Browsing By Tag "officials"
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.)
In 1974, or early 1975, I reviewed in the English anarchist paper Freedom a book by Carlos Semprun Maura, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Catalonia (French edition). In my review I criticized both Semprun Maura and Vernon Richards' book Lessons of the Spanish Revolution for presenting a distorted, over-simplified interpretation of events- a scenario. This provoked a heated rejoinder from Richards (three or four articles in Freedom). Over forty years after the tragic defeat of the Spanish Revolution - 1936 to 1939 - the question of anarchist participation in the Republican government and the role of anarchists in a revolution is a fundamental problem still debated- still relevant. I include my polemic with Richards in these memoirs beca... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
The general conception of the "type" American is in Europe picturesque and niave at the same time. In France as in Germany, in the Northern as in the Southern countries, in fact throughout the European Continent, with the exception of England perhaps, the opinion of the man in the street about America and Americans is primitive and inadequate. First of all, the name "an American" immediately suggests riches, wealth. It is almost as if American and rich man are synonyms, at least in the view of the average European who has never been in the United States and who seldom comes in direct contact with Americans in Europe. In the mind of most people the American is pictured as something very much different from the general run of men. He is very ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
From the standpoint of one who thinks himself capable of discerning an undeviating route for human progress to pursue, if it is to be progress at all, who, having such a route on his mind's map, has endeavored to point it out to others; to make them see it as he sees it; who in so doing has chosen what appeared to him clear and simple expressions to convey his thoughts to others, -- to such a one it appears matter for regret and confusion of spirit that the phrase "Direct Action" has suddenly acquired in the general mind a circumscribed meaning, not at all implied in the words themselves, and certainly never attached to it by himself or his co-thinkers. However, this is one of the common jests which Progress plays on those who think themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background those questions of national independence which seemed to constitute the very essence of the history of Europe during the first half of our century. Faith in national programs, formerly so firm, has... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
We had a rough and ready sort of meeting on April 12, for the opener mistook the date and did not appear, and the notices were sent too late to Justice and the 'Weal. So Comrade Kropotkin opened the debate with some general remarks on voluntary association. A common objection, he said, to Communist-Anarchism is that men are not yet good enough to organize themselves on a basis of perfect freedom, or to behave like social beings without government control. But in truth, authority in itself has a depressing influence, corrupting even good men, and already more of our social life is founded on voluntary association than we at all realize. If it is true that among the workers to-day there are many men who are as ready as any bourgeois to compet... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the International Institute for Social History Speech by William D. Haywood at Meeting Held for the Benefit of the Buccafori Defense, at Progress Assembly Rooms, New York, March 16, 1911. Comrades and Fellow Workers: I am here to-night with a heavy heart. I can see in that Raymond Street jail our comrade and fellow-worker Buccafori in a cell, a miserable cell, perhaps 4 1/2 feet wide, 7 feet long, sleeping on an iron shelf, wrapped up in a dirty blanket, vermin-infested perhaps; surrounded by human wolves, those who are willing to tear him limb from limb, those who will not feel that their duty to the political state is entirely fulfilled until Buccafori's heart ceases to beat.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
It is pretty generally recognized in Europe that altogether our penal institutions are very far from being what they ought, and no better indeed than so many contradictions in action of the modern theory of the treatment of criminals. The principle of the lex talionis--of the right of the community to avenge itself on the criminal--is no longer admissible. We have come to an understanding that society at large is responsible for the vises that grow in it, as well as it has its share in the glory of its heroes; and we generally admit, at least in theory, that when we deprive a criminal of his liberty, it is to purify and improve him. But we know how hideously at variance with the ideal the reality is. The murderer is simply handed over to the hangman; and the man who is shut up in a prison is so far from being bettered by the change, that he comes out more resolutely the foe of society than he was when he went in. Subjection, on disgraceful terms, to humiliating wor...
These letters, addressed to Frederic Bastiat, an economist, originally appeared in a debate published in The Voice of the People, in 1849. Interest and Principal Arguments Drawn from the Operations of the Bank of France It is not true--and the facts just cited prove beyond a doubt that it is not--that the decrease of interest is proportional to the increase of capital. Between the price of merchandise and interest of capital there is not the least analogy; the laws governing their fluctuations are not the same; and all your dinning of the last six weeks in relation to capital and interest has been utterly devoid of sense. The universal custom of banks and the common sense of the people give you the lie on all these points in a most humiliat... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The use of the strike as an offensive and defensive weapon against Capitalism has been illustrated during the past few weeks by noteworthy revolts of workers in Leeds and London. In the former city -the men have gained what they desired; in the latter they have supplied the capitalist newspapers with some sensational news by which to catch the pence of the multitude, whilst they have practically lost their, cause and allowed a number of the most energetic among them to lose their employment. The reason of this difference of fortune which has befallen the gas workers of Leeds and the postmen and policemen of London is not far to seek. In the Yorkshire town the men were determined and united. Following up the tactics of the Irish peasants whe... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach. there is nothing like such a permission, but, on the contrary, not only is all murder forbidden but all insulting of others is forbidden also, and we are told not to do to others what we do not wish done to us. And you ask, Is there not some fraud in all this? And if so, then for whose sake is it committed? Yes, there is a fraud, committed for the sake of those accustomed to live on the sweat and blood of other men, and who therefore have perverted, and still pervert, Christ's teaching, given to man for his good, but which has now, in its perverted form, become a chief source o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Ricardo Flores Magon Post Office Box 7 Leavenworth, Kansas March 16, 1922 Miss Erma Barsky New York, N.Y. My dear comrade: Your postcard, and a letter from Dr. Weinberger received. Mr. Weinberger most kindly makes me know how my case, for lack of proper recommendations, cannot go to the President to be considered, according to word sent him by the Department of Justice. The recommendations, strange as it would seem to common mortals, are not my growing infirmity, nor the flagrant violation of the most rudimentary justice committed by the judge of my trial, nor my having dependents, nothing, in fine, that might appeal to the average human heart and conscience. The recommendations which the government officials deem of great importance are th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Some time ago, in one of my essays in "Record of Random Thoughts," I recorded a conversation I had had with a friend. I declared that a museum of the "Cultural Revolution" should be established. I did not have anything specific in mind, no formal project, but I was driven by a strong conviction that such a museum should be found, and it was the responsibility of every Chinese. I had just mentioned this, anticipating that others would add their support. I believe that the many who passed through the crucible of the "Cultural Revolution" could not remain silent. Each individual had a unique experience. But nobody can depict the "cowshed" prison as a paradise, nor depict inhuman massacre as a "Great Proletarian Revolution." Although our opinio... (From : CND.org.)
CHAPTER I DEPORTATION TO RUSSIA ON THE night of December 21, 1919, together with two hundred and forty-eight other political prisoners, I was deported from America. Although it was generally known we were to be deported, few really believed that the United States would so completely deny her past as an asylum for political refugees, some of whom had lived and worked in America for more than thirty years. In my own case, the decision to eliminate me first became known when, in 1909, the Federal authorities went out of their way to disfranchize the man whose name gave me citizenship. That Washington waited till 1917 was due to the circumstance that the psychologic moment for the finale was lacking. Perhaps I should have contested my case at that time. With the then-prevalent public opinion, the Courts would probably not have sustained the fraudulent proceedings which robbed me of citizenship. But it did not seem credible then that America wou...
Chinese society is at the darkest stage now. Under such circumstances, young people become impotent and weak without the power to resist corruption. Even the brave ones can only keep quiet and submit to fate. When it is really unbearable, suicide is the only way out. China is paralyzed; where can we find happiness? Some conscious youth believe that the only way to improve Chinas current situation is to promote nationalism, and identify nationalism as the only road to happiness for the Chinese. Voices of nationalism have spread all over the nation. I shudder at such a thought. Nationalism is in fact the obstacle to human progress. Being a member of this society, I cannot accept nationalis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit in the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed. Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food than falls to the lot of the average man, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State. Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the refrigerator when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones,...
This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. Green Program Project -- Discussion Paper No. 2 Popular Politics vs. Party Politics Note: This article was written and published in the River Valley Voice, a New England publication, during the 1984 Democratic primary campaign. Although it makes repeated allusions to the 1984 elections, the views it expresses have a more lasting value, and are submitted for discussion to the reader as a Green Program Project paper. Murray Bookchin A new American politics is definitely needed today. The problem we face is what kind? If the goal of "independent political action" is to gain "power," to "function effectively" as a means to "lobby" or "resolve" specific issues of practic... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Comrades and Friends: I think I cannot open my address more appropriately than by stating my experience in my long connection with the reform movement. It was during the great railroad strike of 1877 that I first became interested in what is known as the "Labor Question." I then thought as many thousands of earnest, sincere people think, that the aggregate power, operating in human society, known as government, could be made an instrument in the hands of the oppressed to alleviate their sufferings. But a closer study of the origin, history and tendency of governments, convinced me that this was a mistake; I came to understand how organized governments used their concentrated power to retard progress by their ever-ready means of silencing th... (From : LucyParsonsProject.org.)
There is no question with which Anarchists are more commonly met than, "What is to be done with criminals in a society where there is no government? You say that the present system of coercion is a cruel wrong to human nature; you say that the masses, when they rise to overthrow the economic tyranny of the property owners, will destroy all this elaborate machinery of law-court and prison, and indeed it is a fact that the opening of prison doors has been a prominent feature of popular revolts; but surely you cannot wish and intend to let the criminal class loose upon society?" And the most selfish and brutal of respectable objectors will go on discoursing about the "criminal class" in the tone of the Pharisee of all ages when be has occasion... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Science is making tremendous progress in this century, but instead of science being the means of benefiting the people in every respect, it is used as a medium for inflicting misery and hardship upon those who an doomed to labor like slaves for a precarious existence. The inventions of science only give greater facilities to the privileged classes for increasing their happiness at the expense of terrible sufferings among that class which labors to produce the means whereby happiness is attainable. Machinery, instead of reducing the heavy labor of the working populace is used as a scientific mode of driving human beings from work and bread together; those who claim possession of the implements of production ruthlessly use every available mea... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Since the publication of this book Englishmen have for the first time the opportunity of learning the life and ideas, the sufferings and wrongs of the people of Russia. The voiceless, unknown masses of cultivators of the soil, 83 percent of the whole population, have hitherto been vaguely pictured in English minds as a herd of coarse and brutalized semi-barbarians. In Stepniak's book they start into vivid reality as a nation of lovable and social human beings. Nay more, they appear before us as men whose social and personal development is in some directions wider than our own, men who bear a message of enlargement to the Teutons and Kelts of Western Europe. In his previous works Stepniak has shown the English public how the Russian governme... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Letter to the Workers of Western Europe
Dmitrov, Russia, April 28, 1919 I have been asked if I did not have a message for the workers of the western world. Certainly there is plenty to say and learn of the actual events in Russia. As the message would have to be long to cover all, I will indicate only the principal points. First, the workers of the civilized world and their friend in other classes ought to prevail on their governments to abandon entirely the idea of armed intervention in Russia whether openly or secretly. Russia is undergoing now a revolution of the same extent and importance as England under went in 1639 to '48, and France in 1789 to '94. Every nation should refuse to play the shameful role played by England, Prussia, Austria and Russia during the French Revolut... (From : Marxists.org.)
The most complicated pieces of mechanism are often not the latest but the earliest results of the inventor's skill in a particular direction. Improvements in machinery very frequently take the form of a reduction in the number of wheels and principles of motion, necessary to obtain the desired result, and a machine is considered to be more nearly perfect in proportion as its action becomes more direct. It is safe to conclude, too, that this law of human progression from the complicated to the direct, is by no means confined to mechanics. In philosophy and in sociology similar phenomena may be observed. Thus the Social Democratic scheme for reorganizing society--based as it is upon an insufficient knowledge of the principles which govern the... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
The present conditions in Russia are so desperate that it is a public duty to lay before this country a statement of these conditions, with a solemn appeal to all lovers of liberty and progress for moral support in the struggle that is now going on for the conquest of political freedom. In the struggle for freedom each country must work out its own salvation; but we should not forget that there exists a web of international solidarity between all civilized countries. It is true that the loans contracted by the heads of despotic states in foreign countries contribute to support despotism. But Russian exiles also know from their own experience how the moral support which the fighters for liberty have never failed to find in the enlightened portions of the civilized nations has been helpful to them, and how much it has aided them to maintain faith in the ultimate victory of freedom and justice. It has been decided, therefore, to issue the present statement,in...
Again there are murders, again disturbances and slaughter in the streets, again we shall have executions, terror, false accusations, threats and anger on the one side; and hatred, thirst for vengeance, and readiness for self-sacrifice, on the other. Again all Russians are divided into two hostile camps, and are committing and preparing to commit the greatest crimes. Very possibly the disturbances that have now broken out may be suppressed, though it is also possible that the troops of soldiers and of police, on whom the Government place such reliance, may realize that they are being called on to commit the terrible crime of fratricide-and may refuse to obey. But even if the present disturbance is suppressed, it will not be extinguished, but... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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. Nevertheless, I have been guided by their judgment, thinking they are perhaps right in this, ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Alexander Berkman died 61 years ago on June 28th, 1936. We enclose here his editorial for the first issue of The Blast published in San Francisco on 15th January 1916. Why The Blast? Do you mean to destroy? Do you mean to build? These are questions we have been asked from any quarters, by inquirers sympathetic and otherwise. Our reply is frank and bold: We mean both: to destroy and to build. For, socially speaking, Destruction is the beginning of Construction. Superficial minds speak sneeringly of destruction. O, it is easy to destroy -they say- but to build, to build, thats the important work. Its nonsense. No structure, social or otherwise, can endure if built on a foundation of lies. Before the garden can bloom, the weeds must be u... (From : Kate Sharpley Library.)