Mexican bandits [1914]

I should like to know why a self-respecting peon, living in Mexico should not turn bandit. I should like somebody to explain to me why it is not braver and nobler for a man to help himself freely than to cringe beneath the whip, working from sunrise to sunset for a beggar's pittance, and at disgusting tasks, with the knowledge that his children after him must pass through the same hideous hell.

I should like to know what people mean by ironing out their faces over the girl who deliberately prefers prostitution to the brutal existence inevitable if she becomes a common laborer's lawful wife in the United States or Europe. I should like to know why men should not choose any way of earning money rather than that of sticking pigs ten hours a day for Armour, or shovelling ore into white-hot furnaces for the Guggenheims, or becoming flunky to empty-headed dudes who regard them as sticks of furniture.

I should like to know why modern man should not be on fire with the spirit of revolt, and why it should not exhibit itself in what are called 'criminal' tendencies of the most socially destructive type. Indeed that is exactly what is happening. the herd is breaking though the legal corral at every point, to the frantic alarm of all the goody-goodies who think man was brought into this world expressly to be corralled.


From: The Toiler, Volume 2 number 1, January 1914.