Charlotte Wilson Archive
Source: Text from RevoltLib.com.
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021
'The last service rendered by Albert Parsons to the cause of the people, before he laid down his life on their behalf, was to put i together as well as the cruel circumstances of his imprisonment won -permit an explanation of the principles for which he died.* This 1 book, compiled last autumn under the very shadow of the gallows, ties now been published by his devoted comrade and wife, Lucy Parsons, and we heartily commend it to our readers' attention.
The first part contains an interesting summary by Parsons himself of the rise of capitalism in the United States. Until the tragedy of ,Chicago riveted our eyes upon the American labor movement, we European Socialists were too much inclined to ignore the extraordinarily ,rapid development of industrialism across the Atlantic, where twenty five years has done the work of a hundred in Europe, and the transition from chattel slavery to the most exaggerated evils of the wage system has been accomplished in two generations. Already the curse of capitalism has eaten deeper into the vitals of society in the States than in England. Its monopolies are more gigantic, more crushing to all free initiative and honest endeavor to labor for human needs; its mechanical relation between man and man is more brutal and soul-paralyzing than in the old country. It has been said of Russia that her civilization (the forced civilization of Czardom) was rotten before it was ripe. The same would seem to be true of the capitalism of America, At all events, the reaction treads upon its heels, and the spread of Socialistic ideas in the last two or three years has increased at a pace which explains the murderous terrors of the Chicago employers of labor.
Parsons goes on to contrast and explain the gradual development of capitalism in Europe, following Marx and the historical school of -economists, and concluding with a long extract from the grand Communist manifesto published by Marx and Engels in 1848.
The second part of the book consists of extracts from the speeches and writings of the Chicago Anarchists (including Lucy Parsons) illustrative of their ideas, followed by the two articles on Anarchism by P. Kropotkin which appeared in the "Nineteenth Century" in February and August, 1887, Eliseé Reclus' article on the same subject in the "Contemporary Review" for May, 1884, a series of articles by Dyer D. Lum from the Alarm since its revival, and an extract from C. L. James' tract on Anarchy.
The object of the whole work is to lay clearly before the world the great ideas for which the Chicago Anarchists were ready to fight, and, 1 if need be, to die, the vision of hope and deliverance for all men for which they were willing to renounce all selfish personal joy. It is also the only legacy besides his untarnished honor and the memory of a life of devotion which Parsons left to his wife and children. Need we I say more to induce our readers to obtain a copy as soon as possible?