“Johann Most” by Emma Goldman

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Johann Most is one of the more misunderstood figures in U.S. anarchist history. His reputation is shaped by a legacy of vilification in the mainstream press, with the foreign-born Most being the target of relentless attacks by the newspapers of his day. In Most, the forces of capitalism and order found the stereotype of the wild-eyed anarchist bent on destruction.

This zine presents a biographical essay about Most by Emma Goldman, originally published in The American Mercury. It is notable for its profoundly human portrayal of Most, providing a biographical sketch and evaluating his role in the movement.

The essay is accompanied by a critical introduction that explores how Most has been portrayed over the years.

 

Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman: “¡Abajo los Anarquistas!” (1908)

¡Debemos deshacernos de los Anarquistas! Son una amenaza para la sociedad. ¿No dice eso Hearst? ¿No nos aseguran la  M. & M. y los señores de la Cámara del Comercio, quienes también le declararon la guerra a la Labor [N. del T.: AFL, American Federation of Labor / Federación Estadounidense del Trabajo], que los Anarquistas son peligrosos y que son responsables de todos nuestros problemas? ¿Acaso no todo novato de la Labor y todo injerto de político grita contra los Anarquistas? ¿No es eso prueba suficiente de que los Anarquistas son peligrosos?
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Emma Goldman: Mary Wollstonecraft, su trágica vida y su lucha por la libertad (1911)

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Los pioneros del progreso humano son como las gaviotas, observan nuevas costas, nuevas esferas de pensamiento temerario, mientras sus compañeras de viaje ven solo el interminable trecho de agua. Envían alegres saludos a las tierras distantes. Una fe intensa, anhelosa, ardiente, penetra en las nubes de la duda, porque los agudos oídos de los precursores de la vida disciernen desde el enloquecedor rugido de las olas el nuevo mensaje, el nuevo símbolo para la humanidad.
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Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman: “¡Abajo los Anarquistas!” (1908)

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¡Debemos deshacernos de los Anarquistas! Son una amenaza para la sociedad. ¿No dice eso Hearst? ¿No nos aseguran la  M. & M. y los señores de la Cámara del Comercio, quienes también le declararon la guerra a la Labor [N. del T.: AFL, American Federation of Labor / Federación Estadounidense del Trabajo], que los Anarquistas son peligrosos y que son responsables de todos nuestros problemas? ¿Acaso no todo novato de la Labor y todo injerto de político grita contra los Anarquistas? ¿No es eso prueba suficiente de que los Anarquistas son peligrosos?
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The Child and its enemies

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Emma Goldman

Is the child to be considered as an individuality, or as an object to be moulded according to the whims and fancies of those about it? This seems to me to be the most important question to be answered by parents and educators. And whether the child is to grow from within, whether all that craves expression will be permitted to come forth toward the light of day; or whether it is to be kneaded like dough through external forces, depends upon the proper answer to this vital question.

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Bolsheviks Shooting Anarchists

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Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman (1922)

We have just received the following letter from our comrades Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, who are now stranded in Stockholm. This letter gives us the truth about the terrible persecution of Anarchists in Russia. We ask all Anarchist and Syndicalist papers to republish this letter, and we hope comrades in this country will help us in pushing the sale of this issue, of which we have printed a much larger number than usual.

Dear Comrades, — The persecution of the revolutionary elements in Russia has not abated with the changed political and economic policies of the Bolsheviki. On the contrary, it has become more intense, more determined. The prisons of Russia, of Ukraina, of Siberia, are filled with men and women — aye, in some cases with mere children — who dare hold views that differ from those of the ruling Communist Party. We say “hold views” advisedly. For in the Russia of to-day it is not at all necessary to express your dissension in word or act to become subject to arrest; the mere holding of opposing views makes you the legitimate prey of the de facto supreme power of the land, the Tcheka, that almighty Bolshevik Okhrana, whose will knows neither law nor responsibility.

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Deportation — Its Meaning and Menace: Last Message to the People of America

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Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman

Ellis Island, New York, U.S.A., December, 1919.

Introduction

With pencil and scraps of paper concealed behind the persons of friends who had come to say good-bye at the Ellis Island Dep334
Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman

Ellis Island, New York, U.S.A., December, 1919.
Introduction

With pencil and scraps of paper concealed behind the persons of friends who had come to say good-bye at the Ellis Island Deportation Station, Alexander Berkman hastily scribbled the last lines of this pamphlet.

I think it is the best introduction to this pamphlet to say that before its writing was finished the rulers of America began deporting men directly and obviously for the offense of striking against the industrial owners of America.

The “Red Ark” is gone. In the darkness of early morning it slipped away, leaving behind many wives and children destitute of support. They were denied even the knowledge of the sailing of the ship, denied the right of farewell to the husbands and fathers they may never see again. After the boat was gone, women and children came to the dock to visit the prisoners, bringing such little comforts as are known to the working class, seedy overcoats for the Russian winter, cheap gloves and odds and ends of food. They were told that the ship was gone. The refined cruelty of the thing was too much for them; they stormed the ferry-house, broke a window, screamed and cried, and were driven away by soldiers

The “Red Ark” will loom big in American history. It is the first picturesque incident of the beginning effort of the War Millionaires to crush the soul of America and insure the safety of the dollars they have looted over the graves of Europe and through the deaths of the quarter million soldier boys whom American mothers now mourn.

Yes, the “Red Ark” will go into history. Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman whom the screaming harlots of the yellow press have chosen to call the “leaders” of those whose distinction is that they have no leaders, are more fortunate than otherwise. Berkman and Goldman have been deported as “Russians.” They were born in Russia, but they did their thirty years’ work of en, enlightenment in this, our America. I think they are therefore Americans, in the best sense, and the best of Americans. They fought for the elementary rights of men, here in our country when others of us were afraid to speak, or would not pay the price. In all the leading cities of this land, they have contributed to the intellectual life of the younger, aspiring generation. I venture to say that there is hardly a liberal in the United States whose life has not been influenced directly or indirectly and made better, by Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.

Alexander Berkman spent in American prisons more years than like to remember. He did it deliberately. He did it for the welfare of men, and the American portion of mankind. He never hesitated to offer his life for his brother. I recall a picture; it is in Russia. We were gathered in Moscow. It looked as though the Revolution were going to its death. Everywhere the Soviet armies Were retreating, the masses were sinking into despair, the German working class was not rising in rebellion as we had hoped, the Austrians likewise; the White Terror was raising its head through. out Russia. A pallid girl, a Russian-American immigrant returned to her native country, held in her hand the bulletin of the day’s news. “A hundred Alexander Berkmans distributed throughout Europe at this time, and the history of Europe would be different!” she exclaimed.

Berkman wrote a book, “Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist,” which is one of America’s vital literary products. It won for him the admiration of such intellectuals here as had the courage to admire.

The “intellectuals” for the most part did not bid Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman good-bye. Most of those who dared to visit the passengers of the “Red Ark” in their Ellis Island prison were young men and women of the working class. That is as it should be. It is in the working class where Goldman and Berkman’s brave work will find the growth that will count. American plutocracy knew this. That is why American plutocracy deported Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.

This pamphlet is the “good-bye message” of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman; and I think it is in spirit the message of all the passengers of the “Red Ark.” As such it appears first in this form and will appear later in history. Read it and keep it for the future.

Robert Minor

Deportation — Its Meaning and Menace
I

The war is over, but peace there is not. On a score of fronts human slaughter is going on as before; men, women, and children are dying by the hundred thousands because of the blockade of Russia; the “small nations” are still under the iron heel of the foreign oppressor; Ireland, India, Egypt, Persia, Korea, and numerous other peoples, are being decimated and exploited even more ruthlessly than before the advent of the- Great Prophet of World Democracy; “self-determination” has become a by-word, nay a crime, and world-wide imperialism has gotten a strangle hold upon humanity.

What, then, has the Great War accomplished? To what purpose the sacrifice of millions of human lives, the unnamable loss in blood and treasure? What, especially, has happened in these United States?
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“Johann Most” by Emma Goldman

johann-most-cover

Johann Most is one of the more misunderstood figures in U.S. anarchist history. His reputation is shaped by a legacy of vilification in the mainstream press, with the foreign-born Most being the target of relentless attacks by the newspapers of his day. In Most, the forces of capitalism and order found the stereotype of the wild-eyed anarchist bent on destruction.
Read the rest of this entry »

Anarquía y la cuestión sexual

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Emma Goldman

El obrero, cuya fuerza y musculatura son tan admiradas por los pálidos y enclenques hijos de los ricos, y que sin embargo cuya labor apenas le trae suficiente como para mantener al lobo de la inanición tras la puerta, se casa solo para tener una esposa y ama de casa, quien debe trabajar como esclava desde la mañana hasta la noche, quien debe hacer todo esfuerzo por mantener bajos los gastos. Sus nervios están tan cansados por el continuo esfuerzo por hacer que el lamentable salario de su esposo les sustente a ambos, que se torna ella irritable y ya no logra esconder su deseo de afecto por su señor y amo, quien, ¡ay! pronto llega a la conclusión de que sus esperanzas y planes se han perdido, y entonces comienza prácticamente a pensar que el matrimonio es un fracaso.
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Anarchy Defended by Anarchists

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by John Most and Emma Goldman
To most Americans Anarchy is an evil-sounding word — another name for wickedness, perversity, and chaos. Anarchists are looked upon as a herd of uncombed, unwashed, and vile ruffians, bent on killing the rich and dividng their capital. Anarchy, however, to its followers actually signifies a social theory which regards the union of order with the absense of all government of man by man; in short, it means perfect individual liberty.
If the meaning of Anarchy has so far been interpreted as a state of the greatest disorder, it is because people have been taught that their affairs are regulated, that they are ruled wisely, and that authority is a necessity.
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