Emma Goldman Defines Her Position
In Lucifer No. 889 was printed a
report that at a meeting of the Manhattan Liberal Club I deplored
the assassination of McKinley. This is a misrepresentation, for
at that particular meeting there was no particular occasion to either
deplore or applaud the assassination, consequently I made no such
statements. Besides, in my article on the Buffalo tragedy in Free
Society of Oct. 6 I plainly and emphatically stated my position,
and instead of retracting I could only add that I have since come
to the firm conclusion that Czolgosz was a man with the beautiful
soul of a child and the energy of a giant. I have observed with
great sorrow that the majority of Anarchists have utterly failed
to comprehend the depth of that soul, that was put to death by organized
authority on Oct. 29.
Methinks that Anarchy is the philosophy
of life, and as such it includes every branch of human knowledge
pertaining to life. If this be so, and I know of no Anarchists who
would deny it, Anarchists ought to be students of psychology and
honestly endeavor to explain certain phenomena, not only from a
politico-economic but also from a psychological standpoint. Had
they done so, they would not have joined the thoughtless rabble
in its superficial denunciation of Leon Czolgosz as a lunatic and
a villain. Do not we know that every act which ignorant minds have
failed to explain, have ever been stamped as insane or villainous?
Surely it does not behoove thinking
people to adopt such methods in their search for a cause for certain
acts. Besides, is it not time to perceive that the act of Sept.
6, like many previous acts, was but the result of the elements pent
up and stifled in the human heart through a false and pernicious
system and bound to leap through the heavy walls of organized authority
sooner or later?
Of course I believe that each individual
has a right to his opinion, but I do not wish to be a party in the
vain endeavor of some of our Anarchists to bow before respectability
by sacrificing their ideas to its altar.
It has taken all my time for the past
fourteen years to deplore human misery in all its awful forms, so
I have not a moment left to deplore the assassination of one, who
has ignored all rights of the people, and bowed before the dictum
of a privileged few; then, too, I am kept busy regretting the fact
that so many even in the radical ranks have lost their manhood and
womanhood at the sight of Government and Power let loose, and have
denounced the man, who was so pitiful in his loneliness and yet
so sublime in his silence and superiority over his enemies.
York, Nov. 11.