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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Alexander Berkman on books, shoes, assassination, peace, war, struggle, gun, government, law, order, harmony, and liberty.

12 Alexander Berkman Quotes You Might Regret Missing

Quick Facts

Famous As: Editor

Born On: November 21, 1870

Died On: June 28, 1936

Born In: Vilnius

Died At Age: 65

Alexander Berkman was a distinguished Russian-American writer and political activist. He was one of the prominent members of the ‘Anarchist Movement’ in the early 20th century. He served 14 years of imprisonment for making an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Henry Clay Frick. His first book, ‘Prison: Memoirs of an Anarchist,’ was based on his experiences in prison. After serving his term, he joined ‘Mother Earth,’ a Goldman’s anarchist journal and served as its editor. He later founded his own journal, ‘The Blast.’ ‘Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism,’ is a classic exposition of anarchist principles that was produced by Berkman. We have rounded some interesting quotes and thoughts by Alexander Berkman that are sure to delight you. Zoom through the quotable sayings and quotes by Alexander Berkman.
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Inhumanity is the keynote of stupidity in power.

Alexander Berkman

Violence is the method of ignorance, the weapon of the weak. The strong of heart and brain need no violence, for they are irresistible in their consciousness of being right.

Alexander Berkman

War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder.

Alexander Berkman

When the highwayman holds his gun to your head, you turn your valuables over to him. You 'consent' alright, but you do so because you cannot help yourself, because you are compelled by his gun. Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you, just as the highwayman's gun.

Alexander Berkman

Away with the hypocritical horror on the part of capitalist, labor leader, and politician.

Alexander Berkman

What is this thing we call government? Is it anything but organized violence? The law orders you to obey, and if you don't obey, it will compel you by force - all governments, all law and authority finally rest on force and violence, on punishment or fear of punishment.

Alexander Berkman

If you can see, hear, feel, and think, you should know that King Dollar rules the United States, and that the workers are robbed and exploited in this country to the heart's content of the masters.If you are not deaf, dumb, and blind, then you know that the American bourgeois democracy and capitalistic civilization are the worst enemies of labor and progress, and that instead of protecting them, you should help to fight to destroy them.

Alexander Berkman

Certainly the worker has nothing to lose by a change from government and capitalism to a condition of no government, of anarchy.

Alexander Berkman

In short, Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally the benefits of an ordered and sensible life.

Alexander Berkman

The man who can face vilification and disgrace, who can stand up against the popular current, even against his friends and his country when he know he is right, who can defy those in authority over him, who can take punishment and prison and remain steadfast-that is a man of courage. The fellow whom you taunt as a 'slacker' because he refuses to turn murderer-he needs courage. But do you need much courage just to obey orders, to do as you are told and to fall in line with thousands of others to the tune of general approval and the Star Spangled Banner?

Alexander Berkman

The stupendous task of human regeneration will be accomplished only by the purified vision of hearts that grow not cold.

Alexander Berkman

Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you just as the highwayman’s gun. You must live … You can’t work for yourself … The factories, machinery, and tools belong to the employing class, so you must hire yourself out to that class in order to work and live. Whatever you work at, whoever your employer may be, it always comes to the same: you must workfor him. You can’t help yourself. You are compelled.

Alexander Berkman