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Home > Research on Anarchism > History: Anarchism and Anarchists Yesterday and Today > By Country > USA : Anarchism in American History > 20th Century > 1901-1903 Assassination of McKinley by Leon Czolgosz and Immigration (...) > WINN, Ross. Editorial Comment

WINN, Ross. Editorial Comment

Thursday 18 January 2007, by ps

In the aftermath of McKineley’s assassination, other attempts were made against monarchs and state presidents. An Italian worker, Gennaro Rubino, tried to kill the King of Belgium. He declared himself an anarchist, but because he was unknown in the movement, activists thought him to be an agent provocateur.

An editorial by Ross WINN in his newspaper, The Firebrand, expresses a different feeling.

There are two kinds of kings. Good kings and bad kings. All kings, when living and wielding the scepter of kingly power, are bad kings. The good kings are dead. There are but two good deeds a king can do for his subjects. One is to abdicate. The other is to die. Leopold II, of Belgium, has done neither. Therefore I shall catalog him with the bad kings. Leopold has been accused of nearly all the sins in the book, but against him there stands one actual crime. That crime is the crime of being king. All kings are criminals. Leopold has been taken to task for his private peccadilloes. But society declines to impeach him for his real crime against humanity. This is a part of that natural sequence in social order we term the fitness of things. It is the small wrongs that stir up indignant outcry. The big crimes triumph in successful security. A man wearing a crown and wielding a scepter may butcher twenty thousand men for his personal gain, and they call it glorious war. Another man stops short with one victim, and they call it murder. There is something wrong with the human conscience when it makes such discriminations.

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