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Source: Lucifer, the Light-Bearer
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Emma Goldman Defines Her Position”
Author(s): Goldman, Emma
Date of publication: 21 November 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 45
Series: third series
Pagination: 366

Goldman, Emma. “Emma Goldman Defines Her Position.” Lucifer, the Light-Bearer 21 Nov. 1901 v5n45 (3rd series): p. 366.
full text
Emma Goldman (public statements); Emma Goldman; McKinley assassination (personal response: anarchists); Leon Czolgosz; anarchists; McKinley assassination (public response: anarchists); anarchism; society (impact on Czolgosz); William McKinley (criticism).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.
Click here to view the report in Lucifer No. 889 that Goldman refers to (below).

The date of publication provided by the magazine is November 21, E. M. 301.

Whole No. 892.

Alternate magazine title: Lucifer, the Lightbearer.


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.
     New York, Nov. 11.



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