The text is from my copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 151-172. FRANCISCO FERRER AND THE MODERN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE has come to be considered the best school of life. The man or woman who does not learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon as a dunce indeed. Yet strange to say, that though organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, though they learn nothing from experience, we acquiesce, as a matter of course. There lived and worked in Barcelona a man by the name of Francisco Ferrer. A teacher of children he was, known and loved by his people. Outside of Spain only the cultured few knew of Francisco Ferrer's work.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
In all unsuccessful social upheavals there are two terrors: the Red--that is, the people, the mob; the White--that is, the reprisal. When a year ago to-day the lightning of the White Terror shot out of that netherest blackness of Social Depth, the Spanish Torture House, and laid in the ditch of Montjuich a human being who but a moment before had been the personification of manhood, in the flower of life, in the strength and pride of a balanced intellect, full of the purpose of a great and growing undertaking,-- that of the Modern Schools,--humanity at large received a blow in the face which it could not understand. Stunned, bewildered, shocked, it recoiled and stood gaping with astonishment. How to explain it ? The average individual--certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The share which I had in the political struggles of the last part of the nineteenth century put my early convictions to a severe test. I was a revolutionary in the cause of justice; I was convinced that liberty, equality, and fraternity were the legitimate fruit to be expected of a republic. Seeing, therefore, no other way to attain this ideal but a political agitation for a change of the form of government, I devoted myself entirely to the republican propaganda.I My relations with D. Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla, who was one of the leading figures in the revolutionary movement, brought me into contact with a number of the Spanish revolutionaries and some prominent French agitators, and my intercourse with them led to a sharp disillusion. I detected in many of them an egoism which they sought hypocritically to conceal, while the ideals of others, who were more sincere, seemed to me inadequate. In none of them did I perceive a design to bring a...
To fully grasp the social importance of the Modern School, we must understand first the school as it is being operated today, and secondly the idea underlying the modern educational movement. What, then, is the school of today, no matter whether public, private, or parochial? It is for the child what the prison is for the convict and the barracks for the soldier--a place where everything is being used to break the will of the child, and then to pound, knead, and shape it into a being utterly foreign to itself. I do not mean to say that this process is carried on consciously; it is but a part of a system which can maintain itself only through absolute discipline and uniformity; therein, I think, lies the greatest crime of present-day society... (From : Anarchy Archives.)