As we watch the people of various countries in the world seeking a new order in their societies, this 110 year old article caught my eye.
"ORDER" MORE PRECIOUS THAN JUSTICE.
Drastic legislation against anarchists will be a feature of the present session. All the big men who are anxious to pose as friends of "order" are rushing to the front with revolutionary suggestions for the suppression of one of the symptoms of social disease. No statesman is heard of who offers a constitutional remedy. Even the president, it is said, will preach the gospel of suppression. It is assumed by all these great men that "order" is more precious and more easily secured than justice. Yet our fathers did not think so. They did not hesitate to plunge the country into disorder for the sake of a principle. They defied the constituted authorities, they assaulted the king's representatives, they threw a cargo of tea into Boston harbor, they unfurled the flag of revolt and they waged a war for seven long years in assertion of their right to disregard order where it involved injustice. This is the point which our anarchistic friends of order ignore. They will not admit that they deny that there is any social injustice which breeds social disease and such manifestations of it as we have lately witnessed. It will be easy to pass laws for the suppression of anarchy. But these laws will not suppress it. They will only serve to intensify the frightful conditions which are breeding it. They will serve only to push the country farther along toward a despotism of pelf. And the inspiration of this legislation is not a love of liberty and a hatred of wrong; it comes from those who are profiting by wrong and who are in deadly fear of the plain people who are their victims. The drag-nets to be thrown out are not to catch the red anarchist alone. He is not the occasion of fear. The people to be caught are those who dissent from things as they are and who protest in orderly ways against robbery and injustice.—Johnstown (Pa.) Democrat of December 3.
from The Public, DECEMBER 28, 1901.
I had to look up "pelf:" Money, esp. when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way.
I appreciated some of the phrases:
- suppression of the symptoms of social disease;
- social injustice which breeds social disease
- despotism of pelf
- the inspiration of this legislation is not a love of liberty and a hatred of wrong; it comes from those who are profiting by wrong and who are in deadly fear of the plain people who are their victims
- The people to be caught are those who dissent from things as they are and who protest in orderly ways against robbery and injustice
And then the word "order" caught my imagination, in the way it is used in "Pen's Parade" -- see an entry a bit further down this page. Orderly, indeed.