Emma Goldman: “Anarchism: What It Really Stands For”

(1910)

From 1893 to 1917, Emma Goldman delivered numerous and controversial lectures regarding anarchism, women’s rights, patriotism, and labor conditions. In addition to her efforts on the lecture circuit, in 1906 Goldman established the anarchist journal Mother Earth, which she edited in New York City’s bohemian center of Greenwich Village. In 1910 several of Goldman’s Mother Earth pieces were collected in the anthology Anarchism and Other Essays.

The piece “Anarchism: What It Really Stands For” is an excellent example of Goldman’s writing regarding the philosophical roots of anarchism. While Goldman stresses the creative force of anarchism, many opponents of anarchy were appalled by its association with the violent “propaganda of the deed.” Her opponents believed her to have been party to the labor-related 1892 attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick, a steel plant manager for Andrew Carnegie, and with the assassination of President William McKinley in...

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Emma Goldman (Library of Congress)

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