Talk:Emma Goldman

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

Unsourced[edit]

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Emma Goldman. --Antiquary 15:39, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

  • A society gets all the criminals it deserves.
    • Misattribution: in Anarchism and Other Essays (1917 edition), "Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure", Goldman cites Havelock Ellis, The Criminal (1890), as quoting Alexandre Lacassagne saying "the social environment is the cultivation medium of criminality [...] every society has the criminals it deserves."
  • After all, that is what laws are for, to be made and unmade.
  • All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them.
  • Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.
  • Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.
  • Corruption of politics has nothing to do with the morals, or the laxity of morals, of various political personalities. Its cause is altogether a material one.
  • Crime is naught but misdirected energy.
  • Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled Utopian.
  • Every effort for progress, for enlightenment, for science, for religious, political, and economic liberty, emanates from the minority, and not from the mass.
  • Heaven must be an awfully dull place if the poor in spirit live there.
  • How long would authority and private property exist, if not for the willingness of the mass to become soldiers, policemen, jailers, and hangmen.
  • I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
  • Idealists are foolish enough to throw caution to the winds. They have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.
    • Variant: Idealists...foolish enough to throw caution to the winds...have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.
  • I may be arrested, I may be tried and thrown in jail, but I will never be silent. I will never acquiesce or submit to authority, nor will I make peace with a system that degrades women to a mere incubator. I now and here declare war upon this system and will not rest until a path has been cleared for a free motherhood and a healthy, joyous and happy childhood.
  • If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
  • In taking out an insurance policy one pays for it in dollars and cents, always at liberty to discontinue payments. If, however, woman's premium is a husband, she pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life, "until death doth part."
  • In the true sense one's native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
  • It is essential that we realize once and for all that man is much more of a sex creature than a moral creature. The former is inherent, the other is grafted on.
  • It is organized violence on top which creates individual violence at the bottom. It is the accumulated indignation against organized wrong, organized crime, organized injustice, which drives the political offender to act.
  • It is safe to say that no other superstition is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstition of Morality.
  • "It is significant that whenever the public mind is to be diverted from great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency."
  • Jealousy is indeed a poor medium to secure love, but it is a secure medium to destroy one's self-respect. For jealous people, like dope-fiends, stoop to the lowest level and in the end inspire only disgust and loathing.
  • Merely external emancipation has made of the modern woman an artificial being. Now, woman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she really desires to be free.
  • Methods and means cannot be separated from the ultimate aim.
  • 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.
    • This quote appears to be a gloss on Goldman's address to the jury in 1917: "Never can a new idea move within the law. It matters not whether that idea pertains to political and social changes or to any other domain of human thought and expression -- to science, literature, music; in fact, everything that makes for freedom and joy and beauty must refuse to move within the law. How can it be otherwise? The law is stationary, fixed, mechanical, “a chariot wheel” which grinds all alike without regard to time, place and condition, without ever taking into account cause and effect, without ever going into the complexity of the human soul." [1]
  • No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
    • Variant: No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
  • No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution... Revolution is but thought carried into action.
  • On rare occasions one does hear of a miraculous case of a married couple falling in love after marriage, but on close examination it will be found that it is a mere adjustment to the inevitable.
  • Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colors will baby people become interested — for a while at least. The people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys every day.
  • Politics is the reflex of the business and industrial world.
  • Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature.
  • Public school — where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression.
  • Rather would I have the love songs of romantic ages, rather Don Juan and Madame Venus, rather an elopement by ladder and rope on a moonlight night, followed by the father's curse, mother's moans, and the moral comments of neighbors, than correctness and propriety measured by yardsticks.
  • Resistance to tyranny is man's highest ideal.
  • Since every effort in our educational life seems to be directed toward making of the child a being foreign to itself, it must of necessity produce individuals foreign to one another, and in everlasting antagonism with each other.
  • Social and economic well-being will become a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non-compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass.
  • 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 experience of every-day life fully proves that the armed individual is invariably anxious to try his strength. The same is historically true of governments. Really peaceful countries do not waste life and energy in war preparations, with the result that peace is maintained.
  • The higher mental development of woman, the less possible it is for her to meet a congenial male who will see in her, not only sex, but also the human being, the friend, the comrade and strong individuality, who cannot and ought not lose a single trait of her character.
  • The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man's right to his body, or woman's right to her soul.
  • The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings as in his native land.
  • The majority cannot reason; it has no judgement. It has always placed its destiny in the hands of others; it has followed its leaders even into destruction. The mass has always opposed, condemned, and hounded the innovator, the pioneer of a new truth.
  • The majority cares little for ideals and integrity. What it craves is display.
  • The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought.
  • The most violent element in society is ignorance.
  • The motto should not be: Forgive one another; rather, Understand one another.
  • The people are urged to be patriotic ... by sacrificing their own children. Patriotism requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother, sister.
  • 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 political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.
  • The powers know that the people at large are like children whose despair, sorrow, and tears can be turned into joy with a little toy. ... An army and navy represents the people's toys.
  • The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice.
  • The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.
  • Thus Dante's motto over Inferno applies with equal force to marriage: "Ye who enter here leave all hope behind."
  • To the indefinite, uncertain mind of the American radical the most contradictory ideas and methods are possible. The result is a sad chaos in the radical movement, a sort of intellectual hash, which has neither taste nor character.
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings, irrespective of race, color, or sex, are born with the equal right to share at the table of life.
  • When we can't dream any longer we die.
  • Whether our reformers admit it or not, the economic and social inferiority of women is responsible for prostitution.

State of this article[edit]

This article is a mess - almost entirely quotations. I'm afraid I am too ignorant of the subject to try to improve it but surely someone is Watching it? It seriously needs attention.--86.42.241.148 15:24, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

This is Wikiquote. It's what we do. ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:43, 12 June 2012 (UTC)