Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/446

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INSTEAD OF A BOOK. .

word Anarchist is not yet thus restricted in meaning. This is due principally to the fact that within a few years the word has been usurped, in the face of all logic and consistency, by a party of Communists who believe in a tyranny worse than any that now exists, who deny to the laborer the individual possession of his product, and who preach to their followers the following doctrine: "Private property is your enemy; it is the beast that is devouring you; all wealth belongs to everybody; take it wherever you can find it; have no scruples about the means of taking it; use dynamite, the dagger, or the torch to take it; kill innocent people to take it; but, at all events, take it." This is the doctrine which they call Anarchy, and this policy they dignify with the name of "propagandism by deed."

Well, it has borne fruit with most horrible fecundity. To be sure, it has gained a large mass of adherents, especially in the Western cities, who are well-meaning men and women, not yet become base enough to practise the theories which they profess to have adopted. But it has also developed, and among its immediate and foremost supporters, a gang of criminals whose deeds for the past two years rival in "pure cussedness" any to be found in the history of crime. Were it not, therefore, that I have first, last, and always repudiated these pseudo-Anarchists and their theories, I should hang my head in shame before Rochefort's charge at having to confess that too many of them are not only robbers, but incendiaries and murderers. But, knowing as I do that no real Anarchist has any part or lot in these infamies, I do not confess the facts with shame, but reiterate them with righteous wrath and indignation, in the interest of my cause, for the protection of its friends, and to save the lives and possessions of any more weak and innocent persons from being wantonly destroyed or stolen by cold-blooded villains parading in the mask of reform.

Yes, the time has come to speak. It is even well-nigh too late. Within the past fortnight a young mother and her baby boy have been burned to death under circumstances which suggest to me the possibility that, had I made this statement sooner, their lives would have been saved; and, as I now write these lines, I fairly shudder at the thought that they may not reach the public and the interested parties before some new holocaust has added to the number of those who have already fallen victims. Others who know the facts, well-meaning editors of leading journals of so-called Communistic

Anarchism, may, from a sense of mistaken party fealty, bear longer