Mai 01, 2013

Zum ersten Mai

"Seven men are to die in Chicago, and the pulpit and the press, the gig-men, aye, and even the proletariat, unite in joyful hymns and bless God that he has saved society once more. Seven men of more than usual intelligence, and far more than usual devotion to principle, weary of seeing age-long injustice, of hearing the groans of the down-trodden millions, or, what is worse, of seeing them suffer dumbly, risked all in an attempt to set things right. They failed, and by the laws of war they are to die. Yet it must be remembered that the worst that can be said of them is the best that can be said of the victors, — that they sought to produce good through evil. Without sin they doubtless are not, but they sinned through the excess of their love.
The old International Working-People's Association declared it axiomatic that the emancipation of the working-classes must be effected by themselves, and it is time that we begin to comprehend the full significance of the declaration. It does not mean simply that we are not to place our reliance on the bourgeoisie and aristocracy, as is generally understood by half-trained revolutionists; but that a revolution, to be effective, must be popular. A social revolution can not be accomplished by a man or a clique. The people can be freed only by themselves. As long as they remain indifferent, no one can save them from being slaves, and those who seek to force them to be free but doom themselves to disappointment and death. What is left, then, for the intelligent revolutionary minority is to diffuse its principle to the utmost, to awaken public attention, and prepare for the nullification of the State by passive resistance. This is the course best for the minority and best also for the multitude, for a comparatively small minority, keeping strictly on the defensive and simply refusing to support the existing order of things, can succeed in obtaining its freedom; and, though it cannot compel the majority to be free, it can teach it the advantages of freedom in the most effective way,—by example". John F. Kelly.
Aus Liberty, vol. IV, 9 (=87), 18. September 1886.

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