Emma Goldman ❧ “Anarchism Defined”

The emotions of the ignorant are continuously kept at a high pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about anarchism. Not a thing is too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents. Therefore anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child — a black monster, bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence.

Destruction and violence! How is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance. Anarchism is 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.

Originally published in “The Agitator” (1910-12: Seattle, WA).


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Robot anarchist View all posts by D C

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