Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/449

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433
METHODS.

government of ours! One would think that the interests of the insurance companies would prompt them at least to greater vigilance. But they have been as blind as the rest, and paid this extraordinary series of losses seemingly without a question.

The attempt will doubtless be made in some quarters to vindicate these horrors as so many revolutionary acts. It will fail. Private greed and popular vengeance have nothing in common. Even so rigid a Communistic journal as Le Révolté pointed out some time ago that the Revolution can have no solidarity with thieves. It was one thing to kill the Czar of Russia, it is quite another to kill and rob an innocent old woman; it was one thing for the striking miners of Decazeville to take the life of the superintendent who had entered into a conspiracy with the corporation to reduce the miners' wages in consideration of a percentage, it is a far different thing for lazy, selfish, cowardly brutes to set fire to a tenement house containing hundreds of human beings. There are certain things which circumstances justify; there are certain others which all lofty human instincts condemn. To the latter class belong these deeds of John Host's followers.

John Most has had a great deal to say about the "beast of property." Property as it now exists, backed by legal privilege, is unquestionably a horrible monster, causing untold and universal suffering; but I doubt if it can equal in essential cruelty the act of a father who will insure the lives of his wife and boy and conspire to cause their death that he may fill his pockets with a few paltry dollars. Of such acts as that the Beast of Communism seems to have a monopoly.

In conclusion, I appeal to every honorable newspaper in America to lay these facts before its readers, placing the blame where it belongs and distinguishing the innocent from the guilty. And especially do I address the Anarchistic press. Every Anarchistic journal ought to copy this exposure and send it forth with the stamp of its approval. The cause is entering upon a serious crisis. The malicious and the ignorant will do their utmost to damage it. Much will depend upon the promptness with which good men and true separate themselves from common criminals. He who is not against their crimes is for them.