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What Is Anarchism Essay

Anarchism and Other Essays is a 1910 essay collection by Russian-American anarchist philosopher Emma Goldman, first published by Mother Earth Publishing.[1] The essays outline Goldman's anarchist views on a number of subjects, most notably the oppression of women and perceived shortcomings of first wave feminism, but also prisons, political violence, sexuality, religion, nationalism and art theory. Hippolyte Havel contributed a short biography of Goldman to the anthology.

Lori Jo Marso argues that Goldman's essays, in conjunction with her life and thought, make important contributions to ongoing debates in feminism, including around "the connections and tensions between sexuality, love and feminist politics".[2]

Contents of Anarchism and Other Essays include:

  • Anarchism: What It Really Stands For
  • Minorities Versus Majorities
  • The Psychology of Political Violence
  • Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure
  • Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty
  • Francisco Ferrer and The Modern School
  • The Hypocrisy of Puritanism
  • The Traffic in Women (1910)
  • Woman Suffrage
  • The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation
  • Marriage and Love
  • The Drama: A Powerful Disseminator of Radical Thought

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Emma Goldman, circa 1910, portrait from Anarchism and Other Essays

ANARCHISM:

WHAT IT REALLY STANDS FOR

            
Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood,
  Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
"Wreck of all order," cry the multitude,
  "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage."
O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven
  The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word's right meaning was not given.
  They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure,
  Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure
  When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill?
  I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will
  Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!
        

ANARCHISM:--The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.