1885 Dynamite!

Gerhard Lizius, Letter in the Alarm, Feb. 21, 1885

(Lizius, an anarchist, wrote this letter to one of Chicago's anarchist newspapers. It was one of a number of expressions of enthusiasm for dynamite that appeared in the anarchist press in the mid 1880s.)

Dynamite! of all the good stuff, this is the stuff. Stuff several pounds of this sublime stuff into an inch pipe, gas or water pipe, plug up both ends, insert a cap with fuse attached, place this in the immediate neighborhood of a lot of rich loafers, who live by the sweat of other people's brows, and light the fuse. A most cheerful and gratifying result will follow. In giving dynamite to the downtrodden millions of the globe, science has done its best work. The dear stuff can be carried around in the pocket without danger, while it is a formidable weapon against any force of militia, police or detectives that may want to stifle the cry for justice that goes forth from the plundered slaves.

It is something not very ornamental, but exceedingly useful. It can be used against persons and things; it is better to use it against the former than against bricks and masonry. It is a genuine boon for the disinherited, while it brings terror and fear to the robbers.

It brings terror only to the guilty, and consequently the Senator who introduced a bill in congress to stop its manufacture and use, must be guilty of something. He fears the wrath of an outraged people that has been duped and swindled by him and his like. The same must be the case with the "servant" of the people who introduced a like measure in the senate of the Indiana Legislature. All the good this will do. Like everything else, the more you prohibit it, the more will it be done... A pound of this good stuff bears a bushel of ballots all hollow, and don't you forget it.

Our law makers might as well try to sit down on the crater of a volcano or a bayonet as to endeavor to stop the manufacture and use of dynamite. It takes more justice and right than is contained in laws to quiet the spirit of unrest. If workingmen would be truly free, they must learn to know why they are slaves. They must rise above petty prejudice and learn to think.

From thought to action is not far, and when the worker has seen the chains, he need but look a little closer to find near at hand the sledge with which to shatter every link.

The sledge is dynamite. . .
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