Source: Editorial, "The Crisis Just Ahead," Wealth Makers, April 25, 1895, p. 4.
Summary: In this editorial Gibson warns of impending crisis should the Populists confine their demands for reform to the silver issue alone. He states that silver is "an incidental," and that "government ownership of the great monopolies" is the "main idea" of the Populists. Gibson viewed the People's Party as the only political party that recognized the true threat monopolies posed, and believed that if the Populists did not win the next election the monopolies' powers would grow to such an extent that "a revolution...will be precipitated." Gibson's belief that the reforms called for in the Omaha Platform of 1892 could and should be enacted as a means to prevent revolution reveal that his socialist tendencies were non-Marxian in nature.
The Crisis Just Ahead
Senator Roach, Democrat from North Dakota, says in a published interview concerning the silver movement:
“If we put a free silver plank in our national platform there will be no third ticket in the field, and the Democratic candidate will be elected.”
Which leads us to suggest that now is the time for the Populists to show emphatically that free silver is not all they demand, nor the greater part, and that we know better than to reduce our platform to one idea, an idea which would enable the Democratic party to smear and swallow us. There is strong indication now that every western and southern state will send a free silver delegation to the next national convention, and if they do, free silver will be a part of the platform. Now if we have got any Populists who think the Democratic tariff promises with a silver promise added are all the country needs, they can go back to the embraces of Democracy. But the Populist party cannot be caught in any such fly trap. It isn’t our size. Silver with us is an incidental. Government ownership of the great monopolies is our main idea. We are the only party that recognizes the tyranny of established monopolies, their fearfully fast-growing enslaving strength, and the present desperate need of pressing the fight against their combined power. It is this recognition on the part of a million and a half voters which is the one hope of the country. If we turn to the right hand or left, if we allow muzzles to be placed upon us and keep silent regarding the railroad, banking, telegraph and land monopolies, they will in less than five years so increase their power and oppression that a revolution, force meeting force in such a conflict as the world has never yet seen, will be precipitated. Every power of unselfish sacrifice to spread the truth and educate voters must be made use of, or powder and dynamite and fire will lay low the proud monuments of our selfish civilization.