46 Uplifting Quotes By Emma Goldman, The Great Feminist
Founder / Co Founder:
No-Conscription League, anarcha-feminism, Mother Earth
Emma Goldman was a popular revolutionary and a well-known personality among the anarchists, owing to her activism, writing and speeches. Emma fought for the liberation of women, seeking their freedom and rights in society. During her course as an activist, she was infamous for provoking governments, social movements, and communities with both her mouth and her pen. Her lectures, writings, thoughts, sayings and quotes covered a wide variety of issues including marriage, freedom of speech, free love, prison, homosexuality, capitalism, atheism and militarism. Goldman was often jailed for propagandizing her ideas over the years. She travelled the ‘Axis countries’ speaking against the ‘Soviets’, due to which she was not allowed to enter many countries. She returned to America and spoke to anarchists against Nazis and the Communalists, infuriating both sides. She travelled to Spain to support anarchists and workers in Barcelona. Her speeches and writings have become popular as quotations and thoughts that are still relevant. Although her stubbornness was intimidating, she never stopped fighting for liberty and freedom. Her never say die attitude is reflected in her thoughts and quotations as well.
If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution. People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take. I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another. The most violent element in society is ignorance. When we can't dream any longer we die. Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think. Ask for work. If they don't give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread. Every society has the criminals it deserves. Give us what belongs to us in peace, and if you don't give it to us in peace, we will take it by force. The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock. 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. 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. If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus. The strongest bulwark of authority is uniformity; the least divergence from it is the greatest crime. Let us not overlook vital things, because of the bulk of trifles confronting us. 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. Love is it's own protection. 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. The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue. The idealists and visionaries, foolish enough to throw caution to the winds and express their ardor and faith in some supreme deed, have advanced mankind and have enriched the world. I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years been working to undo the botched job your god has made. Politicians promise you heaven before election and give you hell after What a strange development of patriotism that turns a thinking being into a loyal machine! All claims of education notwithstanding, the pupil will accept only that which his mind craves. Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony. In modern capitalism economic exploitation rather than political oppression is the real enemy of the people. Consciously or unconsciously, most theists see in gods and devils, heaven and hell, reward and punishment, a whip to lash the people into obedience, meekness and contentment.… Crime is naught but misdirected energy. The free expression of the hopes and aspirations of a people is the greatest and only safety in a sane society. So long as tyranny exists, in whatever form, man's deepest aspiration must resist it as inevitably as man must breathe. Thus Dante's motto over Inferno applies with equal force to marriage. "Ye who enter here leave all hope behind. 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. All unnatural unions which are not hallowed by love are prostitution. It requires less mental effort to condemn than to think. Love needs no protection; it is its own protection. So long as love begets life no child is deserted, or hungry, or famished for the want of affection. I know this to be true. 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.
Idealists foolish enough to throw caution to the winds have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.
The more hideous the mental contortions, the greater the delight and bravos of the mass.
Industry is the ceaseless piracy of the rich against the poor.
The triumph of the philosophy of Atheism is to free man from the nightmare of gods; it means the dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond.
Women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open. Poor America, of what avail is all her wealth, if the individuals comprising the nation are wretchedly poor?