Emma Goldman - Anarchism: What It Really Stands For (Anarchism & Other Essays) 1/3



you anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman anarchism what it really stands for 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 forests 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 RAC the thumbscrew and the now are still with us so are the convicts garb in the social raft all conspiring against the spirit that is serenely 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 ignorance 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 ignorance 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 the intelligent man what then are the objections first and our kisum 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 the either from hearsay or false interpretation a practical scheme says Oscar Wilde is either one already in existence for a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to in 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 by Televi enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old and built as well as sustain new life in the light of this conception anarchism 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 violent how is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance the 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 ladder anarchism the philosophy of a new social order based on Liberty unrestricted by man-made law the theory that all forms of government rest on violence and are therefore wrong and harmful as well as unnecessary the new social order rests of course on a 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 an 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 talk him out of that attitude through 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 the 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 an ark ism is the only philosophy which brings to man that 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 subordination and our Gizem 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 everyman 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 a 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 humiliated and degrades his soul God is everything man is nothing says religion but out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic tyrannical so cruel so terribly exacting that not that gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began anarchism rouses man to rebuild on 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 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 Prudhomme yes but without risk in danger – the robber monopolizing the accumulated efforts of man property has robbed him of his birthright and has turned him loose of 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 a 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 in 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 his for dig coal or build roads for thirty years of his life there can be no talk of wealth what he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things reflecting a dull and hideous distance too weak to live too cowardly to die strange does say there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production has 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




Comments
  1. Where's 2 and 3? And FWIW, it's ideas and Emma Goldman's views that's of interest, the music, sorry for being profane, but critiques of the music by commenters, seems they have shit for brains if that was the major point they took from the video.
    Thanks for the video.

  2. I have question,

    it seems impossible for a pure anarchist to accept any authority, that including of himself?

    Because we all have authority, over what is relative to our social postion in life.. but everybody has the ability to have authority, even at the lowest level, where a poor homeless man has natural rights to govern himself in whatever fashion, if this man was a pure anarchist, wouldn't he reject his own authority, and be unable to govern himself? become that of an animal, or a child?

  3. this is a more logical comparison, i dont care if your gordon ramsey, if you've made a shitty souffle then you've made a shitty souffle.

  4. pretty shitty since your comparing apples to oranges. your "degree" is in an arts, where there is such a thing as subjectivity. so your claim to have a "higher sense" in something that is purely subjective and based on taste is ridiculous. and then compare it to science and likening yourself to a heart surgeon…… yeah thats logical.

  5. I agree the music is a bit much especially for an educational video, but just leave the guy alone. Sitting here complaining shows absolutely no respect for Emma Goldman. Watch and learn, or leave. I highly doubt many will really care which you choose but don't ruin this for other people that actually want to learn about this woman.
    I don't like the music, but I appriciate this video still being made, so thankyou AudioForAnarchistsII.

  6. its especially funny when your only comments are complaining about your "higher sense" in adding music. pffff haha

  7. lol you went to college for video prodction…. yeah your sooo educated. and then you arrogantly {and falsly} claim "a higher sense" then complain your taste was attacked? shouldve taken a logics course.

  8. because i went to college for video production and have a higher sense of what a good video is supposed to be. so don't attack me for my taste and your lack thereof

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