Emmagoldman

By Peter Marshall

“Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the domination of religion; the liberation of the human body from the domination of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclination” (p. 35)

Content Warning: Minor reference to sexual abuse and harassment

“My goodness,” I am sure you thought to yourself, “I did enjoy that article about Robert Owen but I wonder if there will be anymore?” How kind of you to ask, let us celebrate because there is another one!  For those reading who do not know, I hope to introduce you to political thinkers who you are most likely not going to come across on your syllabus, and hopefully broaden your thought. I openly encourage others to do the same. This time I shall be exploring the 19th/20th century anarchist thinker Emma Goldman. I shall do this by briefly summarising her life before splitting her work into three sections. The first is anarchism, the second gender, and finally prison. I trust my reader’s ability to critique the work for themselves.

26856141_2012025832147830_763466490_n

By Vladimir Ivlev

 

“I want to look at politics with an eye unclouded by philosophy.”

Hannah Arendt, “Zur Person

 

It is way too easy for people swept in the typhoon of cultural change to keep themselves occupied by the surface level contradictions found within said paradigm shifts. Those who consider themselves to be in the trenches of the culture war often amass previously heard arguments into their political arsenal to avert themselves from experiencing the excruciating stigmata of self-doubt that losing an online argument often leads to. Either that or succumb to a self-destructive ideological leap of faith. But rarely do you find someone trying to embrace political ideologies that directly scare them or break their trance of idle conformity, for the sake of greater knowledge and self-actualization. I am however not putting myself on a pedestal by proclaiming that I fully comprehend the far-reaches of modern feminism, as it is just as ridden with sectarianism and surreal escapism as left-wing authoritarian philosophies (which is why more often than not they go hand in hand). But, by engaging with its advocates, I have pinpointed a certain underlying trend that not only justifies but necessitates their tactics of antagonism. This is not a conversion moment, I have not become a born-again intersectional feminist. In no way am I defending their tactics. But understanding the necessity of them provides insight into dealing with modern political discourse.