Anarchism and Other Essays – Emma Goldman

So far, this has been the most readable explanation of Anarchy. Here are some quotes that I really liked from the book. Sorry about typos and such.

If something is in quotes, it means that Emma Goldman is quoting someone else (which she does a lot).

  • Introduction
    • [Emma Goldman] represents the idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci,  a Berkmant, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence.
    • the spirit that animates Emma Goldman is the only one which will emancipate the slave from his slave from his slavery, the try ran from his tyranny – the spirit which is willing to dare and suffer.
    • The liberal’s confidence that this thread could be met by a few managerial adjustments and his faith that the good life could be achieved through the increased application of technology struck her as dangerous nonsense.
    • if the state acts in ways that are abhorrent to human nature it’s the lesser evil to destroy it.
  • Social Ills
    • one cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills; besides, the extreme thing is generally the true thing
    • Necessity knows no law, and the starving man has a natural right to a share of his neighbor’s bread. ask for work. if they do not give you work, as for bread. if they do not give you bread, then take bread
    • among the exploited there are two classes of individuals. those of one class, not realizing what they are and why they might be, take life as it comes, believe that they are born to be slaves, and content themselves with the little that is given them in exchange for their labor. but there are others, on the contrary, who think, who study, and who, looking about them, discover social inequalities. is it their fault if they see clearly and suffer at seeing others suffer? then they throw themselves in to the struggle, and make themselves the bearers of the popular claims.
    • self-satisfied as the “cultured” usually are, they could not understand why one should fuss about the fact that thousands of people were starving, though they contributed toward the wealth of the world. surrounded by beauty and luxury, they could not believe that side by side with them lived human beings degraded to a position lower than a beat’s, shelterless and ragged, without hope or ambition
  • Property
    • “Property is robbery,” said the great French Anarchist Proudhon. Yes, but without risk and danger to the robber.
    • Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in.
    • just as religion has fettered the human mind, and as property, or the monopoly of things, has subdued and stifled man’s needs, so has the Sate enslaved his spirit, dictating every phase of conduct. “All government in essence,” says emmerson, “is tyranny.” it matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. in every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual.
  • capitalism
    • [Capitalism’s] highest attainment is the reduction of mankind to clockwork.
    • have not the few accumulated the wealth of the world? are they not the masters, the absolute kings of the situation? there success, however, is due not to individuals, but to the inertia, the cravenness, the utter submission of the mass. the later wants but to be dominated, to be led, to be coerced. as to individualism, at no time in human in story did it have less chance of expression, less opportunity to assert itself in a normal, healthy manner.
    • capital cannot get fat unless it devours labor, that wealth can not be hoarded except through the channels of poverty, hunger, and cold; but such things are better kept in the dark, lest the victims awaken to a realization of their position.
    • if i were to give a summary of the tendency of our times, it would say, Quantity. the multitude, the mass spirit, dominates everywhere, destroying quality. our entire life – production, politics, and education – rests on quantity, on numbers. the worker who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality of his work, has been replaced by brainless, incompetent automatons, who turn out enormous quantities of things, valueless to themselves, and generally injourous to the rest of mankind. thus quantity, instead of adding to lives’ comforts and peace, has nearly increased man’s burden.
    • if the production of any commodity necessities the sacrifice of human life, society should do without the commodity, but it cannot no do without that life.
  • The Majority
    • the majority cannot reason; it has no judgement. lacking utterly in originality and morla courage, the majority has always placed its destiny in the hands of others. incapable of standing responsibilities, it has followed its leaders even unto destruction. dr. stockman was right: “the most dangerous enemies of truth and justice in our midst are the compact majorities.” without ambition or initiative, the compact mass hates nothing so much as innovation. it has always opposed, condemned, and hounded the innovator, the pioneer of a new truth
    • A politician [knows] that the majority cares little for ideals or integrity. what it carves is display
    • the principle of brotherhood expounded by the agitator of Nazareth preserved the germ of life, of truth and justice, so long as it was the beacon light of the few. the moment the majority seized upon it, that great principle became a shibboleth and harbinger of blood and fire, spreading suffering and disaster. the attack on the omnipotence of Rome, led by the colossal figures of Huss, Calvin and Luther, was like a sunrise amid the darkness of the night. but so soon as Luther and Calvin turned politicians and began catering to the small potentates, the nobility, and the mob spirit, they jeopardized the great possibilities of the Reformation. they won success and the majority, but that majority proved no less cruel and bloodthirsty in the persecution of thought and reason than was the Catholic monster. woe to the heretics, to the minority, who would not bow to its dicta. after infinite zeal, endurance, and sacrifice, the human mind is at last feee from the religious phantom; the minority has gone on in pursuit of new conquests, and the majority is lagging behind, handicapped by truth grown false with age.
    • only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colors will baby people become interested – for a while at least. the people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys every day. the “righteous” cry against the white slave traffic is such a toy. it serves to amuse the people for a little while, and it will hep to create a few more fat political jobs- parasites who talk about he world as inspectors, investigators, detectives, and so forth,.
    • In other words, the living, vital truth of social and economic well-being will become a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non-compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass.
    • in our country of absolute democratic equality, public opinion is not only omnipotent, it is omnipresent. there is no refuge from its tyranny, there is no hiding from its reach… and the consequence is that instead of being a mass of individuals, each one fearlessly blurting out his own conviction, as a nation compared to other nations we are a mass of cowards. more than any other people we are afraid of each other.
  • government and politics
    • referring to the American government, the greatest American Anarchist David Thoreau, said: “government, what is it but a tradition, through a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to prosperity, but each instance losing its integrity; it has not the vitality of force of a single living man. law has never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect of it, even the all disposed are daily made agents of injustice.”
    • “all voting,” says Thoreau, “is a sort of gaming, like checkers, or backgammon, a playing with right and wrong; its obligation never exceeds that of expediency. even voting for the right thing is doing nothing for it. a wise man will not leave the right thing to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.”
    • it may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill. perhaps not; but such men would also be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in behalf of labor, as indeed has been shown in numerals instances. the State si the economic masters of its servants. Good men, if such there be, would either remain true to their political faith and lose their economic support, or they would cling to their economic master and be utterly unable to do the slightest good. the political arena leaves no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue. 
    • (100 years later and some things never change) A free Republic! How a myth will maintain itself, how it will continue to deceive, to dupe, and blind even the comparatively intelligent to its monstrous absurdities. A free Republic! and yet within a little over thirty years a small band of parasites have successfully robbed the American people, trampled upon the fundamental principles, laid down by the fathers of the country, guaranteeing to every man, woman, and child “life, liberty, and the persut of happiness.” for thirty years they have been increasing their wealth and power at the expense of the vast mass of workers, thereby enlarging the army of the unemployed, the hungry, homeless, and friendless portion of humanity, who are trampling the country from east to west, from north to south, in a vain search for work…
    • human nature asserts itself regardless of all laws, nor is there any plausible reason why nature should adapt itself to a perverted conception of morality
    • corruption of politics has nothing to do with the morals, or the laxity of morals, of various political personalties. its cause is altogether a material one. politics is the reflex of the business and industrial world, the mottos of which are: “to take is more blessed than to give”; “buy cheap and sell dear”; “one soiled hand washes the other.”
    • unfortunately there are still a number of people who continue in the fatal belief that government rests on natural laws, that it maintains social order and harmony, that it diminishes crime, that it prevents the lazy man from fleecing his fellows. i shall therefore examine these contentions.
      a natural law is that factor in man which asserts itself freely and spontaneously without any external force, in harmony with the requirements of nature. for instance, the demand for nutrition, for sex gratification, for light, air, and exercise, is a natural law. but its expression needs not the machinery of government,  needs not the club, the gun, the handcuff, or the prison. to obey such laws, if we may call it obedience, requires only spontaneity and free opportunity. that governments do not maintain themselves through such harmonious factors is proven by the terrible array of violence, force, and coercion all governments use in order to live. thus blackstone is right when he says, “Human laws are invalid, because they are contrary to the law of nature.”
      … It is difficult to ascribe to governments any capacity for order or social harmony. order derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet that is the only “order” that governments have ever maintained. true social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests. in a society where those who always work never have anything, while those who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of interested is non-existent; hence social harmony is but a myth. the only way organized authority meets this grave situation is by extending still greater privileges to  those who have already monopolized the earth, and by still further enslaving the disinherited masses. thus the entire arsenal of government – laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, prisions, – is strenuously engaged in “harmonizing” the most antagonistic elements in society.
    • the most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. it has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of it’s own creation.
      crime is naught but misdirected energy. so long as every institution of today, economic, politics, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statues can only increase, but never do away with, crime.
  • Crime and Punishment
    • the natural impulse of a primitive man is to strike back, to avenge a wrong, is out of date. instead, the civilized man, stripped of courage and daring, has deluged to an organized machinery the duty of avenging his wrongs, in the foolish belief that the State is justified in doing what he no long has the manhood or consistency to do.
    • robbed of his rights as a human being, degraded to a near automation without will or feeling, dependent entirely upon the mercy of brutal keepers, he daily goes through a process of dehumanization, compared with which savage revenge was mere child’s play.
    • year after year the gates of prision hells return to the world an emaciated, deformed, will-less, ship-whrecked crew of humanity, with the Cain mark on their foreheads, their hopes crushed, all their natural inclinations thwarted. with nothing but hunger and inhumanity to greet them, these victims soon sink back into crime as the only possibility of existence.
    • the average mind is slow in grasping a truth, but when the most throughly organized , centralized institution, maintained at the excessive national expense, has proven a complete social failure, the dullest must begin to question its right to exist.
    • the political criminal of our time or place my be the hero, martyr, saint of another age
    • society is the preparer of crime, and the criminals as instruments that execute them.
    • every society has the criminals it deserves
  • patriotism and war
    • what, then, is patriotism? “patriotism, sir, is the last result of scoundrels,” said Dr. Johnson. leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murders.
    • patriotism is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstion that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.
    • patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. those who have the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. it is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and site in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.
    • “War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle; therefore they take boys from one village and another village, stick them into uniforms, equip them with guns, and let them loose like wild beasts against each other”
    • men are not usually forced to in list in the army, but we have developed a far more exacting and rigid force – necessity. is it not a fact that during industrial depressions there is a tremendous increase in the number of enlistments?
    • the cause of the Spanish-American war was the consideration of the price of sugar; or, to be more explicit, that the lives, blood, and money of the American people were used to protect the interested of american capitalizes, which were threatened by the spanish government.
    • we americans claim to be peace loving people. we hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. we are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that some of industrial magnate. yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that American is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that it will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations.
      such is the logic of patriotism.
  • Women and Prostitution
    • nowhere is woman treated according to the merit of her work, but rather as a sex. it is therefor almost inevitable that she should pay for her right to exist, to keep a position in whatever line, with sex favors. thus it is nearly a question of degree whether she sells herself to one man, in or out of marriage, or to many men. whether our reformers admit it or not, the economic and social inferiority of woman is responsible for prostitution.
    • the social cancer [prostitution] was therefore driven out of sight, but deeper into the body. keepers of brothers, as we’ll as their unfortunate victims, were turned over to the tender mercies of the police. the inevitable consequence of exorbitant bribes, and the penitentiary, followed
      while comparatively protected in the brothers, where they represented a certain monetary value, the girls now found themselves on the street, absolutely at the mercy of the graft-greedy police. desperate, needing protection and longing for affection, these girls naturally  proved an easy pretty for cadets, themes eves the restulf of the spirit of our commercial age. thus the cadet system was the direct outgrowth of police persecution, graft, and attempted suppression of prostutution.
    • yet society has no word of condemnation for the man, while no law is too monstrous to be set in motion against the helpless victim. she is not only preyed upon by those who use her, but she is also absolutely at the mercy of every policeman and miserable detective on the beat, the officials at the station house, the authorities in every prision
    • “the wife who married for money, compared with the prostitute, is the true scab. she is paid less, gives much more in return in labor and care, and is absolutely bound to her master. the prostitute never signs away the right over her own person, she retains her freedom and personal rights, nor is she always compelled to submit to man’s embrace
    • an educated public opinion, freed from the legal and morel hounding of the prostitute, can alone help to ameliorate present conditions. willful shutting of eyes and ignoring the evil as a social factor of modern life, can but aggravate matters. we must rise above our foolwih notions of “better than though,” and learn to recognize in the protitue a product of social conditions. such a realization will sweep away the attitude of hypocricty, and insure a created understanding and more human treatment. as to a through eradication of prostitution, nothing can accomplish that save a complete transvalutaion of all accepted vaults – especially the moral ones – coupled with the abolition of industrial slavery.
    • her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. first, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. that is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free, will make her a force hitherto unknown in the world, a force for real love, for peace, for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life-giving’ a creator of free man and women. 
    • peace or harmony between the sexes and individuals does not necessarily depend on a superficial equalization of human beings; nor does it call for the elimination of individual traits and particularities. the problem that confronts us today, and which the nearest future is to solve, is how to be one’s self and yet be in oneness with others, to feel deeply with all human beings and still retain one’s own characteristic qualities. this seems to me the basis upon which the mass and the individual, the true democrat and the true individuality, man and woman, can meet without antagonism and opposition. the motto should not be: forgive on another; rather, understand one another.
    • emancipation should make it possible for woman to be human in the truest sense. everything within her that craves assertion and activity should yeah its fullest expression; all artificial carries should be broken, and the road toward greater freedom cleared of every trace of centuries of submission and slavery
    • the right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls or in courts. it begins in woman’s’ soul. history tells us that every oppressed classed gained true liberation from its masters through its own efforts. it is necessary that woman learn that lesson, that she realize that her freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her freedom reaches. it is, therefore, far more important for her to begin wiwht her inner regeneration, to cut loose from the weight of predjucies, traditions, and customs. 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. indeed, if partial emancipation is to beome a complete and two emancipate of woman, it will have to do away with the ridiculous notion that to be love, to be a sweetheart and a mother, is synonymous with being a slaave or subordiantat. it will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent to antagonistic worlds. pettiness separates; breadth unites. let us be broad and big. let us not overlook vital things because of the bulk of truffles confronting us. a true conception of the relation of the sexses will not admin of conqueror and conquered; it knows of but one great thing: to give of one’s self boundlessly, in order to fin one’s self richer, deeper, better. that alone can fill the emptiness, and transform the tragedy of won ams’ emancipation into joy, limitless joy.
    • the defenders of authority dread the advent of a free motherhood, lest it will rob them of their prey. who would fight wars? who would create wealth? who would make the policeman, the jailer, if woman were to refuse the indiscriminate breeding of children? the race, the race! shouts the kin, the president, the capitalist, the priest. the race must be preserved, through woman be degraded to a mere machine, – and the marriage institution is our only safety valve against the pernicious sex-awakening of woman.
  • suffrage
    • suffrage is an evil, that it has only helped to enslave people, that is has but closed their eyes that they may not see how craftily they were made to submit.
    • woman’s demand for equal suffrage is based largely on the contention that woman must have the equal right in all affairs of society. no one could, possibly, refute that, if suffrage were a right. alas, for the ignorance of the human mind, which can see a right in an imposition. or is it not the most brutal imposition for on set of people to make laws that another set is coerced by force to obey? yet woman clamors for that “golden opportunity” that has wrought so much misery in the world, and robbed man of his interegriy and self reliance; and imposition which has thoroughly corrupted the people, and made them absolute pretty in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.
    • the poor, stupid, free American citizen! free to starve, free to tramp the highways of this great country, he enjoys universal suffrage, and, by that right, he as forged chains about his limbs. the reward that he receive is stringent labor laws prohibiting the right of boycott, of picketing, in fact, of everything except the right to be robbed of the fruits of his labor.
  • reform
    • i fear it impossible to hope for good results from pouring good wine into a musty bottle.
    • no real social change has ever come about without a revolution. people are either not familiar with their history, or they have not yet learned that revolution is but thought carried into action.
    • experience has come to be considered the best school of life. the man or woman who does not learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon as a dunce indeed. yet strange to say, that though organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, though they learn nothing from experience, we acquiesce, as a matter of course.
  • violence
    • beyond every violent act, there is a vital cause
    • if the governing classes could go down among the unfortunates! but no, they prefer to remain deaf to their appeals. it seems that a fatality impels them, like the royalty of the eighteenth century, toward the precipice which will engulf them, for woe be to those who remain deaf to the cries of the starving, woe to those who, believing themselves of superior essence, assume the right to exploit those beneath them! theres comes a time when the people no long reason; they rise like a hurricane, and pass away like a torrent.
    • and what happens to a man with his brain working activity with a ferment of new ideas, with a vision before his eyes of a new hope dawning for toiling and agonizing men, with the knowledge that his suffering and that of his fellows in misery is not caused by the cruelty of fate, but by the injustice of other human beings, – what happens to such a man when he sees those dear to him staving, when he himself is starved? some natures in such a plight, and those by no means the least social or the least sensitive, will become violent, and will even feel that their violence is social and not anti-social, that in striking when and how they can, they are striking, not for themselves, but for human nature, outraged and despoiled in there persons, and in those of their fellow sufferers. and are we, who ourselves are no in this horrible predicament, to stand by and coldly condemn these piteous victims of the Furies and Fates? are we to decry as miscreants these human beings who act with heroic self-devotion, sacrificing their lives in provest where less social less energetic natures would lie down and grovel in abject submission to injustice and wrong? are we to join the ignorant and brutal outcry which stigmatizes such men as monsters of wickedness, gratuitously running amuck in a harmonious and innocently peaceful society? No!
    • to throughly appreciate the truth of this view (political acts of violence are the outcome of a growing storm), one must feel intensely the indignity of our social wrongs; one’s very being must throb with the pain, the sorrow, the despair millions of people are daily made to endure. indeed, unless we have become a part of humanity, we cannot even faintly understand the just indignation that accumulates in a human soul, the burning, surging passion that makes the storm inevitable.
    • it is there supersensitiveness to the wrong and injustice surrounding them which compels them to pay the toll of our social crimes
    • The guilt of these homicides lies upon every man and woman who, intentionally or by cold indifference, helps to keep up social conditions that drive human beings to despair. the man who flings his whole life into the attempt, at the cost of his own life, to protest against the wrongs of his fellow men, is a saint compared to the active and passive upholders of cruelty and injustice, even if his protest destroy other lives besides his own. let him who is without sin in society cast the first stone as such a man.
    • “in receiving your verdict i shall have a least the satisfaction of having wounded the existing society, that cursed society in which one may see a single hand spending, uselessly, enough to feed thousands of families; an infamous society which permits a few individuals to monopolize all the social waltz, while there are hundred of thousands of unfortunates who have not even the bread that is not refused to dogs.
    • compared with the wholesale violence of capital and government, political acts of violence are but a drop in the ocean
    • are we not acting on the defensive when we respond to the blows which we receive from above?
  • the future
    • our most vivid imagination can not foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints. how, then, can any one assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come?
    • The things every new generation has to fight, and which it can least overcome, are the burdens of the past, which holds us all as in a net
    • Anarchism is not, as some may suppose, a theory of the future to be realized through divine inspiration. it is a living force in the affairs of our lives, constantly creating new conditions. the methods of Anarchism therefore do not comprise an iron-clad program to be cared out under all circumstances. methods must grow out of the economic needs of each place and clime, and of the intellectual and temperamental requreiemts of the individuals
    • A practical scheme, says oscar wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. 
  • on organization
    • strange to say, there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age. they fail utterly to realize that if we are to continute in machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the King. they do not want to know that centralization is not only the death knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere.
    • the problem that confronts us today, and which the nearest future is to solve, is how to be one’s self and yet in oneness with others, to feel deeply with all human beings and still retain one’s own characteristic qualities.
    • The charge that Anarchism is destructive, rather than constructive, and that, therefore, Anarchism is opposed to organization, is one of the many falsehoods spread by our opponents. they confuse our present social institutions with organization; hence they fail to understand how we can oppose the former, and yet favor the latter. the fact, however, is that the two are not identical.
    • the state is commonly regarded as the highest form of organization. but is it in reality a true organization? is it not rather an arbitrary institution, cunningly imposed upon the masses?
    • Organization, as we understand it, however, is a different thing. it is based, primarily, on freedom. it is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies to secure results beneficial to humanity. 
    • There is a mistaken notion that organization does not foster individual freedom; that, on the contrary, it means the decay of individuality. in reality, however, the true function of organization is to aid the development and growth of personality.
    • anarchism asserts the possibility of an organization without discipline, fear, or punishment, and without the pressure of poverty: a new social organism which will make an end to the terrible struggle for the means of existence, – the savage struggle which undermines the finest qualities in man, and ever widens the social abyss. in short, Anarchism strives toward a social organization which will establish well-being for all.
  • Anarchism
    • Anarchism: – the philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.
    • Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are nonexistent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man’s subordination. anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man. 
    • anarchism aims to strip labor of its deadening, dulling aspects of its gloom and compassion. it aims to make work an instrument of joy, of strength, of color, of real harmony, so that the poorest sort of a man should find in work both recreation and hope.
  • general
    • someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think
    • every stimulus which quickens the imagination and cases the spirits, is as necessary to your life as air. it invigorates the body, and deepens our vision of human fellowships. without stimuli, in one form or another, creative work is impossible, nor indeed the spirit of kindliness and generosity.
  • Education and children
    • the pupil will accept only that which his mind craves
    • the child has no traditions to overcome. its mind is not burdened with set ideas, its heart has not grown cold with class and caste distinctions. the child is to the teacher what clay is to the sculptor. wether the world will receive a work of art or a wretched imitation, depends to a a large extent on the creative power of the teacher
    • the burgeois conception of heredity is but a pretext to except society from its terrible crimes against the young. the contention that the child must suffer for the sins of the fathers, that it must continue in poverty and filth, that is must grow up a drunkard or a criminal, just because its parents left it no other legacy, was too preposterous to the beautiful sprite of paul robin.
    • “all the value of education rests in the respect for the physical, intellectual, and moral will of the child. just as in science no demonstration is possible save by facts, just so there is no real education save that which is except from all dogmatism, whichh leaves the child itself the direction of its effort, and confines itself the the seconding of its effort. now, there is nothing easier than to alter this purpose, and nothing harder than to respect it. education is always imposing, violating, constraining; the real education is he who can best protect the child agains his (the teacher’s) own ideas, his poetical whims; he who can best appeal to the child’s own energies. 
    • [at the modern schools] the children grew and developed into self-reliant, liberty-loving men and women. what greater danger to the institution that make the poor in order to perpetuate the poor?
  • love
    • free love? as if love is anything but free! man has brought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. high on his throne, with all the plunder and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. and if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with live and color. thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. in freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. all the laws on the statues, all the course in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root. if, however, the soil is sterile, how can marriage make it bear fruit?
    • 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.
    • in our present pygmy state love is indeed a stranger to most people. misunderstood and shunned, it rarely takes root; or if it does, it soon withers and dies. its delicate fiber can not endure the stress and strain of the daily grind. its soul is too complex to adjust itself to the slimy woof of our social fabric. it weeps and moans and suffers with those who have need of it, and lack the capacity to rise to loves’ summit.
    • if the world is ever to give birth to true companionship and oneness, not marriage, but love will be the parent