From October, ‘93 to April 1894, Andrews may have camped on a hill outside Mudgee or, following his usual practice, worked on local newspapers in exchange for board. In April he returned to Sydney with his definitive statement A Handbook of Anarchy just as the bitter, internal dispute for control of ‘the movement’ reached another flash point.
Markey has summarised the 1890’s as an ‘industrial holocaust’ and put blame for the subsequent ‘de-mobilisation of the working class’, especially in Sydney, on ‘the combination (after 1892) of unemployment with a series of crushing industrial defeats (which)decimated the unions’. For the period 1890-93, and for the ‘urban proletariat’ in particular, his research led him to conclude that unwillingness of the Sydney union leaders to give up their independence, and the centralisation of administrative power by the ambitious young men in the Labor Electoral Leagues ruined any chance of organisational stability. The consequence was that the coterie of emergent, professional labor politicians – Watson, Hughes, Holman, et al – aligned with the rural-based constituencies of the ASU/AWU and followed laborist rather than class-based policies: ‘As its constituents collapsed around it, the (Sydney Trades and Labor Council) declined drastically…Although the economy began to improve from 1896, organisational recovery did not begin in earnest until 1900-1901…’ 
He has little on the civil, criminal or conspiratorial processes which produced these results and none at all on the personal consequences of internal feuding. ‘The spectacular events’ of the 1890’s have attracted ‘detailed attention from historians’, he has said, and made it unnecessary to ‘relate the actual events…again’. The only fault he finds with his academic colleagues is that:
The detailed analysis to which historians have recently subjected the motivations of the strikes’ major participants, largely at the level of the leadership, has tended to dilute the broader class perspective. (p.158)
Svensen’s subsequent rebuttal was to argue that a great deal of ‘the actual events’ had not been analysed, and, in 2016, I assert that this remains the case. Markey’s doctrinaire approach to what was relevant, following Nairn’s (and others) obsession with certain personalities, has not yet assisted a clear or comprehensive picture to emerge, but whether post-Markey accretion of analysis will or should alter Markey’s general conclusions remains to be seen.
Further waves of anti-anarchist newspaper coverage were sweeping in from overseas making local government efforts at suppression easy and labour politics more reactionary. It was a case of overkill as not only the ASB but the much broader ‘movement’ was on the point of collapse into the arms of the moderates. At this tipping point, the closeness of the most maligned ‘anarchists’ and the most ambitious of ‘labour’ politicians was clearer than ever. ‘Tommy’ Dodd’s altercation with Senior Constable Handon, referred to above, can now be appreciated anew:
Ere, you’re treadin’ on my toes…Roll up boys! Don’t let the dog take me…I’ve got two or three members of Parliament at my back, and I’ll make it hot for you…I’ll have fifty witnesses in the morning…(In court, to Prosecutor Crick, sometime MP) He knows as I’m opposing him for West Macquarie, and that he won’t get in…
Brigade members, Dodd, Dwyer and Douglas, with Arthur Rae and George Black, visited Justice Minister Slattery to appeal for the release of Frank McCoy, fireman, who’d wielded a broken chair at the Parkes-meeting in December. Slattery agreed, if someone could pay the Hall-owners for the chair. Appeals by Rosa and McNamara in the Hard Cash cases were dismissed in February, yet neither turned Queen’s evidence to disclose where it had been printed, most people, in any event mixing it up with Standard Bearer, then and since. A delegation of Dodd, Holman, Hughes, Yewen and Kohen to Justice Minister Slattery to ask for their release was refused in March, as were others. A Sunday Domain meeting 30 April 1894, chaired by Douglas and heard by 3-4,000 people was given over to George Black to defend himself against charges arising from his unwillingness to sign the solidarity pledge. The inconclusive meeting heard Black supported by Dwyer, then Holman and Hughes supported by Dodd, put directly opposed motions.
Dwyer, Douglas, McNiven, Mason and Dodd were arrested by Rochaix after this meeting for material in Justice, an agitational broadsheet, the production of which is even more murky than that of Hard Cash. A regular ASB meeting, held just prior at the Star Hotel in Sussex Street was chaired by Lee and used by Douglas and Mason to set out the Brigade’s electoral platform, something anarchists don’t normally have. Justice was issued as the mouthpiece of the ASB, but was described in its first issue in February as ‘the Organ of Social Democracy’ and on page one, immediately under the heading announced:
Seeing that all wealth is the product of labor it is the duty of the State to protect labor from the hungry capitalist.
Not an anarchist sentiment, either. It was published from February to May, 1894, that is after the arrest of the five so others must have been involved. In court on 28 April, the major charge was publishing a criminal libel against the Minister for Justice, Slattery. A paragraph had suggested he’d off-loaded a mistress to a publican in exchange for favors. Watson was Mason’s surety, Black stood for Douglas, McGowen (another ‘labour’ MP)for Dodd, McNiven’s was a storekeeper and Dwyer’s Clarke, a journalist. Dwyer was the only one of the five likely to have been able to provide an anarchist perspective but he was being attacked by the others who sought the money being made at the Barracks, small amount though it was, and the influence the ASB could bring. The group had, in fact, split to the extent that Dodd claimed to be the only editor of Justice for the first issue, printed at the Castlereagh Street, and Mason the sole editor for the second and third. These two issues, proudly spelling out Mason’s State-Socialism, were produced from 491 Elizabeth Street. After his arrest, Dwyer wrote to Slattery saying the paper had been started with a very serious and expensively vouched-for interest in remaining libel free, and that he was ashamed of what had happened: ‘I have nothing to do with this paper’. Dodd also wrote to Slattery, apologised for the libel and claimed to have been in Newcastle during setting of the 27 April issue. Douglas said he had been in Newcastle since 30 March when he had given up all responsibility for the paper. He had, with Mason, acted as unofficial editor to the early issues. Mason was apparently regarded as the journalist expert and had been expected ‘to keep the libel out’. He disclaimed knowledge of ‘the libel’ and asked for mercy for McNiven who he said was only technically involved as printer’s assistant.
Douglas, Mason and Dodd got nine months, Dwyer six, and McNiven one month. A more serious pair of charges, sedition and inciting to murder, had been levelled at Justice and the sorry five after Dodd, apparently, wrote about the execution of two burglars who had not killed anyone: ‘Then, say we, let every man in the future, when menaced by arrest for housebreaking, shoot and shoot straight’. All five were remanded and the Attorney-General took the opportunity to ask the Crown Prosecutor about the advisability of proceeding. The latter replied:
In my opinion it would not be advisable to proceed further … the accused are certainly technically guilty … and the language … complained of was very intemperate but no more so than that contained in several of the leading papers in the city on the same subject.
Since the prisoners had had a salutary scare, the effect would be neutralised if they were acquitted by a jury unwilling to convict, which was likely. The charges were dropped, ostensibly as a kind of amnesty by the new Reid Government elected in July. Dwyer returned to the Barracks, where the burly adolescent, Lang, had been helping out. Dwyer later claimed credit for having organised three barracks, a co-operative coal mine near Waterfall (NSW) and for having enrolled thousands of new ASB members around the State.
Reflective of his individual closeness to ‘the movement’ but also of his vulnerability was Andrews’ involvement in an altogether different newspaper controversy. In January, Medway-Day, editor of The (Sydney) Worker had published a letter from him repeating his success organising tramps and unemployed but that he was then working for the Mudgee Guardian. Another letter in February responded to reports of the capture of the anarchist Merlino in Europe and explained that he, Andrews was a nihilist and therefore not in agreement with Merlino’s working with socialists. He was then accused by G.C. Johnson that as ‘Pilgrim’ in the Rylestone Advocate, (near Mudgee) he had attacked W.E. Johnson’s (no relation) candidacy in a local seat. Andrews responded again in the (Sydney) Worker denying the charge and listing the persons to whom he was sending copies of the Mudgee Guardian for which he was writing. He did this as he saw the attempt to tie him to the ‘Pilgrim’ letters as part of the plot to jail him, to weaken his influence or to discredit any evidence he might give in cases brought against others. Recipients he named were the McNamaras, Robinson, O’Reilly, Medway-Day, the MP Carruthers, a certain Hoy on whom he calls for help when in prison later, Desmond and Dwyer. O’Reilly and Robinson respond to support him against G.C. Johnson’s continued claims that he was writing for the enemies of labor and being paid by them. Johnson may have been referring to Andrews’s selling of pot-boiler stories to the ‘straight’ press for survival money, such as ‘Romance of a Fair-Girl’s Bathroom’ published under one of his many pseudonyms.
Truth, in April, entered the fray by quoting London ‘labour’ organiser John Burns calling anarchists ‘mentally dwarfed and morally deficient’ and pointedly ending the piece with: ‘Now, then, Anarchist Andrews – play to that’. He of course responded with a cool explanation of why there was little to respond to: ‘Of course, John Burns says such things – he’s a Social Democrat who all believe anarchists more hateful than capitalists’, and as well, he calls ‘anarchist’ anyone who accuses him of being reactionary and corrupt. Edwin Richards of Mudgee, perhaps provoked, wrote in May to explain to readers, he said, the sort of man ‘Anarchist Andrews’ actually was. Richards, editor of the Mudgee Guardian, described Andrew’s wretched appearance when he applied at the paper’s office looking for work, and disclosed how disgusted he was that anyone with Andrew’s background and education could have let himself go so badly. (Syd W 19/5/94) Medway-Day apologised for printing the letter but, after all, Andrews had started the conversation. The argument was overtaken by events as Andrews was (sort-of) arrested immediately distribution of the Handbook began for not having the printer’s imprint ‘correctly’ upon it, a flaw shared by many official and commercial publications. Robinson and Wolfe, helping to distribute it, were similarly charged.
Ferguson’s Bibliography of Australia claims that Dibbs himself was directly responsible for initiating the prosecution of the Handbook, which begins:
Anarchy is freedom. The literal meaning of the word ‘free’ is to love or like; thus when we say that a man is free we imply that he is ‘to like’, that is, he has only to like in order to decide what he will do or try to do. Among the things which people in general like is to avoid hurting others.
In its fourteen pages Andrews discussed lawlessness and the likelihood of violence between people en masse or in small groups. At all times he is opposed to violence. He believes in the naturalness of people feeling for one another, sharing ‘in the joys and suffering of each other’ if they were only given a chance to decide for themselves on the basis of that capacity rather than have that ‘exercise of fellow feeling’ taken away through the application of person-made law. Logical, comprehensive and consistent, the essay concluded:
[How] is this state, so desirable, to be realised? It cannot be imposed; it must come by enlightenment and individual reform [my emphasis]. Each must purify his own life from all taint of the evil and have courage to ignore what is imposed…. Anarchy, the applied science of society will make its way with a rapidity and power impossible to barren creeds. In the spirit of the living faith that works its way to sight, dwells and there alone, the hope with the glory of Victory.
In various places in the text the Handbook recommended News from Nowhere (twice), Lane’s Working Man’s Paradise and Bakunin’s God and the State. Caught up in a ‘trial’ of Wolfe and Robinson, when he appeared as a witness, Andrews was sentenced to £20 or three months by Whittingdale Johnson the magistrate sent to Broken Hill during the 1892 strike. The other two received one month. The secret police in this instance were not called, in fact no one was called, and no court records survive because none were taken. On Andrews’s account, the judge simply sentenced him, exhibiting an instinctive aversion and total abrogation of professional responsibility brought on by the nature of the charge and the defendants. For his part, Andrews was relieved to be out of the firing line and took the three months. He was already very thin to the point of being wasted.
The anti-anarchist stereotype was so firmly entrenched that local editors printed anything supplied by ‘authorities’ without question. The Australian Star, as one example, has sixty-seven leading items or editorials on ‘anarchist outrages’ during the five months from October 1893 to 1 May, itself another peak of hysteria. All but a few items are from Europe and the United States, many of them rumour or based on association:
“The anarchist who placed the bomb was blown to smithereens”
16 March 1894, from France.
“French anarchist Polti said to have showed another the bomb and its workings on a bus”
April 1894, from London.
“Huge anarchist plot ‘suspected’”
April 1894, from London.
“It is believed that the anarchists have entered into a compact not to commit any outrages in Great Britain or her colonies”
19 February 1894, from London.
“At the Autonomie Anarchist Club an Englishman made a violent speech in which he offered to die in action if he were wanted to carry out any anarchist plot.”
19 February 1894, from London
“Police find bombs, announce a plot”
8 March 1894, from Chicago.
“Italian PM says there were 300,000 Anarchist revolutionaries in Italy. They had sought aid from the Russian Government.”
3 March 1894, from Italy.
The bile was often nastier. A Star editorial on May Day 1894 telling of the march on Washington by Coxey’s Army – tramps and beggars protesting poverty – referred to the ‘vile and contemptible and almost incomprehensible [notion] called Coxeyism …[that] asserts … that property is a crime’. A London report of May Day crowds there included:
Amongst them came the tousle-haired, claw-handed creatures with their red flags and foreign tongues and on and about them the unmistakeable odour of murder, of foul blood.
The reporter applauded ‘honest hearted’ workmen kicking and spitting on these ‘foreign trash’. Local press attacks, ignorant and verging on the pathological, are almost the sum total of the discussion on the topic. There is nothing in the daily papers of, for example, the public support by French intellectuals and literary figures for anarchist principles or their abhorrence of the arbitrary ‘justice’ being meted out, in the midst of far more warlike campaigns of bombings, vilification and police repression. The fight for control of ‘the movement’ and its politico/financial benefits was not resolved by an LEL conference, in March, the Central Executive insisting on maintaining the platform and its overall control: ‘Only three MPs accepted the conference decisions. Open warfare followed, at public meetings, and within the Leagues, for control of the movement.’(Markey, p.183)
The ‘Socialist Party’ organised two Sydney May Day celebrations, one in the Domain and an evening meeting at Leigh House. Both passed wordy resolutions expressing little more than solidarity with ‘overseas toilers’. Speakers included Smith, Norman, Hughes, Black and Holman. The (Syd) Worker’s Medway-Day, commented: ‘One could wish that both the resolution and the speeches had been more of a thoroughly practical nature…In Melbourne (the resolutions passed) were more to the point than those in Sydney’:
…Just now, labor in New South Wales is not in a position of triumph. It is divided within its own ranks…save us from the petty jealousies and disagreements which at the present moment are the most serious menace to the labor movement in New South Wales.’
A journal The New Order, decided on around the end of 1893 by the Central Committee of the LEL to counter the TLC influence expressed in the newspapers, The (Sydney) Worker and the AW, appeared on 7th April. Hughes has left the most detailed, but coded, description of New Order, which ran from 7th April to 25th August. His pride in ‘that unique, that peerless journal’ is apparent in his memoirs where self-deprecation competes with self-adulation. As he describes it, his role was a minor one. He describes the editor, ‘Yeates’, in great detail, without revealing that this was the committed and resolute Yewen, who later left ‘the movement’ in disgust after Hughes, boosted by the paper got into parliament and moderated his politics. The Manager of New Order, ‘John Hillyard’, described by Hughes as ‘our guide, philosopher, friend and champion… Of course, we were all, or nearly all, remarkable men…but none of us was a patch on Hillyard.’ Nairn’s biography has: ‘…In 1894 (Holman) was involved with Beeby in a publication at Hillgrove in the northwest; the same year with Hughes and others he produced the New Order.’ Holman doesn’t appear in Hughes’ text unless he is ‘John Hillyard’. Volunteers in the basement of Farmer’s Pitt St Building where the journal was prepared included Mrs Holman senior who provided coffee, and Sam Smith of the seamen’s union. CH Bertie, writing in 1929 said no-one was paid but the venture was supported by ‘three sympathisers’ who lived and worked on the ground floor. One was an Italian anarchist who kept a wine shop, ‘a most kindly man who wouldn’t have known a bomb from a banana.’ The other two sold fruit and small goods ‘so there was always food’.
Desmond, on the staff but disguised as ‘Arthur Dremayne’, was in Hughes’ hands an irritating, useless drunk. He had returned to Sydney in February to put out at least one Australian Investors Review, but in April 1894 was reported chairing a miners’ meeting in Wyalong, southern NSW. Hughes refers to no controversial history before New Order and has Desmond writing rural reports. Sometime in 1894 he was offered a safe labor NSW seat, Durham, but declined, some say ‘indignantly’. When New Order finished he went back into the country leaving a rapidly written Public Opinion to shrivel on its release. Julian Stuart, one of the Queensland union organisers arrested in 1891, camped with Desmond in southern NSW, his memoirs also mentioning Harry Holland and Leo Cadogan who later married Rose Summerfield and joined the communards in Paraguay. Stuart thought Desmond a good mate and a propagandist who made things lively wherever he went. Stuart told how Desmond received ‘a mulga wire’ at Lambing Flat that the warrants for his arrest on charges of sedition and treasonable utterances were about to be executed, indicating continuing surveillance, so he slipped out of the tent and ‘faded over the horizon’, not even waiting for breakfast. ‘Soon after I got a letter from New York saying he was taking another name just for luck’. Clearly, he was another ‘drunk’ whose context deserves more attention.
On 30 June 1894 just three days after French President Carnot was killed by anarchist Santo, the Bird 0’Freedom centre-paged a scurrilous, vicious attack on anarchism, Andrews and the Smithfield farm. The article correlated social revolution with seas of blood and men forcing women to share their sexual favours around. Marx and Engels were said to have been the leaders of the Paris Commune, and anarchists, unionists, Satan and mad fanatics were, literally, all lumped together. The article speaks lovingly of rulers and statesmen, repeated the lie that Abbott, the dead Melbourne secularist died during a fight with anarchists, and that the Colonel Price order to his troops was fabricated by Andrews ‘for the good of the cause’:
We have it on the most reliable authority that both Ravoschol [sic] and Vaillant who have been recently executed for outrages in Paris, were in constant communication with local groups and that there are at the present moment a number of anarchist refugees of the worst type in Sydney. More than that, it is whispered that this country has been made a kind of depot for Anarchistic correspondence and that some recent European explosions were to have had an echo in the far south.
The tone is Brady’s. Outrageously, it went on to assert an embellishment of the 1890 ‘bomb-plot’ story:
At the time of the strike in 1890 it is said that a cartload of dynamite with an electrical firing apparatus affixed was launched at dead of night from a lonely wharf on Pyrmont side with a view to blowing up a wharf and woolstores, where a great number of free labourers had been assembled. The plot failed owing to an act of cowardice or conscience on someone’s part …
Totally out-manoeuvred on the question of direct action, the whole of ‘the movement’ was in tatters, vigorous only in spasms, subsiding fitfully to a plateau of aspiration far below that from which it had begun the decade. The containment of the democratic surge within the parliamentary bottle was very nearly complete. Country districts were the last to submit, 1894 providing some of the clearest examples of determined, deliberate yet largely spontaneous defensive acts of violence of the whole period, without so far as I am aware there being any genuine anarchists on hand. The authorities, on the other hand, were still adding to their strength. The Queensland government introduced Peace Preservation Legislation in August and issued a Manual to ‘peace officers’ which horrified even the Sydney Daily Telegraph:
This ghastly official announcement ….Not even in the most autocratically governed country in Europe has a more cold-blooded incitement to take human life been issued with official sanction.
The Manual ordered the police in specified situations not to fire low, but to pick off ‘the leaders’, echoing the ASB leaflet. Among many other things the legislation made it possible to imprison anyone for six months without trial if suspected of being guilty of any crime punishable by law – in particular, violence, intimidation or incitement, or tending to disturb or interfere with law and order. Eight labor members of parliament were gagged and expelled for attempting to stop the Bill. Tozer, Colonial Secretary, was quoted as saying that the arrests of strike leaders in 1891 was illegal, and that he wanted power to do it legally, thus the new Bill. The alleged ASB leaflet from November, 1893  were followed-up in July and August 1894, only the first of them referring to the ASB, the second being called ‘An Anarchist Leaflet’ by the Brisbane Courier.
What Tozer described in 1894 as ‘an insurrection’ ‘in the west’ spilled into New South Wales. The ASU Manifesto averred the need to ‘resist to the death’ and the Australian Star from 4 July 1894 to the end of November reported fifty-seven serious ‘rural strike’ incidents from the two States. From 1 May to the end of August there were in the Star fifty-two major reports or editorials on anarchy, real and imaginary, mostly from overseas, then only a further nine to the end of 1894. The burning of the MV Rodney in August while it was conducting ‘free labourers’ to Bourke on the Darling River provoked the new Reid Government in NSW to offer £100 rewards and to spend ‘large sums in secret detective work’.
Pastoralist WE Abbott made a useful distinction between ‘justifiable…and under all the circumstances, commendable homicide’ and ‘murder’ which would have made ‘every one of the sundowners’ involved in an attack on ‘free labourers’ leading to a fatality among the attacked, criminals and ‘liable to be hanged’:
Anarchy, bloodshed and murder are the natural fruits of pandering to crime or cowering in the presence of criminals.
When Justice Stephen urged station owners and strike-breakers to arm themselves and shoot down strikers – ‘the law will find it justifiable homicide’ – a young May Hickman weighed in:
Just so. Stephen’s interpretation of the law should cut both ways; but when unionists resist the ruffianly attempts of organised capital … their resistance is called riot or insurrection, according to the law. Therefore let Stephen … be impeached – as a counsellor to sedition and a stirrer-up of civil strife.
Neither she nor Abbott were arrested. Again one wonders about the behind-the-scenes dynamic. In responding to Abbott’s letters and to a telegram from a meeting of Wagga pastoralists along the same lines, Inspector-General Fosberry expressed surprise that ‘life has not already been sacrificed’ in the west and suggested stronger punitive actions: the dispersing of union camps; an act of parliament ‘rendering it illegal under certain circumstances for persons to carry arms’; employment of the military – ‘they would be of little use unless an Act could be passed at once, similar to that in force in Queensland authorising their service as Police’ – and special printed instructions for the police as to their legal powers and duties.
The end of Dibbs’s reign in July made little difference, as the disastrous result for Labor – only George Black being clearly supported strongly – meant that the Reid Cabinet could shrug off the verbal attacks on it if and when it introduced police into strike areas. Equally it shrugged off the Bulletin’s suggestions that Party Government be replaced with a system of referenda as the only way to a truly democratic society, that is, one in which majority  will prevailed. The radicals’ only weapons now were verbal, and these were blunted. It is helpful to note just how different New Zealand continued to be. The New Zealand Police Commissioner, Hume, in circumstances similar to those in Australia, refused a request from a pastoralist for protection of even the station itself, especially since, Hume said, the problem was self-induced as the pastoralist had brought in outside, that is, NSW, labour.
Pockets of self-sustaining indignation outside the capitals persisted. In Orange (NSW town), Dibbs was attacked with eggs and flour by miners, in July 9/7/1894, just before the election which ousted him. In Newcastle, police guarding ‘free labourers’ were promiscuously thumping men and women and children of miners, some reports say with bottles. One interesting new response occurred at Minmi (pit-town nr Newcastle) where an improvised cannon was used to shell a ‘scab’ camp. Two miners arrested were discharged when it became obvious that an American-born police informer, Nelson, was involved as agent provocateur. In the city, physical and emotional decline followed the labour movement’s defeats. ‘Get rifles, let’s fight’ was a Domain call in February 1894 but railway unionists tried hard to get the TLC to pass their resolution abhorring the assassination of President Carnot in June, the Council resisting in order to make a symbolic gesture, feeling it would be a ‘laughing stock’.
Deep disillusion showed in the debate which raged the length of the country over William Lane’s fanaticism and leadership. Gilbert Casey challenged Head in Sydney for a share of ‘New Australia’ assets following the first split in South America and was repulsed. Head then disappeared, later turning up in Tasmania with a new name. Peter McNaught for a while toured, recruiting for the colony, then turned back more and more to Single Tax efforts, and gradually dropped out of sight. Rose Summerfield attempted for a time to radicalise the women’s movement being president of the Waverly Branch of Womanhood Suffrage and a member of the NSW Council for a period. She then worked with Casey to encourage women to go to Paraguay where she went herself in 1899 with her second husband, Leo Cadogan.
Lawson was recalled to Sydney from a secure job in New Zealand to work on ‘The Daily Worker’ but arrived three days after the scheme collapsed. Aptly, he wrote in 1894 of ‘The Dying Anarchist’ to symbolise his own spoliation and that of the impetuous wave of which he expected so much:
I have been through it all,
Republican, Conservative, Socialist,
Anarchist, Ishmael! Broken idols.
He’d seen close-up the splits, the loss of momentum, the strike losses, the abortive attempts at secret organisations, the disharmony among those who talked solidarity and mateship, and most of all the continued reluctance of ‘the people’ to move on their own behalf:
I dreamed of revolution with blood and fire … I pictured myself in a Liberty cap on top of a barricade … all covered with burnt powder and dust and blood … and my comrades fighting … as they roared the Marseillaise … afterwards wounded and dying.
Inescapably romantic, physically and emotionally limited Lawson was unable to choose action over dreams, but in his dreams he died, sometimes happy. Reality was far too difficult but in this brief vignette he oscillated between fatalism and the need for action:
A bond of hate – the Anarchists. No, not hating each other; we held each other in contempt – we distrusted one another, but we hated the world.
He swings between seeing this hate and suspicion as detrimental to the cause and as an understandable response.
God! I hate them all – the blind, selfish, ignorant fools who live in idleness and lust, and the blind, selfish, ignorant brutes who slave and starve …I toiled for [change] … worked night after night … for the sake of ‘our fellow- men’ who would be the first to mock us and tear us to pieces. Fellowmen! Poor curs who would bite you if you tried to stop their masters from kicking them.
His disillusion was deep:
Comrade? No. I hate that word now. It has become a word of cant like ‘Brother’ and ‘Union’ – like your ‘Mateship!’ I am disgusted with it all.
Published in August, the month before this Lawson ‘story’ appeared, in one of the last issues of New Order was a letter from Andrews which caused a stir in the police office because the authorities thought it must have been smuggled out. It is an important bench-mark for his lessening enthusiasm for agitation. Before going into prison he had written:
After mature consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the present social system … is an essential part of the order of nature and that far from seeking its overthrow, it should be our aim to let it take its course undisturbed whilst removing ourselves from its influence.
This social-Darwinist statement stands alone and outside the flow of his material generally. The ignorant, those incapable of logical understanding, whether rich or poor, powerful or not, will not perpetuate their kind, and it would be better if ‘we’, those fitted in the fullest sense for a voluntary and co-operative life, let them die out, rather than try to save them from the ravages of competition ‘keener and more scientific’. Unfortunately, ‘we’ due to our higher and nobler sensitivities are also unlikely to reproduce, and in addition ‘we are menaced through all sorts of diabolical’ misrepresentations. it is a hugely disappointed statement, reflecting his tiredness and the state of ‘the movement’. Out of jail in October, he took up propaganda activities again with renewed enthusiasm. Writing to Dwyer he said he was keeping up the sale of books, having added a new lot but business was slow:
I am thinking about a flying trip in the country … I shall anyway try and make a good all-round trip [after Dwyer’s release]. Charley is looking after the beds [at 491 Elizabeth Street] and Liaubon is doing all he can to push things forward.
Liaubon, a Frenchman with a full-time job, was living in Balmain in a house owned by Mrs Cameron and where ASB and labour meetings were held. He tended a ‘Unity’ garden there and prepared poems and propaganda sheets such as ‘The Balmain Anarchist’ for publication. Andrews continued to print poem sheets and produced a second issue of Revolt which was critical of inactive anarchists though he claimed a degree of progress. He thought ‘the lesson of New Australia’ had influenced people towards anarchy and thought ‘a very manifest anarchist tendency of thought is arising among the progressive unionists, whose socialism is now about the standard of the old social democratic alliance at the time of Bakunin’.
He used publication of this bulletin to manipulate the terms of his arrest for sedition. The charge came out of the address Lord Chief Justice Darley made when sentencing the group of unionists known as the Momba shearers. There is no need to add to Andrews’s account except to record that his response to Darley was deliberately provocative, saying quite baldly, ‘I am an advocate of murder, incendiarism and rebellion’, before pointing out that this was exactly the sense of Darley’s words as it was for Hickman and Abbott. Darley had flouting the law when it suited him. A few years before, in supporting the unconstitutional NSW contingent to the Soudan War, Darley took the view that ‘where the glory of the Empire was at stake the letter of the law was but trifling’. He said he felt pity for those who could not ‘feel proud of such illegalities’. This is perhaps the same view as the editorialist for the South Australian Register took in October when some of the arrested strikers were released because no adverse witnesses could be found:
Secret Societies which terrorise jurors and witnesses … may be ineradicable among Italians or among the foreign riff-raff collected in such a city as New Orleans …but unless we have greatly mistaken the temper of the Australian public nothing of the sort will be tolerated in these British Colonies. In this view the Rodney incident … may have a bracing effect upon all who have the spirit
of Englishmen, and have an Englishman’s detestation of wholesale violence, shielded by wholesale intimidation…
Just after Andrews’s December arrest George Black wrote to Dwyer that the Attorney-General was wavering in his desire to proceed on the very heavy charges on which the arrest had been made, sedition and incitement to murder. Photographs of Andrews show him serious and intense, while descriptions of his physical appearance emphasise his ‘middle-aged, dishevelled’ appearance, though he was only thirty in 1895. His health was clearly impaired. His court responses, however, some written by his detractors, show his mental faculties acute and strong. An unnamed Bulletin writer, conversant with his work, carried on the education in the December 1894 issue. It repeats though not as harshly the appeal of the ‘evolutionary anarchists’ for nature to be allowed to take its course and makes clear its opposition to [state] socialism:
The conception of the anarchist is undoubtedly the higher. Socialism … the view of a human society which considers its members as merely specialised parts of a huge machine, and exacts from every individual abject obedience to the mandates of a central authority is less noble …
No less clearly:
The bomb is the direct antithesis of Anarchism and the … anarchist doctrine has the more reason to deprecate it because up to now it is the anarchist agitation that has suffered the most from its agitation.
The Bulletin further ventured to translate and print with this long article a long poem with illustrations from banned French anarchist paper Le Pere Peinard and extracts from Le Peril Anarchiste, a sympathetic account despite the title. Andrews’s ideas and anarchism generally continued to be discussed despite their apparent unreality in pre-Federated Australia, one example being the debate Reverend J. Medway Day has with his audience as editor of the (Sydney) Worker.