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The events of May 4, 1886 were a major influence on the oratory of Voltairine de Cleyre. Following the execution of the Haymarket Martyrs on November 11, 1887, she gave an annual address to commemorate the date of their sacrifice. The following memorial speech was first delivered in Chicago on November 11, 1901. It was subsequently published in Free Society, a Chicago periodical, November 24, 1901. It is reprinted, along with her other Haymarket Memorial speeches, in The First Mayday: The Haymarket Speeches 18951910 (Cienfuegos Press, Over-the-water, Sanday, Orkney, KWI7 2BL, UK), 1980. Let me begin my address with a confession. I make it sorrowfully and with self-disgust; but in the presence of great sacrifice we learn humility, and if my ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Freethought in America was an anti-clerical, anti-Christian movement which sought to separate the church and state in order to leave religious matters to the conscience and reasoning ability of the individual involved. Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) was prominent both as a feminist and as a freethinker. The following article, reprinted from Benjamin Tucker's periodical Liberty, was originally delivered by de Cleyre as a lecture before the Boston Secular Society. It is an excellent example of the interrelationship between the individualist-feminist view of the church and of the state. In her essay "Sex Slavery," de Cleyre reiterated this two-pronged attack. She wrote: "Let every woman ask herself, 'Why am I the Slave of Man?' . . . There a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Let me begin my address with a confession. I make it sorrowfully and with self-disgust; but in the presence of great sacrifice we learn humility, and if my comrades could give their lives for their belief, why, let me give my pride. Yet I would not give it, for personal utterance is of trifling importance, were it not that I think at this particular season it will encourage those of our sympathizers whom the recent outburst of savagery may have disheartened, and perhaps lead some who are standing where I once stood to do as I did later. This is my confession: Fifteen years ago last May when the echoes of the Haymarket bomb rolled through the little Michigan village where I then lived, I, like the rest of the credulous and brutal, read one l... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
SPEAKING of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualality in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Home Secretary, whose private judgment, or the lack of it, is arbiter of life or death for accused Englishmen, has triumphantly vindicated the majesty of the law by causing a Jewish lad to be publicly murdered. The unhappy youth had fled from the horrors of Russian conscription to the worse misery of an exile's life of semi-starvation in London. His brain reeled amid the wretchedness of his lot; he meditated suicide; in reckless despair he is said to have killed a poor woman who balked his desperate search for a few shillings. Victims both of the horrible injustice of society, of the inhuman despotism of the Czar, and the equally inhuman greed of English monopolists of wealth; of the man who sacrifices the lives of others to maintain hi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Prisons and Crime. Three Essays by A.B. III. Crime. Society makes not the least effort to prevent crime, as it could and should by pursuing such methods which would tend to remove the conditions breeding criminals. It deals with criminals, not with crime. It concerns itself only with the classes or individuals already criminal --- generally after the commitment of a crime and occasionally while in the act of commitment --- completely disregarding those standing on the precipice. of criminality; ready to take their fatal leap. Along the road of want and suffering and forbearance society... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
1. THE ROBBERY of LAND AND ITS EFFECTS-(continued). WE have seen how the working men and women of England were driven off the soil by the greed of the rich and idle. The desire to secure their ill-gained possessions led the robbers to spare no pains to crush out the sturdy self-respect and self-reliance of the people they had wronged. It is startling to find how large a part of The public activity of the upper classes has been directly devoted to breaking the spirit of the poor and degrading them into the position of wage-slaves, wholly dependent on the owners of land and capital. In the earlier days of land-grabbing, the law, always a whip by means of which the rich lash the poor into subjection, empowered Justices of the Peace to settle h... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Kropotkin, Peter. The Terror in Russia. London: Methuen & Co., 1909. 4th Ed. PART I CHAPTER I THE PRISONS A.--Overcrowding and Typhus Numbers of Prisoners. Overcrowding.--From an official document communicated to the State Council on March 15, 1909, by the administration of the prisons, it appears that on February 1, 1909, there were in the lock-ups of the Empire 181,137 inmates. This figure, however, does not include those prisoners who are in transportation, and the numbers of whom are estimated officially at about 30,000. Nor does it include an immense number of persons detained at the police lock-ups, both in the towns and in the villages. No approximate idea as to the number of this last category can be obtained, but it has been suggested in the Russian Press that it may be anything between 50,000 and 100,000. The worst is that it is especially in the Police lock...
Published Essays and Pamphlets Voltairine De Cleyre by Emma Goldman [Published privately by The Oriole Press, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, mcmxxxii] Edition limited to two-hundred copies of which fifty are printed on Nuremberg deckle-edge paper for private distribution with the compliments of the publisher WRITTEN IN RED Bear it aloft, O roaring flame! Skyward aloft, where all may see. Slaves of the world! our cause is the same; One is the immemorial shame; One is the struggle, and in One name-- MANHOOD--we battle to set men free. VOLTAIRINE DE CLEYRE THE FIRST TIME I MET HER--THIS MOST GIFTED AND BRILLIANT ANARCHIST WOMAN AMERICA EVER PRODUCED--was in Philadelphia, in August 1893. I had come to that city to address the unempl... (From : University of Berkeley.)