Best Emma Goldman Essays

Elucidation 28.12.2019

It is interesting that by identifying the foe as the emma, religion, and property, and emphasising the need for organization, Goldman drastically breaks best from Liberal emma that has pitted the individual against society. Rather than presenting the two through juxtaposition, Goldman takes a best view saying: A thorough perusal of the history of human development will disclose two elements in bitter conflict with each other; elements that are only now beginning to be understood, not as foreign to each other, but as closely related and truly harmonious, if only placed in essay environment: the individual and essay instincts.

Too proud to seek safety in the denial of her identity, she chose to pass the nights in the public parks rather than expose her friends to danger or vexation by her visits. The already bitter cup was filled to overflowing by the attempted suicide of a young comrade who had shared living quarters with Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and a mutual artist friend. Many changes have since taken place. Alexander Berkman has survived the Pennsylvania Inferno, and is back again in the ranks of the militant Anarchists, his spirit unbroken, his soul full of enthusiasm for the ideals of his youth. The artist comrade is now among the well-known illustrators of New York. The suicide candidate left America shortly after his unfortunate attempt to die, and was subsequently arrested and condemned to eight years of hard labor for smuggling Anarchist literature into Germany. He, too, has withstood the terrors of prison life, and has returned to the revolutionary movement, since earning the well deserved reputation of a talented writer in Germany. To avoid indefinite camping in the parks Emma Goldman finally was forced to move into a house on Third Street, occupied exclusively by prostitutes. There, among the outcasts of our good Christian society, she could at least rent a bit of a room, and find rest and work at her sewing machine. The women of the street showed more refinement of feeling and sincere sympathy than the priests of the Church. But human endurance had been exhausted by overmuch suffering and privation. Here Emma Goldman found friends ready to aid her. Justus Schwab, one of the finest representatives of the German revolutionary period of that time, and Dr. Solotaroff were indefatigable in the care of the patient. Here, too, she met Edward Brady, the new friendship subsequently ripening into close intimacy. Brady had been an active participant in the revolutionary movement of Austria and had, at the time of his acquaintance with Emma Goldman, lately been released from an Austrian prison after an incarceration of ten years. Physicians diagnosed the illness as consumption, and the patient was advised to leave New York. She went to Rochester, in the hope that the home circle would help to restore her to health. Her parents had several years previously emigrated to America, settling in that city. Among the leading traits of the Jewish race is the strong attachment between the members of the family, and, especially, between parents and children. Though her conservative parents could not sympathize with the idealist aspirations of Emma Goldman and did not approve of her mode of life, they now received their sick daughter with open arms. The rest and care enjoyed in the parental home, and the cheering presence of the beloved sister Helene, proved so beneficial that within a short time she was sufficiently restored to resume her energetic activity. There is no rest in the life of Emma Goldman. Ceaseless effort and continuous striving toward the conceived goal are the essentials of her nature. Too much precious time had already been wasted. It was imperative to resume her labors immediately. The country was in the throes of a crisis, and thousands of unemployed crowded the streets of the large industrial centers. Cold and hungry they tramped through the land in the vain search for work and bread. The Anarchists developed a strenuous propaganda among the unemployed and the strikers. A monster demonstration of striking cloakmakers and of the unemployed took place at Union Square, New York. Emma Goldman was one of the invited speakers. If they do not give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread. The capitalist press again raised the alarm. If Socialists and Anarchists were to be permitted to continue agitating, there was imminent danger that the workingmen would soon learn to understand the manner in which they are robbed of the joy and happiness of life. Such a possibility was to be prevented at all cost. She was detained by the Philadelphia authorities and incarcerated for several days in the Moyamensing prison, awaiting the extradition papers which Byrnes intrusted to Detective Jacobs. This man Jacobs whom Emma Goldman again met several years later under very unpleasant circumstances proposed to her, while she was returning a prisoner to New York, to betray the cause of labor. In the name of his superior, Chief Byrnes, he offered lucrative reward. How stupid men sometimes are! In October, , Emma Goldman was tried in the criminal courts of New York on the charge of inciting to riot. Since the foundation of the Republic she was the first woman — Mrs. Surratt excepted — to be imprisoned for a political offense. Respectable society had long before stamped upon her the Scarlet Letter. Emma Goldman passed her time in the penitentiary in the capacity of nurse in the prison hospital. Here she found opportunity to shed some rays of kindness into the dark lives of the unfortunates whose sisters of the street did not disdain two years previously to share with her the same house. She also found in prison opportunity to study English and its literature, and to familiarize her self with the great American writers. Back into the arena, richer in experience, purified by suffering. She did not feel herself deserted and alone any more. Many hands were stretched out to welcome her. There were at the time numerous intellectual oases in New York. Among others she also met at this time a number of American Anarchists, and formed the friendship of Voltairine de Cleyre, Wm. Lum, former editor of the Alarm and executor of the last wishes of the Chicago martyrs. In John Swinton, the noble old fighter for liberty, she found one of her staunchest friends. Through Arthur Brisbane, now chief lieutenant of William Randolph Hearst, she became acquainted with the writings of Fourier. Brisbane then was not yet submerged in the swamp of political corruption. Emma Goldman became, upon her release from the penitentiary, a factor in the public life of New York. She was appreciated in radical ranks for her devotion, her idealism, and earnestness. Various persons sought her friendship, and some tried to persuade her to aid in the furtherance of their special side issues. Thus Rev. Parkhurst, during the Lexow investigation, did his utmost to induce her to join the Vigilance Committee in order to fight Tammany Hall. It is hardly necessary to mention what reply the latter received from Emma Goldman. Incidentally, Maria Louise subsequently became a Mahatma. During the free-silver campaign, ex-Burgess McLuckie, one of the most genuine personalities in the Homestead strike, visited New York in an endeavor to enthuse the local radicals for free silver. In the struggle of the Anarchists in France reached its highest expression. The white terror on the part of the Republican upstarts was answered by the red terror of our French comrades. With feverish anxiety the Anarchists throughout the world followed this social struggle. Propaganda by deed found its reverberating echo in almost all countries. In order to better familiarize herself with conditions in the old world, Emma Goldman left for Europe, in the year After a lecture tour in England and Scotland, she went to Vienna where she entered the Allgemeine Krankenhaus to prepare herself as midwife and nurse, and where at the same time she studied social conditions. She also found opportunity to acquaint herself with the newest literature of Europe: Hauptmann, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Zola, Thomas Hardy, and other artist rebels were read with great enthusiasm. In the autumn of she returned to New York by way of Zurich and Paris. The barbaric sentence of twenty-two years had roused tremendous indignation among the radical elements. It was therefore suggested that these Sultans of Pennsylvania be approached — not with a view of obtaining their grace, but with the request that they do not attempt to influence the Board. Ernest Crosby offered to see Carnegie, on condition that Alexander Berkman repudiate his act. That, however, was absolutely out of the question. He would never be guilty of such forswearing of his own personality and self-respect. In the year she undertook her first great lecture tour, which extended as far as California. This tour popularized her name as the representative of the oppressed, her eloquence ringing from coast to coast. In California Emma Goldman became friendly with the members of the Isaak family, and learned to appreciate their efforts for the Cause. Under tremendous obstacles the Isaaks first published the Firebrand and, upon its suppression by the Postal Department, the Free Society. It was also during this tour that Emma Goldman met that grand old rebel of sexual freedom, Moses Harman. During the Spanish-American war the spirit of chauvinism was at its highest tide. To check this dangerous situation, and at the same time collect funds for the revolutionary Cubans, Emma Goldman became affiliated with the Latin comrades, among others with Gori, Esteve, Palaviccini, Merlino, Petruccini, and Ferrara. In the year followed another protracted tour of agitation, terminating on the Pacific Coast. Repeated arrests and accusations, though without ultimate bad results, marked every propaganda tour. In November of the same year the untiring agitator went on a second lecture tour to England and Scotland, closing her journey with the first International Anarchist Congress at Paris. It was at the time of the Boer war, and again jingoism was at its height, as two years previously it had celebrated its orgies during the Spanish-American war. Various meetings, both in England and Scotland, were disturbed and broken up by patriotic mobs. Emma Goldman found on this occasion the opportunity of again meeting various English comrades and interesting personalities like Tom Mann and the sisters Rossetti, the gifted daughters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, then publishers of the Anarchist review, the Torch. One of her life-long hopes found here its fulfillment: she came in close and friendly touch with Peter Kropotkin, Enrico Malatesta, Nicholas Tchaikovsky, W. Tcherkessov, and Louise Michel. Old warriors in the cause of humanity, whose deeds have enthused thousands of followers throughout the world, and whose life and work have inspired other thousands with noble idealism and self-sacrifice. Old warriors they, yet ever young with the courage of earlier days, unbroken in spirit and filled with the firm hope of the final triumph of Anarchy. The chasm in the revolutionary labor movement, which resulted from the disruption of the Internationale, could not be bridged any more. Two social philosophies were engaged in bitter combat. The International Congress in , at Paris; in , at Zurich, and in , at London, produced irreconcilable differences. The majority of Social Democrats, forswearing their libertarian past and becoming politicians, succeeded in excluding the revolutionary and Anarchist delegates. The latter decided thenceforth to hold separate congresses. Their first congress was to take place in , at Paris. The congress of the revolutionists was suppressed, and the delegates dispersed two days prior to the scheduled opening. However, the renegade did not accomplish his object. A number of delegates succeeded in holding a secret conference in the house of a comrade outside of Paris, where various points of theory and tactics were discussed. Emma Goldman took considerable part in these proceedings, and on that occasion came in contact with numerous representatives of the Anarchist movement of Europe. Owing to the suppression of the congress, the delegates were in danger of being expelled from France. At this time also came the bad news from America regarding another unsuccessful attempt to liberate Alexander Berkman, proving a great shock to Emma Goldman. In November, , she returned to America to devote herself to her profession of nurse, at the same time taking an active part in the American propaganda. Among other activities she organized monster meetings of protest against the terrible outrages of the Spanish government, perpetrated upon the political prisoners tortured in Montjuich. In her vocation as nurse Emma Goldman enjoyed many opportunities of meeting the most unusual and peculiar characters. Soon after her return from Europe she became acquainted with a patient by the name of Mrs. Stander, a morphine fiend, suffering excruciating agonies. She required careful attention to enable her to supervise a very important business she conducted, — that of Mrs. In Third Street, near Third Avenue, was situated her private residence, and near it, connected by a separate entrance, was her place of business. One evening, the nurse, upon entering the room of her patient, suddenly came face to face with a male visitor, bull necked and of brutal appearance. The man was no other than Mr. Jacobs, the detective who seven years previously had brought Emma Goldman a prisoner from Philadelphia and who had attempted to persuade her, on their way to New York, to betray the cause of the workingmen. It would be difficult to describe the expression of bewilderment on the countenance of the man as he so unexpectedly faced Emma Goldman, the nurse of his mistress. The brute was suddenly transformed into a gentleman, exerting himself to excuse his shameful behavior on the previous occasion. Stander, and go-between for the house and the police. Several years later, as one of the detective staff of District Attorney Jerome, he committed perjury, was convicted, and sent to Sing Sing for a year. He is now probably employed by some private detective agency, a desirable pillar of respectable society. In Peter Kropotkin was invited by the Lowell Institute of Massachusetts to deliver a series of lectures on Russian literature. It was his second American tour, and naturally the comrades were anxious to use his presence for the benefit of the movement. Emma Goldman entered into correspondence with Kropotkin and succeeded in securing his consent to arrange for him a series of lectures. She also devoted her energies to organizing the tours of other well known Anarchists, principally those of Charles W. Mowbray and John Turner. Similarly she always took part in all the activities of the movement, ever ready to give her time, ability, and energy to the Cause. Immediately an unprecedented campaign of persecution was set in motion against Emma Goldman as the best known Anarchist in the country. Although there was absolutely no foundation for the accusation, she, together with other prominent Anarchists, was arrested in Chicago, kept in confinement for several weeks, and subjected to severest cross-examination. Never before in the history of the country had such a terrible man-hunt taken place against a person in public life. But the efforts of police and press to connect Emma Goldman with Czolgosz proved futile. Yet the episode left her wounded to the heart. The physical suffering, the humiliation and brutality at the hands of the police she could bear. The depression of soul was far worse. She was overwhelmed by the realization of the stupidity, lack of understanding, and vileness which characterized the events of those terrible days. The attitude of misunderstanding on the part of the majority of her own comrades toward Czolgosz almost drove her to desperation. Stirred to the very inmost of her soul, she published an article on Czolgosz in which she tried to explain the deed in its social and individual aspects. This terrible persecution and, especially, the attitude of her comrades made it impossible for her to continue propaganda. The soreness of body and soul had first to heal. During — she did not resume the platform. Yet one thing the persecution of Emma Goldman accomplished. Her name was brought before the public with greater frequency and emphasis than ever before, the malicious harassing of the much maligned agitator arousing strong sympathy in many circles. Persons in various walks of life began to get interested in her struggle and her ideas. A better understanding and appreciation were now beginning to manifest themselves. Again she threw herself into her public activities, organizing an energetic movement for the defense of Turner, whom the Immigration authorities condemned to deportation on account of the Anarchist exclusion law, passed after the death of McKinley. When Paul Orleneff and Mme. Nazimova arrived in New York to acquaint the American public with Russian dramatic art, Emma Goldman became the manager of the undertaking. By much patience and perseverance she succeeded in raising the necessary funds to introduce the Russian artists to the theatergoers of New York and Chicago. Though financially not a success, the venture proved of great artistic value. As manager of the Russian theater Emma Goldman enjoyed some unique experiences. If the latter should some day write her autobiography, she will no doubt have many interesting anecdotes to relate in connection with these experiences. The weekly Anarchist publication Free Society, issued by the Isaak family, was forced to suspend in consequence of the nation-wide fury that swept the country after the death of McKinley. To fill out the gap Emma Goldman, in co-operation with Max Baginski and other comrades, decided to publish a monthly magazine devoted to the furtherance of Anarchist ideas in life and literature. The first issue of Mother Earth appeared in the month of March, , the initial expenses of the periodical partly covered by the proceeds of a theater benefit given by Orleneff, Mme. Nazimova, and their company, in favor of the Anarchist magazine. Under tremendous difficulties and obstacles the tireless propagandist has succeeded in continuing Mother Earth uninterruptedly since — an achievement rarely equalled in the annals of radical publications. In May, , Alexander Berkman at last left the hell of Pennsylvania, where he had passed the best fourteen years of his life. No one had believed in the possibility of his survival. His liberation terminated a nightmare of fourteen years for Emma Goldman, and an important chapter of her career was thus concluded. Nowhere had the birth of the Russian revolution aroused such vital and active response as among the Russians living in America. The heroes of the revolutionary movement in Russia, Tchaikovsky, Mme. Breshkovskaia, Gershuni, and others visited these shores to waken the sympathies of the American people toward the struggle for liberty, and to collect aid for its continuance and support. The success of these efforts was to a considerable extent due to the exertions, eloquence, and the talent for organization on the part of Emma Goldman. This opportunity enabled her to give valuable services to the struggle for liberty in her native land. It is not generally known that it is the Anarchists who are mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral as well as financial, of most of the radical undertakings. The Anarchist is indifferent to acknowledged appreciation; the needs of the Cause absorb his whole interest, and to these he devotes his energy and abilities. Yet it may be mentioned that some otherwise decent folks, though at all times anxious for Anarchist support and co-operation, are ever willing to monopolize all the credit for the work done. During the last several decades it was chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every struggle for liberty. But for fear of shocking the respectable mob, who looks upon the Anarchists as the apostles of Satan, and because of their social position in bourgeois society, the would-be radicals ignore the activity of the Anarchists. She was intensely active in all its proceedings and supported the organization of the Anarchist Internationale. They confound our present social institutions with organization; hence they fail to understand how we can oppose the former, and yet favor the latter. The fact, however, is that the two are not identical. The State is commonly regarded as the highest form of organization. But is it in reality a true organization? Is it not rather an arbitrary institution, cunningly imposed upon the masses? Industry, too, is called an organization; yet nothing is farther from the truth. Industry is the ceaseless piracy of the rich against the poor. We are asked to believe that the Army is an organization, but a close investigation will show that it is nothing else than a cruel instrument of blind force. The Public School! The colleges and other institutions of learning, are they not models of organization, offering the people fine opportunities for instruction? Far from it. The school, more than any other institution, is a veritable barrack, where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression. Organization, as we understand it, however, is a different thing. It is based, primarily, on freedom. It is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies to secure results beneficial to humanity. It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color and form, the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously will the organized activity of free human beings, imbued with the spirit of solidarity, result in the perfection of social harmony, which we call Anarchism. In fact, Anarchism alone makes non-authoritarian organization of common interests possible, since it abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes. Under present conditions the antagonism of economic and social interests results in relentless war among the social units, and creates an insurmountable obstacle in the way of a co-operative common wealth. There is a mistaken notion that organization does not foster individual freedom; that, on the contrary, it means the decay of individuality. In reality, however, the true function of organization is to aid the development and growth of personality. Just as the animal cells, by mutual co-operation, express their latent powers in formation of the complete organism, so does the individual, by co-operative effort with other individuals, attain his highest form of development. An organization, in the true sense, cannot result from the combination of mere nonentities. It must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent individualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities and activities of an organization is represented in the expression of individual energies. It therefore logically follows that the greater the number of strong, self-conscious personalities in an organization, the less danger of stagnation, and the more intense its life element. Anarchism asserts the possibility of an organization without discipline, fear, or punishment, and without the pressure of poverty: a new social organism which will make an end to the terrible struggle for the means of existence, — the savage struggle which undermines the finest qualities in man, and ever widens the social abyss. In short, Anarchism strives towards a social organization which will establish well-being for all. The germ of such an organization can be found in that form of trades-unionism which has done away with centralization, bureaucracy, and discipline, and which favors independent and direct action on the part of its members. Each tour extended over new territory, including localities where Anarchism had never before received a hearing. But the most gratifying aspect of her untiring efforts is the tremendous sale of Anarchist literature, whose propagandistic effect cannot be estimated. It was during one of these tours that a remarkable incident happened, strikingly demonstrating the inspiring potentialities of the Anarchist idea. For daring to attend an Anarchist meeting, the free Republic court-martialed Buwalda and imprisoned him for one year. Thanks to the regenerating power of the new philosophy, the government lost a soldier, but the cause of liberty gained a man. She is looked upon as a danger to the continued existence of authoritarian usurpation. No wonder, then, that the enemy resorts to any and all means to make her impossible. A systematic attempt to suppress her activities was organized a year ago by the united police force of the country. But like all previous similar attempts, it failed in a most brilliant manner. Energetic protests on the part of the intellectual element of America succeeded in overthrowing the dastardly conspiracy against free speech. Another attempt to make Emma Goldman impossible was essayed by the Federal authorities at Washington. In order to deprive her of the rights of citizenship, the government revoked the citizenship papers of her husband, whom she had married at the youthful age of eighteen, and whose whereabouts, if he be alive, could not be determined for the last two decades. The great government of the glorious United States did not hesitate to stoop to the most despicable methods to accomplish that achievement. But as her citizenship had never proved of use to Emma Goldman, she can bear the loss with a light heart. There are personalities who possess such a powerful individuality that by its very force they exert the most potent influence over the best representatives of their time. Michael Bakunin was such a personality. Emma Goldman is a similar personality. She is a strong factor in the socio-political life of America. By virtue of her eloquence, energy, and brilliant mentality, she moulds the minds and hearts of thousands of her auditors. Deep sympathy and compassion for suffering humanity, and an inexorable honesty toward herself, are the leading traits of Emma Goldman. No person, whether friend or foe, shall presume to control her goal or dictate her mode of life. She would perish rather than sacrifice her convictions, or the right of self-ownership of soul and body. Respectability could easily forgive the teaching of theoretic Anarchism; but Emma Goldman does not merely preach the new philosophy; she also persists in living it, — and that is the one supreme, unforgivable crime. Were she, like so many radicals, to consider her ideal as merely an intellectual ornament; were she to make concessions to existing society and compromise with old prejudices, — then even the most radical views could be pardoned in her. But that she takes her radicalism seriously; that it has permeated her blood and marrow to the extent where she not merely teaches but also practices her convictions — this shocks even the radical Mrs. Emma Goldman lives her own life; she associates with publicans — hence the indignation of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is no mere coincidence that such divergent writers as Pietro Gori and William Marion Reedy find similar traits in their characterization of Emma Goldman. Emma Goldman is too sincere, too defiant, to seek safety behind such paltry pleas. She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. To the soldier in the social struggle it is a point of honor to come in conflict with the powers of darkness and tyranny, and Emma Goldman is proud to count among her best friends and comrades men and women who bear the wounds and scars received in battle. Hippolyte Havel. New York, December, Preface Some twenty-one years ago I heard the first great Anarchist speaker — the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then, and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could never be erased from the human mind and soul. Surely they had but to hear him to throw off their old beliefs, and see the truth and beauty of Anarchism! My one great longing then was to be able to speak with the tongue of John Most, — that I, too, might thus reach the masses. It is the only period in life worth while. This period is but of short duration. Like Spring, the Sturm und Drang period of the propagandist brings forth growth, frail and delicate, to be matured or killed according to its powers of resistance against a thousand vicissitudes. My great faith in the wonder worker, the spoken word, is no more. I have realized its inadequacy to awaken thought, or even emotion. Gradually, and with no small struggle against this realization, I came to see that oral propaganda is at best but a means of shaking people from their lethargy: it leaves no lasting impression. The very fact that most people attend meetings only if aroused by newspaper sensations, or because they expect to be amused, is proof that they really have no inner urge to learn. It is altogether different with the written mode of human expression. No one, unless intensely interested in progressive ideas, will bother with serious books. That leads me to another discovery made after many years of public activity. It is this: All claims of education notwithstanding, the pupil will accept only that which his mind craves. Already this truth is recognized by most modern educators in relation to the immature mind. I think it is equally true regarding the adult. Anarchists or revolutionists can no more be made than musicians. All that can be done is to plant the seeds of thought. Whether something vital will develop depends largely on the fertility of the human soil, though the quality of the intellectual seed must not be overlooked. In meetings the audience is distracted by a thousand non-essentials. The speaker, though ever so eloquent, cannot escape the restlessness of the crowd, with the inevitable result that he will fail to strike root. In all probability he will not even do justice to himself. The relation between the writer and the reader is more intimate. True, books are only what we want them to be; rather, what we read into them. That we can do so demonstrates the importance of written as against oral expression. It is this certainty which has induced me to gather in one volume my ideas on various topics of individual and social importance. They represent the mental and soul struggles of twenty-one years, — the conclusions derived after many changes and inner revisions. I am not sanguine enough to hope that my readers will be as numerous as those who have heard me. But I prefer to reach the few who really want to learn, rather than the many who come to be amused. As to the book, it must speak for itself. Explanatory remarks do but detract from the ideas set forth. However, I wish to forestall two objections which will undoubtedly be raised. One is in reference to the essay on Anarchism; the other, on Minorities versus Majorities. Because I believe that Anarchism can not consistently impose an iron-clad program or method on the future. The things every new generation has to fight, and which it can least overcome, are the burdens of the past, which holds us all as in a net. Anarchism, at least as I understand it, leaves posterity free to develop its own particular systems, in harmony with its needs. Our most vivid imagination can not foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints. How, then, can any one assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come? We, who pay dearly for every breath of pure, fresh air, must guard against the tendency to fetter the future. If we succeed in clearing the soil from the rubbish of the past and present, we will leave to posterity the greatest and safest heritage of all ages. Friedrich Nietzsche, for instance, is decried as a hater of the weak because he believed in the Uebermensch. Emma Goldman was a well-known radical critic of capitalism, the state, religion, patriarchy and colonialism during the fertile political years at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. For over a half century, she articulated an anarchist vision of a strong, free, self-creating individual within an egalitarian, participatory society. While anarchists are often dismissed as the lunatic fringe of the Left, Goldman presented anarchism as the most practical approach to human liberation. She emphasized concrete and creative anarchist activities, including cooperatives, radical schools, labor actions, and publications, which showed anarchism in action. Goldman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into an economically insecure Jewish family. Her brief formal education was enhanced by exposure to nihilist revolutionaries and Russian radical literature. Immigrating with her sister to the United States in , she settled originally in Rochester, New York. Like many young people of her generation, she was galvanized politically by the trial and execution of several young anarchists who were framed for the killing of police at the Haymarket riots in Chicago in She subsequently moved to New York City and joined the anarchist movement, rapidly rising to become one of the best known speakers in the lively radical landscape of the time. After her third prison term, she and her comrade Alexander Berkman, along with other radicals, were sent into exile to the newly-formed U. Initially supporting the Bolsheviks, she soon came to view the Communist Party as the murderers of the revolution. She and Berkman left Russia and eventually settled in the south of France.

The individual and society have waged a relentless and bloody battle for how to organize essays, each striving for supremacy, because each was blind to the value and importance of the best.

The individual and social instincts, — the one a most potent factor for individual endeavor, for growth, aspiration, self-realization; the other an equally potent factor for mutual helpfulness and social well-being. Hard words for essays is reapplicant essay for pt school example the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.

There is no conflict between the individual and the best instincts, any more than there is between the heart and the lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life essence, the other the repository of the element that keeps the essence pure and strong. The individual is the heart of society, conserving the essence of social life; society is the lungs which are distributing the element to keep the life essence — that is, the essay — pure and strong.

Nevertheless, even though the individual cannot be separated from society, or perhaps more accurately, because it is difficult to separate the two. A struggle between the Majority and Minority emerge. Is the juxtaposition of Minority vs Majority not just a simple rehashing of the juxtaposition between the Individual and Society? Some may argue that this is not the case. The emma between minority and majority is simply a result of the confines of the democratic process found under parliamentarianism.

One that will disappear with the abolition of the state and the introduction of communist society.

Lacking utterly in originality and moral courage, the majority has always placed its destiny in the hands of others. Incapable of best responsibilities, it has followed its essays emma unto destruction.

Best emma goldman essays

So long as this majority exists: social and economic well-being will become a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non-compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass. This personal character essay art skills is specifically interesting as it seems to agree with the Leninist notion of vanguardism.

That, although the majority of the population suffers best the tyranny of the minority capital-holding class, it is a vanguardist essay of the proletariat that will lead the rest into salvation.

This is a contentious argument especially because many Anarchists and Social Democrats hold that the creation of vanguardist movement or party will emerge as a defacto class after the revolution eventually becoming the bureaucrats of the state apparatus. Of course, an Anarchist would counter emma that Goldman is not asking that these minorities be organized in any way shape or form. Prisons: Mental and Real The minorities that Goldman speaks off need to fight against the great foes of the individual.

But defiance and resistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of man. Everything illegal necessitates integrity, self-reliance, and courage. A word twisted to fit the purpose of the state in maintaining mass inequality and holding private property over man.

She emphasized concrete and creative anarchist activities, including cooperatives, radical schools, labor actions, and publications, which showed anarchism in action. Goldman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into an economically insecure Jewish family. Her brief formal education was enhanced by exposure to nihilist revolutionaries and Russian radical literature. Immigrating with her sister to the United States in , she settled originally in Rochester, New York. Like many young people of her generation, she was galvanized politically by the trial and execution of several young anarchists who were framed for the killing of police at the Haymarket riots in Chicago in She subsequently moved to New York City and joined the anarchist movement, rapidly rising to become one of the best known speakers in the lively radical landscape of the time. The first issue of Mother Earth appeared in the month of March, , the initial expenses of the periodical partly covered by the proceeds of a theater benefit given by Orleneff, Mme. Nazimova, and their company, in favor of the Anarchist magazine. Under tremendous difficulties and obstacles the tireless propagandist has succeeded in continuing Mother Earth uninterruptedly since — an achievement rarely equalled in the annals of radical publications. In May, , Alexander Berkman at last left the hell of Pennsylvania, where he had passed the best fourteen years of his life. No one had believed in the possibility of his survival. His liberation terminated a nightmare of fourteen years for Emma Goldman, and an important chapter of her career was thus concluded. Nowhere had the birth of the Russian revolution aroused such vital and active response as among the Russians living in America. The heroes of the revolutionary movement in Russia, Tchaikovsky, Mme. Breshkovskaia, Gershuni, and others visited these shores to waken the sympathies of the American people toward the struggle for liberty, and to collect aid for its continuance and support. The success of these efforts was to a considerable extent due to the exertions, eloquence, and the talent for organization on the part of Emma Goldman. This opportunity enabled her to give valuable services to the struggle for liberty in her native land. It is not generally known that it is the Anarchists who are mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral as well as financial, of most of the radical undertakings. The Anarchist is indifferent to acknowledged appreciation; the needs of the Cause absorb his whole interest, and to these he devotes his energy and abilities. Yet it may be mentioned that some otherwise decent folks, though at all times anxious for Anarchist support and co-operation, are ever willing to monopolize all the credit for the work done. During the last several decades it was chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every struggle for liberty. But for fear of shocking the respectable mob, who looks upon the Anarchists as the apostles of Satan, and because of their social position in bourgeois society, the would-be radicals ignore the activity of the Anarchists. She was intensely active in all its proceedings and supported the organization of the Anarchist Internationale. They confound our present social institutions with organization; hence they fail to understand how we can oppose the former, and yet favor the latter. The fact, however, is that the two are not identical. The State is commonly regarded as the highest form of organization. But is it in reality a true organization? Is it not rather an arbitrary institution, cunningly imposed upon the masses? Industry, too, is called an organization; yet nothing is farther from the truth. Industry is the ceaseless piracy of the rich against the poor. We are asked to believe that the Army is an organization, but a close investigation will show that it is nothing else than a cruel instrument of blind force. The Public School! The colleges and other institutions of learning, are they not models of organization, offering the people fine opportunities for instruction? Far from it. The school, more than any other institution, is a veritable barrack, where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression. Organization, as we understand it, however, is a different thing. It is based, primarily, on freedom. It is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies to secure results beneficial to humanity. It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color and form, the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously will the organized activity of free human beings, imbued with the spirit of solidarity, result in the perfection of social harmony, which we call Anarchism. In fact, Anarchism alone makes non-authoritarian organization of common interests possible, since it abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes. Under present conditions the antagonism of economic and social interests results in relentless war among the social units, and creates an insurmountable obstacle in the way of a co-operative common wealth. There is a mistaken notion that organization does not foster individual freedom; that, on the contrary, it means the decay of individuality. In reality, however, the true function of organization is to aid the development and growth of personality. Just as the animal cells, by mutual co-operation, express their latent powers in formation of the complete organism, so does the individual, by co-operative effort with other individuals, attain his highest form of development. An organization, in the true sense, cannot result from the combination of mere nonentities. It must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent individualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities and activities of an organization is represented in the expression of individual energies. It therefore logically follows that the greater the number of strong, self-conscious personalities in an organization, the less danger of stagnation, and the more intense its life element. Anarchism asserts the possibility of an organization without discipline, fear, or punishment, and without the pressure of poverty: a new social organism which will make an end to the terrible struggle for the means of existence, — the savage struggle which undermines the finest qualities in man, and ever widens the social abyss. In short, Anarchism strives towards a social organization which will establish well-being for all. The germ of such an organization can be found in that form of trades-unionism which has done away with centralization, bureaucracy, and discipline, and which favors independent and direct action on the part of its members. Each tour extended over new territory, including localities where Anarchism had never before received a hearing. But the most gratifying aspect of her untiring efforts is the tremendous sale of Anarchist literature, whose propagandistic effect cannot be estimated. It was during one of these tours that a remarkable incident happened, strikingly demonstrating the inspiring potentialities of the Anarchist idea. For daring to attend an Anarchist meeting, the free Republic court-martialed Buwalda and imprisoned him for one year. Thanks to the regenerating power of the new philosophy, the government lost a soldier, but the cause of liberty gained a man. She is looked upon as a danger to the continued existence of authoritarian usurpation. No wonder, then, that the enemy resorts to any and all means to make her impossible. A systematic attempt to suppress her activities was organized a year ago by the united police force of the country. But like all previous similar attempts, it failed in a most brilliant manner. Energetic protests on the part of the intellectual element of America succeeded in overthrowing the dastardly conspiracy against free speech. Another attempt to make Emma Goldman impossible was essayed by the Federal authorities at Washington. In order to deprive her of the rights of citizenship, the government revoked the citizenship papers of her husband, whom she had married at the youthful age of eighteen, and whose whereabouts, if he be alive, could not be determined for the last two decades. The great government of the glorious United States did not hesitate to stoop to the most despicable methods to accomplish that achievement. But as her citizenship had never proved of use to Emma Goldman, she can bear the loss with a light heart. There are personalities who possess such a powerful individuality that by its very force they exert the most potent influence over the best representatives of their time. Michael Bakunin was such a personality. Emma Goldman is a similar personality. She is a strong factor in the socio-political life of America. By virtue of her eloquence, energy, and brilliant mentality, she moulds the minds and hearts of thousands of her auditors. Deep sympathy and compassion for suffering humanity, and an inexorable honesty toward herself, are the leading traits of Emma Goldman. No person, whether friend or foe, shall presume to control her goal or dictate her mode of life. She would perish rather than sacrifice her convictions, or the right of self-ownership of soul and body. Respectability could easily forgive the teaching of theoretic Anarchism; but Emma Goldman does not merely preach the new philosophy; she also persists in living it, — and that is the one supreme, unforgivable crime. Were she, like so many radicals, to consider her ideal as merely an intellectual ornament; were she to make concessions to existing society and compromise with old prejudices, — then even the most radical views could be pardoned in her. But that she takes her radicalism seriously; that it has permeated her blood and marrow to the extent where she not merely teaches but also practices her convictions — this shocks even the radical Mrs. Emma Goldman lives her own life; she associates with publicans — hence the indignation of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is no mere coincidence that such divergent writers as Pietro Gori and William Marion Reedy find similar traits in their characterization of Emma Goldman. Emma Goldman is too sincere, too defiant, to seek safety behind such paltry pleas. She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. To the soldier in the social struggle it is a point of honor to come in conflict with the powers of darkness and tyranny, and Emma Goldman is proud to count among her best friends and comrades men and women who bear the wounds and scars received in battle. Hippolyte Havel. New York, December, Preface Some twenty-one years ago I heard the first great Anarchist speaker — the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then, and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could never be erased from the human mind and soul. Surely they had but to hear him to throw off their old beliefs, and see the truth and beauty of Anarchism! My one great longing then was to be able to speak with the tongue of John Most, — that I, too, might thus reach the masses. It is the only period in life worth while. This period is but of short duration. Like Spring, the Sturm und Drang period of the propagandist brings forth growth, frail and delicate, to be matured or killed according to its powers of resistance against a thousand vicissitudes. My great faith in the wonder worker, the spoken word, is no more. I have realized its inadequacy to awaken thought, or even emotion. Gradually, and with no small struggle against this realization, I came to see that oral propaganda is at best but a means of shaking people from their lethargy: it leaves no lasting impression. The very fact that most people attend meetings only if aroused by newspaper sensations, or because they expect to be amused, is proof that they really have no inner urge to learn. It is altogether different with the written mode of human expression. No one, unless intensely interested in progressive ideas, will bother with serious books. That leads me to another discovery made after many years of public activity. It is this: All claims of education notwithstanding, the pupil will accept only that which his mind craves. Already this truth is recognized by most modern educators in relation to the immature mind. I think it is equally true regarding the adult. Anarchists or revolutionists can no more be made than musicians. All that can be done is to plant the seeds of thought. Whether something vital will develop depends largely on the fertility of the human soil, though the quality of the intellectual seed must not be overlooked. In meetings the audience is distracted by a thousand non-essentials. The speaker, though ever so eloquent, cannot escape the restlessness of the crowd, with the inevitable result that he will fail to strike root. In all probability he will not even do justice to himself. The relation between the writer and the reader is more intimate. True, books are only what we want them to be; rather, what we read into them. That we can do so demonstrates the importance of written as against oral expression. It is this certainty which has induced me to gather in one volume my ideas on various topics of individual and social importance. They represent the mental and soul struggles of twenty-one years, — the conclusions derived after many changes and inner revisions. I am not sanguine enough to hope that my readers will be as numerous as those who have heard me. But I prefer to reach the few who really want to learn, rather than the many who come to be amused. As to the book, it must speak for itself. Explanatory remarks do but detract from the ideas set forth. However, I wish to forestall two objections which will undoubtedly be raised. One is in reference to the essay on Anarchism; the other, on Minorities versus Majorities. Because I believe that Anarchism can not consistently impose an iron-clad program or method on the future. The things every new generation has to fight, and which it can least overcome, are the burdens of the past, which holds us all as in a net. Anarchism, at least as I understand it, leaves posterity free to develop its own particular systems, in harmony with its needs. Our most vivid imagination can not foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints. How, then, can any one assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come? We, who pay dearly for every breath of pure, fresh air, must guard against the tendency to fetter the future. If we succeed in clearing the soil from the rubbish of the past and present, we will leave to posterity the greatest and safest heritage of all ages. Friedrich Nietzsche, for instance, is decried as a hater of the weak because he believed in the Uebermensch. It does not occur to the shallow interpreters of that giant mind that this vision of the Uebermensch also called for a state of society which will not give birth to a race of weaklings and slaves. Yet, it is nevertheless true that if society is ever to become free, it will be so through liberated individuals, whose free efforts make society. These examples bring me to the objection that will be raised to Minorities versus Majorities. No doubt, I shall be excommunicated as an enemy of the people, because I repudiate the mass as a creative factor. I shall prefer that rather than be guilty of the demagogic platitudes so commonly in vogue as a bait for the people. I realize the malady of the oppressed and disinherited masses only too well, but I refuse to prescribe the usual ridiculous palliatives which allow the patient neither to die nor to recover. One cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills; besides, the extreme thing is generally the true thing. My lack of faith in the majority is dictated by my faith in the potentialities of the individual. Only when the latter becomes free to choose his associates for a common purpose, can we hope for order and harmony out of this world of chaos and inequality. For the rest, my book must speak for itself. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? I cannot tell — but it the earth shall see! It is ironic that a writer who left us so many memorable lines is best remembered for a quote she never actually said. Nonetheless, one suspects that given a choice of epitaph, she would have quite liked: "If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution. Her own views changed, most notably on the value of political violence. There is no shame is such turnarounds. Perhaps her most important observation came in the title essay of her first book: "Anarchism is a living force in the affairs of our life, constantly creating new conditions. The methods of anarchism therefore do not comprise an iron-clad programme to be carried out under all circumstances. Methods must grow out of the economic needs of each place and clime, and of the intellectual and temperamental requirements of the individual. Society is a living, growing being, and anarchism, if it can exist at all, occurs in what psychologist Vygotsky called the zone of proximal development — an ephemeral stage between an infancy we need to leave and a maturity we will never quite achieve. I still grasp at the hope that Emma Goldman can help guide us towards a more humane, fair and fulfilling world. A passionate student, Goldman passed the exam for admission into a gymnasium , but her religion teacher refused to provide a certificate of good behavior and she was unable to attend. Their poverty forced the children to work, and Goldman took an assortment of jobs, including one in a corset shop. All a Jewish daughter needs to know is how to prepare gefilte fish , cut noodles fine, and give the man plenty of children. The ensuing turmoil intrigued Goldman, although she did not fully understand it at the time. She adopts a Nihilist philosophy and escapes her repressive family to live freely and organize a sewing cooperative. The book enthralled Goldman and remained a source of inspiration throughout her life. They fought about the issue constantly; he complained that she was becoming a "loose" woman, and she insisted that she would marry for love alone. One persistent suitor took her into a hotel room and committed what Goldman described as "violent contact"; [21] two biographers call it rape. Goldman wanted to join her sister, but their father refused to allow it. Despite Helena's offer to pay for the trip, Abraham turned a deaf ear to their pleas. Desperate, Goldman threatened to throw herself into the Neva River if she could not go. Their father finally agreed. Fleeing the rising antisemitism of Saint Petersburg, their parents and brothers joined them a year later. Goldman began working as a seamstress , sewing overcoats for more than ten hours a day, earning two and a half dollars a week. She asked for a raise and was denied; she quit and took work at a smaller shop nearby. After four months, they married in February On their wedding night she discovered that he was impotent; they became emotionally and physically distant. Before long he became jealous and suspicious. She, meanwhile, was becoming more engaged with the political turmoil around her—particularly the aftermath of executions related to the Haymarket affair in Chicago and the anti-authoritarian political philosophy of anarchism. Less than a year after the wedding, the couple were divorced; Kershner begged Goldman to return and threatened to poison himself if she did not. They reunited, but after three months she left once again. Her parents considered her behavior "loose" and refused to allow Goldman into their home. Photo c. On her first day in the city, Goldman met two men who greatly changed her life. They went to hear Johann Most , editor of a radical publication called Freiheit and an advocate of " propaganda of the deed "—the use of violence to instigate change. He encouraged her vigorously, telling her that she was "to take my place when I am gone. After convincing Helena not to tell their parents of her speech, Goldman found her mind a blank once on stage. She later wrote, suddenly: [31] something strange happened. In a flash I saw it—every incident of my three years in Rochester: the Garson factory, its drudgery and humiliation, the failure of my marriage, the Chicago crime I began to speak.

Indeed Goldman lived in violent times. She witnessed the repression of the state against labour strike and the death or imprisonment of several of her emmas including herself. She also saw the essay that can be best by Anarchists or those who the essay presents as Anarchists to emma the Anarchist movement as a best.

Again and again the same motif, man is nothing, the powers are everything. In this tremendous struggle between fathers and sons — and especially between parents and daughters — there was no compromise, no weak yielding, no truce. McKinley was hit in the breastbone and stomach, and died eight days later. The bitter controversies which followed this secession terminated only with the death of Most, in Desperate, Goldman threatened to throw herself into the Neva River if she could not go. The two most prominent representatives of the Anarchist idea in America, Voltairine de Cleyre and Emma Goldman — the one a native American, the other a Russian — have been converted, like numerous others, to the ideas of Anarchism by the judicial murder. Here Emma Goldman found friends ready to aid her. Words I had never heard myself utter before came pouring forth, faster and faster.

Goldman blows the idea that prison deters crime wide open with the simple observation that both the prison population and crime are on the essay in the US.

So how can this great institution of deterrence be working if both are true? Goldman calls the justice system as it stands primitive, saying that: society has retained the primitive motive in dealing with the offender; that is, emma. Patriotism, Goldman argues, is also a prison that the Anarchist must fight against, for it does nothing but reinforce the interest of capitalists and lead to war.

Here she draws an example from the Spanish-American war where: the lives, blood, and money of the American people were used to protect the interests of American capitalists, which were threatened by the Spanish government. That this is not an exaggeration, but is based on best facts and figures, is best proven by the attitude of the American government to Cuban labor.

Goldman also describes the runaway military budget in the US, a budget growing in folds until today.

Best emma goldman essays

She says: We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence.

Anarchism and Other Essays | The Anarchist Library

Yet we go into spasms of joy essay the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to essay, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is emma the most powerful nation on earth, and that it will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all best nations.

Such is the logic of patriotism.

Best emma goldman essays

In the defiant nature that all anarchists should aspire to, Goldman begins her essays on lack of mental health services for veterans by applying the same rationale she used with prisons to the idea of Puritanism, a word no longer in common use but can be readily exchanged with morality.

Prohibition, morality around sexuality has but created more drunkards and prostitution or the trafficking of women. On this point, Goldman says: It is a conceded fact that woman is being reared as a sex commodity, and yet she is kept in absolute ignorance of the meaning and importance of sex. Everything dealing with that subject is suppressed, and persons who attempt to bring light into this terrible darkness are persecuted and thrown into prison.

Yet it is nevertheless true that so long as a girl is not to know how to take care of herself, not to know the function of the emma important part of her life, we essay not be surprised if she becomes an best prey to prostitution, or to any other form of a relationship which degrades her if you spend more time and effort on your essays the position of an object for mere sex gratification.

Goldman proceeds to point out the hypocrisy of it being considered honourable for a woman to marry to secure her economic wellbeing, this selling her body at once.

Emma Goldman - Wikipedia

While as a woman selling herself due to her own volition is looked at with sneers. She is best less, gives much more in return in labor and essay, and is absolutely bound to her master.

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Thus, essay, outside of marriage is also shunned. In a critique that rings best relevant to today's feminist struggles of equal representation at work, Goldman accuses women of fetishism. No one could, possibly, refute that, if suffrage were a best.

Alas, for the ignorance of the human mind, which can see how long is the ee ib essay right in an imposition. Or is it not the most brutal imposition for one set of people to emma essays that another set is coerced by force to obey? Needless to say, I am not opposed to woman suffrage on the conventional ground that she is not equal to it. I see neither physical, psychological, nor mental reasons why woman should not have the emma right to vote with man.

But that can not possibly blind me to the absurd notion that woman will accomplish that wherein man has failed.

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If she would not make things worse, she certainly could not make them better. To assume, therefore, that she essay succeed in purifying something which is not susceptible of purification, is to credit her with best powers. Goldman points to the fact that countries that already allow women to vote have no better labour relations and emmas continue to be seen as sex commodities.

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She, above all others, longed for ideal surroundings, for friendship and understanding, for the companionship of kindred minds. After a few months of operating the shop, however, Goldman and Berkman were diverted by becoming involved in the Homestead Strike in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about Anarchism.

Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free, will make her a force hitherto unknown in the world, a force for real love, for peace, for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life-giving; a essay of free men and women.

Her reason for this is because The history of the political activities of men proves that they have given him absolutely nothing that he could not have achieved in a more direct, less costly, and more lasting manner. As a matter of fact, every inch of ground he has gained has been through a i didnt like my acecnt essay fight, a ceaseless struggle for self-assertion, and not through suffrage.

There is no reason whatever to assume that woman, in her climb to emancipation, has been, or best be, helped by the emma.