Address to the Jury in U.S. v. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, 1917, The U.S. Records of the U.S. Supreme Court, Appellate Case No. 2619 Gentlemen of the Jury: As in the case of my codefendant, Alexander Berkman, this is also the first time in my life I have ever addressed a jury. I once had occasion to speak to three judges. On the day after our arrest it was given out by the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney's office that the "big fish" of the No Conscription activities had been caught, and that there would be no more trouble-makers and disturbers to interfere with the highly democratic effort of the Government to conscript its young manhood for the European slaughter. What a pity that the faithful servants of the Government, per... (From : WikiSource.)
A MATTER OF WORDS The word anarchy is as old as the world. It is derived from two ancient Greek words, av (an), apxn (arkhe), and means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was famous for his quips (such as "property is theft") and took to himself the word anarchy. As if his purpose were to shock as much as possible, in 1840 he engaged in the following dialogue with the "Philistine." "You are a republican." "Republican, yes; but that means nothing. Res publica is 'the State.' Kings, too, are republicans." "Ah well! You are a democrat?" "No." "What! Perhaps you are a monarchist?" "No." "Constitutionalist then?" "God forbid." "Then...
I walked to the Hotel Savoy to meet a friend whom I expected from Petrograd. Nearing the Okhotny Ryad I was, surprised to find the raided market in full operation again. All day long women and children are huckstering their wares there, and great crowds are about, trading and bargaining. One cannot tell buyer from seller. Everyone seems to have something for sale, and everyone is pricing things. An old Jew is offering to exchange secondhand trousers for bread; a soldier is trading a new pair of high boots for a watch. Colored kerchiefs and laces, an antique brass candlestick, kitchen utensils, chairs --- every imaginable object is collected there, awaiting a buyer. In the store windows meat, butter, fish, and flour, even wheat, are, exposed for sale. I know that soldiers and sailors sell their surplus, but the quantities to be seen on the Okhotny, the Sukharevka, and other markets are very large. Could the rumors be true that trainloads of provisions often disa...
Last Message to the People of America
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 bo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring against the Czar's Life. The funeral of the dead Czar. A terrorized city. FAMILY TROUBLES: Rumors of my beloved Uncle Maxim's execution. My terrible grief. Death of my father. We ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
(Anarchist Albert Meltzer writes about British author and anarchist Ethel Edith Mannin.) Ask who is the writer who has contributed most in the English language to the spread of libertarian ideas and you will get some peculiar answers, probably one of them some obscure Canadian professor whom nobody reads except as prescribed in the university curriculum (ed: he probably means George Woodcock, who it would appear Meltzer doesn’t think too highly of!). You might well get the same answer from Ethel Mannin, but for my money it is she who deserves the maximum credit, and seems to have received none that I know of. She was writing on sex and women’s liberation fifty years ago and has introduced anarchist ideas in numerous works of fac... (From : LibCom.org.)
FOREWORD In spite of the self-effacing sub-title, the life of Albert Meltzer has been far from "commonplace". It is a witty account of the never-ending and tireless struggle -- sometimes Herculean, sometimes Schvejkian -- against the hydra-headed nonentities who seek to impose their order and their certainties on the universe. Since his schooldays, throughout his working life and now in "retirement", anarchism has been the guiding star which has fueled Albert's thankfully incurable and infectious optimism and faith in the ultimate common sense of humanity. He is a worker, was active in trade unionism, a tireless but unpaid editor, a traveler, a public speaker and a challenger of humbug. His character, ideas, good humor (mostly) and generosity of spirit have touched and influenced many people in many lands during the past sixty years. I am grateful to have been one of those links in the chain. Others, some of the many younger people Albert continues to inspi...
Note: This speech was actually delivered on Dec. 16, 1893, not 1894 (Avrich, Paul , pp. 85-86). IN DEFENSE OF EMMA GOLDMAN AND THE RIGHT OF EXPROPRIATION. BY VOLTAIRINE DE CLEYRE. PHILADELPHIA. 1894. (3515 WALLACE STREET.) "A STARVING MAN HAS A NATURAL RIGHT TO HIS NEIGHBOR'S BREAD". CARDINAL MANNING. "I HAVE NO IDEA OF PETITIONING FOR RIGHTS. WHATEVER THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE ARE, THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO THEM, AND NONE HAVE A RIGHT TO EITHER WITHHOLD OR GRANT THEM". PAINE'S "Rights of Man". "ASK FOR WORK; IF THEY DO NOT GIVE YOU WORK ASK FOR BREAD; IF THEY DO NOT GIVE YOU WORK OR BREAD THEN TAKE BREAD". (From : Anarchy Archives.)
No one at all capable of an intense conscious inner life need ever hope to escape mental anguish and suffering. Sorrow and often despair over the so-called eternal fitness of things are the most persistent companions of our life. But they do not come upon us from the outside, through the evil deeds of particularly evil people. They are conditioned in our very being; indeed, they are interwoven through a thousand tender and coarse threads with our existence. It is absolutely necessary that we realize this fact, because people who never get away from the notion that their misfortune is due to the wickedness of their fellows never can outgrow the petty hatred and malice which constantly blames, condemns, and hounds others for something that is... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Paris, Sept. 29th 1926 Dear Theodore Dreiser Before you leave Paris I want to let you know how much I have enjoyed the evening with you and thank you for it. I can not begin to tell you how hungry I am for some of the people who have been in my life in America-people who began their struggle almost at the same time with me and whom I have seen grow and do worth while things. To me it was never so important whether these people have chosen the thorny path that was mine, but that they set out to give something out of the ordinary. You are among them and one who has certainly given lasting work. And what is more, you have not stopped growing, that is more than can be said for other of our own generation. It is therefore not idle flattery when ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)