Tag Archives: anarchism

Getting off the Trump Train

I only became aware of the Alt-Right movement less than a year ago.  I was very skeptical at first, mostly because of the name. I have never identified myself as someone on the right (although that is slowly changing) and the ‘alt’, as in ‘alternative’ seemed a weird juxtaposition with ‘right.’ Nevertheless, I listened to a wide variety of speakers who claimed to be either directly or tangentially related to the movement and a lot of what I heard made sense to me. The majority of the speakers I listened to were interviewed on ‘Red Ice Creations.’ These interviewees included people like Jason Reza Jorjani and Richard Spencer.

I quickly noticed that the people who were opposed to the alt-right were more or less the same demographic who were opposed to Donald Trump and supported Hillary Clinton. These people used the same epithets that they used against Trump to criticize the alt-right. In other words, they called the alt-right ‘fascists.’ When they weren’t using the ‘f’ word, they called them ‘racists’,  ‘nationalists’ , ‘white supremacists’, and yes, ‘Nazis.’

I find all this name-calling and fearmongering to be somewhat humorous. It shows just how extreme the influence of cultural marxism, political correctness, and multiculturalism is in our culture when white-skinned people are not even allowed to express any pride in their culture, let alone solidarity.

However, this short paper is not meant to be an explanation of the alt-right nor a treatise detailing my reasons for supporting it. Rather, I wish to simply point out how easily otherwise intelligent people can be suckered into playing the political (democracy)  game. I’m referring specifically to the alt-right’s support of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and other political figures who purport to ‘speak for us.’

As soon as Trump ordered the recent Tomahawk missile attack on Syria, one could almost hear a collective ‘whoosh’ as though the alt-right had been punched in the gut by ‘our’ man in the White House. Within 24 hours of the attack, dozens of people appeared on various YouTube channels who were self-proclaimed alt-righters condemning the attack and Trump. A common refrain heard was ‘Trump betrayed us.’ Another one was, ‘I’m officially off the Trump Train.’

Just as the Left felt betrayed by Obama in 2009, the alt-right is now feeling that same sting. But why had they placed any faith in this clown in the first place? Of course Trump told them everything they wanted to hear during the campaign. That’s what politicians do- tell the people what they want to hear. Sadly, the alt-right’s support of Trump shows an inexcusable naivete. The people supporting the alt-right were naive about Trump and, more generally, naive about electoral politics and ‘democracy.’ It wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ Trump was going to betray us, it was only a matter of ‘when.’ In that context, it’s something of a blessing that this betrayal came so quickly into his term. Now that Trump has ripped off his mask to show the world the ugly visage underneath, we can get on with our lives, and with business. Did anybody on the alt-right seriously think that Trump wasn’t going to support Israel and do its bidding? He’s surrounded himself with Jews and Zionists for goodness sake.

If the alt-right hopes to gain any real traction as a movement, it’s going to need to do it from the grassroots level. Forget about Trump, Le Pen and any other ‘leader’ who is playing the democracy game.

An American expat’s view of the U.S. election

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is finally over.  People have called U.S. elections many things: a horse race, a dog and pony show, a charade, a farce, grand political theatre, a tedious and tiresome process, a meaningless exercise in grandstanding, and many others. They all describe the elections accurately; I don’t believe there is a single word, phrase, or idiom which can give an all-encompassing view of the elections.

I quit voting after the 1996 election. I was a Jesse Jackson supporter for a time in the early ’90s, and later on supported Ralph Nader’s campaigns. But by 2000, it had become clear to me that my vote didn’t matter. I sensed that the whole game was rigged from top to bottom and the 2000 results confirmed that when Al Gore didn’t challenge the results  and the Supreme Court selected the president.  The absurdly antiquated electoral college made the so-called ‘democracy’ of America a joke. When I read that vote counts were now being  done on machines made by Diebold, a company with links to intelligence and the military-industrial complex, any illusions I had about the ‘democratic process’ were shattered. Furthermore, I had also decided that never again would I vote for ‘the lesser of two evils.’ One of the more intelligent comments I’ve read about the elections was from a gentleman who posted this: “I’ll start to believe my vote is actually being counted when they give me a paper receipt after I cast my ballot.”

Every time there is a U.S. presidential election, people say that a nadir has been reached. It can’t possibly get any worse. And then it does. Even more money is spent and even worse candidates are trotted out in front of the electorate. The so-called debates become even more superficial and look more like game shows. I threw away my television years ago, so I don’t actually watch any of the crap that passes for political debate and discussion in the U.S. I also don’t read the CIA’s newspapers like the Washington Post or Zionist garbage like the New York Times, so I see everything from a good distance.

I have lived abroad during the two most recent elections and I pay as little attention to them as possible. However, I was aware of the new round of puppets the illuminati were parading across the stage- the billionaire buffoon Trump and the arch-demon Hillary. Hence, I was as curious as anyone to see who was selected, oh I mean ‘elected.’ For a week after the big day, most of my acquaintances and friends, and even many strangers, asked me what I thought about the results.  That’s interesting because I never discuss politics with my friends here. However, this particular election had been so polarizing that everyone was dying to know if I was elated or dejected.

Since I know that the President of the United States has no real power or authority and is simply a figurehead (and has been since at least 1974) , how could I be happy or sad? A new face in the White House will change nothing, certainly not the AGENDA. Any intelligent and thinking person knows this. Having said that, I will admit to some guilty pleasure when I saw the results. First, I like surprises and I was as surprised as anyone. Trump is a pathetic zionist stooge and he will do nothing good for America, but he might just be fun to watch. Hillary, on the other hand, is evil incarnate. The thought of enduring  the wicked witch sitting in the White House was a bit too much to bear. And watching the Hollywood liberals and the mainstream media stare in disbelief at the final vote was pure, unadulterated joy.

I really believed that Trump would wait until his first month in office to stab his supporters in the back and renege on every promise he made during his campaign, a la Barack Hussein Obama. As cynical as I am, I didn’t imagine that he would start to do so just a few days after the election!  He talked so much about ‘draining the swamp’ and then he immediately appointed  to his transition team nothing but beltway lobbyists, senators, and congressmen.  He, and his buddies, are laughing in the faces of the American populace, and in particular in the faces of those who voted for him and expected something to change.

Liberals speak of moving to Canada now that Trump will soon assume office. I remember my liberal friends saying the same thing when Bush Jr. was elected. They were sure that he would provoke WW3 and the U.S. wouldn’t survive him.  At the time, in 2000 and 2004, New Zealand was a popular choice for those dreaming of expatriating. Somehow, America  did survive Bush Jr. , and Obama, and somehow the U.S. will survive Trump. After all, he’s just a (Zionist) puppet on a string.

 

 

A Bill Mollison tribute

I learned a few days ago of the passing of Bill Mollison. While few people outside of the organic and sustainable farming community have ever heard of him, his legacy has already spread to every continent and will continue to grow in the years and the decades ahead. There’s a good chance that the farmer whose organic produce you are eating has studied and implemented many of the permaculture principles that Mollison developed back in the 1970s along with David Holmgren.* The theories on gardening and farming which tried to mimic nature instead of subduing it  would later be put into print in such books as ‘Permaculture One’ and ‘The Permaculture Designer’s Manual.’

I had already developed an interest in organic gardening and farming back in 1996 when I first came across the term ‘permaculture.’ I learned that there were a group of visionaries who were ‘going beyond’ organics and attempting to develop whole systems of sustainable living which including not only food production but also sustainable housing, energy production, village design and social dynamics. This small but growing nucleus of visionaries were putting Mollison’s principles into practice in various rural communities and small homesteads, refining and adapting them to fit into different regions, climates, and micro-climates. Mollison’s core group of students from the late 1970s and 1980s soon became teachers themselves and ,through hundreds of permaculture designer training courses,  spread the knowledge of the techniques and theories far and wide. Today, you can find farmers and gardeners practicing permaculture in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, and North America.

 

I never got the chance to meet Mollison in person though I did have the opportunity to study with some of his students including Peter Bane, Chuck Marsh, and the Bullock brothers in Washington state.  Mollison was rumored to be irascible, rude-tempered, impatient, and provocative. Some found his personality and temperament to be offensive and there was, for a time, a split within the permaculture community over the ‘cult’ of Mollison. However, this drama eventually subsided as Mollison retired from teaching and the movement developed organically, without leaders and gurus.

Permaculture has evolved in leaps and bounds since its introduction almost 40 years ago. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, more books have been written on the subject since ‘Permaculture One’ was published in 1978. Dozens of websites connect practitioners from all over the world who now exchange information, techniques, and knowledge. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance you can find someone offering a course in the core principles. Three-day introductory courses to two-week or even one-month designer courses are regularly offered in most regions of the U.S., Australia, and Canada.

For those who have no knowledge of experience in permaculture and want to get a quick introduction without  leaving home or reading a book, two excellent documentaries are available to watch for free on youtube: ‘In Grave Danger of Falling Food’ and ‘The Global Gardener.’

 

 

5 Reasons to hate Seattle

I recently came across a website created for people who hate Seattle. I read through a number of the entries and found myself nodding my head vigorously at each point mentioned. Yes, yes, yes! All true. For a moment, I considered adding my thoughts and posting them at that site, but since I already have my own blog, why not share my feelings right here with my readers?

To put it simply, Seattle sucks. I spent just over two years there from 2009 until 2011.  Before Seattle, I was living in Portland, Oregon where I had hoped to settle down. However, the job market there was not what I had anticipated and when I was offered a decent job in Seattle, I had to accept as I was quickly running out of money.

I had heard some negative things about Seattle before arriving, of course, such as the lousy weather and the traffic. But I figured I could make the best of it. It’s a big city with some world-famous attractions, after all. Seattle has Mount Rainier, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, distinctive neighborhoods, Puget Sound, professional sports teams, and a waterfront. Plus, it has a reputation for musical innovation (Jimi Hendrix, Grunge etc.)  and liberal politics.

My expectation that I could  endure the bad aspects of the city and maximize the the positive attributes turned out to be wishful thinking. Actually, I knew times were going to be rough when a colleague of mine gave me a welcoming gift a few months after I arrived. It was a book titled ‘Dont Jump. The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide.’ The ‘don’t jump’ part of the title refers to jumping off a bridge in the attempt to commit suicide.

The Weather 

Simply reading about Seattle weather cannot prepare you for the reality of it. Nothing can, really. It is as bad as you have heard. Even a normal year in Seattle is difficult to withstand. However, during the time I was there, a record was set for the longest number of days when the temperature failed to rise above 60 degrees. I can’t find the article online to give the exact record, but I think it was six or seven months. Furthermore, during that dreadful spell it rained nearly every day and the sun became a distant memory. My skin, deprived of the warmth, vitamin d, and healing energy of the sun, became extremely pale. Looking at my face in the mirror, I realized that I looked unhealthy and unattractive. My pallid skin seemed to reflect perfectly my inner misery.

SeattleWeather

The clouds, rain, and cool temperatures are not the only phenomena that must be endured in the far Pacific Northwest. People sometimes forget, as I did, just how far north Seattle is situated. From November until February, the sun remains very low on the horizon and during the depths of winter in December and January, days have only seven hours of sun. When I left for work at 5:30 in the morning, it was still dark outside with sunrise being a couple of hours away. And when I got back into my car at 3:30 in the afternoon to come home, it was already dusk. The entire day had passed by while I was in my office. I was lucky if I could go outside during my lunch break to get a few minutes of sun. Only a masochist would want to put up with that kind of climate for long.

To rub salt in the wound, the NWO also sprayed the Seattle skies relentlessly with chemtrails. On many days, the skies were so thick with chemtrails that I got nosebleeds. Seattleites, being too busy staring at their smartphones or just being tuned out of reality altogether, took no notice.

 

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Politics 

I am a veteran of ‘The Battle in Seattle,’ the famous uprising against the WTO which set in motion the movement against corporate globalism. I came away from that experience with the impression that Seattle was city of radical leftists, revolutionaries, and liberals. The impression that Seattle is a ‘liberal’ city is one that is constantly fed by not only the mass media organs, but also the so-called ‘alternative media.’ What I quickly learned was that, in fact, Seattle is not a liberal city at all. It is a corporate town to the bone, and deeply proud of it.

Seattle is, in many ways, defined by its corporate nature. It is the birthplace and home of Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon, among others. These are not small players on the international stage. A large percentage of Seattleites work for these corporations or their ancillaries and are not about to speak out against globalism or corporatacracy when their  paycheck depends upon it. The liberalism that you so often hear about in Seattle is only the social liberalism variety, sometimes referred to as cultural marxism. In other words, if you live in Seattle, you are probably pro-choice, pro -gay marriage, pro -LGBT, pro- multiculturalism, and pro- Democratic Party. If you are not in favor of those things, you learn to keep your mouth shut.

The Traffic

I grew up in Washington D.C. and have lived in Austin, San Francisco, and Portland. Additionally, I have visited some large cities in Asia and South America so I am not unfamiliar with heavy and chaotic traffic. Seattle is the most unpleasant place to drive a car and get around that I have ever been to. The combination of geography, weather, city planning, and population makes Seattle an absolute nightmare for driving. There is only one major north-south route through the city and it is always congested. Traveling east-west is no better. Sitting in your car in traffic is a daily fact of life in Seattle. Traffic is so bad that most of the time I would do anything to avoid it. I would stay home instead of going out on weekends or evenings. The parking situation in downtown Seattle is beyond bad. There is little to no street parking and the rates at parking garages and lots are exorbitant.

The never-ending construction in downtown Seattle only made matters worse. There were a number of major projects happening in 2009-2011, including the construction of an underground subway system.

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If I wanted to visit downtown Seattle on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy some dinner, drink, and maybe music, I was confronted with a nightmare scenario. First, I needed to drive on the interstate from my apartment in South Seattle, never knowing how bad the traffic would be. Then, I  needed to negotiate the tangle of downtown streets, including many one-way streets and streets with steep hills, never a fun prospect with my stick shift. Next, I had to find a parking space or be willing to shell out 10 or 15 bucks for a spot in a lot. If I managed to successfully do all of that, I then had to walk a few blocks in the rain to finally arrive at my restaurant.

Once at the restaurant or bar, I didn’t dare have more than one drink, for I knew that awaiting me on my drive home was a hornet’s nest of cops on street corners waiting to nab their quota for the night. Unmarked police cruisers were everywhere on the roads. One wrong turn down a one-way street or one forgetful moment of not turning on my blinker was enough to get me face-to-face with one of Seattle’s finest. I had plenty of experience with Seattle cops during the WTO protest and I witnessed firsthand what they are made of, and capable of.  In 2010, a big local story was the cold-blooded shooting death of an unarmed, non-aggressive, innocent Native American artist by a Seattle cop.  The young cop simply stepped out of his car, barked a few words at the man ,who was mostly deaf, pulled out his gun and shot him dead on the street.

The Dating scene

Do not, under any circumstances, move to Seattle if you are single and have any hope of finding a spouse, a partner, or even a date. Seattle is, by a wide margin, the worst city for dating I have ever visited or lived in. In general, people are cliquish, aloof, superficial, rigid, and uninteresting. I was neither a hipster nor a corporate drone, so that ruled out about 95 percent of the population. As a single man, I found myself hitting constant roadblocks, whether I tried the online dating route or the bar/club/restaurant/ scene. Many of the young women I met seemed  uninterested in dating, men, and sex. They seemed almost asexual. Maybe it’s the weather.

Image versus Reality

Seattle’s liberalism  is only one example of how the myth of the city does not match the reality. I was initially excited to shop at Pike Place Market, an icon of the city. Sure, the market is probably useful for those lucky enough to actually live close to it, but for those of us who need to drive into the city to get there, it’s not worth it. It’s mostly a tourist trap and has a generally unfriendly vibe. Pioneer Square feels run-down and depressed. It too is mostly frequented by tourists. Elliott Bay Bookstore moved across town and now has a much more corporate and sterile feel to it. The waterfront boardwalk is boring and lifeless.

If you decide that all of the above are not enough to deter you from moving to Seattle, remember too that you will have to pay through the nose for the privilege of living there. It was not cheap when I was there a few years ago and I read recently that rents have gone up steeply in the last few years. Prices are now approaching the level of San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

The timeless struggle of the individual versus the collective

Is it possible to speak of individualism these days without laughing?  The concept of the individual and his inherent rights and worth has occupied many of the greatest thinkers and philosophers throughout recorded history.  Aristotle discussed the topic 2,500 years ago and it has reappeared in irregular intervals and in widely varying places and circumstances since then.

These days, the banner of individualism has mostly been taken up by libertarians and anarchists in the West. Sadly, today, we have no philosophers who stand proudly on the shoulders of Paine, Jefferson, Emerson, and Thoreau and enunciate the core principles of individualism to a modern audience. John Zerzan from Eugene, Oregon writes from an anarchistic and individualist perspective, but his books are too dense and academic for most readers in this day.  G. Edward Griffin is an excellent researcher and his talks on the origins on collectivism are edifying, though he has little to say about individualism per se.

Although the West is the birthplace of individualism and has seen dozens of brilliant thinkers espouse on its merits for the last 2,000 years, it has never gained a firm toehold. Collectivism and its modern manifestations-communism and socialism- always gains sway and brushes aside the fractured and disorganized individualist movement. Indeed, individualism’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. People who believe in and live the principles of self-rule and self-reliance seldom want to band together with large numbers of others and hence are easily picked off and isolated by institutions such as the state.

 

Individualism

In the East, the various Asian cultures have never produced the rich legacy of individualist thought that the West has. Confucian values remain firmly rooted, with their emphasis on family and tradition. The importance of filial piety, culture, and group identity are constantly reinforced, both overtly and covertly. The individual, as such, has little to no meaning in Asian cultures. In Viet Nam, one of their more popular idioms is ‘the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.’

Whether we are speaking of East or West, another factor to consider is that humans are by nature tribal creatures and we desperately want to belong to groups, to ‘fit in.’  That group can be as small as a gang or fraternity or as big as a country. Hence, the popularity of ‘nationalism’ and its extreme manifestation- jingoism. This longing and insecurity has been deftly manipulated by political elites for thousands of years.Individualist thinkers and activists, whether wearing the label of ‘left’ (anarchist) or ‘right’  (libertarian) have been hounded, persecuted, ridiculed, ignored, and sometimes murdered for their beliefs.

‘Group think’ is not a modern phenomenon. It has been a part of human society since, well, forever. Cultures, societies, nations, governments and corporations don’t want individuals. They want sheep. The want predictability, conformity, and efficiency. They want obedience. And most of the time, humans are all to willing to oblige.

As an exercise in awareness, I often try to do the opposite of what is expected of me, whether ordering food in a restaurant, walking across the street, talking to a stranger or sitting in the dentist chair. Acting outside of the norm of acceptable  and expected behaviors always produces uncomfortable effects on people. Many people become physically agitated when you don’t do what they expect. You are not playing by the rules. Acting as a thinking individual just doesn’t cut it in society. ‘Why are you throwing a wrench in the machine? Why don’t you just go along to get along? Stop making things hard on yourself and others…..’

Individualism as an ideology and practice will never penetrate deeply into human societies. It will always remain on the fringe, as an enticing and enlightening idea, an inspiration for a brave few to try to live authentically, as Thoreau encouraged us to do 150 years ago.

 

 

 

What happens when you drink blood with the royal family

I often engage in a sort of self-inflicted torture- reading the mainstream news. The articles are either pure propaganda-corporate or government- or mindless trivia meant to distract the masses. Skimming over the daily dose of pablum, I often notice the overt worship of power, wealth, the state and royalty displayed by the hired hacks of news conglomerates.

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Hey, did you know that British punk bands of the 1970s had a designer? I didn’t either! But they did, according to an article recently posted by Agence France-Presse. titled ‘Punk fashion queen Westwood bows to Prince Charles.’ Vivienne Westwood ‘helped shape the look’ of punk bands by working closely with Malcolm McLaren and others. I always thought that punk music was anti-establishment and anarchistic , but now I find out that they had a fashion designer working to perfect their ‘look.’ Perhaps the whole movement was not as spontaneous and rebellious as I once thought?  In any case, this former admirer  of punk’s attitude toward royalty is now an unabashed boot-licker of the British royal family, gushing forth praise for Prince Charles in this insipid piece of ‘journalism.’  Perhaps we should not be surprised, as we are now supposed to refer to her as ‘Dame’ Vivienne Westwood. Sure.

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“He’s such a visionary,” the fashion designer said. “Right back in the 1970s as a young man, he realized we have to live in harmony with the earth. And all his charities have made such a difference, they’ve really helped people, they’re very practical and solid things, they build communities, support people. We would have a wonderful world if he had ruled it all that time.”

Wow. Let that final statement sink in a bit.Not only does she act as PR mouthpiece for this ‘royal’ piece of garbage, idiotically extolling his goofy charities, she goes further, actually stating that she wishes Prince Charles were the emperor of the world. I wonder if she flashed  a baphomet symbol while saying this. You can’t get much creepier than this: openly advocating for a lizard bloodline half-wit eugenicist to be world dictator. ‘Dame’ Westwood is saying it openly and proudly. How far we have fallen.

 

 

 

 

One world government coming soon for you

Last week a headline appeared in the local paper which began with the words ‘World Leaders.’  It was a typical headline that one sees whenever there is a big meeting such as the G20. Even though it was typical, it still got me thinking. I wondered about the person who wrote the headline and the editor who approved it. How does one decide that there is such a thing as a ‘world leader’? Why did they choose those particular words to convey the information they were trying to get across: that presidents and prime ministers were gathering somewhere. More not-so-subtle brainwashing.

What the hell is a ‘world leader’? OK, Barack Obama is the president of the United States, which is the predominant  military power on the planet. So does that automatically make him a world leader? I wonder what the cut-off line is for being one of these imaginary creatures. If you are the elected head of a country which has a top-ten GDP, are you in this elitist group? Or is more about the size of your country’s military? The more one looks at this, the more absurd it all starts to sound.

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Getting back to Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama, does he really speak for anybody outside the United States?  Hell, even within the United States, he only represents a tiny fraction of the population who still support him. And yet we dare to haphazardly pin the moniker of world leader on him?

Just the term itself should make any self-respecting citizen of a sovereign country cringe with embarrassment. Only a few short years ago, if you spoke about a one-world government with a one-world bank and one-world army, you’d be accused by most everybody as a rabid ‘conspiracy theorist.’ And yet the movement towards just such a system has been happening for a long, long time. Much of this agenda has been kept hidden and secret but much of it has been openly and proudly written and spoken of. When you see headlines like this , ‘they’ are merely getting you, the people, used to the idea. Yes, humanity, we now have our world leaders.

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Step by step, they lead us along their agenda. Gradually, Europeans have been getting used to hearing about the ‘leaders’ of the EU, who were making laws superseding the laws of their own countries. The next logical step from an EU leader is a world leader. The same phenomenon is happening in other parts of the world. Here in Southeast Asia, the regional bloc is called ASEAN.

People need to learn to recognize the insidious nature of Orwellian doublespeak  and language manipulation by the controlling class. We the people don’t need ‘world leaders’ or any other kind of leaders. We’re quite capable of leading ourselves, if we are brave enough to take on the challenge.

Emma Goldman’s legacy in the 21st Century

I recently came across a copy of Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman. It, along with Living my Life, her two-volume autobiography, is a book that has been on my reading backlog for far too long. Originally published in 1910, this collection of writings is a wonderful introduction to the philosophy and ideas of a woman who was once one of the  most polarizing and magnetic figures in America.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was a famous anarchist, activist, lecturer, writer, and philosopher. During the latter years of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, she was a well-known public figure, constantly giving fiery speeches to hundreds or thousands of people, speaking out against the greed and excesses of the capitalist system. She encouraged the burgeoning worker class in America to fight for its rights, using the tools and tactics of direct action, namely strikes and protests.

emmaEmma Goldman’s name is connected to many of the major events in American history during this period: the assassination of President McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, the Selective Service  and Espionage Acts during World War I, the woman’s rights movement and the Spanish Civil War.

Reading the essays, I was struck by how modern they sound. Emma  Goldman was way ahead of her time on every important social and political issue. Not surprisingly, she was relentlessly attacked  (and imprisoned) by the government and vilified by the corporate press. Somewhat surprisingly, she was also often attacked or abandoned by those who had been her allies, those activists within the anarchist movement who could not, or would not, go along with her when she became ‘too radical.’

As a true anarchist, Goldman never believed that humanity’s condition could be improved through any system of big government:

“It may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill. Perhaps not; but such men would be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence on behalf of labor, as has indeed been shown in numerous instances. The State is the economic master of its servants. Good men, if such there be, would either remain true to their political faith and lose their economic support, or they would cling to their economic master and be utterly unable to do the slightest good. The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.”

UnknownIn the chapter titled “Minorities versus Majorities”, she wrote, “Our entire life- production , politics, and education- rests on quantity, on numbers. The worker who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality of his work, has been replaced by brainless, incompetent automatons, who turn out enormous quantities of things, valueless to themselves, and generally injurious to the rest of mankind. Thus quantity, instead of adding to life’s comforts and peace, has merely increased man’s burden.”

Does that sound like our modern world? Indeed it does, and such prescience is found throughout her writings. A staunch individualist, Goldman celebrated the free and independent spirit, in contrast to the stultifying conformity and group-think of the masses. She wrote, “Today, as then, public opinion is the omnipresent tyrant. Today, as then, the majority represents a mass of cowards, willing to accept him who mirrors its own soul and mind poverty.”

In the chapter titled “The Psychology of Political Violence”, she  wrote ,  “I would say that resistance to tyranny is man’s highest ideal. So long as tyranny exists, in whatever form, man’s deepest aspiration must resist it as inevitably as man must breathe.”

goldman-speaking-4.2.141In the following chapter, “Patriotism”, she dissected the ruling classes’ ability to instill the concept of national patriotism into unwitting children’s minds. Goldman lamented the swelling military budget not only of the United States, but also of all the major Western powers. At the time, the United States was spending the huge sum of $400 million on ‘defense.’ She clearly saw a worrying trend there. In 2011, the United States spent $718 billion on military spending, more than all other countries of the world combined. She was writing this in the  years preceding America’s entry in World War I. President Wilson, who was re-elected on a platform of keeping us out of the war, not only got America into WWI, but also  set about to vigorously hunt down and prosecute those who tried to avoid the draft or speak out against it.

The chapters on ‘Woman Suffrage’ and ‘The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation’ are eye-opening. While the vast majority of progressive women thinkers of the day were rallying for the right of women to vote, Goldman stood virtually alone in agitating against it. Her reasoning, which must have sounded perplexing to progressives, was sound nonetheless. Because she stood rooted in such a firm foundation of anarchist thought, Goldman was not about to throw away her core principles for the temporary and illusory victory of  woman suffrage. She understood, rightly, that giving women the right  to vote and to gain political office would do nothing to change the nature of politics and government. Women, she wrote, do not have supernatural powers and their entrance into the political arena would not be able to cleanse and purify that bastion of corruption and expediency. (See Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, et al.) Indeed, she encouraged women to achieve their emancipation in other, more effective and original means.

As for women gaining the right to enter the workplace, she thought this would be merely trading one form of slavery (property of her husband) for another (property of the factory owner). Working for 12 to 16 hours a day for slave wages and the ruination of the body and mind was not something that Emma Goldman saw as ‘progress.’

Emma Goldman is a writer and thinker whose ideas still resonate in today’s world, remarkably so. The fact that the feminist movement of the 1970s and the anarchist movement in the present century resurrected her memory and ideas is proof of that. Likewise, the descendants of those who slandered her during her life are alive and well today, and continue the slander and misrepresentation. Just recently, I read an article where the writer lamented how America started going downhill in the late 19th century when people like “Red Emma” and other agitators started entering the country en masse from Europe.

Perhaps she will always be a polarizing figure. But for those who seek the liberation of the human mind, body, and soul, Emma Goldman’s writings stand out as a clarion call to humanity.