Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : legal defense

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PREFACE

      Perhaps the argument most frequently used by conservative believers in the convenient doctrine of leaving things as they are against those engaged in reformatory efforts of a more or less radical nature is that the "spirit and genius of American institutions" do not admit of the assimilation or acceptance of the proposed innovations. Were one to trust them, the "American institutions" are something so clearly defined, finished, and powerful as to absolutely render it impossible for any inconsistent and discordant element to maintain a vigorous existence within the charmed circle which affords chances of life only to what necessarily and logically flows as a consequence from the fundamental principles supporting the peculiar civilization of this "best government on the face of the earth." We are asked to look upon all that "is," if not as unqualifiedly right and perfect, then as relatively so in the sense of its being the unavoidable outcome of primary...

Berkman, Alexander (1912) Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, Mother Earth Press.

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THE SHOP

I

I STAND IN line with a dozen prisoners, in the anteroom of the Deputy's office. Humiliation overcomes me as my eye falls, for the first time in the full light of day, upon my striped clothes. I am degraded to a beast' My first impression of a prisoner in stripes is painfully vivid: he resembled a dangerous brute. Somehow the idea is associated in my mind with a wild tigress,-and I, too, must now look like that.
      The door of the rotunda swings open, admitting the tall, lank figure of the Deputy Warden.
      "Hands up!"
      The Deputy slowly passes along the line, examining a hand here and there. He separates the men into groups; then, pointing to the one in which I am included, he says in his feminine accents:
      "None crippled. Officers, take them, hm...

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