to the success of the undertaking.
* * *
THE Republic of China has been officially pro- claimed, but the usual violence that goes with a transition period is now on. Conflicting stories are told in the daily dispatches, and therefore it is difficult to know the exact situation. Yuan, who held on to the Manchus to the last desperate moment, was literally kicked into the Presidency in the hope of staving off disorder. Order usually means that the masses should submit to be exploited by some party, for fear the other party may get in power. Whatever the outcome, we sincerely hope that the Chinese people realize that resistance to tyranny is the only means of getting rid of the tyrant, and that some measure of alleviation may result from their struggle.
* * *
THE Brandt case is another instance of what wealth can do. The unsavory details have been told on page after page of the daily press. And yet we fancy not all of them have been told even at that. We venture they never will. The strangest burglar of modern times is this Brandt, if the stories told are true. He walks through five doors, all conveniently open. Goes to Mr. Schiff's room, stays there two hours, until the latter comes home. He hits him with a rolling-pin, after which Schiff has a diplomatic conversation with him, gives him $50.00, and sees him to the door, first making an appointment to meet him at his office. Brandt comes there two days later, is examined by two distinguished alienists, who decide he is sane. He is then arrested, and cross-examined by a judge, who proceeds to sentence him on a plea of guilty -which ordinarily is supposed to bring with it some leniency- to thirty years in prison. He is railroaded to Sing Sing, but as that prison is rather near New York, he is transferred' to Dannemora, which is supposed to be for consumptive prisoners, although Brandt is not consumptive. He is kept there five years, and when an application for pardon is made, the Governor of the State refuses it, and attempts to seal the papers. In short, everything possible is done to keep the man in prison, and all because he was supposed to have stolen two stick pins valued at $200.00. Three of the leading law firms of the State have been retained at enormous expense, to send this poor wretch back to serve what one of Schiff's lawyers called "only eighteen years."
Why is all this? We are not prophets, but we venture a guess: the truth will not come out. Brandt will be released, and the thing will die. It is a brilliant commentary on our judicial system. This case has proven to the hilt everything we Anarchists have ever said about the power of money to corrupt the police, courts, governors. It is one more nail in the coffin of legal superstition, and for that it was worthwhile.
* * *
THE days of the Amazon seems to have returned, according to the reports from England of the doings of the Suffragettes. Their behavior is most "un lady-like." Thank God -and the Constitution- we have none of that in this country! But, then, these British ladies are made of sterner stuff. It must be trying to the nerves these days to be a Cabinet Minister in dear old England. We wonder they don't give John Burns the job of looking after these revolutionists: he's been one, and he ought to know how to deal with them.
As to ourselves, we await with equanimity the advent of women into Parliament and Congress. We are not enthusiastic over the outlook, but we are consoled by the fact that it can't be worse than it is. What a pity the women have such a small vision! In this case it seems to us to be about the size of a ten-cent piece. If they would only strike for freedom instead of power-but, then, power is an attractive jade, and that's where the trouble lies.
* * *
ROOSEVELT reminds us of Chantecler before the Hen Pheasant made love to him. He still insists that it's his crow that causes the sun to rise. He has come forth with the declaration that he is willing to save us for the third time. It's a car ticket to a lead nickel he will win. The unthinking mass takes him at his own valuation-which is ridiculously high. Thank God -as Thoreau said- we never read a President's message; and, we would add, nor a Roosevelt speech.
How long, Oh, Lord, how long will men allow themselves to be humbugged by this charlatan with the lungs of a stentor and the brains of an infant?
* * *
IT IS NOT amiss to remind our friends of the Commune Festival and Seventh MOTHER EARTH Birthday Celebration on March 15th, at Terrace Lyceum, 206 East Broadway. The MOTHER EARTH family will hold its annual reunion upon the occasion.
* * *
THE COMMUNE IS RlSEN
By VOLTAIRINE DE CLEYRE.
"They say 'She is dead'; the Commune is dead';
That 'If she were living her earthquake tread.
Would scatter the honeyless hornets' hive.'
I am not dead, nor yet asleep;
Nor tardy, though my steps seem slow;
Nor feeble from the centuries' sweep;
Nor cold, though chill the north winds blow.
My legions muster in all lands.
From field, from factory, from mine,
The workers of the world join hands
Across the centuries and brine."
NEVER since those lines were sung by the great unknown poet, whose heart shone red through his words, has the pulse of the world beat so true a response as it is beating now. We do not stand to-day as mourners at the bier of a Dead Cause, but with the joy of those who behold it living in the Resurrection.
What was it the Commune proclaimed? With what hope did it greet the world? And why did it fall? The Commune proclaimed the autonomy of Paris. It broke the chain that fettered her to the heels of her step-mother, the State,-that State which had left her at the mercy of the Prussian besiegers, refusing to relieve her or allow her to relieve herself; that State which with a debt saddled upon the unborn bought off the Prussians, that it might revenge itself upon Paris, the beautiful rebel, and keep the means of her exploitation in its own hands.
The Commune was a splendid effort to break the tyranny of the centralized domination with which modern societies are cursed; a revolt at artificial ties, which express no genuine social union, the outgrowth of constructive social work, but only the union of oppression, -the union of those who seek to perfect an engine of tyranny to guarantee their possessions. "Paris is a social unit," said the communards; "Paris is, within itself, an organic whole. Paris needs no out-side shell of coercion to hold it together. But Paris owes no subservient allegiance to that traitorous tool at Versailles, which calls itself the government of France; nothing to those who have left us unaided to be mowed by the Prussian guns. And Paris repudiates Versailles. "We shall fight, we shall work, we shall live for ourselves."
This was the word of the Commune, spoken to the world in the wild morning of the year 1871. And the hope it built upon was this: When France beholds Paris fighting, the dream of '48 will rise again; and all her communes will proclaim their freedom, even as we. And then we are bound to win, for the Versailles government cannot conquer a revolt which breaks out everywhere. And France once kindled, the peoples of other nations will likewise rise; and this monster, "the State," which is everywhere devouring liberty, will be annihilated.
This was the hope that lit the eyes of the Commune with dreaming fire, that March day, forty-one years ago. The hope was doomed to disappointment; within three months the glorious rebel fell. She had called, but the response did not come. Why? Because she had not asked enough. Because making war upon the State, she had not made war upon that which creates the State, that to preserve which the State exists.
With the scrupulous, pitiful Conscience with Authority has cunningly bred in men, the Commune had respected property; had kept its enemy's books, and duly handed over the balances; had starved itself to feed its foes; had left common resources in private hands. And when McMahon's troops rode sobering through the streets of Paris, when Gallifet the butcher was dashing out children's brains with his own devil's hands upon her conquered pavements, the very horses they rode, the very sabers that cut, had been paid for by the murdered.
Every day, throughout the life of the Commune, the Bank of France had been allowed to transmit the sinews of war to Versailles, the social blood been drained to supply the social foe.
What appeal could so suicidal a course make to downright human nature, which, even in its utmost ignorance and simplicity, would say at once: "Feed the enemy! And starve myself! For what then shall I fight?"
In short, though there were other reasons why the Commune fell, the chief one was that in the hour of necessity, the Communards were not Communists. They attempted to break political chains without breaking Economic ones; and it cannot be done.
Moreover the Paris Commune was faced by a problem which will forever face revolting cities with a terrible question mark,-the problem of food supply. Only the revoltee in control of the food-sources themselves can maintain his revolt indefinitely. Never till the rebels of industrial fields have joined their forces with agrarian labor,-or seized the land and themselves made it yield -can industrial or political revolt be anything more than futile struggling for a temporary gain which will alter nothing.
And this is the splendid thing which we have lived to see,-the rebellion of the landworker against the feudalism of Lord Syndicate; the revoltee maintaining himself upon that which he has wrested from the enemy; the red banner of the Commune floating no longer on the wall of a besieged city, but in the open field of expropriated plantations, or over the rock-ribbed, volcano-built forts, whereto the free-riding guerilla fighter retreats after his dash against the lords of the soil.
I cannot speak for others. I cannot say how my comrades have felt during the long stagnant years, when spring after spring we have come together to repeat dead men's names and deeds, and weep over those whose bones lie scattered from Cayenne to New Caledonia. I know that for myself I often felt I was doing a weary and a useless thing, wearing out a habit, so to speak, trying to warm my cold hands at a painted fire. For all these years since we of this generation have lived in America, there has been no stirring movement of the people of this continent to do a deed worth doing. We have listened with curious fascination to our elders' stories of the abolition movement; we have welcomed the Russian revolutionists, and enviously listened to their accounts of deeds done or, undone. We have watched the sharp crossing of weapons here and there in the ominous massing of Capital and Labor against each other all around us; but we have known perfectly well that there was little place for us in that combat, till it shall assume other lines than those which dominate it now, till it shall proclaim other purposes and other means.
All in' vain it was for us to" try to waken any profound enthusiasm in ourselves over the struggle of some limited body of workers, asking for a petty percent of wage. We understand too well that such a fight determines nothing, is like the continuous slipping backward of the feet in an attempt to climb a hill of gliding sand.
But now has come this glorious year of 1911-12, this year of world-wide revolt. Out of the enigmatic East a great storm sweeps; and though but little of its real breadth and height is visible or comprehensible to us, we understand so much: the immemorial silence has been broken, the crouching figure has up-straightened. The sources of our information are such that we cannot tell whether the economic regeneration of enslaved China has actually begun, or the revolt is political merely as our reports make it appear. Whichever it may be, one thing is certain: China is no longer motionless; she is touched with the breath of life; she struggles.
Across the sea, in the island of our stolid forbears, a portentous sound has risen from the depths; in the roots of human life, in coal-caverns, Revolt speaks. And England faces Famine; faces the Property-system, faces a mighty army of voluntarily idle men; beholds the upper and the nether stone of economic folly, and feels the crunching of those merciless wheels, and underground the earthquake rumbles wide,-France, Germany, Austria-the mines growl.
And yet this mighty massing, inspiring and threatening as it is, is for a petty demand-a minimum wage! Such situations produce enlightenment; at any moment the demand may change to "The Mines for the Miners"; but as yet it has not come.
Only here in our America, on this continent cursed with land-grabbing syndicates, into whose unspoiled fatness every devouring shark has set his triple row of teeth,-this land whose mercenary spirit is the butt of Europe--only here, under the burning Mexican sun, 'we know men are revolting for something; for the great, common, fundamental economic right, before which all others fade,-the right of man to the earth. Not in concentrated camps and solid phalanxes; not at the breath of some leader's word; but over all the land, from the border to Yucatan, animated by spontaneous desire and resolution, in mutually gathered bands, as freemen fight, not uniformed slaves. And leaders come, and leaders go; they use the revolution and the revolution uses them; but whether they come or go, the land battle goes on.
In that quickening soil, the sower's response is ready; and the peasant uproots his master's sugar cane and tobacco, replanting corn and beans instead, that himself and the fighting bands may have sustenance. He does not make the mistake that Paris made; he sends no munitions to the enemy; he is an unlettered man, but he knows the use of the soil. And no man can make peace with him, unless that use is guaranteed to him. He has suffered so long and so terribly under the hell of land ownership, that he has determined on death in revolt rather than resubmission to its slavery.
Stronger and stronger blows the hurricane, and those who listen to the singing in the wind know that Senator Lodge was right when he said: "I am against intervention, but it's like having a fire next door."
That fire is burning away the paper of artificial land holding. That fire is destroying the delusion that any human creature on the face of the earth has the right to keep any other from going straight to the sources of life, and using them. That fire is shooting a white illumination upon the labor struggle, which will make the futile wage war conducted in the United States look like baby's play.
Yes, honorable Senators and Congressmen, the house next door is on fire-the house of Tyranny, the house of Shame, the house that is built by Robbery and Extortion, out of the sold bodies of .a hapless race-its murdered men, its outraged women, its orphaned babies.
Yes, it is on fire. And let it burn,-burn to the ground-utterly. And do not seek to quench it by pouring out the blood of the people of the United States, in a vile defense of those financial adventurers who wear the name American. They undertook to play the game; let them play it to a finish; let them stand man to man against the people they have robbed, tortured, exiled.
Let it crumble to the ground, that House of Infamy; and if the burning gleeds fly hitherward, and the rotten structure of our own life starts to blaze, welcome, thrice welcome, purifying fire, that shall set us, too, upon the earth once more,-free men upon free land,-no tenant dwellers on a landlord's domain.' In the roar of that fire we hear the Commune's "earthquake tread," and know that out of the graves at Pere-la-chaise, out of the trenches of Satory, out of the fever-plains of Guiana; out of the barren burial sands of Caledonia, the Great Ghost has risen, crying across the world, Vive la Commune!
MANIFESTO OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION
Manifesto issued by the Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party, September 23, 1911, scattered at that time broadcast and republished in its official organ, Regeneracion, January 20, 1912
The Organizing Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party views with sympathy your efforts to put in practice the lofty ideals of political, economic and social emancipation, the triumph of which on earth will bring to an end the already sufficiently extensive quarrel between man and man, which has its origin in that inequality of fortune which springs from the principle of private property.
To abolish that principle means to annihilate all the political, economic, social, religious and moral institutions that form the environment within which are asphxiated the free initiative and the free association of human being who, that they may not perish, find themselves obliged to carry on among themselves a frenzied competition from which there issue triumphant not the best, not the most self-sacrificing, not those most richly endowed, physically, morally or intellectually, but the most crafty, the most egotistic, the least scrupulous, the hardest-hearted, those who place their own well-being above all considerations of human solidarity and human justice.
But for the principle of private property there would be no reason for government, which is needed solely to keep the disinherited from going to extremes in their complaints or rebellions against those who have got into their possession the social wealth. Nor would be there any reason for the church, whose exclusive object is to strangle in the human being the innate spirit of revolt against oppression and exploitation, by the preaching of patience, of resignation and of humility; silencing the cries of the most powerful and fruitful instincts by the practice of immoral penances, cruel and injurious to personal health, and-that the poor may not aspire to the enjoyment of this earth and become a danger to the privileges of the rich-by promising the humblest, the most resigned, the most patient, a heaven located in the infinite, beyond the farthest stars the eye can reach.
Capital, Authority, the Church-there you have the sombre trinity that makes of this beauteous earth a paradise for those who, by cunning, violence, and crime, have been successful in gathering into their clutches the product of the toiler's sweat, of the blood, of the tears and sacrifices of thousands of generations of workers; but a hell for those who, with muscle and intelligence, till the soil, set the machinery in motion, build the houses and transport the products. Thus humanity remains divided into two classes whose interests are diametrically opposed-the capitalist class and the working class; the class that has possession of the land, the machinery of production and the means of transporting wealth, and the class that must rely on its muscle and intelligence to support itself.
Between these two social classes there cannot exist any bond of friendship or fraternity, for the possessing class always seeks to perpetuate the existing economic, political and social system which guarantees it tranquil enjoyment of the fruits of its robberies, while the working class exerts itself to destroy the iniquitous system and institute one in which the land, the houses, the machinery of production and the means of transportation shall be for the common use.
Mexicans! The Mexican Liberal Party recognizes that every human being, by the very fact of his having come into life, has a right to enjoy each and everyone of the advantages modern civilization offers, because those advantages are the product of the efforts and sacrifices of the working class from all time.
The Mexican Liberal Party recognizes labor as necessary for the subsistance of the individual and society, and accordingly all, save the aged, the crippled, the incapacitated and children, ought to dedicate themselves to the production of something useful for the satisfaction of their necessary wants.
The Mexican Liberal Party recognizes that the so called right of individual property is an iniquitous right, because it subjects the greater number of human beings to toil and suffering for the satisfaction and ease of a small number of capitalists.
The Mexican Liberal Party recognizes that Authority and the Church are the supports of the iniquity of Capital, and, therefore, The Organizing Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party has solemnly declared war against Authority, war against Capital, and war against the Church.
Against Capital, Authority and the Church the Mexican Liberal Party has hoisted the Red Flag on Mexico's fields of action, where our brothers are battling like lions, disputing victory with the hosts of bourgeoisdom, be those hosts Maderists, Reyists, Vazquists, Cientificos or what not, since all such propose merely to put in office some one as first magistrate of the nation, in order that under his shelter they may do business without any consideration for the mass of Mexico's population, inasmuch as, one and all, they recognize as sacred the right of individual property.
In these moments of confusion so propitious for the attack on oppression and exploitation; in these moments in which Authority, weakened, unbalanced, vacillating, attacked on every side by unchained passions, by tempests of appetites that have sprung into life, and hope immediately to glut themselves; in these moment of anxiety, agony and terror on the part of the privileged, compact masses of the disinherited are invading the lands, burning the title deeds, laying their creative hands on the soil and threatening with their fists all that was respectable yesterday-Authority, Capital, the Clergy. They are turning the furrow, scattering the seed and await, with emotion, the first fruit of free labor.
These, Mexicans, are the first practical results of the propaganda and of the action of soldiers of the proletariat, of the generous upholders of our equalitarian principles, of our brothers who are bidding defiance to all imposition and all exploitation with the cry-a cry of death for all those above, but of life and hope for all those below-"Long Live Land and Liberty."
Expropriation must be pursued to the end, at all costs, while this grand movement lasts. This is what has been done and is being done by our brothers of Morelos, of Southern Puebla, of Michoacan, of Guerrero, Veracruz, of the Northern portion of the State of Tamaulipas, of Durango, Sonora, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and parts of other States, as even the Mexican bourgeois press itself has had to confess. There the proletariat has taken possession of the land without waiting for a paternal government to deign to make it happy, for it knows that nothing good is to be expected of governments and that the emancipation of the workers must be the task of the workers themselves.
These first acts of expropriation have been crowned with most pleasing success; but they must not be limited to taking possession of the land and the implements of agriculture alone. There must be a resolute taking possession of all the industries by those working in them, who should bring it about similarly that the lands, the mines, the factories, the workshops, the foundries, the railroads, the shipping, the stores of all kinds and the houses shall be in the power of each and everyone of the inhabitants, without disinction of sex.
The inhabitants of each region in which such an act of supreme justice has been effected will only have to agree that all that is found in the stores, warehouses, granaries, etc., shall be brought to a place easy of access by all, where men and women of reliability can make an exact inventory of what has been collected and can calculate the time it will last.-the necessities and the number of inhabitants that will have to use it being taken into account-from the moment of expropriation until the first crops shall have been raised and the other industries shall have turned out their first products.
When such an inventory has been made the workers in the different industries will understand, fraternally and among themselves, how to so regulate production that none shall want while this movement is going on, and that only those who are not willing to work shall die of hunger-the aged, the incapacitated, and the children, who have a right to enjoy all, being excepted.
Everything produced will be sent to the community's general store, from which all will have the right to take what their necessities require, on the exhibition of proof that they are working at such and such an industry.
The human being aspires to satisfy wants with the least possible expenditure of effort, and the best way to obtain that result is to work the land and other industries in common. If the land is divided up and each family takes a piece there will be grave danger of falling anew into the capitalist system, since there will not be wanting men of cunning or grasping habits who may get more than others and in the long run exploit their fellows. Apart from that danger is the fact that if each family works its little patch of land it will have to toil as much or more than it does to-day under the system of individual property to obtain the miserable result now achieved; but, if there is joint ownership of the land and the peasants work it in common, they. will toil less and produce more. Of course there will be enough for each to have his own house and a ground-plot for his own pleasure. What has been said as to working the land in common applies to working the factories, workshops, etc., in common. Let each, according to his temperament, tastes, and inclinations choose the kind of work that suits him best, provided he produces sufficient to cover his necessary wants' and does not become a charge on the community.
Operating in the manner pointed out, that is to say, expropriation being followed immediately by the organization of production, free of masters and based on the necessities of the inhabitants of each region, nobody will suffer want, in spite of the armed movement going on, until the time when, that movement having terminated with the disappearance of the last bourgeois and the last agent of authority, and the law which upholds privilege having been shattered, everything having been placed in the hands of the toilers, we shall meet in fraternal embrace and celebrate with cries of joy the inauguration of a system that will guarantee to every human being Bread and Liberty.
Mexicans! It is for this the Mexican Liberal Party is struggling. For this a Pleiades of heroes is spilling its generous blood, fighting under the Red Flag to the famous cry of "Land and Liberty."
The Liberals have not laid down their arms despite the treaty of peace made by the traitor Madero with the tyrant Diaz, or despite the offers of the bourgeoisie which proposed to fill its pockets with gold. It has acted thus because we Liberals are men who are convinced that political liberty does not benefit the poor but only the place hunters, and our object is not to obtain offices or distinctions, but to take everything out of the hands of the bourgeoisie that it may be put in the power of the workers.
Whichever one of them may triumph the activity of the different political bands who are now disputing among themselves for supremacy will result in exactly what happened under the tyrant Porfirio Diaz, since no man, however well-intentioned he may be, can do anything in favor of the poor class when he finds himself in power. That activity has produced the present chaos, and we, the disinherited, ought to take advantage of the special circumstances in which the country finds itself, in order to put in practice, without loss of time on the spot, the ideals of the Mexican Liberal Party. We should not wait to carry expropriation into effect until peace has been made, for by that time the supplies in the stores, granaries, warehouses, and other places of deposit will have been exhausted. Moreover, owing to the state of war prevailing throughout the country, production will have been suspended and the sequel of the struggle will be famine. But if we carry expropriation and the organization of labor into effect during the struggle no one will be in lack of the necessaries of life then or afterwards.
Mexicans! If you wish to be free once more, struggle only for the Mexican Liberal Party. All others are offering you political liberty when they have triumphed. We Liberals invite you to take immediate possession of the land, the machinery, the means of transportation and the buildings, without expecting anyone to give them to you and without waiting for any law to decree it, since the laws are not made by the poor but by the gentry, who take good care not to make any against the interests of their caste.
It is the duty of us poor people to work and struggle to break the chains that make us slaves. To leave the solution of our problems to the educated and rich is to put ourselves voluntarily in their clutches. We, the plebeians; we, the tatterdemalions; we, the starvelings; we who have no place wherein to lay our heads and live tortured by uncertainty as to whence will come to-morrow's bread for our women and little ones; we, who when we have reached old age, are ignominiously discharged because we can no longer work; it is for us to make powerful efforts and a thousand sacrifices to destroy to its lowest foundations the edifice of the old society which has been a fond mother to the rich and vicious and a hard-hearted stepmother to the workers and the virtuous.
All the ills that aflict humanity spring from the existing system which compels the majority to toil and sacrifice itself that a privileged minority may satisfy its wants and even its caprices while living in ease and vice.
The evil would be less if all the poor were guranteed work, but production is not regulated. for the satisfaction of the needs of the workers but for what the bourgeoisie want, and they so manage things that it shall not exceed their capacity of expenditure. Hence the periodic stoppage of industry, or restriction of the number of workers, which proves' also how perfect is the machinery operated for the advantage of the rich by the proletariat.
To make an end of all this it is necessary that the workers take into their own hands the land and the machinery of production, so that they themselves may regulate the production of wealth in accordance with their own needs.
Robbery, prostitution, assassination, incendiarism, swindling-these are the products of the system that places men and women in conditions in which, that they may not die of hunger, they find themselves obliged to take where they can or prostitute themselves; for, in the majority of cases, even though they have the greatest desire to work, no work is to be had or it is so badly paid that there is no getting the sum necessary to satisfy the most imperious necessities of the individual and his family. Moreover, the long hours of work under the present capitalist system, and the conditions under which it is carried on, in a short time make an end of the worker's health and even of his life. These industrial catastrophes have their origin solely in the contempt with which the capitalist class looks on those who sacrifice themselves for it.
Irritated as is the poor man by the injustice of which he is the victim; angered by the luxury flaunted in his face by those who do nothing; beaten on the street by the policeman for the crime of being poor; compelled to hire out his labor on tasks distasteful to him; badly remunerated; despised by all who know more than he does or who, having money, think themselves the superiors of those who have none; having in prospect an old age of bitter sorrow and the death of an animal turned out of the stable as unserviceable; disquieted from day to day by the possibility of being without work; obliged to regard as enemies even the members of his own class, since he knows not who among them will offer his services for less than he himself is earning-it is natural that in such circumstances there should be developed in the human being antisocial instincts and that crime, prostitution, and disloyalty should be the inevitable fruits of the old and hateful system we are trying to destroy, to its very lowest roots, that we may create in its stead a new one of love, of equality, of justice, of fraternity, of liberty.
Rise, all of you, as one man! In the hands of all are tranquillity, well-being, liberty, the satisfaction of all healthy appetities. But we must not leave ourselves to the guidance of directors. Let each be master of himself. Let all be arranged by the mutual consent of free individualities. Death to slavery! Death to hunger!, Long life to "Land and Liberty!"
Mexicans I With hand on heart and with a tranquil conscience we formally and solemnly appeal to you all, men and women alike, to embrace the lofty ideals of the Mexican Liberal Party. As long as there are rich and poor, governors and governed, there will be no peace, nor is it to be desired that there should be; for such a peace would be founded on the political, economic. and social inequality of millions of human beings who suffer hunger, outrages, the prison and death, while a small minority enjoys pleasures and liberties of all kinds for doing nothing.
On with the struggle! On with expropriation, for the benefit of all and not of the few! This is no war of bandits, but of men and women who desire that all may be brothers and enjoy, as such, the good things to which nature invites us and which the brawn and intelligence of man have created, the one condition being that each should devote himself to truly useful work.
Liberty and well-being are within our grasp. The same effort and the same sacrifices that are required to raise to power a governor-that is to say, a tyrant-will achieve the expropriation of the fortunes the rich keep from you. It is for you, then, to choose. Either a new governor-that is to say, a new yoke-or life-redeeming expropriation and the abolition of all imposition, be that imposition religious, political or of any other kind.
LAND AND, LIBERTY!
Signed in the city of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America, September 23, 1911.
RICARDO FLORES MAGON,
ANSELMO L. FIGUEROS
ENRIQUE FLORES, MAGON,
ANTONIO DE P. ARAUJO.
THE POWER OF THE IDEAL
The man I touch, there awakens in his blood a burning fever, that shall lick his blood as fire. The fever that I will give him shall be cured when his life is cured.-Olive Schreiner, in "A Dream of Wild Bees."
TWENTY years ago the Power of the Ideal touched my soul, and there awakened a burning fever. I thought then that the cure is the most desirable thing in all the world, the thing one must strive for, the thing so close at hand.
Since then I have learned that the inexorable, implacable. Power of the Ideal concerns itself not with the cure; that it is itself the cure, that shall lick your blood like fire. This, too, I have come to know, that he who will be cured must forswear the Ideal. N ever again shall the fierce, inspiring light lure him to its lofty heights; never again shall he know the longing for the thing that awakened him to life. Such is the fate of him who has forsworn the Ideal.
Twenty years play but a small part in the 'eternity of time; yet in the face of disheartening, discouraging, and paralyzing events, twenty years themselves are an eternity. But once the fever is awakened, time and space become obliterated, blood and tears are wiped out, all pain and sorrow put to naught, by the compelling Power of the Ideal.
For a brief period it seemed almost as if American labor had been touched by the magic hand, as if its soul had been born to life with the burning fever to lick its blood as fire. But it was a false alarm, a mere symptom mistaken for the real thing. The danger is now safely locked away behind the iron bars of St. Quentin prison, and American labor has fallen back into its usual state of mental inertia and spiritual apathy. They saw in the McNamaras merely the cure; but to the force that consumed the two brothers as with the burning fever, the American workers remained blind and indifferent.
Thus the truism has again proven itself that they who aim but for the cure are doomed to die. It matters not of what nature the cure: it is never aught but a drug, never aught but an apology for the dying fires of the ideal, too weak to kindle into life the burning fever that shall lick one's blood as fire.
Nowhere is this truism borne out with greater force than among those who pass as Socialists to-day. Time was when they' were awake with a burning fever, 'when the illuminating light on the mountain top drew them on with impelling force. But that time is no more. Instead, the Socialists are now content with the cure,-the most dangerous of all cures, the politic cure, which has drugged their ideal to sleep, and completely extinguished the fever within them.
In Cleveland and Lorain, in Elyria and Columbus, in Dayton and Indianapolis, in St. Louis and Chicago, the political quacks are busy concocting the pills that are to bring the cure. Woe be to him or her who refuses the proscribed dose. They are anathema, and must be stoned to death. Like the Catholic Church, the Socialist machine has become the relentless, blind foe of the Ideal.
In Cleveland the machine dictates who of its members may be permitted to face the heathen Anarchist in public debate. In Lorain and Elyria, in Columbus, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, the same machine proclaims the ban on those who will not be cured by the political quacks. But the place that has' proved most conclusively that the Socialists in their mad clamor for the cure have lost their ideal, is Dayton, Ohio.
Perhaps our readers had better judge for themselves, that they may fully realize what the political zealots are doing in the name of the burning fever that once licked the soul of Socialism as a fire. In Dayton, 0., the following resolution and statement were adopted antagonizing the scheduled debate for Sunday between Emma Goldman, the Anarchist, and Frank Midney:
Resolved, That Local Dayton disapproves of any of its members debating with Miss Emma Goldman at this time, and hereby forbids such action on the part of any member.
Resolved, That we authorize and instruct our recording secretary to secure a competent person or persons to attend the Goldman debate, if it should be held, in order to accurately report the same to the local; but that outside the person or persons so chosen by the recording secretary. Local Dayton requests the Socialists to remain away from the proposed debate
Following is in part the statement prepared for the press:
The Socialist Party has reached the stage of its constructive work. Our ultimate object is to take over the collectively used means of life and conduct them democratically for all the workers, and so for all the human race. And our method is just as fully determined as our ultimate object. We propose to accomplish our work by patiently and persistently building a political organization of and by the workers, which organization shall at last secure the entire power of government. We work entirely in the open. We are opposed to intrigue and individual action. We seek the intelligent and collective action of all the workers.
We are therefore opposed to Anarchy in all of its forms. But we are especially opposed to the Anarchists who are in power, the Anarchists of corrupt government and corrupt business. These are the opposition to our cause, and we seek to meet them in the open and defeat them.
We would have taken no notice of Miss Goldman's visit to this city if the public had not been imposed upon. The Socialists of Dayton are not debating with Miss Goldman at this time. We ask all Socialists of this city (organized and unorganized) to remain away from the proposed debate if it is held. The Socialists will not be represented should the debate occur.
All members of Local Dayton are expressly forbidden to take any public part in the proposed event.
We warn the public in advance that if any "Socialist" demonstration or opposition is reported to have occurred at the debate, if held, it will be a demonstration of Anarchists masquerading as Socialists. The answer of the Socialists will be to remain away from the proposed occasion. If the general public is interested in knowing the authorized word of the Socialists of Dayton with reference to the alleged dynamiters, they are cordially invited to attend a free meeting at the Auditorium Theatre, Sunday night, where that subject will be discussed.
The sinner has since been excommunicated from the Socialist party, for a period of two years. Luckily this new church lacks the power to erect its scaffolds, or Mr. Midney would meet with the fate of the heretics of the past. It is to be hoped, for his sake, that he may see the terrible danger of this growing inquisition which would, if it could, become the modern Torquemada, yet more cruel, because lacking even the vision of the Spanish predecessor. Such is the penalty for those who mistake the cure for the ideal. A cure indeed, from its own life-dream, its own inspiring purpose, its own idealism, even. A cringing, creeping, nauseating thing, is this cure.
It seems dark just now on the horizon of American life; yet there is a glimmering light in the distance, calling and comforting to him who can but see it. Lawrence, Mass., is that light,-and the burning fever its newly awakened, impelling force. Thus the Ideal is never to be eradicated.
My meetings, though small, have made up the lack of numbers by interest and enthusiasm for the light that streams from Lawrence. Everywhere this light is giving birth to new hopes, to a new chord in the great human struggle. Never once have I appealed in vain in behalf of Lawrence, the battle ground where the great fight is being waged so heroically. If, then, my work had accomplished nothing else, the help for Lawrence would surely justify the pain the tour entails.
"And the burning fever I shall give him shall not be cured until life is cured." But life creates life; it therefore recreates the fever that shall lick the blood as fire. Such is the inexorable, implacable Power of the Ideal.
P. S. So far the following sums were collected for the benefit of the Lawrence strike.
Fieldman-E. G. debate, Carnegie Hall, N. Y .............$532.00
Fieldman-E. G. debate, Republic Theatre.............. 143.00
Open-air meeting, Union Square, N. Y ................... 100.00
Cleveland, 0., Ruthenberg-E. G. debate................. 32.00
Cleveland, 0., E. G. Jewish meeting.................... 35.00
Lorain, 0., E. G. meeting (Socialist Administration).... 3.00
Columbus, 0., E. G. meeting........................... 5.48
Dayton, 0., Midney-E. G. debate...................... 21.00
Indianapolis, Ind., E. G. meeting................,...... 19.72
St. Louis, Mo., E. G. meeting.. ; ........................ 62.62
The New York amount turned over to Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
All other moneys sent to Joseph Bedard, Lawrence, Mass. The Chicago amount will be accounted for in next issue. E. G.
ANARCHISM-The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary