Arbeter Fraint, October 12 1888, page 1
Wolves in Sheep Skins
In the previous issue of W. F. [“Worker’s Friend” - Trans.] there was a full account of the recent, horrible murders in White Plains, which cause such a terrific commotion, one can say, in the whole “civilized” world. Now, however, we deem it necessary to draw several conclusions from these most tragic and cruel stories.
The six murders of unfortunate street women [Prostitutes. - Trans.] in East London, which were committed by one or several murderers or madmen, nevertheless, show how suspicious and cruel today’s society is. However in a society in which there is a constant war for survival, a general struggle in which the weak, the unfortunate and the honest [people] fall and are mercilessly trampled upon like worms, only in a society of swindling, thieving and robbing sanctioned by law, in a society in which unfortunate women are forced to sell their bodies and the workers, who have been robbed, [sell] the only thing they possess: their ability to work—[only] in such a society can such cruel murderers be nurtured and developed, [murderers] and all kinds of scoundrels that we see these days.
But it is not about this that I want to speak [sic] in this article. The main thing I want to point out here is the heartless ________, the great corruption and baseness of the ruling thieving class, which is itself guilty in all the murders, robberies and the desecration of our time, as well as all the problems and suffering of the working class. Oh, they are clever, these “fine” people, these masters! As long as these poor female streetwalkers die out quietly of consumption and syphilis, so long as the unfortunate workers (male and female) die quietly from hunger, loneliness and diseases (which are, for the most part caused by poverty and hardship), they remain silent, these benevolent lords; but as soon as these lonely and debased people, who become stepchildren of nature because a small gang of bloodsuckers have grabbed up everything on earth, begin to take revenge on the unjust and inhumane society by frequent stealing, robbing and murdering as well as through epidemic diseases and blights—then one hears a great, general lamenting of all the “high and mighty” folk: they complain about the depravity and corruption of the poor [and] the disgrace of prostitution. They suggest cold-hearted cures to improve the lonely condition of the unfortunates and, finally, with great pomp, they give several pennies to charity.
The strange murder on the East Side caused this kind of lamenting. The capitalist newspapers do not even know how to express their horror at these cruel killings, and all the capitalist do-gooders are crying. . .crocodile tears. Each one of them is searching for something to say, something to suggest, to advise; this one screams about prostitution, the other one describes the lonely dwelling places of the destitute on the East Side, the third one demands the destruction of the truly terrible lodging houses, where the unfortunate homeless can, for several pence, spend the night; the fourth insists that religion among people should be strengthened, and the, finally, the wealthy offer a monetary reward for anyone who can deliver the murderer into the hands of the police, who have completely lost their heads and who are being insulted from all sides. In a word, all the exploiters and their slaves: the newspaper reporters speak and shout about
their good heart all over the world and desire to show their sympathy and good-heartedness to the poor, but none of them mention even a word about the cause of all the problems and suffering of these people, such as: private property, exploitation, military costs and other such “trivialities.”
But tell me, you fine, good-hearted people, what is it that happened here about which you are making such a commotion? One mad murderer killed 6 women. But aren’t there much greater and more horrific slaughters every day, and you do not even make a peep?
Tell me, why didn’t you even open your mouths when on the 11th of last November 5 innocent men were hanged and 3 were buried alive after being arrested for their too great devotion to their people? Why did you remain silent, when not long ago the gendarmes beat and wounded with their swords the poor women from Alasak [sp?] (France), who asked for work and bread for their children? Why are you silent now, when the soldiers and police beat and chase away the strikers from the mines near Saint Etienne in France? Why aren’t you shouting when hundreds of miners are buried in their deep mines, because the companies don’t fortify the mine vaults and other structures so that they can save money? Aren’t these powerful companies directly responsible for those mass murders and aren’t these murders much more horrific and cruel that the 6 murders in Whitechapel?
Now the English capitalists and the government gangs are slaughtering thousands of innocent people in Tibet (Central Asia), just as they did before in India in order to stuff their pockets with even more money—what aren’t you protesting against that, you good-hearted lords? Similar massacres are being committed now in Italy and Masova, the Germans near Zanzibar, the French in Tankin, and Tunis and even in Algiers—and all these “fine” people are rubbing their hands together and even want to convince the common man that with these horrific acts of bloodshed they are spreading “civilization”! Now the famous Stanley is making a path with fire and sword through Central Africa, so that the capitalists might have another market in which to sell their wares. Thousands of blacks are being slaughtered, nor are the Europeans being protected. Nevertheless, these lords are sending new expeditions to help Stanley, who is already dead, just like his adjutant, Bartelo, who was murdered by his own soldiers for his terrible cruelty and tyranny. They are representing this vile action as something noble and useful for all humanity!
Oh, those hypocrites! They know only too well what the truth is and strive only to dazzle the eyes of the [common] people. What questions, what “whys” we would ask them without end. Whole books could even be written. For our readers, however, we believe that those asked here are also sufficient, and the goodhearted masters respond to these questions with silence and shrug their shoulders.
And what should they answer, when then know full well that the correct response to these questions is their self-destruction, the destruction of the whole system of today’s society that allows them to become rich from the workers’ toil and to subjugate the people? Yes, all of these murders and disgraceful acts, large or small, [committed] openly or secretly, lawfully or unlawfully—all of this cannot stop and disappear until there will no longer be any
slaves. When all people in the world will be equal brothers, when human society will actually be humane, based on true freedom, equality and fraternity.
But that you most certainly do not want, you “goodhearted” scoundrels, who desire only to confuse the minds with empty shouts and hypocritical shenanigans. You think that you will always be able to ride on the backs of the people with impunity, but the time of the people’s enlightenment is approaching at a terribly fast pace. The workers are waking up and are throwing off the blinders that you have placed on their eyes—and your dark and bitter end is nigh. Your lies, your arrogance and thieving tricks will not help you: the people are beginning to see everything more clearly and more plainly—that you yourselves are the only reason for their troubles and suffering, you “fine” people, you “good hearted philanthropists.”
In France, they have now begun [to bother] foreigners. The reason for this is the political situation in which the French republic now finds itself. The clouds of war that are becoming ever thicker, are now, for the most part, hovering over France and it is now in danger of having the storm break out over it. The war exchanges in all countries are now proceeding with more zeal and speed, and we can expect the European dance of blood between the nations to break out at any moment. All the crowned animals see the French republic as the main goal of this war. It is like a bone in their throat. They want to destroy it and replace it with a monarchy, because the French freethinking and revolutionary people are doing them great harm, because it serves all people as a working example.
The main leader and goad against France is, naturally, Bismarck. He has already been successful in inciting Italy, which let itself be convinced that it will get back from France that which it once lost. Then comes Belgium, which always stood on a friendly footing with France.
This small, neutral country has now made a treaty with Germany, or even worse, it has completely capitulated, since it has officially promised Germany that in the case of war with France, it will permit the German Army to traverse the whole land. And the weakest and least fortified side of France is its north side, the border [it shares] with Belgium.
In addition, German spies are now swarming in France. They spy throughout the land despite war condition, fortifications, borders and so on. This, naturally, is the worst thing, forced the French government to take strong measures to exterminate this scourge. That is why the laws against foreigners were now instituted. Of course, this is not shown directly, but they now demand that every foreigner show his papers. And the French government and foreigner’s government get involved with the person who has no papers and cannot get papers, for example a political emigrant. He then is threatened
[End of page 1.]