There is nothing lower in the moral scale than an intellectual prostitute. The most degenerate specimen in the redlight is his moral superior. The plutocratic press breeds this sort of prostitution as a carcass does maggots.
John Swinton, the veteran New York editor, the friend of Lincoln, Greeley, Raymond and Dana, once made a speech in which he literally flayed the prostitute editors and scribblers of the plutocratic press sitting before him at a banquet, and not one of them dared to raise his craven head or utter a word in self-defense. In a personal conversation with Swinton, he told me that when he entered his “sanctum” it was with the feeling that he was in a house of assignation, and with what contempt he regarded his associates in intellectual prostitution.
The modern sheet owned and controlled by the plutocracy has no known editor. The creature who serves in that capacity is bough in the market the same as calf’s brains are bought at the butcher’s. He has no convictions of his own, or if he has they are stifled as a necessary part of his prostitution. He is simply the dog of his master and barks at his master’s command. He has sold his brains and they are now rotten and he writes whatever he is ordered to write and lauds the devil or blasphemes honest men and women who, unlike himself, are too rigidly self-respecting to serve as harlots for hire, according to the commands of his master and owner.
These mangy coyotes are just now barking fiercely at all who do not fall for conscription and militarism. They are especially venomous, these scaly reptiles of the prostitute press, in their attacks upon socialists. One of these who does the dirty editorial work of the Terre Haute Star, one of a chain of capitalistic sheets, owned by a plutocratic “patriot” who fattens on exploitation and rotten politics ““ sheets that would be suppressed as common prostitutes in a civilized age ““ one of these has in his columns of a recent issue an editorial titled “God Bless the Tyrant,” which stamps him as a true specimen of an unclean breed. He denounces socialists in the foulest terms and lies about them with characteristic cowardice and mendacity. His master must have given him an extra kick or promised him an extra bone.
He denounces socialists for opposing conscription and militarism and a general surrender to Wall street. He himself opposes none of these things, for he could not do so and hold his job half a minute. The socialists he affects to despise and who have convictions of their own and the courage to stand up and fight for them are as far above this filthy hireling as mountain-peaks are above the dens of snakes.
The Star sycophant is a great “patriot,” according to himself, but he will not put up his own paunch as a target for slugs and shrapnel. He will not serve his country by drawing his salary and chanting the praises of his plutocratic master who is looting the country and riveting the shackles of militarism upon its people.
This foul-mouthed hireling throws out dark hints about secret service agents, the fore-runners of the Prussian espionage system now being established under the stars and stripes, and warns socialists that if they do not submit to being gagged, or prostituted, as he has been, they will be put behind bars or meet with a worse fate. We do not care a hoot about secret service agents. We know them and have been followed by them half our lives. We can smell them at a distance and they are fit pals to the strumpet that writes the editorials for the Star. What we have to say we say openly and without fear and we are prepared to stand by it against all the plutocrats and all their vile brood of intellectual lackeys in America.
The constitution of the United States guarantees us certain elemental rights among which is the right of free speech and we do not propose to be robbed of that right by the Wall street gang without a fight.
The Star editor, or rather his plutocratic owner, in his “God Bless the Tyrant” editorial prays for the tyrant to crush socialism. Instinctively he looks to the tyranny for he is himself the tyrant; and this is the gentleman who has plunged the nation into war for the purpose of bringing liberty and democracy to the world. It is not strange that this tyrant hates socialists and socialism. He knows that when the world awakens to the meaning of socialism his long reign of robbery and murder, of militarism and war, or rapine and plunder will be ended forever.
Speaking of socialists, this hydra-headed, triple-chinned, bloodfed beast of prey, says: “Could the secret service only sweep the whole caboodle of them into some Prussian prison camp or alembic of boiling oil, the cause of liberty and the reign of reason would be prodigiously advanced above all that we have ever known.” In this beatific paragraph the writer inadvertently reveals his own disgusting moral deformity! He shows what he means by the “reign of reason” and the “cause of liberty,” as these exalted ideals are put into practice, or will be when the war is over and we are given over to completely plutocratic misrule.
We made no mistake in branding this beast from the very beginning of his hypocritical campaign for the “patriotism and preparedness,” which has now graduated into conscription and war and will culminate, if unchecked, in a genuine and warranted-to-wear Prussian military despotism. And this is why the beast decrees that we shall be boiled in oil. It is well. His mercenary hirelings may do his bidding for pay, but the despised socialists are not subject to his stolen riches, his blood-stained dollars, and they will go forward with their work of education and organization in spite of all the calumny his servile scribblers may pour out upon them.
Socialists are the world’s modern revolutionists and humanity’s heroic and uncompromising liberators. They may be tracked by informers, slugged by thugs, enjoined by judicial satraps, imprisoned by official underlings, or strangled, electrocuted or shot to death, but they will continue to exercise their lawful rights and to wage their world-wide propaganda, unintimidated, unbullied and unafraid, for human emancipation.
-from “The Plutocratic Press and Its Prostitutes”