Sunday, July 08, 2007

From Haymarket to Buffalo

A Critique of the 19th Century....

The story of Andrew Carnegie starts with Andrew Carnegie - a self-made Scot, brutal, ignorant, and good-hearted. He was a good man with a poor record.

The random event occurred, but Carnegie was not involved. His tragedy would occur later.

The story starts in Chicago. A mysterious pipe bomb explodes in Haymarket Square. The police arrest eight anarchists as mild hysteria consumes Chicago.
The story ends with the assassination of US President William McKinley.
Just as the United States begins to react to the terrorist attack, a Polish loner named Leon Czolgosz begins to come of age in Cleveland.

Meanwhile, in New York, two young lovers fall in love with each other and with anarchism. Angry and idealistic, they become the poster-children of the self-righteous

The heroes of the counterculture.
The violent iconoclasts: Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.

The story then moves to one of Andrew Carnegie's steel plants outside of Pittsburgh. While Carnegie vacations at Skibo Castle, the Homestead Steel Strike breaks out. Henry Clay Fricke, Carnegie's right hand man, informs Carnegie of the dilemma. Carnegie concludes that Fricke is capable of handling the growing-crisis all by himself. Carnegie continues to vacation in Scotland.

Over the course of the next decade, one of the violent iconoclasts will attempt to murder Henry Clay Fricke. The iconoclast will spend much of his youth in prison, but his suffering will motivate his lover to become a hero. Her name is Emma Goldman, and she will become an icon for most of the radical social movements of her time.

While the feminine warrior demonstrates, pampleteers, organizes, and agitates the working classes around her, our poor villain wanders without hope.

In 1901, Czolgosz assasinates US President William McKinley.

Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt becomes president.

The 20th Century has begun.


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