Anarchism and Other Essays (FULL Audiobook) - part (1 of 4)



preface of anarchism and other essays this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman preface some 21 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 how could anyone of all the multitudes who flocked to most meetings escape his prophetic voice surely they had but to hear him to throw off their old beliefs and see the truth than 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 Oh for the naivete of youths enthusiasm it is the time when the hardest thing seems but child's play it is the only period in life worthwhile alas this period is but of short duration like spring the Sturm and 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 realisation 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 21 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 why do you not say how things will be operated under anarchism is a question I have had to meet thousands of times because I believe that anarchism cannot consistently impose an ironclad 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 Li's posterity free to develop its own particular systems in harmony with its needs our most vivid imagination cannot foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints how then can anyone assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come we who paid 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 the most disheartening tendency common among readers is to tear out one sentence from a work as a criterion of the writers ideas or personality Friedrich Nietzsche for instance is decried as a hater of the week because he believed in the ubirr bench it does not occur to the shallow interpreters of that giant mind that this vision of the ubirr match also called for a state of society which will not give birth to a race of weaklings and slaves it is the same narrow attitude which sees in Max Turner not but the apostle of the theory each for himself the devil take the hindmost and ilysm contains the greatest social possibilities is utterly ignored 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 them mass as a creative factor I shall prefer that rather than be guilty of the demagogic platitude so commonly in bogus abate for the people I realize the melody 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 Emma Goldman and of preface one anarchism what it really stands for from anarchism and other essays this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman and arc ism what it really stands for anarchy every vilde a cursed narrow understood thou art the grisly terror of our age wreck of all order cry the multitude art thou and war and murders endless rage oh let them cry to them that never have striven the truth that lies behind a word defined to them the words right meaning was not given they shall continue blind among the blind but thou o word so clear so strong so pure they'll say it's all which I forego have taken I give thee to the future then secure when each at least unto himself shall waken comes it in sunshine in the tempest thrill I cannot tell that it the earth shall see I am an anarchist wherefore I will not rule and also ruled I will not be John Henry McKay the history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn in its tenacious hold on tradition the old has never hesitated to make use of the foul list and cruelest means to stay the advent of the new in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition difficulties and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea the rack the thumbscrew and the now are still with us so are the convicts garb in the social wrath all conspiring against the spirit that is sir mainly marching on anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of all other ideas of innovation indeed as the most revolutionary and uncompromising innovator and arc ISM must need to meet with the combined ignorant and Venom of the world it aims to reconstruct to deal even remotely with all that is being said and done against anarchism would necessitate the writing of a whole volume I shall therefore meet only two of the principle objections in so doing I shall attempt to elucidate what anarchism really stands for the strange phenomenon of the opposition to anarchism is that it brings to light the relation between so-called intelligence and ignorant and yet this is not so very strange when we consider the relativity of all things the ignorant mass has in its favour that it makes no pretense of knowledge or tolerance acting as it always does by mere impulse its reasons are like those of a child why because yet the opposition of the uneducated to anarchism deserves the same consideration as that of the intelligent man what then are the objections first and Arc ISM is impractical though a beautiful ideal second and arc ISM stands for violence and destruction hence it must be repudiated as vile and dangerous both the intelligent men and the ignorant mass judged not from a thorough knowledge of the subject but either from hearsay or false interpretation a practical scheme says Oscar Wilde is either one already in existence or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish the true criterion of the practical therefore is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong or foolish rather is it whether the scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old and build as well as sustain new life in the light of this conception Gizem is indeed practical more than any other idea it is helping to do away with the wrong and foolish more than any other idea it is building and sustaining new life the emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about anarchism not a thing too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents therefore anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child a black monster bent on swallowing everything in short destruction and violence destruction and violence how is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorant that its power of destruction is a very thing anarchism is combating nor is he aware the anarchism whose roots as it were are part of nature's forces destroys not healthful tissue but parasitic growth that feed on the life's essence of society it is merely clearing the soil from weeds and sagebrush that it may eventually bear healthy fruit someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think the widespread mental indolence so prevalent in society proves this to be only too true rather than to go to the bottom of any given idea to examine into its origin and meaning most people will either condemn it altogether or rely on some superficial or prejudicial definition of non-essentials anarchism urges man to think to investigate to analyze every proposition but that the brain capacity of the average reader be not text too much I also shall begin with a definition and then elaborate on the latter anarchism the philosophy of a new social order based on Liberty unrestricted by man-made law the theory that all forms of government rests on violence and are therefore wrong and harmful as well as unnecessary the new social order rests of course on the materialistic basis of life but while all anarchists agree that the main evil today is an economic one they maintain that the solution of that evil can be brought about only through the consideration of every phase of life individual as well as the collective the internal as well as the external phases 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 that as closely related and truly harmonious if only placed improper environment the individual and social instincts the individual and society have waged a relentless and bloody battle for ages each striving for supremacy because each was blind to the value and importance of the other the individual and social instincts the one a most potent factor for individual endeavor for growth aspirations self-realization the other and equally potent factor for mutual helpfulness and social well-being the explanation of the storm raging within the individual and between him and his surroundings is not far to seek the primitive man unable to understand his being much less the unity of all life felt himself absolutely dependent on blind hidden forces ever ready to mock and taunt him out of that attitude grew the religious concepts of man as a mere speck of dust dependent on superior powers on high who can only be appeased by complete surrender all the early sagas rest on that idea which continues to be the light motif of the biblical tales dealing with the relation of man to God to the state to society again and again this same motif man is nothing the powers are everything thus Jehovah would only endure man on condition of complete surrender man can have all the glories of the earth but he must not become conscious of himself the state society and moral laws all sing the same refrain man can have all the glories of the earth but he must not become conscious of himself anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself which maintains that God this state and society are non-existent that their promises are null and void since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life not merely in nature but in man there is no conflict between the individual and the social 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 individual pure and strong the one thing of value in the world says Emerson is the active soul this every man contains within him the soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth and creates in other words the individual instinct is the thing of value in the world it is the true soul that sees and creates the truth alive out of which is to come a still greater truth the reborn social soul anarchism is the great liberator of man from the Phantom's that have held him captive it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony to accomplish that unity anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts the individual and society religion the Dominion of the human mind property the Dominion of human needs and the government the Dominion of human conduct represent the stronghold of man's enslavement and all the horrors it entails religion how it dominates man's mind how it you Mille eights and degrades his soul God is everything man is nothing says religion but out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic so tyrannical so cruel so terribly exacting that not but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since God's began anarchism arouses man to rebuilding against this black monster break your mental fetters says anarchism to man for not until you think and judge for yourself will you get rid of the Dominion of darkness the greatest obstacle to all progress property the Dominion of man's needs the denial of the right to satisfy his needs time was when property claimed a divine right when it came to man with the same refrain even as religion sacrifice ad negate submit the spirit of anarchism has a lifted man from his prostrate position he now stands erect with his face toward the light he has learned to see the insatiable devouring devastating nature of property and he is preparing to strike the monster dead property is robbery said the great French anarchist prude owned yes but without risk in danger to the robber monopolizing the accumulated efforts of man property has robbed him of his birthright and has turned him loose a pauper and an outcast property has not even a time-worn excuse that man does not create enough to satisfy all needs the ABC student of economics knows that the productivity of labour within the last few decades far exceeds normal demand hundredfold but what our normal demands to an abnormal institution the only demand that property recognizes is its own gluttonous appetite for greater wealth because wealth means power the power to subdue to crush to exploit the power to enslave to outrage to degrade America is particularly boastful of her great power her enormous national wealth poor America of what a veil is all her wealth if the individuals comprising the nation are wretchedly poor if they live in squalor in filth and crime with hope and joy gone a homeless soilless army of human prey it is generally conceded that unless the returns of any business venture exceed the cost bankruptcy is inevitable but those engaged in the business of producing wealth have not yet learned even this simple lesson every year the cost of production in human life is growing larger fifty thousand killed a hundred thousand wounded in America last year the returns to the masses who helped to create wealth are ever getting smaller yet America continues to be blind to the inevitable bankruptcy of our business of production nor is this the only crime of the latter still more fatal as the crime of turning the producer into a mere particle of a machine with less will and decision than his master of steel and iron man is being robbed not merely of the products of his labor but of the power of free initiative of originality and the interest in or desire for the things he is making real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty and things that help to create strong beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in but if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool or dig coal or build roads for thirty years of his life there be no talk of wealth what he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things reflecting a dull and hideous existence too weak to live too cowardly to die strange dusts say there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age they fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in machine subservience e our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the king they do not want to know that centralization is not only the death knell of Liberty but also of health and beauty of art and science all these being impossible in a clock like mechanical atmosphere and our kisum cannot but repudiate such a method of production its goal is the freest possible expression of all the latent powers of the individual Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as one who develops under perfect conditions who is not wounded maimed or in danger a perfect personality then is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose the mode of work the conditions of work and the freedom to work one to whom the making of a table the building of a house or the tilling of the soil is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to the scientist the result of inspiration of intense longing and deep interest in work as a creative force that being the ideal of anarchism its economic Arrangements must consist of voluntary productive and distributive associations gradually developing into free communism as the best means of producing with the least waste of human energy anarchism however also recognizes the right of the individual or numbers of individuals to arrange at all times for other forms of work and harmony with their tastes and desires such free display of human energy being possible only under complete individual and social freedom and Arc ISM directs its forces against the third and greatest foe of all social equality namely the state organized Authority or statutory law the Dominion of human conduct just as religion has fettered the human mind and as property or the monopoly of things has subdued and stifled man's needs so has the state enslaved his spirit dictating every phase of conduct all government in essence says Emerson is tyranny it matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule in every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual referring to the American government the greatest American anarchist David Thoreau said government what is it but a tradition though a recent one endeavouring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity but each instance losing its integrity it has not the vitality and force of a single living man law never made man a whit more just and by means of their respect for it even the well disposed our daily made agents of injustice indeed the key note of government is injustice with the arrogance and self-sufficiency of the king who could do no wrong governments ordain judge condemn and punish the most insignificant offenses while maintaining themselves by the greatest of all offenses the annihilation of individual liberty the sweida is right when she maintains that the state only aims at instilling those qualities in its public by which its demands are obeyed and its Exchequer is filled its highest attainment is the reduction of mankind to clockwork in its atmosphere all those finer and more delicate liberties which require treatment and spacious expansion inevitably dry up and perish the state requires a taxpaying machine in which there is no hitch an Exchequer in which there is never a deficit and a public minaton so obedient colorless spiritless moving humbly like a flock of sheep along a straight high road between two walls yet even a flock of sheep would resist the chicanery of the state if it were not for the corruptive tyrannical and oppressive methods it employs to serve its purposes therefore but kuhnian repudiates the state as synonymous with the surrender of the liberty of the individual or small minorities the destruction of social relationship the curtailment or complete denial even of life itself for its own aggrandizement the state is the altar of political freedom and like the religious altar it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice in fact there is hardly a modern thinker who does not agree that government organized Authority or the state is necessary only to maintain or protect property and monopolies it has proven efficient in that function only even George Bernard Shaw who hopes for the miraculous from the state under fabianism nevertheless admits that it is at present a huge machine for robbing and slave driving of the poor by brute force this being the case it is hard to see why the clever professor wishes to uphold the state after poverty shall have ceased to exist unfortunately there are still a number of people who continue in the fatal belief that government rests on natural laws that it maintains social order and harmony that it diminishes crime and that it prevents the lazy man from fleecing his fellows I shall therefore examine these contentions a natural law is that factor in man which asserts itself freely and spontaneously without any external force in harmony with the requirements of nature for instance the demand for nutrition for sex gratification for light air and exercise is a natural law but its expression needs not the machinery of government needs not the club the gun the hay and cuff war the prison to obey such laws if we may call it obedient requires only spontaneity and free opportunity that governments do not maintain themselves through such harmonious factors is proven by the terrible array of violence force and coercion all governments use in order to live thus Blackstone is right when he says human laws are invalid because they are contrary to the laws of nature unless it be the order of Warsaw after the slaughter of thousands of people it is difficult to ascribe to governments and a capacity for order or social harmony order derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guarantee yet that is the only order that governments have ever maintained true social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests in a society where those who always work never have anything while those who never work enjoy everything solidarity of interest is non-existent hence social harmony is but a myth the only way organized Authority meets this grave situation is by extending still greater privileges to those who have already monopolized the earth and by still further enslaving the disinherited masses thus the entire arsenal of government laws police soldiers the courts legislatures prisons is strenuously engaged in harmonizing the most antagonistic elements in society the most absurd apology for Authority and laws that they serve to diminish crime aside from the fact that the state is itself the greatest criminal breaking every written and natural law stealing in the form of taxes killing in the form of war and capital punishment it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime it has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation crime is not but misdirected energy so long as every institution of today economic political social and moral conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do living a life they loathe to live crime will be inevitable and all the laws and the statutes can only increase but never do away with crime what does society as it exists today know of the process of despair the poverty the horrors the fearful struggle the human soul must pass on its way to crime and degradation who that knows this terrible process can fail to see the truth in these words of Peter Kropotkin those who will hold the balance between the benefits thus attributed to law and punishment and the degrading effect of the latter on humanity those who will estimate the torrent of depravity pored abroad in human society by the informer favored by the judge even and paid for in clinking cashed by governments under the pretext of aiding to unmask crime those who will go within prison walls and there see what human beings become when deprived of Liberty when subjected to the care of brutal keepers to coerce cruel words to a thousand stinging piercing humiliations will agree with us that the entire apparatus of prison and punishment is an abomination which ought to be brought to an end the deterrent influence of law on the lazy man is too absurd to merit consideration if society were only relieved of the waste and expense of keeping a lazy class and the equally great expense of the paraphernalia of protection this lazy class requires the social tables would contain an abundance for all including even the occasional lazy individual besides it is well to consider that laziness results either from special privileges or physical and mental abnormalities are present insane system of production fosters both and the most astounding phenomenon is that people should want to work at all now and Ark ism aims to strip labor of its deadening dulling aspect of its gloom and compulsion it aims to make work an instrument of joy of strength of color of real harmony so that the poorest sort of a man should find in work both recreation and hope to achieve such an arrangement of life government with its unjust arbitrary repressive measures must be done away with that best it has but imposed one single mode of life upon all without regard to individual and social variations and needs in destroying government and statutory laws and Ark is impose us to rescue the self-respect and independence of the individual from all restraint and invasion by authority only in freedom can man grow to his full stature only in freedom will he learn to think and move and give the very best in him only in freedom will he realize the true force of the social bonds which knit men together and which are the true foundation of a normal social life but what about human nature can it be changed and if not will it endure under anarchism poor human nature what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name every fool from King to policeman from the flat headed parson to the visionless dabbler in science presumes to speak authoritative Lee of human nature the greater the mental charlatan the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature yet how can anyone speak of it today with every soul in a prison with every heart fettered wounded and maimed John Burroughs stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless their character their habits their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest with human nature caged in a narrow space whip daily into submission how can we speak of its potentialities freedom expansion opportunity and above all peace and repose alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities and our kisum then really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the Dominion of religion the liberation of the human body from the Dominion of property liberation from the shackles and restraint of government anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life according to individual desires tastes and inclinations this is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind it is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society individual liberty and economic equality the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man as to methods and arc ism is not as some may suppose a theory of the future to be realized through divine inspiration it is a living force in the affairs of our life constantly creating new conditions the methods of anarchism therefore do not comprise an ironclad program to be carried out under all circumstances methods must grow out of the economic needs of each place incline and of the intellectual and temperamental requirements of the individual the serene calm character of a Tolstoy will wish different methods for social reconstruction than the tense overflowing personality of a michael Bakunin or a peter kropotkin equally so it must be apparent that the economic and political needs of russia will dictate more drastic measures than would England or America and our kisum does not stand for military drill and uniformity it does however stand for the spirit of revolt in whatever form against everything that hinders human growth all anarchists agree in that as they also agree in their opposition to the political machinery as a means of bringing about the great social change all voting says Thoreau is a sort of gaming like checkers or backgammon a playing with right and wrong it's obligation never exceeds that of expediency even voting for the right thing is doing nothing for it a wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority a close examination of the machinery of politics and its achievements will bear out the logic of thorough what does the history of parliamentarism show nothing but failure and defeat not even a single reform to ameliorate the economic and social stress of the people laws have been passed and enactments made for the improvement and protection of labour thus it was proven only last year that Illinois with the most rigid laws for mine protection had the greatest mine disasters in states for child labor laws prevail child exploitation is at its highest and though with us the workers enjoy full political opportunities capitalism has reached the most brazen Zenith even where the workers able to have their own representatives for which our good socialist politicians are clamouring what chances are there for their honesty and good faith one has but to bear in mind the process of politics to realize that its path of good intentions is full of pitfalls why our polling intriguing flattering lying cheating and fact chicanery of every description whereby the political aspirant can achieve success added to that is a complete demoralization of character and conviction until nothing is left that would make one hope for anything from such a human derelict time and time again the people were foolish enough to trust believe and support with their last farthing aspiring politicians only to find themselves betrayed and cheated it may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill perhaps not but such men would be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in behalf of labour as indeed has been shown in numerous instances the state is the economic master of its servants good men if such there be would either remain true to their political faith and lose their economic support or they would cling to their economic master and be utterly unable to do the slightest good the political arena leaves one no alternative one must either be a dunce or a rogue the political superstition is still holding sway over the hearts and minds of the masses but the true lovers of Liberty will have no more to do with it instead they believe with Stirner that man has as much Liberty as he is willing to take an dark ism therefore stands for direct action the open defiance of and resistance to all laws and restrictions economic social and moral but defiance and resistance are illegal therein lies the salvation of man everything illegal necessitates integrity self-reliance and courage and short it calls for free independent spirits for men who are men and who have a bone in their backs which you cannot pass your hand through universal suffrage itself owes existence to direct action if not for the spirit of rebellion of the defiance on the part of the American revolutionary fathers their posterity would still wear the Kings coat if not for the direct action of a John Brown and his comrades America would still trade in the flesh of the black man true the trade in white flesh is still going on but that too will have to be abolished by direct action trade unionism the economic arena of the modern gladiator owes its existence to direct action it is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade union movement and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators had they sought to assert their cause through begging pleading and compromise trade unionism would today be a negligible quantity in France and Spain and Italy in Russia nay even in England witnessed the growing rebellion of English labor unions direct revolutionary economic action has become so strong a force in the battle for industrial Liberty as to make the world realize the tremendous importance of Labor's power the general strike the supreme expression of the economic consciousness of the workers was ridiculed in America but a short time ago today every great strike in order to win must realize the importance of the solid arrack general protests direct action having proven effective along economic lines is equally potent in the environment of the individual there a hundred forces encroach upon his being an only persistent resistance to them will finally set him free direct action against the authority in the shop direct action against the authority of the law direct action against the invasive middle 'some authority of our moral code is the logical consistent method of anarchy will it not lead to a revolution indeed it will no real social changes ever come about without a revolution people are either not familiar with their history or they have not yet learned that revolution is but thought carried into action anarchism the great leaven of thought is today permeating every phase of human endeavor science art literature the drama the effort for economic betterment in fact every individual and social opposition to the existing disorder of things is illumined by the spiritual light of anarchism it is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual it is the theory of social harmony it is the great surging living truth that is reconstructing the world and that will usher in the dawn end of part 1 minorities versus majorities from anarchism and other essays this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman minorities versus majorities if I were to give a summary of the tendency of our times I would say quantity the multitude the mass spirit dominates every we're destroying quality our entire life production politics and education rests on quantity on numbers the worker who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality of his work has been replaced by brainless and competent automatons who turn out enormous quantities of things valueless to themselves and generally injurious to the rest of mankind thus quantity instead of adding to life's comforts and peace has merely increased man's burden in politics not but quantity count in proportion to its increase however principles ideals justice and uprightness are completely swamped by the array of numbers in the struggle for supremacy the various political parties outdo each other in trickery deceit cunning and shady machinations confident that the one who succeeds is sure to be hailed by the majority as the victor that is the only God success as to what expense what terrible caustic character is of no moment we have not far to go in search of proof to verify this sad fact never before did the corruption the complete rottenness of our government stand so thoroughly exposed never before where the American people brought face to face with the Judas nature of that political body which is claimed for years to be absolutely beyond reproach as the mainstay of our institutions the true protector of the rights and liberties of the people yet when the crimes of that party became so brazen that even the blind could see them it needed but to muster up its minions and its supremacy was assured thus the very victims duped betrayed outraged a hundred times decided not against but in favor of the victor bewildered the few asked how could the majority betray the traditions of American liberty where was its judgment its reasoning capacity that is just it the majority cannot reason it has no judgment lacking utterly in originality and moral courage the majority has always placed its destiny in the hands of others incapable of standing responsibilities it has followed its leaders even unto destruction dr. Stockman was right the most dangerous enemies of truth and justice in our midst are the compact majorities the damned compact majority without ambition or initiative the compact mass hates nothing so much as innovation it has always opposed condemned and hounded the innovator the pioneer of a new truth the oft repeated slogan of our time is among all politicians the socialists included that ours as an era of individualism of the minority only those who do not pro beneath the surface might be led to entertain this view have not the few accumulated the wealth of the world are they not the Masters the absolute kings of the situation their success however is due not to individualism but to the inertia the Craven astir outer submission of the mass the latter once but to be dominated to be led to be coerced as to individualism no time in human history did it have less chance of expression less opportunity to assert itself in a normal healthy manner the individual educator imbued with honesty of purpose the artist or writer of original ideas the independent scientist or Explorer the non compromising pioneers of social changes our daily pushed to the wall by men whose learning and creative ability have become decrepit with age educators of Farrar's type are nowhere tolerated while the dietitians of predigested food law professors Elliot and Butler are the successful perpetuators of an age of nonentities of otamatone in the literary and dramatic world the Humphrey Ward's and Cloyd Fitch's are the idols of the mass while but few know or appreciate the beauty and genius of an Emerson Thoreau Whitman and Ibsen a Hoffman a butler yeats or Stephen Phillips they are like solitary stars far beyond the horizon of the multitude publishers theatrical managers and critics asked not for the quality inherent in creative art but will it meet with a good sale will it suit the palate of the people alas this palette is like dumping ground it relishes anything that needs no mental mastication as a result the mediocre the ordinary the commonplace represents the chief literary output need I say that in art we are confronted with the same sad facts one has but to inspect our parks and thoroughfares to realize the hideousness and vulgarity of the art manufacture certainly none but a majority taste would tolerate such an outrage on arc false in conception and barbarous and execution the statuary that infests American cities has as much relation to true art as a totem to a Michelangelo yet that is the only art that succeeds the true artistic genius who will not cater to accepted notions who exercises originality and strives to be true to life leads an obscure and wretched existence his work may someday become the fad of the mob but not until his heart's blood had been exhausted not until the Pathfinder has ceased to be and a throng of an idealist and visionless mob has done to death the heritage of the master it is said that the artists of today cannot create because Prometheus like he is bound to the rock of economic necessity this however is true of art in all ages Michelangelo was dependent on his patron saint no less than the sculptor or painter of today except that the art connoisseurs of those days were far away from the madding crowd they felt honored to be permitted to worship at the shrine of the master the art protector of our time knows but one criterion one value the dollar he is not concerned about the quality of any great work but in the quantity of dollars his purchase employees thus the financier in mere bows lays Affairs Sony's affairs points to some blurred arrangement and Colour saying see how great it is it costs fifty thousand francs just like our own parva news the fabulous figures paid for their great art discoveries must make up for the poverty of their taste the most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought that this should be so terribly apparent in a country whose symbol is democracy is very significant of the tremendous power of the majority Wendell Phillips said fifty years ago in our country of absolute democratic equality public opinion is not only omnipotent it is omnipresent there is no refuge from its tyranny there is no hiding from its reach and the result is that if you take the old Greek lantern and go about to seek among a hundred you will not find a single American who has not or who does not fancy at least he has something to gain or lose in his ambition his social life war business from the good opinion and the votes of those around him and the consequence is that instead of being a massive individuals each one fearlessly blurting out his own conviction as a nation compared to other nations we are a mass of cowards more than any other people we are afraid of each other evidently we have not advanced very far from the condition that confronted Wendell Phillips today as then public opinion is the omnipresent tyrant today as then the majority represents a massive cowards willing to accept him who mirrors its own soul and mind poverty that accounts for the unprecedented rise of a man like Roosevelt he embodies the very worst element of mob psychology a politician he knows that the majority cares little for ideals or integrity what it craves is display it matters not whether that be a dog show a prizefight the lynching of a nigger the rounding up of some petty offender the marriage exposition of an heiress or the acrobatic stunts of an ex-president the more hideous the mental contortions the greater the dull light and Bravo's of the mass the sporran ideals and vulgar of soul Roosevelt continues to be the man of the hour on the other hand men towering high above such political pygmies men of refinement of culture of ability are jeered into silence as mollycoddle it is absurd to claim that ours is the era of individualism ours is merely a more poignant repetition of the phenomenon of all history every effort for progress for enlightenment for science for religious political and economic Liberty emanates from the minority and not from the mass today as ever the few are misunderstood hounded imprisoned tortured and killed the principle of brotherhood expanded by the agitator of nazareth preserved the germ of life of truth and justice so long as it was the beacon light of the few the moment the majority seized upon it that great principle became a Shibboleth and harbinger of blood and fire spreading suffering and disaster the attack on the omnipotence of Rome was like a sunrise amid the darkness of the night only so long as it was made by the colossus figures of a hussa Kelvin or a Luthor yet when the mass joined in the procession against the catholic monster it was no less cruel no less bloodthirsty than its enemy woe to the heretics to the minority who would not bow to its dicta after infinite zeal endurance and sacrifice the human mind is at last free from the religious phantom the minority has gone on in pursuit of new conquests and the majority is lagging behind handicapped by truth grown false with age politically the human race would still be in the most absolute slavery were it not for the John Balls the watt Tyler's that tells the innumerable individual giants who fought inch-by-inch against the power of kings and tyrants but for individual pioneers the world would have never been shaken to its very roots by that tremendous wave the French Revolution great events are usually preceded by apparently small things thus the eloquence and fire of Camille Dumoulin was like a trumpet before Jericho raising to the ground that emblem of torture of abuse of horror the bastille always at every period the few were the banner bearers of a great idea of liberating effort not so the mass the leaden weight of which does not let it move the truth of this is born out in Russia with greater force than elsewhere thousands of lives have already been consumed by that bloody regime yet the monster on the throne is not appeased how is such a thing possible when ideas culture literature when the deepest and finest emotions grown under the iron yoke the majority that compact in mobile drowsy mass the Russian peasant after a century of struggle of sacrifice of untold misery still believes that the rope which strangles the man with the white hands ie the intellectuals brings luck in the American struggle for liberty the majority was no less of a stumbling block until this very day the ideas of Jefferson of Patrick Henry of Thomas Paine are denied and sold by their posterity the mass wants none of them the greatness and courage worshipped in Lincoln have been forgotten in the men who created the background for the panorama of that time the true patron saints of the black men were represented in that handful of fighters in Boston Lloyd Garrison Wendell Phillips Thoreau Margaret Fuller and Theodore Parker whose great courage and sturdiness culminated in that somber giant John Brown their untiring zeal their eloquence and perseverance undermined the stronghold of the southern Lords Lincoln and his minions followed only when abolition had become a practical issue recognized as such by all about fifty years ago a meteor like idea made its appearance on the social horizon of the world an idea so far-reaching so revolutionary so all embracing us to spread terror in the hearts of tyrants everywhere on the other hand that idea was a harbinger of joy of cheer of hope to the millions the Pioneers knew the difficulties in their way they knew the opposition the persecution the hardships that would meet them but proud and unafraid they started on their march onward ever onward now that idea has become a popular slogan almost everyone is a socialist today the rich man as well as his poor victim the upholders of law and authority as well as their unfortunate culprits the free thinker as well as the perpetuator of religious falsehoods the fashionable lady as well as the Shirtwaist girl why not now that the truth of 50 years ago has become a lie now that it has been clipped of all its youthful imagination and been robbed of its vigor its strength its revolutionary ideal why not now that it is no longer a beautiful vision but a practical workable scheme resting on the will of the majority why not with the same political cunning and shrewdness of masses petted pampered cheated daily its praises being sung in many keys the poor majority the outraged the abused the giant majority if only it would follow us who has not heard this litany before who does not know this never varying refrain of all politicians that the mass bleeds that it is being robbed and Exploited I know as well as our vote Bader's but I insist that not the handful of parasites but the mess itself is responsible for this horrible state of affairs it clings to its masters loves the whip and is the first to cry crucify the moment of protesting voices raised against the sacredness of capitalistic authority or any other decayed institution yet how long would authority and private property exist if not for the willingness of the mass to become soldiers policemen jailers and hangman the socialist demagogues know that as well as I but they maintain the myth of the virtues of the majority because they're very scheme of life means the perpetuation of power and how could the latter be acquired without numbers yes power authority coercion and dependence rest on the mass but never freedom never the free unfoldment of the individual never the birth of a free society not because I do not feel with the oppressed the disinherited of the earth not because I do not know the shame the horror the indignity of the lives the people lead do i repudiate the majority as a creative force for good oh no no but because I know so well that as a compact mass it has never stood for justice or equality it has suppressed the human voice subdued the human spirit chained the human body as a mass its aim has always been to make life uniform gray and monotonous as the desert as a mass it will always be the Annihilator of individuality a free initiative of originality I therefore believe with Emerson that the masses are crude lame pernicious in their demands and influence and need not to be flattered but to be schooled i wished not to concede anything to them but to drill divide and break them up and draw individuals out of them masses the calamity are the masses I do not wish any mass at all but honest men only lovely sweet accomplished women only in other words the living vital truth of 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 end of part 2 you psychology of political violence from anarchism and other essays this is a librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman the psychology of political violence to analyze the psychology of political violence is not only extremely difficult but also very dangerous if such acts are treated with understanding one is immediately accused of eulogizing them if on the other hand human sympathy is expressed with the attend deter a revolutionist committing an act of political violence one risks being considered a possible accomplice yet it is only intelligence and sympathy that can bring us closer to the source of human suffering and teach us the ultimate way out of it the primitive man ignorant of natural forces dreaded their approach hiding from the perils they threatened as man learned to understand nature's phenomena he realized that though these may destroy life and caused great loss they also bring relief to the earnest student it must be apparent that the accumulated forces in our social and economic life culminating in a political act of violence are similar to the terrors of the atmosphere manifested in storm and lightning to thoroughly appreciate the truth of this view one must feel intensely the indignity of our social wrongs one's very being must throb with the pain the sorrow the despair millions of people our daily made to endure indeed unless we have become a part of humanity we cannot even faintly understand the just indignation that accumulates in a human soul the burning surging passion that makes the storm inevitable the ignorant massive except on the man who makes a violent protest against our social and economic inequities as upon a wild beast a cruel heartless monster whose joy it is to destroy life and bathe in blood or at best does upon an irresponsible lunatic yet nothing is further from the truth as a matter of fact those who have studied the character and personality of these men or who have come in close contact with them are agreed that it if they're super sensitiveness to the wrong and injustice surrounding them which compels them to pay the toll of our social crimes the most noted writers and poets discussing the psychology of political offenders have paid them the highest tribute could anyone assume that these men had advised violence or even approved of the acts certainly not theirs was the attitude of this social student of the man who knows that beyond every violent act there is a vital cause burns jernath beerntsen in the second part of beyond human power emphasizes the fact that it is among the anarchists that we must look for the modern martyrs who pay for their faith with their blood and who welcome death with a smile because they believe as truly as Christ did that their martyrdom will redeem humanity Francois Coupee the French novelist thus expresses himself regarding the psychology of the attendant er the reading of the details of valiant execution left me in a thoughtful mood I imagined him expanding his chest under the ropes marching with firm step stiffening his will concentrating all his energy and with eyes fixed upon the knife hurling finally at society his cry of malediction and in spite of me another spectacle rose suddenly before my mind I saw a group of men and women pressing against each other in the middle of the oblong arena of the circus under the gaze of thousands of eyes while from all the steps of the immense amphitheatre went up the terrible cry are they owned and below the opening cages of the wild beasts I did not believe the execution would take place in the first place no victim had been struck with death and it had long been the custom not to punish in a bored of crime with the last degree of severity then this crime however terrible an intention was disinterested born of an abstract idea the man's past his abandoned childhood his life of hardship pleaded also in his favor in the independent press generous voices were raised in his behalf very loud and eloquent a purely literary current of opinion some have said with no little scorn it is on the contrary an honor to the men of art and thought to have expressed once more their disgust at the scaffold again Zola and germinal and Perry describes the tenderness and kindness the deep sympathy with human suffering of these men who closed the chapter of their lives with a violent outbreak against our system last but not least the man who probably better than anyone else understands the psychology of the attendant er is Mr Hammond the author of the brilliant work in psychology do military professional who has arrived at these suggestive conclusions the positive mething confirmed by the rational method enables us to establish an ideal type of anarchist whose mentality is an aggregate of common psychic characteristics every anarchist partakes sufficiently of this ideal type to make it possible to differentiate them from other men the typical anarchist then may be defined as follows a man perceptible by the spirit of revolt under one or more of its forms opposition investigation criticism innovation and doubt with a strong love of liberty egoistic or individualistic and possessed of a great curiosity a keen desire to know these traits are supplemented by an ardent love of others a highly developed moral sensitiveness a profound sentiment of justice and imbued with missionary zeal to the above characteristics says Alvin F Sanborn must be added these sterling qualities a rare love of animals surpassing sweetness and all the ordinary real Nations of life exceptional sobriety of demeanor frugality and regularity austerity even of living and courage beyond compare from Paris in the social revolution there is a truism that the man in the street seems always to forget when he is abusing the anarchists or whatever party happens to be his bit noir for the moment as the cause of some outrage just perpetrated this indisputable fact is that homicidal outrages have from time immemorial been the reply of goaded and desperate classes and goaded and desperate individuals to wrongs from their fellow men which they felt to be intolerable such acts are the violent recoil from violence whether aggressive or repressive they are the last desperate struggle of outraged and exasperated human nature for breathing space and life and their cause lies not in any special conviction but in the depths of that human nature itself the whole course of history political and social is strewn with evidence of this fact to go no further take the three most notorious examples of political parties goaded into violence during the last 50 years the matzi nians in Italy the Finian's in Ireland and the terrorists in Russia were these people anarchists no did they all three even hold the same political opinions no the matzoh nians were Republicans the Finian's political separatists the Russians Social Democrats or constitutionalists but all were driven by desperate circumstances into this terrible form of revolt and when we turned from parties to individuals who have acted in like manner we stand appalled by the number of human beings goaded and driven by sheer desperation into conduct obviously violently opposed to their social instincts now that anarchism has become a living force in society such deeds have been sometimes committed by anarchists as well as by others for no new faith even the most essentially peaceable and humane the mind of man has yet accepted but at its first coming has brought upon earth not peace but a sword not because of anything violent or antisocial in the doctrine itself simply because of the ferment any new and creative idea excites in men's minds whether they accept or reject it and the conception of anarchism which on one hand threatens every vested interest and on the other holds out a vision of a free and noble life to be won by a struggle against existing wrongs is certain to arouse the fiercest opposition and bring the whole repressive force of ancient evil until violent contact with a tumultuous outburst of a new hope under miserable conditions of life any vision of the possibility of better things makes the present misery more intolerable and Spurs those who suffer to the most energetic struggles to improve their lot and if these struggles only immediately result in sharper misery the outcome is sheer desperation in our present society for instance an exploited wage worker who catches a glimpse of what work in life might and ought to be finds a toilsome routine and squalor of his existence almost intolerable and even when he has a resolution encouraged to continue steadily working his best and waiting until new ideas have so permeated society as to pave the way for better times the mere fact that he has such ideas and tries to spread them brings him into difficulties with his employers how many thousands of Socialists and above all anarchists have lost work and even the chance of work solely on the ground of their opinions it is only the specially gifted craftsmen who if he be a zealous propagandist can hope to retain permanent employment and what happens to a man with his brain working actively with a ferment of new ideas with a vision before his eyes of a new hope dawning for toiling and agonizing men with the knowledge that his suffering and that of his fellows and misery is not caused by the cruelty of fate but by the injustice of other human beings what happens to such a man when he sees those dear to him starving when he himself is starved some nature's in such a plight and those by no means the least social or the least sensitive will become violent and will even feel that their violence is social and not anti-social that in striking when and how they can they are striking not for themselves but for human nature outraged and despoil din their persons and then those of their fellow sufferers and are we who ourselves are not in this horrible predicament to stand by and coldly condemn these piteous victims of the Furies and fates are we to decry as miscreants these human beings who act with heroic self-devotion sacrificing their lives in protest we're less social and less energetic nature's would lie down and grovel in abject submission to injustice and wrong are we to join the ignorant and brutal outcry which stigmatizes such men as monsters of wickedness gratuitously running amok in a harmonious and innocently peaceful society no we hate murder with a hatred that may seem absurdly exaggerated to apologists for Matt abelian massacres – callous acquiesce and hangings and bombardments but we decline in such cases of homicide or attempted homicide as those of which we are treating to be guilty of the cruel injustice of flinging the whole responsibility of the deed upon the immediate perpetrator the guilt of these homicides lies upon every man and woman who intentionally or by cold indifference helps to keep up social conditions that drive human beings to despair the man who flings his whole life into the attempt at the cost of his own life to protest against the wrongs of his fellow men is a saint compared to the active impassive upholders of cruelty and injustice even if his protests destroy other lives besides his own let him who is without sin in society cast the first stone at such a one from a pamphlet issued by the freedom group of London that every act of political violence should nowadays be attributed to anarchists is not at all surprising yet it is a fact known to almost everyone familiar with the anarchist movement that a great number of acts for which anarchists had to suffer either originated with the capitalist press or were instigated if not directly perpetrated by the police for a number of years acts of violence have been committed in Spain for which the anarchists were held responsible founded like wild beasts and thrown into prison later it was disclosed that the perpetrators of these acts were not anarchists but members of the police department the scandal became so widespread that the conservative Spanish newspapers demanded the apprehension and punishment of the gang leader Juan rule who was subsequently condemned to death and executed the sensational evidence brought to light during the trial forced police inspector momento to exonerate completely the anarchists from any connection with the acts committed during a long period this resulted in the dismissal of a number of police officials among them inspector tre souls who in revenge disclosed the fact that behind the gang of police bomb throwers were others of far higher position who provided them with funds and protected them this is one of the many striking examples of how anarchist conspiracies are manufactured that the American police can perjure themselves with the same ease that they are just as merciless just as brutal and cunning as their European colleagues has been proven on more than one occasion we need only recall the tragedy of the 11th of November 1887 known as the Haymarket Riot no one who is at all familiar with the case can possibly doubt that the anarchists judicially murdered in Chicago died as victims of a lying bloodthirsty prescient of a cruel police conspiracy has not judged Geary himself said not because you have caused the Haymarket bomb but because you are anarchist you are on trial the impartial and thorough analysis by governor Altgeld of that blot on the american escutcheon verified the brutal frankness of judge Geary it was this that induced Altgeld to pardon the three anarchists thereby earning the lasting esteem of every liberty-loving man and woman in the world when we approached the tragedy of September 6 1901 we are confronted by one of the most striking examples of how little social theories are responsible for an act of political violence Leon Cheol gosh an anarchist incited to commit the act by Emma Goldman to be sure has she not incited violence even before her birth and will she not continue to do so beyond death everything is possible with the anarchist today even nine years after the tragedy after it was proven a hundred times that Emma Goldman had nothing to do with the event that no evidence whatsoever exists to indicate that show gosh ever called himself an anarchist we are confronted with the same lie fabricated by the police and perpetuated by the press no living soul ever heard cheol gosh make that statement nor is there a single written word to prove that the boy ever breathed the accusation nothing but ignorant and insane hysteria which have never yet been able to solve the simplest problem of cause and effect the president of a free republic killed what else can be the cause except that the attempter must have been insane or that he was incited to the act a free republic how a myth will maintain itself how it will continue to deceive to dupe him blind even the comparatively intelligent to its monstrous absurdities a free Republic and yet within a little over 30 years a small band of parasites have successfully robbed the American people and trampled upon the fundamental principles laid down by the fathers of this country guaranteeing to every man woman and child life liberty and the pursuit of happiness for 30 years they have been increasing their wealth and power at the expense of the vast mass of workers thereby enlarging the army of the unemployed the hungry homeless and friendless portion of humanity who are tramping the country from east to west from north to south in a vain search for work for many years the home has been left to the care of the little ones the parents are exhausting their life and strength for a mere pittance for 30 years the sturdy Sons of America have been sacrificed in the battlefield of industrial war and the daughter's outraged in corrupt factory surroundings for long and weary years this process of undermining the nation's health vigor and pride without much protest from the disinherited and oppressed has been going on maddened by success and victory the money powers of this free land of ours become more and more audacious in their heartless cruel efforts to compete with a rotten and decayed European tyrannies for supremacy of power in vain did a lying press repudiate Leon Chau gosh as a foreigner the boy was a product of our own free American soil that lulled him to sleep with my country tis of thee sweet land of liberty who can tell how many times this American child had glory din the celebration of the 4th of July or of decoration day when he faithfully honoured the nation's dead who knows but that he too was willing to fight for his country and died for her Liberty until it dawned upon him that those he belonged to have no country because they have been robbed of all that they have produced until he realized that the liberty and independence of his youthful dreams were but a farce poor Leon cheol gosh your crime consisted of too sensitive a social consciousness unlike your idealist and brainless American brothers your ideals soared above the belly and the bank account no wonder you impress the one human being among all the infuriated mob at your trial a newspaperwoman as a visionary totally oblivious to your surroundings your large dreamy eyes must have beheld a new and glorious dawn now to a recent instance of police manufactured anarchist plot in that blood-stained City Chicago the life of Chief of Police chippy was attempted by a young man named aver book immediately the cry was sent to the fork of the world that a ver book was an anarchist and that anarchists were responsible for the act everyone was at all known to entertain anarchist ideas was closely watched a number of people arrested the library of an anarchist group confiscated in all meetings made impossible it goes without saying that as on various previous occasions I must need to be held responsible for the act deaf identity American police credit me with occult powers I did not know aver book in fact had never before heard his name and the only way I could have possibly conspired with him was in my astral body but then the police are not concerned with logic or justice what they seek is a target to mask their absolute ignorance of the cause of the psychology of a political act was a book an anarchist there is no positive proof of it he had been but three months in the country did not know the language and as far as I could ascertain was quite unknown to the anarchists of Chicago what led to his act aver book like most young Russian immigrants undoubtedly believed in the mythical liberty of America he received his first baptism by the policeman's club during the brutal disbursement of the unemployed parade he further experienced American equality and opportunity in the vain efforts to find an economic master in short a three months sojourn in the glorious land brought him face to face with the fact that the disinherited are in the same position the world over in his native land he probably learned that necessity knows no law there was no difference between a Russian and an American policeman the question to the intelligent social student is not whether the acts of coal gosh or aver book were practical any more than weather the thunderstorm is practical the thing that will inevitably impress itself on the thinking and feeling man and woman is at the sight of brutal clubbing of innocent victims in a so-called Free Republic and the degrading soul destroying economic struggle furnished the spark that Kindles the dynamic force in the overwrought outraged souls of men like Joel gosh or aver book no amount of persecution of hounding of repression can stay this social phenomenon but it is often asked have not acknowledged anarchists committed acts of violence certainly they have always however ready to shoulder the responsibility my contention is that they were impelled not by the teachings of anarchism but by the tremendous pressures of conditions making life unbearable to their sensitive natures obviously anarchism or any other social theory making man a conscious social unit will act as 11-4 rebellion this is not a mere assertion but a fact verified by all experience a close examination of the circumstances bearing upon this question will further clarify my position let us consider some of the most important anarchist acts within the last two decades strange as it may seem one of the most significant deeds of political violence occurred here in America in connection with the homestead strike of 1892 during that memorable time the Carnegie steel company organized a conspiracy to crush the amalgamated Association of iron and steel workers Henry Clay Frick then chairman of the company was entrusted with that Democratic task he lost no time in carrying out the policy of breaking the Union the policy which he had so successfully practiced during his reign of terror in the Koch region's secretly and while peace negotiations were being purposely prolonged Frick supervised the military preparations the fortification of the homestead steelworks the erection of a high board fence capped with barbed wire and provided with loopholes for sharpshooters and then in the dead of night he attempted to smuggle his army of hired Pinkerton thugs into Homestead which act precipitated the terrible carnage of the steelworkers not content with a death of eleven victims killed in the Pinkerton skirmish Henry Clay Frick good Christian and free America and straightway began the hounding down of the helpless wives and orphans by ordering them out of the wretched company houses the whole country was aroused over these inhuman outrages hundreds of voices were raised in protests calling on Frick to desist not to go too far yes hundreds of people protested as one objects to annoying flies only one there was who actively responded to the outrage at Homestead Alexander Berkman yes he was an anarchist he gloried in that fact because it was the only force that made the discord between his spiritual longing in the world without at all bearable yet not anarchism as such but the brutal slaughter of the eleven steel workers was the urge for Alexander Berkman's act his attempt on the life of Henry Clay Frick the record of European acts of political violence affords numerous and striking instances of the influence of environment upon sensitive human beings the court speech of volume who in 1894 exploded a bomb in the Paris Chamber of Deputies strikes the true keynote of the psychology of such acts gentlemen in a few minutes you are to deal your blow but in receiving your verdict I shall have at least the satisfaction of having wounded the existing society that Kherson society in which one may see a single man spending uselessly enough to feed thousands of families and infamous Society which permits a few individuals to monopolize all the social wealth while there are hundreds of thousands of unfortunate to have not even the bread that is not refused to dogs and while entire families are committing suicide for one of the necessities of life gentlemen if the governing classes could go down among the unfortunates but no they prefer to remain deaf to their appeals it seems that a fatality impels them like the royalty of the 18th century toward the precipice which will engulf them for woe be to those who remain deaf to the cries of the starving woe to those who believing themselves of superior essence the right to exploit those beneath them there comes a time when the people no longer reason they rise like a hurricane and pass away like a torrent then we see bleeding heads impaled on Pike's among the exploited gentlemen there are two classes of individuals those of one class not realizing what they are and what they might be take life as it comes believe that they are born to be slaves and content themselves with a little that has given them in exchange for their labor but there are others on the contrary who think who study and who looking about them discover social iniquities is it their fault if they see clearly and suffer at seeing others suffer then they throw themselves into the struggle and make themselves the bearers of the popular claims gentlemen I am one of these last wherever I have gone I have seen unfortunate two bent beneath the yoke of capital everywhere I have seen the same wounds causing tears of blood to flow even in the remoter parts of the inhabited districts of South America where I had the right to believe that he who was weary of the pains of civilization might rest in the shade of the palm trees in their study nature well they're even more than elsewhere I have seen capital come like a vampire to suck the last drop of blood of the unfortunate pariahs then I come back to France where it was reserved for me to see my family suffer atrociously this was the last drop in that cup of my sorrow tired of leading this life of suffering and cowardice I carried this balm to those who are primarily responsible for social sufferings I am reproached with the wounds of those who were hit by my projectiles permit me to point out in passing that if the bushwa had not massacred or caused massacres during the revolution it is probable that they would still be under the yoke of the nobility on the other hand figure up the dead and wounded on tonkin Madagascar Dahomey adding there to the thousands just millions of unfortunates who died in the Driss the mines and wherever the grinding power of capital is felt and also those who die of hunger and all this with the assent of our deputies beside all this of how little weight are the reproaches now brought against me it is true that one does not face the other but after all are we not acting on the defensive when we respond to the blows which we receive from above I know very well that I shall be told that I ought to have confined myself to speech for the vindication of the people's claims but what can you expect it takes a loud voice to make the Deaf hear to long have they answered our voices by imprisonment the Rope rifle volleys make no mistake the explosion of my bomb is not only the cry of the rebel valiant but the cry of an entire class which vindicates its rights and which will soon add x2 words for be sure of it in vain while they pass laws the ideas of the thinkers will not halt just as in the last century all the governmental forces could not prevent the deed arose in the Voltaire's from spreading emancipating ideas among the people so all the existing governmental forces will not prevent their ACLU's the Darwins the Spencer's the Ibsen's the mere bows from spreading the ideas of justice and Liberty which will annihilate the prejudices that hold the mass in ignorance and these ideas welcomed by the unfortunate will flower in acts of revolt as they have done in me until the day when the disappearance of authority shall permit all men to organize freely according to their choice when we shall each be able to enjoy the product of his labor and when those moral maladies called prejudices shall vanish permitting human beings to live in harmony having no other desire than to study the sciences and love their fellows I conclude gentlemen by saying that a society in which one sees such social inequalities as we see all about us in which we see everyday suicides caused by poverty prostitution blurring at every street corner a society whose principal monuments are barracks and prisons such a society must be transformed as soon as possible on pain of being eliminated and that speedily from the human race hail to him who Labor's by no matter what means for this transformation it is this idea that has guided me in my duel with authority but as in this duel I have only wounded my adversary it is now its turn to strike me now gentlemen to me it matters little what penalty you may inflict for looking at this assembly with the eyes of reason I could not help smiling to see you Adams lost in matter and reasoning only because you possess a prolongation of the spinal marrow assume the right to judge one of your fellows gentlemen how little a thing is your assembly and your verdict in the history of humanity and human history in its turn is likewise a very little thing in the whirlwind which bears it through immensity and which is destined to disappear or at least to be transformed in order to begin again the same history and the same facts a veritably perpetual play of cosmic forces renewing and transferring themselves forever will anyone say that volume was an ignorant vicious man or a lunatic was not his mind singularly clear analytic no wonder that the best intellectual forces of France spoke in his behalf and signed the petition to president care no asking him to commute volumes death sentence care no would listen to no entreaty he insisted on more than a pound of flesh he wanted valueless life and then the inevitable happened president care no was killed on the handle of the stiletto used by the attendant er was engraved significantly valiant Sante Caesarea was an anarchist he could have gotten away saved himself but he remained he stood the consequence as his reasons for the actor set forth and so simple dignified and childlike manner that one is reminded of the touching tribute paid caesarea by his teacher of the little village school otto Negri the italian poet who spoke of him as a sweet tender plant of two fine and sensitive texture to stand the cruel strain of the world gentlemen of the jury I do not propose to make a defence but only an explanation of my deed since my early youth I began to learn that present society is badly organised so badly that every day many wretched men commit suicide leaving women and children in the most terrible distress workers by thousands seek for working cannot find it poor families beg for food and shiver with cold they suffer the greatest misery the little ones ask their miserable mothers for food and the mothers cannot give them because they have nothing the few things which the home contains have already been sold or pawned all they can do is beg alms often they are arrested as vagabonds I went away from my native place because I was frequently moved to tears at seeing little girls of eight or ten years obliged to work 15 hours a day for the paltry pay of 20 centons young women of 18 or 20 also worked 15 hours daily for a mockery of remuneration and that happens not only to my fellow countrymen but to all the workers who sweat the whole day long for a crust of bread while their labor produces wealth and abundance the workers are obliged to live under the most wretched conditions and their food consists of a little bread a few spoonfuls of rice and water so by the time they are thirty or forty years old they are exhausted and go to die in the hospitals besides in consequence of bad food and overwork these unhappy creatures are by hundreds devoured by pellagra a disease that in my country attacks as the physician say those who are badly fed and lead a life of toil and privation have observed that there are a great many people who are hungry and many children who suffer whilst bread and clothes abound in the towns I saw many and large shops full of clothing and woolen stuffs and I also saw warehouses full of wheat and Indian corn suitable for those who are in want and on the other hand I saw thousands of people who do not work who produce nothing and live on the labour of others who spend every day thousands of francs for their amusement who debauch the daughters of the workers who own dwellings of 40 or 50 rooms 20 or 30 horses many servants in a word all the pleasures of life I believed in God but when I saw so great an inequality between men I acknowledge that it was not God who created man but man who created God and I discovered that those who want their property to be respected have an interest in preaching the existence of paradise in hell and in keeping the people in ignorant not long ago valiant threw a bomb in the Chamber of Deputies to protest against the present system of society he killed no one only wounded some persons yet bushwa justice sentenced him to death and not satisfied with the condemnation of the guilty man they began to pursue the anarchists and arrests not only those who had known valiant but even those who had merely been present at any anarchist lecture the government did not think of their wives and children it did not consider that the men kept in prison were not the only ones who suffered and that their little ones cried for bread bushwa justice did not trouble itself about these innocent ones who do not yet know what society is it is no fault of theirs that their fathers are imprisoned they only want to eat the government went on searching private houses opening private letters forbidding lectures and meetings and practicing the most infamous oppressions against us even now hundreds of anarchists are arrested for having written an article in a newspaper or having expressed an opinion in public gentlemen of the jury you are representatives of bourgeois society if you want my head take it but do not believe that in so doing you will stop the anarchist propaganda take care for men reap what they have sown during a religious procession in 1896 at Barcelona a bomb was thrown immediately three hundred men and women were arrested some were anarchists but the majority were trade unionists and socialists they were thrown into that terrible bestial man Jewish and subjected to most horrible tortures after a number have been killed or gone insane their cases were taken up by the liberal press of Europe resulting in the release of a few survivors the man primarily responsible for this revival of the Inquisition was Canova's del Castillo prime minister of Spain it was he who ordered the torturing of the victims their flesh burned their bones crushed their tongues cut out practiced in the art of brutality during his regime in Cuba Canova's remained absolutely deaf to the appeals and protests of the awakened civilized conscience in 1897 Canova's del Castillo was shot to death by a young Italian Angele lo the latter was an editor in his native land and his bold utterances soon attracted the attention of the authorities persecution began and Angelino fled from Italy to Spain thence to France and Belgium finally settling in England while there he found employment as a compositor and immediately became the friend of all his colleagues one of the latter thus described Angele lo his appearance suggested the journalist rather than the disciple of Gutenberg his delicate hands moreover betrayed the fact that he had not grown up at the case with his handsome frank face his soft dark hair his alert expression he the very type of the vivacious southerner Angelil Oh spoke Italian Spanish and French but no English the little French I knew was not sufficient to carry on a prolonged conversation however Angela lo soon began to acquire the English idiom he learned rapidly playfully and it was not long until he became very popular with his fellow compositors his distinguished and yet modest manner and his consideration toward his colleagues won in the hearts of all the boys Angela lo soon became familiar with the detailed accounts in the press he read of the great wave of human sympathy with the helpless victims at Mon Jewish on Trafalgar Square he saw with his own eyes the results of those atrocities when the few Spaniards who escaped Castillo's clutches came to seek asylum in England there at the great meeting these men opened their shirts and showed the horrible scars of burned flesh Angela lo saw and the effect surpassed a thousand theories the impetus was beyond words beyond arguments beyond himself even signor Antonio Canova still castillo prime minister of spain sojourned at santa agueda as usual in such cases all strangers were kept away from his exalted presence one exception was made however in the case of a distinguished looking elegantly dressed Italian the representative it was understood of an important journal the distinguished gentleman was and Jahlil Oh senior Canova's about to leave his house stepped on the veranda suddenly Angela lo confronted him a shot rang out and Canova's was a corpse the wife of the Prime Minister rushed upon the scene murderer murderer she cried pointing at Angela lo the latter bowed pardon madam he said I respect you as a lady but I regret that you were the wife of that man calmly Angela low faced death death in its most terrible form for the man whose soul was as a child he was garroted his body lay sunkist till the day hidden Twilight and the people came and pointing the finger of terror and fear they said they're the criminal the cruel murderer how stupid how cruel is ignorant it misunderstands always condemns always a remarkable parallel to the case of Anjali lo is to be found in the act of gaiety no brushy who's attended upon King Umberto made an American city famous preshi came to this country this land of opportunity where one has but to try to meet with a golden success yes he too would try to succeed he would work hard and faithfully work had no terrors for him if it would only help him to independence manhood self-respect thus full of hope and enthusiasm he settled in Paterson New Jersey and there found a lucrative job at six dollars per week and one of the weaving Mills of the town six whole dollars per week was no doubt a fortune for Italy but not enough to breathe on in the new country he loved his little home he was a good husband and devoted father to his bambina Bianca whom he adored he worked and worked for a number of years he actually managed to save one hundred dollars out of his six dollars per week bruh she had an ideal foolish I know for a working man to have an ideal the anarchist paper published in Paterson not questi own social every week though tired from work he would help to set up the paper until later hours he would assist and when the little pioneer had exhausted all resources and his comrades were in despair brush II brought cheer and hope $100 the entire savings of years that would keep the paper afloat in his native and people were starving the crops have been poor and the peasants saw themselves face to face with famine they appealed to their good king umberto he would help and he did the wives of the peasants who had gone to the palace of the king held up a mute silence their emaciated infants surely that would move him and then the soldiers fired and killed those poor fools Brushy at work in the weaving mill at Patterson read of the horrible massacre his mental I beheld the defenseless women and innocent infants of his native land slaughtered right before the good king his soul recoiled in horror at night he heard the groans of the wounded some may have been his comrades his own flesh why why these foul murders the little meeting of the Italian anarchist group in Patterson ended almost in a fight brushy had demanded his hundred dollars his comrades begged implored him to give them a respite the paper would go down if they were to return him his loan but brushy insisted on its return how cruel and stupid his ignorance preshi got the money but lost the goodwill the confidence of his comrades they would have nothing more to do with one whose greed was greater than his ideals on the 29th of July 1900 King Umberto was shot at Monza the young Italian Weaver of Paterson gaya tano brushy had taken the life of the Good King Paterson was placed under police surveillance everyone known as an anarchist hounded and persecuted and the act of Brushy ascribed to the teachings of anarchism as if the teachings of anarchism in its extremist form could equal the force of those slain women and infants who had pilgrims to the king for aid as if any spoken word ever so eloquent could into a human soul with such white heat as the lifeblood trickling drop by drop from those dying forms the ordinary man is rarely moved either by word or deed and those whose social kinship is the greatest living force need no appeal to respond even as does steel to the magnet to the wrongs and horrors of society if a social theory is a strong factor inducing acts of political violence how are we to account for the recent violent outbreaks in India where anarchism has hardly been born more than any other old philosophy Hindu teachings have exalted passive resistance the drifting of life the Nirvana as the highest spiritual ideal yet the social unrest in India is daily growing and has only recently resulted in an act of political violence the killing of sir Cruz on royally by the Hindu Modar sold Dhingra if such a phenomenon can occur in a country socially and individually permeated for centuries with the spirit of passivity come one question the tremendous revolutionising effect on human character exerted by great social iniquities can one doubt the logic the Justice of these words repression tyranny and indiscriminate punishment of innocent men have been the watchwords of the government of the alien domination in India ever since we began the commercial boycott of English goods the tiger qualities of the British are much in evidence now in India they think that by the strength of the sword they will keep down India it is this arrogance that has brought about the bomb and the more they Terran eyes over a helpless and unarmed people the more terrorism will grow we may deprecated terrorism as outlandish and foreign to our culture but it is inevitable as long as this tyranny continues for it is not the terrorists that are to be blamed but the tyrants who are responsible for it it is the only resource for a helpless and unarmed people when brought to the verge of despair it is never criminal on their part the crime lies with the tyrant from the free Hindustan even conservative scientists are beginning to realize that heredity is not the sole factor molding human character climate food occupation neck color light and sound must be considered in the study of human psychology if that be true how much more correct is the contention that great social abuses will and must influence different lines and temperaments in a different way and how utterly fallacious the stereotyped notion that the teachings of anarchism or certain exponents of these teachings are responsible for that acts of political violent anarchism more than any other social theory values human life above things all anarchists agree with Tolstoy in this fundamental truth if the production of any commodity necessitates the sacrifice of human life society should do without that commodity but it cannot do without that life that however nowise indicates the anarchism teaches submission how can it when it knows that all suffering all misery all ills result from the evil of submission has not some American ancestor said many years ago that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God and he was not an anarchist even I would say that resistance to tyranny is man's highest ideal so long as tyranny exists in whatever form man's and deepest aspiration must resist it as inevitably as man must breathe compared with the wholesale violence of capital and government political acts of violence are but a drop in the ocean that so few resist is the strongest proof how terrible must be the conflict between their souls and unbearable social iniquities high-strung like a violin string they weep and moan for life so relentless so cruel so terribly inhuman in a desperate moment the string breaks untuned ears hear nothing but discord but those who feel the agonized cry understand its harmony they hear it in the fulfillment of the most compelling moment of human nature such is the psychology of political violence end of part 3




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