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She was arrested countless times – legend has it that she took a book with her to her own lectures so she would have something to read in jail – and served three terms in prison: one year for urging unemployed workers to “take bread,” a few weeks for providing information on preventing conception, and two years for opposing conscription during World War I. She and Berkman left Russia and eventually settled in the south of France.After her third prison term, she and her comrade Alexander Berkman, along with 247 other radicals, were sent into exile to the newly-formed U. Goldman continued her lecturing and writing in Europe, England, and Canada; she strongly supported the anarchist revolutionaries in Spain in the 1930s, and was still an active speaker, writer and agitator when she died following a stroke in 1940.The state uses organized violence to protect owners, suppress workers, and mobilize people’s loyalties and sense of home into a vicious, narrow patriotism that justifies and energizes war, which in turn furthers the profits and power of the capitalist class and its allies.
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She was one of the first anarchists to become enthusiastic about Nietzsche, embracing him as a catalyst for a spiritual transvaluation of values.
While she scorned the women’s suffrage movement, seeing any effort to reform rather than transform society as a useless distraction from more radical goals, she developed a revolutionary feminism that anticipated many themes prevalent in the later women’s movements.
From Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau she absorbed a poetic, sensuous individualism.
Like many other anarchists of her day, she emphasized the centrality of radical art, poetry, literature and drama to the emergence of free individuals.Like many young people of her generation, she was galvanized politically by the trial and execution of several young anarchists who were framed for the killing of police at the Haymarket riots in Chicago in 1886.She subsequently moved to New York City and joined the anarchist movement, rapidly rising to become one of the best known speakers in the lively radical landscape of the time. Initially supporting the Bolsheviks, she soon came to view the Communist Party as the murderers of the revolution.For over a half century, she articulated an anarchist vision of a strong, free, self-creating individual within an egalitarian, participatory society.While anarchists are often dismissed as the lunatic fringe of the Left, Goldman presented anarchism as the most practical approach to human liberation.The libcom library contains nearly 20,000 articles.If it's your first time on the site, or you're looking for something specific, it can be difficult to know where to start.She emphasized concrete and creative anarchist activities, including cooperatives, radical schools, labor actions, and publications, which showed anarchism in action.Goldman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into an economically insecure Jewish family.Strongly influenced by Peter Kropotkin’s communist anarchism, Goldman also integrated strands from Mikail Bakunin’s militant revolutionary practice, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s mutualism, and Max Stirner’s radical individualism, helping to create what many anarchists of Goldman’s generation called “anarchism without adjectives.” For anarchists, capitalism is a system that robs workers, intellectuals, artists, and peasants of their productive, creative labor, transferring both profit and control of labor to owners.Organized religion supports this theft by teaching adherents to defer to authority and hope passively for reward in the next life.