Emma Goldman And Anarchism

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Perhaps one of the largest contributors who helped shape what anarchism is regarded as today is Emma Goldman. Goldman was born in 1869 in Russia to a Jewish family, and later went on to come to prominence as a modern anarchist, with her ideas being highly valued in Europe and the United States. One of the earliest anarchist rebellions Goldman was a part of was the Homestead Strike. It was there that she developed her relationship with long-term lover and fellow anarchist thinker, Alexander Berkman. The Homestead Strike was a strike between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company. The labor union refused to put up with the high working demands of Andrew Carnegie, and resulted in the plant manager …show more content…

This would prove to be miniscule compared to her later arrest. President William McKinley’s assassin, claimed to have been inspired to commit the act after attending a rally given by Goldman. She was then arrested for planning the assassination of the president, although she had never conspired with the assassin. Ultimately, the execution of President McKinley’s killer led Goldman to disappear from the political sphere for a while. It wasn’t until two years later, after the introduction of the Anarchist Exclusion Act, that Goldman reentered the scene, lively as ever. The Anarchist Exclusion Act, or the Immigration Act of 1903, was a law introduced in the United States and signed by then president Theodore Roosevelt. Anarchists, along with people with epilepsy, beggars, and those who worked in the sex work industry, were all included in the revised list of inadmissible immigrants, which means the people who fell into these categories were not to be allowed into the country. This unfair and misrepresentation of anarchism is what inspired Goldman to leave her reinvented life as a nurse, and once more join the anarchist revolution. After her comeback, Goldman founded an anarchist journal, called …show more content…

During this time, in 1910, one of her most distinguished pieces of literature was published. In Anarchism: What It Really Stands For, Goldman begins with a quote about anarchy from John Henry Mackay, a Scottish-German anarchist author and philosopher. This quote ends with a notable bit, in which Mackay declares, “I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will not rule, and also ruled I will not be.” Goldman continues in, saying that the main issue the masses have with anarchism is born out of ignorance on the topic. Most people who are unfamiliar with this ideology peg it as being focused on violence and chaos. Goldman refutes this untrue claim, saying that the very thing anarchism is looking to combat is ignorance and nothing else. By its definition, anarchism strives to allow people to think for themselves, to break free from societal restraints, and unlearn the lies that have been spoon fed to us. Goldman says that anarchism is special, in that it is the only ideology that encourages humanity to think for themselves, and the only one that insists God, the state, and society are, and should remain, non existent. The only thing worth relying on to bring people together as a collective whole is anarchism, and it cannot and should not be ignored any longer. Further in her piece, she alludes to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s piece on property, and

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that emma goldman helped shape what anarchism is regarded as today. she was born in 1869 in russia to a jewish family.
  • Describes how goldman reentered the anarchist scene after the introduction of the immigration act of 1903, which included people with epilepsy, beggars, and sex workers.
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