Sunday, March 6, 2016

Emma G

When I first began to appreciate Anarchism, it was primarily because it felt like a finger in the eye of so many eyes that needed fingering. However, the more I read, the more it really does feel right to me. Furthermore, Anarchism is not the bomb throwing loner as cliched in movies and Saturday morning cartoons. Travelling this path, I learned about Emma Goldman. She was a radical, a feminist, and an anarchist in the early part of the 20th Century. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, free love, and homosexuality. She was known for her activism, her writing and her fiery speeches.

I would have adored her for the following quote alone, but she brought such fervor and dedication to the cause, she is much more than just this. She said “If voting changed anything, they would make it illegal.”  

No one is perfect and Emma was involved in a plot to assassinate the manager of a Carnegie steel mill.  But she played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. Emma was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. Eventually deported from the United States for her political views and activism, Emma died in her adopted home of Toronto, Ontario in 1940.

In 1908, William Marion Reedy published an article titled “Emma Goldman: The Daughter of the Dream” in the St. Louis Mirror. Emma commented that “no finer appreciation of my ideas and no greater tribute to me had ever been written by a non-anarchist before.”

An excerpt reads: “... “Freedom-absolute, unconditioned. Uninvasive freedom. That is anarchy. There shall be no constraint of law upon the soul or the body of man. There shall be no duties except one’s duty to one’s self. There shall be no modification of any right save a sense of and regard for the rights of others…There shall be no gods, no priests, no rulers, no judges, no policeman in the world she [Emma Goldman] would make over. And before the world can be made over all present institutions must be destroyed… By bombs? No. By ideas, by the new ideal of the sacred invasive privacy of man’s being.”

Another great Emma quote: "To the daring belongs the future."

I have decided to name my boat, Emma, in her honor. Emma is a sweet sounding name with a badass backstory. I can choose to whom I tell the whole story.  

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