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Quotes of the day: Emma Goldman
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Published Wednesday, May 13, 2015 @ 1:59 PM EDT
May 13 2015

Emma Goldman (June 15, 1869 - May 14, 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Ask for work. If they don't give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.

Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.

Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against "society," that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.

Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot consider themselves nobler, better, grander, more intelligent than those living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime.

Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labelled Utopian.

Every effort for progress, for enlightenment, for science, for religious, political, and economic liberty, emanates from the minority, and not from the mass.

Every society has the criminals it deserves.

Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.

I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years past been working to undo the botched job your God has made.

I feel sure that the police are helping us more than I could do in ten years. They are making more anarchists than the most prominent people connected with the anarchist cause could make in ten years. If they will only continue I shall be very grateful; they will save me lots of work

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.

If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.

It is characteristic of theistic 'tolerance' that no one really cares what the people believe in, just so they believe or pretend to believe.

Let us not overlook vital things, because of the bulk of trifles confronting us.

No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time.

No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution -

Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name!

Revolution is but thought carried into action.

Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.

The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.

The free expression of the hopes and aspirations of a people is the greatest and only safety in a sane society.

The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause...

The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought.

The most violent element in society is ignorance.

The people are asleep; they remain indifferent. They forge their own chains and do the bidding of their masters to crucify their Christs.

The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul.

The spirit of militarism has already permeated all walks of life. Indeed, I am convinced that militarism is a greater danger here than anywhere else, because of the many bribes capitalism holds out to those whom it wishes to destroy.

There is no greater fallacy than the belief that aims and purposes are one thing, while methods and tactics are another. This conception is a potent menace to social regeneration.

There is no hope even that woman, with her right to vote, will ever purify politics.

When we can't dream any longer we die.

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(May 14 is also the birthday of George Lucas.)


Categories: Emma Goldman, Quotes of the day


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