Anarchism & American Traditions

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American traditions, begotten of religious rebellion, small self-sustaining communities, isolated conditions, and hard pioneer life, grew during the colonization period of one hundred and seventy years from the settling of Jamestown to the outburst of the Revolution. This was in fact the great constitution-making epoch, the period of charters guaranteeing more or less of liberty, the general tendency of which is well described by Wm. Penn in speaking of the charter for Pennsylvania: “I want to put it out of my power, or that of my successors, to do mischief.”

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Why I Am an Anarchist

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Voltairine de Cleyre (1897)

It was suggested to me by those who were the means of securing me this opportunity of addressing you, that probably the most easy and natural way for me to explain Anarchism would be for me to give the reasons why I myself am an Anarchist. I am not sure that they were altogether right in the matter, because in giving the reasons why I am an Anarchist, I may perhaps infuse too much of my own personality into the subject, giving reasons sufficient unto myself, but which cool reflection might convince me were not particularly striking as reasons why other people should be Anarchists, which is, after all, the object of public speaking on this question.

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Anarchism & American Traditions

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by Voltairine de Cleyre


Introduction

“Nature has the habit of now and then producing a type of human being far in advance of the times; an ideal for us to emulate; a being devoid of sham, uncompromising, and to whom the truth is sacred; a being whose selfishness is so large that it takes the whole human race and treats self only as one of the great mass; a being keen to sense all forms of wrong, and powerful in denunciation of it; one who can reach in the future and draw it nearer. Such a being was Voltairine de Cleyre.”

What could be added to this splendid tribute by Jay Fox to the memory of Voltairine de Cleyre?
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The Making of an Anarchist

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Voltairine de Cleyre

“Here was one guard, and here was the other at this end; I was here opposite the gate. You know those problems in geometry of the hare and the hounds — they never run straight, but always in a curve, so, see? And the guard was no smarter than the dogs; if he had run straight to the gate he would have caught me.”
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Written-in-Red (en/fr)

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(To Our Living Dead in Mexico’s Struggle)

Written in red their protest stands,
For the gods of the World to see;
On the dooming wall their bodiless hands
have blazoned “Upharsin,” and flaring brands
Illumine the message: “Seize the lands!
Open the prisons and make men free!”
Flame out the living words of the dead
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Esclavitud sexual, por Voltairine de Cleyre

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¡Noche en la cárcel! ¡Una silla, una mesa, un pequeño lavabo, cuatro paredes vacías, fantasmagóricas a la tenue luz del pasillo de fuera, una ventana estrecha, con barrotes y tapiada, una puerta chirriante! Tras la temible celosía de hierro, entre las paredes — ¡un hombre! Un hombre anciano, arrugado y con el cabello gris, cojo y doliente.
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La Cuestión de la Mujer. Voltairine de Cleyre [1913]

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Extracto de una charla ofrecida en Escocia, reimpresa más tarde en el Herald of Revolt, 1913. La “cuestión de la mujer” era la frase usada entonces para describir los asuntos que hoy llamaríamos “feminismo” o “derechos de la mujer.” Su referencia a “una parte de los anarquistas” es por los muchos hombres anarquistas, radicales en la política, no así en lo demás, que pensaban que el único problema que enfrentaban las mujeres era que los maridos de algunas de ellas tenían bajos ingresos.

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Domesticity, Jealousy, and Abortion: Her Private Letter to Samuel H. Gordon ([c. July] 1897)

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Voltairine de Cleyre

([c. July] 1897)

Introduction

by Robert P. Helms

Acción Directa

 

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Voltairine de Cleyre (1912)


Desde la perspectiva de alguien que piense por sí mismo y sea capaz de discernir una ruta sin desvíos a seguir para el progreso de la humanidad, para que haya cualquier tipo de progreso, quien, teniendo una ruta tal trazada en la mente, haya buscado cómo enseñársela a los demás, hacerles verla como la ve él mismo; quien haciendo eso al mismo tiempo ha elegido lo que le parecieran expresiones simples y claras para transmitir sus ideas a los otros, para esa persona aparece como gran fuente de tristeza y confusión del espíritu el que la expresión «Acción Directa» de pronto haya adquirido en las mentes del público un significado estrecho, en absoluto implicado en las palabras mismas, y ciertamente nunca adscrito por él mismo, ni por sus camaradas de ideas.

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Anarchism & American Traditions

decleyrecover

by Voltairine de Cleyre

ntroduction

“Nature has the habit of now and then producing a type of human being far in advance of the times; an ideal for us to emulate; a being devoid of sham, uncompromising, and to whom the truth is sacred; a being whose selfishness is so large that it takes the whole human race and treats self only as one of the great mass; a being keen to sense all forms of wrong, and powerful in denunciation of it; one who can reach in the future and draw it nearer. Such a being was Voltairine de Cleyre.”

What could be added to this splendid tribute by Jay Fox to the memory of Voltairine de Cleyre?
Read the rest of this entry »

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