a biographical sketch (1911)

by Hippolyte Havel

The text is from Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 5-44.

Propagandism is not, as some suppose, a "trade,"

because nobody will follow a "trade" at which you

may work with the industry of a slave and die with

the reputation of a mendicant. The motives of any

persons to pursue such a profession must be

different from those of trade, deeper than pride,

and stronger than interest.


AMONG the men and women prominent in the public life of America there are but few whose names are mentioned as often as that of Emma Goldman. Yet the real Emma Goldman is almost quite unknown. The sensational press has surrounded her name with so much misrepresentation and slander, it would seem almost a miracle that, in spite of this web of calumny, the truth breaks through and a better appreciation of this much maligned idealist begins to manifest itself. There is but little consolation in the fact that almost every representative of a new idea has had to struggle and suffer under similar difficulties. Is it of any avail that a former president of a republic pays homage at Osawatomie to the memory of John Brown? Or that the president of another republic participates in the unveiling of a statue in honor of Pierre Proudhon, and holds up his life to the French nation as a model worthy of enthusiastic emulation? Of what avail is all this when, at the same time, the living John Browns and Proudhons are being crucified? The honor and glory of a Mary Wollstonecraft or of a Louise Michel are not enhanced by the City Fathers of London or Paris naming a street after them--the living generation should be concerned with doing justice to the living Mary Wollstonecrafts and Louise Michels. Posterity assigns to men like Wendel Phillips and Lloyd Garrison the proper niche of honor in the temple of human emancipation; but it is the duty of their contemporaries to bring them due recognition and appreciation while they live.

The path of the propagandist of social justice is strewn with thorns. The powers of darkness and injustice exert all their might lest a ray of sunshine enter his cheerless life. Nay, even his comrades in the struggle-- indeed, too often his most intimate friends--show but little understanding for the personality of the pioneer. Envy, sometimes growing to hatred, vanity and jealousy, obstruct his way and fill his heart with sadness. It requires an inflexible will and tremendous enthusiasm not to lose, under such conditions, all faith in the Cause. The representative of a revolutionizing idea stands between two fires: on the one hand, the persecution of the existing powers which hold him responsible for all acts resulting from social conditions; and, on the other, the lack of understanding on the part of his own followers who often judge all his activity from a narrow standpoint. Thus it happens that the agitator stands quite alone in the midst of the multitude surrounding him. Even his most intimate friends rarely understand how solitary and deserted he feels. That is the tragedy of the person prominent in the public eye.

The mist in which the name of Emma Goldman has so long been enveloped is gradually beginning to dissipate. Her energy in the furtherance of such an unpopular idea as Anarchism, her deep earnestness, her courage and abilities, find growing understanding and admiration.

The debt American intellectual growth owes to the revolutionary exiles has never been fully appreciated. The seed disseminated by them, though so little understood at the time, has brought a rich harvest. They have at all times held aloft the banner of liberty, thus impregnating the social vitality of the Nation. But very few have succeeded in preserving their European education and culture while at the same time assimilating themselves with American life. It is difficult for the average man to form an adequate conception what strength, energy, and perseverance are necessary to absorb the unfamiliar language, habits, and customs of a new country, without the loss of one's own personality.

Emma Goldman is one of the few who, while thoroughly preserving their individuality, have become an important factor in the social and intellectual atmosphere of America. The life she leads is rich in color, full of change and variety. She has risen to the topmost heights, and she has also tasted the bitter dregs of life.

Emma Goldman was born of Jewish parentage on the 27th day of June, 1869, in the Russian province of Kovno. Surely these parents never dreamed what unique position their child would some day occupy. Like all conservative parents they, too, were quite convinced that their daughter would marry a respectable citizen, bear him children, and round out her allotted years surrounded by a flock of grandchildren, a good, religious woman. As most parents, they had no inkling what a strange, impassioned spirit would take hold of the soul of their child, and carry it to the heights which separate generations in eternal struggle. They lived in a land and at a time when antagonism between parent and offspring was fated to find its most acute expression, irreconcilable hostility. In this tremendous struggle between fathers and sons --and especially between parents and daughters--there was no compromise, no weak yielding, no truce. The spirit of liberty, of progress--an idealism which knew no considerations and recognized no obstacles-- drove the young generation out of the parental house and away from the hearth of the home. Just as this same spirit once drove out the revolutionary breeder of discontent, Jesus, and alienated him from his native traditions.

What rôle the Jewish race--notwithstanding all anti-Semitic calumnies the race of transcendental idealism--played in the struggle of the Old and the New will probably never be appreciated with complete impartiality and clarity. Only now we are beginning to perceive the tremendous debt we owe to Jewish idealists in the realm of science, art, and literature. But very little is still known of the important part the sons and daughters of Israel have played in the revolutionary movement and, especially, in that of modern times.

The first years of her childhood Emma Goldman passed in a small, idyllic place in the German-Russian province of Kurland, where her father had charge of the government stage. At that time Kurland was thoroughly German; even the Russian bureaucracy of that Baltic province was recruited mostly from German Junker. German fairy tales and stories, rich in the miraculous deeds of the heroic knights of Kurland, wove their spell over the youthful mind. But the beautiful idyl was of short duration. Soon the soul of the growing child was overcast by the dark shadows of life. Already in her tenderest youth the seeds of rebellion and unrelenting hatred of oppression were to be planted in the heart of Emma Goldman. Early she learned to know the beauty of the State: she saw her father harassed by the Christian chinovniks and doubly persecuted as petty official and hated Jew. The brutality of forced conscription ever stood before her eyes: she beheld the young men, often the sole support of a large family, brutally dragged to the barracks to lead the miserable life of a soldier. She heard the weeping of the poor peasant women, and witnessed the shameful scenes of official venality which relieved the rich from military service at the expense of the poor. She was outraged by the terrible treatment to which the female servants were subjected: maltreated and exploited by their barinyas, they fell to the tender mercies of the regimental officers, who regarded them as their natural sexual prey. These girls, made pregnant by respectable gentlemen and driven out by their mistresses, often found refuge in the Goldman home. And the little girl, her heart palpitating with sympathy, would abstract coins from the parental drawer to clandestinely press the money into the hands of the unfortunate women. Thus Emma Goldman's most striking characteristic, her sympathy with the underdog, already became manifest in these early years.

At the age of seven little Emma was sent by her parents to her grandmother at Königsberg, the city of Immanuel Kant, in Eastern Prussia. Save for occasional interruptions, she remained there till her 13th birthday. The first years in these surroundings do not exactly belong to her happiest recollections. The grandmother, indeed, was very amiable, but the numerous aunts of the household were concerned more with the spirit of practical rather than pure reason, and the categoric imperative was applied all too frequently. The situation was changed when her parents migrated to Königsberg, and little Emma was relieved from her rôle of Cinderella. She now regularly attended public school and also enjoyed the advantages of private instruction, customary in middle class life; French and music lessons played an important part in the curriculum. The future interpreter of Ibsen and Shaw was then a little German Gretchen, quite at home in the German atmosphere. Her special predilections in literature were the sentimental romances of Marlitt; she was a great admirer of the good Queen Louise, whom the bad Napoleon Buonaparte treated with so marked a lack of knightly chivalry. What might have been her future development had she remained in this milieu? Fate--or was it economic necessity?--willed it otherwise. Her parents decided to settle in St. Petersburg, the capital of the Almighty Tsar, and there to embark in business. It was here that a great change took place in the life of the young dreamer.

It was an eventful period--the year of 1882--in which Emma Goldman, then in her 13th year, arrived in St. Petersburg. A struggle for life and death between the autocracy and the Russian intellectuals swept the country. Alexander II. had fallen the previous year. Sophia Perovskaia, Zheliabov, Grinevitzky, Rissakov, Kibalchitch, Michailov, the heroic executors of the death sentence upon the tyrant, had then entered the Walhalla of immortality. Jessie Helfman, the only regicide whose life the government had reluctantly spared because of pregnancy, followed the unnumbered Russian martyrs to the étapes of Siberia. It was the most heroic period in the great battle of emancipation, a battle for freedom such as the world had never witnessed before. The names of the Nihilist martyrs were on all lips, and thousands were enthusiastic to follow their example. The whole intelligensia of Russia was filled with the illegal spirit: revolutionary sentiments penetrated into every home, from mansion to hovel, impregnating the military, the chinovniks, factory workers, and peasants. The atmosphere pierced the very casemates of the royal palace. New ideas germinated in the youth. The difference of sex was forgotten. Shoulder to shoulder fought the men and the women. The Russian woman! Who shall ever do justice or adequately portray her heroism and self-sacrifice, her loyalty and devotion? Holy, Turgeniev calls her in his great prose poem, On the Threshold.

It was inevitable that the young dreamer from Königsberg should be drawn into the maelstrom. To remain outside of the circle of free ideas meant a life of vegetation, of death. One need not wonder at the youthful age. Young enthusiasts were not then--and, fortunately, are not now--a rare phenomenon in Russia. The study of the Russian language soon brought young Emma Goldman in touch with revolutionary students and new ideas. The place of Marlitt was taken by Nekrassov and Tchernishevsky. The quondam admirer of the good Queen Louise became a glowing enthusiast of liberty, resolving, like thousands of others, to devote her life to the emancipation of the people.

The struggle of generations now took place in the Goldman family. The parents could not comprehend what interest their daughter could find in the new ideas, which they themselves considered fantastic utopias. They strove to persuade the young girl out of these chimeras, and daily repetition of soul-racking disputes was the result. Only in one member of the family did the young idealist find understanding--in her elder sister, Helene, with whom she later emigrated to America, and whose love and sympathy have never failed her. Even in the darkest hours of later persecution Emma Goldman always found a haven of refuge in the home of this loyal sister.

Emma Goldman finally resolved to achieve her independence. She saw hundreds of men and women sacrificing brilliant careers to go v naród, to the people. She followed their example. She became a factory worker; at first employed as a corset maker, and later in the manufacture of gloves. She was now 17 years of age and proud to earn her own living. Had she remained in Russia, she would have probably sooner or later shared the fate of thousands buried in the snows of Siberia. But a new chapter of life was to begin for her. Sister Helene decided to emigrate to America, where another sister had already made her home. Emma prevailed upon Helene to be allowed to join her, and together they departed for America, filled with the joyous hope of a great, free land, the glorious Republic.

America! What magic word. The yearning of the enslaved, the promised land of the oppressed, the goal of all longing for progress. Here man's ideals had found their fulfillment: no Tsar, no Cossack, no chinovnik. The Republic! Glorious synonym of equality, freedom, brotherhood

Thus thought the two girls as they travelled, in the year 1886, from New York to Rochester. Soon, all too soon, disillusionment awaited them. The ideal conception of America was punctured already at Castle Garden, and soon burst like a soap bubble. Here Emma Goldman witnessed sights which reminded her of the terrible scenes of her childhood in Kurland. The brutality and humiliation the future citizens of the great Republic were subjected to on board ship, were repeated at Castle Garden by the officials of the democracy in a more savage and aggravating manner. And what bitter disappointment followed as the young idealist began to familiarize herself with the conditions in the new land! Instead of one Tsar, she found scores of them; the Cossack was replaced by the policeman with the heavy club, and instead of the Russian chinovnik there was the far more inhuman slave driver of the factory.

Emma Goldman soon obtained work in the clothing establishment of the Garson Co. The wages amounted to two and a half dollars a week. At that time the factories were not provided with motor power, and the poor sewing girls had to drive the wheels by foot, from early morning till late at night. A terribly exhausting toil it was, without a ray of light, the drudgery of the long day passed in complete silence--the Russian custom of friendly conversation at work was not permissible in the free country. But the exploitation of the girls was not only economic; the poor wage workers were looked upon by their foremen and bosses as sexual commodities. If a girl resented the advances of her superiors," she would speedily find herself on the street as an undesirable element in the factory. There was never a lack of willing victims: the supply always exceeded the demand.

The horrible conditions were made still more unbearable by the fearful dreariness of life in the small American city. The Puritan spirit suppresses the slightest manifestation of joy; a deadly dullness beclouds the soul; no intellectual inspiration, no thought exchange between congenial spirits is possible. Emma Goldman almost suffocated in this atmosphere. She, above all others, longed for ideal surroundings, for friendship and understanding, for the companionship of kindred minds. Mentally she still lived in Russia. Unfamiliar with the language and life of the country, she dwelt more in the past than in the present. It was at this period that she met a young man who spoke Russian. With great joy the acquaintance was cultivated. At last a person with whom she could converse, one who could help her bridge the dullness of the narrow existence. The friendship gradually ripened and finally culminated in marriage.

Emma Goldman, too, had to walk the sorrowful road of married life; she, too, had to learn from bitter experience that legal statutes signify dependence and self-effacement, especially for the woman. The marriage was no liberation from the Puritan dreariness of American life; indeed, it was rather aggravated by the loss of self-ownership. The characters of the young people differed too widely. A separation soon followed, and Emma Goldman went to New Haven, Conn. There she found employment in a factory, and her husband disappeared from her horizon. Two decades later she was fated to be unexpectedly reminded of him by the Federal authorities.

The revolutionists who were active in the Russian movement of the 80's were but little familiar with the social ideas then agitating western Europe and America. Their sole activity consisted in educating the people, their final goal the destruction of the autocracy. Socialism and Anarchism were terms hardly known even by name. Emma Goldman, too, was entirely unfamiliar with the significance of those ideals.

She arrived in America, as four years previously in Russia, at a period of great social and political unrest. The working people were in revolt against the terrible labor conditions; the eight-hour movement of the Knights of Labor was at its height, and throughout the country echoed the din of sanguine strife between strikers and police. The struggle culminated in the great strike against the Harvester Company of Chicago, the massacre of the strikers, and the judicial murder of the labor leaders, which followed upon the historic Haymarket bomb explosion. The Anarchists stood the martyr test of blood baptism. The apologists of capitalism vainly seek to justify the killing of Parsons, Spies, Lingg, Fischer, and Engel. Since the publication of Governor Altgeld's reasons for his liberation of the three incarcerated Haymarket Anarchists, no doubt is left that a fivefold legal murder had been committed in Chicago, in 1887.

Very few have grasped the significance of the Chicago martyrdom; least of all the ruling classes. By the destruction of a number of labor leaders they thought to stem the tide of a world-inspiring idea. They failed to consider that from the blood of the martyrs grows the new seed, and that the frightful injustice will win new converts to the Cause.

The two most prominent representatives of the Anarchist idea in America, Voltairine de Cleyre and Emma Goldman--the one a native American, the other a Russian--have been converted, like numerous others, to the ideas of Anarchism by the judicial murder. Two women who had not known each other before, and who had received a widely different education, were through that murder united in one idea.

Like most working men and women of America, Emma Goldman followed the Chicago trial with great anxiety and excitement. She, too, could not believe that the leaders of the proletariat would be killed. The 11th of November, 1887, taught her differently. She realized that no mercy could be expected from the ruling class, that between the Tsarism of Russia and the plutocracy of America there was no difference save in name. Her whole being rebelled against the crime, and she vowed to herself a solemn vow to join the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat and to devote all her energy and strength to their emancipation from wage slavery. With the glowing enthusiasm so characteristic of her nature, she now began to familiarize herself with the literature of Socialism and Anarchism. She attended public meetings and became acquainted with socialistically and anarchistically inclined working men. Johanna Greie, the well-known German lecturer, was the first Socialist speaker heard by Emma Goldman. In New Haven, Conn., where she was employed in a corset factory, she met Anarchists actively participating in the movement. Here she read the Freiheit, edited by John Most. The Haymarket tragedy developed her inherent Anarchist tendencies; the reading of the Freiheit made her a conscious Anarchist. Subsequently she was to learn that the idea of Anarchism found its highest expression through the best intellects of America: theoretically by Josiah Warren, Stephen Pearl Andrews Lysander Spooner; philosophically by Emerson, Thoreau, and Walt Whitman.

Made ill by the excessive strain of factory work, Emma Goldman returned to Rochester where she remained till August, 1889, at which time she removed to New York, the scene of the most important phase of her life. She was now twenty years old. Features pallid with suffering, eyes large and full of compassion, greet one in her pictured likeness of those days. Her hair is, as customary with Russian student girls, worn short, giving free play to the strong forehead.

It is the heroic epoch of militant Anarchism. By leaps and bounds the movement had grown in every country. In spite of the most severe govern mental persecution new converts swell the ranks. The propaganda is almost exclusively of a secret character. The repressive measures of the government drive the disciples of the new philosophy to conspirative methods. Thousands of victims fall into the hands of the authorities and languish in prisons. But nothing can stem the rising tide of enthusiasm, of self-sacrifice and devotion to the Cause. The efforts of teachers like Peter Kropotkin, Louise Michel, Elisée Reclus, and others, inspire the devotees with ever greater energy.

Disruption is imminent with the Socialists, who have sacrificed the idea of liberty and embraced the State and politics. The struggle is bitter, the factions irreconcilable. This struggle is not merely between Anarchists and Socialists; it also finds its echo within the Anarchist groups. Theoretic differences and personal controversies lead to strife and acrimonious enmities. The anti-Socialist legislation of Germany and Austria had driven thousands of Socialists and Anarchists across the seas to seek refuge in America. John Most, having lost his seat in the Reichstag, finally had to flee his native land, and went to London. There, having advanced toward Anarchism, he entirely withdrew from the Social Democratic Party. Later, coming to America, he continued the publication of the Freiheit in New York, and developed great activity among the German workingmen.

When Emma Goldman arrived in New York in 1889, she experienced little difficulty in associating herself with active Anarchists. Anarchist meetings were an almost daily occurrence. The first lecturer she heard on the Anarchist platform was Dr. H. Solotaroff. Of great importance to her future development was her acquaintance with John Most, who exerted a tremendous influence over the younger elements. His impassioned eloquence, untiring energy, and the persecution he had endured for the Cause, all combined to enthuse the comrades. It was also at this period that she met Alexander Berkman, whose friendship played an important part through out her life. Her talents as a speaker could not long remain in obscurity. The fire of enthusiasm swept her toward the public platform. Encouraged by her friends, she began to participate as a German and Yiddish speaker at Anarchist meetings. Soon followed a brief tour of agitation taking her as far as Cleveland. With the whole strength and earnestness of her soul she now threw herself into the propaganda of Anarchist ideas. The passionate period of her life had begun. Though constantly toiling in sweat-shops, the fiery young orator was at the same time very active as an agitator and participated in various labor struggles, notably in the great cloakmakers' strike, in 1889, led by Professor Garsyde and Joseph Barondess.

A year later Emma Goldman was a delegate to an Anarchist conference in New York. She was elected to the Executive Committee, but later with drew because of differences of opinion regarding tactical matters. The ideas of the German-speaking Anarchists had at that time not yet become clarified. Some still believed in parliamentary methods, the great majority being adherents of strong centralism. These differences of opinion in regard to tactics led, in 1891, to a breach with John Most. Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and other comrades joined the group Autonomy, in which Joseph Peukert, Otto Rinke, and Claus Timmermann played an active part. The bitter controversies which followed this secession terminated only with the death of Most, in 1906.

A great source of inspiration to Emma Goldman proved the Russian revolutionists who were associated in the group Znamya. Goldenberg, Solotaroff, Zametkin, Miller, Cahan, the poet Edelstadt, Ivan von Schewitsch, husband of Helene von Racowitza and editor of the Volkszeitung, and numerous other Russian exiles, some of whom are still living, were members of the group. It was also at this time that Emma Goldman met Robert Reitzel, the German American Heine, who exerted a great influence on her development. Through him she became acquainted with the best writers of modern literature, and the friendship thus begun lasted. till Reitzel's death, in 1898.

The labor movement of America had not been drowned in the Chicago massacre; the murder of the Anarchists had failed to bring peace to the profit-greedy capitalist. The struggle for the eight hour day continued. In 1892 broke out the great strike in Pittsburg. The Homestead fight, the defeat of the Pinkertons, the appearance of the militia, the suppression of the strikers, and the complete triumph of the reaction are matters of comparatively recent history. Stirred to the very depths by the terrible events at the seat of war, Alexander Berkman resolved to sacrifice his life to the Cause and thus give an object lesson to the wage slaves of America of active Anarchist solidarity with labor. His attack upon Frick, the Gessler of Pittsburg, failed, and the twenty-two-year-old youth was doomed to a living death of twenty-two years in the penitentiary. The bourgeoisie, which for decades had exalted and eulogized tyrannicide, now was filled with terrible rage. The capitalist press organized a systematic campaign of calumny and misrepresentation against Anarchists. The police exerted every effort to involve Emma Goldman in the act of Alexander Berkman. The feared agitator was to be silenced by all means. It was only due to the circumstance of her presence in New York that she escaped the clutches of the law. It was a similar circumstance which, nine years later, during the McKinley incident, was instrumental in preserving her liberty. It is almost incredible with what amount of stupidity, baseness, and vileness the journalists of the period sought to overwhelm the Anarchist. One must peruse the newspaper files to realize the enormity of incrimination and slander. It would be difficult to portray the agony of soul Emma Goldman experienced in those days. The persecutions of the capitalist press were to be borne by an Anarchist with comparative equanimity; but the attacks from one's own ranks were far more painful and unbearable. The act of Berkman was severely criticized by Most and some of his followers among the German and Jewish Anarchists. Bitter accusations and recriminations at public meetings and private gatherings followed. Persecuted on all sides, both because she championed Berkman and his act, and on account of her revolutionary activity, Emma Goldman was harassed even to the extent of inability to secure shelter. Too proud to seek safety in the denial of her identity, she chose to pass the nights in the public parks rather than expose her friends to danger or vexation by her visits. The already bitter cup was filled to overflowing by the attempted suicide of a young comrade who had shared living quarters with Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and a mutual artist friend.

Many changes have since taken place. Alexander Berkman has survived the Pennsylvania Inferno, and is back again in the ranks of the militant Anarchists, his spirit unbroken, his soul full of enthusiasm for the ideals of his youth. The artist comrade is now among the well-known illustrators of New York. The suicide candidate left America shortly after his unfortunate attempt to die, and was subsequently arrested and condemned to eight years of hard labor for smuggling Anarchist literature into Germany. He, too, has withstood the terrors of prison life, and has returned to the revolutionary movement, since earning the well deserved reputation of a talented writer in Germany.

To avoid indefinite camping in the parks Emma Goldman finally was forced to move into a house on Third Street, occupied exclusively by prostitutes. There, among the outcasts of our good Christian society, she could at least rent a bit of a room, and find rest and work at her sewing machine. The women of the street showed more refinement of feeling and sincere sympathy than the priests of the Church. But human endurance had been exhausted by overmuch suffering and privation. There was a complete physical breakdown, and the renowned agitator was removed to the "Bohemian Republic"--a large tenement house which derived its euphonious appellation from the fact that its occupants were mostly Bohemian Anarchists. Here Emma Goldman found friends ready to aid her. Justus Schwab, one of the finest representatives of the German revolutionary period of that time, and Dr. Solotaroff were indefatigable in the care of the patient. Here, too, she met Edward Brady, the new friendship subsequently ripening into close intimacy. Brady had been an active participant in the revolutionary movement of Austria and had, at the time of his acquaintance with Emma Goldman, lately been released from an Austrian prison after an incarceration of ten years.

Physicians diagnosed the illness as consumption, and the patient was advised to leave New York. She went to Rochester, in the hope that the home circle would help to restore her to health. Her parents had several years previously emigrated to America, settling in that city. Among the leading traits of the Jewish race is the strong attachment between the members of the family, and, especially, between parents and children. Though her conservative parents could not sympathize with the idealist aspirations of Emma Goldman and did not approve of her mode of life, they now received their sick daughter with open arms. The rest and care enjoyed in the parental home, and the cheering presence of the beloved sister Helene, proved so beneficial that within a short time she was sufficiently restored to resume her energetic activity.

There is no rest in the life of Emma Goldman. Ceaseless effort and continuous striving toward the conceived goal are the essentials of her nature. Too much precious time had already been wasted. It was imperative to resume her labors immediately. The country was in the throes of a crisis, and thousands of unemployed crowded the streets of the large industrial centers. Cold and hungry they tramped through the land in the vain search for work and bread. The Anarchists developed a strenuous propaganda among the unemployed and the strikers. A monster demonstration of striking cloakmakers and of the unemployed took place at Union Square, New York. Emma Goldman was one of the invited speakers. She delivered an impassioned speech, picturing in fiery words the misery of the wage slave's life, and quoted the famous maxim of Cardinal Manning: "Necessity knows no law, and the starving man has a natural right to a share of his neighbor's bread." She concluded her exhortation with the words: "Ask for work. If they do not give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread."

The following day she left for Philadelphia, where she was to address a public meeting. The capitalist press again raised the alarm. If Socialists and Anarchists were to be permitted to continue agitating, there was imminent danger that the workingmen would soon learn to understand the manner in which they are robbed of the joy and happiness of life. Such a possibility was to be prevented at all cost. The Chief of Police of New York, Byrnes, procured a court order for the arrest of Emma Goldman. She was detained by the Philadelphia authorities and incarcerated for several days in the Moyamensing prison, awaiting the extradition papers which Byrnes intrusted to Detective Jacobs. This man Jacobs (whom Emma Goldman again met several years later under very unpleasant circumstances) proposed to her, while she was returning a prisoner to New York, to betray the cause of labor. In the name of his superior, Chief Byrnes, he offered lucrative reward. How stupid men sometimes are! What poverty of psychologic observation to imagine the possibility of betrayal on the part of a young Russian idealist, who had willingly sacrificed all personal considerations to help in labor's emancipation.

In October, 1893, Emma Goldman was tried in the criminal courts of New York on the charge of inciting to riot. The "intelligent" jury ignored the testimony of the twelve witnesses for the defense in favor of the evidence given by one single man-- Detective Jacobs. She was found guilty and sentenced to serve one year in the penitentiary at Blackwell's Island. Since the foundation of the Republic she was the first woman--Mrs. Surratt excepted--to be imprisoned for a political offense. Respectable society had long before stamped upon her the Scarlet Letter.

Emma Goldman passed her time in the penitentiary in the capacity of nurse in the prison hospital. Here she found opportunity to shed some rays of kindness into the dark lives of the unfortunates whose sisters of the street did not disdain two years previously to share with her the same house. She also found in prison opportunity to study English and its literature, and to familiarize her self with the great American writers. In Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Thoreau, and Emerson she found great treasures.

She left Blackwell's Island in the month of August, 1894, a woman of twenty-five, developed and matured, and intellectually transformed. Back into the arena, richer in experience, purified by suffering. She did not feel herself deserted and alone any more. Many hands were stretched out to welcome her. There were at the time numerous intellectual oases in New York. The saloon of Justus Schwab, at Number Fifty, First Street, was the center where gathered Anarchists, littérateurs, and bohemians. Among others she also met at this time a number of American Anarchists, and formed the friendship of Voltairine de Cleyre, Wm. C. Owen, Miss Van Etton, and Dyer D. Lum, former editor of the Alarm and executor of the last wishes of the Chicago martyrs. In John Swinton, the noble old fighter for liberty, she found one of her staunchest friends. Other intellectual centers there were Solidarity, published by John Edelman; Liberty, by the Individualist Anarchist Benjamin R. Tucker; the Rebel, by Harry Kelly; Der Sturmvogel, a German Anarchist publication, edited by Claus Timmermann; Der Arme Teufel, whose presiding genius was the inimitable Robert Reitzel. Through Arthur Brisbane, now chief lieutenant of William Randolph Hearst, she became acquainted with the writings of Fourier. Brisbane then was not yet submerged in the swamp of political corruption. He sent Emma Goldman an amiable letter to Blackwell's Island, together with the biography of his father, the enthusiastic American disciple of Fourier.

Emma Goldman became, upon her release from the penitentiary, a factor in the public life of New York. She was appreciated in radical ranks for her devotion, her idealism, and earnestness. Various persons sought her friendship, and some tried to persuade her to aid in the furtherance of their special side issues. Thus Rev. Parkhurst, during the Lexow investigation, did his utmost to induce her to join the Vigilance Committee in order to fight Tammany Hall. Maria Louise, the moving spirit of a social center, acted as Parkhurst's go between. It is hardly necessary to mention what reply the latter received from Emma Goldman. Incidentally, Maria Louise subsequently became a Mahatma. During the free-silver campaign, ex-Burgess McLuckie, one of the most genuine personalities in the Homestead strike, visited New York in an endeavor to enthuse the local radicals for free silver. He also attempted to interest Emma Goldman, but with no greater success than Mahatma Maria Louise of Parkhurst-Lexow fame.

In 1894 the struggle of the Anarchists in France reached its highest expression. The white terror on the part of the Republican upstarts was answered by the red terror of our French comrades. With feverish anxiety the Anarchists throughout the world followed this social struggle. Propaganda by deed found its reverberating echo in almost all countries. In order to better familiarize herself with conditions in the old world, Emma Goldman left for Europe, in the year 1895. After a lecture tour in England and Scotland, she went to Vienna where she entered the Allgemeine Krankenhaus to prepare herself as midwife and nurse, and where at the same time she studied social conditions. She also found opportunity to acquaint herself with the newest literature of Europe: Hauptmann, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Zola, Thomas Hardy, and other artist rebels were read with great enthusiasm.

In the autumn of 1896 she returned to New York by way of Zurich and Paris. The project of Alexander Berkman's liberation was on hand. The barbaric sentence of twenty-two years had roused tremendous indignation among the radical elements. It was known that the Pardon Board of Pennsylvania would look to Carnegie and Frick for advice in the case of Alexander Berkman. It was therefore suggested that these Sultans of Pennsylvania be approached--not with a view of obtaining their grace, but with the request that they do not attempt to influence the Board. Ernest Crosby offered to see Carnegie, on condition that Alexander Berkman repudiate his act. That, however, was absolutely out of the question. He would never be guilty of such forswearing of his own personality and self-respect. These efforts led to friendly relations between Emma Goldman and the circle of Ernest Crosby, Bolton Hall, and Leonard Abbott. In the year 1897 she undertook her first great lecture tour, which extended as far as California. This tour popularized her name as the representative of the oppressed, her eloquence ringing from coast to coast. In California Emma Goldman became friendly with the members of the Isaak family, and learned to appreciate their efforts for the Cause. Under tremendous obstacles the Isaaks first published the Firebrand and, upon its suppression by the Postal Department, the Free Society. It was also during this tour that Emma Goldman met that grand old rebel of sexual freedom, Moses Harman.

During the Spanish-American war the spirit of chauvinism was at its highest tide. To check this dangerous situation, and at the same time collect funds for the revolutionary Cubans, Emma Goldman became affiliated with the Latin comrades, among others with Gori, Esteve, Palaviccini, Merlino, Petruccini, and Ferrara. In the year 1899 followed another protracted tour of agitation, terminating on the Pacific Coast. Repeated arrests and accusations, though without ultimate bad results, marked every propaganda tour.

In November of the same year the untiring agitator went on a second lecture tour to England and Scotland, closing her journey with the first International Anarchist Congress at Paris. It was at the time of the Boer war, and again jingoism was at its height, as two years previously it had celebrated its orgies during the Spanish-American war. Various meetings, both in England and Scotland, were disturbed and broken up by patriotic mobs. Emma Goldman found on this occasion the opportunity of again meeting various English comrades and interesting personalities like Tom Mann and the sisters Rossetti, the gifted daughters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, then publishers of the Anarchist review, the Torch. One of her life-long hopes found here its fulfillment: she came in close and friendly touch with Peter Kropotkin, Enrico Malatesta, Nicholas Tchaikovsky, W. Tcherkessov, and Louise Michel. Old warriors in the cause of humanity, whose deeds have enthused thousands of followers throughout the world, and whose life and work have inspired other thousands with noble idealism and self-sacrifice. Old warriors they, yet ever young with the courage of earlier days, unbroken in spirit and filled with the firm hope of the final triumph of Anarchy.

The chasm in the revolutionary labor movement, which resulted from the disruption of the Internationale, could not be bridged any more. Two social philosophies were engaged in bitter combat. The International Congress in 1889, at Paris; in 1892, at Zurich, and in 1896, at London, produced irreconcilable differences. The majority of Social Democrats, forswearing their libertarian past and becoming politicians, succeeded in excluding the revolutionary and Anarchist delegates. The latter decided thenceforth to hold separate congresses. Their first congress was to take place in 1900, at Paris. The Socialist renegade Millerand, who had climbed into the Ministry of the Interior, here played a Judas rôle. The congress of the revolutionists was suppressed, and the delegates dispersed two days prior to the scheduled opening. But Millerand had no objections against the Social Democratic Congress, which was afterwards opened with all the trumpets of the advertiser's art.

However, the renegade did not accomplish his object. A number of delegates succeeded in holding a secret conference in the house of a comrade outside of Paris, where various points of theory and tactics were discussed. Emma Goldman took considerable part in these proceedings, and on that occasion came in contact with numerous representatives of the Anarchist movement of Europe.

Owing to the suppression of the congress, the delegates were in danger of being expelled from France. At this time also came the bad news from America regarding another unsuccessful attempt to liberate Alexander Berkman, proving a great shock to Emma Goldman. In November, 1900, she returned to America to devote herself to her profession of nurse, at the same time taking an active part in the American propaganda. Among other activities she organized monster meetings of protest against the terrible outrages of the Spanish government, perpetrated upon the political prisoners tortured in Montjuich.

In her vocation as nurse Emma Goldman enjoyed many opportunities of meeting the most unusual and peculiar characters. Few would have identified the "notorious Anarchist" in the small blonde woman, simply attired in the uniform of a nurse. Soon after her return from Europe she became acquainted with a patient by the name of Mrs. Stander, a morphine fiend, suffering excruciating agonies. She required careful attention to enable her to supervise a very important business she conducted,--that of Mrs. Warren. In Third Street, near Third Avenue, was situated her private residence, and near it, connected by a separate entrance, was her place of business. One evening, the nurse, upon entering the room of her patient, suddenly came face to face with a male visitor, bull necked and of brutal appearance. The man was no other than Mr. Jacobs, the detective who seven years previously had brought Emma Goldman a prisoner from Philadelphia and who had attempted to persuade her, on their way to New York, to betray the cause of the workingmen. It would be difficult to describe the expression of bewilderment on the countenance of the man as he so unexpectedly faced Emma Goldman, the nurse of his mistress. The brute was suddenly transformed into a gentleman, exerting himself to excuse his shameful behavior on the previous occasion. Jacobs was the "protector" of Mrs. Stander, and go-between for the house and the police. Several years later, as one of the detective staff of District Attorney Jerome, he committed perjury, was convicted, and sent to Sing Sing for a year. He is now probably employed by some private detective agency, a desirable pillar of respectable society.

In 1901 Peter Kropotkin was invited by the Lowell Institute of Massachusetts to deliver a series of lectures on Russian literature. It was his second American tour, and naturally the comrades were anxious to use his presence for the benefit of the movement. Emma Goldman entered into correspondence with Kropotkin and succeeded in securing his consent to arrange for him a series of lectures. She also devoted her energies to organizing the tours of other well known Anarchists, principally those of Charles W. Mowbray and John Turner. Similarly she always took part in all the activities of the movement, ever ready to give her time, ability, and energy to the Cause.

On the sixth of September, 1901, President McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz at Buffalo. Immediately an unprecedented campaign of persecution was set in motion against Emma Goldman as the best known Anarchist in the country. Although there was absolutely no foundation for the accusation, she, together with other prominent Anarchists, was arrested in Chicago, kept in confinement for several weeks, and subjected to severest cross-examination. Never before in the history of the country had such a terrible man-hunt taken place against a person in public life. But the efforts of police and press to connect Emma Goldman with Czolgosz proved futile. Yet the episode left her wounded to the heart. The physical suffering, the humiliation and brutality at the hands of the police she could bear. The depression of soul was far worse. She was over whelmed by the realization of the stupidity, lack of understanding, and vileness which characterized the events of those terrible days. The attitude of misunderstanding on the part of the majority of her own comrades toward Czolgosz almost drove her to desperation. Stirred to the very inmost of her soul, she published an article on Czolgosz in which she tried to explain the deed in its social and individual aspects. As once before, after Berkman's act, she now also was unable to find quarters; like a veritable wild animal she was driven from place to place. This terrible persecution and, especially, the attitude of her comrades made it impossible for her to continue propaganda. The soreness of body and soul had first to heal. During 1901-1903 she did not resume the platform. As "Miss Smith" she lived a quiet life, practicing her profession and devoting her leisure to the study of literature and, particularly, to the modern drama, which she considers one of the greatest disseminators of radical ideas and enlightened feeling.

Yet one thing the persecution of Emma Goldman accomplished. Her name was brought before the public with greater frequency and emphasis than ever before, the malicious harassing of the much maligned agitator arousing strong sympathy in many circles. Persons in various walks of life began to get interested in her struggle and her ideas. A better understanding and appreciation were now beginning to manifest themselves.

The arrival in America of the English Anarchist, John Turner, induced Emma Goldman to leave her retirement. Again she threw herself into her public activities, organizing an energetic movement for the defense of Turner, whom the Immigration authorities condemned to deportation on account of the Anarchist exclusion law, passed after the death of McKinley.

When Paul Orleneff and Mme. Nazimova arrived in New York to acquaint the American public with Russian dramatic art, Emma Goldman became the manager of the undertaking. By much patience and perseverance she succeeded in raising the necessary funds to introduce the Russian artists to the theatergoers of New York and Chicago. Though financially not a success, the venture proved of great artistic value. As manager of the Russian theater Emma Goldman enjoyed some unique experiences. M. Orleneff could converse only in Russian, and "Miss Smith" was forced to act as his interpreter at various polite functions. Most of the aristocratic ladies of Fifth Avenue had not the least inkling that the amiable manager who so entertainingly discussed philosophy, drama, and literature at their five o'clock teas, was the "notorious" Emma Goldman. If the latter should some day write her autobiography, she will no doubt have many interesting anecdotes to relate in connection with these experiences.

The weekly Anarchist publication Free Society, issued by the Isaak family, was forced to suspend in consequence of the nation-wide fury that swept the country after the death of McKinley. To fill out the gap Emma Goldman, in co-operation with Max Baginski and other comrades, decided to publish a monthly magazine devoted to the furtherance of Anarchist ideas in life and literature. The first issue of Mother Earth appeared in the month of March, 1906, the initial expenses of the periodical partly covered by the proceeds of a theater benefit given by Orleneff, Mme. Nazimova, and their company, in favor of the Anarchist magazine. Under tremendous difficulties and obstacles the tireless propagandist has succeeded in continuing Mother Earth uninterruptedly since 1906-- an achievement rarely equalled in the annals of radical publications.

In May, 1906, Alexander Berkman at last left the hell of Pennsylvania, where he had passed the best fourteen years of his life. No one had believed in the possibility of his survival. His liberation terminated a nightmare of fourteen years for Emma Goldman, and an important chapter of her career was thus concluded.

Nowhere had the birth of the Russian revolution aroused such vital and active response as among the Russians living in America. The heroes of the revolutionary movement in Russia, Tchaikovsky, Mme. Breshkovskaia, Gershuni, and others visited these shores to waken the sympathies of the American people toward the struggle for liberty, and to collect aid for its continuance and support. The success of these efforts was to a considerable extent due to the exertions, eloquence, and the talent for organization on the part of Emma Goldman. This opportunity enabled her to give valuable services to the struggle for liberty in her native land. It is not generally known that it is the Anarchists who are mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral as well as financial, of most of the radical undertakings. The Anarchist is indifferent to acknowledged appreciation; the needs of the Cause absorb his whole interest, and to these he devotes his energy and abilities. Yet it may be mentioned that some otherwise decent folks, though at all times anxious for Anarchist support and co-operation, are ever willing to monopolize all the credit for the work done. During the last several decades it was chiefly the Anarchists who had organized all the great revolutionary efforts, and aided in every struggle for liberty. But for fear of shocking the respectable mob, who looks upon the Anarchists as the apostles of Satan, and because of their social position in bourgeois society, the would-be radicals ignore the activity of the Anarchists.

In 1907 Emma Goldman participated as delegate to the second Anarchist Congress, at Amsterdam. She was intensely active in all its proceedings and supported the organization of the Anarchist Internationale. Together with the other American delegate, Max Baginski, she submitted to the congress an exhaustive report of American conditions, closing with the following characteristic remarks:

"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 confound 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?

Industry, too, is called an organization; yet nothing is farther from the truth. Industry is the ceaseless piracy of the rich against the poor.

We are asked to believe that the Army is an organization, but a close investigation will show that it is nothing else than a cruel instrument of blind force.

The Public School! The colleges and other institutions of learning, are they not models of organization, offering the people fine opportunities for instruction? Far from it. The school, more than any other institution, is a veritable barrack, where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression.

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.

It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color and form, the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously will the organized activity of free human beings, imbued with the spirit of solidarity, result in the perfection of social harmony, which we call Anarchism. In fact, Anarchism alone makes non-authoritarian organization of common interests possible, since it abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes.

Under present conditions the antagonism of economic and social interests results in relentless war among the social units, and creates an insurmountable obstacle in the way of a co-operative common wealth.

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.

Just as the animal cells, by mutual co-operation, express their latent powers in formation of the complete organism, so does the individual, by co-operative effort with other individuals, attain his highest form of development.

An organization, in the true sense, cannot result from the combination of mere nonentities. It must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent individualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities and activities of an organization is represented in the expression of individual energies.

It therefore logically follows that the greater the number of strong, self-conscious personalities in an organization, the less danger of stagnation, and the more intense its life element.

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 towards a social organization which will establish well-being for all.

The germ of such an organization can be found in that form of trades-unionism which has done away with centralization, bureaucracy, and discipline, and which favors independent and direct action on the part of its members."

The very considerable progress of Anarchist ideas in America can best be gauged by the remarkable success of the three extensive lecture tours of Emma Goldman since the Amsterdam Congress of 1907. Each tour extended over new territory, including localities where Anarchism had never before received a hearing. But the most gratifying aspect of her untiring efforts is the tremendous sale of Anarchist literature, whose propagandistic effect cannot be estimated. It was during one of these tours that a remarkable incident happened, strikingly demonstrating the inspiring potentialities of the Anarchist idea. In San Francisco, in 1908, Emma Goldman's lecture attracted a soldier of the United States Army, William Buwalda. For daring to attend an Anarchist meeting, the free Republic court-martialed Buwalda and imprisoned him for one year. Thanks to the regenerating power of the new philosophy, the government lost a soldier, but the cause of liberty gained a man.

A propagandist of Emma Goldman's importance is necessarily a sharp thorn to the reaction. She is looked upon as a danger to the continued existence of authoritarian usurpation. No wonder, then, that the enemy resorts to any and all means to make her impossible. A systematic attempt to suppress her activities was organized a year ago by the united police force of the country. But like all previous similar attempts, it failed in a most brilliant manner. Energetic protests on the part of the intellectual element of America succeeded in overthrowing the dastardly conspiracy against free speech. Another attempt to make Emma Goldman impossible was essayed by the Federal authorities at Washington. In order to deprive her of the rights of citizenship, the government revoked the citizenship papers of her husband, whom she had married at the youthful age of eighteen, and whose whereabouts, if he be alive, could not be determined for the last two decades. The great government of the glorious United States did not hesitate to stoop to the most despicable methods to accomplish that achievement. But as her citizenship had never proved of use to Emma Goldman, she can bear the loss with a light heart.

There are personalities who possess such a powerful individuality that by its very force they exert the most potent influence over the best representatives of their time. Michael Bakunin was such a personality. But for him, Richard Wagner had never written Die Kunst und die Revolution. Emma Goldman is a similar personality. She is a strong factor in the socio-political life of America. By virtue of her eloquence, energy, and brilliant mentality, she moulds the minds and hearts of thousands of her auditors.

Deep sympathy and compassion for suffering humanity, and an inexorable honesty toward herself, are the leading traits of Emma Goldman. No person, whether friend or foe, shall presume to control her goal or dictate her mode of life. She would perish rather than sacrifice her convictions, or the right of self-ownership of soul and body. Respectability could easily forgive the teaching of theoretic Anarchism; but Emma Goldman does not merely preach the new philosophy; she also persists in living it,--and that is the one supreme, unforgivable crime. Were she, like so many radicals, to consider her ideal as merely an intellectual ornament; were she to make concessions to existing society and compromise with old prejudices,--then even the most radical views could be pardoned in her. But that she takes her radicalism seriously; that it has permeated her blood and marrow to the extent where she not merely teaches but also practices her convictions--this shocks even the radical Mrs. Grundy. Emma Goldman lives her own life; she associates with publicans--hence the indignation of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

It is no mere coincidence that such divergent writers as Pietro Gori and William Marion Reedy find similar traits in their characterization of Emma Goldman. In a contribution to La Questione Sociale, Pietro Gori calls her a "moral power, a woman who, with the vision of a sibyl, prophesies the coming of a new kingdom for the oppressed; a woman who, with logic and deep earnestness, analyses the ills of society, and portrays, with artist touch, the coming dawn of humanity, founded on equality, brotherhood, and liberty."

William Reedy sees in Emma Goldman the "daughter of the dream, her gospel a vision which is the vision of every truly great-souled man and woman who has ever lived."

Cowards who fear the consequences of their deeds have coined the word of philosophic Anarchism. Emma Goldman is too sincere, too defiant, to seek safety behind such paltry pleas. She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. She 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 Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. To the soldier in the social struggle it is a point of honor to come in conflict with the powers of darkness and tyranny, and Emma Goldman is proud to count among her best friends and comrades men and women who bear the wounds and scars received in battle.

In the words of Voltairine de Cleyre, characterizing Emma Goldman after the latter's imprisonment in 1893: The spirit that animates Emma Goldman is the only one which will emancipate the slave from his slavery, the tyrant from his tyranny--the spirit which is willing to dare and suffer.


New York, December, 1910.

criticising society.

Minorities versus majorities(1911)

Emma Goldman

The text is from my ("http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/dward/index.html") copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 75-84.

IF I WERE to give a summary of the tendency of our times, I 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 injurious to the rest of mankind. Thus quantity, instead of adding to life's comforts and peace, has merely increased man's burden.

In politics, naught but quantity counts. In proportion to its increase, however, principles, ideals, justice, and uprightness are completely swamped by the array of numbers. In the struggle for supremacy the various political parties outdo each other in trickery, deceit, cunning, and shady machinations, confident that the one who succeeds is sure to be hailed by the majority as the victor. That is the only god,--Success. As to what expense, what terrible cost to character, is of no moment. We have not far to go in search of proof to verify this sad fact.

Never before did the corruption, the complete rottenness of our government stand so thoroughly exposed; never before were the American people brought face to face with the Judas nature of that political body, which has claimed for years to be absolutely beyond reproach, as the mainstay of our institutions, the true protector of the rights and liberties of the people.

Yet when the crimes of that party became so brazen that even the blind could see them, it needed but to muster up its minions, and its supremacy was assured. Thus the very victims, duped, betrayed, outraged a hundred times, decided, not against, but in favor of the victor. Bewildered, the few asked how could the majority betray the traditions of American liberty? Where was its judgment, its reasoning capacity? That is just it, the majority cannot reason; it has no judgment. Lacking utterly in originality and moral 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, the damned compact majority." 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.

The oft repeated slogan of our time is, among all politicians, the Socialists included, that ours is an era of individualism, of the minority. Only those who do not probe beneath the surface might be led to entertain this view. Have not the few accumulated the wealth of the world? Are they not the masters, the absolute kings of the situation? Their success, however, is due not to individualism, but to the inertia, the cravenness, the utter submission of the mass. The latter wants but to be dominated, to be led, to be coerced. As to individualism, at no time in human history did it have less chance of expression, less opportunity to assert itself in a normal, healthy manner.

The individual educator imbued with honesty of purpose, the artist or writer of original ideas, the independent scientist or explorer, the non-compromising pioneers of social changes are daily pushed to the wall by men whose learning and creative ability have become decrepit with age.

Educators of Ferrer's type are nowhere tolerated, while the dietitians of predigested food, à la Professors Eliot and Butler, are the successful perpetuators of an age of nonentities, of automatons. In the literary and dramatic world, the Humphrey Wards and Clyde Fitches are the idols of the mass, while but few know or appreciate the beauty and genius of an Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman; an Ibsen, a Hauptmann, a Butler Yeats, or a Stephen Phillips. They are like solitary stars, far beyond the horizon of the multitude.

Publishers, theatrical managers, and critics ask not for the quality inherent in creative art, but will it meet with a good sale, will it suit the palate of the people? Alas, this palate is like a dumping ground; it relishes anything that needs no mental mastication. As a result, the mediocre, the ordinary, the commonplace represents the chief literary output.

Need I say that in art we are confronted with the same sad facts? One has but to inspect our parks and thoroughfares to realize the hideousness and vulgarity of the art manufacture. Certainly, none but a majority taste would tolerate such an outrage on art. False in conception and barbarous in execution, the statuary that infests American cities has as much relation to true art, as a totem to a Michael Angelo. Yet that is the only art that succeeds. The true artistic genius, who will not cater to accepted notions, who exercises originality, and strives to be true to life, leads an obscure and wretched existence. His work may some day become the fad of the mob, but not until his heart's blood had been exhausted; not until the pathfinder has ceased to be, and a throng of an idealles and visionless mob has done to death the heritage of the master.

It is said that the artist of today cannot create because Prometheuslike he is bound to the rock of economic necessity. This, however, is true of art in all ages. Michael Angelo was dependent on his patron saint, no less than the sculptor or painter of today, except that the art connoisseurs of those days were far away from the madding crowd. They felt honored to be permitted to worship at the shrine of the master.

The art protector of our time knows but one criterion, one value,--the dollar. He is not concerned about the quality of any great work, but in the quantity of dollars his purchase implies. Thus the financier in Mirbeau's Les Affaires sont les Affaires points to some blurred arrangement in colors, saying: "See how great it is; it cost 50,000 francs." Just like our own parvenus. The fabulous figures paid for their great art discoveries must make up for the poverty of their taste.

The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. That this should be so terribly apparent in a country whose symbol is democracy, is very significant of the tremendous power of the majority.

Wendell Phillips said fifty years ago: "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 result is that if you take the old Greek lantern and go about to seek among a hundred, you will not find a single American who has not, or who does not fancy at least he has, something to gain or lose in his ambition, his social life, or business, from the good opinion and the votes of those around him. 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." Evidently we have not advanced very far from the condition that confronted Wendell Phillips.

Today, as then, public opinion is the omnipresent tyrant; today, as then, the majority represents a mass of cowards, willing to accept him who mirrors its own soul and mind poverty. That accounts for the unprecedented rise of a man like Roosevelt. He embodies the very worst element of mob psychology. A politician, he knows that the majority cares little for ideals or integrity. What it craves is display. It matters not whether that be a dog show, a prize fight, the lynching of a "nigger," the rounding up of some petty offender, the marriage exposition of an heiress, or the acrobatic stunts of an ex-president. The more hideous the mental contortions, the greater the delight and bravos of the mass. Thus, poor in ideals and vulgar of soul, Roosevelt continues to be the man of the hour.

On the other hand, men towering high above such political pygmies, men of refinement, of culture, of ability, are jeered into silence as mollycoddles. It is absurd to claim that ours is the era of individualism. Ours is merely a more poignant repetition of the phenomenon of all history: every effort for progress, for enlightenment, for science, for religious, political, and economic liberty, emanates from the minority, and not from the mass. Today, as ever, the few are misunderstood, hounded, imprisoned, tortured, and killed.

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 free 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.

Politically the human race would still be in the most absolute slavery, were it not for the John Balls, the Wat Tylers, the Tells, the innumerable individual giants who fought inch by inch against the power of kings and tyrants. But for individual pioneers the world would have never been shaken to its very roots by that tremendous wave, the French Revolution. Great events are usually preceded by apparently small things. Thus the eloquence and fire of Camille Desmoulins was like the trumpet before Jericho, razing to the ground that emblem of torture, of abuse, of horror, the Bastille.

Always, at every period, the few were the banner bearers of a great idea, of liberating effort. Not so the mass, the leaden weight of which does not let it move. The truth of this is borne out in Russia with greater force than elsewhere. Thousands of lives have already been consumed by that bloody régime, yet the monster on the throne is not appeased. How is such a thing possible when ideas, culture, literature, when the deepest and finest emotions groan under the iron yoke? The majority, that compact, immobile, drowsy mass, the Russian peasant, after a century of struggle, of sacrifice, of untold misery, still believes that the rope which strangles "the man with the white hands" * brings luck.

In the American struggle for liberty, the majority was no less of a stumbling block. Until this very day the ideas of Jefferson, of Patrick Henry, of Thomas Paine, are denied and sold by their posterity. The mass wants none of them. The greatness and courage worshipped in Lincoln have been forgotten in the men who created the background for the panorama of that time. The true patron saints of the black men were represented in that handful of fighters in Boston, Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and Theodore Parker, whose great courage and sturdiness culminated in that somber giant John Brown. Their untiring zeal, their eloquence and perseverance undermined the stronghold of the Southern lords. Lincoln and his minions followed only when abolition had become a practical issue, recognized as such by all.

About fifty years ago, a meteorlike idea made its appearance on the social horizon of the world, an idea so far-reaching, so revolutionary, so all-embracing as to spread terror in the hearts of tyrants everywhere. On the other hand, that idea was a harbinger of joy, of cheer, of hope to the millions. The pioneers knew the difficulties in their way, they knew the opposition, the persecution, the hardships that would meet them, but proud and unafraid they started on their march onward, ever onward. Now that idea has become a popular slogan. Almost everyone is a Socialist today: the rich man, as well as his poor victim; the upholders of law and authority, as well as their unfortunate culprits; the freethinker, as well as the perpetuator of religious falsehoods; the fashionable lady, as well as the shirtwaist girl. Why not? Now that the truth of fifty years ago has become a lie, now that it has been clipped of all its youthful imagination, and been robbed of its vigor, its strength, its revolutionary ideal--why not? Now that it is no longer a beautiful vision, but a "practical, workable scheme," resting on the will of the majority, why not? Political cunning ever sings the praise of the mass: the poor majority, the outraged, the abused, the giant majority, if only it would follow us.

Who has not heard this litany before? Who does not know this never-varying refrain of all politicians? That the mass bleeds, that it is being robbed and exploited, I know as well as our vote-baiters. But I insist that not the handful of parasites, but the mass itself is responsible for this horrible state of affairs. It clings to its masters, loves the whip, and is the first to cry Crucify! the moment a protesting voice is raised against the sacredness of capitalistic authority or any other decayed institution. Yet how long would authority and private property exist, if not for the willingness of the mass to become soldiers, policemen, jailers, and hangmen. The Socialist demagogues know that as well as I, but they maintain the myth of the virtues of the majority, because their very scheme of life means the perpetuation of power. And how could the latter be acquired without numbers? Yes, authority, coercion, and dependence rest on the mass, but never freedom or the free unfoldment of the individual, never the birth of a free society.

Not because I do not feel with the oppressed, the disinherited of the earth; not because I do not know the shame, the horror, the indignity of the lives the people lead, do I repudiate the majority as a creative force for good. Oh, no, no! But because I know so well that as a compact mass it has never stood for justice or equality. It has suppressed the human voice, subdued the human spirit, chained the human body. As a mass its aim has always been to make life uniform, gray, and monotonous as the desert. As a mass it will always be the annihilator of individuality, of free initiative, of originality. I therefore believe with Emerson that "the masses are crude, lame, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them. Masses! The calamity are the masses. I do not wish any mass at all, but honest men only, lovely, sweet, accomplished women only."

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.


* The intellectuals.

Prisons: a social crime and failure(1911)

Emma Goldman

IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil:

"'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!'

The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro, and toiling in the scorching heat. Very soon the thick, heavy air and the heat are too much for the priest. With tears in his eyes, he pleads with the devil: 'Let me go! Let me leave this hell!'

'Oh, my dear friend, I must show you many more places.' The devil gets hold of him again and drags him off to a farm. There he sees workmen threshing the grain. The dust and heat are insufferable. The overseer carries a knout, and unmercifully beats anyone who falls to the ground overcome by hard toil or hunger.

Next the priest is taken to the huts where these same workers live with their families--dirty, cold, smoky, ill-smelling holes. The devil grins. He points out the poverty and hardships which are at home here.

'Well, isn't this enough?' he asks. And it seems as if even he, the devil, pities the people. The pious servant of God can hardly bear it. With uplifted hands he begs: 'Let me go away from here. Yes, yes! This is hell on earth!'

'Well, then, you see. And you still promise them another hell. You torment them, torture them to death mentally when they are already all but dead physically! Come on! I will show you one more hell--one more, the very worst.'

He took him to a prison and showed him a dungeon, with its foul air and the many human forms, robbed of all health and energy, lying on the floor, covered with vermin that were devouring their poor, naked, emaciated bodies.

'Take off your silken clothes,' said the devil to the priest, 'put on your ankles heavy chains such as these unfortunates wear; lie down on the cold and filthy floor--and then talk to them about a hell that still awaits them!'

'No, no!' answered the priest, 'I cannot think of anything more dreadful than this. I entreat you, let me go away from here!'

'Yes, this is hell. There can be no worse hell than this. Did you not know it? Did you not know that these men and women whom you are frightening with the picture of a hell hereafter--did you not know that they are in hell right here, before they die?"

This was written fifty years ago in dark Russia, on the wall of one of the most horrible prisons. Yet who can deny that the same applies with equal force to the present time, even to American prisons?

With all our boasted reforms, our great social changes, and our far-reaching discoveries, human beings continue to be sent to the worst of hells, wherein they are outraged, degraded, and tortured, that society may be "protected" from the phantoms of its own making.

Prison, a social protection? What monstrous mind ever conceived such an idea? Just as well say that health can be promoted by a widespread contagion.

After eighteen months of horror in an English prison, Oscar Wilde gave to the world his great masterpiece, The Ballad of Reading Goal:

The vilest deeds, like poison weeds,

Bloom well in prison air;

It is only what is good in Man

That wastes and withers there.

Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,

And the Warder is Despair.

Society goes on perpetuating this poisonous air, not realizing that out of it can come naught but the most poisonous results.

We are spending at the present $3,500,000 per day, $1,000,095,000 per year, to maintain prison institutions, and that in a democratic country,--a sum almost as large as the combined output of wheat, valued at $750,000,000, and the output of coal, valued at $350,000,000. Professor Bushnell of Washington, D.C., estimates the cost of prisons at $6,000,000,000 annually, and Dr. G. Frank Lydston, an eminent American writer on crime, gives $5,000,000,000 annually as a reasonable figure. Such unheard-of expenditure for the purpose of maintaining vast armies of human beings caged up like wild beasts! 1

Yet crimes are on the increase. Thus we learn that in America there are four and a half times as many crimes to every million population today as there were twenty years ago.

The most horrible aspect is that our national crime is murder, not robbery, embezzlement, or rape, as in the South. London is five times as large as Chicago, yet there are one hundred and eighteen murders annually in the latter city, while only twenty in London. Nor is Chicago the leading city in crime, since it is only seventh on the list, which is headed by four Southern cities, and San Francisco and Los Angeles. In view of such a terrible condition of affairs, it seems ridiculous to prate of the protection society derives from its prisons.

The average mind is slow in grasping a truth, but when the most thoroughly organized, centralized institution, maintained at an excessive national expense, has proven a complete social failure, the dullest must begin to question its right to exist. The time is past when we can be content with our social fabric merely because it is "ordained by divine right," or by the majesty of the law.

The widespread prison investigations, agitation, and education during the last few years are conclusive proof that men are learning to dig deep into the very bottom of society, down to the causes of the terrible discrepancy between social and individual life.

Why, then, are prisons a social crime and a failure? To answer this vital question it behooves us to seek the nature and cause of crimes, the methods employed in coping with them, and the effects these methods produce in ridding society of the curse and horror of crimes.

First, as to the nature of crime:

Havelock Ellis divides crime into four phases, the political, the passional, the insane, and the occasional. He says that the political criminal is the victim of an attempt of a more or less despotic government to preserve its own stability. He is not necessarily guilty of an unsocial offense; he simply tries to overturn a certain political order which may itself be anti-social. This truth is recognized all over the world, except in America where the foolish notion still prevails that in a Democracy there is no place for political criminals. Yet John Brown was a political criminal; so were the Chicago Anarchists; so is every striker. Consequently, says Havelock Ellis, the political criminal of our time or place may be the hero, martyr, saint of another age. Lombroso calls the political criminal the true precursor of the progressive movement of humanity.

"The criminal by passion is usually a man of wholesome birth and honest life, who under the stress of some great, unmerited wrong has wrought justice for himself." 2

Mr. Hugh C. Weir, in The Menace of the Police, cites the case of Jim Flaherty, a criminal by passion, who, instead of being saved by society, is turned into a drunkard and a recidivist, with a ruined and poverty-stricken family as the result.

A more pathetic type is Archie, the victim in Brand Whitlock's novel, The Turn of the Balance, the greatest American expos of crime in the making. Archie, even more than Flaherty, was driven to crime and death by the cruel inhumanity of his surroundings, and by the unscrupulous hounding of the machinery of the law. Archie and Flaherty are but the types of many thousands, demonstrating how the legal aspects of crime, and the methods of dealing with it, help to create the disease which is undermining our entire social life.

"The insane criminal really can no more be considered a criminal than a child, since he is mentally in the same condition as an infant or an animal." 3

The law already recognizes that, but only in rare cases of a very flagrant nature, or when the culprit's wealth permits the luxury of criminal insanity. It has become quite fashionable to be the victim of paranoia. But on the whole the "sovereignty of justice" still continues to punish criminally insane with the whole severity of its power. Thus Mr. Ellis quotes from Dr. Richter's statistics showing that in Germany one hundred and six madmen, out of one hundred and forty-four criminally insane, were condemned to severe punishment.

The occasional criminal "represents by far the largest class of our prison population, hence is the greatest menace to social well-being." What is the cause that compels a vast army of the human family to take to crime, to prefer the hideous life within prison walls to the life outside? Certainly that cause must be an iron master, who leaves its victims no avenue of escape, for the most depraved human being loves liberty.

This terrific force is conditioned in our cruel social and economic arrangement. I do not mean to deny the biologic, physiologic, or psychologic factors in creating crime; but there is hardly an advanced criminologist who will not concede that the social and economic influences are the most relentless, the most poisonous germs of crime. Granted even that there are innate criminal tendencies, it is none the less true that these tendencies find rich nutrition in our social environment.

There is close relation, says Havelock Ellis, between crimes against the person and the price of alcohol, between crimes against property and the price of wheat. He quotes Quetelet and Lacassagne, the former looking upon society as the preparer of crime, and the criminals as instruments that execute them. The latter find that "the social environment is the cultivation medium of criminality; that the criminal is the microbe, an element which only becomes important when it finds the medium which causes it to ferment; every society has the criminals it deserves.4

The most "prosperous" industrial period makes it impossible for the worker to earn enough to keep up health and vigor. And as prosperity is, at best, an imaginary condition, thousands of people are constantly added to the host of the unemployed. From East to West, from South to North, this vast army tramps in search of work or food, and all they find is the workhouse or the slums. Those who have a spark of self-respect left, prefer open defiance, prefer crime to the emaciated, degraded position of poverty.

Edward Carpenter estimates that five-sixths of indictable crimes consist in some violation of property rights; but that is too low a figure. A thorough investigation would prove that nine crimes out of ten could be traced, directly or indirectly, to our economic and social iniquities, to our system of remorseless exploitation and robbery. There is no criminal so stupid but recognizes this terrible fact, though he may not be able to account for it.

A collection of criminal philosophy, which Havelock Ellis, Lombroso, and other eminent men have compiled, shows that the criminal feels only too keenly that it is society that drives him to crime. A Milanese thief said to Lombroso: "I do not rob, I merely take from the rich their superfluities; besides, do not advocates and merchants rob?" A murderer wrote: "Knowing that three-fourths of the social virtues are cowardly vices, I thought an open assault on a rich man would be less ignoble than the cautious combination of fraud." Another wrote: "I am imprisoned for stealing a half dozen eggs. Ministers who rob millions are honored. Poor Italy!" An educated convict said to Mr. Davitt: "The laws of society are framed for the purpose of securing the wealth of the world to power and calculation, thereby depriving the larger portion of mankind of its rights and chances. Why should they punish me for taking by somewhat similar means from those who have taken more than they had a right to?" The same man added: "Religion robs the soul of its independence; patriotism is the stupid worship of the world for which the well-being and the peace of the inhabitants were sacrificed by those who profit by it, while the laws of the land, in restraining natural desires, were waging war on the manifest spirit of the law of our beings. Compared with this," he concluded, "thieving is an honorable pursuit." 5

Verily, there is greater truth in this philosophy than in all the law-and-moral books of society.

The economic, political, moral, and physical factors being the microbes of crime, how does society meet the situation?

The methods of coping with crime have no doubt undergone several changes, but mainly in a theoretic sense. In practice, society has retained the primitive motive in dealing with the offender; that is, revenge. It has also adopted the theologic idea; namely, punishment; while the legal and "civilized" methods consist of deterrence or terror, and reform. We shall presently see that all four modes have failed utterly, and that we are today no nearer a solution than in the dark ages.

The natural impulse of the primitive man to strike back, to avenge a wrong, is out of date. Instead, the civilized man, stripped of courage and daring, has delegated to an organized machinery the duty of avenging his wrongs, in the foolish belief that the State is justified in doing what he no longer has the manhood or consistency to do. The "majesty of the law" is a reasoning thing; it would not stoop to primitive instincts. Its mission is of a "higher" nature. True, it is still steeped in the theologic muddle, which proclaims punishment as a means of purification, or the vicarious atonement of sin. But legally and socially the statute exercises punishment, not merely as an infliction of pain upon the offender, but also for its terrifying effect upon others.

What is the real basis of punishment, however? The notion of a free will, the idea that man is at all times a free agent for good or evil; if he chooses the latter, he must be made to pay the price. Although this theory has long been exploded, and thrown upon the dustheap, it continues to be applied daily by the entire machinery of government, turning it into the most cruel and brutal tormentor of human life. The only reason for its continuance is the still more cruel notion that the greater the terror punishment spreads, the more certain its preventative effect.

Society is using the most drastic methods in dealing with the social offender. Why do they not deter? Although in America a man is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty, the instruments of law, the police, carry on a reign of terror, making indiscriminate arrests, beating, clubbing, bullying people, using the barbarous method of the "third degree," subjecting their unfortunate victims to the foul air of the station house, and the still fouler language of its guardians. Yet crimes are rapidly multiplying, and society is paying the price. On the other hand, it is an open secret that when the unfortunate citizen has been given the full "mercy" of the law, and for the sake of safety is hidden in the worst of hells, his real Calvary begins. Robbed of his rights as a human being, degraded to a mere automaton 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.

There is not a single penal institution or reformatory in the United States where men are not tortured "to be made good," by means of the black-jack, the club, the strait-jacket, the water-cure, the "humming bird" (an electrical contrivance run along the human body), the solitary, the bull-ring, and starvation diet. In these institutions his will is broken, his soul degraded, his spirit subdued by the deadly monotony and routine of prison life. In Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and in the South, these horrors have become so flagrant as to reach the outside world, while in most other prisons the same Christian methods still prevail. But prison walls rarely allow the agonized shrieks of the victims to escape--prison walls are thick, they dull the sound. Society might with greater immunity abolish all prisons at once, than to hope for protection from these twentieth-century chambers of horrors.

Year after year the gates of prison hells return to the world an emaciated, deformed, will-less, ship-wrecked 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. It is not at all an unusual thing to find men and women who have spent half their lives--nay, almost their entire existence--in prison. I know a woman on Blackwell's Island, who had been in and out thirty-eight times; and through a friend I learn that a young boy of seventeen, whom he had nursed and cared for in the Pittsburg penitentiary, had never known the meaning of liberty. From the reformatory to the penitentiary had been the path of this boy's life, until, broken in body, he died a victim of social revenge. These personal experiences are substantiated by extensive data giving overwhelming proof of the utter futility of prisons as a means of deterrence or reform.

Well-meaning persons are now working for a new departure in the prison question,--reclamation, to restore once more to the prisoner the possibility of becoming a human being. Commendable as this is, I fear it is impossible to hope for good results from pouring good wine into a musty bottle. Nothing short of a complete reconstruction of society will deliver mankind from the cancer of crime. Still, if the dull edge of our social conscience would be sharpened, the penal institutions might be given a new coat of varnish. But the first step to be taken is the renovation of the social consciousness, which is in a rather dilapidated condition. It is sadly in need to be awakened to the fact that crime is a question of degree, that we all have the rudiments of crime in us, more or less, according to our mental, physical, and social environment; and that the individual criminal is merely a reflex of the tendencies of the aggregate.

With the social consciousness wakened, the average individual may learn to refuse the "honor" of being the bloodhound of the law. He may cease to persecute, despise, and mistrust the social offender, and give him a chance to live and breathe among his fellows. Institutions are, of course, harder to reach. They are cold, impenetrable, and cruel; still, with the social consciousness quickened, it might be possible to free the prison victims from the brutality of prison officials, guards, and keepers. Public opinion is a powerful weapon; keepers of human prey, even, are afraid of it. They may be taught a little humanity, especially if they realize that their jobs depend upon it.

But the most important step is to demand for the prisoner the right to work while in prison, with some monetary recompense that would enable him to lay aside a little for the day of his release, the beginning of a new life.

It is almost ridiculous to hope much from present society when we consider that workingmen, wage-slaves themselves, object to convict labor. I shall not go into the cruelty of this objection, but merely consider the impracticability of it. To begin with, the opposition so far raised by organized labor has been directed against windmills. Prisoners have always worked; only the State has been their exploiter, even as the individual employer has been the robber of organized labor. The States have either set the convicts to work for the government, or they have farmed convict labor to private individuals. Twenty-nine of the States pursue the latter plan. The Federal government and seventeen States have discarded it, as have the leading nations of Europe, since it leads to hideous overworking and abuse of prisoners, and to endless graft.

"Rhode Island, the State dominated by Aldrich, offers perhaps the worst example. Under a five-year contract, dated July 7th, 1906, and renewable for five years more at the option of private contractors, the labor of the inmates of the Rhode Island Penitentiary and the Providence County Jail is sold to the Reliance-Sterling Mfg. Co. at the rate of a trifle less than 25 cents a day per man. This Company is really a gigantic Prison Labor Trust, for it also leases the convict labor of Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, and South Dakota penitentiaries, and the reformatories of New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, eleven establishments in all.

"The enormity of the graft under the Rhode Island contract may be estimated from the fact that this same Company pays 62 1/2 cents a day in Nebraska for the convict's labor, and that Tennessee, for example, gets $1.10 a day for a convict's work from the Gray-Dudley Hardware Co.; Missouri gets 70 cents a day from the Star Overall Mfg. Co.; West Virginia 65 cents a day from the Kraft Mfg. Co., and Maryland 55 cents a day from Oppenheim, Oberndorf & Co., shirt manufacturers. The very difference in prices points to enormous graft. For example, the Reliance-Sterling Mfg. Co. manufactures shirts, the cost of free labor being not less than $1.20 per dozen, while it pays Rhode Island thirty cents a dozen. Furthermore, the State charges this Trust no rent for the use of its huge factory, charges nothing for power, heat, light, or even drainage, and exacts no taxes. What graft!" 6

It is estimated that more than twelve million dollars' worth of workingmen's shirts and overalls is produced annually in this country by prison labor. It is a woman's industry, and the first reflection that arises is that an immense amount of free female labor is thus displaced. The second consideration is that male convicts, who should be learning trades that would give them some chance of being self-supporting after their release, are kept at this work at which they can not possibly make a dollar. This is the more serious when we consider that much of this labor is done in reformatories, which so loudly profess to be training their inmates to become useful citizens.

The third, and most important, consideration is that the enormous profits thus wrung from convict labor are a constant incentive to the contractors to exact from their unhappy victims tasks altogether beyond their strength, and to punish them cruelly when their work does not come up to the excessive demands made.

Another word on the condemnation of convicts to tasks at which they cannot hope to make a living after release. Indiana, for example, is a State that has made a great splurge over being in the front rank of modern penological improvements. Yet, according to the report rendered in 1908 by the training school of its "reformatory," 135 were engaged in the manufacture of chains, 207 in that of shirts, and 255 in the foundry--a total of 597 in three occupations. But at this so-called reformatory 59 occupations were represented by the inmates, 39 of which were connected with country pursuits. Indiana, like other States, professes to be training the inmates of her reformatory to occupations by which they will be able to make their living when released. She actually sets them to work making chains, shirts, and brooms, the latter for the benefit of the Louisville Fancy Grocery Co. Broom-making is a trade largely monopolized by the blind, shirt-making is done by women, and there is only one free chain-factory in the State, and at that a released convict can not hope to get employment. The whole thing is a cruel farce.

If, then, the States can be instrumental in robbing their helpless victims of such tremendous profits is it not high time for organized labor to stop its idle howl, and to insist on decent remuneration for the convict, even as labor organizations claim for themselves? In that way workingmen would kill the germ which makes of the prisoner an enemy to the interests of labor. I have said elsewhere that thousands of convicts, incompetent and without a trade, without means of subsistence, are yearly turned back into the social fold. These men and women must live, for even an ex-convict has needs. Prison life has made them anti-social beings, and the rigidly closed doors that meet them on their release are not likely to decrease their bitterness. The inevitable result is that they form a favorable nucleus out of which scabs, black-legs, detectives, and policemen are drawn, only too willing to do the master's bidding. Thus organized labor, by its foolish opposition to work in prison, defeats its own ends. It helps to create poisonous fumes that stifle every attempt for economic betterment. If the workingman wants to avoid these effects, he should insist on the right of the convict to work, he should meet him as a brother, take him into his organization, and with his aid turn against the system which grinds them both.

Last, but not least, is the growing realization of the barbarity and the inadequacy of the definite sentence. Those who believe in, and earnestly aim at, a change are fast coming to the conclusion that man must be given an opportunity to make good. And how is he to do it with ten, fifteen, or twenty years' imprisonment before him? The hope of liberty and of opportunity is the only incentive to life, especially the prisoner's life. Society has sinned so long against him--it ought at least to leave him that. I am not very sanguine that it will, or that any real change in that direction can take place until the conditions that breed both the prisoner and the jailer will be forever abolished.

Out of his mouth a red, red rose!

Out of his heart a white!

For who can say by what strange way

Christ brings his will to light,

Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore

Bloomed in the great Pope's sight.


1 Crime and Criminals. W. C. Owen.

2 The Criminal, Havelock Ellis.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Quoted from the publications of the National Committee on Prison Labor.

Patriotism: a menace to liberty(1911)

Emma Goldman.

From “Anarchism and Other Essays”. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 133-150.

WHAT is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivete, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not run so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds, and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous, and playful childhood?

If that were patriotism, few American men of today could be called upon to be patriotic, since the place of play has been turned into factory, mill, and mine, while deafening sounds of machinery have replaced the music of the birds. Nor can we longer hear the tales of great deeds, for the stories our mothers tell today are but those of sorrow, tears, and grief.

What, then, is patriotism? "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort 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 murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.

Gustave Hervé, another great anti-patriot, justly calls patriotism a superstition--one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition of religion originated in man's inability to explain natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not account for either, and therefore concluded that back of them must be a force greater than himself. Similarly he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in the various other changes in nature. Patriotism, on the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had 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 die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, of course, with the result that, from early infancy, the mind of the child is poisoned with bloodcurdling stories about the Germans, the French, the Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood, he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner. It is for that purpose that we are clamoring for a greater army and navy, more battleships and ammunition. It is for that purpose that America has within a short time spent four hundred million dollars. Just think of it--four hundred million dollars taken from the produce of the people. For surely it is not the rich who contribute to patriotism. They are cosmopolitans, perfectly at home in every land. We in America know well the truth of this. Are not our rich Americans Frenchmen in France, Germans in Germany, or Englishmen in England? And do they not squandor with cosmopolitan grace fortunes coined by American factory children and cotton slaves? Yes, theirs is the patriotism that will make it possible to send messages of condolence to a despot like the Russian Tsar, when any mishap befalls him, as President Roosevelt did in the name of his people, when Sergius was punished by the Russian revolutionists.

It is a patriotism that will assist the arch-murderer, Diaz, in destroying thousands of lives in Mexico, or that will even aid in arresting Mexican revolutionists on American soil and keep them incarcerated in American prisons, without the slightest cause or reason.

But, then, patriotism is not for those who represent wealth and power. It is good enough for the people. It reminds one of the historic wisdom of Frederick the Great, the bosom friend of Voltaire, who said: "Religion is a fraud, but it must be maintained for the masses."

That patriotism is rather a costly institution, no one will doubt after considering the following statistics. The progressive increase of the expenditures for the leading armies and navies of the world during the last quarter of a century is a fact of such gravity as to startle every thoughtful student of economic problems. It may be briefly indicated by dividing the time from 1881 to 1905 into five-year periods, and noting the disbursements of several great nations for army and navy purposes during the first and last of those periods. From the first to the last of the periods noted the expenditures of Great Britain increased from (…).

The military expenditures of each of the nations mentioned increased in each of the five-year periods under review. During the entire interval from 1881 to 1905 (…)

The showing as to the cost of great navies is equally impressive. During the twenty-five years ending with 1905 naval expenditures increased approximately as follows: (…)

The rising cost of militarism may be still further illustrated by computing it as a per capita tax on population. From the first to the last of the five-year periods taken as the basis for the comparisons here given, it has risen as follows: (…)

It is in connection with this rough estimate of cost per capita that the economic burden of militarism is most appreciable. The irresistible conclusion from available data is that the increase of expenditure for army and navy purposes is rapidly surpassing the growth of population in each of the countries considered in the present calculation. In other words, a continuation of the increased demands of militarism threatens each of those nations with a progressive exhaustion both of men and resources.

The awful waste that patriotism necessitates ought to be sufficient to cure the man of even average intelligence from this disease. Yet patriotism demands still more. The people are urged to be patriotic and for that luxury they pay, not only by supporting their "defenders," but even by sacrificing their own children. Patriotism requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother, sister.

The usual contention is that we need a standing army to protect the country from foreign invasion. Every intelligent man and woman knows, however, that this is a myth maintained to frighten and coerce the foolish. The governments of the world, knowing each other's interests, do not invade each other. They have learned that they can gain much more by international arbitration of disputes than by war and conquest. Indeed, as Carlyle said, "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."

It does not require much wisdom to trace every war back to a similar cause. Let us take our own Spanish-American war, supposedly a great and patriotic event in the history of the United States. How our hearts burned with indignation against the atrocious Spaniards! True, our indignation did not flare up spontaneously. It was nurtured by months of newspaper agitation, and long after Butcher Weyler had killed off many noble Cubans and outraged many Cuban women. Still, in justice to the American Nation be it said, it did grow indignant and was willing to fight, and that it fought bravely. But when the smoke was over, the dead buried, and the cost of the war came back to the people in an increase in the price of commodities and rent--that is, when we sobered up from our patriotic spree it suddenly dawned on us that 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 interests of American capitalists, which were threatened by the Spanish government. That this is not an exaggeration, but is based on absolute facts and figures, is best proven by the attitude of the American government to Cuban labor. When Cuba was firmly in the clutches of the United States, the very soldiers sent to liberate Cuba were ordered to shoot Cuban workingmen during the great cigarmakers' strike, which took place shortly after the war.

Nor do we stand alone in waging war for such causes. The curtain is beginning to be lifted on the motives of the terrible Russo-Japanese war, which cost so much blood and tears. And we see again that back of the fierce Moloch of war stands the still fiercer god of Commercialism. Kuropatkin, the Russian Minister of War during the Russo-Japanese struggle, has revealed the true secret behind the latter. The Tsar and his Grand Dukes, having invested money in Corean concessions, the war was forced for the sole purpose of speedily accumulating large fortunes.

The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed. The experience of every-day life fully proves that the armed individual is invariably anxious to try his strength. The same is historically true of governments. Really peaceful countries do not waste life and energy in war preparations, With the result that peace is maintained.

However, the clamor for an increased army and navy is not due to any foreign danger. It is owing to the dread of the growing discontent of the masses and of the international spirit among the workers. It is to meet the internal enemy that the Powers of various countries are preparing themselves; an enemy, who, once awakened to consciousness, will prove more dangerous than any foreign invader.

The powers that have for centuries been engaged in enslaving the masses have made a thorough study of their psychology. They know that the people at large are like children whose despair, sorrow, and tears can be turned into joy with a little toy. And the more gorgeously the toy is dressed, the louder the colors, the more it will appeal to the million-headed child.

An army and navy represents the people's toys. To make them more attractive and acceptable, hundreds and thousands of dollars are being spent for the display of these toys. That was the purpose of the American government in equipping a fleet and sending it along the Pacific coast, that every American citizen should be made to feel the pride and glory of the United States. The city of San Francisco spent one hundred thousand dollars for the entertainment of the fleet; Los Angeles, sixty thousand; Seattle and Tacoma, about one hundred thousand. To entertain the fleet, did I say? To dine and wine a few superior officers, while the "brave boys" had to mutiny to get sufficient food. Yes, two hundred and sixty thousand dollars were spent on fireworks, theatre parties, and revelries, at a time when men, women, and child}en through the breadth and length of the country were starving in the streets; when thousands of unemployed were ready to sell their labor at any price.

Two hundred and sixty thousand dollars! What could not have been accomplished with such an enormous sum? But instead of bread and shelter, the children of those cities were taken to see the fleet, that it may remain, as one of the newspapers said, "a lasting memory for the child."

A wonderful thing to remember, is it not? The implements of civilized slaughter. If the mind of the child is to be poisoned with such memories, what hope is there for a true realization of human brotherhood?

We Americans claim to be a 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 of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America 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.

Considering the evil results that patriotism is fraught with for the average man, it is as nothing compared with the insult and injury that patriotism heaps upon the soldier himself,--that poor, deluded victim of superstition and ignorance. He, the savior of his country, the protector of his nation,--what has patriotism in store for him? A life of slavish submission, vice, and perversion, during peace; a life of danger, exposure, and death, during war.

While on a recent lecture tour in San Francisco, I visited the Presidio, the most beautiful spot overlooking the Bay and Golden Gate Park. Its purpose should have been playgrounds for children, gardens and music for the recreation of the weary. Instead it is made ugly, dull, and gray by barracks,--barracks wherein the rich would not allow their dogs to dwell. In these miserable shanties soldiers are herded like cattle; here they waste their young days, polishing the boots and brass buttons of their superior officers. Here, too, I saw the distinction of classes: sturdy sons of a free Republic, drawn up in line like convicts, saluting every passing shrimp of a lieutenant. American equality, degrading manhood and elevating the uniform!

Barrack life further tends to develop tendencies of sexual perversion. It is gradually producing along this line results similar to European military conditions. Havelock Ellis, the noted writer on sex psychology, has made a thorough study of the subject. I quote: "Some of the barracks are great centers of male prostitution.... The number of soldiers who prostitute themselves is greater than we are willing to believe. It is no exaggeration to say that in certain regiments the presumption is in favor of the venality of the majority of the men.... On summer evenings Hyde Park and the neighborhood of Albert Gate are full of guardsmen and others plying a lively trade, and with little disguise, in uniform or out.... In most cases the proceeds form a comfortable addition to Tommy Atkins' pocket money."

To what extent this perversion has eaten its way into the army and navy can best be judged from the fact that special houses exist for this form of prostitution. The practice is not limited to England; it is universal. "Soldiers are no less sought after in France than in England or in Germany, and special houses for military prostitution exist both in Paris and the garrison towns."

Had Mr. Havelock Ellis included America in his investigation of sex perversion, he would have found that the same conditions prevail in our army and navy as in those of other countries. The growth of the standing army inevitably adds to the spread of sex perversion; the barracks are the incubators.

Aside from the sexual effects of barrack life, it also tends to unfit the soldier for useful labor after leaving the army. Men, skilled in a trade, seldom enter the army or navy, but even they, after a military experience, find themselves totally unfitted for their former occupations. Having acquired habits of idleness and a taste for excitement and adventure, no peaceful pursuit can content them. Released from the army, they can turn to no useful work. But it is usually the social riff-raff, discharged prisoners and the like, whom either the struggle for life or their own inclination drives into the ranks. These, their military term over, again turn to their former life of crime, more brutalized and degraded than before. It is a well-known fact that in our prisons there is a goodly number of ex-soldiers; while, on the other hand, the army and navy are to a great extent plied with ex-convicts. Of all the evil results I have just described none seems to me so detrimental to human integrity as the spirit patriotism has produced in the case of Private William Buwalda. Because he foolishly believed that one can be a soldier and exercise his rights as a man at the same time, the military authorities punished him severely. True, he had served his country fifteen years, during which time his record was unimpeachable. According to Gen. Funston, who reduced Buwalda's sentence to three years, "the first duty of an officer or an enlisted man is unquestioned obedience and loyalty to the government, and it makes no difference whether he approves of that government or not." Thus Funston stamps the true character of allegiance. According to him, entrance into the army abrogates the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

What a strange development of patriotism that turns a thinking being into a loyal machine!

In justification of this most outrageous sentence of Buwalda, Gen. Funston tells the American people that the soldier's action was "a serious crime equal to treason." Now, what did this "terrible crime" really consist of? Simply in this: William Buwalda was one of fifteen hundred people who attended a public meeting in San Francisco; and, oh, horrors, he shook hands with the speaker, Emma Goldman. A terrible crime, indeed, which the General calls "a great military offense, infinitely worse than desertion."

Can there be a greater indictment against patriotism than that it will thus brand a man a criminal, throw him into prison, and rob him of the results of fifteen years of faithful service?

Buwalda gave to his country the best years of his life and his very manhood. But all that was as nothing. Patriotism is inexorable and, like all insatiable monsters, demands all or nothing. It does not admit that a soldier is also a human being, who has a right to his own feelings and opinions, his own inclinations and ideas. No, patriotism can not admit of that. That is the lesson which Buwalda was made to learn; made to learn at a rather costly, though not at a useless price. When he returned to freedom, he had lost his position in the army, but he regained his self-respect. After all, that is worth three years of imprisonment.

A writer on the military conditions of America, in a recent article, commented on the power of the military man over the civilian in Germany. He said, among other things, that if our Republic had no other meaning than to guarantee all citizens equal rights, it would have just cause for existence. I am convinced that the writer was not in Colorado during the patriotic régime of General Bell. He probably would have changed his mind had he seen how, in the name of patriotism and the Republic, men were thrown into bull-pens, dragged about, driven across the border, and subjected to all kinds of indignities. Nor is that Colorado incident the only one in the growth of military power in the United States. There is hardly a strike where troops and militia do not come to the rescue of those in power, and where they do not act as arrogantly and brutally as do the men wearing the Kaiser's uniform. Then, too, we have the Dick military law. Had the writer forgotten that?

A great misfortune with most of our writers is that they are absolutely ignorant on current events, or that, lacking honesty, they will not speak of these matters. And so it has come to pass that the Dick military law was rushed through Congress with little discussion and still less publicity,--a law which gives the President the power to turn a peaceful citizen into a bloodthirsty man-killer, supposedly for the defense of the country, in reality for the protection of the interests of that particular party whose mouthpiece the President happens to be.

Our writer claims that militarism can never become such a power in America as abroad, since it is voluntary with us, while compulsory in the Old World. Two very important facts, however, the gentleman forgets to consider. First, that conscription has created in Europe a deep-seated hatred of militarism among all classes of society. Thousands of young recruits enlist under protest and, once in the army, they will use every possible means to desert. Second, that it is the compulsory feature of militarism which has created a tremendous anti-militarist movement, feared by European Powers far more than anything else. After all, the greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism. The very moment the latter is undermined, capitalism will totter. True, we have no conscription; that is, men are not usually forced to enlist 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 trade of militarism may not be either lucrative or honorable, but it is better than tramping the country in search of work, standing in the bread line, or sleeping in municipal lodging houses. After all, it means thirteen dollars per month, three meals a day, and a place to sleep. Yet even necessity is not sufficiently strong a factor to bring into the army an element of character and manhood. No wonder our military authorities complain of the "poor material" enlisting in the army and navy. This admission is a very encouraging sign. It proves that there is still enough of the spirit of independence and love of liberty left in the average American to risk starvation rather than don the uniform.

Thinking men and women the world over are beginning to realize that patriotism is too narrow and limited a conception to meet the necessities of our time. The centralization of power has brought into being an international feeling of solidarity among the oppressed nations of the world; a solidarity which represents a greater harmony of interests between the workingman of America and his brothers abroad than between the American miner and his exploiting compatriot; a solidarity which fears not foreign invasion, because it is bringing all the workers to the point when they will say to their masters, "Go and do your own killing. We have done it long enough for you."

This solidarity is awakening the consciousness of even the soldiers, they, too, being flesh of the flesh of the great human family. A solidarity that has proven infallible more than once during past struggles, and which has been the impetus inducing the Parisian soldiers, during the Commune of 1871, to refuse to obey when ordered to shoot their brothers. It has given courage to the men who mutinied on Russian warships during recent years. It will eventually bring about the uprising of all the oppressed and downtrodden against their international exploiters.

The proletariat of Europe has realized the great force of that solidarity and has, as a result, inaugurated a war against patriotism and its bloody spectre, militarism. Thousands of men fill the prisons of France, Germany, Russia, and the Scandinavian countries, because they dared to defy the ancient superstition. Nor is the movement limited to the working class; it has embraced representatives in all stations of life, its chief exponents being men and women prominent in art, science, and letters.

America will have to follow suit. The spirit of militarism has already permeated all walks of life. Indeed, I am convinced that militarism is growing a greater danger here than anywhere else, because of the many bribes capitalism holds out to those whom it wishes to destroy.

The beginning has already been made in the schools. Evidently the government holds to the Jesuitical conception, "Give me the child mind, and I will mould the man." Children are trained in military tactics, the glory of military achievements extolled in the curriculum, and the youthful minds perverted to suit the government. Further, the youth of the country is appealed to in glaring posters to join the army and navy. "A fine chance to see the world!" cries the governmental huckster. Thus innocent boys are morally shanghaied into patriotism, and the military Moloch strides conquering through the Nation.

The American workingman has suffered so much at the hands of the soldier, State and Federal, that he is quite justified in his disgust with, and his opposition to, the uniformed parasite. However, mere denunciation will not solve this great problem. What we need is a propaganda of education for the soldier: antipatriotic literature that will enlighten him as to the real horrors of his trade, and that will awaken his consciousness to his true relation to the man to whose labor he owes his very existence. It is precisely this that the authorities fear most. It is already high treason for a soldier to attend a radical meeting. No doubt they will also stamp it high treason for a soldier to read a radical pamphlet. But, then, has not authority from time immemorial stamped every step of progress as treasonable? Those, however, who earnestly strive for social reconstruction can well afford to face all that; for it is probably even more important to carry the truth into the barracks than into the factory. When we have undermined the patriotic lie, we shall have cleared the path for that great structure wherein all nationalities shall be united into a universal brotherhood, --a truly FREE SOCIETY.

The hypocrisy of puritanism(1911)

Emma Goldman

The text is from Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 173-182.

SPEAKING of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualality in our art."

Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on th other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man must do constant penance, must repudiate every natural and healthy impulse, and turn his back on joy and beauty.

Puritanism celebrated its reign of terror in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, destroying and crushing every manifestation of art and culture. It was the spirit of Puritanism which robbed Shelley of his children, because he would not bow to the dicta of religion. It was the same narrow spirit which alienated Byron from his native land, because that great genius rebelled against the monotony, dullness, and pettiness of his country. It was Puritanism, too, that forced some of England's freest women into the conventional lie of marriage: Mary Wollstonecraft and, later, George Eliot. And recently Puritanism has demanded another toll--the life of Oscar Wilde. In fact, Puritanism has never ceased to be the most pernicious factor in the domain of John Bull, acting as censor of the artistic expression of his people, and stamping its approval only on the dullness of middle-class respectability.

It is therefore sheer British jingoism which points to America as the country of Puritanic provincialism. It is quite true that our life is stunted by Puritanism, and that the latter is killing what is natural and healthy in our impulses. But it is equally true that it is to England that we are indebted for transplanting this spirit on American soil. It was bequeathed to us by the Pilgrim fathers. Fleeing from persecution and oppression, the Pilgrims of Mayflower fame established in the New World a reign of Puritanic tyranny and crime. The history of New England, and especially of Massachusetts, is full of the horrors that have turned life into gloom, joy and despair, naturalness into disease, honesty and truth into hideous lies and hypocrisies. The ducking-stool and whipping-post, as well as numerous other devices of torture, were the favorite English methods for American purification.

Boston, the city of culture, has gone down in the annals of Puritanism as the "Bloody Town." It rivaled Salem, even, in her cruel persecution of unauthorized religious opinions. On the now famous Common a half-naked woman, with a baby in her arms, was publicly whipped for the crime of free speech; and on the same spot Mary Dyer, another Quaker woman, was hanged in 1659. In fact, Boston has been the scene of more than one wanton crime committed by Puritanism. Salem, in the summer of 1692, killed eighteen people for witchcraft. Nor was Massachusetts alone in driving out the devil by fire and brimstone. As Canning justly said: "The Pilgrim fathers infested the New World to redress the balance of the Old." The horrors of that period have found their most supreme expression in the American classic, The Scarlet Letter.

Puritanism no longer employs the thumbscrew and lash; but it still has a most pernicious hold on the minds and feelings of the American people. Naught else can explain the power of a Comstock. Like the Torquemadas of ante-bellum days, Anthony Comstock is the autocrat of American morals; he dictates the standards of good and evil, of purity and vice. Like a thief in the night he sneaks into the private lives of the people, into their most intimate relations. The system of espionage established by this man Comstock puts to shame the infamous Third Division of the Russian secret police. Why does the public tolerate such an outrage on its liberties? Simply because Comstock is but the loud expression of the Puritanism bred in the Anglo-Saxon blood, and from whose thraldom even liberals have not succeeded in fully emancipating themselves. The visionless and leaden elements of the old Young Men's and Women's Christian Temperance Unions, Purity Leagues, American Sabbath Unions, and the Prohibition Party, with Anthony Comstock as their patron saint, are the grave diggers of American art and culture.

Europe can at least boast of a bold art and literature which delve deeply into the social and sexual problems of our time, exercising a severe critique of all our shams. As with a surgeon's knife every Puritanic carcass is dissected, and the way thus cleared for man's liberation from the dead weights of the past. But with Puritanism as the constant check upon American life, neither truth nor sincerity is possible. Nothing but gloom and mediocrity to dictate human conduct, curtail natural expression, and stifle our best impulses. Puritanism in this the twentieth century is as much the enemy of freedom and beauty as it was when it landed on Plymouth Rock. It repudiates, as something vile and sinful, our deepest feelings; but being absolutely ignorant as to the real functions of human emotions, Puritanism is itself the creator of the most unspeakable vices.

The entire history of asceticism proves this to be only too true. The Church, as well as Puritanism, has fought the flesh as something evil; it had to be subdued and hidden at all cost. The result of this vicious attitude is only now beginning to be recognized by modern thinkers and educators. They realize that "nakedness has a hygienic value as well as a spiritual significance, far beyond its influences in allaying the natural inquisitiveness of the young or acting as a preventative of morbid emotion. It is an inspiration to adults who have long outgrown any youthful curiosities. The vision of the essential and eternal human form, the nearest thing to us in all the world, with its vigor and its beauty and its grace, is one of the prime tonics of life."1 But the spirit of purism has so perverted the human mind that it has lost the power to appreciate the beauty of nudity, forcing us to hide the natural form under the plea of chastity. Yet chastity itself is but an artificial imposition upon nature, expressive of a false shame of the human form. The modern idea of chastity, especially in reference to woman, its greatest victim, is but the sensuous exaggeration of our natural impulses. "Chastity varies with the amount of clothing," and hence Christians and purists forever hasten to cover the "heathen" with tatters, and thus convert him to goodness and chastity.

Puritanism, with its perversion of the significance and functions of the human body, especially in regard to woman, has condemned her to celibacy, or to the indiscriminate breeding of a diseased race, or to prostitution. The enormity of this crime against humanity is apparent when we consider the results. Absolute sexual continence is imposed upon the unmarried woman, under pain of being considered immoral or fallen, with the result of producing neurasthenia, impotence, depression, and a great variety of nervous complaints involving diminished power of work, limited enjoyment of life, sleeplessness, and preoccupation with sexual desires and imaginings. The arbitrary and pernicious dictum of total continence probably also explains the mental inequality of the sexes. Thus Freud believes that the intellectual inferiority of so many women is due to the inhibition of thought imposed upon them for the purpose of sexual repression. Having thus suppressed the natural sex desires of the unmarried woman, Puritanism, on the other hand, blesses her married sister for incontinent fruitfulness in wedlock. Indeed, not merely blesses her, but forces the woman, oversexed by previous repression, to bear children, irrespective of weakened physical condition or economic inability to rear a large family. Prevention, even by scientifically determined safe methods, is absolutely prohibited; nay, the very mention of the subject is considered criminal.

Thanks to this Puritanic tyranny, the majority of women soon find themselves at the ebb of their physical resources. Ill and worn, they are utterly unable to give their children even elementary care. That, added to economic pressure, forces many women to risk utmost danger rather than continue to bring forth life. The custom of procuring abortions has reached such vast proportions in America as to be almost beyond belief. According to recent investigations along this line, seventeen abortions are committed in every hundred pregnancies. This fearful percentage represents only cases which come to the knowledge of physicians. Considering the secrecy in which this practice is necessarily shrouded, and the consequent professional inefficiency and neglect, Puritanism continuously exacts thousands of victims to its own stupidity and hypocrisy.

Prostitution, although hounded, imprisoned, and chained, is nevertheless the greatest triumph of Puritanism. It is its most cherished child, all hypocritical sanctimoniousness notwithstanding. The prostitute is the fury of our century, sweeping across the "civilized" countries like a hurricane, and leaving a trail of disease and disaster. The only remedy Puritanism offers for this ill-begotten child is greater repression and more merciless persecution. The latest outrage is represented by the Page Law, which imposes upon the State of New York the terrible failure and crime of Europe, namely, registration and identification of the unfortunate victims of Puritanism. In equally stupid manner purism seeks to check the terrible scourge of its own creation--venereal diseases. Most disheartening it is that this spirit of obtuse narrow mindedness has poisoned even our so-called liberals, and has blinded them into joining the crusade against the very things born of the hypocrisy of Puritanism-- prostitution and its results. In wilful blindness Puritanism refuses to see that the true method of prevention is the one which makes it clear to all that "venereal diseases are not a mysterious or terrible thing, the penalty of the sin of the flesh, a sort of shameful evil branded by purist malediction, but an ordinary disease which may be treated and cured." By its methods of obscurity, disguise, and concealment, Puritanism has furnished favorable conditions for the growth and spread of these diseases. Its bigotry is again most strikingly demonstrated by the senseless attitude in regard to the great discovery of Prof. Ehrlich, hypocrisy veiling the important cure for syphilis with vague allusions to a remedy for "a certain poison."

The almost limitless capacity of Puritanism for evil is due to its intrenchment behind the State and the law. Pretending to safeguard the people against "immorality," it has impregnated the machinery of government and added to its usurpation of moral guardianship the legal censorship of our views, feelings, and even of our conduct.

Art, literature, the drama, the privacy of the mails, in fact, our most intimate tastes, are at the mercy of this inexorable tyrant. Anthony Comstock, or some other equally ignorant policeman, has been given power to desecrate genius, to soil and mutilate the sublimest creation of nature--the human form. Books dealing with the most vital issues of our lives, and seeking to shed light upon dangerously obscured problems, are legaly treated as criminal offenses, and their helpless authors thrown into prison or driven to destruction and death.

Not even in the domain of the Tsar is personal liberty daily outraged to the extent it is in America, the stronghold of the Puritanic eunuchs. Here the only day of recreation left to the masses, Sunday, has been made hideous and utterly impossible. All writers on primitive customs and ancient civilization agree that the Sabbath was a day of festivities, free from care and duties, a day of general rejoicing and merry making. In every European country this tradition continues to bring some relief from the humdrum and stupidity of our Christian era. Everywhere concert halls, theaters, museums, and gardens are filled with men, women, and children, particularly workers with their families, full of life and joy, forgetful of the ordinary rules and conventions of their every-day existence. It is on that day that the masses demonstrate what life might really mean in a sane society, with work stripped of its profit-making, soul-destroying purpose.

Puritanism has robbed the people even of that one day. Naturally, only the workers are affected: our millionaires have their luxurious homes and elaborate clubs. The poor, however, are condemned to the monotony and dullness of the American Sunday. The sociability and fun of European outdoor life is here exchanged for the gloom of the church, the stuffy, germ-saturated country parlor, or the brutalizing atmosphere of the back-room saloon. In Prohibition States the people lack even the latter, unless they can invest their meager earnings in quantities of adulterated liquor. As to Prohibition, every one knows what a farce it really is. Like all other achievements of Puritanism it, too, has but driven the "devil" deeper into the human system. Nowhere else does one meet so many drunkards as in our Prohibition towns. But so long as one can use scented candy to abate the foul breath of hypocrisy, Puritanism is triumphant. Ostensibly Prohibition is opposed to liquor for reasons of health and economy, but the very spirit of Prohibition being itself abnormal, it succeeds but in creating an abnormal life.

Every stimulus which quickens the imagination and raises the spirits, is as necessary to our life as air. It invigorates the body, and deepens our vision of human fellowship. Without stimuli, in one form or another, creative work is impossible, nor indeed the spirit of kindliness and generosity. The fact that some great geniuses have seen their reflection in the goblet too frequently, does not justify Puritanism in attempting to fetter the whole gamut of human emotions. A Byron and a Poe have stirred humanity deeper than all the Puritans can ever hope to do. The former have given to life meaning and color; the latter are turning red blood into water, beauty into ugliness, variety into uniformity and decay. Puritanism, in whatever expression, is a poisonous germ. On the surface everything may look strong and vigorous; yet the poison works its way persistently, until the entire fabric is doomed. With Hippolyte Taine, every truly free spirit has come to realize that "Puritanism is the death of culture, philosophy, humor, and good fellowship; its characteristics are dullness, monotony, and gloom."


1 The Psychology of Sex. Havelock Ellis

The Failure of Christianity(1913)

Emma Goldman

First published in April 1913, in the Mother Earth journal.


The counterfeiters and poisoners of ideas, in their attempt to obscure the line between truth and falsehood, find a valuable ally in the conservatism of language.

Conceptions and words that have long ago lost their original meaning continue through centuries to dominate mankind. Especially is this true if these conceptions have become a common-place, if they have been instilled in our beings from our infancy as great and irrefutable verities. The average mind is easily content with inherited and acquired things, or with the dicta of parents and teachers, because it is much easier to imitate than to create.

Our age has given birth to two intellectual giants, who have undertaken to transvalue the dead social and moral values of the past, especially those contained in Christianity. Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner have hurled blow upon blow against the portals of Christianity, because they saw in it a pernicious slave morality, the denial of life, the destroyer of all the elements that make for strength and character. True, Nietzsche has opposed the slave-morality idea inherent in Christianity in behalf of a master morality for the privileged few. But I venture to suggest that his master idea had nothing to do with the vulgarity of station, caste, or wealth. Rather did it mean the masterful in human possibilities, the masterful in man that would help him to overcome old traditions and worn-out values, so that he may learn to become the creator of new and beautiful things.

Both Nietzsche and Stirner saw in Christianity the leveler of the human race, the breaker of man's will to dare and to do. They saw in every movement built on Christian morality and ethics attempts not at the emancipation from slavery, but for the perpetuation thereof. Hence they opposed these movements with might and main.

Whether I do or do not entirely agree with these iconoclasts, I believe, with them, that Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us to-day. Indeed, never could society have degenerated to its present appalling stage, if not for the assistance of Christianity. The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gun.

No doubt I will be told that, though religion is a poison and institutionalized Christianity the greatest enemy of progress and freedom, there is some good in Christianity "itself." What about the teachings of Christ and - early Christianity, I may be asked; do they not stand for the spirit of humanity, for right and justice?

It is precisely this oft-repeated contention that induced me to choose this subject, to enable me to demonstrate that the abuses of Christianity, like the abuses of government, are conditioned in the thing itself, and are not to be charged to the representatives of the creed. Christ and his teachings are the embodiment of submission, of inertia, of the denial of life; hence responsible for the things done in their name.

I am not interested in the theological Christ. Brilliant minds like Bauer, Strauss, Renan, Thomas Paine, and others refuted that myth long ago. I am even ready to admit that the theological Christ is not half so dangerous as the ethical and social Christ. In proportion as science takes the place of blind faith, theology loses its hold. But the ethical and poetical Christ-myth has so thoroughly saturated our lives that even some of the most advanced minds find it difficult to emancipate themselves from its yoke. They have rid themselves of the letter, but have retained the spirit; yet it is the spirit which is back of all the crimes and horrors committed by orthodox Christianity. The Fathers of the Church can well afford to preach the gospel of Christ. It contains nothing dangerous to the regime of authority and wealth; it stands for self-denial and self-abnegation, for penance and regret, and is absolutely inert in the face of every [in]dignity, every outrage imposed upon mankind.

Here I must revert to the counterfeiters of ideas and words. So many otherwise earnest haters of slavery and injustice confuse, in a most distressing manner, the teachings of Christ with the great struggles for social and economic emancipation. The two are irrevocably and forever opposed to each other. The one necessitates courage, daring, defiance, and strength. The other preaches the gospel of non-resistance, of slavish acquiescence in the will of others; it is the complete disregard of character and self- reliance, and therefore destructive of liberty and well-being.

Whoever sincerely aims at a radical change in society, whoever strives to free humanity from the scourge of dependence and misery, must turn his back on Christianity, on the old as well as the present form of the same.

Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.

The Christian religion and morality extols the glory of the Hereafter, and therefore remains indifferent to the horrors of the earth. Indeed, the idea of self-denial and of all that makes for pain and sorrow is its test of human worth, its passport to the entry into heaven.

The poor are to own heaven, and the rich will go to hell. That may account for the desperate efforts of the rich to make hay while the sun shines, to get as much out of the earth as they can: to wallow in wealth and superfluity, to tighten their iron hold on the blessed slaves, to rob them of their birthright, to degrade and outrage them every minute of the day. Who can blame the rich if they revenge themselves on the poor, for now is their time, and the merciful Christian God alone knows how ably and completely the rich are doing it.

And the poor? They cling to the promise of the Christian heaven, as the home for old age, the sanitarium for crippled bodies and weak minds. They endure and submit, they suffer and wait, until every bit of self-respect has been knocked out of them, until their bodies become emaciated and withered, and their spirit broken from the wait, the weary endless wait for the Christian heaven.

Christ made his appearance as the leader of the people, the redeemer of the Jews from Roman dominion; but the moment he began his work, he proved that he had no interest in the earth, in the pressing immediate needs of the poor and the disinherited of his time. what he preached was a sentimental mysticism, obscure and confused ideas lacking originality and vigor.

When the Jews, according to the gospels, withdrew from Jesus, when they turned him over to the cross, they may have been bitterly disappointed in him who promised them so much and gave them so little. He promised joy and bliss in another world, while the people were starving, suffering, and enduring before his very eyes.

It may also be that the sympathy of the Romans, especially of Pilate, was given Christ because they regarded him as perfectly harmless to their power and sway. The philosopher Pilate may have considered Christ's "eternal truths" as pretty anaemic and lifeless, compared with the array of strength and force they attempted to combat. The Romans, strong and unflinching as they were, must have laughed in their sleeves over the man who talked repentance and patience, instead of calling to arms against the despoilers and oppressors of his people.

The public career of Christ begins with the edict, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Why repent, why regret, in the face of something that was supposed to bring deliverance? Had not the people suffered and endured enough; had they not earned their right to deliverance by their suffering? Take the Sermon on the Mount, for instance. What is it but a eulogy on submission to fate, to the inevitability of things?

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Heaven must be an awfully dull place if the poor in spirit live there. How can anything creative, anything vital, useful and beautiful come from the poor in spirit? The idea conveyed in the Sermon on the Mount is the greatest indictment against the teachings of Christ, because it sees in the poverty of mind and body a virtue, and because it seeks to maintain this virtue by reward and punishment. Every intelligent being realizes that our worst curse is the poverty of the spirit; that it is productive of all evil and misery, of all the injustice and crimes in the world. Every one knows that nothing good ever came or can come of the poor in spirit; surely never liberty, justice, or equality.

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

What a preposterous notion! What incentive to slavery, inactivity, and parasitism! Besides, it is not true that the meek can inherit anything. Just because humanity has been meek, the earth has been stolen from it.

Meekness has been the whip, which capitalism and governments have used to force man into dependency, into his slave position. The most faithful servants of the State, of wealth, of special privilege, could not preach a more convenient gospel than did Christ, the "redeemer" of the people.

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

But did not Christ exclude the possibility of righteousness when he said, "The poor ye have always with you"? But, then, Christ was great on dicta, no matter if they were utterly opposed to each other. This is nowhere demonstrated so strikingly as in his command, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

The interpreters claim that Christ had to make these concessions to the powers of his time. If that be true, this single compromise was sufficient to prove, down to this very day, a most ruthless weapon in the hands of the oppressor, a fearful lash and relentless tax-gatherer, to the impoverishment, the enslavement, and degradation of the very people for whom Christ is supposed to have died. And when we are assured that "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled," are we told the how? How? Christ never takes the trouble to explain that. Righteousness does not come from the stars, nor because Christ willed it so. Righteousness grows out of liberty, of social and economic opportunity and equality. But how can the meek, the poor in spirit, ever establish such a state of affairs?

"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven."

The reward in heaven is the perpetual bait, a bait that has caught man in an iron net, a strait-jacket which does not let him expand or grow. All pioneers of truth have been, and still are, reviled; they have been, and still are, persecuted. But did they ask humanity to pay the price? Did they seek to bribe mankind to accept their ideas? They knew too well that he who accepts a truth because of the bribe, will soon barter it away to a higher bidder.

Good and bad, punishment and reward, sin and penance, heaven and hell, as the moving spirit of the Christ-gospel have been the stumbling-block in the world's work. It contains everything in the way of orders and commands, but entirely lacks the very things we need most.

The worker who knows the cause of his misery, who understands the make-up of our iniquitous social and industrial system can do more for himself and his kind than Christ and the followers of Christ have ever done for humanity; certainly more than meek patience, ignorance, and submission have done.

How much more ennobling, how much more beneficial is the extreme individualism of Stirner and Nietzsche than the sick-room atmosphere of the Christian faith. If they repudiate altruism as an evil, it is because of the example contained in Christianity, which set a premium on parasitism and inertia, gave birth to all manner of social disorders that are to be cured with the preachment of love and sympathy.

Proud and self-reliant characters prefer hatred to such sickening artificial love. Not because of any reward does a free spirit take his stand for a great truth, nor has such a one ever been deterred because of fear of punishment.

"Think not that I come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill."

Precisely. Christ was a reformer, ever ready to patch up, to fulfill, to carry on the old order of things; never to destroy and rebuild. That may account for the fellow- feeling all reformers have for him.

Indeed, the whole history of the State, Capitalism, and the Church proves that they have perpetuated themselves because of the idea "I come not to destroy the law." This is the key to authority and oppression. Naturally so, for did not Christ praise poverty as a virtue; did he not propagate non-resistance to evil? Why should not poverty and evil continue to rule the world?

Much as I am opposed to every religion, much as I think them an imposition upon, and crime against, reason and progress, I yet feel that no other religion has done so much harm or has helped so much in the enslavement of man as the religion of Christ.

Witness Christ before his accusers. What lack of dignity, what lack of faith in himself and in his own ideas! So weak and helpless was this "Saviour of Men" that he must needs the whole human family to pay for him, unto all eternity, because he "hath died for them." Redemption through the Cross is worse than damnation, because of the terrible burden it imposes upon humanity, because of the effect it has on the human soul, fettering and paralyzing it with the weight of the burden exacted through the death of Christ.

Thousands of martyrs have perished, yet few, if any, of them have proved so helpless as the great Christian God. Thousands have gone to their death with greater fortitude, with more courage, with deeper faith in their ideas than the Nazarene. Nor did they expect eternal gratitude from their fellow-men because of what they endured for them.

Compared with Socrates and Bruno, with the great martyrs of Russia, with the Chicago Anarchists, Francisco Ferrer, and unnumbered others, Christ cuts a poor figure indeed. Compared with the delicate, frail Spiridonova who underwent the most terrible tortures, the most horrible indignities, without losing faith in herself or her cause, Jesus is a veritable nonentity. They stood their ground and faced their executioners with unffinching determination, and though they, too, died for the people, they asked nothing in return for their great sacrifice.

Verily, we need redemption from the slavery, the deadening weakness, and humiliating dependency of Christian morality.

The teachings of Christ and of his followers have failed because they lacked the vitality to lift the burdens from the shoulders of the race; they have failed because the very essence of that doctrine is contrary to the spirit of life, exposed to the manifestations of nature, to the strength and beauty of passion.

Never can Christianity, under whatever mask it may appear-be it New Liberalism, Spiritualism, Christian Science, New Thought, or a thousand and one other forms of hysteria and neurasthenia-bring us relief from the terrible pressure of conditions, the weight of poverty, the horrors of our iniquitous system. Christianity is the conspiracy of ignorance against reason, of darkness against light, of submission and slavery against independence and freedom; of the denial of strength and beauty, against the affirmation of the joy and glory of life.



Emma Goldman



Henrik Ibsen

The Pillars of Society

A Doll's House


An Enemy of Society

August Strindberg

The Father

Countess Julie



Hermann Sudermann


The Fires of St. John

Gerhart Hauptmann

Lonely Lives

The Weavers

The Sunken Bell

Frank Wedekind

The Awakening of Spring


Maurice Maeterlinck

Monna Vanna

Edmond Rostand



Damaged Goods



George Bernard Shaw

Mrs. Warren's Profession

Major Barbara

John Galsworthy



The Pigeon

Stanley Houghton

Hindle Wakes

Githa Sowerby

Rutherford and Son


William Butler Yeats

Where There Is Nothing

Lenox Robinson


T. G. Murray

Maurice Harte


Leo Tolstoy

The Power of Darkness

Anton Tchekhof

The Seagull

The Cherry Orchard

Maxim Gorki

A Night's Lodging

Leonid Andreyev


Emma Goldman, The Social Significance of the Modern Drama

(Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1914; The Gorham Press, Boston, U.S.A.)


IN order to understand the social and dynamic significance of modern dramatic art it is necessary, I believe, to ascertain the difference between the functions of art for art's sake and art as the mirror of life.

Art for art's sake presupposes an attitude of aloofness on the part of the artist toward the complex struggle of life: he must rise above the ebb and tide of life. He is to be merely an artistic conjurer of beautiful forms, a creator of pure fancy.

That is not the attitude of modern art, which is preeminently the reflex, the mirror of life. The artist being a part of life cannot detach himself from the events and occurrences that pass panorama-like before his eyes, impressing themselves upon his emotional and intellectual vision.

The modern artist is, in the words of August Strindberg, "a lay preacher popularizing the pressing questions of his time." Not necessarily because his aim is to proselyte, but because he can best express himself by being true to life.

Millet, Meunier, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Emerson, Walt Whitman, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Strindberg, Hauptmann and a host of others mirror in their work as much of the spiritual and social revolt as is expressed by the most fiery speech of the propagandist. And more important still, they compel far greater attention. Their creative genius, imbued with the spirit of sincerity and truth, strikes root where the ordinary word often falls on barren soil.

The reason that many radicals as well as conservatives fail to grasp the powerful message of art is perhaps not far to seek. The average radical is as hidebound by mere terms as the man devoid of all ideas. "Bloated plutocrats," "economic determinism," "class consciousness," and similar expressions sum up for him the symbols of revolt. But since art speaks a language of its own, a language embracing the entire gamut of human emotions, it often sounds meaningless to those whose hearing has been dulled by the din of stereotyped phrases.

On the other hand, the conservative sees danger only in the advocacy of the Red Flag. He has too long been fed on the historic legend that it is only the "rabble" which makes revolutions, and not those who wield the brush or pen. It is therefore legitimate to applaud the artist and hound the rabble. Both radical and conservative have to learn that any mode of creative work, which with true perception portrays social wrongs earnestly and boldly, may be a greater menace to our social fabric and a more powerful inspiration than the wildest harangue of the soapbox orator.

Unfortunately, we in America have so far looked upon the theater as a place of amusement only, exclusive of ideas and inspiration. Because the modern drama of Europe has till recently been inaccessible in printed form to the average theater-goer in this country, he had to content himself with the interpretation, or rather misinterpretation, of our dramatic critics. As a result the social significance of the Modern Drama has well nigh been lost to the general public.

As to the native drama, America has so far produced very little worthy to be considered in a social light. Lacking the cultural and evolutionary tradition of the Old World, America has necessarily first to prepare the soil out of which sprouts creative genius.

The hundred and one springs of local and sectional life must have time to furrow their common channel into the seething sea of life at large, and social questions and problems make themselves felt, if not crystallized, before the throbbing pulse of the big national heart can find its reflex in a great literature--and specifically in the drama--of a social character. This evolution has been going on in this country for a considerable time, shaping the wide-spread unrest that is now beginning to assume more or less definite social form and expression.

Therefore, America could not so far produce its own social drama. But in proportion as the crystallization progresses, and sectional and national questions become clarified as fundamentally social problems, the drama develops. Indeed, very commendable beginnings in this direction have been made within recent years, among them "The Easiest Way," by Eugene Walter, "Keeping Up Appearances," and other plays by Butler Davenport, "Nowadays" and two other volumes of one-act plays, by George Middleton,--attempts that hold out an encouraging promise for the future.

. . . . . . . . . .

The Modern Drama, as all modern literature, mirrors the complex struggle of life,--the struggle which, whatever its individual or topical expression, ever has its roots in the depth of human nature and social environment, and hence is, to that extent, universal. Such literature, such drama, is at once the reflex and the inspiration of mankind in its eternal seeking for things higher and better. Perhaps those who learn the great truths of the social travail in the school of life, do not need the message of the drama. But there is another class whose number is legion, for whom that message is indispensable. In countries where political oppression affects all classes, the best intellectual element have made common cause with the people, have become their teachers, comrades, and spokesmen. But in America political pressure has so far affected only the "common" people. It is they who are thrown into prison; they who are persecuted and mobbed, tarred and deported. Therefore another medium is needed to arouse the intellectuals of this country, to make them realize their relation to the people, to the social unrest permeating the atmosphere.

The medium which has the power to do that is the Modern Drama, because it mirrors every phase of life and embraces every strata of society,--the Modern Drama, showing each and all caught in the throes of the tremendous changes going on, and forced either to become part of the process or be left behind.

Ibsen, Strindberg, Hauptmann, Tolstoy, Shaw, Galsworthy and the other dramatists contained in this volume represent the social iconoclasts of our time. They know that society has gone beyond the stage of patching up, and that man must throw off the dead weight of the past, with all its ghosts and spooks, if he is to go foot free to meet the future.

This is the social significance which differentiates modern dramatic art from art for art's sake. It is the dynamite which undermines superstition, shakes the social pillars, and prepares men and women for the reconstruction.



IN a letter to George Brandes, shortly after the Paris Commune, Henrik Ibsen wrote concerning the State and political liberty:

"The State is the curse of the individual. How has the national strength of Prussia been purchased? By the sinking of the individual in a political and geographical formula. . . . The State must go! That will be a revolution which will find me on its side. Undermine the idea of the State, set up in its place spontaneous action, and the idea that spiritual relationship is the only thing that makes for unity, and you will start the elements of a liberty which will be something worth possessing."

The State was not the only bête noire of Henrik Ibsen. Every other institution which, like the State, rests upon a lie, was an iniquity to him. Uncompromising demolisher of all false idols and dynamiter of all social shams and hypocrisy, Ibsen consistently strove to uproot every stone of our social structure. Above all did he thunder his fiery indictment against the four cardinal sins of modern society: the Lie inherent in our social arrangements; Sacrifice and Duty, the twin curses that fetter the spirit of man; the narrow-mindedness and pettiness of Provincialism, that stifles all growth; and the Lack of Joy and Purpose in Work which turns life into a vale of misery and tears.

So strongly did Ibsen feel on these matters, that in none of his works did he lose sight of them. Indeed, they recur again and again, like a Leitmotif in music, in everything he wrote. These issues form the keynote to the revolutionary significance of his dramatic works, as well as to the psychology of Henrik Ibsen himself.

It is, therefore, not a little surprising that most of the interpreters and admirers of Ibsen so enthusiastically accept his art, and yet remain utterly indifferent to, not to say ignorant of, the message contained in it. That is mainly because they are, in the words of Mrs. Alving, "so pitifully afraid of the light." Hence they go about seeking mysteries and hunting symbols, and completely losing sight of the meaning that is as clear as daylight in all of the works of Ibsen, and mainly in the group of his social plays, "The Pillars of Society," "A Doll's House," "Ghosts," and "An Enemy of the People."



THE disintegrating effect of the Social Lie, of Duty, as an imposition and outrage, and of the spirit of Provincialism, as a stifling factor, are brought out with dynamic force in "The Pillars of Society."

Consul Bernick, driven by the conception of his duty toward the House of Bernick, begins his career with a terrible lie. He sells his love for Lona Hessel in return for the large dowry of her step-sister Betty, whom he does not love. To forget his treachery, he enters into a clandestine relationship with an actress of the town. When surprised in her room by the drunken husband, young Bernick jumps out of the window, and then graciously accepts the offer of his bosom friend, Johan, to let him take the blame.

Johan, together with his faithful sister Lona, leaves for America. In return for his devotion, young Bernick helps to rob his friend of his good name, by acquiescing in the rumors circulating in the town that Johan had broken into the safe of the Bernicks and stolen a large sum of money.

In the opening scene of "The Pillars of Society," we find Consul Bernick at the height of his career. The richest, most powerful and respected citizen of the community, he is held up as the model of an ideal husband and devoted father. In short, a worthy pillar of society.

The best ladies of the town come together in the home of the Bernicks. They represent the society for the "Lapsed and Lost," and they gather to do a little charitable sewing and a lot of charitable gossip. It is through them we learn that Dina Dorf, the ward of Bernick, is the issue of the supposed escapade of Johan and the actress.

With them, giving unctuous spiritual advice and representing the purity and morality of the community, is Rector Rorlund, hidebound, self-righteous, and narrow-minded.

Into this deadening atmosphere of mental and social provincialism comes Lona Hessel, refreshing and invigorating as the wind of the plains. She has returned to her native town together with Johan.

The moment she enters the house of Bernick, the whole structure begins to totter. For in Lona's own words, "Fie, fie--this moral linen here smells so tainted--just like a shroud. I am accustomed to the air of the prairies now, I can tell you. . . . Wait a little, wait a little--we'll soon rise from the sepulcher. We must have broad daylight here when my boy comes."

Broad daylight is indeed needed in the community of Consul Bernick, and above all in the life of the Consul himself.

It seems to be the psychology of a lie that it can never stand alone. Consul Bernick is compelled to weave a network of lies to sustain his foundation. In the disguise of a good husband, he upbraids, nags, and tortures his wife on the slightest provocation. In the mask of a devoted father, he tyrannizes and bullies his only child as only a despot used to being obeyed can do. Under the cloak of a benevolent citizen he buys up public land for his own profit. Posing as a true Christian, he even goes so far as to jeopardize human life. Because of business considerations he sends The Indian Girl, an unseaworthy, rotten vessel, on a voyage, although he is assured by one of his most capable and faithful workers that the ship cannot make the journey, that it is sure to go down. But Consul Bernick is a pillar of society; he needs the respect and good will of his fellow citizens. He must go from precipice to precipice, to keep up appearances.

Lona alone sees the abyss facing him, and tells him: "What does it matter whether such a society is supported or not? What is it that passes current here? Lies and shams--nothing else. Here are you, the first man in the town, living in wealth and pride, in power and honor, you, who have set the brand of crime upon an innocent man." She might have added, many innocent men, for Johan was not the only one at whose expense Karsten Bernick built up his career.

The end is inevitable. In the words of Lona: "All this eminence, and you yourself along with it, stand on a trembling quicksand; a moment may come, a word may be spoken, and, if you do not save yourself in time, you and your whole grandeur go to the bottom."

But for Lona, or, rather, what she symbolizes, Bernick--even as The Indian Girl--would go to the bottom.

In the last act, the whole town is preparing to give the great philanthropist and benefactor, the eminent pillar of society, an ovation. There are fireworks, music, gifts and speeches in honor of Consul Bernick. At that very moment, the only child of the Consul is hiding in The Indian Girl to escape the tyranny of his home. Johan, too, is supposed to sail on the same ship, and with him, Dina, who has learned the whole truth and is eager to escape from her prison, to go to a free atmosphere, to become independent, and then to unite with Johan in love and freedom. As Dina says: "Yes, I will be your wife. But first I will work, and become something for myself, just as you are. I will give myself, I will not be taken."

Consul Bernick, too, is beginning to realize himself. The strain of events and the final shock that he had exposed his own child to such peril, act like a stroke of lightning on the Consul. It makes him see that a house built on lies, shams, and crime must eventually sink by its own weight. Surrounded by those who truly love and therefore understand him, Consul Bernick, no longer the pillar of society, but the man become conscious of his better self.

"Where have I been?" he exclaims. "You will be horrified when you know. Now, I feel as if I had just recovered my senses after being poisoned. But I feel--I feel that I can be young and strong again. Oh, come nearer--closer around me. Come, Betty! Come, Olaf! Come, Martha! Oh, Martha, it seems as though I had never seen you in all these years. And we--we have a long, earnest day of work before us; I most of all. But let it come; gather close around me, you true and faithful women. I have learned this, in these days: it is you women who are the Pillars of Society."

Lona: "Then you have learned a poor wisdom, brother-in-law. No, no; the spirit of Truth and of Freedom--these are the Pillars of Society."

The spirit of truth and freedom is the socio-revolutionary significance of "The Pillars of Society." Those, who, like Consul Bernick, fail to realize this all-important fact, go on patching up The Indian Girl, which is Ibsen's symbol for our society. But they, too, must learn that society is rotten to the core; that patching up or reforming one sore spot merely drives the social poison deeper into the system, and that all must go to the bottom unless the spirit of Truth and Freedom revolutionize the world.



IN "A Doll's House" Ibsen returns to the subject so vital to him,--the Social Lie and Duty,--this time as manifesting themselves in the sacred institution of the home and in the position of woman in her gilded cage.

Nora is the beloved, adored wife of Torvald Helmer. He is an admirable man, rigidly honest, of high moral ideals, and passionately devoted to his wife and children. In short, a good man and an enviable husband. Almost every mother would be proud of such a match for her daughter, and the latter would consider herself fortunate to become the wife of such a man.

Nora, too, considers herself fortunate. Indeed, she worships her husband, believes in him implicitly, and is sure that if ever her safety should be menaced, Torvald, her idol, her god, would perform the miracle.

When a woman loves as Nora does, nothing else matters; least of all, social, legal or moral considerations. Therefore, when her husband's life is threatened, it is no effort, it is joy for Nora to forge her father's name to a note and borrow 800 cronen on it, in order to take her sick husband to Italy.

In her eagerness to serve her husband, and in perfect innocence of the legal aspect of her act, she does not give the matter much thought, except for her anxiety to shield him from any emergency that may call upon him to perform the miracle in her behalf. She works hard, and saves every penny of her pin-money to pay back the amount she borrowed on the forged check.

Nora is light-hearted and gay, apparently without depth. Who, indeed, would expect depth of a doll, a "squirrel," a song-bird? Her purpose in life is to be happy for her husband's sake, for the sake of the children; to sing, dance, and play with them. Besides, is she not shielded, protected, and cared for? Who, then, would suspect Nora of depth? But already in the opening scene, when Torvald inquires what his precious "squirrel" wants for a Christmas present, Nora quickly asks him for money. Is it to buy macaroons or finery? In her talk with Mrs. Linden, Nora reveals her inner self, and forecasts the inevitable debacle of her doll's house.

After telling her friend how she had saved her husband, Nora says: "When Torvald gave me money for clothes and so on, I never used more than half of it; I always bought the simplest things. . . . Torvald never noticed anything. But it was often very hard, Christina dear. For it's nice to be beautifully dressed. Now, isn't it? . . . Well, and besides that, I made money in other ways. Last winter I was so lucky--I got a heap of copying to do. I shut myself up every evening and wrote far into the night. Oh, sometimes I was so tired, so tired. And yet it was splendid to work in that way and earn money. I almost felt as if I was a man."

Down deep in the consciousness of Nora there evidently slumbers personality and character, which could come into full bloom only through a great miracle--not the kind Nora hopes for, but a miracle just the same.

Nora had borrowed the money from Nils Krogstad, a man with a shady past in the eyes of the community and of the righteous moralist, Torvald Helmer. So long as Krogstad is allowed the little breathing space a Christian people grants to him who has once broken its laws, he is reasonably human. He does not molest Nora. But when Helmer becomes director of the bank in which Krogstad is employed, and threatens the man with dismissal, Krogstad naturally fights back. For as he says to Nora: "If need be, I shall fight as though for my life to keep my little place in the bank. . . . It's not only for the money: that matters least to me. It's something else. Well, I'd better make a clean breast of it. Of course you know, like every one else, that some years ago I--got into trouble. . . . The matter never came into court; but from that moment all paths were barred to me. Then I took up the business you know about. I was obliged to grasp at something; and I don't think I've been one of the worst. But now I must clear out of it all. My sons are growing up; for their sake I must try to win back as much respectability as I can. This place in the bank was the first step, and now your husband wants to kick me off the ladder, back into the mire. Mrs. Helmer, you evidently have no idea what you have really done. But I can assure you that it was nothing more and nothing worse that made me an outcast from society. . . . But this I may tell you, that if I'm flung into the gutter a second time, you shall keep me company."

Even when Nora is confronted with this awful threat, she does not fear for herself, only for Torvald,--so good, so true, who has such an aversion to debts, but who loves her so devotedly that for her sake he would take the blame upon himself. But this must never be. Nora, too, begins a fight for life, for her husband's life and that of her children. Did not Helmer tell her that the very presence of a criminal like Krogstad poisons the children? And is she not a criminal?

Torvald Helmer assures her, in his male conceit, that "early corruption generally comes from the mother's side, but of course the father's influence may act in the same way. And this Krogstad has been poisoning his own children for years past by a life of lies and hypocrisy--that's why I call him morally ruined."

Poor Nora, who cannot understand why a daughter has no right to spare her dying father anxiety, or why a wife has no right to save her husband's life, is surely not aware of the true character of her idol. But gradually the veil is lifted. At first, when in reply to her desperate pleading for Krogstad, her husband discloses the true reason for wanting to get rid of him: "The fact is, he was a college chum of mine--there was one of those rash friendships between us that one so often repents later. I don't mind confessing it--he calls me by my Christian name; and he insists on doing it even when others are present. He delights in putting on airs of familiarity--Torvald here, Torvald there! I assure you it's most painful to me. He would make my position at the bank perfectly unendurable."

And then again when the final blow comes. For forty-eight hours Nora battles for her ideal, never doubting Torvald for a moment. Indeed, so absolutely sure is she of her strong oak, her lord, her god, that she would rather kill herself than have him take the blame for her act. The end comes, and with it the doll's house tumbles down, and Nora discards her doll's dress--she sheds her skin, as it were. Torvald Helmer proves himself a petty Philistine, a bully and a coward, as so many good husbands when they throw off their respectable cloak.

Helmer's rage over Nora's crime subsides the moment the danger of publicity is averted--proving that Helmer, like many a moralist, is not so much incensed at Nora's offense as by the fear of being found out. Not so Nora. Finding out is her salvation. It is then that she realizes how much she has been wronged, that she is only a plaything, a doll to Helmer. In her disillusionment she says, "You have never loved me. You only thought it amusing to be in love with me."

Helmer. Why, Nora, what a thing to say!

Nora. Yes, it is so, Torvald. While I was at home with father he used to tell me all his opinions and I held the same opinions. If I had others I concealed them, because he would not have liked it. He used to call me his doll child, and play with me as I played with my dolls. Then I came to live in your house-- . . . I mean I passed from father's hands into yours. You settled everything according to your taste; and I got the same tastes as you; or I pretended to--I don't know which--both ways perhaps. When I look back on it now, I seem to have been living here like a beggar, from hand to mouth. I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and father have done me a great wrong. It's your fault that my life has been wasted. . . .

Helmer. It's exasperating! Can you forsake your holiest duties in this way?

Nora. What do you call my holiest duties?

Helmer. Do you ask me that? Your duties to your husband and children.

Nora. I have other duties equally sacred.

Helmer. Impossible! What duties do you mean?

Nora. My duties toward myself.

Helmer. Before all else you are a wife and a mother.

Nora. That I no longer believe. I think that before all else I am a human being, just as much as you are--or, at least, I will try to become one. I know that most people agree with you, Torvald, and that they say so in books. But henceforth I can't be satisfied with what most people say, and what is in books. I must think things out for myself and try to get clear about them. . . . I had been living here these eight years with a strange man, and had borne him three children--Oh! I can't bear to think of it--I could tear myself to pieces!. . . . I can't spend the night in a strange man's house.

Is there anything more degrading to woman than to live with a stranger, and bear him children? Yet, the lie of the marriage institution decrees that she shall continue to do so, and the social conception of duty insists that for the sake of that lie she need be nothing else than a plaything, a doll, a nonentity.

When Nora closes behind her the door of her doll's house, she opens wide the gate of life for woman, and proclaims the revolutionary message that only perfect freedom and communion make a true bond between man and woman, meeting in the open, without lies, without shame, free from the bondage of duty.



THE social and revolutionary significance of Henrik Ibsen is brought out with even greater force in "Ghosts" than in his preceding works.

Not only does this pioneer of modern dramatic art undermine in "Ghosts" the Social Lie and the paralyzing effect of Duty, but the uselessness and evil of Sacrifice, the dreary Lack of Joy and of Purpose in Work are brought to light as most pernicious and destructive elements in life.

Mrs. Alving, having made what her family called a most admirable match, discovers shortly after her marriage that her husband is a drunkard and a roué. In her despair she flees to her young friend, the divinity student Manders. But he, preparing to save souls, even though they be encased in rotten bodies, sends Mrs. Alving back to her husband and her duties toward her home.

Helen Alving is young and immature. Besides, she loves young Manders; his command is law to her. She returns home, and for twenty-five years suffers all the misery and torture of the damned. That she survives is due mainly to her passionate love for the child born of that horrible relationship--her boy Oswald, her all in life. He must be saved at any cost. To do that, she had sacrificed her great yearning for him and sent him away from the poisonous atmosphere of her home.

And now he has returned, fine and free, much to the disgust of Pastor Manders, whose limited vision cannot conceive that out in the large world free men and women can live a decent and creative life.

Manders. But how is it possible that a--a young man or young woman with any decent principles can endure to live in that way?--in the eyes of all the world!

Oswald. What are they to do? A poor young artist--a poor girl. It costs a lot of money to get married. What are they to do?

Manders. What are they to do? Let me tell you, Mr. Alving, what they ought to do. They ought to exercise self-restraint from the first; that's what they ought to do.

Oswald. Such talk as that won't go far with warm-blooded young people, over head and ears in love.

Mrs. Alving. No, it wouldn't go far.

Manders. How can the authorities tolerate such things? Allow it to go on in the light of day? (To Mrs. Alving.) Had I not cause to be deeply concerned about your son? In circles where open immorality prevails, and has even a sort of prestige----!

Oswald. Let me tell you, sir, that I have been a constant Sunday-guest in one or two such irregular homes----

Manders. On Sunday of all days!

Oswald. Isn't that the day to enjoy one's self? Well, never have I heard an offensive word, and still less have I ever witnessed anything that could be called immoral. No; do you know when and where I have found immorality in artistic circles?

Manders. No! Thank heaven, I don't!

Oswald. Well, then, allow me to inform you. I have met with it when one or other of our pattern husbands and fathers has come to Paris to have a look around on his own account, and has done the artists the honor of visiting their humble haunts. They knew what was what. These gentlemen could tell us all about places and things we had never dreamt of.

Manders. What? Do you mean to say that respectable men from home here would----?

Oswald. Have you never heard these respectable men, when they got home again, talking about the way in which immorality was running rampant abroad?

Manders. Yes, of course.

Mrs. Alving. I have, too.

Oswald. Well, you may take their word for it. They know what they are talking about! Oh! that that great, free, glorious life out there should be defiled in such a way!

Pastor Manders is outraged, and when Oswald leaves, he delivers himself of a tirade against Mrs. Alving for her "irresponsible proclivities to shirk her duty."

Manders. It is only the spirit of rebellion that craves for happiness in this life. What right have we human beings to happiness? No, we have to do our duty! And your duty was to hold firmly to the man you had once chosen and to whom you were bound by a holy tie. . . . It was your duty to bear with humility the cross which a Higher Power had, for your own good, laid upon you. But instead of that you rebelliously cast away the cross. . . . I was but a poor instrument in a Higher Hand. And what a blessing has it not been to you all the days of your life, that I got you to resume the yoke of duty and obedience!

The price Mrs. Alving had to pay for her yoke, her duty and obedience, staggers even Dr. Manders, when she reveals to him the martyrdom she had endured those long years.

Mrs. Alving. You have now spoken out, Pastor Manders; and to-morrow you are to speak publicly in memory of my husband. I shall not speak to-morrow. But now I will speak out a little to you, as you have spoken to me. . . . I want you to know that after nineteen years of marriage my husband remained as dissolute in his desires as he was when you married us. After Oswald's birth, I thought Alving seemed to be a little better. But it did not last long. And then I had to struggle twice as hard, fighting for life or death, so that nobody should know what sort of a man my child's father was. I had my little son to bear it for. But when the last insult was added; when my own servant-maid----Then I swore to myself: This shall come to an end. And so I took the upper hand in the house--the whole control over him and over everything else. For now I had a weapon against him, you see; he dared not oppose me. It was then that Oswald was sent from home. He was in his seventh year, and was beginning to observe and ask questions, as children do. That I could not bear. I thought the child must get poisoned by merely breathing the air in this polluted home. That was why I placed him out. And now you can see, too, why he was never allowed to set foot inside his home so long as his father lived. No one knows what it has cost me. . . . From the day after to-morrow it shall be for me as though he who is dead had never lived in this house. No one shall be here but my boy and his mother. (From within the dining-room comes the noise of a chair overturned, and at the same moment is heard:)

Regina (sharply, but whispering). Oswald! take care! are you mad? let me go!

Mrs. Alving (starts in terror). Ah! (She stares wildly toward the half-opened door. Oswald is heard coughing and humming inside.)

Manders (excited). What in the world is the matter? What is it, Mrs. Alving?

Mrs. Alving (hoarsely). Ghosts! the couple from the conservatory has risen again!

Ghosts, indeed! Mrs. Alving sees this but too clearly when she discovers that though she did not want Oswald to inherit a single penny from the purchase money Captain Alving had paid for her, all her sacrifice did not save Oswald from the poisoned heritage of his father. She learns soon enough that her beloved boy had inherited a terrible disease from his father, as a result of which he will never again be able to work. She also finds out that, for all her freedom, she has remained in the clutches of Ghosts, and that she has fostered in Oswald's mind an ideal of his father, the more terrible because of her own loathing for the man. Too late she realizes her fatal mistake:

Mrs. Alving. I ought never to have concealed the facts of Alving's life. But . . . in my superstitious awe for Duty and Decency I lied to my boy, year after year. Oh! what a coward, what a coward I have been! . . . Ghosts! When I heard Regina and Oswald in there, it was as though I saw the Ghosts before me. But I almost think we are all of us Ghosts, Pastor Manders. It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that "walks" in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we can't get rid of them. . . . There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light. . . . When you forced me under the yoke you called Duty and Obligation; when you praised as right and proper what my whole soul rebelled against, as something loathsome. It was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I only wished to pick at a single knot; but when I had got that undone, the whole thing ravelled out. And then I understood that it was all machine-sewn. . . . It was a crime against us both.

Indeed, a crime on which the sacred institution is built, and for which thousands of innocent children must pay with their happiness and life, while their mothers continue to the very end without ever learning how hideously criminal their life is.

Not so Mrs. Alving who, though at a terrible price, works herself out to the truth; aye, even to the height of understanding the dissolute life of the father of her child, who had lived in cramped provincial surroundings, and could find no purpose in life, no outlet for his exuberance. It is through her child, through Oswald, that all this becomes illumed to her.

Oswald. Ah, the joy of life, mother; that's a thing you don't know much about in these parts. I have never felt it here. . . . And then, too, the joy of work. At bottom, it's the same thing. But that too you know nothing about. . . . Here people are brought up to believe that work is a curse and a punishment for sin, and that life is something miserable, something we want to be done with, the sooner the better. . . . Have you noticed that everything I have painted has turned upon the joy of life? always, always upon the joy of life?--light and sunshine and glorious air, and faces radiant with happiness? That is why I am afraid of remaining at home with you.

Mrs. Alving. Oswald, you spoke of the joy of life; and at that word a new light burst for me over my life and all it has contained. . . . You ought to have known your father when he was a young lieutenant. He was brimming over with the joy of life! . . . He had no object in life, but only an official position. He had no work into which he could throw himself heart and soul; he had only business. He had not a single comrade that knew what the joy of life meant--only loafers and boon companions---- . . . So that happened which was sure to happen. . . . Oswald, my dear boy; has it shaken you very much?

Oswald. Of course it came upon me as a great surprise, but, after all, it can't matter much to me.

Mrs. Alving. Can't matter! That your father was so infinitely miserable!

Oswald. Of course I can pity him as I would anybody else; but----

Mrs. Alving. Nothing more? Your own father!

Oswald. Oh, there! "Father," "father"! I never knew anything of father. I don't remember anything about him except--that he once made me sick.

Mrs. Alving. That's a terrible way to speak! Should not a son love his father, all the same?

Oswald. When a son has nothing to thank his father for? has never known him? Do you really cling to the old superstition?--you who are so enlightened in other ways?

Mrs. Alving. Is that only a superstition?

In truth, a superstition--one that is kept like the sword of Damocles over the child who does not ask to be given life, and is yet tied with a thousand chains to those who bring him into a cheerless, joyless, and wretched world.

The voice of Henrik Ibsen in "Ghosts" sounds like the trumpets before the walls of Jericho. Into the remotest nooks and corners reaches his voice, with its thundering indictment of our moral cancers, our social poisons, our hideous crimes against unborn and born victims. Verily a more revolutionary condemnation has never been uttered in dramatic form before or since the great Henrik Ibsen.

We need, therefore, not be surprised at the vile abuse and denunciation heaped upon Ibsen's head by the Church, the State, and other moral eunuchs. But the spirit of Henrik Ibsen could not be daunted. It asserted itself with even greater defiance in "An Enemy of Society,"--a powerful arraignment of the political and economic Lie,--Ibsen's own confession of faith.



DR. THOMAS STOCKMANN is called to the position of medical adviser to the management of the "Baths," the main resource of his native town.

A sincere man of high ideals, Dr. Stockmann returns home after an absence of many years, full of the spirit of enterprise and progressive innovation. For as he says to his brother Peter, the town Burgomaster, "I am so glad and content. I feel so unspeakably happy in the midst of all this growing, germinating life. After all, what a glorious time we do live in. It is as if a new world were springing up around us."

Burgomaster. Do you really think so?

Dr. Stockmann. Well, of course, you can't see this as clearly as I do. You've spent all your life in this place, and so your perceptions have been dulled. But I, who had to live up there in that small hole in the north all those years, hardly ever seeing a soul to speak a stimulating word to me--all this affects me as if I were carried to the midst of a crowded city--I know well enough that the conditions of life are small compared with many other towns. But here is life, growth, an infinity of things to work for and to strive for; and that is the main point.

In this spirit Dr. Stockmann sets to his task. After two years of careful investigation, he finds that the Baths are built on a swamp, full of poisonous germs, and that people who come there for their health will be infected with fever.

Thomas Stockmann is a conscientious physician. He loves his native town, but he loves his fellow-men more. He considers it his duty to communicate his discovery to the highest authority of the town, the Burgomaster, his brother Peter Stockmann.

Dr. Stockmann is indeed an idealist; else he would know that the man is often lost in the official. Besides, Peter Stockmann is also the president of the board of directors and one of the heaviest stockholders of the Baths. Sufficient reason to upbraid his reckless medical brother as a dangerous man:

Burgomaster. Anyhow, you've an ingrained propensity for going your own way. And that in a well-ordered community is almost as dangerous. The individual must submit himself to the whole community, or, to speak more correctly, bow to the authority that watches over the welfare of all.

But the Doctor is not disconcerted: Peter is an official; he is not concerned with ideals. But there is the press,--that is the medium for his purpose! The staff of the People's Messenger--Hovstad, Billings, and Aslaksen, are deeply impressed by the Doctor's discovery. With one eye to good copy and the other to the political chances, they immediately put the People's Messenger at the disposal of Thomas Stockmann. Hovstad sees great possibilities for a thorough radical reform of the whole life of the community.

Hovstad. To you, as a doctor and a man of science, this business of the water-works is an isolated affair. I fancy it hasn't occurred to you that a good many other things are connected with it. . . . The swamp our whole municipal life stands and rots in. . . . I think a journalist assumes an immense responsibility when he neglects an opportunity of aiding the masses, the poor, the oppressed. I know well enough that the upper classes will call this stirring up the people, and so forth, but they can do as they please, if only my conscience is clear.

Aslaksen, printer of the People's Messenger, chairman of the Householders' Association, and agent for the Moderation Society, has, like Hovstad, a keen eye to business. He assures the Doctor of his whole-hearted coöperation, especially emphasizing that, "It might do you no harm to have us middle-class men at your back. We now form a compact majority in the town--when we really make up our minds to. And it's always as well, Doctor, to have the majority with you. . . . And so I think it wouldn't be amiss if we made some sort of a demonstration. . . . Of course with great moderation, Doctor. I am always in favor of moderation; for moderation is a citizen's first virtue--at least those are my sentiments."

Truly, Dr. Stockmann is an idealist; else he would not place so much faith in the staff of the People's Messenger, who love the people so well that they constantly feed them with high-sounding phrases of democratic principles and of the noble function of the press, while they pilfer their pockets.

That is expressed in Hovstad's own words, when Petra, the daughter of Dr. Stockmann, returns a sentimental novel she was to translate for the People's Messenger: "This can't possibly go into the Messenger," she tells Hovstad; "it is in direct contradiction to your own opinion."

Hovstad. Well, but for the sake of the cause—

Petra. You don't understand me yet. It is all about a supernatural power that looks after the so-called good people here on earth, and turns all things to their advantage at last, and all the bad people are punished.

Hovstad. Yes, but that's very fine. It's the very thing the public like.

Petra. And would you supply the public with such stuff? Why, you don't believe one word of it yourself. You know well enough that things don't really happen like that.

Hovstad. You're right there; but an editor can't always do as he likes. He often has to yield to public opinion in small matters. After all, politics is the chief thing in life--at any rate for a newspaper; and if I want the people to follow me along the path of emancipation and progress, I mustn't scare them away. If they find such a moral story down in the cellar, they're much more willing to stand what is printed above it--they feel themselves safer.

Editors of the stamp of Hovstad seldom dare to express their real opinions. They cannot afford to "scare away" their readers. They generally yield to the most ignorant and vulgar public opinion; they do not set themselves up against constituted authority. Therefore the People's Messenger drops the "greatest man" in town when it learns that the Burgomaster and the influential citizens are determined that the truth shall be silenced. The Burgomaster soundly denounces his brother's "rebellion."

Burgomaster. The public doesn't need new ideas. The public is best served by the good old recognized ideas that they have already. . . . As an official, you've no right to have any individual conviction.

Dr. Stockmann. The source is poisoned, man! Are you mad? We live by trafficking in filth and garbage. The whole of our developing social life is rooted in a lie!

Burgomaster. Idle fancies--or something worse. The man who makes such offensive insinuations against his own native place must be an enemy of society.

Dr. Stockmann. And I must bear such treatment! In my own house. Katrine! What do you think of it?

Mrs. Stockmann. Indeed, it is a shame and an insult, Thomas---- . . . But, after all, your brother has the power----

Dr. Stockmann. Yes, but I have the right!

Mrs. Stockmann. Ah, yes, right, right! What is the good of being right when you haven't any might?

Dr. Stockmann. What! No good in a free society to have right on your side? You are absurd, Katrine. And besides, haven't I the free and independent press with me? The compact majority behind me? That's might enough, I should think!

Katrine Stockmann is wiser than her husband. For he who has no might need hope for no right. The good Doctor has to drink the bitter cup to the last drop before he realizes the wisdom of his wife.

Threatened by the authorities and repudiated by the People's Messenger, Dr. Stockmann attempts to secure a hall wherein to hold a public meeting. A free-born citizen, he believes in the Constitution and its guarantees; he is determined to maintain his right of free expression. But like so many others, even most advanced liberals blinded by the spook of constitutional rights and free speech, Dr. Stockmann inevitably has to pay the penalty of his credulity. He finds every hall in town closed against him. Only one solitary citizen has the courage to open his doors to the persecuted Doctor, his old friend Horster. But the mob follows him even there and howls him down as an enemy of society. Thomas Stockmann makes the discovery in his battle with ignorance, stupidity, and vested interests that "the most dangerous enemies of truth and freedom in our midst are the compact majority, the damned compact liberal majority." His experiences lead him to the conclusion that "the majority is never right. . . . That is one of those conventional lies against which a free, thoughtful man must rebel. . . . The majority has might unhappily--but right it has not."

Hovstad. The man who would ruin a whole community must be an enemy of society!

Dr. Stockmann. It doesn't matter if a lying community is ruined! . . . You'll poison the whole country in time; you will bring it to such a pass that the whole country will deserve to perish. And should it come to this, I say, from the bottom of my heart: Perish the country! Perish all its people!

Driven out of the place, hooted and jeered by the mob, Dr. Stockmann barely escapes with his life, and seeks safety in his home, only to find everything demolished there. In due time he is repudiated by the grocer, the baker, and the candlestick maker. The landlord, of course, is very sorry for him. The Stockmanns have always paid their rent regularly, but it would injure his reputation to have such an avowed rebel for a tenant. The grocer is sorry, and the butcher, too; but they can not jeopardize their business. Finally the board of education sends expressions of regret: Petra is an excellent teacher and the boys of Stockmann splendid pupils, but it would contaminate the other children were the Stockmanns allowed to remain in school. And again Dr. Stockmann learns a vital lesson. But he will not submit; he will be strong.

Dr. Stockmann. Should I let myself be beaten off the field by public opinion, and the compact majority, and such deviltry? No, thanks. Besides, what I want is so simple, so clear and straightforward. I only want to drive into the heads of these curs that the Liberals are the worst foes of free men; that party-programmes wring the necks of all young living truths; that considerations of expediency turn morality and righteousness upside down, until life is simply hideous. . . . I don't see any man free and brave enough to dare the Truth. . . . The strongest man is he who stands most alone.

A confession of faith, indeed, because Henrik Ibsen, although recognized as a great dramatic artist, remained alone in his stand as a revolutionist.

His dramatic art, without his glorious rebellion against every authoritative institution, against every social and moral lie, against every vestige of bondage, were inconceivable. Just as his art would lose human significance, were his love of truth and freedom lacking. Already in "Brand," Henrik Ibsen demanded all or nothing, no weak-kneed moderation,--no compromise of any sort in the struggle for the ideal. His proud defiance, his enthusiastic daring, his utter indifference to consequences, are Henrik Ibsen's bugle call, heralding a new dawn and the birth of a new race.


"THE reproach was levelled against my tragedy, 'The Father' that it was so sad, as though one wanted merry tragedies. People clamour for the joy of life, and the theatrical managers order farces, as though the joy of life consisted in being foolish, and in describing people as if they were each and all afflicted with St. Vitus's dance or idiocy. I find the joy of life in the powerful, cruel struggle of life, and my enjoyment in discovering something, in learning something."

The passionate desire to discover something, to learn something, has made of August Strindberg a keen dissector of souls. Above all, of his own soul.

Surely there is no figure in contemporary literature, outside of Tolstoy, that laid bare the most secret nooks and corners of his own soul with the sincerity of August Strindberg. One so relentlessly honest with himself, could be no less with others.

That explains the bitter opposition and hatred of his critics. They did not object so much to Strindberg's self-torture; but that he should have dared to torture them, to hold up his searching mirror to their sore spots, that they could not forgive.

Especially is this true of woman. For centuries she has been lulled into a trance by the songs of the troubadours who paid homage to her goodness, her sweetness, her selflessness and, above all, her noble motherhood. And though she is beginning to appreciate that all this incense has befogged her mind and paralyzed her soul, she hates to give up the tribute laid at her feet by sentimental moonshiners of the past.

To be sure, it is rude to turn on the full searchlight upon a painted face. But how is one to know what is back of the paint and artifice? August Strindberg hated artifice with all the passion of his being; hence his severe criticism of woman. Perhaps it was his tragedy to see her as she really is, and not as she appears in her trance. To love with open eyes is, indeed, a tragedy, and Strindberg loved woman. All his life long he yearned for her love, as mother, as wife, as companion. But his longing for, and his need of her, were the crucible of Strindberg, as they have been the crucible of every man, even of the mightiest spirit.

Why it is so is best expressed in the words of the old nurse, Margret, in "The Father ":

"Because all you men, great and small, are woman's children, every man of you."

The child in man-and the greater the man the more dominant the child in him-has ever succumbed to the Earth Spirit, Woman, and as long as that is her only drawing power, Man, with all his strength and genius, will ever be at her feet.

The Earth Spirit is motherhood carrying the race in its womb; the flame of life luring the moth, often against its Will, to destruction.

In all of Strindberg's plays we see the flame of life at work, ravishing man's brain, consuming man's faith, rousing man's passion. Always, always the flame of life is drawing its victims with irresistible force. August Strindberg's arraignment of that force is at the same time a confession of faith. He, too, was the child of woman, and utterly helpless before her.



THE FATHER portrays the tragedy of a man and a woman struggling for the possession of their child. The father, a cavalry captain, is intellectual, a freethinker, a man of ideas. His wife is narrow, selfish, and unscrupulous in her methods when her antagonism is wakened.

Other members of the family are the wife's mother, a Spiritualist, and the Captain's old nurse, Margret, ignorant and superstitious. The father feels that the child would be poisoned in such an atmosphere:

The Captain. This house is full of women who all want to have their say about my child. My mother-inlaw wants to make a Spiritualist of her. Laura wants her to be an artist; the governess wants her to be a Methodist, old Margret a Baptist, and the servant-girls want her to join the Salvation Army! It won't do to try to make a soul in patches like that. I, who have the chief right to try to form her character, am constantly opposed in my efforts. And that's why I have decided to send her away from home.

But it is not only because the Captain does not believe in "making a soul in patches," that he wants to rescue the child from the hot-house environment, nor because he plans to make her an image of himself. It is rather because he wants her to grow up with a healthy outlook on life.

The Captain. I don't want to be a procurer for my daughter and educate her exclusively for matrimony, for then if she were left unmarried she might have bitter days. On the other hand, I don't want to influence her toward a career that requires a long course of training which would be entirely thrown away if she should marry. I want her to be a teacher. If she remains unmarried she will be able to support herself, and at any rate she wouldn't be any worse off than the poor schoolmasters who have to share their salaries with a family.

If she marries she can use her knowledge in the education of her children.

While the father's love is concerned with the development of the child, that of the mother is interested mainly in the possession of the child. Therefore she fights the man with every means at her command, even to the point of instilling the poison of doubt into his mind, by hints that he is not the father of the child. Not only does she seek to drive her husband mad, but through skillful intrigue she leads every one, including the Doctor, to believe that he is actually insane. Finally even the old nurse is induced to betray him: she slips the straitjacket over him, adding the last touch to the treachery. Robbed of his faith, broken in spirit and subdued, the Captain dies a victim of the Earth Spirit - of motherhood, which slays the man for the sake of the child. Laura herself will have it so when she tells her husband, " You have fulfilled your function as an unfortunately necessary father and breadwinner. You are not needed any longer, and you must go."

Critics have pronounced " The Father " an aberration of Strindberg's mind, utterly false and distorted. But that is because they hate to f ace the truth. In Strindberg, however, the truth is his most revolutionary significance.

THE FATHER contains two basic truths. Motherhood, much praised, poetized, and hailed as a wonderful thing, is in reality very often the greatest deterrent influence in the life of the child. Because it is not primarily concerned with the potentialities of character and growth of the child; on the contrary, it is interested chiefly in the birthgiver,- that is, the mother. Therefore, the mother is the most subjective, self-centered and conservative obstacle. She binds the child to herself with a thousand threads which never grant sufficient freedom for mental and spiritual expansion. It is not necessary to be as bitter as Strindberg to realize this. There are of course exceptional mothers who continue to grow with the child. But the average mother is like the hen with her brood, forever fretting about her chicks if they venture a step away from the coop. The mother enslaves with kindness,- a bondage harder to bear and more difficult to escape than the brutal fist of the father.

Strindberg himself experienced it, and nearly every one who has ever attempted to outgrow the soul strings of the mother.

In portraying motherhood, as it really is, August Strindberg is conveying a vital and revolutionary message, namely, that true motherhood, even as fatherhood, does not consist in molding the child according to ones image, or in imposing upon it one's own ideas and notions, but in allowing the child freedom and opportunity to grow harmoniously according to its own potentialities, unhampered and unmarred.

The child was August Strindberg's religion,perhaps because of his own very tragic childhood and youth. He was like Father Time in " Jude the Obscure," a giant child, and as he has Laura say of the Captain in "The Father," "he had either come too early into the world, or perhaps was not wanted at all.

" Yes, that's how it was," the Captain replies, "my father's and my mother's will was against my coming into the world, and consequently I was born without a will."

The horror of having been brought into the world undesired and unloved, stamped its indelible mark on August Strindberg. It never left him. Nor did fear and hunger---the two terrible phantoms of his childhood.

Indeed, the child was Strindberg's religion, his faith, his passion. Is it then surprising that he should have resented woman's attitude towards the man as a mere means to the child; or, in the words of Laura, as " the function of father and breadwinner " ? That this is the attitude of woman, is of course denied. But it is nevertheless true. It holds good not only of the average, unthinking woman, but even of many feminists of to-day; and, no doubt, they were even more antagonistic to the male in Strindberg's time.

It is only too true that woman is paying back what she has endured for centuries - humiliation, subjection, and bondage. But making oneself free through the enslavement of another, is by no means a step toward advancement. Woman must grow to understand that the father is as vital a factor in the life of the child as is the mother. Such a realization would help very much to minimize the conflict between the sexes.

Of course, that is not the only cause of the conflict. There is another, as expressed by Laura: " Do you remember when I fIrst came into your life, I was like a second mother? . . . 1 loved you as my child. But . . . when the nature of your feelings changed and you appeared as my lover, I blushed, and your embraces were joy that was followed by remorseful conscience as if my blood were ashamed."

The vile thought instilled into woman by the Church and Puritanism that sex expression without the purpose of procreation is immoral, has been a most degrading influence. It has poisoned the life of thousands of women who similarly suffer " remorseful conscience as ; therefore their disgust and hatred of the man; therefore also the conflict.

Must it always be thus? Even Strindberg does not think so. Else he would not plead in behalf of " divorce between man and wife, so that lovers may be born." He felt that until man and woman cease to have " remorseful consciences " because of the most elemental expression of the joy of life, they cannot realize the purity and beauty of sex, nor appreciate its ecstasy, as the source of full understanding and creative harmony between male and female. Till then man and woman must remain in conflict, and the child pay the penalty.

August Strindberg, as one of the numberless innocent victims of this terrible conflict, cries out bitterly against it, with the artistic genius and strength that compel attention to the significance of his message.



IN his masterly preface to this play, August Strindberg writes: "The fact that my tragedy makes a sad impression on many is the fault of the many. When we become strong, as were the first French revolutionaries, it will make an exelusively pleasant and cheerful impression to see the royal parks cleared of rotting, superannuated trees which have too long stood in the way of others with equal right to vegetate their full lifetime; it will make a good impression in the same sense as does the sight of the death of an incurable."

What a wealth of revolutionary thought,were we to realize that those who will clear society of the rotting, superannuated trees that have so long been standing in the way of others entitled to an equal share in life, must be as strong as the great revolutionists of the past!

Indeed, Strindberg is no trimmer, no cheap reformer, no patchworker; therefore his inability to remain fixed, or to content himself with accepted truths. Therefore also, his great versatility, his deep grasp of the subtlest phases of life. Was he not forever the seeker, the restless spirit roaming the earth, ever in the death-throes of the Old, to give birth to the New? How, then, could he be other than relentless and grim and brutally frank.

" Countess Julie," a one-act tragedy, is no doubt a brutally frank portrayal of the most intimate thoughts of man and of the age-long antagonism between classes. Brutally frank, because August Strindberg strips both of their glitter, their sham and pretense, that we may see that " at bottom there's not so much difference between people and people."

Who in modern dramatic art is there to teach us that lesson with the insight of an August Strindberg? He who had been tossed about all his life between the decadent traditions of his aristocratic 'father and the grim, sordid reality of the class of his mother. He who had been begotten through the physical mastery of his father and the physical subserviency of his mother. Verily, Strindberg knew whereof he spoke-for he spoke with his soul, a language whose significance is illuminating, compelling.

Countess Julie inherited the primitive, intense passion of her mother and the neurotic aristocratic tendencies of her father. Added to this heritage is the call of the wild, the " intense summer heat when on the blood turns to fire, and when all are in a holiday spirit, full of gladness, and rank is flung aside." Countess Julie feels, when too late, that the barrier of rank reared through the ages, by wealth and power, is not flung aside with impunity. Therein the vicious I brutality, the boundless injustice of rank.

The people on the estate of Julie's father are celebrating St. John's Eve with dance, song and revelry. The Count is absent, and Julie graciously mingles with the servants. But once having tasted the simple abandon of the people, once having thrown off the artifice and superficiality of her aristocratic decorum, her suppressed passions leap into full flame, and Julie throws herself into the arms of her father's valet, Jean -not because of love for the man, nor yet openly and freely, but as persons of her station may do when carried away by the moment.

The woman in Julie pursues the male, follows him into the kitchen, plays with him as with a pet dog, and then feigns indignation when Jean, aroused makes advances. How dare he, the servant, the lackey, even insinuate that she would have him I " I, the lady of the house! I honor the people with my presence. I, in love with my coachman? I, who step down."

How well Strindberg knows the psychology of the upper classes I How well he understands that their graciousness, their charity, their interest in the " common people " is, after all, nothing but arrogance, blind conceit of their own importance and ignorance of the character of the people.

Even though Jean is a servant, he has his pride, he has his dreams. " I was not hired to be your plaything," he says to Julie; " I think too much of myself for that.

Strange, is it not, that those who serve and drudge for others, should think so much of themselves as to refuse to be played with? Stranger still that they should indulge in dreams. Jean says:

Do you know how people in high life look from the under-world? . . . They look like hawks and eagles whose backs one seldom sees, for they soar up above. I lived in a hovel provided by the State, with seven brothers and sisters and a pig; out on a barren stretch where nothing grew, not even a tree, but from the window I could see the Count's park walls with apple trees rising above them. That was the garden of paradise; and there stood many angry angels with flaming swords protecting it; but for all that I and other boys found the way to the tree of life - now you despise me. . . . I thought if it is true that the thief on the cross could enter heaven and dwell among the angels it was strange that a pauper child on God's earth could not go into the castle park and play with the Countess' daughter. . . . What I wanted-I don't know. You were unattainable, but through the vision of you I was made to realize how hopeless it was to rise above the conditions of my birth.

What rich food for thought in the above for all of us, and for the jeans, the people who do not know what they want, yet feel the cruelty of a world that keeps the pauper's child out of the castle of his dreams, away from joy and play and beauty! The injustice and the bitterness of it all, that places the stigma of birth as an impassable obstacle, a fatal imperative excluding one from the table of life, with the result of producing such terrible effects on the Julies and the Jeans. The one unnerved, made helpless and useless by affluence, ease and idleness; the other enslaved and bound by service and dependence. Even when Jean wants to, he cannot rise above his condition. When Julie asks him to embrace her, to love her, he replies:

I can't as long as we are in this house. . . . There is the Count, your father. . . . I need only to see his gloves lying in a chair to feel my own insignificance. I have only to hear his bell, to start like a nervous horse. . . . And now that I see his boots standing there so stiff and proper, I feet like bowing and scraping. . . . I can't account for it but-but ah, it is that damned servant in my back -I believe if the Count came here now, and told me to cut my throat, I would do it on the spot. . . . Superstition and prejudice taught in childhood can't be uprooted in a moment.

No, superstition and prejudice cannot be uprooted in a moment; nor in years. The awe of authority, servility before station and wealth - these are the curse of the Jean class that makes such cringing slaves of them. Cringing before those who are above them, tyrannical and overbearing toward those who are below them. For Jean has the potentiality of the master in him as much as that of the slave. Yet degrading as "the damned servant" reacts upon Jean, it is much more terrible in its effect upon Kristin, the cook, the dull, dumb animal who has so little left of the spirit of independence that she has lost even the ambition to rise above her condition. Thus when Kristin, the betrothed of Jean, discovers that her mistress Julie had given herself to him, she is indignant that her lady should have so much forgotten her station as to stoop to her father's valet.

Kristin. I don't want to be here in this house any , longer where one cannot respect one's betters.

Jean. Why should one respect them?

Kristin. Yes, you can say that, you are so smart. But I don't want to serve people who behave so. It reflects on oneself, I think.

Jean. Yes, but it's a comfort that they're not a bit better than we.

Kristin. No, I don't think so, for if they are no better there's no use in our trying to better ourselves in this world. And to think of the Count! Think of him who has had so much sorrow all his days. No, I don't want to stay in this house any longer! And to think of it being with such as you 1 If it had been the Lieutenant -...I have never lowered my position. Let any one say, if they can, that the Count's cook has had anything to do with the riding master or the swineherd. Let them come and say it!

Such dignity and morality are indeed pathetic, because they indicate how completely serfdom may annihilate even the longing for something higher and better in the breast of a human being. The Kristins represent the greatest obstacle to social growth, the deadlock in the conflict between the classes. On the other hand, the Jeans, with all their longing for higher possibilities, often become brutalized in the hard school of life; though in the conflict with Julie, Jean shows brutality only at the critical moment, when it be-



ALTHOUGH COMRADES was written in 1888, it is in a measure the most up-to-date play of Strindberg,-so thoroughly modern that one at all conversant with the milieu that inspired " Comrades " could easily point out the type of character portrayed in the play.

It is a four-act comedy of marriage - the kind of marriage that lacks social and legal security in the form of a ceremony, but retains all the petty. conventions of the marriage institution. The results of such an anomaly are indeed ludicrous when viewed from a distance, but very tragic for those who play a part in it.

Axel Alberg and his wife Bertha are Swedish artists residing in Paris. They are both painters. Of course they share the same living quarters, and although each has a separate room, the arrangement does not hinder them from trying to regulate each other's movements. Thus when Bertha does not arrive on time to keep her engagement with her model, Axel is provoked; and when he takes the liberty to chide her for her tardiness, his wife is indignant at the " invasiveness " of her husband, because women of the type of Bertha are as sensitive to fair criticism as their ultra-conservative sisters. Nor is Bertha different in her concept of love, which is expressed in the following dialogue:

Bertha. Will you be very good, very, very good?

Axel. I always want to be good to you, my friend.

Bertha, who has sent her painting to the exhibition, wants to make use of Axel's "goodness" to secure the grace of one of the art jurors.

Bertha. You would not make a sacrifice for your wife, would you?

Axel. Go begging? No, I don't want to do that.

Bertha immediately concludes that he does not love her and that, moreover, he is jealous of her art. There is a scene.

Bertha soon recovers. But bent on gaining her purpose, she changes her manner.

Bertha. Axel, let's be friends! And hear me a moment. Do you think that my position in your house -for it is yours -is agreeable to me? You support me, you pay for my studying at Julian's, while you yourself cannot afford instruction. Don't you think I see how you sit and wear out yourself and your talent on these pot-boiling drawings, and are able to paint only in leisure moments? You haven't been able to afford models for yourself, while you pay mine five hard-earned francs an hour. You don't know how good-how noble-how sacrificing you are, and also you don't know how I suffer to see you toil so for me. Oh, Axel, you can't know how I feel my position. WHat am I to you? Of what use am I in your house? Oh, I blush when I think about it!

Axel. What talk! Isn't a man to support his wife?

Bertha. I don't want it. And you, Axel, you must help me. I'm not your equal when it's like that, but I could be if you would humble yourself once, just once! Don't think that you are alone in going to one of the jury to say a good word for another. If it were for yourself, it would be another matter, but for meForgive me! Now I beg of you as nicely as I know how. Lift me from my humiliating position to your side, and I'll be so grateful I shall never trouble you again with reminding you of my position. Never, Axel!

Yet though Bertha gracefully accepts everything Axel does for her, with as little compunction as the ordinary wife, she does not give as much in return as the latter.. On the contrary, she exploits Axel in a thousand ways, squanders his hardearned money, and lives the life of the typical wifely parasite.

August Strindberg could not help attacking with much bitterness such a farce and outrage parading in the disguise of radicalism. For Bertha is not an exceptional, isolated case. To-day, as when Strindberg satirized the all-too-feminine, the majority of so-called emancipated women are willing to accept, like Bertha, everything from the man, and yet feel highly indignant if he asks in return the simple comforts of married life. The ordinary wife, at least, does not pretend to play an important role in the life of her husband. But the Berthas deceive themselves and others with the notion that the " emancipated " wife is a great moral force, an inspiration to the man. Whereas in reality she is often a cold-blooded exploiter of the work and ideas of the man, a heavy handicap to his life-purpose, retarding his growth as effectively as did her grandmothers in the long ago. Bertha takes advantage of Axel's affection to further her own artistic ambitions, just as the Church and State married woman uses her husband's love to advance her social ambitions. It never occurs to Bertha that she is no less despicable than her legally married sister. She cannot understand Axel's opposition to an art that clamors only for approval, distinction and decorations.

However, Axel can not resist Bertha's pleadings. He visits the patron saint of the salon, who, by the way, is not M. Roubey, but Mme. Roubey; for she is the " President of the Woman-Painter Protective Society." What chance would Bertha have with one of her own sex in authority? Hence her husband must be victimized. During Axel's absence Bertha learns that his picture has been refused by the salon, while hers is accepted. She is not in the least disturbed, nor at all concerned over the effect of the news on Axel. On the contrary, she is rather pleased because " so many women are refused that a man might put up with it, and be made to feel it once."

In her triumph Bertha's attitude to Axel becomes overbearing; she humiliates him, belittles his art, and even plans to humble him before the guests invited to celebrate Bertha's artistic success.

But Axel is tearing himself free from the meshes of his decaying love. He begins to see Bertha as she is: her unscrupulousness in money matters, her ceaseless effort to emasculate him. In a terrible word tussle he tells her: " I had once been free, but you clipped the hair of my strength while my tired head lay in your lap. During sleep you stole my best blood."

In the last act Bertha discovers that Axel had generously changed the numbers on the paintings in order to give her a better chance. It was his picture that was chosen as her work. She feels ashamed and humiliated; but it is too late. Axel leaves her with the exclamation, " I want to meet my comrades in the cafe, but at home I want a wife. "

A characteristic sidelight in the play is given by the conversation of Mrs. Hall, the divorced wife of Doctor Ostermark.. She comes to Bertha with a bitter tirade against the Doctor because he gives her insufficient alimony.

Mrs. Hall. And now that the girls are grown up and about to start in life, now he writes us that he is bankrupt and that he can't send us more than half the allowance. Isn't that nice, just now when the girls are grown up and are going out into life?

Bertha. We must look into this. He'll be here in a few days. Do you know that you have the law on your side and that the courts can force him to pay? And he shall be forced to do so. Do you understand? So, he can bring children into the world and then leave them empty-handed with the poor deserted mother.

Bertha, who believes in woman's equality with man, and in her economic independence, yet delivers herself of the old sentimental gush in behalf of " the poor deserted mother," who has been supported by her husband for years, though their relations had ceased long before.

A distorted picture, some feminists will say. Not at all. It is as typical to-day as it was twentysix years ago. Even to-day some " emancipated " women claim the right to be self-supporting, yet demand their husband's support. In fact, many leaders in the American suffrage movement assure us that when women will make laws, they will force men to support their wives. From the leaders down to the simplest devotee, the same attitude prevails, namely, that man is a blagueur, and that but for him the Berthas would have long ago become Michelangelos, Beethovens, or Shakespeares; they claim that the Berthas represent the most virtuous half of the race, and that they have made up their minds to make man as virtuous as they are.

That such ridiculous extravagance should be resented by the Axels is not at all surprising. It is resented even by the more intelligent of Bertha's own sex. Not because they are opposed to the emancipation of woman, but because they do not believe that her emancipation can ever be achieved by such absurd and hysterical notions. They repudiate the idea that people who retain the substance of their slavery and merely escape the shadow, can possibly be free, live free, or act free.

The radicals, no less than the feminists, must realize that a mere external change in their economic and political status, cannot alter the inherent or acquired prejudices and superstitions which underlie their slavery and dependence, and which are the main causes of the antagonism between the sexes.

The transition period is indeed a most difficult and perilous stage for the woman as well as for the man. It requires a powerful light to guide us past the dangerous reefs and rocks in the ocean of life. August Strindberg is such a light. Sometimes glaring, ofttimes scorching, but always beneficially illuminating the path for those who walk in darkness, for the blind ones who would rather deceive and be deceived than look into the recesses of their being. Therefore August Strindberg is not only " the spiritual conscience of Sweden," as he has been called, but the spiritual conscience of the whole human family, and, as such, a most vital revolutionary factor.



IT has been said that military conquest generally goes hand in hand with the decline of creative genius, with the retrogression of culture. I believe this is not a mere assertion. The history of the human race repeatedly demonstrates that whenever a nation achieved great military success, it invariably involved the decline of art, of literature, of the drama; in short, of culture in the deepest and finest sense. This has been particularly borne out by Germany after its military triumph in the Franco-Prussian War.

For almost twenty years after that war, the country of poets and thinkers remained, intellectually, a veritable desert, barren of ideas. Young Germany had to go for its intellectual food to France, -Daudet, Maupassant, and Zola; or to Russia -Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Dostoyevski; finally also to Ibsen and Strindberg. Nothing thrived in Germany during that period, except a sickening patriotism and sentimental romanticism, perniciously misleading the people and giving them no adequate outlook upon life and the social struggle. Perhaps that accounts for the popular vogue of Hermann Sudermann: it may explain why he was received by the young generation with open arms and acclaimed a great artist.

It is not my intention to discuss Hermann Sudermann as an artist or to consider him from the point of view of the technique of the drama. I intend to deal with him as the first German dramatist to treat social topics and discuss the pressing questions of the day. From this point of view Hermann Sudermann may be regarded as the pioneer of a new era in the German drama. Primarily is this true of the three plays " Honor," " Magda," and " The Fires of St. John." In these dramas Hermann Sudermann, while not delving deeply into the causes of the social conflicts, nevertheless touches upon many vital subjects.

In " Honor " the author demolishes the superficial, sentimental conception of " honor " that is a purely external manifestation, having no roots in the life, the habits, or the customs of the people. He exposes the stupidity of the notion that because a man looks askance at you, or fails to pay respect to your uniform, you must challenge him to a duel and shoot him dead. In this play Sudermann shows that the conception of honor is nothing fixed or permanent, but that it varies with economic and social status, different races, peoples and times holding different ideas of it. Smith " Honor " Sudermann succeeded in undermining to a considerable extent the stupid and ridiculous notion of the Germans ruled by the rod and the Kaiser's coat.

But I particularly wish to consider " Magda," because, of all the plays written by Hermann Sudermann, it is the most revolutionary and the least national. It deals with a universal subject,-the awakening of woman. It is revolutionary, not because Sudermann was the first to treat this subject, for Ibsen had preceded him, but because in " Magda " he was the first to raise the question of woman's right to motherhood with or without the sanction of State and Church.



LIEUTENANT COLONEL SCHWARTZE, Magda's father, represents all the conventional and conservative notions of society.

Schwartze. Modern ideas! Oh, pshaw! I know them. But come into the quiet homes where are bred brave soldiers and virtuous wives. There you'll hear no talk about heredity, no arguments about individuality, no scandalous gossip. There modern ideas have no foothold, for it is there that the life and strength of the Fatherland abide. Look at this home! There is no luxury,-hardly even what you call good taste,-faded rugs, birchen chairs, old pictures; and yet when you see the beams of the western sun pour through the white curtains and lie with such a loving touch on the old room, does not something say to you, " Here dwells true happiness"?

The Colonel is a rigid military man. He is utterly blind to the modern conception of woman's place in life. He rules his family as the Kaiser rules the nation, with severe discipline, with terrorism and despotism. He chooses the man whom Magda is to marry, and when she refuses to accept his choice, he drives her out of the house.

At the age of eighteen Magda goes out into the world yearning for development; she longs for artistic expression and economic independence. Seventeen years later she returns to her native town, a celebrated singer. As Madeline dell' Orto she is invited to sing at the town's charity bazaar, and is acclaimed, after the performance, one of the greatest stars of the country.

Magda has not forgotten her home; especially does she long to see her father whom she loves passionately, and her sister, whom she had left a little child of eight. After the concert Magda, the renowned artist, steals away from her admirers, with their flowers and presents, and goes out into the darkness of the night to catch a glimpse, through the window at least, of her father and her little sister.

Magda's father is scandalized at her mode of life: what will people say if the daughter distinguished officer stops at a hotel, a with men without a chaperon, and is wined away from her home? Magda is finally prevailed upon to remain with her parent consents on condition that they should into her life, that they should not soil smirch her innermost being. But that is expecting the impossible from a provincial environment. It is not that her people really question; insinuate, they speak with looks and nods; burning curiosity to unearth Magda's life is in the very air.

Schwartze. I implore you -- Come here, my child -- nearer -- so -- I implore you -- let me be happy in my dying hour. Tell me that you have remained pure in body and soul, and then go with my blessing on your way.

Magda. I have remained -- true to myself, dear father.

Schwartze. How? In good or in ill?

Magda. In what-for me-was good.

Schwartze. I love you with my whole heart, because I have sorrowed for you -- so long. But I must know who you are.

Among the townspeople who come to pay homage to Magda is Councilor von Keller. In his student days he belonged to the bohemian set and was full of advanced ideas. At that period he met Magda, young, beautiful, and inexperienced. A love affair developed. But when Von Keller finished his studies, he went home to the fold of his family, and forgot his sweetheart Magda. In due course he became an important pillar of society, a very influential citizen, admired, respected, and feared in the community.

When Magda returns home, Von Keller comes to pay her his respects. But she is no longer the insignificant little girl he had known; she is now a celebrity. What pillar of society is averse to basking in the glow of celebrities? Von Keller offers flowers and admiration. But Magda discovers in him the man who had robbed her of her faith and trust,-the father of her child.

Magda has become purified by her bitter struggle. It made her finer and bigger. She does not even reproach the man, because-

Magda. I've painted this meeting to myself a thousand times, and have been prepared for it for years. Something warned me, too, when I undertook this journey home -- though I must say I hardly expected just here to -- Yes, how is it that, after what has passed between us, you came into this house? It seems to me a little --. . . I can see it all. The effort to keep worthy of respect under such difficulties, with a bad conscience, is awkward. You look down from the height of your pure atmosphere on your sinful youth,-- for you are called a pillar, my dear friend.

Von Keller. Well, I felt myself called things. I thought -- Why should I undervalue my position? I have become Councilor, and that comparatively young. An ordinary ambition might take satisfaction in that. But one sits and waits at home, while others are called to the ministry. And this environment conventionality, and narrowness, all is so gray, -- gray! And the ladies here -- for one who cares at all about elegance -- I assure you something rejoiced within me when I read this morning that you were the famous singer, -- you to whom I was tied by so many dear memories and –

Magda. And then you thought whether it might not be possible with the help of these dear memories to bring a little color into the gray background?

Magda. Well, between old friends-

Von Keller. Really, are we that, really?

Magda. Certainly, sans rancune. Oh, if from the other standpoint, I should have to range the whole gamut, -- liar, coward, traitor! But as I look at it, I owe you nothing but thanks, my friend.

Von Keller. This is a view which-

Magda. Which is very convenient for you But why should I not make it convenient for you manner in which we met, you had no obligation me. I had left my home; I was young and hot-blooded and careless, and I lived as I saw I gave myself to you because I loved you. I might perhaps have loved anyone who came in my way. That--that seemed to be all over. And we were so happy,-- weren't we? . . . Yes, we were a merry set; and when the fun had lasted half a year, one day my lover vanished.

Von Keller. An unlucky chance, I swear to you. My father was ill. I had to travel. I wrote everything to you.

Magda. H'm! I didn't reproach you. And now I will tell you why I owe you thanks. I was a stupid, unsuspecting thing, enjoying freedom like a runaway monkey. Through you I became a woman. For whatever I have done in my art, for whatever I have become in myself, I have you to thank. My soul was like-yes, down below there, there used to be an Eolian harp which was left moldering because my father could not bear it. Such a silent harp was my soul; and through you it was given to the storm. And it sounded almost to breaking,-the whole scale of passions which bring us women to maturity,-love and hate and revenge and ambition, and need, need, need,-three times need- and the highest, the strongest, the holiest of all, the mother's love!-All I owe to you!

Von Keller. My child!

Magda. Your child ? Who calls it so ? Yours ? Ha, ha! Dare to claim portion in him and I'll kill you with these hands. Who are you ? You're a strange man who gratified his lust and passed on with a laugh. But I have a child,-my son, my God, my all! For him I lived and starved and froze and walked the streets; for him I sang and danced in concert-halls,-for my child who was crying for his bread!

Von Keller. For Heaven's sake, hush! someone's coming.

Magda. Let them come! Let them all come! I don't care, I don't care! To their faces I'll say what I think of you,-of you and your respectable society. Why should I be worse than you, that I must prolong my existence among you by a lie! Why should this gold upon my body, and the lustre which surrounds my name, only increase my infamy ? Have I not worked early and late for ten long years? Have I not woven this dress with sleepless nights ? Have I not built career step by step, like thousands of my kind? Why should I blush before anyone? I am myself, and through myself I have become what I am.

Magda's father learns about the affair immediately demands that the Councilor marry his daughter, or fight a duel. Magda resents the preposterous idea. Von Keller is indeed glad to offer Magda his hand in marriage: she is so beautiful and fascinating; she will prove a great asset to his ambitions. But he stipulates that she give up her profession of singer, and that the existence of the child be kept secret. He tells Magda that later on, when they are happily married an established in the world, they will bring child to their home and adopt it; but for the present respectability must not know that it born out of wedlock, without the sanction of the Church and the State.

That is more than Magda can endure. She is outraged that she, the mother, who had given up everything for the sake of her child, who had slaved, struggled and drudged in order to win a career and economic independence-all for the sake of the child-that she should forswear her right to motherhood, her right to be true to herself!

Magda. What-what do you say?

Von Keller. Why, it would ruin us. No, no, it is absurd to think of it. But we can make a little journey every year to wherever it is being educated. One can register under a false name; that is not unusual in foreign parts, and is hardly criminal. And when we are fifty years old, and other regular conditions have been fulfilled, that can be arranged, can't it? Then we can, under some pretext, adopt it, can't we?

Magda. I have humbled myself, I have surrendered my judgment, I have let myself be carried like a lamb to the slaughter. But my child I will not leave. Give up my child to save his career!

Magda orders Von Keller out of the house. But the old Colonel is unbending. He insists that his daughter become an honorable woman by marrying the man who had seduced her. Her refusal fires his wrath to wild rage.

Schwartze. Either you swear to me now. . . that you will become the honorable wife of your child's father, or-neither of us two shall go out of this room alive . . You think . . . because you are free and a grin artist, that you can set at naught-

Magda. Leave art out of the question. Consider nothing more than the seamstress or the servant-maid who seeks, among strangers, the little food and the little love she needs. See how much the family with morality demand from us! It throws us on our own resources, it gives us neither shelter nor happiness, and yet, in our loneliness, we must live according to the laws which it has planned for itself alone. We must still crouch in the corner, and there wait patiently until a respectful wooer happens to come. Yes, wait. And meanwhile the war for existence of body and soul is consuming us. Ahead we see nothing but sorrow and despair, and yet shall we not once dare to give what we have of youth and strength to the man for whom our whole being cries? Gag us, stupefy us, shut us up in harems or in cloisters-and that perhaps would be best. But if you give us our freedom, do not wonder if we take advantage of it.

But morality and the family never understand the Magdas. Least of all does the old Colonel understand his daughter. Rigid in his false notions and superstitions, wrought up with distress he is about to carry out his threat, when a stroke of apoplexy overtakes him.

In " Magda," Hermann Sudermann has given to the world a new picture of modern womanhood, a type of free motherhood. As such the play is of great revolutionary significance, not alone to Germany, but to the universal spirit of a newer day.



IN " The Fires of St. John," Sudermann does not go as far as in " Magda." Nevertheless the play deals with important truths. Life does not always draw the same conclusions; life is not always logical, not always consistent. The function of the artist is to portray life-only thus can he be true both to art and to life.

In this drama we witness the bondage of gratitude,-one of the most enslaving and paralyzing factors. Mr. Brauer, a landed proprietor, has a child, Gertrude, a beautiful girl, who has always lived the sheltered life of a hothouse plant. The Brauers also have an adopted daughter, Marie, whom they had picked up on the road, while traveling on a stormy night. They called her "the calamity child," because a great misfortune had befallen them shortly before. Mr. Brauerís younger brother, confronted with heavy losses, had shot himself, leaving behind his son George and a heavily mortgaged estate. The finding of the baby, under these circumstances, was considered by the Brauers an omen. They adopted it and brought it up as their own.

This involved the forcible separation of Marie from her gypsy mother, who was a pariah, an outcast beggar. She drank and stole in order to subsist. But with it all, her mother instinct was strong and it always drove her back to the place where her child lived. Marie had her first shock when, on her way home from confirmation, the ragged and brutalized woman threw herself before the young girl, crying, ìMamie, my child, my Mamie!î It was then that Marie realized her origin. Out of gratitude she consecrated her life to the Brauers.

Marie never forgot for a moment that she owed everything-her education, her support and happiness-to her adopted parents. She wrapped herself around them with all the intensity and passion of her nature. She became the very spirit of the house. She looked after the estate, and devoted herself to little Gertrude, as to her own sister.

Gertrude is engaged to marry her cousin George, and everything is beautiful and joyous in the household. No one suspects that Marie has been in love with the young man ever since her childhood. However, because of her gratitude to her benefactors, she stifles her nature, hardens her heart, and locks her feelings behind closed doors, as it were. And when Gertrude is about to marry George, Marie throws herself into the work of fixing up a home for the young people, to surround them with sunshine and joy in their new love life.

Accidentally Marie discovers a manuscript written by George, wherein he discloses his deep love for her. She learns that he, even as she, has no other thought, no other purpose in life than his love for her. But he also is bound by gratitude for his uncle Brauer who had saved the honor of his father and had rescued him from poverty. He feels it dishonorable to refuse to marry Gertrude.

George. All these years I have struggled and deprived myself with only one thing in view-to be free- free-and yet I must bow-I must bow. If it were not for the sake of this beautiful child, who is innocent of it all, I would be tempted to-But the die is cast, the yoke is ready-and so am I! . . . I, too, am a child of misery, a calamity child; but I am a subject of charity. I accept all they have to give.... Was I not picked up from the street, as my uncle so kindly informed me for the second time-like yourself? Do I not belong to this house, and am I not smothered with the damnable charity of my benefactors, like yourself?

It is St. John's night. The entire family is gathered on the estate of the Brauers, while the peasants are making merry with song and dance at the lighted bonfires.

It is a glorious, dreamy night, suggestive of symbolic meaning. According to the servant Katie, it is written that " whoever shall give or receive their first kiss on St. John's eve, their love is sealed and they will be faithful unto death."

In the opinion of the Pastor, St. John's night represents a religious phase, too holy for flippant pagan joy.

Pastor.On such a dreamy night, different emotions are aroused within us. We seem to be able to look into the future, and imagine ourselves able to fathom all mystery and heal all wounds. The common becomes elevated, our wishes become fate; and now we ask ourselves: What is it that causes all this within us-all these desires and wishes? It is love, brotherly love, that has been planted in our souls, that fills our lives: and, it is life itself. Am I not right? And now, with one bound, I will come to the point. In the revelation you will find: "God is love." Yes, God is love; and that is the most beautiful trait of our religion-that the best, the most beautiful within us, has been granted us by Him above. Then how could I, this very evening, so overcome with feeling for my fellow-man-how could I pass Him by ? Therefore, Mr. Brauer, no matter, whether pastor or layman, I must confess my inability to grant your wish, and decline to give you a genuine pagan toast-

But Christian symbolism having mostly descended from primitive pagan custom, George's view is perhaps the most significant.

George. Since the Pastor has so eloquently withdrawn, I will give you a toast. For, you see, my dear Pastor, something of the old pagan, a spark of heathenism, is still glowing somewhere within us all. It has outlived century after century, from the time of the old Teutons. Once every year that spark is fanned into flame-it flames up high, and then it is called "The Fires of St. John." Once every year we have " free night." Then the witches ride upon their brooms- the same brooms with which their witchcraft was once driven out of them-with scornful laughter the wild hordes sweep across the tree-tops, up, up, high upon the Blocksberg! Then it is, when in our hearts awake those wild desires which our fates could not fulfill- and, understand me well, dared not fulfill-then, no matter what may be the name of the law that governs the world on that day, in order that one single wish may become a reality, by whose grace we prolong our miserable existence, thousand others must miserably perish, part because they were never attainable; but the others, yes, the others, because we allowed them to escape us like wild birds, which, though already in our hands, but too listless to profit by opportunity, we failed to grasp at the right moment. But no matter. Once every year we have " free night." And yonder tongues of fire shooting up towards the heavens-do you know what they are ? They are the spirits of our dead perished wishes! That is the red plumage of our birds of paradise we might have petted and nursed through our entire lives, but have escaped us! That is the old chaos, the heathenism within us; and though we be happy in sunshine and according to law, to-night is St. John's night. To its ancient pagan fires I empty this glass. To-night they shall burn and flame up high-high and again high!

George and Marie meet. They, too, have had their instinct locked away even from their own consciousness. And on this night they break loose with tremendous, primitive force. They are driven into each other's arms because they feel that they belong to each other; they know that if they had the strength they could take each other by the hand, face their benefactor and tell him the truth: tell him; that it would be an unpardonable crime for George to marry Gertrude when he loves another woman.

Now they all but find courage and strength for it, when the pitiful plaint reaches them, "Oh, mine Mamie, mine daughter, mine child." And Marie is cast down from the sublime height of her love and passion, down to the realization that she also, like her pariah mother, must go out into the world to struggle, to fight, to become free from the bondage of gratitude, of charity and dependence.

Not so George. He goes to the altar, like many another man, with a lie upon his lips. He goes to swear that all his life long he will love, protect and shelter the woman who is to be his wife.

This play is rich in thought and revolutionary significance. For is it not true that we are all bound by gratitude, tied and fettered by what we think we owe to others? Are we not thus turned into weaklings and cowards, and do we not enter into new relationships with lies upon our lips? Do we not become a lie to ourselves and a lie to those we associate with? And whether we have the strength to be true to the dominant spirit, warmed into being by the fires of St. John; whether we have the courage to live up to it always or whether it manifests itself only on occasion, it is nevertheless true that there is the potentiality of freedom in the soul of every man and every woman; that there is the possibility of greatness and fineness in all beings, were they not bound and gagged by gratitude, by duty and shams,-a vicious network that enmeshes body and soul.



GERHART HAUPTMANN is the dramatist of whom it may be justly said that he revolutionized the spirit of dramatic art in Germany: the last Mohican of a group of four-Ibsen, Strindberg, Tolstoy, and Hauptmann-who illumined the horizon of the nineteenth century. Of these Hauptmann, undoubtedly the most human, is also the most universal.

It is unnecessary to make comparisons between great artists: life is sufficiently complex to give each his place in the great scheme of things. If, then, I consider Hauptmann more human, it is because of his deep kinship with every stratum of life. While Ibsen deals exclusively with one attitude, Hauptmann embraces all, understands all, and portrays all, because nothing human is alien to him.

Whether it be the struggle of the transition stage in " Lonely Lives," or the confict between the Ideal and the Real in " The Sunken Bell," or the brutal background of poverty in ìThe Weavers,î Hauptmann is never aloof as the iconoclast Ibsen, never as bitter as the soul director Strindberg, nor yet as set as the crusader Tolstoy. And that because of his humanity, his boundless love, his oneness with the disinherited of the earth, and his sympathy with the struggles and the travail, the hope and the despair of every human soul. That accounts for the bitter opposition which met Gerhart Hauptmann when he made his first appearance as a dramatist; but it also accounts for the love and devotion of those to whom he was a battle cry, a clarion call against all iniquity, injustice and wrong.

In " Lonely Lives " we see the wonderful sympathy, the tenderness of Hauptmann permeating every figure of the drama.

Dr. Vockerat is not a fighter, not a propagandist or a soap-box orator; he is a dreamer, a poet, and above all a searcher for truth; a scientist, a man who lives in the realm of thought and ideas, and is out of touch with reality and his immediate surroundings.

His parents are simple folk, religious and devoted. To them the world is a book with seven seals. Having lived all their life on a farm, everything with them is regulated and classified into simple ideas-good or bad, great or small, strong or weak. How can they know the infinite shades between strong and weak, how could they grasp the endless variations between the good and the bad? To them life is a daily routine of work and prayer. God has arranged everything, and God manages everything. Why bother your head? Why spend sleepless nights? " Leave it all to God." What pathos in this childish simplicity!

They love their son John, they worship him, and they consecrate their lives to their only boy and because of their love for him, also to his wife and the newly born baby. They have but one sorrow: their son has turned away from religion. Still greater their grief that John is an admirer of Darwin, Spencer and Haeckel and other such men,-sinners, heathens all, who will burn in purgatory and hell. To protect their beloved son from the punishment of God, the old folks continuously pray and give still more devotion and love to their erring child.

Kitty, Dr. Vockerat's wife, is a beautiful type of the Gretchen, reared without any ideas about life, without any consciousness of her position in the world, a tender, helpless flower. She loves John; he is her ideal; he is her all. But she cannot understand him. She does not live in his sphere, nor speak his language. She has never dreamed his thoughts, - not because she is not willing or not eager to give the man all that he needs, but because she does not understand and does not know how.

Into this atmosphere comes Anna Mahr like a breeze from the plains. Anna is a Russian girl, a woman so far produced in Russia only, perhaps because the conditions, the life struggles of that country have been such as to develop a different type of woman. Anna Mahr has spent most of her life on the firing line. She has no conception of the personal: she is universal in her feelings and thoughts, with deep sympathies going out in abundance to all mankind.

When she comes to the Vockerats, their whole life is disturbed, especially that of John Vockerat, to whom she is like a balmy spring to the parched wanderer in the desert. She understands him, for has she not dreamed such thoughts as his, associated with men and women who, for the sake of the ideal, sacrificed their lives, went to Siberia and suffered in the underground dungeons? How then could she fail a Vockerat? It is quite natural that John should find in Anna what his own little world could not give him, understanding, comradeship, deep spiritual kinship.

The Anna Mahrs give the same to any one, be it man, woman, or child. For theirs is not a feeling of sex, of the personal; it is the selfless, the human, the all-embracing fellowship.

In the all invigorating presence of Anna Mahr, John Vockerat begins to live, to dream and work. Another phase of him, as it were, comes into being; larger vistas open before his eyes, and his life is filled with new aspiration for creative work in behalf of a liberating purpose.

Alas, the inevitability that the ideal should be besmirched and desecrated when it comes in contact with sordid reality! This tragic fate befalls Anna Mahr and John Vockerat.

Old Mother Vockerat, who, in her simplicity of soul cannot conceive of an intimate friendship between a man and a woman, unless they be husband and wife, begins first to suspect and insinuate, then to nag and interfere. Of course, it is her love for John, and even more so her love for her son's wife, who is suffering in silence and wearing out her soul in her realization of how little she can mean to her husband.

Mother Vockerat interprets Kitty's grief in a different manner: jealousy, and antagonism to the successful rival is her most convenient explanation for the loneliness, the heart-hunger of love. But as a matter of fact, it is something deeper and more vital that is born in Kitty's soul. It is the awakening of her own womanhood, of her personality.

Kitty. I agree with Miss Mahr on many points. She was saying lately that we women live in a condition of degradation. I think she is quite right there. It is what I feel very often.... It's as clear as daylight that she is right. We are really and truly a despised and ill-used sex. Only think that there is still a law-so she told me yesterday-which allows the husband to inflict a moderate amount of corporal punishment on his wife.

And yet, corporal punishment is not half as terrible as the punishment society inflicts on the Kittys by rearing them as dependent and useless beings, as hot-house flowers, ornaments for a fine house, but of no substance to the husband and certainly of less to her children.

And Mother Vockerat, without any viciousness, instills poison into the innocent soul of Kitty and embitters the life of her loved son. Ignorantly, Mother Vockerat meddles, interferes, and tramples upon the most sacred feelings, the innocent joys of true comradeship.

And all the time John and Anna are quite unaware of the pain and tragedy they are the cause of: they are far removed from the commonplace, petty world about them. They walk and discuss, read and argue about the wonders of life, the needs of humanity, the beauty of the ideal. They have both been famished so long: John for spiritual communion, Anna for warmth of home that she had known so little before, and which in her simplicity she has accepted at the hand of Mother Vockerat and Kitty, oblivious of the fact that nothing is so enslaving as hospitality prompted by a sense of duty.

Miss Mahr. It is a great age that we live in. That which has so weighed upon people's minds and darkened their lives seems to me to be gradually disappearing. Do you not think so, Dr. Vockerat?

John. How do you mean?

Miss Mahr. On the one hand we were oppressed by a sense of uncertainty, of apprehension, on the other by gloomy fanaticism. This exaggerated tension is calming down, is yielding to the influence of something like a current of fresh air, that is blowing in upon us from- let us say from the twentieth century.

John. But I don't find it possible to arrive at any real joy in life yet. I don't know....

Miss Mahr. It has no connection with our individual fates-our little fates, Dr. Vockerat! . . . I have something to say to you-but you are not to get angry; you are to be quite quiet and good.... Dr. Vockerat! we also are falling into the error of weak natures. We must look at things more impersonally. We must learn to take ourselves less seriously.

John. But we'll not talk about that at present.... And is one really to sacrifice everything that one has gained to this cursed conventionality ? Are people incapable of understanding that there can be no crime in a situation which only tends to make both parties better and nobler? Do parents lose by their son becoming a better, wiser man? Does a wife lose by the spiritual growth of her husband?

Miss Mahr. You are both right and wrong. ... Your parents have a different standard from you. Kitty's again, differs from theirs. It seems to me that in this we cannot judge for them.

John. Yes, but you have always said yourself that one should not allow one's self to be ruled by the opinion of others-that one ought to be independent?

Miss Mahr. You have often said to me that you foresee a new, a nobler state of fellowship between man and woman.

John. Yes, I feel that it will come some time-a relationship in which the human will preponderate over the animal tie. Animal will no longer be united to animal, but one human being to another. Friendship is the foundation on which this love will rise, beautiful, unchangeable, a miraculous structure. And I foresee more than this-something nobler, richer, freer still.

Miss Mahr. But will you get anyone, except me, to believe this? Will this prevent Kitty's grieving herself to death ? . . . Don't let us speak of ourselves at all. Let us suppose, quite generally, the feeling of a new, more perfect relationship between two people to exist, as it were prophetically. It is only a feeling, a young and all too tender plant which must be carefully watched and guarded. Don't you think so, Dr. Vockerat? That this plant should come to perfection during our lifetime is not to be expected. We shall not see or taste its fruits. But we may help to propagate it for future generations. I could imagine a person accepting this as a life-task.

John. And hence you conclude that we must part.

Miss Mahr. I did not mean to speak of ourselves. But it is as you say . . . we must part. Another idea . . had sometimes suggested itself to me too . . . momentarily. But I could not entertain it now. I too have felt as if it were the presentiment of better things. And since then the old aim seems to me too poor a one for us-too common, to tell the truth. It is like coming down from the mountain-top with its wide, free view, and feeling the narrowness, the nearness of everything in the valley.

Those who feel the narrow, stifling atmosphere must either die or leave. Anna Mahr is not made for the valley. She must live on the heights. But John Vockerat, harassed and whipped on by those who love him most, is unmanned, broken and crushed. He clings to Anna Mahr as one condemned to death.

John. Help me, Miss Anna! There is no manliness, no pride left in me. I am quite changed. At this moment I am not even the man I was before you came to us. The one feeling left in me is disgust and weariness of life. Everything has lost its worth to me, is soiled, polluted, desecrated, dragged through the mire. When I think what you, your presence, your words made me, I feel that if I cannot be that again, then-then all the rest no longer means anything to me. I draw a line through it all and-close my account.

Miss Mahr. It grieves me terribly, Dr. Vockerat, to see you like this. I hardly know how I am to help you. But one thing you ought to remember-that we foresaw this. We knew that we must be prepared for this sooner or later, John. Our prophetic feeling of a new, a free existence, a far-off state of blessedness-that feeling we will keep. It shall never be forgotten, though it may never be realized. It shall be my guiding light; when this light is extinguished, my life will be extinguished too.

Miss Mahr. John! one word more! This ring- was taken from the finger of a dead woman, who hat followed her-her husband to Siberia-and faithfully shared his suffering to the end. Just the opposite to our case.... It is the only ring I have ever worn. Its story is a thing to think of when one feels weak. And when you look at it-in hours of weakness-then- think of her-who, far away-lonely like yourself- is fighting the same secret fight-Good-bye!

But John lacks the strength for the fight. Life to him is too lonely, too empty, too unbearably desolate. He has to die-a suicide.

What wonderful grasp of the deepest and most hidden tones of the human soul! What significance in the bitter truth that those who struggle for an ideal, those who attempt to cut themselves loose from the old, from the thousand fetters that hold them down, are doomed to lonely lives!

Gerhart Hauptmann has dedicated this play " to those who have lived this life." And there are many, oh, so many who must live this life, torn out root and all from the soil of their birth, of their surroundings and past. The ideal they see only in the distance-sometimes quite near, again in the far-off distance. These are the lonely lives.

This drama also emphasizes the important point that not only the parents and the wife of John Vockerat fail to understand him, but even his own comrade, one of his own world, the painter Braun,-the type of fanatical revolutionist who scorns human weaknesses and ridicules those who make concessions and compromises But not even this arch-revolutionist can grasp the needs of John. Referring to his chum's friendship with Anna, Braun upbraids him. He charges John with causing his wife's unhappiness and hurting the feelings of his parents. This very man who, as a propagandist, demands that every one live up to his ideal, is quick to condemn his friend when the latter, for the first time in his life, tries to be consistent, to be true to his own innermost being.

The revolutionary, the social and human significance of " Lonely Lives " consists in the lesson that the real revolutionist,-the dreamer, the creative artist, the iconoclast in whatever line,- is fated to be misunderstood, not only by his own kin, but often by his own comrades. That is the doom of all great spirits: they are detached from their environment. Theirs is a lonely life -the life of the transition stage, the hardest and the most difficult period for the individual as well as for a people.



WHEN " The Weavers " first saw the light, pandemonium broke out in the " land of thinkers and poets." "What!" cried Philistia, "workingmen, dirty, emaciated and starved, to be placed on the stage! Poverty, in all its ugliness, to be presented as an after-dinner amusement? That is too much! "

Indeed it is too much for the self-satisfied bourgeoisie to be brought face to face with the horrors of the weaver's existence. It is too much, because of the truth and reality that thunders in the placid ears of society a terrific J'accuse!

Gerhart Hauptmann is a child of the people; his grandfather was a weaver, and the only way his father could escape the fate of his parents was by leaving his trade and opening an inn. Little Gerhartís vivid and impressionable mind must have received many pictures from the stories told about the life of the weavers. Who knows but that the social panorama which Hauptmann subsequently gave to the world, had not slumbered in the soul of the child, gaining form and substance as he grew to manhood. At any rate ìThe Weavers,î like the canvases of Millet and the heroic figures of Meunier, represent the epic of the age-long misery of labor, a profoundly stirring picture.

The background of "The Weavers" is the weaving district in Silesia, during the period of home industry - a gruesome sight of human phantoms, dragging on their emaciated existence almost by superhuman effort. Life is a tenacious force that clings desperately even to the most meager chance in an endeavor to assert itself. But what is mirrored in " The Weavers " is so appalling, so dismally hopeless that it stamps the damning brand upon our civilization.

One man and his hirelings thrive on the sinew and bone, on the very blood, of an entire community. The manufacturer Dreissiger spends more for cigars in a day than an entire family earns in a week. Yet so brutalizing, so terrible is the effect of wealth that neither pale hunger nor black despair can move the master.

There is nothing in literature to equal the cruel reality of the scene in the office of Dreissiger, when the weavers bring the finished cloth. For hours they are kept waiting in the stuffy place, waiting the pleasure of the rich employer after they had walked miles on an empty stomach and little sleep. For as one of the men says, " What's to hinder a weaver waiting' for an hour, or for a day? What else is he there for? "

Indeed what else, except to be always waiting in humility, to be exploited and degraded, always at the mercy of the few pence thrown to them after an endless wait.

Necessity knows no law. Neither does it know pride. The weavers, driven by the whip of hunger, bend their backs, beg and cringe before their " superior."

Weaver's wife. No one can't call me idle, but I am not fit now for what I once was. I've twice had a miscarriage. As to John, he's but a poor creature. He's been to the shepherd at Zerlau, but he couldn't do him no good, and . . . you can't do more than you've strength for.... We works as hard as ever we can. This many a week I've been at it till far into the night. Aní weíll keep our heads above water right enough if I can just get a bit oí strength into me. But you must have pity on us, Mr. Pfeifer, sir. Youíll please be so very kind as to let me have a few pence on the next job, sir? Only a few pence, to buy bread with. We canít get no more credit. Weíve made a lot oí little ones.

" Suffer little children to come unto me." Christ loves the children of the poor. The more the better. Why, then, care if they starve ? Why care if they faint away with hunger, like the little boy in Dreissiger's office? For " little Philip is one of nine and the tenth's coming, and the rain comes through their roof and the mother hasn't two shirts among the nine."

Who is to blame ? Ask the Dreissigers. They will tell you, " The poor have too many children." Besides-

Dreissiger. It was nothing serious. The boy is all right again. But all the same it's a disgrace. The child's so weak that a puff of wind would blow him over. How people, how any parents can be so thoughtless is what passes my comprehension. Loading him with two heavy pieces of fustian to carry six good miles! No one would believe it that hadn't seen it. It simply means that I shall have to make a rule that no goods brought by children will be taken over. I sincerely trust that such things will not occur again.-Who gets all the blame for it? Why, of course the manufacturer. It's entirely our fault. If some poor little fellow sticks in the snow in winter and goes to sleep, a special correspondent arrives post-haste, and in two days we have a bloodcurdling story served up in all the papers. Is any blame laid on the father, the parents, that send such a child? Not a bit of it. How should they be to blame? It's all the manufacturer's fault - he's made the scapegoat. They flatter the weaver, and give the manufacturer nothing but abuse - he's a cruel man, with a heart like a stone, a dangerous fellow, at whose calves every cur of a journalist may take a bite. He lives on the fat of the land, and pays the poor weavers starvation wages. In the flow of his eloquence the writer forgets to mention that such a man has his cares too and his sleepless nights; that he runs risks of which the workman never dreams; that he is often driven distracted by all the calculations he has to make, and all the different things he has to take into account; that he has to struggle for his very life against competition; and that no day passes without some annoyance or some loss. And think of the manufacturer's responsibilities, think of the numbers that depend on him, that look to him for their daily bread. No, No! none of you need wish yourselves in my shoes - you would soon have enough of it. You all saw how that fellow, that scoundrel Becker, behaved. Now he'll go and spread about all sorts of tales of my hardheartedness, of how my weavers are turned off for a mere trifle, without a moment's notice. Is that true? Am I so very unmerciful?

The weavers are too starved, too subdued, too terror-stricken not to accept Dreissiger's plea in his own behalf. What would become of these living corpses were it not for the rebels like Becker, to put fire, spirit, and hope in them ? Verily the Beckers are dangerous.

Appalling as the scene in the office of Dreissiger is, the life in the home of the old weaver Baumert is even more terrible. His decrepit old wife, his idiotic son August, who still has to wind spools, his two daughters weaving their youth and bloom into the cloth, and Ansorge, the broken remnant of a heroic type of man, bent over his baskets, all live in cramped quarters lit up only by two small windows. They are waiting anxiously for the few pence old Baumert is to bring, that they may indulge in a long-missed meal. " What . . . what . . . what is to become of us if he don't come home? " laments Mother Baumert. " There is not so much as a handful o' salt in the house - not a bite o' bread, nor a bit o' wood for the fire."

But old Baumert has not forgotten his family. He brings them a repast, the first " good meal " they have had in two years. It is the meat of their faithful little dog, whom Baumert could not kill himself because he loved him so. But hunger knows no choice; Baumert had his beloved dog killed, because " a nice little bit o' meat like that does you a lot o' good."

It did not do old Baumert much good. His stomach, tortured and abused so long, rebelled, and the old man had to " give up the precious dog." And all this wretchedness, all this horror almost within sight of the palatial home of Dreissiger, whose dogs are better fed than his human slaves.

Man's endurance is almost limitless. Almost, yet not quite. For there comes a time when the Baumerts, even like their stomachs, rise in rebellion, when they hurl themselves, even though in blind fury, against the pillars of their prison house. Such a moment comes to the weavers, the most patient, docile and subdued of humanity, when stirred to action by the powerful poem read to them by the Jaeger.

The justice to us weavers dealt Is bloody, cruel, and hateful; Our life's one torture, long drawn out: For Lynch law we'd be grateful.

Stretched on the rack day after day, Heart sick and bodies aching, Our heavy sighs their witness bear To spirit slowly breaking.

The Dreissigers true hangmen are, Servants no whit behind them; Masters and men with one accord Set on the poor to grind them.

You villains all, you brood of hell . You fiends in fashion human, A curse will fall on all like you, Who prey on man and woman.

The suppliant knows he asks in vain, Vain every word that's spoken. " If not content, then go and starve - Our rules cannot be broken."

Then think of all our woe and want, O ye, who hear this ditty! Our struggle vain for daily bread Hard hearts would move to pity.

But pity's what you've never known, - You'd take both skin and clothing, You cannibals, whose cruel deeds Fill all good men with loathing.

The Dreissigers, however, will take no heed. Arrogant and secure in the possession of their stolen wealth, supported by the mouthpieces of the Church and the State, they feel safe from the wrath of the people - till it is too late. But when the storm breaks, they show the yellow streak and cravenly run to cover.

The weavers, roused at last by the poet's description of their condition, urged on by the inspiring enthusiasm of the Beckers and the Jaegers, become indifferent to the threats of the law and ignore the soft tongue of the dispenser of the pure word of God, - " the God who provides shelter and food for the birds and clothes the lilies of the field." Too long they had believed in Him. No wonder Pastor Kittelhaus is now at a loss to understand the weavers, heretofore " so patient, so humble, so easily led." The Pastor has to pay the price for his stupidity: the weavers have outgrown even him.

The spirit of revolt sweeps their souls. It gives them courage and strength to attack the rotten structure, to drive the thieves out of the temple, aye, even to rout the soldiers who come to I save the sacred institution of capitalism. The women, too, are imbued with the spirit of revolt and become an avenging force. Not even the devout faith of Old Hilse, who attempts to stem the tide with his blind belief in his Saviour, can stay them.

Old Hilse. O Lord, we know not how to be thankful enough to Thee, for that Thou hast spared us this night again in Thy goodness . . . an' hast had pity on us . . . an' hast suffered us to take no harm. Thou art the All merciful, an' we are poor, sinful children of men - that bad that we are not worthy to be trampled under Thy feet. Yet Thou art our loving Father, an' Thou wilt look upon us an' accept us for the sake of Thy dear Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. " Jesus' blood and righteousness, Our covering is and glorious dress." An' if we're sometimes too sore cast down under Thy chastening - when the fire of Thy purification burns too ragin' hot - oh, lay it not to our charge; forgive us our sin. Give us patience, heavenly Father, that after all these sufferin's we may be made partakers of Thy eternal blessedness. Amen.

The tide is rushing on. Luise, Old Hilse's own daughter-in-law, is part of the tide.

Luise. You an' your piety an' religion - did they serve to keep the life in my poor children? In rags an' dirt they lay, all the four - it didn't as much as keep 'em dry. Yes! I sets up to be a mother, that's what I do - an' if you'd like to know it, that's why I'd send all the manufacturers to hell - because I am a mother! -Not one of the four could I keep in life! It was cryin' more than breathin' with me from the time each poor little thing came into the world till death took pity on it. The devil a bit you cared! You sat there prayin' and singin', and let me run about till my feet bled, tryin' to get one little drop o' skim milk. How many hundred nights has I lain an' racked my head to think what I could do to cheat the churchyard of my little one ? What harm has a baby like that done that it must come to such a miserable end - eh ? An' over there at Dittrich's they're bathed in wine an' washed in milk. No! you may talk as you like, but if they begins here, ten horses won't hold me back. An' what's more - if there's a rush on Dittrich's, you will see me in the forefront of it - an' pity the man as tries to prevent me - I've stood it long enough, so now you know it.

Thus the tide sweeps over Old Hilse, as it must sweep over every obstacle, every hindrance, once labor awakens to the consciousness of its solidaric power.

An epic of misery and revolt never before painted with such terrific force, such inclusive artistry. Hence its wide human appeal, its incontrovertible indictment and its ultra-revolutionary significance, not merely to Silesia or Germany, but to our whole pseudo-civilization built on the misery and exploitation of the wealth producers, of Labor. None greater, none more universal than this stirring, all-embracing message of the most humanly creative genius of our time - Gerhart Hauptmann.



The great versatility of Gerhart Hauptmann is perhaps nowhere so apparent as in " The Sunken Bell," the poetic fairy tale of the tragedy of Man, a tragedy as rich in symbolism as it is realistically true-a tragedy as old as mankind, as elemental as man's ceaseless struggle to cut loose from the rock of ages.

Heinrich, the master bell founder, is an idealist consumed by the fire of a great purpose. He has already set a hundred bells ringing in a hundred different towns, all singing his praises. But his restless spirit is not appeased. Ever it soars to loftier heights, always yearning to reach the sun.

Now once more he has tried his powers, and the new bell, the great Master Bell, is raised aloft, - only to sink into the mere, carrying its maker with it.

His old ideals are broken, and Heinrich is lost in the wilderness of life.

Weak and faint with long groping in the dark woods, and bleeding, Heinrich reaches the mountain top and there beholds Rautendelein, the spirit of freedom, that has allured him on in the work which he strove-" in one grand Bell, to weld the silver music of thy voice with the warm gold of a Sun- holiday. It should have been a master work I failed, then wept I tears of blood." Heinrich returns to his faithful wife Magda, his children, and his village friends - to die. The bell that sank into the mere was not made for the heights -it was not fit to wake the answering echoes of the peaks!


. . . . . . . . . . .

'Twas for the valley - not the mountain-top!

I choose to die. The service of the valleys

Charms me no longer. . . . since on the peak I stood.

Youth - a new youth - I'd need, if I should live:

Out of some rare and magic mountain flower

Marvelous juices I should need to press –

Heart-health, and strength, and the mad lust of triumph,

Steeling my hand to work none yet have dreamed of!

Rautendelein, the symbol of youth and freedom, the vision of new strength and expression, wakes Heinrich from his troubled sleep, kisses him back to life, and inspires him with faith and courage to work toward greater heights.

Heinrich leaves his wife, his hearth, his native place, and rises to the summit of his ideal, there to create, to fashion a marvel bell whose iron throat shall send forth

The first waking peal

Shall shake the skies-when, from the somber clouds

That weighed upon us through the winter night,

Rivers of jewels shall go rushing down

Into a million hands outstretched to clutch!

Then all who drooped, with sudden Power inflamed,

Shall bear their treasure homeward to their huts,

There to unfurl, at last, the silken banners,

Waiting - so long, so long - to be upraised.

. . . . . . . . . . .

And now the wondrous chime again rings out,

Filling the air with such sweet, passionate sound

As makes each breast to sob with rapturous pain.

It sings a song, long lost and long forgotten,

A song of home -a childlike song of Love,

Born in the waters of some fairy well –

Known to all mortals, and yet heard of none!

And as it rises, softly first, and low,

The nightingale and dove seem singing, too;

And all the ice in every human breast

Is melted, and the hate, and pain, and woe,

Stream out in tears.

Indeed a wondrous bell, as only those can forge who have reached the mountain top,- they who can soar upon the wings of their imagination high above the valley of the commonplace, above the dismal gray of petty consideration, beyond the reach of the cold, stifling grip of reality,- higher, ever higher, to kiss the sun-lit sky.

Heinrich spreads his wings. Inspired by the divine fire of Rautendelein, he all but reaches the pinnacle. But there is the Vicar, ready to wrestle with the devil for a poor human soul; to buy it free, if need be, to drag it back to its cage that it may never rise again in rebellion to the will of God.

The Vicar.

You shun the church, take refuge in the mountains;

This many a month you have not seen the home

Where your poor wife sits sighing, while, each day,

Your children drink their lonely mother's tears!

For this there is no name but madness,

And wicked madness. Yes. I speak the truth.

Here stand I, Master, overcome with horror

At the relentless cruelty of your heart.

Now Satan, aping God, hath dealt a blow

Yes, I must speak my mind - a blow so dread

That even he must marvel at his triumph.

. . . Now - I have done.

Too deep, yea to the neck, you are sunk in sin!

Your Hell, decked out in beauty as high Heaven,

Shall hold you fast. I will not waste more words.

Yet mark this, Master: witches make good fuel,

Even as heretics, for funeral-pyres.

. . . Your ill deeds,

Heathen, and secret once, are now laid bare.

Horror they wake, and soon there shall come hate.

. . . . . . . . . .

Then, go your way! Farewell! My task is done.

The hemlock Of your sin no man may hope

To rid your soul of. May God pity you!

But this remember! There's a word named rue!

And some day, some day, as your dreams You dream,

A sudden arrow, shot from out the blue,

Shall pierce your breast! And yet

You shall not die, Nor shall You live.

In that dread day you'll Curse

All you now cherish -God, the world, your work,

Your wretched self you'll curse. Then . . . think of me!

That bell shall ring again! Then think of me!

Barely does Heinrich escape the deadly clutch of outlived creeds, superstitions, and conventions embodied in the Vicar, than he is in the throes of other foes who conspire his doom.

Nature herself has decreed the death of Heinrich. For has not man turned his back upon her, has he not cast her off, scorned her beneficial of. ferings, robbed her of her beauty, devastated her charms and betrayed her trust-all for the ephemeral glow of artifice and sham? Hence Nature, too, is Heinrich's foe. Thus the Spirit of the Earth, with all its passions and lusts, symbolized in the Wood Sprite, and gross materialism in the person of the Nickelmann, drive the in. truder back.

The Wood Sprite.

He crowds us from our hills. He hacks and hews,

Digs up our metals, sweats, and smelts, and brews.

The earth-man and the water-sprite he takes

To drag his burdens, and, to harness, breaks.

She steals my cherished flowers, my red-brown ores,

My gold, my Precious stones, my resinous stores.

She serves him like a slave, by night and day.

'Tis he she kisses--us she keeps at bay.

Naught stands against him. Ancient trees he fells.

The earth quakes at his tread, and all the dells

Ring with the echo of his thunderous blows.

His Crimson smithy furnace glows and shines

Into the depths Of my most secret mines.

What he is up to, only Satan knows!

The Nickelmann

Brekekekex! Hadst thou the creature slain,

A-rotting in the mere long since he had lain –

The maker of the bell, beside the bell.

And so when next I had wished to throw the stones,

The bell had been my box--the dice, his bones!

But even they are powerless to stern the tide of the Ideal: they are helpless in the face of Heinrich's new-born faith, of his burning passion to complete his task, and give voice to the thousand throated golden peal.

Heinrich works and toils, and when doubt casts its black shadow athwart his path, Rautendelein charms back hope. She alone has boundless faith in her Balder,-- god of the joy of Life -- for he is part of her, of the great glowing force her spirit breathed into the Heinrichs since Time was born -- Liberty, redeemer of man.


I am thy Balder?

Make me believe it-make me know it, child!

Give my faint soul the rapturous joy it needs,

To nerve it to its task. For, as the hand,

Toiling with tong and hammer, on and on,

To hew the marble and to guide the chisel,

Now bungles here, now there, yet may not halt

. . . . But - enough of this,

Still straight and steady doth the smoke ascend

From my poor human sacrifice to heaven.

Should now a Hand on high reject my gift,

Why, it may do so. Then the priestly robe

Falls from my shoulder-by no act of mine;

While I, who erst upon the heights was set,

Must look my last on Horeb, and be dumb!

But now bring torches! Lights! And show thine Art!

Enchantress! Fill the wine-cup! We will drink!

Ay, like the common herd of mortal men,

With resolute hands our fleeting joy we'll grip!

Our unsought leisure we will fill with life,

Not waste it, as the herd, in indolence.

We will have music!

While Heinrich and Rautendelein are in the ecstasy of their love and work, the spirits weave their treacherous web - they threaten, they plead, they cling,- spirits whose pain and grief are harder to bear than the enmity or menace of a thousand foes. Spirits that entwine one's heartstrings with tender touch, yet are heavier fetters, more oppressive than leaden weights. Heinrich's children, symbolizing regret that paralyzes one's creative powers, bring their mother's tears and with them a thousand hands to pull Heinrich down from his heights, back to the valley.

"The bell! The bell!" The old, long buried bell again ringing and tolling. Is it not the echo from the past? The superstitions instilled from birth, the prejudices that cling to man with cruel persistence, the conventions which fetter the wings of the idealist: the Old wrestling with the New for the control of man.

" The Sunken Bell " is a fairy tale in its poetic beauty and glow of radiant color. But stripped 'of the legendary and symbolic, it is the life story of every seeker for truth, of the restless spirit of rebellion ever striving onward, ever reaching out toward the sun-tipped mountain, ever yearning for a new-born light.

Too long had Heinrich lived in the valley. It has sapped his strength, has clipped his wings. " Too late! Thy heavy burdens weigh thee down; thy dead ones are too mighty for thee." Heinrich has to die. " He who has flown so high into the very Light, as thou hast flown, must per. ish, if he once fall back to earth."

Thus speak the worldly wise. As if death could still the burning thirst for light; as if the hunger for the ideal could ever be appeased by the thought of destruction! The worldly wise never feel the irresistible urge to dare the cruel fates. With the adder in Maxim Gorki's " Song of the Falcon" they sneer, "What is the sky? An empty place. . . . Why disturb the soul with the desire to soar into the sky? . . . Queer birds," they laugh at the falcons. " Not knowing the earth and grieving on it, they yearn for the sky, seeking for light in the sultry desert. For it is only a desert, with no food and no supporting place for a living body."

The Heinrichs are the social falcons, and though they perish when they fall to earth, they die in the triumphant glory of having beheld the sun, of having braved the storm, defied the clouds and mastered the air.

The sea sparkles in the glowing light, the waves dash against the shore. In their lion-like roar a song resounds about the proud falcons: " 0 daring Falcon, in the battle with sinister forces you lose your life. But the time will come when your precious blood will illumine, like the burning torch of truth, the dark horizon of man; when your blood shall inflame many brave hearts with a burning desire for freedom."

The time when the peals of Heinrich's Bell will call the strong and daring to battle for light and joy. " Hark I . . . 'Tis the music of the Sunbells' song! The Sun . . . the Sun . . . draws near! " . . . and though "the night is long," dawn breaks, its first rays falling on the dying Heinrichs.



FRANK WEDEKIND is perhaps the most daring dramatic spirit in Germany. Coming to the fore much later than Sudermann and Hauptmann, he did not follow in their path, but set out in quest of new truths. More boldly than any other dramatist Frank Wedekind has laid bare the shams of morality in reference to sex, especially attacking the ignorance surrounding the sex life of the child and its resultant tragedies.

Wedekind became widely known through his great drama "The Awakening of Spring," which he called a tragedy of childhood, dedicating the work to parents and teachers. Verily an appropriate dedication, because parents and teachers are, in relation to the child's needs, the most ignorant and mentally indolent class. Needless to say, this element entirely failed to grasp the social significance of Wedekind's work. On the contrary, they saw in it an invasion of their tradi. tional authority and an outrage on the sacred rights of parenthood.

The critics also could see naught in Wedekind, except a base, perverted, almost diabolic nature bereft of all finer feeling. But professional critics seldom see below the surface; else they would discover beneath the grin and satire of Frank Wedekind a sensitive soul, deeply stirred by the heart- rending tragedies about him. Stirred and grieved especially by the misery and torture of the child,- the helpless victim unable to explain the forces germinating in its nature, often crushed and destroyed by mock modesty, sham decencies, and the complacent morality that greet its blind gropings.

Never was a more powerful indictment hurled against society, which out of sheer hypocrisy and cowardice persists that boys and girls must grow up in ignorance of their sex functions, that they must be sacrificed on the altar of stupidity and convention which taboo the enlightenment of the child in questions of such elemental importance to health and well-being.

The most criminal phase of the indictment, however, is that it is generally the most promising children who are sacrificed to sex ignorance and to the total lack of appreciation on the part of teachers of the latent qualities and tendencies in the child: the one slaying the body and soul, the other paralyzing the function of the brain; and both conspiring to give to the world mental and physical mediocrities.

"The Awakening of Spring" is laid in three acts and fourteen scenes, consisting almost entirely of dialogues among the children. So close is Wedekind to the soul of the child that he succeeds in unveiling before our eyes, with a most gripping touch, its joys and sorrows, its hopes and despair, its struggles and tragedies.

The play deals with a group of school children just entering the age of puberty,- imaginative beings speculating about the mysteries of life. Wendla, sent to her grave by her loving but prudish mother, is an exquisite, lovable child; Melchior, the innocent father of WendIa's unborn baby, is a gifted boy whose thirst for knowledge leads him to inquire into the riddle of life, and to share his observations with his school chums, -a youth who, in a free and intelligent atmosphere, might have developed into an original thinker. That such a boy should be punished as a moral pervert, only goes to prove the utter unfitness of our educators and parents. Moritz, Melchior's playfellow, is driven to suicide because he cannot pass his examinations, thanks to our stupid and criminal system of education which consists in cramming the mind to the bursting point.

Wedekind has been accused of exaggerating his types, but any one familiar with child life knows that every word in " The Awakening of Spring " is vividly true. The conversation between Melchior and Moritz, for instance, is typical of all boys not mentally inert.

Melchior. I'd like to know why we really are on earth!

Moritz. I'd rather be a cab-horse than go to school! - Why do we go to school? - We go to school so that somebody can examine us!- And why do they examine us?- In order that we may fail.Seven must fail, because the upper classroom will hold only sixty.-- I feel so queer since Christmas. The devil take me, if it were not for Papa, Id pack my bundle and go to Altoona, to-day!

Moritz. Do you believe, Melchior, that the feeling of shame in man is only a product of his education? Melchior. I was thinking over that for the first time the day before yesterday. It seems to me deeply rooted in human nature. Only think, you must appear entirely clothed before your best friend. You wouldn't do so if he didn't do the same thing. Therefore, it's more or less of a fashion.

Moritz, Have you experienced it yet?

Melchior. What?

Moritz. How do you say it?

Melchior. Manhood's emotion?

Moritz. M-'hm.

Melchior. Certainly.

Moritz. I also . . .

Melchior. I've known that for a long while - Almost for a year.

Moritz. I was startled as if by lightning.

Melchior. Did you dream?

Moritz. Only for a little while -of legs in light blue tights, that strode over the cathedral - to be correct, I thought they wanted to go over it. I only saw them for an instant.

Melchlor. George Zirschnitz dreamed of his mother.

Moritz. Did he tell you that? . . . I thought I was incurable. I believed I was suffering from an inward hurt. Finally I became calm enough to begin to jot down the recollections of my life. Yes, yes, dear Melchior, the last three weeks have been a Gethsemane for me. . . . Truly they play a remarkable game with us. And we're expected to give thanks for it. I don't remember to have had any longing for this kind of excitement. Why didn't they let me sleep peacefully until all was still again. My dear parents might have had a hundred better children. I came here, I don't know how, and must be responsible myself for not staying away.Haven't you often wondered, Melchior, by what means we were brought into this whirl?

Melchior. Don't you know that yet either, Moritz?

Moritz. How should I know it? I see how the hens lay eggs, and hear that Mamma had to carry me under her heart. But is that enough? . . . I have gone through Meyer's " Little Encyclopedia " from A to Z. Words-nothing but words and words! Not a single plain explanation. Oh, this feeling of shame! - What good to me is an encyclopedia that won't answer me concerning the most important question in life?

Yes, of what good is an encyclopedia or the other wise books to the quivering, restless spirit of the child? No answer anywhere, least of all from your own mother, as Wendla and many another like her have found out.

The girl, learning that her sister has a new baby, rushes to her mother to find out how it came into the world. '

Wendla. I have a sister who has been married for two and a half years, I myself have been made an aunt for the third time, and I haven't the least idea how it all comes about - Don't be cross, Mother dear, don't be cross! Whom in the world should I ask but you! Please tell me, dear Mother! Tell me, dear Mother! I am ashamed for myself. Please, Mother, speak! Don't scold me for asking you about it. Give me an answer- How does it happen?- How does it all come about?- You cannot really deceive yourself that I, who am fourteen years old, still believe in the stork.

Frau Bergmann. Good Lord, child, but you are peculiar! - What ideas you have I - I really can't do that!

Wendla. But why not, Mother?- Why not?It can't be anything ugly if everybody is delighted over it I Frau Bergmann. 0 - 0 God, protect me! - I deserve - Go get dressed, child, go get dressed.

Wendla. I'll go -And suppose your child went out and asked the chimney sweep?

Frau Bergmann. But that would be madness! Come here, child, come here, I'll tell you! I'll tell you everything - . . . In order to have a child -one must love - the man - to whom one is married - love him, I tell you - as one can only love a man I One must love him so much with one's whole heart, so -so that one can't describe it! One must love him, Wendla, as you at your age are still unable to love -Now you know it!

How much Wendla knew, her mother found out when too late.

Wendla and Melchior, overtaken by a storm, seek shelter in a haystack, and are drawn by what Melchior calls the " first emotion of manhood " and curiosity into each other's arms. Six months later WendIa's mother discovers that her child is to become a mother. To save the family honor, the girl is promptly placed in the hands of a quack who treats her for chlorosis.

Wendla. No, Mother, no! I know it. I feel it. I haven't chlorosis. I have dropsy- I won't get better. I have the dropsy, I must die, Mother - 0, Mother, I must die!

Frau Bergmann. You must not die, child! You must not die - Great heavens, you must not die!

Wendla. But why do you weep so frightfully, then?

Frau Bergmann. You must not die, child! You haven't the dropsy, you have a child, girl! You have a child! Oh, why did you do that to me?

Wendla. I haven't done anything to you.

Frau Bergmann. Oh, don't deny it any more.

Wendla! - I know everything. See, I didn't want to say a word to you.-Wendla, my Wendla -!

Wendla. But it's not possible, Mother. . . . I have loved nobody in the world as I do you, Mother.

The pathos of it, that such a loving mother should be responsible for the death of her own child I Yet Frau Bergmann is but one of the many good, pious mothers who lay their children to "rest in God," with the inscription on the tombstone: " Wendla Bergmann, born May 5th, I878, died from chlorosis, Oct. 27, I892. Blessed are the pure of heart."

Melchior, like Wendla, was also " pure of heart "; yet how was he " blessed " ? Surely not by his teachers who, discovering his essay on the mystery of life, expel the boy from school. Only Wedekind could inject such grim humor into the farce of education - the smug importance of the faculty of the High School sitting under the portraits of Rousseau and Pestalozzi, and pronouncing judgment on their " immoral " pupil Melchior.

Rector Sonnenstich. Gentlemen: We cannot help moving the expulsion of our guilty pupil before the National Board of Education; there are the strongest reasons why we cannot: we cannot, because we must expiate the misfortune which has fallen upon us already; we cannot, because of our need to protect ourselves from similar blows in the future; we cannot, because we must chastise our guilty pupil for the demoralizing influence he exerted upon his classmates; we cannot, above all, because we must hinder him from exerting the same influence upon his remaining classmates. We cannot ignore the charge - and this, gentlemen, is possibly the weightiest of all - on any pretext concerning a ruined career, because it is our duty to protect ourselves from an epidemic of suicide similar to that which has broken out recently in various grammar schools, and which until to-day has mocked all attempts of the teachers to shackle it by any means known to advanced education. . . . We see ourselves under the necessity of judging the guilt-laden that we may not be judged guilty ourselves...Are you the author of this obscene manuscript?

Melchior. Yes -I request you, sir, to show me anything obscene in it.

Sonnenstich. You have as little respect for the dignity of your assembled teachers as you have a proper appreciation of mankind's innate sense of shame which belongs to a moral world.

Melchior's mother, a modern type, has greater faith in her child than in school education. But even she cannot hold out against the pressure of public opinion; still less against the father of Melchior, a firm believer in authority and discipline.

Herr Gabor. Anyone who can write what Melchior wrote must be rotten to the core of his being. The mark is plain. A half-healthy nature wouldn't do such a thing. None of us are saints. Each of us wanders from the straight path. His writing, on the contrary. tramples on principles. His writing is no evidence of a chance slip in the usual way; it sets forth with dread. ful plainness and a frankly definite purpose that natural longing, that propensity for immorality, because it is immorality. His writing manifests that exceptional state of spiritual corruption which we jurists classify under the term " moral imbecility."

Between the parents and the educators, Melchior is martyred even as Wendla. He is sent to the House of Correction; but being of sturdier stock than the girl, he survives.

Not so his chum Moritz. Harassed by the impelling forces of his awakened nature, and unable to grapple with the torturous tasks demanded by his " educators " at the most critical period of his life, Moritz fails in the examinations. He cannot face his parents: they have placed all their hope in him, and have lashed him, by the subtle cruelty of gratitude, to the grindstone ti II his brain reeled. Moritz is the third victim in the tragedy, the most convenient explanation of which is given by Pastor Kahlbauch in the funeral sermon.

Pastor KahIbauch. He who rejects the grace with which the Everlasting Father has blessed those born in sin, he shall die a spiritual death! - He, however, who in willful carnal abnegation of God's proper honor, lives for and serves evil, shall die the death of the body! - Who, however, wickedly throws away from him the cross which the All Merciful has laid upon him for his sins, verily, verily, I say unto you, he shall die the everlasting death! Let us, however, praise the All Gracious Lord and thank Him for His inscrutable grace in order that we may travel the thorny path more and more surely. For as truly as this one died a triple death, as truly will the Lord God conduct the righteous unto happiness and everlasting life. . . .

It is hardly necessary to point out the revolutionary significance of this extraordinary play. It speaks powerfully for itself. One need only add that " The Awakening of Spring " has done much to dispel the mist enveloping the paramount issue of sex in the education of the child. To-day it is conceded even by conservative elements that the conspiracy of silence' has been a fatal mistake. And while sponsors of the Church and of moral fixity still clamor for the good old methods, the message of Wedekind is making itself felt throughout the world, breaking down the barriers.

The child is the unit of the race, and only through its unhampered unfoldment can humanity come into its heritage. " The Awakening of Spring" is one of the great forces of modern times that is paying the way for the birth of a free race.



To those who are conversant with the works of Maeterlinck it may seem rather far-fetched to discuss him from the point of view of revolutionary and social significance. Above all, MaEterlinck is the portrayer of the remote, the poet of symbols; therefore it may seem out of place to bring him down to earth, to simplify him, or to interpret his revolutionary spirit. To some extent these objections have considerable weight; but on the other hand, if one keeps in mind that only those who go to the remote are capable of understanding the obvious, one will readily see how very significant Maeterlinck is as a revolutionizing factor. Besides, we have Maeterlinck's own conception of the significance of the revolutionary spirit In a very masterly article called "The Social Revolution," he discusses the objection on the part of the conservative section of society to the introduction of revolutionary methods. He says that they would like us to "go slow"; that they object to the use of violence and the forcible overthrow of the evils of society. And Maeterlinck answers in these significant words:

"We are too ready to forget that the headsmen of misery are less noisy, less theatrical, but infinitely more numerous, more cruel and active than those of the most terrible revolutions."

Maeterlinck realizes that there are certain grievances in society, iniquitous conditions which demand immediate solution, and that if we do not solve them with the readiest and quickest methods at our command, they will react upon society and upon life a great deal more terribly than even the most terrible revolutions. No wonder, then, that his works were put under the ban by the Catholic Church which forever sees danger in light and emancipation. Surely if Maeterlinck were not primarily the spokesman of truth, he would be embraced by the Catholic Church.

In "Monna Vanna" Maeterlinck gives a wonderful picture of the new woman--not the new woman as portrayed in the newspapers, but the new woman as a reborn, regenerated spirit; the woman who has emancipated herself from her narrow outlook upon life, and detached herself from the confines of the home; the woman, in short, who has become race-conscious andtherefore understands that she is a unit in the great ocean of life, and that she must take her place as an independent factor in order to rebuild and remold life. In proportion as she learns to become race-conscious, does she become a factor in the reconstruction of society, valuable to herself, to her children, and to the race.

Pisa is subdued by the forces of Florence; it is beaten and conquered. The city is in danger of being destroyed, and the people exposed to famine and annihilation. There is only one way of saving Pisa. Marco Colonna, the father of the Commander of Pisa, brings the ultimatum of the enemy:

Marco. Know, then, that I saw Prinzivalle and spoke with him. . . . I thought to find some barbarian, arrogant and heavy, always covered with blood or plunged in drunken stupor; at best, the madman they have told us of, whose spirit was lit up at times, upon the battle field, by dazzling flashes of brilliance, coming no man knows whence. I thought to meet the demon of combat, blind, unreasoning, vain and cruel, faithless and dissolute. . . . I found a man who bowed before me as a loving disciple bows before the master. He is lettered, eager for knowledge, and obedient to the voice of wisdom. . . . He loves not war; his smile speaks of understanding and gentle humanity. He seeks the reason of passions and events. He looks into his own heart; he is endowed with conscience and sincerity, and it is against his will that he serves a faithless State. . . . I have told you that Prinzivalle seems wise, that he is humane and reasonable. But where is the wise man that hath not his private madness, the good man to whom no monstrous idea has ever come? On one Side Is reason and pity and justice; on the other--ah! there is desire and passion and what you will-the insanity into which we all fall at times. I have fallen into it myself, and shall, belike, again--so have you. Man is made in that fashion. A grief which should not be within the experience of man is on the point of touching you. . . . Hearken: this great convoy, the victuals that I have seen, wagons running over with corn, others full of wine and fruit; flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, enough to feed a city for months; all these tuns of powder and bars of lead, with which you may vanquish Florence and make Pisa lift her head--all this will enter the city tonight, . . . if you send in exchange, to give her up to Prinzivalle until tomorrow's dawn. . . . for he will send her back when the first faint gray shows in the sky, only, he exacts that, in sign of victory and submission, she shall come alone, and her cloak for all her covering. . . .

Guido. Who? Who shall thus come?

Marco. Giovanna.

Guido. My wife? Vanna?

Marco. Ay, your Vanna.

Guido Colonna, in the consciousness that the woman belongs to him, that no man may even look, with desire, upon her dazzling beauty, resents this mortal insult. He is willing that all the other women should face danger, that the little children of pisa should be exposed to hunger and destruction, rather than that he give up his possession. But Monna Vanna does not hesitate. When she is before the issue of saying her people, she does not stop to consider. She goes into the enemy's tent, as a child might go, without consciousness of self, imbued solely with the impulse to save her people.

The meeting of Monna Vanna and Prinzivalle is an exquisite interpretation of love--the sweetness, purity, and fragrance of Prinzivalle's love for the woman of his dream--the one he had known when she was but a child, and who remained an inspiring vision all through his career. He knows he cannot reach her; he also knows that he will be destroyed by the political intriguers of Florence, and he stakes his all on this one step to satisfy the dream of his life to see Vanna and in return to save Pisa.

Prinzivalle. Had there come ten thousand of you into my tent, all clad alike, all equally fair, ten thousand sisters whom even their mother would not know apart, I should have risen, should have taken your hand, and said, "This is she!" Is it not strange that a beloved image can live thus in a man's heart? For yours lived so in mine that each day it changed as in real life--the image of to-day replaced that of yesterday--it blossomed out, it became always fairer; and the years adorned it with all that they add to a child that grows in grace and beauty. But when I saw you again, it seemed to me at first that my eyes deceived me. My memories were so fair and so fond--but they had been too slow and too timid--they had not dared to give you all the splendor which appeared so suddenly to dazzle me. I was as a man that recalled to mind a flower he had but seen in passing through a garden on a gray day, and should be suddenly confronted with a hundred thousand as fair in a field bathed with sunshine. I saw once more your hair, your brow, your eyes, and I found all the soul of the face I had adored--but how its beauty shames that which I had treasured in silence through endless days, through years whose only light was a memory that had taken too long a road and found itself outshone by the reality! . . . Ah! I knew not too well what I meant to do. I felt that I was lost -- and I desired to drag with me all I could. . . . And I hated you, because of the love. . . . Yes, I should have gone to the end had it not been you. . . . Yet any other would have seemed odious to me-you yourself would have had to be other than you are. . . . I lose my reason when I think of it. . . . One word would have been enough that was different from your words-one gesture that was not yours--the slightest thing would have inflamed my hate and let loose the monster. But when I saw you, I saw in that same moment that it was impossible.

Vanna. I felt a change, too. . . . I marveled that I could speak to, you as I have spoken since the first moment. . . . I am silent by nature -I have never spoken thus to any man, unless it be to Marco, Guido's father. . . . And even with him it is not the same. He has a thousand dreams that take up all his mind, . . . and we have talked but a few times. The others have always a desire in their eyes that will not suffer one to tell them that one loves them and would fain know what they have in their hearts. In your eyes, too, a longing burns; but it is not the same--it does not affright me nor fill me with loathing. I felt at once that I knew you before I remembered that I had ever seen you. . . .

Vanna, awed by the character and personality of this despised and hated outlaw, pleads with him to come with her to Pisa under the protection of herself and her husband. She is sure that he will be safe with them, and that he will be hailed as the redeemer of the people of Pisa. Like innocent children they walk to their doom.

Vanna is honored by the people whom she has saved, but scorned by her husband who, like the true male, does not credit her story.

Vanna. Hear me, I say! I have never lied--but to-day, above all days, I tell the deepest truth, the truth that can be told but once and brings life or death. . . . Hearken, Guido, then-and look upon me, if you have never known me until this hour, the first and only hour when you have it in your power to love me as I would be loved. I speak in the name of our life, of all that I am, of all that you are to me. . . . Be strong enough to believe that which is incredible. This man has spared my honor. . . . He had all power - I was given over to him. Yet he has not touched me -- I have issued from his tent as I might from my brother's house. . . . I gave him one only kiss upon the brow -and he gave it me again.

Guido. Ah, that was what you were to tell us--that was the miracle! Ay, already, at the first words, I divined something beneath them that I understood not . . . . It passed me like a flash--I took no heed of it . . . But I see now that I must look more closely. So, when he had you in his tent, alone, with a cloak for all your covering, all night long, you say he spared you? . . . Am I a man to believe that the stars are fragments of hellebore, or that one may drop something into a well and put out the moon? . . . What! a man desires you so utterly that he will betray his country, stake all that he has for one single night, ruin himself forever, and do it basely, do such a deed as no man ever thought to do before him, and make the world uninhabitable to himself forever! And this man has you there in his tent, alone and defenseless, and he has but this single night that he has bought at such a price--and he contents himself with a kiss upon the brow, and comes even hither to make us give him credence! No, let us reason fairly and not too long mock at misfortune. If he asked but that, what need was there that he should plunge a whole people into sadness, sink me in an abyss of misery such that I have come from it crushed and older by ten years? Ah I Had he craved but a kiss upon the brow, he might have saved us without torturing us so! He had but to come like a god to our rescue. . . . But a kiss upon the brow is not demanded and prepared for after his fashion, . . . The truth is found in our cries of anguish and despair . . .

It is only at this psychological moment, a moment that sometimes changes all our conceptions, all our thoughts, our very life, that Monna Vanna feels the new love for Prinzivalle stirring in her soul, a love that knows no doubt. The conception of such a love is revolutionary in the scope of its possibilities -- a love that is pregnant with the spirit of daring, of freedom, that lifts woman out of the ordinary and inspires her with the strength and joy of molding a new and free race.



In view of the progress the modern drama has made as an interpreter of social ideas and portrayer of the human struggle against in. ternal and external barriers, it is difficult to say what the future may bring in the way of great dramatic achievement. So far, however, there is hardly anything to compare with " Chantecler " in philosophic depth and poetic beauty.

Chantecler is the intense idealist, whose mission is light and truth. His soul is aglow with deep human sympathies, and his great purpose in life is to dispel the night. He keeps aloof from mediocrity; indeed, he has little knowledge of his immediate surroundings. Like all great visionaries,Chantecler is human, " all too human "; therefore subject to agonizing soul depressions and doubts. Always, however, he regains confidence and strength when he is close to the soil; when he feels the precious sap of the earth surging through his being. At such times he feels the mysterious power that gives him strength to proclaim the truth, to call forth the golden glory of the day.

The pheasant hen is the eternal female, bewitch. ingly beautiful, but self-centered and vain. True to her destiny, she must possess the man and is jealous of everything that stands between her and him she loves. She therefore employs every device to kill Chantecler's faith in himself, for, as she tells him, " You can be all in all to me, but nothing to the dawn."

The blackbird is the modernist who has become blase, mentally and spiritually empty. He is a cynic and scoffer; without, principle or sincerity himself, he sees only small and petty intentions in everybody else.

Patou, true and stanch, is the symbol of honest conviction and simplicity of soul. He loathes the blackbird because he sees in him, the embodiment of a shallow, superficial modernity, a modernity barren of all poetic vision, which aims only at material success and tinseled display, without regard for worth, harmony or peace.

The peacock is the overbearing, conceited, intellectual charlatan; the spokesman of our presentday culture; the idle prater of " art for art's sake." As such he sets the style and pace for the idle pursuits of an idle class.

The guinea hen is none other than our most illustrious society lady. Sterile of mind and empty of soul, she flits from one social function to an. other, taking up every fad, clinging to the coattails of every newcomer, provided he represent station and prestige. She is the slave of fashion, the imitator of ideas, the silly hunter after effect - in short, the parasite upon the labor and efforts of others.

The night birds are the ignorant, stupid maintainers of the old. They detest the light because it exposes their mediocrity and stagnation. They hate Chantecler because, as the old owl remarks, " Simple torture it is to hear a brazen throat forever reminding you of whit you know to be only too true 1 " This is a crime mediocrity never forgives, and it conspires to kill Chantecler.

The woodpecker is our very learned college professor. Dignified and important, he loudly proclaims the predigested food of his college as the sole source of all wisdom.

The toads represent the cringing, slimy hangerson, the flunkies and lickspittles who toady for the sake of personal gain.

"Chantecler," then, is a scathing arraignment of the emptiness of our so-called wise and cultured, of the meanness of our conventional lies, the petty jealousies of the human breed in relation to each other. At the same time "Chantecler" characterizes the lack of understanding for, and appreciation of, the ideal and the idealists -the mob spirit, whether on top or at the bottom, using the most cruel and contemptible methods to drag the idealist down; to revile and persecute him - aye, even to kill him -for the unpardonable sin of proclaiming the ideal. They cannot forgive Chantecler for worshiping the sun:


Blaze forth in glory! . . .

0 thou that driest the tears of the meanest among weeds

And dost of a dead flower make a living butterfly

Thy miracle, wherever almond-trees

Shower down the wind their scented shreds,

Dead petals dancing in a living swarm

I worship thee, 0 Sun! whose ample light,

Blessing every forehead, ripening every fruit,

Entering every flower and every hovel,

Pours itself forth and yet is never less,

Still spending and unspent-like mother's love!

I sing of thee, and will be thy high priest,

Who disdainest not to glass thy shining face

In the humble basin of blue suds,

Or see the lightning of thy last farewell

Reflected in an humble cottage pane!

Glory to thee in the vineyards! I Glory to thee in the fields!

Glory among the grass and on the roofs,

In eyes of lizards and on wings of swans,

Artist who making splendid the great things

Forgets not to make exquisite the small!

'Tis thou that, cutting out a silhouette,

To all thou beamest on dost fasten this dark twin,

Doubling the number of delightful shapes,

Appointing to each thing its shadow,

More charming often than itself.

I praise thee, Sun! Thou sheddest roses on the air,

Diamonds on the stream, enchantment on the hill;

A poor dull tree thou takest and turnest to green rapture,

O Sun, without whose golden magic--things

Would be no more than what they are!

In the atmosphere of persecution and hatred Chantecler continues to hope and to work for his sublime mission of bringing the golden day. But his passion for the pheasant hen proves his Waterloo. It is through her that he grows weak, disclosing his secret. Because of her he attends the silly five o'clock function at the guinea hen's, and is involved in a prize fight. His passion teaches him to understand life and the frailties of his fellow creatures. He learns the greatest of all truths, -that " it is the struggle for, rather than the attainment of, the ideal, which must forever in" spire the sincere, honest idealist." Indeed, it is life which teaches Chantecler that if he cannot wake the dawn, he must rouse mankind to greet the sun.

Chantecler finds himself in a trying situation when he comes into the gathering at the guinea hen's five o'clock tea, to meet the pompous, overbearing cocks representing the various governments. When he arrives in the midst of these distinguished society people, he is plied with the query, "How do you sing? Do you sing the Italian school or the French school or the German school? " Poor Chantecler, in the simplicity of his idealism, replies, " I don't know how I sing, but 1 know why I sing." Why need the Chanteclers know how they sing? They represent the truth, which needs no stylish clothes or expensive feathers. That is the difference between truth and falsehood. Falsehood must deck herself out beyond all semblance of nature and reality.

<Chantecler. I say . . . that these resplendent gentlemen are manufactured wares, the work of merchants with highly complex brains, who to fashion a ridiculous chicken have taken a wing from that one, a topknot from this. I say that in such Cocks nothing remains of the true Cock. They are Cocks of shreds and patches, idle bric-a-brac, fit to figure in a catalogue, not in a barnyard with its decent dunghill and its dog. I say that those befrizzled, beruffled, bedeviled Cocks were never stroked and cherished by Nature's maternal hand. . . . And I add that the whole duty of a Cock is to be an embodied crimson cry! And when a Cock is not that, it matters little that his comb be shaped like a toadstool, or his quills twisted like a screw, he will soon vanish and be heard of no more, having been nothing but a variety of a variety!

The Game Cock appears. He greets Chanteclear with the announcement that he is the Champion fighter, that he has killed so and so many Cocks in one day and an equal number on other occasions. Chantecler replies simply, "I have never killed anything. But as 1 have at different times succored, defended, protected this one and that, I might perhaps be called, in my fashion, brave."

The fight begins. Chantecler is wounded and about to succumb, when suddenly all the guests present rush to Chantecler for protection: the common enemy, the Hawk is seen to approach. Chantecler mistakes the cowardice of those who come to seek his aid, for friendship; but the moment the danger is over, the crowd again circles around the fighters, inciting the Game Cock to kill Chantecler. But at the critical moment the Game Cock mortally wounds himself with his own spurs, and is jeered and driven off the scene by the same mob that formerly cheered him on. Chantecler, weak and exhausted from loss of blood, disillusioned and stung to the very soul, follows the pheasant hen to the Forest.

Soon he finds himself a henpecked husband: he may not crow to his heart's content any more, he may not wake the sun, for his lady love is jealous. The only time he can crow is when her eyes are closed in sleep.

But leave it to the pheasant hen to ferret out a secret. Overhearing Chantecler's conversation with the woodpecker, she is furious. " I will not let the sun defraud me of my love," she cries. But Chantecler replies, " There is no great love outside of the shadow of the ideal." She makes use of her beauty and charm to win him from the sun. She embraces him and pleads, " Come to my soft bosom. Why need you bother about the sun? "

Chantecler hears the nightingale and, like all great artists, he recognizes her wonderful voice, her inspiring powers compared with which his own must seem hard and crude. Suddenly a shot is heard, and the little bird falls dead to the ground. Chantecler is heart-broken. And as he mourns the sweet singer, the dawn begins to break. The pheasant hen covers him with her wing, to keep him from seeing the sun rise, and then mocks him because the sun has risen without his crowing. The shock is terrible to poor Chantecler, yet in his desperation he gives one tremendous cock-adoodle- do.

" Why are you crowing? " the hen asks." As a warning to myself, for thrice have I denied the thing I love."

Chantecler is in despair. But now he hears another Nightingale, more silvery and beautiful than the first. "Learn, comrade, this sorrowful and reassuring fact, that no one, Cock of the morning or evening nightingale, has quite the song of his dreams."

A wonderful message, for there must always be in the soul a faith so faithful that it comes back even after it has been slain." It is vital to understand that it is rather the consciousness that though we cannot wake the dawn, we must prepare the people to greet the rising sun.



In the preface to the English edition of "Damaged Goods," George Bernard Shaw relates a story concerning Lord Melbourne, in the early days of Queen Victoria. When the cabinet meeting threatened to break up in confusion, Lord Melbourne put his back to the door and said: "Gentlemen, we can tell the house the truth or we can tell It a lie. I don't give a damn which it is. All I insist on is that we shall all tell the same lie, and you shall not leave the room until you have settled what it is to be."

This seems to characterize the position of our middle-class morality to-day. Whether a thing be right or wrong, we are all to express the same opinion on the subject. All must agree on the samelie,and the lie upon which all agree, more than on any other, is the lie of purity, which must be kept up at all costs.

How slow our moralists move is best proved by the fact that although the great scientist Neisser had discovered, as far back as 1879, that supposedly insignificant venereal afflictions are duet o a malignant micro-organism often disastrous not only to the immediate victim, but also to those who come in touch with him, the subject is still largely tabooed and must not be discussed.

To be sure, there is a small contingent of men and women who realize the necessity of a frank discussion of the very important matter of venereal disease. But unfortunately they are attempting to drive out the devil with fire. They are enlightening the public as to the gravity of gonorrhea and syphilis, but are implanting an evil by no means less harmful, namely, the element of fear. The result often is that the victims who contract an infection are as little capable of taking care of themselves now as in the past when they knew little about the subject.

Brieux is among the few who treats the question in a frank manner, showing that the most dangerous phase of venereal disease is ignorance and fear, and that if treated openly and intelligently, it is perfectly curable. Brieux also emphasizes the importance of kindness and consideration for those who contract the affliction, since it has nothing to do with what is commonly called evil, immorality, or impurity.

Therein lies the superiority of "Damaged Goods "to most scientific treatises. Without lacking logic and clarity, it has greater humanity and warmth.

But "Damaged Goods "contains more than an exposé of venereal disease. It touches upon the whole of our social life. It points out the coldblooded indifference of the rich toward those who do not belong to their class, to the poor, the workers, the disinherited whom they sacrifice without the slightest compunction on the altar of their own comforts. Moreover, the play also treats of the contemptible attitude towards love not backed by property or legal sanction. In short, it uncovers and exposes not only sexual disease but that which is even more terrible --- our social disease, our social syphilis.

George Dupont, the son of wealthy people, is informed by a specialist that he has contracted a venereal disease of a most serious nature; but that with patience and time he will be cured. Dupont is crushed by the news, and decides to blow out his brains. His only regret is that he cannot in the least account for his trouble.

George. I'm not a rake, Doctor. My life might be held up as an example to all young men. I assure you, no one could possibly be more prudent, no one. See here; supposing I told you that in all my life I have only had two mistresses, what would you say to that?

Doctor. That would have been enough to bring you here.

George. No, Doctor. Not one of those two. No one in the world has dreaded this so much as I have; no one has taken such infinite precautions to avoid it. My first mistress was the wife of my best friend. I chose her on account of him ; and him, not because I cared most for him, but because 1 knew he was a man of the most rigid morals, who watched his wife jealously and didn't let her go about forming imprudent connections. As for her, 1 kept her in absolute terror of this disease. 1 told her that almost all men were taken with it, so that she mightn't dream of being false to me. My friend died in my arms. That was the only thing that could have separated me from her. Then I took up with a young seamstress. . . . Well, this was a decent girl with a family in needy circumstances to support. Her grandmother an invalid, and there was an ailing father and three little brothers. It was by my means that they all lived. . . . I told her and 1 let the others know that if she played me false I should leave her at once. So then they all watched her for me. It became a regular thing that I should spend Sunday with them, and in that sort of way 1 was able to give her a lift up. Church-going was a respectable kind of outing for her. I rented a pew for them and her mother used to go with her to church; they liked seeing their name engraved on the card. She never left the house alone. Three months ago, when the question of my marriage came up, I had to leave her.

Doctor. You were very happy, why did you want to change?

George. I wanted to settle down. My father was a notary, and before his death he expressed a wish that I should marry my cousin. It was a good match; her dowry will help to get me a practice. Besides, I simply adore her. She's fond of me, too. I had everything one could want to make my life happy. And then a lot of idiots must give me a farewell dinner and make me gad about with them. See what has come of it! I haven't any luck, I've never had any luck! I know fellows who lead the most racketty life: nothing happens to them, the beasts! But I-for a wretched lark-what is there left for a leper like me? My future is ruined, my whole life poisoned. Well then, isn't it better for me to clear out of it? Anyway, I shan't suffer any more. You see now, no one could be more wretched than I am.

The doctor explains to him that there is no need for despair, but that he must postpone his marriage if he does not wish to ruin his wife and possibly make her sterile for life. It is imperative especially because of the offspring, which is certain to be syphilitic.

Doctor. Twenty cases identical with yours have been carefully observed - from the beginning to the end. Nineteen times - you hear, nineteen times in twenty - the woman was contaminated by her husband. You think that the danger is negligible: you think you have the right to let your wife take her chance, as you said, of being one of the exceptions for which we can do nothing! Very well then; then you shall know what you are doing. You shall know what sort of a disease it is that your wife will have five chances per cent. of contracting without so much as having her leave asked. . . . But there is not only your wife,- there are her children, your children, whom you may contaminate, too. It is in the name of those innocent little ones that I appeal to You ; itis the future of the race that I am defending.

But George Dupont will not postpone the marriage for several years. He would have to give an explanation, break his word, and lose his inheritance,- things infinitely more important than any consideration for the girl he "adores "or for their children, should they have any. In short, he is actuated by the morality of the bourgeoisie: the silly conception of honor, the dread of public opinion and, above all, the greed for property.

The second act is laid at the home of George Dupont. George and his wife Henriette are childishly happy, except for the regret that their marriage could not have taken place six months earlier because poor George had been declared consumptive. How stupid of doctors to suspect the healthy strong George Dupont of consumption I But, then, "all doctors are stupid." But now that they are together, nothing shall part them in their great happiness, and especially in their great love for their baby. True, a little cloud obscures their sunny horizon. The baby is not very strong; but with the care and devotion of the grandmother, out in the country air, it is sure to recover.

The grandmother unexpectedly arrives, an. nouncing that she has brought the baby back to town: it is very ill and she has consulted a specialist who has promised to come at once to examine the child. Presently the doctor arrives. He insists that the wet nurse be dismissed immediately, as the child would infect her and she in return would infect her own husband and baby. Madame Dupont is scandalized. What, leave her precious grandchild. I Rob him of the milk he needs.

Mme. Dupont. If there is one way to save its life, it is to give it every possible attention, and you want me to treat it in a way that you doctors condemn even for healthy children. You think I will let her die like that! Oh, I shall take good care she does not! Neglect the one single thing that can save her! It would be criminal! As for the nurse, we will indemnify her. We will do everything in our power, everything but that.

Doctor. This is not the first time I have found myself in this situation, and I must begin by telling you that parents who have refused to he guided by my advice have invariably repented of it most bitterly. . . . You propose to profit by her ignorance and her poverty. Besides, she could obtain the assistance of the court. . . , You can convince yourself. In one or two cases the parents have been ordered to pay a yearly pension to the nurse; in the others sums of money varying from three to eight thousand francs.

Mme. Dupont. If we had to fight an action, we should retain the very best lawyer on our side. Thank heaven we are rich enough. No doubt he would make it appear doubtful whether the child hadn't caught this disease from the nurse, rather than the nurse from the child.

Indeed, that matters a peasant woman! They are so numerous. In vain the doctor tries to convince Mme. Dupont that it is not a question of money. It is a question of humanity, of decency; he would not and could not be a party to such a crime.

After the doctor leaves to examine the child, Mme. Dupont and her worthy son clinch the bargain with the unsuspecting and ignorant servant. They tell her that the baby has a cold which it might communicate to her. The poor peasant girl had lived in the cold all her life, and as she justly says: "We of the country are not as delicate as the Parisian ladies." She realizes that a thousand francs would mean a great fortune to her, and that it would help her people to pay the mortgage and become independent. She consents to stay and signs away her health.

The doctor returns with the dreaded news that the child has congenital syphilis. He informs them that with care and patience the child might be cured, but that it will have to be put on bottle milk, because otherwise it would be disastrous to the nurse. When he is told that the nurse has consented to remain, he grows indignant, declaring:

"You must not ask me to sacrifice the health of a young and strong woman to that of a sickly infant. I will be no party to giving this woman a disease that would embitter the lives of her whole family, and almost certainly render her sterile. Besides, I cannot even do it from a legal standpoint. . . . If you do not consent to have the child fed by hand, I shall either speak to the nurse or give up the case.

But there is no need for the doctor to interfere. Fortunately for the servant, she discovers the miserable transaction. She learns from the butler the real condition of the child, and announces to the Duponts that she must refuse to stay. "I know your brat isn't going to live. I know it's rotten through and through because its father's got a beastly disease that he caught from some woman of the streets."

At this terrible moment the unsuspecting, lightheaded and light-hearted mother, Henriette, arrives. She overhears the horrible news and falls screaming to the floor.

The last act takes place in the hospital-the refuge of the unfortunate victims of poverty, ignorance and false morality. M. Loche, the Deputy, is announced. The doctor is overjoyed because he believes that the representative of the people comes to inform himself of the causes of the widespread misery. But he is mistaken. M. Loche is the father-in-law of George Dupont.

He wants to secure the signature of the doctor as evidence in the divorce sought by his daughter.

Doctor. I regret that I am unable to furnish you with such a certificate. . . . The rule of professional secrecy, is absolute. And I may add that even were I free, I should refuse your request. 1 should regret having helped you to obtain a divorce. It would be in your daughter's own interest that 1 should refuse. You ask me for a certificate in order to prove to the court that your son-in-law has contracted syphilis? You do not consider that in doing so you will. publicly acknowledge that your daughter has been exposed to the infection. Do you suppose that after that your daughter is likely to find a second husband? . . . Do you think that this poor little thing has not been unlucky enough in her start in life? She has been blighted physically. You wish besides indelibly to stamp her with the legal proof of congenital syphilis.

Loche. Then what am I to do?

Doctor. Forgive. . . . When the marriage was proposed you doubtless made inquiries concerning your future son- in-law's income; you investigated his securities; you satisfied yourself as to his character. You only omitted one point, but it was the most important of all: you made no inquiries concerning his health.

Loche. No, I did not do that. It is not the custom. . . . I think a law should be passed.

Doctor. No, no! We want no new laws. There are too many already. All that is needed is for people to understand the nature of this disease rather better. It would soon become the custom for a man who proposed for a girl's hand to add to the other things for which he is asked a medical statement of bodily fitness, which would make it certain that he did not bring this plague into the family with him. . . . Well, there is one last argument which, since I must, I will put to you. Are you yourself without sin, that you are so relentless to others?

Loche. I have never had any shameful disease, sir.

Doctor. I was not asking you that. I was asking you if you had never exposed yourself to catching one. Ah, you see! Then it is not virtue that has saved you; it is luck. Few things exasperate me more than that term "shameful disease," which you used just now. This disease is like all other diseases: it is one of our afflictions. There is no shame in being wretched - even if one deserves to be so. Come, come, let us have a little plain speaking! I should like to know how many of these rigid moralists, who are so shocked with their middle-class prudery, that they dare not mention the name syphilis, or when they bring themselves to speak of it do so with expressions of every sort of disgust, and treat its victims as criminals, have never run the risk of contracting it themselves? It is those alone who have the right to talk. How many do you think there are? Four out of a thousand? Well, leave those four aside: between all the rest and those who catch the disease there is no difference but chance, and by heavens, those who escape won't get much sympathy from me: the others at least have paid their fine of suffering and remorse, while they have gone scot free! Let's have done, if you please, once for all with this sort of hypocrisy.

The doctor, who is not only a sincere scientist but also a humanitarian, realizes that as things are to- day no one is exempt from the possibility of contracting an infection; that those who are responsible for the spread of the disease are they who constantly excuse themselves with the inane "I did not know," as if ignorance were not the crime of all crimes. The doctor demonstrates to M. Loche a number of cases under his observation, all of them the result of ignorance and of poverty.

There is, for instance, the woman whose husband died of the disease. He "didn't know"; so he infected her. She, on the other hand, is poor and cannot afford the treatment she needs. A private physician is beyond her means, and she has too much pride to stand the indignities heaped upon the poor who are at the mercy of dispensaries and charity. Therefore she neglects her disease and perhaps is unconsciously instrumental in infecting others.

Then there is the man whose young son has contracted the disease. His father "didn't know," and therefore he did not inform his son, as a result of which the boy became half paralyzed.

Man. We are small trades-people; we have regularly bled ourselves in order to send him to college, and now - I only wish the same thing mayn't happen to others. It was at the very college gates that my poor boy was got hold of by one of these women. Is it right, sir, that that should be allowed ? Aren't there enough police to prevent children of fifteen from being seduced like that? I ask, is it right?

The poor man, in his ignorance, did not know that "these women" are the most victimized, as demonstrated by the doctor himself in the case of the poor girl of the street. She was both ignorant and innocent when she found a place as domestic servant and was seduced by her master. Then she was kicked out into the street, and in her endless search for work found every door closed in her face. She was compelled to stifle her feeling of motherhood, to send her baby to a foundling asylum, and finally, in order to exist, become a street-walker. If in return she infected the men who came to her, including her erstwhile seducer, she was only paying back in a small measure what society had done to her,-the injury, the bitterness, the misery and tears heaped upon her by a cruel and self- satisfied world.

It is to be expected that a political representative of the people like Loche should suggest the same stereotyped measures as his predecessors: legal enactments, prosecution, imprisonment. But the doctor, a real social student, knows that "the true remedy lies in a change of our ways."

Doctor. Syphilis must cease to be treated like a mysterious evil, the very name of which cannot be pronounced. . . . People ought to be taught that there is nothing immoral in the act that reproduces life by means of love. But for the benefit of our children we organize round about it a gigantic conspiracy of silence. A respectable man will take his son and daughter to one of these grand music halls, where they will bear things of the most loathsome description; but he won't let them hear a word spoken seriously on the subject of the great act of love. The mystery and humbug in which physical facts are enveloped ought to be swept away and young men be given some pride in the creative power with which each one of us is endowed

In other words, what we need is more general enlightenment, greater frankness and, above all, different social and economic conditions. The revolutionary significance of "Damaged Goods "consists in the lesson that not syphilis but the causes that lead to it are the terrible curse of society. Those who rant against syphilis and clamor for more laws, for marriage certificates, for registration and segregation, do not touch even the surface of the evil. Brieux is among the very few modern dramatists who go to the bottom of this question by insisting on a complete social and economic change, which alone can free us from the scourge of syphilis and other social plagues.



MOTHERHOOD to-day is on the lips of every penny-a-liner, every social patch-worker and political climber. It is so much prated about that one is led to believe that motherhood, in its present condition, is a force for good. It therefore required a free spirit combined with great dramatic power to tear the mask oft the lying face of motherhood, that we may see that, whatever its possibilities in a free future, motherhood is to-day a sickly tree setting forth diseased branches. For its sake thousands of women are being sacrificed and children sent into a cold and barren world without the slightest provision for their physical and mental needs. It was left to Brieux to inscribe with letters of fire the crying shame of the motherhood of to-day.

Brignac, a provincial lawyer and an unscrupulous climber for political success, represents the typical pillar of society. He believes implicitly in the supremacy of God over the destiny of man. He swears by the State and the army, and cringes before the power of money. Naturally he is the champion of large families as essential to the welfare of society, and of motherhood, as the most sacred and sole function of woman.

He is the father of three children, all of whom are in a precarious condition. He resents the idea that society ought to take care of the children already in existence, rather than continue indiscriminately breeding more. Brignac himself wants more children. In vain his wife Lucie, weakened by repeated pregnancies, pleads with him for a respite.

Lucie. Listen, Julien, since we are talking about this. I wanted to tell you-I haven't had much leisure since our marriage. We have not been able to take advantage of a single one of your holidays. I really, have a right to a little rest. . . . Consider, we have not had any time to know one another, or to love one another. Besides, remember that we already have to find dowries for three girls.

Brignac. I tell you this is going to be a boy.

Lucie. A boy is expensive.

Brignac. We are going to be rich.

Lucie. How?

Brignac. Luck may come in several ways. I may stay in the civil service and get promoted quickly. I may go back to the bar. . . . I am certain we shall be rich. After all, it's not much good your saying so, if I say yes.

Lucie. Evidently. My consent was asked for before I was given a husband, but my consent is not asked for before I am given a child. . . . This is slavery-yes, slavery. After all you are disposing of my health, my sufferings, my life-of a year of my existence, calmly, without consulting me.

Brignac. Do I do it out of selfishness? Do you suppose I am not a most unhappy husband all the time I have a future mother at my side instead of a loving wife? . . . A father is a man all the same.

Lucie. Rubbish! You evidently take me for a fool. I know what you do at those times . . . . Don't deny it. You must see that I know all about it . . . . Do you want me to tell you the name of the person you go to see over at Villeneuve, while I am nursing or " a future mother," as you call it? We had better say no more about it.

Brignac goes oft to his political meeting to proclaim to his constituency the sacredness of motherhood,-the deepest and highest function of woman.

Lucie has a younger sister, Annette, a girl of eighteen. Their parents being dead, Lucie takes the place of the mother. She is passionately fond of her little sister and makes it her purpose to keep the 'girl sheltered and protected from the outside world. Annette arrives and announces with great enthusiasm that the son of the wealthy Bernins has declared his love and asked her to marry him, and that his mother, Mme. Bernin, is coming to talk the matter over with Lucie.

Mme. Bernin does arrive, but not for the pur. pose poor Annette had hoped. Rather is it to tell Lucie that her son cannot marry the girl. Oh, not because she isn't beautiful, pure or attractive. Indeed not! Mme. Bernin herself says that her son could not wish for a more suitable match. But, then, she has no money, and her son must succeed in the world. He must acquire social standing and position; that cannot be had without money. When Lucie pleads with her that after all the Bernins themselves had begun at the bottom, and that it did not prevent their being happy, Mme. Bernin replies:

NO, no; we are not happy, because we have worn ourselves out hunting after happiness. We wanted to " get on," and we got on. But what a price we paid for it! First, when we were both earning in-ages, our life was one long drudgers, of petty economy and meanness. When we set tip on our own account, we lived in an atmosphere of trickery, of enmity, of lying; flattering the customers, and always in terror of bankruptcy. oh, I know the road to fortune! It means tears, lies, envy, hate; one suffers-and one makes other people suffer. I have had to go through it: my children shan't. We've only had two children: we meant only to have one. Having two we had to be doubly hard upon ourselves. Instead of a husband and wife helping one another, we have been partners spying upon one another; calling one another to account for every little expenditure or stupidity; and on our very pillows disputing about our business. That's boss- we got rich; and now we can't enjoy our money because we don't know how to use it; and we aren't happy because our old age is made bitter by the memories and the rancor left by the old bad days; because they have suffered too much and hated too much. My children shall not go through this. I endured it that they might be spared.

Learning the price Mme. Bernin has paid for her wealth, we need not blame her for turning a deaf ear to the entreaties of Lucie in behalf of her sister. Neither can Lucie be held responsible for her stupidity in keeping her sister in ignorance until she was incapable of protecting herself when the occasion demanded. Poor Annette, one of the many offered up to the insatiable monster of ignorance and social convention I

When Annette is informed of the result of Mme. Bernin's visit, the girl grows hysterical, and Lucie learns that her little sister is about to become a mother. Under the pretext of love and marriage young, pampered Jaques Bernin has taken advantage of the girl's inexperience and innocence. In her despair Annette rushes out in search of her lover, only to be repelled by him in a vulgar and cruel manner. She then attempts suicide by trying to throw herself under the train which is to carry off her worthless seducer. She is rescued by the faithful nurse Catherine, and brought back to her anxious sister Lucie. Annette, in great excitement, relates:

Annette. You'll never guess what he said. He got angry, and he began to abuse me. He said he guessed what I was up to; that I wanted to make a scandal to force him to marry me - oh, he spared me nothing -to force him to marry me because he was rich. And when that made me furious, he threatened to call the police!

I ought to have left him, run away, come home, oughtn't I? But I couldn't believe it of him all at once, like that I And I couldn't go away while I had any hope. . . . As long as I was holding to his arm it was as if I was engaged. When he was gone I should only be a miserable ruined girl, like dozens of others. . . . MY life was at stake: and to save myself I went down into the very lowest depths of vileness and cowardice. I cried, I implored. I lost all shame. . . . What he said then I cannot tell you - not even you - it was too much - too much - I did not understand at first. It was only afterwards, coming back, going over all his words, that I made out what he meant. . . . Then he rushed to the train, and jumped into a carriage, and almost crushed my fingers in the door; and he went and hid behind his mother, and she threatened, too, to have me arrested. . . . I wish I was dead! Lucie, dear, I don't want to go through all that's coming - I am too little - I am too weak, I'm too young to bear it. Really, I haven't the strength.

But Lucie has faith in her husband. In all the years of their married life she has heard him proclaim from the very housetops that motherhood is the most sacred function of woman; that the State needs large numbers; that commerce and the army require an increase of the population, and " the government commands you to further this end to the best of your ability, each one of you in his own commune." She has heard her husband repeat, over and over again, that the woman who refuses to abide by the command of God and the laws to become a mother is immoral, is criminal. Surely he would understand the tragedy of Annette, who had been placed in this condition not through her own fault but because she had been confiding and trusting in the promise of the man. Surely Brignac would come to the rescue of Annette; would help and comfort her in her trying and difficult moment. But Lucie, like many wives, does not know her husband; she does not know that a man who is so hide- bound by statutes and codes cannot have human compassion, and that he will not stand by the little girl who has committed the "unpardonable sin." Lucie does not know, but she is soon to learn the truth.

Lucie. I tell you Annette is the victim of this wretch. If you are going to do nothing but insult her, we had better stop discussing the matter.

Brignac. I am in a nice fix now! There is nothing left for us but to pack our trunks and be off. I am done for. Ruined! Smashed! I tell you if she was caught red handed stealing, the wreck wouldn't be more complete. . . . We must make some excuse. We will invent an aunt or cousin who has invited her to stay. I will find a decent house for her in Paris to go to. She'll be all right there. When the time comes she can put the child out to nurse in the country, and come back to us.

Lucie. You seriously propose to send that poor child to Paris, where she doesn't know a soul?

Brignac. What do you mean by that? I will go to Paris myself, if necessary. There are special boarding houses: very respectable ones. I'll inquire: of course without letting out that it is for anyone I know. And I'll pay what is necessary. What more can you want?

Lucie. Just when the child is most in need of every care, you propose to send her off alone; alone, do you understand, alone! To tear her away from here, put her into a train, and send her off to Paris, like a sick animal you want to get rid of. If I consented to that I should feel that I was as bad as the man who seduced her. Be honest, Julien: remember it is in our interest you propose to sacrifice her. We shall gain peace and quiet at the price of her loneliness and despair. To save ourselves-serious troubles, I admit-we are to abandon this child to strangers . . . away from all love and care and comfort, without a friend to put kind arms around her and let her sob her grief away. I implore you, Julien, I entreat you, for our children's sake, don't keep me from her, don't ask me to do this shameful thing.

Brignac. There would have been no question of misery if she had behaved herself.

Lucie. She is this man's victim! But she won't go. You'll have to drive her out as you drove out the servant. . . . And then - after that - she is to let her child go; to stifle her strongest instinct; to silence the cry of love that consoles us all for the tortures we have to go through; to turn away her eyes and say, " Take him away, I don't want him." And at that price she is to be forgiven for another person's crime. . . . Then that is Society's welcome to the new born child?

Brignac. To the child born outside of marriage, yes. If it wasn't for that, there would soon be nothing but illegitimate births. It is to preserve the family that society condemns the natural child.

Lucie. You say you want a larger number of births, and at the same time you say to women: " No mother. hood without marriage, and no marriage without money." As long as you've not changed that, all your circulars will be met with shouts of derision-half from hate, half from pity. . . . If you drive Annette out, I shall go with her.

Lucie and Annette go out into the world. As middle-class girls they have been taught a little of everything and not much of anything. They try all kinds of work to enable them to make a living, but though they toil hard and long hours, they barely earn enough for a meager existence' As long as Annette's condition is not noticeable life is bearable; but soon everybody remarks her state. She and Lucie are driven from place to place. In her despair Annette does what many girls in her position have done before her and will do after her so long as the Brignacs and their morality are dominant. She visits a midwife, and one more victim is added to the large number slaughtered upon the altar of morality.

The last act is in the court room. Mme. Thomas, the midwife, is on trial for criminal abortion. With her are a number of women whose names have been found on her register.

Bit by bit we learn the whole tragedy of each of the defendants; we see all the sordidness of poverty, the inability to procure the bare necessities of life, and the dread of the unwelcome child.

A schoolmistress, although earning a few hundred francs, and living with her husband, is compelled to have an abortion performed because another child would mean hunger for all of them.

Schoolmistress. We just managed to get along by being most careful; and several times we cut down expenses it did not seem possible to cut down. A third child coming upset everything. We couldn't have lived. We should have all starved. Besides, the inspectors and directresses don't like us to have many children, especially if we nurse them ourselves. They told me to hide myself when I was suckling the last one. I only had ten minutes to do it in, at the recreation, at ten o'clock and at two o'clock; and k-,,-lien my mother brought baby to me I had to shut myself up with him in a dark closet.

The couple Tupin stand before the bar to defend themselves against the charge of criminal abortion. Tupin has been out of work for a long time and is driven by misery to drink. He is known to the police as a disreputable character. One of his sons is serving a sentence for theft, and a daughter is a woman of the streets. But Tupin is a thinking man. He proves that his earnings at best are not enough to supply the needs of an already large family. The daily nourishment of five children consists of a four pound loaf, soup of vegetables and dripping, and a stew which costs go centimes. Total, 3f. 75c. This is the expenditure of the father: Return ticket for tram, 3oc. Tobacco, I5c. Dinner, If.25c. The rent, 300f. Clothing for the whole family, and boots: I6 pairs of boots for the children at 4f. Soc. each, 4 for the parents at 8f., total again 3oof. Total for the year, 2,6oof. Tupin, who is an exceptional workman, earns I6of. a month, that is to say, 2, I I00f a year. There is therefore an annual deficit of 500f., provided Tupin keeps at work all the time, which never happens in the life of a workingman. Under such circumstances no one need be surprised that one of his children is imprisoned for theft, and the other is walking the streets, while Tupin himself is driven to drink.

Tupin. When we began to get short in the house, my wife and I started to quarrel. Every time a child came we were mad at making it worse for the others. And so . . . I ended up in the saloon. It's warm there, and you can't hear the children crying nor the mother complaining. And besides, when you have drink in you, you forget. . . . And that's how we got poorer and poorer. My fault, if you like. . . . Our last child was a cripple. He was born in starvation, and his mother was worn out. And they nursed him, and they nursed him, and they nursed him. They did not leave him a minute. They made him live in spite of himself. And they let the other children - the. strong ones - go to the bad. With half the money and the fuss they wasted on the cripple, they could have made fine fellows of all the others.

Aline. Tupin I have to add that all this is not my fault. My husband and I worked like beasts; we did without every kind of pleasure to try and bring up our children. If we had wanted to slave more, I declare to you we couldn't have done it. And now that we have given our lives, for them, the oldest is in hospital, ruined and done for because he worked in " a dangerous trade " as they call it. . . . There are too many people in the world. . . . 'My little girl had to choose between starvation and the street. . . . I'm only a poor woman, and I know what it means to have nothing to eat, so I forgave her.

Thus Aline. Tupin also understands that it is a crime to add one more victim to those who are born ill and for whom society has no place.

Then Lucie faces the court,- Lucie who loved her sister too well, and who, driven by the same conditions that killed Innette, has also been compelled to undergo an abortion rather than have a fourth child by the man she did not love any more. Like the Schoolmistress and the Tupins, she is dragged before the bar of justice to explain her crime, while her husband, who had forced both Annette and Lucie out of the house, has meanwhile risen to a high position as a supporter of the State with his favorite slogan, " Motherhood is the highest function of woman."

Finally the midwife Thomas is called upon for her defense.

Thomas. A girl came to me one day; she was a servant. She had been seduced by her master. I refused to do what she asked me to do: she went and drowned herself. Another I refused to help was brought up before you here for infanticide. Then when the others came, I said, " Yes." I have prevented many a suicide and many a crime.

It is not likely that the venerable judge, the State's attorney or the gentlemen of the jury can see in Mme. Thomas a greater benefactress to society than they; any more than they can grasp the deep importance of the concluding words of the counsel for the defense in this great social tragedy.

Counsel for the Defense. Their crime is not an individual crime; it is a social crime. . . . It is not a crime against nature. It is a revolt against nature. And with all the warmth of a heart melted by pity, with all the indignation of my outraged reason, I look for that glorious hour of liberation when some master mind shall discover for us the means of having only the children we need and desire, release forever from the prison of hypocrisy and absolve us from the profanation of love. That would indeed be a conquest of nature -savage nature -which pours out life with culpable profusion, and sees it disappear with indifference.

Surely there can be no doubt as to the revolutionary significance of " Maternity ": the demand that woman must be given means to prevent conception of undesired and unloved children; that she must become free and strong to choose the father of her child and to decide the number of children she is to bring into the world, and under what conditions. That is the only kind of motherhood which can endure.



"I AM not an ordinary playwright in general practice. I am a specialist in immoral and heretical plays. My reputation has been gained by my persistent struggle to force the public to reconsider its morals. In particular, I regard much current morality as to economic and sexual relations as disastrously wrong; and I regard certain doctrines of the Christian religion as under stood in England to-day with abhorrence. I write plays with the deliberate object of converting the nation to my opinions in these matters."

This confession of faith should leave no doubt as to the place of George Bernard Shaw in modern dramatic art. Yet, strange to say, he is among the most doubted of his time. That is partly due to the fact that humor generally serves merely to amuse, touching only the lighter side of life. But there is a kind of humor that fills laughter with tears, a humor that eats into the soul like acid, leaving marks often deeper than those made by the tragic form.

There is another reason why Shaw's sincerity is regarded lightly: it is to be found in the difference of his scope as propagandist and as artist. As the propagandist Shaw is limited, dogmatic, and set. Indeed, the most zealous Puritan could not be more antagonistic to social theories differing from his own. But the artist, if he is sincere at all, must go to life as the source of his inspiration, and life is beyond dogmas, beyond the House of Commons, beyond even the "eternal and irrevocable law" of the materialistic conception of history. If, then, the Socialist propagandist Shaw is often lost in the artist Shaw, it is not because he lacks sincerity, but because life will not be curtailed.

It may be contended that Shaw is much more the propagandist than the artist because he paints in loud colors. But that is rather because of the indolence of the human mind, especially of the Anglo-Saxon mind, which has settled down snugly to the self-satisfied notion of its purity, justice, and charity, so that naught but the strongest current of light will make it wince. In "Mrs. Warren's Profession" and "Major Barbara," George Bernard Shaw has accomplished even more. He has pulled off the mask of purity and Christian kindness that we may see their hidden viciousness at work.



MRS. WARREN is engaged in a profession which has existed through all the ages. It was at home in Egypt, played an important role in Greece and Rome, formed one of the influential guilds in the Middle Ages, and has been one of the main sources of income for the Christian Church.

But it was left to modern times to make of Mrs. Warren's profession a tremendous social factor, ministering to the needs of man in every station of life, from the brownstone mansion to the hovel, from the highest official to the poorest drag.

Time was when the Mrs. Warrens were looked upon as possessed by the devil,-lewd, depraved creatures who would not, even if they had the choice, engage in any other profession, because they are vicious at heart, and should therefore be held up to condemnation and obloquy. And while we continue to drive them from pillar to post, while we still punish them as criminals and deny them the simplest humanities one gives even to the dumb beast, the light turned on this subject by men like George Bernard Shaw has helped to expose the lie of inherent evil tendencies and natural depravity. Instead we learn:

Mrs. Warren. Do you think I did what I did be cause I liked it, or thought it right, or wouldn't rather have gone to college and been a lady if I'd had the chance? . . . Oh, it's easy to talk, very easy, isn't it? Here!-- Would you like to know what my circumstances were? D'you know what your gran' mother was? No, you don't. I do. She called herself a widow and had a fried-fish shop down by the Mint, and kept herself and four daughters out of it. Two of us were sisters: that was me and Liz; and we were both good looking and well made. I suppose our father was a well fedman: mother pretended he was a gentleman; but I don't know. The other two were only half sisters-under sized, ugly, starved, hard working, honest poor creatures: Liz and I would have half murdered them if mother hadn't half murdered us to keep our hands off them. They were the respectable ones. Well, what did they get by their respectability? I'll tell you. One of them worked in a whitelead factory twelve hours a day for nine shillings a week until she died of lead poisoning. She only expected to get her hands a little paralyzed; but she died. The other was always held up to us as a model because she married a Government laborer in the Deptford victualling yard, and kept his room and the three children neat and tidy on eighteen shillings a week--until he took to drink. That was worth being respectable for, wasn't it?

Vivie. Did you and your sister think so?

Mrs. Warren. Liz didn't, I can tell you; she had more spirit. We both went to a Church School--that was part of the lady-like airs we gave ourselves to be superior to the children that knew nothing and went no where--and we stayed there until Liz went out one night and never came back. I knew the schoolmistress thought I'd soon follow her example; for the clergyman was always warning me that Lizzie 'd end by jumping off Waterloo Bridge. Poor fool: that was all that he knew about it! But I was more afraid of the whitelead factory than I was of the river; and so would you have been in my place. That clergyman got me a situation as a scullery maid in a temperance restaurant where they sent out for anything you liked. Then I was waitress; and then I went to the bar at Waterloo Station-fourteen hours a day seeing drinks and washing glasses for four shillings a week and my board. That was considered a great promotion for me. Well, one cold, wretched night, when I was so tired I could hardly keep myself awake, who should come up for a half of Scotch but Lizzie, in a long fur cloak, elegant and comfortable, with a lot of sovereigns in her purse.

Vivie. My aunt Lizzie ?

Mrs. Warren. Yes.... She's living down at Winchester, now, dose to the cathedral, one of the most respectable ladies there--chaperones girls at the country ball, if you please. No river for Liz, thank you! You remind me of Liz a little: she was a first-rate business woman--saved money from the beginning--never let herself look too like what she was--never lost her head or threw away a chance. When she saw I'd grown up good-looking she said to me across the bar: "What are you doing there, you little fool ? Wearing out your health and your appearance for other people's profit!" Liz was saving money then to take a house for herself in Brussels: and she thought we two could save faster than one. So she lent me some money and gave me a start; and I saved steadily and first paid her back, and then went into business with her as her partner. Why shouldn't I have done it? The house in Brussels was real high class--a much better place for a woman to be in than the factory where Anne Jane got poisoned. None of our girls were ever treated as I was treated in the scullery of that temperance place, or at the Waterloo bar, or at home. Would you have had me stay in them and become a worn-out old drudge before I was forty? . . . Yes, saving money. But where can a woman get the money to save in any other business? Could you save out of four shillings a week and keep yourself dressed as well? Not you. Of course, if you're a plain woman and can't earn anything more: or if you have a turn for music, or the stage, or newspaper writing: that's different. But neither Liz nor I had any turn for such things: all we had was our appearance and our turn for pleasing men. Do you think we were such fools as to let other people trade in our good looks by employing us as shop-girls, or barmaids, or waitresses, when we could trade in them ourselves and get all the profits instead of starvation wages? Not likely.... Everybody dislikes having to work and make money; but they have to do it all the same. I'm sure I've often pitied a poor girl, tired out and in low spirits, having to try to please some man that she doesn't care two straws for--some half-drunken fool that thinks he's making himself agreeable when he's teasing and worrying and disgusting a woman so that hardly any money could pay her for putting up with it. But she has to bear with disagreeables and take the rough with the smooth, just like a nurse in a hospital or anyone else. It's not work that any woman would do for pleasure, goodness knows; though to hear the pious people talk you would suppose it was a bed of roses. Of course it's worth while to a poor girl, if she can resist temptation and is good looking and well-conducted and sensible It's far better than any other employment open to her. I always thought that oughtn't to be. It can't be right, Vivie, that there shouldn't be better opportunities for women. I stick to that: It's wrong. But it's so, right or wrong; and a girl must make the best of it. But, of course, it's not worth while for a lady. If you took to it you'd be a fool; but I should have been a fool if I'd taken to anything else.... Why am I independent and able to give my daughter a first-rate education, when other women that had just as good opportunities are in the gutter? Because I always knew how to respect myself and control myself. Why is Liz looked up to in a cathedral town? The same reason. Where would we be now if we'd minded the clergyman's foolishness? Scrubbing floors for one and sixpence a day and nothing to look forard to but the workhouse infirmary. Don't you be led astray by people who don't know the world, my girt The only way for a woman to provide for herself decently is for her to be good to some man that can afford to be good to her. If she's in his own station of life, let her make him marry her; but if she's far beneath him, she can't expect it--why should she? It wouldn't be for her own happiness. Ask any lady in London society that has daughters; and she'll tell you the same, except that I tell you straight and she'll tell you crooked. That's all the difference.... It's only good manners to be ashamed of it; it's expected from a woman. Women have to pretend a great deal that they don't feel. Liz used to be angry with me for plumping out the truth about it. She used to say that when every woman would learn enough from what was going on in the world before her eyes, there was no need to talk about it to her. But then Liz was such a perfect lady! She had the true instinct of it; while I was always a bit of a vulgarian. I used to be so pleased when you sent me your photographs to see that you were growing up like Liz; you've just her lady-like determined way. But I can't stand saying one thing when everyone knows I mean another. What's the use in such hypocrisy? If people arrange the world that way for women, there's no use pretending that it's arranged the other way. I never was a bit ashamed really. I consider that I had a right to be proud that we managed everything so respectably, and never had a word against us, and that the girls were so well taken care of. Some of them did very well: one of them married an ambassador. But of course now I daren't talk about such things: whatever would they think of us.

No, it is not respectable to talk about these things, because respectability cannot face the truth. Yet everybody knows that the majority of women, "if they wish to provide for themselves decently must be good to some man that can afford to be good to them." The only difference then between Sister Liz, the respectable girl, and Mrs. Warren, is hypocrisy and legal sanction. Sister Liz uses her money to buy back her reputation from the Church and Society. The respectable girl uses the sanction of the Church to buy a decent income legitimately, and Mrs. Warren plays her game without the sanction of either. Hence she is the greatest criminal in the eyes of the world. Yet Mrs. Warren is no less human than most other women. In fact, as far as her love for her daughter Vivian is concerned, she is a superior sort of mother. That her daughter may not have to face the same alternative as she, -- slave in a scullery for four shillings a week -- Mrs. Warren surrounds the girl with comfort and ease, gives her an education, and thereby establishes between her child and herself an abyss which nothing can bridge. Few respectable mothers would do as much for their daughters. However, Mrs. Warren remains the outcast, while all those who benefit by her profession, including even her daughter Vivian, move in the best circles.

Sir John Crofts, Mrs. Warren's business partner, who has invested 40,000 pounds in Mrs. Warren's house, drawing an income of 35 percent. out of it in the worst years, is a recognized pillar of society and an honored member of his class. Why not!

Crofts. The fact is, it's not what would be considered exactly a high-class business in my set--the county set, you know.... Not that there is any mystery about it: don't think that. Of course you know by your mother's being in it that it's perfectly straight and honest. I've known her for many years; and I can say of her that she'd cut off her hands sooner than touch anything that was not what it ought to be.... But you see you can't mention such things in society. Once let out the word hotel and everybody says you keep a public-house. You wouldn't like people to say that of your mother, would you? That's why we're so reserved about it.... Don't turn up your nose at business, Miss Vivie: where would your Newnhams and Girtons be without it? . . . You wouldn't refuse the acquaintance of my mother's cousin, the Duke of Belgravia, because some of the rents he gets are earned in queer ways. You wouldn't cut the Archbishop of Canterbury, I suppose, because the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have a few publicans and sinners among their tenants? Do you remember your Crofts scholarship at Newnham? Well, that was founded by my brother the M.P. He gets his 22 per cent. out of a factory with 600 girls in it, and not one of them getting wages enough to live on. How d' ye suppose most of them manage? Ask your mother. And do you expect me to turn my back on 35 per cent. when all the rest are pocketing what they can, like sensible men? No such fool! If you're going to pick and choose your acquaintances on moral principles, you'd better clear out of this country, unless you want to cut yourself out of all decent society.... The world isn't such a bad place as the croakers make out. So long as you don't fly openly in the face of society, society doesn't ask any inconvenient questions; and it makes precious short work of the cads who do. There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses. In the society I can introduce you to, no lady or gentleman would so far forget themselves as to discuss my business affairs or your mother's.

Indeed, no lady or gentleman would discuss the profession of Mrs. Warren and her confreres. But they partake of the dividends. When the. evil becomes too crying, they engage in vice crusades, and call down the wrath of the Lord and the brutality of the police upon the Mrs. Warrens and her victims. While the victimizers, the Crofts, the Canterburys, Rev. Gardner--Vivian's own father and pious mouthpiece of the Church--and the other patrons of Mrs. Warren's houses parade as the protectors of woman, the home and the family.

To-day no one of the least intelligence denies the cruelty, the injustice, the outrage of such a state of affairs, any more than it is being denied that the training of woman as a sex commodity has left her any other source of income except to sell herself to one man within marriage or to many men outside of marriage. Only bigots and inexperienced girls like Vivian can say that "everybody has some choice. The poorest girl alive may not be able to choose between being Queen of England or Principal of Newnham; but she can choose between rag-picking and flower-selling, according to her taste."

It is astonishing how little education and college degrees teach people. Had Vivian compelled to shift for herself, she would have discovered that neither rag-picking nor flower-selling brings enough to satisfy one's "taste." It is not a question of choice, but of necessity, which is the determining factor in most people's lives.

When Shaw flung Mrs. Warren into the smug midst of society, even the educated Vivians knew little of the compelling force which whips thousands of women into prostitution. As to the ignorant, their minds are a mental and spiritual desert. Naturally the play caused consternation. It still continues to serve as the red rag to the social bull. "Mrs. Warren's Profession" infuriates because it goes to the bottom of our evils; because it places the accusing finger upon the sorest and most damnable spot in our social fabric--SEX as woman's only commodity in the competitive market of life. "An immoral and heretical play," indeed, of very deep social sign significance.



"MAJOR BARBARA" is of still greater social importance, inasmuch as it points to the fact that while charity and religion are supposed to minister to the poor, both institutions derive their main revenue from the poor by the perpetuation of the evils both pretend to fight.

Major Barbara, the daughter of the world renowned cannon manufacturer Undershaft, has joined the Salvation Army. The latter lays claim to being the most humane religious institution, because--unlike other soul savers--it does not entirely forget the needs of the body. It also teaches that the greater the sinner the more glorious the saving. But as no one is quite as black as he is painted, it becomes necessary for those who want to be saved, and incidentally to profit by the Salvation Army, to invent sins--the blacker the better.

Rummy. What am I to do? I can't starve. Them Salvation lasses is dear girls; but the better you are the worse they likes to think you were before they rescued you. Why shouldn't they 'av' a bit o' credit, poor loves? They're worn to rags by their work. And where would they get the money to rescue us if we was to let on we're no worse than other people ? You know what ladies and gentlemen are.

Price. Thievin' swine ! . . . We're companions in misfortune, Rummy. . . .

Rummy. Who saved you, Mr. Price? Was it Major Barbara?

Price. No: I come here on my own. I'm goin' to be Bronterre O'Brien Price, the converted painter. I know what they like. I'll tell 'em how I blasphemed and gambled and wopped my poor old mother—

Rummy. Used you to beat your mother?

Price. Not likely. She used to beat me. No matter: you come and listen to the converted painter, and you'll hear how she was a pious woman that taught me me prayers at 'er knee, an' how I used to come home drunk and drag her out o' bed be 'er snow-white 'airs, and lam into 'er with the poker.

Rummy. That's what's so unfair to us women. Your confessions is just as big lies as ours: you don't tell what you really done no more than us; but you men can tell your lies right out at the meetin's and be made much of for it; while the sort o' confessions we az to make 'as to be whispered to one lady at a time. It ain't right, spite of all their piety.

Price. Right! Do you suppose the Army'd be allowed if it went and did right? Not much. It combs our 'air and makes us good little blokes to be robbed and put upon. But I'll play the game as good as any of 'em. I'll see somebody struck by lightnin', or hear a voice sayin', "Snobby Price: where will you spend eternity?" I'll 'ave a time of it, I tell you.

It is inevitable that the Salvation Army, like all other religious and charitable institutions, should by its very character foster cowardice and hypocrisy as a premium securing entry into heaven.

Major Barbara, being a novice, is as ignorant of this as she is unaware of the source of the money which sustains her and the work of the Salvation Army. She consistently refuses to accept the "conscience sovereign" of Bill Walker for beating up a Salvation lassie. Not so Mrs. Baines, the Army Commissioner. She is dyed in the wool in the profession of begging and will take money from the devil himself "for the Glory of God,"--the Glory of God which consists in "taking out the anger and bitterness against the rich from the hearts of the poor," a service "gratifying and convenient for all large employers." No wonder the whisky distiller Bodger makes the generous contribution of 5000 pounds and Undershaft adds his own little mite of another 5000.

Barbara is indeed ignorant or she would not protest against a fact so notorious

Barbara. Do you know what my father is ? Have you forgotten that Lord Saxmundham is Bodger the whisky man? Do you remember how we implored the County Council to stop him from writing Bodger's Whisky in letters of fire against the sky; so that the poor drink-ruined creatures on the embankment could not wake up from their snatches of sleep without being reminded of their deadly thirst by that wicked sky sign? Do you know that the worst thing that I have had to fight here is not the devil, but Bodger, Bodger, Bodger with his whisky, his distilleries, and his tied houses ? Are you going to make our shelter another tied house for him, and ask me to keep it?

Undershaft. My dear Barbara: alcohol is a very necessary article. It heals the sick--. . . It assists the doctor: that is perhaps a less questionable way of putting it. It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.

Mrs. Baines. Barbara: Lord Saxmundham gives us the money to stop drinking--to take his own business from him.

Undershaft. I also, Mrs. Baines, may claim a little disinterestedness. Think of my business! think of the widows and orphans! the men and lads torn to pieces with shrapnel and poisoned with Iyddite! the oceans of blood, not one drop of which is shed in a really just cause! the ravaged crops! the peaceful peasants forced, women and men, to till their fields under the fire of opposing armies on pain of starvation ! the bad blood of the fierce cowards at home who egg on others to fight for the gratification of national vanity! All this makes money for me: I am never richer, never busier than when the papers are full of it. Well, it is your work to preach peace on earth and good will to men. Every convert you make is a vote against war. Yet I give you this money to hasten my own commercial ruin.

Barbara. Drunkenness and Murder! My God, why hast thou forsaked me?

However, Barbara's indignation does not last very long, any more than that of her aristocratic mother, Lady Britomart, who has no use for her plebeian husband except when she needs his money. Similarly Stephen, her son, has become converted, like Barbara, not to the Glory Hallelujah of the Salvation Army but to the power of money and cannon. Likewise the rest of the family, including the Greek Scholar Cusins, Barbara's suitor.

During the visit to their father's factory the Undershaft family makes several discoveries. They learn that the best modern method of accumulating a large fortune consists in organizing industries in such a manner as to make the workers content with their slavery. It's a model factory.

Undershaft. It is a spotlessly clean and beautiful hillside town. There are two chapels: a Primitive one and a sophisticated one. There's even an ethical society; but it is not much patronized, as my men are all strongly religious. In the high explosives sheds they object to the presence of agnostics as unsafe.

The family further learns that it is not high moral precepts, patriotic love of country, or similar sentiments that are the backbone of the life of the nation. It is Undershaft again who enlightens them of the power of money and its role in dictating governmental policies, making war or peace, and shaping the destinies of man.

Undershaft. The government of your country. I am the government of your country: I, and Lazarus. Do you suppose that you and a half a dozen amateurs like you, sitting in a row in that foolish gabble shop, can govern Undershaft and Lazarus? No, my friend: you will do what pays us. You will make war when it suits us, and keep peace when it doesn't. You will find out that trade requires certain measures when we have decided on those measures. When I want anything to keep my dividends up, you will discover that my want is a national need. When other people want something to keep my dividends down, you will call out the police and military. And in return you shall have the support and applause of my newspapers, and the delight of imagining that you are a great statesman. Government of your country! Be off with you, my boy, and play with your caucuses and leading articles and historic parties and great leaders and burning questions and the rest of your toys. I am going back to my counting house to pay the piper and call the tune. . . . To give arms to all men who offer an honest price for them, without respect of persons or principles: to Aristocrat and Republican, to Nihilist and Tsar, to Capitalist and Socialist, to Protestant and Catholic, to burglar and policeman, to black man, white man, and yellow man, to all sorts and conditions, all nationalities, all faiths, all follies, all causes and all crimes. . . I will take an order from a good man as cheerfully as from a bad one. If you good people prefer preaching and shirking to buying my weapons and fighting the rascals, don't blame me. I can make cannons: I cannot make courage and conviction.

That is just it. The Undershafts cannot make conviction and courage; yet both are indispensable if one is to see that, in the words of Undershaft:

"Cleanliness and respectability do not need justification: they justify themselves. There are millions of poor people, abject people, dirty people, ill fed, ill clothed people. They poison us morally and physically: they kill the happiness of society: they force us to do away with our own liberties and to organize unnatural cruelties for fear they should rise against us and drag us down into their abyss. Only fools fear crime: we all fear poverty. I had rather be a thief than a pauper. I had rather be a murderer than a slave. I don't want to be either; but if you force the alternative on me, then, by Heaven, I'll choose the braver and more moral one. I hate poverty and slavery worse than any other crimes whatsoever."

Cusins, the scientist, realizes the force of Undershaft's argument. Long enough have the people been preached at, and intellectual power used to enslave them.

Cusins. As a teacher of Greek I gave the intellectual man weapons against the common man. I now want to give the common man weapons against the intellectual man. I love the common people. I want to arm them against the lawyer, the doctor, the priest, the literary man, the professor, the artist, and the politician, who, once in authority, are the most dangerous, disastrous, and tyrannical of all the fools, rascals, and impostors.

This thought is perhaps the most revolutionary sentiment in the whole play, in view of the fact that the people everywhere are enslaved by the awe of the lawyer, the professor, and the politician, even more than by the club and gun. It is the lawyer and the politician who poison the people with "the germ of briefs and politics," thereby unfitting them for the only effective course in the great social struggle--action, resultant from the realization that poverty and inequality never have been, never can be, preached or voted out of existence.

Undershaft. Poverty and slavery have stood up for centuries to your sermons and leading articles: they will not stand up to my machine guns. Don't preach at them; don't reason with them. Kill them.

Barbara. Killing. Is that your remedy for everything?

Undershaft. It is the final test of conviction, the only lever strong enough to overturn a social system, the only way of saying Must. Let six hundred and seventy fools loose in the street; and three policemen can scatter them. But huddle them together in a certain house in Westminster; and let them go through certain ceremonies and call themselves certain names until at last they get the courage to kill; and your six hundred and seventy fools become a government. Your pious mob fills up ballot papers and imagines it is governing its masters; but the ballot paper that really governs is the paper that has a bullet wrapped up in it.... Vote! Bah!! When you vote you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new. Is that historically true, Mr. Learned Man, or is it not?

Cusins. It is historically true. I loathe having to admit it. I repudiate your sentiments. I abhor nature. I defy you in every possible way. Still, it is true. But it ought not to be true.

Undershaft. Ought, ought, ought, ought, ought! Are you going to spend your life saying ought, like the rest of our moralists? Turn your oughts into shells, man. Come and make explosives with me. The history of the world is the history of those who had the courage to embrace this truth.

"Major Barbara" is one of the most revolutionary plays. In any other but dramatic form the sentiments uttered therein would have condemned the author to long imprisonment for inciting to sedition and violence.

Shaw the Fabian would be the first to repudiate such utterances as rank Anarchy, "impractical, brain cracked and criminal." But Shaw the dramatist is closer to life--closer to reality, closer- to the historic truth that the people wrest only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.


THE power of the modern drama as an interpreter of the pressing questions of our time is perhaps nowhere evident as clearly as it is in England to-day.

Indeed, while other countries have come almost to a standstill in dramatic art, England is the most productive at the present time. Nor can it be said that quantity has been achieved at the expense of quality, which is only too often the case.

The most prolific English dramatist, John Galsworthy, is at the same time a great artist whose dramatic quality can be compared with that of only one other living writer, namely, Gerhart Hauptmann. Galsworthy, even as Hauptmann, is neither a propagandist nor a moralist. His background is life, " that palpitating life," which is the root of all sorrow and joy.

His attitude toward dramatic art is given in the following words:

"I look upon the stage as the great beacon light of civilization, but the drama should lead the social thought of the time and not direct or dictate it."

"The great duty of the dramatist is to, present life as it really is. A true story, if told sincerely, is the strongest moral argument that can be put on the stage. It is the business of the dramatist so to present the characters in his picture of life that the inherent moral is brought to light without any lecturing on his part."

"Moral codes in themselves are, after all, not lasting, but a true picture of life is. A man may preach a strong lesson in a play which may exist for a day, but if he succeeds in presenting real life itself in such a manner as to carry with it a certain moral inspiration, the force of the message need never be lost, for a new interpretation to fit the spirit of the time can renew its vigor and power."

John Galsworthy has undoubtedly succeeded in presenting real life. It is this that makes him so thoroughly human and universal.



NOT since Hauptmann's "Weavers" was placed before the thoughtful public, has there apt peered anything more stirring than "Strife."

Its theme is a strike in the Trenartha Tin Plate Works, on the borders of England and Wales. The play largely centers about the two dominant figures: John Anthony, the President of the Company, rigid, autocratic and uncompromising; he is unwilling to make the slightest concession, although the men have been out for six months and are in a condition of semi-starvation. On the other hand there is David Roberts, an uncompromising revolutionist, whose devotion to the workers and the cause of freedom is at redwhite heat. Between them are the strikers, worn and weary with the terrible struggle, driven and tortured by the awful sight of poverty at home.

At a directors' meeting, attended by the Company's representatives from London, Edgar Anthony, the President's son and a man of kindly feeling, pleads in behalf of the strikers.

Edgar. I don't see how we can get over it that to go on like this means starvation to the men's wives and families . . . It won't kill the shareholders to miss a dividend or two; I don't see that that's reason enough for knuckling under.

Wilder. H'm! Shouldn't be a bit surprised if that brute Roberts hadn't got us down here with the very same idea. I hate a man with a grievance.

Edgar. We didn't pay him enough for his discovery. I always said that at the time.

Wilder. We paid him five hundred and a bonus of two hundred three years later. If that's not enough! What does he want, for goodness' sake?

Tench. Company made a hundred thousand out of his brains, and paid him seven hundred--that's the way he goes on, sir.

Wilder. The man's a rank agitator! Look here, I hate the Unions. But now we've got Harness here let's get him to settle the whole thing.

Harness, the trade union official, speaks in favor of compromise. In the beginning of the strike the union had withdrawn its support, because the workers had used their own judgment in deciding to strike. Harness. I'm quite frank with you. We were forced to withhold our support from your men because some of their demands are in excess of current rates. I expect to make them withdraw those demands to-day.... Now, I want to see something fixed upon before I go back tonight. Can't we have done with this old-fashioned tug-of-war business ? What good's it doing you ? Why don't you recognize once for all that these people are men like yourselves, and want what's good for them just as you want what's good for you.... There's just one very simple question I'd like to put to you. Will you pay your men one penny more than they force you to pay them?

Of course not. With trade unionism lacking in true solidarity, and the workers not conscious of their power, why should the Company pay one penny more? David Roberts is the only one who fully understands the situation. Roberts. Justice from London? What are you talking about, Henry Thomas? Have you gone silly? We know very well what we are--discontented dogs--never satisfied. What did the Chairman tell me up in London ? That I didn't know what I was talking about. I was a foolish, uneducated man, that knew nothing of the wants of the men I spoke for.... I have this to say--and first as to their condition.... Ye can't squeeze them any more. Every man of us is well nigh starving. Ye wonder why I tell ye that? Every man of us is going short. We can't be no worse off than we've been these weeks past. Ye needn't think that by waiting ye'll drive us to come in. We'll die first, the whole lot of us. The men have sent for ye to know, once and for all, whether ye are going to grant them their demands.... Ye know best whether ye can afford your tyranny--but this I tell ye: If ye think the men will give way the least part of an inch, ye're making the worst mistake ye ever made. Ye think because the Union is not supporting us--more shame to it!--that we'll be coming on our knees to you one fine morning. Ye think because the men have got their wives an' families to think of--that it's just a question of a week or two-- . . .

The appalling state o f the strikers is demonstrated by the women: Anna Roberts, sick with heart trouble and slowly dying for want of warmth and nourishment; Mrs. Rous, so accustomed to privation that her present poverty seems easy compared with the misery of her whole life.

Into this dismal environment comes Enid, the President's daughter, with delicacies and jams for Annie. Like many women of her station she imagines that a little sympathy will bridge the chasm between the classes, or as her father says, "You think with your gloved hands you can cure the troubles of the century."

Enid does not know the life of Annie Roberts' class: that it is all a gamble from the "time 'e 's born to the time 'e dies."

Mrs. Roberts. Roberts says workin' folk have always lived from hand to mouth. Sixpence to-day is worth more than a shillin' to-morrow, that's what they say. . . . He says.that when a working man's baby is born, it's a toss-up from breath to breath whether it ever draws another, and so on all 'is life; an' when he comes to be old, it's the workhouse or the grave. He says that without a man is very near, and pinches and stints 'imself and 'is children to save, there can be neither surplus nor security. That's why he wouldn't have no children, not though I wanted them.

The strikers' meeting is a masterly study of mass psychology,-the men swayed hither and thither by the different speakers and not knowing whither to go. It is the smooth-tongued Harness who first weakens their determination to hold out.

Harness. Cut your demands to the right pattern, and we'll see you through; refuse, and don't expect me to waste my time coming down here again. I'm not the sort that speaks at random, as you ought to know by this time. If you're the sound men I take you for-no matter who advises you against it--you'll make up your minds to come in, and trust to us to get your terms. Which is it to be? Hands together, and victory--or--the starvation you've got now?

Then Old Thomas appeals to their religious sentiments:

Thomas. It iss not London; it iss not the Union--it iss Nature. It iss no disgrace whateffer to a potty to give in to Nature. For this Nature iss a fery pig thing; it is pigger than what a man is. There is more years to my hett than to the hett of anyone here. It is a man's pisness to pe pure, honest, just, and merciful. That's what Chapel tells you.... We're going the roat to tamnation. An' so I say to all of you. If ye co against Chapel I will not pe with you, nor will any other Got-fearing man.

At last Roberts makes his plea, Roberts who has given his all--brain, heart and blood--aye, sacrificed even his wife to the cause. By sheer force of eloquence and sincerity he stays his fickle comrades long enough at least to listen to him, though they are too broken to rise to his great dignity and courage.

Roberts. You don't want to hear me then? You'll listen to Rous and to that old man, but not to me. You'll listen to Sim Harness of the Union that's treated you so fair; maybe you'll listen to those men from London. . . . You love their feet on your necks, don't you? . . . Am I a liar, a coward, a traitor? If only I were, ye'd listen to me, I'm sure. Is there a man of you here who has less to gain by striking? Is there a man of you that had more to lose? Is there a man among you who has given up eight hundred pounds since this trouble began ? Come, now, is there? How much has Thomas given up--ten pounds or five or what? You listened to him, ant what had he to say? "None can pretend," he said,"that I'm not a believer in principle--but when Nature says: 'No further,' 'tes going against Nature!" I tell you if a man cannot say to Nature: "Budge me from this if ye can I"--his principles are but his belly. "Oh, but," Thomas says, "a man can be pure and honest, just and merciful, and take off his hat to Nature." I tell you Nature's neither pure nor honest, just nor merciful. You chaps that live over the hill, an' go home dead beat in the dare on a snowy night--don't ye fight your way every inch of it? Do ye-go lyin' down an' trustin' to the tender mercies of this merciful Nature? Try it and you'll soon know with what ye've got to deal. 'Tes only by that (he strikes a blow with his clenched fist) in Nature's face that a man can be a man. "Give in," says Thomas; "go down on your knees; throw up your foolish fight, an' perhaps," he said, "perhaps your enemy will chuck you down a crust." . . . And what did he say about Chapel? "Chapel's against it," he said. "She's against it." Well, if Chapel and Nature go hand in hand, it's the first I've ever heard of it. Surrendering's the world of cowards and traitors.... You've felt the pinch o't in your bellies. You've forgotten what that fight 'as been; many times I have told you; I will tell you now this once again. The fight o' the country's body and blood against a blood-sucker. The fight of those that spend themselves with every blow they strike and every breath they draw, against a thing that fattens on them, and grows and grows by the law of merciful Nature. That thing is Capital! A thing that buys the sweat o' men's brows, and the tortures o' their brains, at its own price. Don't I know that ? Wasn't the work o' my brains bought for seven hundred pounds, and hasn't one hundred thousand pounds been gained them by that seven hundred without the stirring of a finger. It is a thing that will take as much and give you as little as it can. That's Capital! A thing that will say--"I'm very sorry for you, poor fellows--you have a cruel time of it, I know," but will not give one sixpence of its dividends to help you have a better time. That's Capital! Tell me, for all their talk, is there one of them that will consent to another penny on the Income Tax to help the poor ? That's Capital! A white-faced, stony-hearted monster! Ye have got it on its knees; are ye to give up at the last minute to save your miserable bodies pain? When I went this morning to those old men from London, I looked into their very 'earts. One of them was sitting there--Mr. Scantlebury, a mass of flesh nourished on us: sittin' there for all the world like the shareholders in this Company, that sit not moving tongue nor finger, takin' dividends--a great dumb ox that can only be roused when its food is threatened. I looked into his eyes and I saw he was afraid--afraid for himself and his dividends, afraid for his fees, afraid of the very shareholders he stands for; and all but one of them's afraid--like children that get into a wood at night, and start at every rustle of the leaves. I ask you, men--give me a free hand to tell them: "Go you back to London. The men have nothing for you!" Give me that, and I swear to you, within a week you shall have from London all you want. 'Tis not for this little moment of time we're fighting, not for ourselves, our own little bodies, and their wants, 'tis for all those that come after throughout all time. Oh! Men--for the love o' them, don't roll up another stone upon their heads, don't help to blacken the sty, an' let the bitter sea in over them. They're welcome to the worst that can happen to me, to the worst that can happen to us all, aren't they--aren't they? If we can shake the white-faced monster with the bloody lips, that has sucked the life out of ourselves, our wives, and children, since the world began. If we have not the hearts of men to stand against it breast to breast, and eye to eye, and force it backward till it cry for mercy, it will go on sucking life; and we shall stay forever what we are, less than the very dogs.

Consistency is the greatest crime of our commercial age. No matter how intense the spirit or how important the man, the moment he will not allow himself to be used or sell his principles, he is thrown on the dust heap. Such is the fate of Anthony, the President of the Company, and of David Roberts. To be sure they represent opposite poles--poles antagonistic to each other, poles divided by a terrible gap that can never be bridged over. Yet they share a common fate. Anthony is the embodiment of conservatism, of old ideas, of iron methods:

Anthony. I have been Chairman of this Company since its inception two and thirty years ago. . . . I have had to do with "men" for fifty years; I've always stood up to them; I have never been beaten yet. I have fought the men of this Company four times, and four times I have beaten them.... The men have been treated justly, they have had fair wages, we have always been ready to listen to complaints. It has been said that times have changed; if they have, I have not changed with them. Neither will I. It has been said that masters and men are equal! Cant! There can only be one master in a house! Where two men meet the better man will rule. It has been said that Capital and Labor have the same interests. Cant! Their interests are as wide asunder as the poles. It has been said that the Board is only part of a machine. Cant! We are the machine; its brains and sinews; it is for us to lead and to determine what is to be done; and to do it without fear or favor. Fear of the men! Fear of the shareholders! Fear of our own shadows! Before I am like that, I hope to die. There is only one way of treating "men"--with the iron hand. This half-and-half business, the half-and-half manners of this generation, has brought all this upon us. Sentiments and softness and what this young man, no doubt, would call his social policy. You can't eat cake and have it! This middle-class sentiment, or socialism, or whatever it may be, is rotten. Masters are masters, men are men! Yield one demand, and they will make it six. They are like Oliver Twist, asking for more. If I were in their place I should be the same. But I am not in their place. . . . I have been accused of being a domineering tyrant, thinking only of my pride--I am thinking of the future of this country, threatened with the black waters of confusion, threatened with mob government, threatened with what I cannot say. If by any conduct of mine I help to bring this on us, I shall be ashamed to look my fellows in the face. Before I put this amendment to the Board, I have one more word to say. If it is carried, it means that we shall fail in what we set ourselves to do. It means that we shall fail in the duty that we owe to all Capital. It means that we shall fail in the duty that we owe ourselves.

We may not like this adherence to old, reactionary notions, and yet there is something admirable in the courage and consistency of this man; nor is he half as dangerous to the interests of the oppressed as our sentimental and soft reformers who rob with nine fingers, and give libraries with the tenth; who grind human beings and spend millions of dollars in social research work. Anthony is a worthy foe; to fight such a foe, one must learn to meet him in open battle.

David Roberts has all the mental and moral attributes of his adversary, coupled with the spirit of revolt and the inspiration of modern ideas. He, too, is consistent: he wants nothing for his class short of complete victory.

It is inevitable that compromise and petty interest should triumph until the masses become imbued with the spirit of a David Roberts. Will they ever? Prophecy is not the vocation of the dramatist, yet the moral lesson is evident. One cannot help realizing that the workingmen will have to use methods hitherto unfamiliar to them; that they will have to discard the elements in their midst that are forever seeking to reconcile the irreconcilable--Capital and Labor. They will have to learn that men like David Roberts are the very forces that have revolutionized the world and thus paved the way for emancipation out of the clutches of the "white-faced monster with bloody lips," toward a brighter horizon, a freer life, and a truer recognition of human values.



NO subject of equal social import has received such thoughtful consideration in recent years as the question of Crime and Punishment. A number of books by able writers, both in Europe and this country--preeminently among them "Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist," by Alexander Berkman--discuss this topic from the historic, psychologic, and social standpoint, the consensus of opinion being that present penal institutions and our methods of coping with crime have in every respect proved inadequate as well as wasteful. This new attitude toward one of the gravest social wrongs has now also found dramatic interpretation in Galsworthy's "Justice."

The play opens in the office of James How & Sons, solicitors. The senior clerk, Robert Cokeson, discovers that a check he had issued for nine pounds has been forged to ninety. By elimination, suspicion falls upon William Falder, the junior office clerk. The latter is in love with a married woman, the abused and ill-treated wife of a brutal drunkard. Pressed by his employer, a severe yet not unkindly man, Falder confesses the forgery, pleading the dire necessity of his sweetheart, Ruth Honeywill, with whom he had planned to escape to save her from the unbearable brutality of her husband.

Falder. Oh! sir, look over it! I'll pay the money back--I will, I promise.

Notwithstanding the entreaties of young Walter How, who holds modern ideas, his father, a moral and law-respecting citizen, turns Falder over to the police.

The second act, in the court room, shows Justice in the very process of manufacture. The scene equals in dramatic power and psychologic verity the great court scene in "Resurrection." Young Falder, a nervous and rather weakly youth of twenty-three, stands before the bar. Ruth, his faithful sweetheart, full of love and devotion, burns with anxiety to save the young man, whose affection for her has brought about his present predicament. Falder is defended by Lawyer Frome, whose speech to the jury is a masterpiece of social philosophy. He does not attempt to dispute the mere fact that his client had altered the check; and though he pleads temporary aberration in his defense, the argument is based on a social consciousness as fundamental and all-embracing as the roots of our social ills--"the background of life, that palpitating life which always lies behind the commission of a crime." He shows Falder to have faced the alternative of seeing the beloved woman murdered by her brutal husband, whom she cannot divorce, or of taking the law into his own hands. He pleads with the jury not to turn the weak young man into a criminal by condemning him to prison.

Frome. Men like the prisoner are destroyed daily under our law for want of that human insight which sees them as they are, patients, and not criminals. . . . Justice is a machine that, when someone has given it a starting push, rolls on of itself. . . . Is this young man to be ground to pieces under this machine for an act which, at the worst, was one of weakness ? Is he to become a member of the luckless crews that man those dark, ill-starred ships called prisons? . . . I urge you, gentlemen, do not ruin this young man. For as a result of those four minutes, ruin, utter and irretrievable, stares him in the face . . . The rolling of the chariot wheels of Justice over this boy began when it was decided to prosecute him.

But the chariot of Justice rolls mercilessly on, for--as the learned Judge says—

"Your counsel has made an attempt to trace your offense back to what he seems to suggest is a defect in the marriage law; he has made an attempt also to show that to punish you with further imprisonment would be unjust. I do not follow him in these flights. The Law what it is--a majestic edifice, sheltering all of us, each stone of which rests on another. I am concerned only with its administration. The crime you have committed is a very serious one. I cannot feel it in accordance with my duty to Society to exercise the powers I have in your favor. You will go to penal servitude for three years."

In prison the young, inexperienced convict soon finds himself the victim of the terrible "system." The authorities admit that young Falder is mentally and physically "in bad shape," but nothing can be done in the matter: many others are in a similar position, and "the quarters are inadequate."

The third scene of the third act is heart-gripping in its silent force. The whole scene is a pantomime, taking place in Falder's prison cell.

"In fast-falling daylight, Falder, in his stockings, is seen standing motionless, with his head inclined towards the door, listening. He moves a little closer to the door, his stockinged feet making no noise. He stops at the door. He is trying harder and harder to hear something, any little thing that is going on outside. He springs suddenly upright--as if at a sound--and remains perfectly motionless. Then, with a heavy sigh, he moves to his work, and stands looking at it, with his head down; he does a stitch or two, having the air of a man so lost in sadness that each stitch is, as it were, a coming to life. Then, turning abruptly, he begins pacing his cell, moving his head, like an animal pacing its cage. He stops again at the door, listens, and, placing the palms of his hands against it, with his fingers spread out, leans his forehead against the iron. Turning from it, presently, he moves slowly back towards the window, tracing his way with his finger along the top line of the distemper that runs round the wall. He stops under the window, and, picking up the lid of one of the tins, peers into it. It has grown very nearly dark. Suddenly the lid falls out of his hand with a clatter--the only sound that has broken the silence--and he stands staring intently at the wall where the stuff of the shirt is hanging rather white in the darkness-he seems to be seeing somebody or something there. There is a sharp tap and click; the cell light behind the glass screen has been turned up. The cell is brightly lighted. Falder is seen gasping for breath.

"A sound from far away, as of distant, dull beating on thick metal, is suddenly audible. Falder shrinks back, not able to bear this sudden clamor. But the sounds grows, as though some great tumbril were rolling towards the cell. And gradually it seems to hypnotize him. He begins creeping inch by inch nearer to the door. The banging sound, traveling from cell to cell, draws closer and closer; Falder's hands are seen moving as if his spirit had already joined in this beating; and the sound swells until it seems to have entered the very cell. He suddenly raises his clenched fists."

"Panting violently, he flings himself at his door, and beats on it."

Falder leaves the prison, a broken ticket-of-leave man, the stamp of the convict upon his brow, the iron of misery in his soul.

Falder. I seem to be struggling against a thing that's all round me. I can't explain it: it's as if I was in a net; as fast as I cut it here, it grows up there. I didn't act as I ought to have, about references; but what are you to do? You must have them. And that made me afraid, and I left. In fact, I'm--I'm afraid all the time now.

Thanks to Ruth's pleading, the firm of James How & Son is willing to take Falder back in their employ, on condition that he give up Ruth. Falder resents this: Falder. I couldn't give her up. I couldn't! Oh, sir! I'm all she's got to look to. And I'm sure she's all I've got.

It is then that Falder learns the awful news that the woman he loves had been driven by the chariot wheel of Justice to sell herself.

Ruth. I tried making skirts. . . cheap things. It was the best I could get, but I never made more than ten shillings a week, buying my own cotton and working all day; I hardly ever got to bed till past twelve. I kept at it for nine months.... It was starvation for the children.... And then ... my employer happened--he's happened ever since.

At this terrible psychologic moment the police appear to drag Falder back to prison for failing to report to the authorities as ticket-of-leave man. Completely overcome by the inexorability of his fate, Falder throws himself down the stairs, breaking his neck.

The socio-revolutionary significance of "Justice" consists not only in the portrayal of the in-human system which grinds the Falders and Honeywills, but even more so in the utter helplessness of society as expressed in the words of the Senior Clerk, Cokeson, "No one'll touch him now! Never again! He's safe with gentle Jesus!"



JOHN GALSWORTHY calls this play a fantasy. To me it seems cruelly real: it demonstrates that the best human material is crushed in the fatal mechanism of our life. "The Pigeon" also discloses to us the inadequacy of charity, individual and organized, to cope with poverty, as well as the absurdity of reformers and experimenters who attempt to patch up effects while they ignore the causes.

Christopher Wellwyn, an artist, a man deeply in sympathy with all human sorrow and failings, generously shares his meager means with everyone who applies to him for help.

His daughter Ann is of a more practical turn of mind. She cannot understand that giving is as natural and necessary to her father as light and air; indeed, the greatest joy in life.

Perhaps Ann is actuated by anxiety for her father who is so utterly "hopeless" that he would give away his "last pair of trousers." From her point of view "people who beg are rotters": decent folk would not stoop to begging. But Christopher Wellwyn's heart is too full of humanity to admit of such a straightlaced attitude. "We're not all the same.... One likes to be friendly. What's the use of being alive if one isn't?"

Unfortunately most people are not alive to the tragedies around them. They are often unthinking mechanisms, mere tabulating machines, like Alfred Calway, the Professor, who believes that "we're to give the State all we can spare, to make the undeserving deserving." Or as Sir Hoxton, the Justice of the Peace, who insists that "we ought to support private organizations for helping the deserving, and damn the undeserving." Finally there is the Canon who religiously seeks the middle road and "wants a little of both."

When Ann concludes that her father is the despair of all social reformers, she is but expressing a great truism; namely, that social reform is a cold and bloodless thing that can find no place in the glowing humanity of Christopher Wellwyn.

It is Christmas Eve, the birth of Him who came to proclaim "Peace on earth, good will to all." Christopher Wellwyn is about to retire when he is disturbed by a knock on the door.

The snow-covered, frost-pinched figure of Guinevere Megan appears. She is a flower-seller to whom Wellwyn had once given his card that she might find him in case of need. She comes to him when the rest of the world has passed her by, forlorn and almost as dead as her violets which no one cares to buy.

At sight of her misery Wellwyn forgets his daughter's practical admonition and his promise to her not to be "a fool." He treats the flowerseller tenderly, makes her warm and comfortable. He has barely time to show Guinevere into his model's room, when another knock is heard. This time it is Ferrand, "an alien," a globe trotter without means,--a tramp whom Wellwyn had once met in the Champs-Elysees. Without food for days and unable to endure the cold, Ferrand too comes to the artist.

Ferrand. If I had not found you, Monsieur--I would have been a little hole in the river to-night-I was so discouraged.... And to think that in a few minutes He will be born! . . . The world would reproach you for your goodness to me. Monsieur, if He himself were on earth now, there would be a little heap of gentlemen writing to the journals every day to call him sloppee sentimentalist! And what is veree funny, these gentlemen they would all be most strong Christians. But that will not trouble you, Monsieur; I saw well from the first that you are no Christian. You have so kind a face.

Ferrand has deeper insight into the character of Christopher Wellwyn than his daughter. He knows that the artist would not judge nor could he refuse one whom misery stares in the face. Even the third visitor of Wellwyn, the old cabman Timson, with more whisky than bread in his stomach, receives the same generous reception as the other two.

The next day Ann calls a council of war. The learned Professor, Alfred Calway; the wise judge, Sir Thomas Hoxton; and the professional Christian, Edward Bertley--the Canon--are summoned to decide the fate of the three outcasts.

There are few scenes in dramatic literature so rich in satire, so deep in the power of analysis as the one in which these eminent gentlemen discuss human destiny. Canon Bertley is emphatic that it is necessary to "remove the temptation and reform the husband of the flower-seller."

Bertley. Now, what is to be done?

Mrs. Megan. I could get an unfurnished room, if I'd the money to furnish it.

Bertley. Never mind the money. What I want to find in you is repentance.

Those who are engaged in saving souls cannot be interested in such trifles as money matters, nor to understand the simple truth that if the Megans did not have to bother with making a "livin'," repentance would take care of itself.

The other two gentlemen are more worldly, since law and science cannot experiment with such elusive things as the soul. Professor Calway opines that Timson is a congenital case, to be put under observation, while Judge Hoxton-decides that he must be sent to prison.

Calway. Is it, do you think, chronic unemployment with a vagrant tendency? Or would it be nearer the mark to say: Vagrancy-- Dipsomaniac?. .. By the look of his face, as far as one can see it, I should say there was a leaning towards mania. I know the treatment.

Hoxton. Hundreds of these fellows before me in my time. The only thing is a sharp lesson!

Calway. I disagree. I've seen the man; what he requires is steady control, and the Dobbins treatment.

Hoxton. Not a bit of it! He wants one for his knob! Bracing him up! It's the only thing!

Calway. You're moving backwards, Sir Thomas. I've told you before, convinced reactionaryism, in these days--The merest sense of continuity--a simple instinct for order—

Hoxton. The only way to get order, sir, is to bring the disorderly up with a round turn. You people without practical experience—

Calway. The question is a much wider one, Sir Thomas.

Hoxton. No, sir, I repeat, if the country once commits itself to your views of reform, it's as good as doomed.

Calway. I seem to have heard that before, Sir Thomas. And let me say at once that your hitty-missy cart-load of bricks regime—

Hoxton. Is a deuced sight better, sir, than your grandmotherly methods. What the old fellow wants is a shock! With all this socialistic molly-coddling, you're losing sight of the individual.

Calway. You, sir, with your "devil take the hindmost," have never seen him.

The farce ends by each one insisting on the superiority of his own pet theory, while misery continues to stalk white-faced through the streets.

Three months later Ann determines to rescue her father from his disreputable proclivities by removing with him to a part of the city where their address will remain unknown to his beggar friends and acquaintances.

While their belongings are being removed, Canon Bertley relates the trouble he had with Mrs. Megan.

Bertley. I consulted with Calway and he advised me to try a certain institution. We got her safely in--excellent place; but, d'you know, she broke out three weeks ago. And since--I've heard--hopeless, I'm afraid--quite! . . . I'm sometimes tempted to believe there's nothing for some of these poor folk but to pray for death.

Wellwyn. The Professor said he felt there was nothing for some of these poor devils but a lethal chamber.

What is science for if not to advise a lethal chamber ? It's the easiest way to dispose of "the unfit" and to supply learned professors with the means of comfortable livelihood.

Yet there is Ferrand, the vagabond, the social outcast who has never seen the inside of a university, propounding a philosophy which very few professors even dream of:

Ferrand. While I was on the road this time I fell ill of a fever. It seemed to me in my illness that I saw the truth--how I was wasting in this world--I would never be good for anyone--nor anyone for me-all would go by, and I never of it--fame, and fortune, and peace, even the necessities of life, ever mocking me. And I saw, so plain, that I should be vagabond all my days, and my days short; I dying in the end the death of a dog. I saw it all in my fever--clear as that flame-there was nothing for us others, but the herb of death. And so I wished to die. I told no one of my fever. I lay out on the ground--it was verree cold. But they would not let me die on the roads of their parishes-They took me to an Institution. I looked in their eyes while I lay there, and I saw more clear than the blue heaven that they thought it best that I should die, although they would not let me. Then naturally my spirit rose, and I said: "So much the worse for you. I will live a little more." One is made like that! Life is sweet. That little girl you had here, Monsieur--in her too there is something of wild savage. She must have joy of life. I have seen her since I came back. She has embraced the life of joy. It is not quite the same thing. She is lost, Monsieur, as a stone that sinks in water. I can see, if she cannot.... For the great part of mankind, to see anything--is fatal. No, Monsieur. To be so near to death has done me good; I shall not lack courage any more till the wind blows on my grave. Since I saw you, Monsieur, I have been in three Institutions. They are palaces.... One little thing they lack--those palaces. It is understanding of the 'uman heart. In them tame birds pluck wild birds naked. Ah! Monsieur, I am loafer, waster--what you like--for all that, poverty is my only crime. If I were rich, should I not be simply verree original, 'ighly respected, with soul above commerce, traveling to see the world? And that young girl, would she not be "that charming ladee," "veree chic, you know!" And the old Tims--good old-fashioned gentleman--drinking his liquor well. Eh! bien--what are we now ? Dark beasts, despised by all. That is life, Monsieur. Monsieur, it is just that. You understand. When we are with you we feel something-here--If I had one prayer to make, it would be, "Good God, give me to understand!" Those sirs, with their theories, they can clean our skins and chain our 'abits--that soothes for them the aesthetic sense; it gives them too their good little importance. But our spirits they cannot touch, for they nevare understand. Without that, Monsieur, all is dry as a parched skin of orange. Monsieur, of their industry I say nothing. They do a good work while they attend with their theories to the sick and the tame old, and the good unfortunate deserving. Above all to the little children. But, Monsieur, when all is done, there are always us hopeless ones. What can they do with me, Monsieur, with that girl, or with that old man? Ah! Monsieur, we too, 'ave our qualities, we others--it wants you courage to undertake a career like mine, or like that young girl's. We wild ones--we know a thousand times more of life than ever will those sirs. They waste their time trying to make rooks white. Be kind to us if you will, or let us alone like Mees Ann, but do not try to change our skins. Leave us to live, or leave us to die when we like in the free air. If you do not wish of us, you have but to shut your pockets and your doors--we shall die the faster. . . . If you cannot, how is it our fault? The harm we do to others--is it so much? If I am criminal, dangerous--shut me up! I would not pity myself--nevare. But we in whom something moves--like that flame, Monsieur, that cannot keep still--we others--we are not many--that must have motion in our lives, do not let them make us prisoners, with their theories, because we are not like them--it is life itself they would enclose! . . . The good God made me so that I would rather walk a whole month of nights, hungry, with the stars, than sit one single day making round business on an office stool! It is not to my advantage. I cannot help it that I am a vagabond. What would you have? It is stronger than me. Monsieur, I say to you things I have never said. Monsieur! Are you really English? The English are so civilized.

Truly the English are highly "civilized"; else it would be impossible to explain why of all the nations on earth, the Anglo-Saxons should be the only ones to punish attempts at suicide.

Society makes no provision whatever for the Timsons, the Ferrands and Mrs. Megans. It has closed the door in their face, denying them a seat at the table of life. Yet when Guinevere Megan attempts to drown herself, a benevolent constable drags her out and a Christian Judge sends her to the workhouse.

Constable. Well, sir, we can't get over the facts, can we? . . . You know what soocide amounts to--it's an awkward job.

Wellwyn. But look here, Constable, as a reasonable man--This poor wretched little girl-you know what that life means better than anyone! Why! It's to her credit to try and jump out of it!

Constable. Can't neglect me duty, sir; that's impossible.

Wellwyn. Of all the d--d topsy-turvy--! Not a soul in the world wants her alive--and now she is to be prosecuted for trying to go where everyone wishes her.

Is it necessary to dwell on the revolutionary significance of this cruel reality? It is so all-embracing in its sweep, so penetrating of the topsy-turviness of our civilization, with all its cant and artifice, so powerful in its condemnation of our cheap theories and cold institutionalism which freezes the soul and destroys the best and finest in our being. The Wellwyns, Ferrands, and Megans are the stuff out of which a real humanity might be fashioned. They feel the needs of their fellows, and whatever is in their power to give, they give as nature does, unreservedly. But the Hoxtons, Calways and Bertleys have turned the world into a dismal prison and mankind into monotonous, gray, dull shadows.

The professors, judges, and preachers cannot meet the situation. Neither can Wellwyn, to be sure. And yet his very understanding of the differentiation of human nature, and his sympathy with the inevitable reaction of conditions upon it, bring the Wellwyns much closer to the solution of our evils than all the Hoxtons, Calways and Bertleys put together. This deep conception of social factors is in itself perhaps the most significant lesson taught in "The Pigeon."



IN Stanley Houghton, who died last year, the drama lost a talented and brave artist. Brave, because he had the courage to touch one of the most sensitive spots of Puritanism--woman's virtue. Whatever else one may criticise or attack, the sacredness of virtue must remain untouched. It is the last fetich which even so-called liberal-minded people refuse to destroy.

To be sure, the attitude towards this holy of holies has of late years undergone a considerable change. It is beginning to be felt in ever-growing circles that love is its own justification, requiring no sanction of either religion or law. The revolutionary idea, however, that woman may, even as man, follow the urge of her nature, has never before been so sincerely and radically expressed.

The message of "Hindle Wakes" is therefore of inestimable value, inasmuch as it dispels the fog of the silly sentimentalism and disgusting bombast that declares woman a thing apart from nature--one who neither does nor must crave the joys of life permissible to man.

Hindle is a small weaving town, symbolically representing the wakefulness of every small community to the shortcomings of its neighbors. Christopher Hawthorne and Nathaniel Jeffcote had begun life together as lads in the cotton mill. But while Christopher was always a timid and shrinking boy, Nathaniel was aggressive and am. bilious. When the play opens, Christopher, though an old man, is still a poor weaver; Nathaniel, on the contrary, has reached the top of financial and social success. He is the owner of the biggest mill; is wealthy, influential, and withal a man of power. For Nathaniel Jeffcote always loved power and social approval. Speaking of the motor he bought for his only son Alan, he tells his wife:

Jeffcote. Why did I buy a motor-car? Not because I wanted to go motoring. I hate it. I bought it so that people could see Alan driving about in it, and say, "There's Jeffcote's lad in his new car. It cost five hundred quid."

However, Nathaniel is a "square man," and when facing an emergency, not chary with justice and always quick to decide in its favor.

The Jeffcotes center all their hopes on Alan, their only child, who is to inherit their fortune and business. Alan is engaged to Beatrice, the lovely, sweet daughter of Sir Timothy Farrar, and all is joyous at the Jeffcotes'.

Down in the valley of Hindle live the Hawthornes, humble and content, as behooves God-fearing workers. They too have ambitions in behalf of their daughter Fanny, strong, willful and self-reliant,--qualities molded in the hard grind of Jeffcote's mill, where she had begun work as a tot.

During the "bank holiday" Fanny with her chum Mary goes to a neighboring town for an outing. There they meet two young men, Alan Jeffcote and his friend. Fanny departs with Alan, and they spend a glorious time together. On the way home Mary is drowned. As a result of the accident the Hawthornes learn that their daughter had not spent her vacation with Mary. When Fanny returns, they question her, and though she at first refuses to give an account of herself, they soon discover that the girl had passed the time with a man,--young Alan Jeffcote. Her parents are naturally horrified, and decide to force the Jeffcotes to have Alan marry Fanny.

In the old mother of Fanny the author has succeeded in giving a most splendid characterization of the born drudge, hardened by her long struggle with poverty, and grown shrewd in the ways of the world. She knows her daughter so little, however, that she believes Fanny had schemed the affair with Alan in the hope that she might force him to marry her. In her imagination the old woman already sees Fanny as the mistress of the Jeffcote estate. She persuades her husband to go immediately to the Jeffcotes, and though it is very late at night, the old man is forced to start out on his disagreeable errand.

Jeffcote, a man of integrity, is much shocked at the news brought to him by old Hawthorne. Nevertheless he will not countenance the wrong.

Jeffcote. I'll see you're treated right. Do you hear?

Christopher. I can't ask for more than that.

Jeffcote. I'll see you're treated right.

Young Alan had never known responsibility. Why should he, with so much wealth awaiting him? When confronted by his father and told that he must marry Fanny, he fights hard against it. It may be said, in justice to Alan, that he really loves his betrothed, Beatrice, though such a circumstance has never deterred the Alans from having a lark with another girl.

The young man resents his father's command to marry the mill girl. But when even Beatrice insists that he belongs to Fanny, Alan unwillingly consents. Beatrice, a devout Christian, believes in renunciation.

Beatrice. I do need you, Alan. So much that nothing on earth could make me break off our engagement, if I felt that it was at all possible to let it go on. But it isn't. It's impossible.

Alan. And you want me to marry Fanny?

Beatrice. Yes. Oh, Alan! can't you see what a splendid sacrifice you have it in your power to make? Not only to do the right thing, but to give up so much in order to do it.

The Jeffcotes and the Hawthornes gather to arrange the marriage of their children. It does not occur to them to consult Fanny in the matter. Much to their consternation, Fanny refuses to abide by the decision of the family council.

Fanny. It's very good of you. You'll hire the parson and get the license and make all the arrangements on your own without consulting me, and I shall have nothing to do save turn up meek as a lamb at the church or registry office or whatever it is. . . . That's just where you make the mistake. I don't want to marry Alan. . . . I mean what I say, and I'll trouble you to talk to me without swearing at me. I'm not one of the family yet.

The dismayed parents, and even Alan, plead with her and threaten. But Fanny is obdurate. At last Alan asks to be left alone with her, confident that he can persuade the girl.

Alan. Look here, Fanny, what's all this nonsense about? . . . Why won't you marry me?

Fanny. You can't understand a girl not jumping at you when she gets the chance, can you? . . . How is it that you aren't going to marry Beatrice Farrar? Weren't you fond of her?

Alan. Very.... I gave her up because my father made me.

Fanny. Made you? Good Lord, a chap of your age!

Alan. My father's a man who will have his own way.... He can keep me short of brass.

Fanny. Earn some brass.

Alan. I can earn some brass, but it will mean hard work and it'll take time. And, after all, I shan't earn anything like what I get now.

Fanny. Then all you want to wed me for is what you'll get with me? I'm to be given away with a pound of tea, as it were?

Alan. I know why you won't marry me.... You're doing it for my sake.

Fanny. Don't you kid yourself, my lad! It isn't because I'm afraid of spoiling your life that I'm refusing you, but because I'm afraid of spoiling mine! That didn't occur to you?

Alan. Look here, Fanny, I promise you I'll treat you fair all the time. You don't need to fear that folk'll look down on you. We shall have too much money for that.

Fanny. I can manage all right on twenty-five bob a week.

Alan. I'm going to fall between two stools. It's all up with Beatrice, of course. And if you won't have me I shall have parted from her to no purpose; besides getting kicked out of the house by my father, more than likely! You said you were fond of me once, but it hasn't taken you long to alter.

Fanny. All women aren't built alike. Beatrice is religious. She'll be sorry for you. I was fond of you in a way.

Alan. But you didn't ever really love me?

Fanny. Love you ? Good heavens, of course not! Why on earth should I love you? You were just some one to have a bit of fun with. You were an amusement--a lark. How much more did you care for me?

Alan. But it's not the same. I'm a man.

Fanny. You're a man, and I was your little fancy. Well, I'm a woman, and you were my little fancy. You wouldn't prevent a woman enjoying herself as well as a man, if she takes it into her head?

Alan. But do you mean to say that you didn't care any more for me than a fellow cares for any girl he happens to pick up?

Fanny. Yes. Are you shocked?

Alan. It's a bit thick; it is really!

Fanny. You're a beauty to talk.

Alan. It sounds so jolly immoral. I never thought of a girl looking on a chap just like that! I made sure you wanted to marry me if you got the chance.

Fanny. No fear! You're not good enough for me. The chap Fanny Hawthorn weds has got to be made of different stuff from you, my lad. My husband, if ever I have one, will be a man, not a fellow who'll throw over his girl at his father's bidding! Strikes me the sons of these rich manufacturers are all much alike. They seem a bit weak in the upper story. It's their father's brass that's too much for them, happen! . . . You've no call to be afraid. I'm not going to disgrace you. But so long as I've to live my own life I don't see why I shouldn't choose what it's to be.

Unheard of, is it not, that a Fanny should refuse to be made a "good woman," and that she should dare demand the right to live in her own way? It has always been considered the most wonderful event in the life of a girl if a young man of wealth, of position, of station came into her life and said, "I will take you as my wife until death do us part."

But a new type of girlhood is in the making. We are developing the Fannies who learn in the school of life, the hardest, the cruelest and at the same time the most vital and instructive school. Why should Fanny marry a young man in order to become "good," any more than that he should marry her in order to become good? Is it not because we have gone on for centuries believing that woman's value, her integrity and position in society center about her sex and consist only in her virtue, and that all other usefulness weighs naught in the balance against her "purity" ? If she dare express her sex as the Fannies do, we deny her individual and social worth, and stamp her fallen.

The past of a man is never questioned: no one inquires how many Fannies have been in his life. Yet man has the impudence to expect the Fannies to abstain till he is ready to bestow on them his name.

"Hindle Wakes" is a much needed and important social lesson,--not because it necessarily involves the idea that every girl must have sex experience before she meets the man she loves, but rather that she has the right to satisfy, if she so chooses, her emotional and sex demands like any other need of her mind and body. When the Fannies become conscious of that right, the relation of the sexes will lose the shallow romanticism and artificial exaggeration that mystery has surrounded it with, and assume a wholesome, natural, and therefore healthy and normal expression.



THE women's rights women who claim for their sex the most wonderful things in the way of creative achievement, will find it difficult to explain the fact that until the author of "Rutherford and Son" made her appearance, no country had produced, a single women dramatist of note.

That is the more remarkable because woman has since time immemorial been a leading figure in histrionic art. Rachel, Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanore Duse, and scores of others had few male peers.

It can hardly be that woman is merely a reproducer and not a creator. We have but to recall such creative artists as Charlotte and Emily Bronté, George Sand, George Eliot, Mary Wollstonecraft, Marie Bashkirtshev, Rosa Bonheur, Sophia Kovalevskya and a host of others, to appreciate that woman has been a creative factor in literature, art and science. Not so in the drama, so far the stronghold exclusively of men.

It is therefore an event for a woman to come to the fore who possesses such dramatic power, realistic grasp and artistic penetration, as evidenced by Githa Sowerby.

The circumstance is the more remarkable because Githa Sawerby is, according to her publishers, barely out of her teens; and though she be a genius; her exceptional maturity is a phenomenon rarely observed. Generally maturity comes only with experience and suffering. No one who has not felt the crushing weight of the Rutherford atmosphere could have painted such a vivid and life-like picture.

The basic theme in "Rutherford and Son" is not novel. Turgenev, Ibsen and such lesser artists as Sudermann and Stanley Houghton have dealt with it: the chasm between the old and the young,- the tragic struggle of parents against their children, the one frantically holding on, the other recklessly letting go. But " Rutherford and Son " is more than that. It is a picture of the paralyzing effect of tradition and institutionalism on all forms of life, growth, and change.

John Rutherford, the owner of the firm "Rutherford and Son", is possessed by the phantom of the past - the thing handed down to him by his father and which lie must pass on to his son with undiminished Iuster; the thing that has turned his soul to iron and his heart to stone; the thing for the sake of which he has never known joy and because of which no one else must know joy,- "Rutherford and Son."

The crushing weight of this inexorable monster on Rutherford and his children is significantly summed up by young John:

John. Have you ever heard of Moloch? No. . . . Well, Moloch was a sort of God . . . some time ago, you know, before Dick and his kind came along. They built his image with an ugly head ten times the size of a real head, with great wheels instead of legs, and set him up in the middle of a great dirty town. And they thought him a very important person indeed, and made sacrifices to him . . . human sacrifices . . . to keep him going, you know. Out of every family they set aside one child to be an offering to him when it was big enough, and at last it became a sort of honor to be dedicated in this way, so much so, that the victims came themselves gladly to be crushed out of life under the great wheels. That was Moloch.

Janet. Dedicated-we are dedicated-all of us-to Rutherfords'.

Not only the Rutherford children, their withered Aunt Ann, and old Rutherford himself, but even Martin, the faithful servant in the employ of the Rutherfords for twenty-five years, is "dedicated," and when he ceases to be of use to their Moloch, he is turned into a thief and then cast off, even as Janet and John.

Not love for John, his oldest son, or sympathy with the latter's wife and child induces old Rutherford to forgive his son's marriage with a shop-girl, but because he needs John to serve the house of Rutherford. The one inexorable purpose, always and ever!

His second son Richard, who is in the ministry, and "of no use" to old Rutherford' s God of stone, receives the loving assurance: "You were no good for my purpose, and there's the end; for the matter o' that, you might just as well never ha' been born."

For that matter, his daughter Janet might also never have been born, except that she was "good enough" to look after her father's house, serve him, even helping take off his boots, and submitting without a murmur to the loveless, dismal life in the Rutherford home. Her father has sternly kept every suitor away, "because no one in Grantley's good enough for us." Janet has become faded, sour and miserable with yearning for love, for sunshine and warmth, and when she at last dares to partake of it secretly with her father's trusted man Martin, old Rutherford sets his iron heel upon her love, and drags it through the mud till it lies dead.

Again, when he faces the spirit of rebellion in his son John, Rutherford crushes it without the slightest hesitation in behalf of his one obsession, his one God-the House of Rutherford.

John has made an invention which holds great by means of it he hopes to shake deadly grip of the Rutherfords'. He wants to become a free man and mold a new life for his wife and child. He knows his father will not credit the value of his invention. He dare not approach him: the Rutherford children have been held in dread of their parent too long.

John turns to Martin, the faithful servant, the the confidence of Rutherford. John feels himself safe with Martin. But he does not know that Martin, too, is dedicated to Moloch, broken by his twenty-five years of service, left without will, without purpose outside of the Rutherfords'.

Martin tries to enlist Rutherford's interest in behalf of John. But the old man decides that John must turn over his invention to the House of Rutherford.

Rutherford.What's your receipt?

John . I want to know where I stand. . . . I want my price.

Rutherford. Your price-your price? Damn your impudence, sir. . . . So that's your line, is it? . . . This is what I get for all I've done for you. . . . This is the result of the schooling I gave you. I've toiled and sweated to give you a name you'd be proud to own- worked early and late, toiled like a dog when other men were taking their ease-plotted and planned to get my chance, taken it and held it when it come till I could ha' burst with the struggle. Sell! You talk o' selling to me, when everything you'll ever make couldn't pay back the life I've given to you!

John. Oh, I know, I know. I've been both for five years. Only I've had no salary.

Rutherford. You've been put to learn your business like any other young fellow. I began at the bottom- you've got to do the same. . . . Your father has lived here, and your grandfather before you. It's your in- heritance-can't you realize that?-what you've got to come to when I'm under ground. We've made it for you, stone by stone, penny by penny, fighting through thick and thin for close on a hundred years. . . . what you've got to do-or starve. You're my son-you've got to come after me.

Janet knows her father better than John; she knows that "no one ever stands out against father for long-or else they get so knocked about, they don't matter any more." Janet knows, and when the moment arrives that brings-her fathers blow upon her head, it does not come as a surprise to her. When old Rutherford discovers her relation with Martin, his indignation is as characteristic of the man as everything else in his life. It is not outraged morality or a fath love. It is always and forever the House Rutherford. Moreover, the discovery of affair between his daughter and his workman comes at a psychologic moment: Rutherford is get hold of John's invention -for the Rutherfords, of course - and now that Martin has broken faith with his master, his offense serves an easy pretext for Rutherford to break faith with Martin.. He calls the old servant to his office demands the receipt of John's invention, entrusted to Martin. On the latter's refusal to betray John, the master plays on the man's loyalty to the Rutherfords.

Rutherford. Rutherfords' is going down-down. I got to pull her up, somehow. There's one way out. . . . Mr. John's made this metal -a thing, I take your word for it, that's worth a fortune. And we're going to sit by and watch him fooling it away -selling it for a song to Miles or Jarvis, that we could break tomorrow if we had half a chance. . . . You've got but to put your hand in your pocket to save the place and you don't do it. -You're with the money-grubbing little souls that can't see beyond the next shilling they put . . . When men steal, Martin, they do it to gain something. If I steal this, what'll I gain if I buy it? If I make money, what'll I buy with it? pleasure maybe? Children to come after me-glad o' what I done? Tell me anything in the wide world that'll bring me joy, and I'll swear to you never to touch it?....If you give it to me what'll you gain by it? Not a farthing shall you ever have from me-no more than I get myself.

Martin. And what will Mr. John get for it?

Rutherford. Rutherfords-when I'm gone. He'll thank you in ten years-he'll come to laugh at himself -him and his price. He'll see the Big Thing one day, mebbe, like what I've done. He'll see that it was no more his than 'tw,-ts yours to give nor mine to take It's Rutherfords'. Will you give it to me?

Martin. I take shame to be doing it now. . . . He worked it out along o' me. Every time it changed he come running to show me like a bairn wi' a new toy. Rutherford. It's for Rutherfords'.

Rutherfords' ruthlessly marches on. If the Rutherford purpose does not shrink from corrupting its most trusted servant, it surely will not bend before a daughter who has dared, even once in her life, to assert herself.

Rutherford. How far's it gone?

Janet. Right at first-I made up my mind that if you ever found out, I'd go right away, to put things straight. He wanted to tell you at the first. But I knew that it would be no use It was I said not to tell you.

Rutherford. Martin...that I trusted as I trust myself.

Janet. You haven't turned him away-you couldn't do that!

Rutherford. That's my business.

Janet. You couldn't do that . . . not Martin. . . .

Rutherford. Leave it - leave it . . . Martin's my servant, that I pay wages to. I made a name for my children - a name respected in all the countryside - and go with a workingman.... To-morrow you leave house. D'ye understand? I'll have no light ways under my roof. No one shall say I winked at it. You can bide the night. To-morrow when I come in I'm to find ye gone. . . . Your name shan't be spoken in my house . . . never again.

Janet. Oh, you've no pity. . . . I was thirty-six. Gone sour. Nobody'd ever come after me. Not even when I was young. You took care o' that. Half of my well-nigh all of it that mattered. . . . Martin loves me honest. Don't you come nearl Don't you touch that! . . . You think that I'm sorry you've found out- think you've done for me when you use a on me and turn me out o' your house. out o' You've let me out of jail! Whatever happens to me now, I shan't go on living as I lived here. Whatever Martin's done, he's taken me from you. You've ruined my life, you with your getting on. I've loved in wretchedness, all the joy I ever bad made wicked by the fear o' you. . . . Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? A man-a man that takes power to himself, power to other gather people to him and use them as he wills -a man that'd take the blood of life itself and put it into the Works-into Rutherfords'. And what ha'you got by it -what? You've got Dick, that you've bullied till he's a fool-John, that's waiting for the time when be can sell what you've done-and you got me-me to take --your boots off at night-to well-nigh wish you dead when I had to touch you. . . . Now! . . . Now you know it!

But for the great love in her heart, Janet could not have found courage to face her father as she did. But love gives strength; it instills hope and faith, and kindles anew the fires of life. Why, then, should it not be strong enough to break the fetters of even Rutherfords'? Such a love only those famished for affection and warmth can feel, and Janet was famished for life.

Janet.. I had a dream -- a dream that I was in a place wi' flowers, in the summer-time, white and thick like they never grow on the moor -- but it was the moor -- a place near Martin's cottage. And I dreamt that he came to me with the look he had when I was a little lass, with his head up and the lie gone out of his eyes. All the time I knew I was on my bed in my room here -- but it was as if sweetness poured into me, spreading and covering me like the water in the tarn when the rains are heavy in the fells. . . . That's why I dreamt of him so last night. It was as if all that was best in me was in that dream -what I was as a bairn and what I'm going to be. He couldn't help but love me. It was a message -- couldn't have thought of it by myself. It's something that's come to me-here (putting her hands on her breast). Part of me!

All that lay dormant in Janet now turns into glowing fire at the touch of Spring. But in Martin life has been marred, strangled by the iron hand of Rutherfords'.

Martin. Turned away I am, sure enough. Twentyfive years. And in a minute it's broke. Wi' two words.

Janet. You say that now because your heart's cold with the trouble. But it'll warm again -- it'll warm again. I'll warm it out of my own heart, Martin -my heart that can't be made cold.

Martin. I'd rather ha' died than he turn me away. I'd ha' lost everything in the world to know that I was true to 'm like I was till you looked at me wi' the love in your face. It was a great love ye gave me -you in your grand hoose wi' your delicate ways. But it's broke me.

Janet. But -- it's just the same with us. Just the same as ever it was.

Martin. Aye. But there's no mending, wi' the likes o' him.

Janet. What's there to mend? What's there to mend except what's bound you like a slave all the years? You're free-free for the first time since you were a lad mebbe. We'll begin again. We'll be happyhappy. You and me, free in the world! All the time that's been 'll be just like a dream that's past, a waiting time afore we found each other -the long winter afore the flowers come out white and thick on the moors Martin. Twenty-five years ago he took me. . . . It's too long to change. . . . I'll never do his work no more; but it's like as if he'd be my master just the same till I die –

Janet. Listen, Martin. Listen to me. You've worked all your life for him, ever since you were a little lad. Early and late you've been at the Works -- working --working -- for him.

Martin. Gladly!

Janet. Now and then he give, you a kind word -- you were wearied out mebbe--and your thoughts might ha' turned to what other men's lives were, wi' time for rest and pleasure. You didn't see through him, you wi your big heart, Martin. You were too near to see, like I was till Mary came. You worked gladly maybe-but all the time your life was going into Rutherfords'- your manhood into the place he's built. He's had you, Martin,- like he's had me, and all of us. We used to say he was hard and ill-tempered. Bad to do with in the house -- we fell silent when he came in -- we couldn't see for the little things,- we couldn't see the years passing because of the days. And all the time it was our lives he was taking bit by bit -our lives that we'll never get back. . . . Now's our chance at last! He's turned us both away, me as well as you. We two he's sent out into the world together. Free. He's done it himself of his own will. It's ours to take, Martin -- happiness. We'll get it in spite of him. He'd kill it if he could.

The cruelty of it, that the Rutherfords never kill with one blow: never so merciful are they. In their ruthless march they strangle inch by inch, shed the blood of life drop by drop, until they have broken the very spirit of man and made him as helpless and pitiful as Martin,- a trembling leaf tossed about by the winds.

A picture of such stirring social and human importance that no one, except he who has reached the stage of Martin, can escape its effect. Yet even more significant is the inevitability of the doom of the Rutherfords as embodied in the wisdom of Mary, John's wife.

When her husband steals his father's moneya very small part indeed compared with what the father had stolen from him -- he leaves the hateful place and Mary remains to face the master. For the sake of her child she strikes a bargain with Rutherford.

Mary. A bargain is where one person has something to sell that another wants to buy. There's no love in it only money -- money that pays for life. I've got something to sell that you want to buy.

Rutherford.What's that?

Mary. My son. You've lost everything you've had in the world. John's gone-and Richard-and Janet. They won't come back. You're alone now and getting old, with no one to come after you. When you die Rutberfords' will be sold --somebody'll buy it and give it a new name perhaps, and no one will even remember that you made it. That'll be the end of all your work. just -- nothing. You've thought of that. . . . It's for my boy. I want -- a chance of life for him -- his place in the world. John can't give him that, because he's made so. If I went to London and worked my hardest I'd get twenty-five shillings a week. We've failed. From you I can get when I want for my boy. I want all the good common things: a good house, good food, warmth. He's a delicate little thing now, but he'll grow strong like other children. . . . Give me what I ask, and in return I'll give you-him. On one condition. I'm to stay on here. I won't trouble you-you needn't speak to me or see me unless you want to. For ten years he's to be absolutely mine, to do what I like with. You mustn't interfere--you mustn't tell him to do things or frighten him. He's mine for ten years more.

Rutherford. And after that?

Mary. He'll be yours.

Rutherford. To train up. For Rutherfords'?

Mary. Yes.

Rutherford. After all? After Dick, that I've bullied till he's a fool? John, that's wished me dead?

Mary. In ten years you'll be an old man; you won't be able to make people afraid of you any more.

When I saw the masterly presentation of the play on the stage, Mary's bargain looked unreal and incongruous. It seemed impossible to me that a mother who really loves her child should want it to be in any way connected with the Rutherford's. But after repeatedly rereading the play, I was convinced by Mary's simple statement: " In ten years you'll be an old man; you won't be able to make people afraid of you any more." Most deeply true. The Rutherfords are bound by time, by the eternal forces of change. Their influence on human life is indeed terrible. Not withstanding it all, however, they are fighting a losing game. They are growing old, already too old to make anyone afraid. Change and innovation are marching on, and the Rutherfords must make place for the young generation knocking at the gates.



MOST Americans know about the Irish people only that they are not averse to drink, and that they make brutal policemen and corrupt politicians. But those who are familiar with the revolutionary movements of the past are aware of the fortitude and courage, aye, of the heroism of the Irish, manifested during their uprisings, and especially in the Fenian movement--the people's revolt against political despotism and land robbery.

And though for years Ireland has contributed to the very worst features of American life, those interested in the fate of its people did not despair; they knew that the spirit of unrest in Ireland was not appeased, and that it would make itself felt again in no uncertain form.

The cultural and rebellious awakening in that country within the last twenty-five years once more proves that neither God nor King can for long suppress the manifestation of the latent possibilities of a people. The possibilities of the Irish must indeed be great if they could inspire the rich humor of a Lady Gregory, the deep symbolism of a Yeats, the poetic fancy of a Synge, and the rebellion of a Robinson and Murray.

Only a people unspoiled by the dulling hand of civilization and free from artifice can retain such simplicity of faith and remain so imaginative, so full of fancy and dreams, wild and fiery, which have kindled the creative spark in the Irish dramatists of our time. It is true that the work of only the younger element among them is of social significance, yet all of them have rendered their people and the rest of the world a cultural service of no mean value. William Butler Yeats is among the latter, together with Synge and Lady Gregory; his art, though deep in human appeal, has no bearing on the pressing questions of our time. Mr. Yeats himself would repudiate any implication of a social character, as he considers such dramas too " topical " and therefore " half bad " plays. In view of this attitude, it is difficult to reconcile his standard of true art with the repertoire of the Abbey Theater, which consists mainly of social dramas. Still more difficult is it to account for his work, " Where There is Nothing," which is no less social in its philosophy and tendency than lbsen's " Brand."



"WHERE There Is Nothing" is as true an interpretation of the philosophy of Anarchism as could be given by its best exponents. I say this not out of any wish to tag Mr. Yeats, but because the ideal of Paul Ruttledge, the hero of the play, is nothing less than Anarchism applied to everyday life.

Paul Ruttledge, a man of wealth, comes to the conclusion, after a long process of development and growth, that riches are wrong, and that the life of the propertied is artificial, useless and inane.

Paul Ruttledge. When I hear these people talking I always hear some organized or vested interest chirp or quack, as it does in the newspapers. I would like to have great iron claws, and to put them about the pillars, and to pull and pull till everything fell into pieces. . . . Sometimes I dream I am pulling down my own house, and sometimes it is the whole world that I am pulling down. . . . When everything was pulled down we would have more room to get drunk in, to drink contentedly out of the cup of life, out of the drunken cup of life.

He decides to give up his position and wealth and cast his lot in with the tinkers -an element we in America know as " hoboes," men who tramp the highways making their living as they go about, mending kettles and pots, earning an honest penny without obligation or responsibility to anyone. Paul Ruttledge longs for the freedom of the road,--to sleep under the open sky, to count the stars, to be free. He throws oft all artificial restraint and is received with open arms by the tinkers. To identify himself more closely with their life, he marries a tinker's daughter--not according to the rites of State or Church, but in true tinker fashion--in freedom--bound only by the promise to be faithful and "not hurt each other."

In honor of the occasion, Paul tenders to his comrades and the people of the neighborhood a grand feast, full of the spirit of life's joy,- an outpouring of gladness that lasts a whole week.

Paul's brother, his friends, and the authorities are incensed over the carousal. They demand that he terminate the "drunken orgy."

Mr. Joyce. This is a disgraceful business, Paul; the whole countryside is demoralized. There is not a man who has come to sensible years who is not drunk.

Mr. Dowler. This is a flagrant violation of all propriety. Society is shaken to its roots. My own servants have been led astray by the free drinks that are being given in the village. My butler, who has been with me for seven years, has not been seen for the last two days.

Mr. Algie. I endorse his sentiments completely. There has not been a stroke of work done for the last week. The hay is lying in ridges where it has been cut, there is not a man to be found to water the cattle. It is impossible to get as much as a horse shod in the village.

Paul Ruttledge. I think you have something to say, Colonel Lawley?

Colonel Lawley. I have undoubtedly. I want to know when law and order are to be reëstablished. The police have been quite unable to cope with the disorder. Some of them have themselves got drunk. If my advice had been taken the military would have been called in.

Mr. Green. The military are not indispensable on occasions like the present. There are plenty of police coming now. We have wired to Dublin for them, they will be here by the four o'clock train.

Paul Ruttledge. But you have not told me what you have come here for. Is there anything I can do for you ?

Mr. Green. We have come to request you to go to the public-houses, to stop the free drinks, to send the people back to their work. As for those tinkers, the law will deal with them when the police arrive.

Paul Ruttledge. I wanted to give a little pleasure to my fellow-creatures.

Mr. Dowler. This seems rather a low form of pleasure.

Paul Ruttledge. 1 daresay it seems to you a little violent. But the poor have very few hours in which to enjoy themselves; they must take their pleasure raw; they haven't the time to cook it. Have we not tried sobriety? Do you like it? I found it very dull. . . . Think what it is to them to have their imagination like a blazing tarbarrel for a whole week. Work could never bring them such blessedness as that.

Mr. Dowler. Everyone knows there is no more valuable blessing than work.

Paul Ruttledge decides to put his visitors " on trial, to let them see themselves as they are in all their hypocrisy, all their corruption.

He charges the military man, Colonel Lawley, with calling himself a Christian, yet following the business of man-killing. The Colonel is forced to admit that he had ordered his men to. fight in a war, of the justice of which they knew nothing, or did not believe in, and yet it is " the doctrine of your Christian church, of your Catholic church, that he who fights in an unjust war, knowing it to be unjust, loses his own soul." Of the rich man Dowler, Paul Ruttledge demands whether he could pass through the inside of a finger ring, and on Paul's attention being called by one of the tinkers to the fine coat of Mr. Dowler, he tells him to help himself to it. Threatened by Mr. Green, the spokesman of the law, with encouraging robbery, Ruttledge admonishes him.

Ruttledge Remember die commandment, " Give to him that asketh thee"; and the hard commandment goes even farther," Him that taketh thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also."

But the worst indictment Ruttledge hurls against Mr. Green. The other professed Christians Will, murder, do not love their enemies, and do not give to any man that asks of them. But the Greens, Ruttledge says, are the worst of all. For the others break the law of Christ for their own pleasure, but " you take pay for breaking it; when their goods are taken away you condemn the taker; when they are smitten on one cheek you punish the smiter. You encourage them in their breaking of the Law of Christ."

For several years Ruttledge lives the life of the tinkers. But of weak physique, he finds himself unable to withstand the rigors of the road. His health breaks down, and his faithful comrades carry him to his native town and bring him to a monastery where Paul is cared for by the priests. While there he begins to preach a wonderful gospel, a gospel strange to the friars and the superior,- so rebellious and terrible that he is declared a disenter, a heathen and a dangerous character.

Paul Ruttledge. Now I can give you the message that has come to me. . . . Lay down your palm branches before this altar; you have brought them as a sign that the walls are beginning to be broken up, that we are going back to the joy of the green earth. . . . For a long time after their making men and women wandered here and there, half blind from the drunkenness of Eternity; they had not yet forgotten that the green Earth was the Love of God, and that all Life was the Will of God, and so they wept and laughed and hated according to the impulse of their hearts. They gathered the great Earth to their breasts and their lips. . . . in what they believed would be an eternal kiss. It was then that the temptation began. The men and women listened to them, and because when they had lived . . . in mother wit and natural kindness, they sometimes did one another an injury, they thought that it would be better to be safe than to be blessed, they made the Laws. The Laws were the first sin. They were the first mouthful of the apple; the moment man had made them he began to die; we must put out the Laws as I put out this candle. And when they had lived amidst the green Earth that is the Love of God, they were sometimes wetted by the rain, and sometimes cold and hungry, and sometimes alone from one another; they thought it would be better to be comfortable than to be blessed. They began to build big houses and big towns. They grew wealthy and they sat chattering at their doors; and the embrace that was to have been eternal ended. . . . We must put out the towns as I put out this candle. But that is not all, for man created a worse thing. . . . Man built up the Church. We must destroy the Church, we must put it out as I put out this candle. . . . We must destroy everything that has Law and Number.

The rebel is driven from the monastery. He is followed by only two faithful friars, his disciples, who go among the people to disseminate the new gospel. But the people fail to understand them. Immersed in darkness and superstition, they look upon these strange men as evildoers. They accuse them of casting an evil spell on their cattle and disturbing the people's peace. The path of the crusader is thorny, and Colman, the friar disciple of Paul, though faithful for a time, becomes discouraged in the face of opposition and persecution. He weakens.

Colman. It's no use stopping waiting for the wind; if we have anything to say that's worth the people listening to, we must bring them to hear it one way or another. Now, it is what I was saying to Aloysius, we must begin teaching them to make things, they never had the chance of any instruction of this sort here. Those and other things, we got a good training in the old days. And we'll get a grant from the Technical Board. The Board pays up to four hundred pounds to some of its instructors.

Paul Ruttledge. Oh, I understand; you will sell them. And what about the dividing of the money? You will need to make laws about that. Oh, we will grow quite rich in time.

Colman. We'll build workshops and houses for those. who come to work from a distance, good houses, slated, not thatched. . . . They will think so much more of our teaching when we have got them under our influence by other things. Of course we will teach them their meditations, and give them a regular religious life. We must settle out some little place for them to pray in-. there's a high gable over there where we could hang a bell—

Paul Ruttledge. Oh, yes, I understand. You would weave them together like this, you would add one thing to another, laws and money and church and bells, till you had got everything back again that you have escaped from. But it is my business to tear things asunder.

Aloysius. Brother Paul, it is what I am thinking; now the tinkers have come back to you, you could begin to gather a sort of an army; - you can't fight your battle without an army. They would call to the other tinkers,and the tramps and the beggars, and the sieve-makers and all the wandering people. It would be a great army Paul Ruttledge. Yes, that would be a great army, a great wandering army.

Aloysius. The people would be afraid to refuse us then; we would march on—

Paul Ruttledge. We could march on.. We could march on the towns, and we could break up all settled order; we could bring back the old joyful, dangerous, individual life. We would have banners. We will have one great banner that will go in front, it will take two men to carry it, and on it we will have Laughter—

Aloysius. That will be the banner for the front. We will have different troops, we will have captains to organize them, to give them orders.

Paul Ruttledge. To organize? That is to bring in law and number. Organize -- organize- that is how all the mischief has been done. I was forgetting,--we cannot destroy the world with armies; it is inside our minds that it must be destroyed.

Deserted, Paul Ruttledge stands alone in his crusade, like most iconoclasts. Misunderstood and persecuted, he finally meets his death at the hands of the infuriated mob.

"Where There Is Nothing" is of great social significance, deeply revolutionary in the sense that it carries the message of the destruction of every institution--State, Property, and Church--that enslaves humanity. For where there is nothing, there man begins.

A certain critic characterized this play as a it statement of revolt against the despotism of facts." Is there a despotism more compelling and destructive than that of the facts of property, of the State and Church? But "Where There Is Nothing" is not merely a "statement" of revolt. It embodies the spirit of revolt itself, of that most constructive revolt which begins with the destruction of every obstacle in the path of the new life that is to grow on the débris of the old, when the paralyzing yoke of institutionalism shall have- been broken, and man left free to enjoy Life and Laughter.



TIMOTHY HURLEY, an old farmer, slaves all his life and mortgages his farm in order to enable his children to lead an idle, parasitic life.

Started on this road toward so-called culture by the school-master, William Lordan, Hurley's children leave their father's farm and in due time es. tablish themselves in society as priest, lawyer, secretary and chemist, respectively.

The secretary son is ashamed of his lowly origin and denies it. The lawyer son is much more concerned with his motor car than with the condition of the farm that has helped him on his feet. The priest has departed for America, there to collect funds for Church work. Only Maurice, the youngest son of Timothy Hurley, remains at home as the farm drudge, the typical man with the hoe.

Jack Hurley, the chemist, and Timothy's only daughter Mary, retain some loyalty to the old place, but when they return after an absence of years, they find themselves out of touch with farm life, and they too turn their back on their native heath. Jack Hurley's notion of the country is that of most city people: nature is beautiful, the scenery lovely, so long as it is someone else who has to labor in the scorching sun, to plow and toil in the sweat of his brow.

Jack and his wife Mildred are both extremely romantic about the farm.

Jack. It stands to reason farming must pay enormously. Take a field of oats, for instance; every grain that's sown gives a huge percentage in return. . . . I don't know exactly how many grains a stalk carries, but several hundred I'm sure . . . why, there's no investment in the world would give you a return like that.

But soon they discover that every grain of corn does not yield hundreds of dollars.

Maurice. You can't have a solicitor, and a priest, and a chemist in a family without spending money, and for the last ten years you've been all drawing money out of the farm . . . there's no more to drain now. . . . Oh, I suppose you think I'm a bloody fool not to he able to make it pay; but sure what chance have I and I never taught how to farm? There was money and education wanted to make priests and doctors and gentlemen of you all, and wasn't there money an' education wanted to make a farmer of me? No; nothing taught me only what I picked up from my father and the men, and never a bit of fresh money to put into the farm only it all kept to make a solicitor of Bob and a chemist of you.

During Jack's visit to the farm a fire breaks out and several buildings on the place are destroyed. Much to the horror of the well-bred Jack.. he learns that his father himself had lit the match in order to get " compensation." He sternly upbraids the old farmer.

Jack. Didn't you see yourself how dishonest it was?

Timothy. Maybe 1 did, but I saw something more, and that was that I was on the way to being put out of the farm.

Jack is outraged; he threatens to inform on his own people and offers to stay on the farm to help with the work. But two weeks' experience in the field beneath the burning sun is more than delicate Jack can stand. He suffers fainting spells, and is in the end prevailed upon by his wife to leave.

Mary, old Hurley's daughter, also returns to the farm for rest and quiet. But she finds no peace there, for the city is too much in her blood. There is, moreover, another lure she cannot escape.

Mary. I was too well educated to be a servant, and I was never happy as one, so to better myself I learned typing... It's a hard life, Jack, and I soon found out how hard it was, and I was as dissatisfied as ever. Then there only seemed one way. out of it . . . and he .. . . my employer, I mean. . . . I went into it deliberately with my eyes open. You see, a woman I knew chucked typing and went in for this and I saw what a splendid time she had, and how happy she was -- and I was so miserably unhappy -- and how she had everything she wanted and I had nothing, and . . . and . . . But this life made me unhappy, too, and so in desperation I came home; but I've grown too far away from it all, and now I'm going back. Don't you see, Jack, I'm not happy here. I thought if I could get home to the farm and the old simple life it would be all right, but it isn't. Everything jars on me, the roughness and the hard living and the coarse food -- oh,. it seems ridiculous -- but they make me physically ill. I always thought, if I could get away home to Knockmalgloss I could start fair again. . . . So I came home, and everything is the same, and everyone thinks that I'm as pure and innocent as when I went away, but . . . but . . . But, Jack, the dreadful thing is I want to go back . . . . I'm longing for that life, and its excitement and splendor and color.

In her misery and struggle a great faith sustains Mary and keeps her from ruin. It is the thought of her father, in whom she believes implicitly as her ideal of honesty, strength and incorruptibility. The shock is terrible when she learns that her father, even her father, has fallen a victim to the cruel struggle of life,--that her father himself set fire to the buildings.

Mary. And I thought he was so simple, so innocent, so unspoiled! . . . Father, the simple, honest peasant, the only decent one of us. I cried all last night at the contrast! His unselfishness, his simplicity. . . . Why, we ' re all equally bad now -- he and I -- we both sell ourselves, he for the price of those old houses and I for a few years of splendor and happiness. . . .

The 'Only one whom life seems to teach nothing is Schoolmaster Lordan. Oblivious of the stress and storm of reality, he continues to be enraptured with education, with culture, with the opportunities offered by the large cities. He is, particularly proud of the Hurley children.

Lordan. The way you've all got on 1 1 tell you what, if every boy and girl I ever taught had turned out a failure I'd feel content and satisfied when I looked at all of you and saw what I've made of you.

Mary. What you've made of us? I wonder do you really know what you've made of us?

Lordan. Isn't it easily seen? One with a motor car, no less. . . . It was good, sound seed I sowed long ago in the little schoolhouse and it's to-day you're all reaping the harvest.

"Harvest" is a grim picture of civilization in its especially demoralizing effects upon the people who spring from the soil. The mock culture and shallow education which inspire peasant folk with awe, which lure the children away from home, only to crush the vitality out of them or to turn them into cowards and compromisers. The tragedy of a civilization that dooms the tillers of the soil to a dreary monotony of hard toil with little return, or charms them to destruction with the false glow of city culture and ease 1 Greater still this tragedy in a country like Ireland, its people taxed to the very marrow and exploited to the verge of starvation, leaving the young generation no opening, no opportunity in life.

It is inevitable that the sons and daughters of Ireland, robust in body and spirit, yearning for things better and bigger, should desert her. For as Mary says, " When the sun sets here, it's all so dark and cold and dreary." But the young need light and warmth -- and these are not in the valley of ever-present misery and want.

"Harvest" is an expressive picture of the so. cial background of the Irish people, a background somber and unpromising but for the streak of dawn that pierces that country's dark horizon in the form of the inherent and irrepressible fighting spirit of the true Irishman, the spirit of the Fenian revolt whose fires often slumber but are never put out, all the ravages of our false civilization notwithstanding.



"MAURICE HARTE" portrays the most sinister force which holds the Irish people in awe -- that heaviest of all bondage, priestcraft.

Michael Harte, his wife Ellen, and their son Owen are bent on one purpose; to make a priest of their youngest child Maurice. The mother especially has no other ambition in life than to see her son "priested." No higher ideal to most Catholic mothers than to consecrate their favorite son to the glory of God.

What it has cost the Hartes to attain their ambition and hope is revealed by Ellen Harte in the conversation with her sister and later with her husband, when he informs her that he cannot borrow any more money to continue the boy in the seminary.

Mrs. Harte. If Michael and myself have our son nearly a priest this day, 'tis no small price at all we have paid for it. . . . Isn't it the terrible thing, every time you look through that window, to have the fear in your heart that 'tis the process-server you'll see and he coming up the boreen ?

Old Harte impoverishes himself to enable his son to finish his studies. He has borrowed right and left, till his resources are now entirely exhausted. But he is compelled to try another loan.

Michael. He made out 'twas as good as insulting him making such a small payment, and the money that's on us to be so heavy. "If you don't wish to sign that note," says he, " you needn't. It don't matter at all to me one way or the other, for before the next Quarter Sessions 'tis Andy Driscoll, the process-server, will be marching up to your door." So what could I do but sign? Why, 'twas how he turned on me in a red passion. "And isn't it a scandal, Michael Harte," says he, " for the like o' you, with your name on them books there for a hundred and fifty pounds, and you with only the grass of nine or ten cows, to be making your son a priest? The like of it," says he, " was never heard of before."

Mrs. Harte. What business was it of his, I'd like to know? Jealous of us I There's no fear any of his sons will ever be anything much!

Michael. I was thinking it might do Maurice some harm with the Bishop if it came out on the papers that we were up before the judge for a civil bill.

Mrs. Harte. . . . 'Tisn't once or twice I told you that I had my heart set, on hearing Maurice say the marriage words over his own brother.

Maurice comes home for the summer vacation, looking pale and emaciated. His mother ascribes his condition to the bad city air and hard study at school. But Maurice suffers from a different cause. His is a mental struggle: the maddening struggle of doubt, the realization that he has lost his faith, that he has no vocation, and that he must give up his divinity studies. He knows how fanatically bent his peo ple are on having him ordained, and he is tortured by the grief his decision will cause his parents. His heart is breaking as he at last determines to inform them.

He reasons and pleads with his parents and implores them not to drive him back to college. But they cannot understand. They remain deaf to his arguments; pitifully they beg him not to fail them, not to disappoint the hope of a lifetime. When it all proves of no avail, they finally disclose to Maurice their gnawing secret: the farm has been mortgaged and many debts incurred for the sake of enabling him to attain to the priesthood.

Michael. Maurice, would you break our hearts?

Maurice. Father, would you have your son live a life of sacrilege? Would you, Father? Would you?

Mrs. Harte. That's only foolish talk. Aren't you every bit as good as the next?

Maurice. I may be, but I haven't a vocation. . . . My mind is finally made up.

Mrs. Harte. Maurice, listen to me -listen to me!

If it went out about you this day, isn't it destroyed forever we'd be? Look! The story wouldn't be cast in Macroom when we'd have the bailiffs walking in that door. The whole world knows he is to be priested next June, and only for the great respect they have for us through the means o' that, 'tisn't James McCarthy alone, but every other one o' them would come down on us straight for their money. In one week there wouldn't be a cow left by us, nor a horse, nor a lamb, nor anything at all! . . . Look at them books. 'Tis about time you should know how we stand here. . . . God knows, I wouldn't be hard on you at all, but look at the great load o' money that's on us this day, and mostly all on your account.

Maurice. Mother, don't make my cross harder to bear.

Mrs. Harte. An' would you be seeing a heavier cross put on them that did all that mortal man and woman could do for you?

Maurice. Look! I'll wear the flesh off my bones, but in pity spare me 1Mrs. Harte. And will you have no pity at all on us and on Owen here, that have slaved for you all our lives ?

Maurice. Mother! Mother!

Mrs. Harte. You'll go back? 'Tis only a mistake?

Maurice. Great God of Heaven 1 . . . you'll kill me.

Michael. You'll go back, Maurice? The vocation will come to you in time with the help of God. It will, surely.

Maurice. Don't ask me! Don't ask me!

Mrs. Harte. If you don't how can I ever face outside this door or lift my head again? . . . How could I listen to the neighbors making pity for me, and many a one o' them only glad in their hearts? How could I ever face again into town o' Macroom?

Maurice. Oh, don't.

Mrs. Harte. I tell you, Maurice, I'd rather be lying dead a thousand times in the graveyard over Killnamartyra

Maurice. Stop, Mother, stop 1 I'll--I'll go back as--as you all wish it.

Nine months later there is general rejoicing at the Hartes': Maurice has passed his examina. tions with flying colors; he is about to be ordained, and he is to officiate at the wedding of his brother Owen and his wealthy bride.

Ellen Harte plans to give her son a royal wel. come. Great preparations are on foot to greet the return of Maurice. He comes back--not in the glory and triumph expected by his people, but a driveling idiot. His mental struggle, the agony of whipping himself to the hated task, proved too much for him, and Maurice is sacrificed on the altar, of superstition and submission to paternal authority.

In the whole range of the Irish drama " Maurice Harte " is the most Irish, because nowhere does Catholicism demand so many victims as in that unfortunate land. But in a deeper sense the play is of that social importance that knows no limit of race or creed.

There is no boundary of land or time to the resistance of the human mind to coercion; it is worldwide. Equally so is the rebellion of youth against the tyranny of parents. But above all does this play mirror the self-centered, narrow, ambitious love of the mother, so disastrous to the happiness and peace of her child. For it is Ellen Harte, rather than the father, who forces Maurice back to his studies. From whatever viewpoint, however, "Maurice Harte" be considered, it carries a dramatically powerful message of wide social significance.


PEOPLE outside of Russia, especially Anglo-Saxons, have one great objection to the Russian drama: it is too sad, too gloomy. It is often asked, "Why is the Russian drama so pessimistic?" The answer is: the Russian drama, like all Russian culture, has been conceived in the sorrow of the people; it was born in their woe and struggle. Anything thus conceived cannot be very joyous or amusing.

It is no exaggeration to say that in no other country are the creative artists so interwoven, so much at one with the people. This is not only true of men like Turgenev, Tolstoy and the dramatists of modern times. It applies also to Gogol, who in "The Inspector" and "Dead Souls" spoke in behalf of the people, appealing to the conscience of Russia. The same is true of Dostoyevsky, of the poets Nekrassov, Nadson, and others. In fact, all the great Russian artists have gone to the people for their inspiration, as to the source of all life. That explains the depth and the humanity of Russian literature.

The. modern drama naturally suggests Henrik Ibsen as its pioneer. But prior to him, Gogol utilized the drama as a vehicle for popularizing the social issues of his time. In "The Inspector," (Revizor) he portrays the corruption, graft and extortion rampant in the governmental departments. If we were to Anglicize the names of the characters in "The Inspector," and forget for a moment that it was a Russian who wrote the play, the criticism contained therein would apply with similar force to present-day America, and to every other modern country. Gogol touched the deepest sores of social magnitude and marked the beginning of the realistic drama in Russia.

However, it is not within the scope of this work to discuss the drama of Gogol's era. I shall begin with Tolstoy, because he is closer to our own generation, and voices more definitely the social significance of the modern drama.



WHEN Leo Tolstoy died, the representatives of the Church proclaimed him as their own. "He was with us," they said. It reminds one of the Russian fable about the fly and the ox. The fly was lazily resting on the horn of the ox while he plowed the field, but when the ox returned home exhausted with toil, the fly bragged," We have been plowing." The spokesmen of the Church are, in relation to Tolstoy, in the same position. It is true that Tolstoy based his conception of human relationships on a new interpretation of the Gospels. But he was as far removed from present-day Christianity as Jesus was alien to the institutional religion of his time.

Tolstoy was the last true Christian, and as such he undermined the stronghold of the Church with all its pernicious power of darkness, with all its injustice and cruelty.

For this he was persecuted by the Holy Synod and excommunicated from the Church; for this he was feared by the Tsar and his henchmen; for this his works have been condemned and prohibited.

The only reason Tolstoy himself escaped the fate of other great Russians was that he was mightier than the Church, mightier than the ducal clique, mightier even than the Tsar. He was the powerful conscience of Russia exposing her crimes and evils before the civilized world.

How deeply Tolstoy felt the grave problems of his time, how closely related he was to the people, he demonstrated in various works, but in none so strikingly as in "The Power of Darkness."


"THE POWER OF DARKNESS" is the tragedy of sordid misery and dense ignorance. It deals with a group of peasants steeped in poverty and utter darkness. This appalling condition, especially in relation to the women folk, is expressed by one of the characters in the play:

Mitrich. There are millions of you women and girls, but you are all like the beasts of the forest. Just as one has been born, so she dies. She has neither seen or heard anything. A man will learn something; if nowhere else, at least in the inn, or by some chance, in prison, or in the army, as I have. But what about a woman? She does not know a thing about God,--nay, she does not know one day from another. They creep about like blind pups, and stick their heads into the manure.

Peter, a rich peasant, is in a dying condition. Yet he clings to his money and slave-drives his young wife, Anisya, his two daughters by a first marriage, and his peasant servant Nikita. He will not allow them any rest from their toil, for the greed of money is in his blood and the fear of death in his bones. Anisya hates her husband: he forces her to drudge, and he is old and ill. She loves Nikita. The latter, young and irresponsible, cannot resist women, who are his main weakness and final undoing. Before he came to old Peter's farm, he had wronged an orphan girl. When she becomes pregnant, she appeals to Nikita's father, Akim, a simple and honest peasant. He urges his son to marry the girl, because "it is a sin to wrong an orphan. Look out, Nikita! A tear of offense does not flow past, but upon a man's head. Look out, or the same will happen with you."

Akim's kindness and simplicity are opposed by the viciousness and greed of his wife Matrena. Nikita remains on the farm, and Anisya, urged and influenced by his mother, poisons old Peter and steals his money.

When her husband dies, Anisya marries Nikita and turns the money over to him. Nikita becomes the head of the house, and soon proves himself a rake and a tyrant. Idleness and affluence undermine whatever good is latent in him. Money, the destroyer of souls, together with the consciousness that he has been indirectly a party to Anisya's crime, turn Nikita's love for the woman into bitter hatred. He takes for his mistress Akulina, Peter's oldest daughter, a girl of sixteen, deaf and silly, and forces Anisya to serve them. She had strength to resist her old husband, but her love for Nikita has made her weak. "The moment I see him my heart softens. I have no courage against him."

Old Akim comes to ask for a little money from his newly rich son. He quickly senses the swamp of corruption and vice into which Nikita has sunk. He tries to save him, to bring him back to himself, to arouse the better side of his nature. But he fails.

The ways of life are too evil for Akim. He leaves, refusing even the money he needs so badly to purchase a horse.

Akim. One sin holds on to another and pulls you along. Nikita, you are stuck in sins. You are stuck, I see, in sins. You are stuck fast, so to speak. I have heard that nowadays they pull fathers' beards, so to speak, -but this leads only to ruin, to ruin, so to speak. . . . There is your money. I will go and beg, so to speak, but I will not, so to speak, take the money. . . . Let me go! I will not stay! I would rather sleep near the fence than in your nastiness.

The type of Akim is most vividly characterized by Tolstoy in the talk between the old peasant and the new help on the farm.

Mitrich. Let us suppose, for example, you have money, and I, for example, have my land lying fallow; it is spring, and I have no seed; or I have to pay the taxes. So I come to you, and say: "Akim, give me ten troubles! I will have the harvest in by St. Mary's Intercession and then I will give it back to you, with a tithe for the accommodation." You, for example, see that I can be flayed, having a horse or a cow, so you say: "Give me two or three roubles for the accommodation." The noose is around my neck, and I cannot get along without it. "Very well," says I, M will take the ten roubles! In the fall I sell some things, and I bring you the money, and you skin me in addition for three troubles.

Akim. But this is, so to speak, a wrong done to a peasant. If one forgets God, so to speak, it is not good.

Mitrich. Wait a minute 1 So remember *hat you have done: you have fleeced me, so to speak, and Anisya, for example, has some money which is lying idle. She has no place to put it in and, being a woman, does not know what to do with it. So she comes to you: " Can't I," says she, "make some use of my money? Yes, you can, you say. And so you wait., Next summer I come to you once more." Give me another ten roubles," says I, "and I will pay you for the accommodation." So you watch me to see whether my hide has not been turned yet, whether I can be flayed again, and if I can, you give me Anisya's money. But if I have not a blessed thing, and nothing to eat, you make your calculations, seeing that I cannot be skinned, and you say: " God be with you, my brother!" and you look out for another man to whom to give Anisya's money, and whom you can flay. Now this is called a bank. So it keeps going around. It is a very clever thing, my friend.

Akim. What is this? This is a nastiness, so to speak. If a peasant, so to speak, were to do it, the peasants would regard it as a sin, so to speak. This is not according to the Law, not according to the Law, so to speak. It is bad. How can the learned men, so to speak-- . . . As I look at it, so to speak, there is trouble without money, so to speak, and with money the trouble is double, so to speak. God has commanded to work. But you put the money in the bank, so to speak, and lie down to sleep, and the money will feed you, so to speak, while you are lying. This is bad,--not according to the Law, so to speak.

Mitrich. Not according to the Law? The Law does not trouble people nowadays, my friend. All they think about is how to dean out a fellow. That's what!

As long as Akulina's condition is not noticeable, the relation of Nikita with his dead master's daughter remains hidden from the neighbors. But the time comes when she is to give birth to a child. It is then that Anisya becomes mistress of the situation again. Her hatred for Akulina, her outraged love for Nikita and the evil spirit of Nikita's mother all combine to turn her into a fiend. Akulina is driven to the barn, where her terrible labor pains are stifled by the dread of her stepmother. When the innocent victim is born, Nikita's vicious mother and Anisya persuade him that the child is dead and force him to bury it in the cellar.

While Nikita is digging the grave, he discovers the deception. The child is alive! The terrible shock unnerves the man, and in temporary madness he presses a board over the little body till its bones crunch. Superstition, horror and the perfidy of the women drive Nikita to drink in an attempt to drown the baby's cries constantly ringing in his ears.

The last act deals with Akulina's wedding to the son of a neighbor. She is forced into the marriage because of her misfortune. The peasants all gather for the occasion, but Nikita is missing: he roams the place haunted by the horrible phantom of his murdered child. He attempts to hang himself but fails, and finally decides to go before the entire assembly to confess his crimes.

Nikita. Father, listen to me! First of all, Marina, look at me! I am guilty toward you: I had promised to marry you, and I seduced you. I deceived you and abandoned you; forgive me for Christ's sake!

Matrena. Oh, oh, he is bewitched. What is the matter with him ? He has the evil eye upon him. Get up and stop talking nonsense!

Nikita. I killed your father, and I, dog, have ruined his daughter. I had the power over her, and I killed also her baby. . . . Father dear! Forgive me, sinful man! You told me, when I first started on this life of debauch: " When the claw is caught, the whole bird is lost." But, I, dog, did not pay any attention to you, and so everything turned out as you said. Forgive me, for Christ's sake.

The "Power of Darkness" is a terrible picture of poverty, ignorance and superstition. To write such a work it is not sufficient to be a creative artist: it requires a deeply sympathetic human soul. Tolstoy possessed both. He understood that the tragedy of the peasants' life is due not to any in. herent viciousness but to the power of darkness which permeates their existence from the cradle to the grave. Something heavy is oppressing them -- in the words of Anisya -- weighing them down, something that saps all humanity out of them and drives them into the depths.

"The Power of Darkness" is a social picture at once appalling and gripping.


WHEN Anton Tchekhof first came to the fore, no less an authority than Tolstoy said: "Russia has given birth to another Turgenev." The estimate was not overdrawn. Tchekhof was indeed a modern Turgenev. Perhaps not as universal, because Turgenev, having lived in western Europe, in close contact with conditions outside of Russia, dealt with more variegated aspects of life. But as a creative artist Tchekhof is fitted to take his place with Turgenev.

Tchekhof is preëminently the master of short stories, Within the limits of a few pages he paints the drama of human life with its manifold tragic and comic colors, in its most intimate reflex upon the characters who pass through the panorama. He has been called a pessimist. As if one could miss the sun without feeling the torture of utter darkness!

Tchekhof wrote during the gloomiest period of Russian life, at a time when the reaction had drowned the revolution in the blood of the young generation,-- when the Tsar had choked the verybreath out of young Russia. The intellectuals were deprived of every outlet: all the social channels were closed to them, and they found themselves without hope or faith, not having yet learned to make common cause with the people.

Tchekhof could not escape the atmosphere which darkened the horizon of almost the whole of Russia. It was because he so intensely felt its oppressive weight that he longed for air, for light, for new and vital ideas. To awaken the same yearning and faith in others, he had to picture life as it was, in all its wretchedness and horror.

This he did in "the Seagull," while in "The Cherry Orchard" he holds out the hope of a new and brighter day.



IN "The Seagull" the young artist, Constantine Treplef, seeks new forms, new modes of expression. He is tired of the old academic ways, the beaten track; he is disgusted with the endless imitative methods, no one apparently capable of an original thought.

Constantine has written a play; the principal part is to be acted by Nina, a beautiful girl with whom Constantine is in love. He arranges the first performance to take place on the occasion of his mother's vacation in the country.

She herself--known as Mme. Arcadina--is a famous actress of the old school. She knows how to show off her charms to advantage, to parade her beautiful gowns, to faint and die gracefully before the footlights; but she does not know how to live her part on the stage. Mme. Arcadina is the type of artist who lacks all conception of the relation between art and life. Barren of vision and empty of heart, her only criterion is public approval and material success. Needless to say, she cannot understand her son. She considers him decadent, a foolish rebel who wants to undermine the settled canons of dramatic art. Constantine sums up his mother's personality in the following manner:

Treplef. She is a psychological curiosity, is my mother. A clever and gifted woman, who can cry over a novel, will reel you off all Nekrassov's poems by heart, and is the perfection of a sick nurse; but venture to praise Eleonora Duse before her! Oho! ho! You must praise nobody but her, write about her, shout about her, and go into ecstasies over her wonderful performance in La Dame aux Camélias, or The Fumes of Life; but as she cannot have then intoxicating pleasures down here. in the country, she's bored and gets spiteful. . . . She loves the stage; she thinks that she is advancing the cause of humanity and her sacred art; but I regard the stage of to-day as mere routine and prejudice. When the curtain god up and, the gifted beings, the high priests of the sacred art, appear by electric light, in a room with three sides to it, representing how people cat, drink, love, walk and wear their jackets; when they strive to squeeze out a moral from the flat, vulgar pictures and the flat, vulgar phrases a little tiny moral, easy to comprehend and handy for home consumption, when in a thousand variations they offer me always the same thing over and over and over again--then I take to my heels and run, as Maupassant ran from the Eiffel Tower, which crushed his brain by its overwhelming vulgarity. . . . We must have new formulæ. That's what we want. And if there are none, then it's better to have nothing at all.

With Mme. Arcadina is her lover, Trigorin, a successful writer. When he began his literary career, he possessed originality and strength. But gradually writing became a habit: the publishers constantly demand new books, and he supplies them.

Oh, the slavery of being an " arrived " artist, forging new chains for oneself with every " best seller"! Such is the position of Trigorin: he hates his work as the worst drudgery. Exhausted of ideas, all life and human relations serve him only as material for copy.

Nina, innocent of the ways of the world and saturated with the false romanticism of Trigorin's works, does not see the man but the celebrated artist. She is carried away by his fame and stirred by his presence; an infatuation with him quickly replaces her affection for Constantine. To her Trigorin embodies her dream of a brilliant and interesting life.

Nina. How I envy you, if you but knew it! How different are the lots of different people! Some can hardly drag on their tedious, insignificant existence; they are all alike, all miserable; others, like you, for instance -- you are one in a million -- are blessed with a brilliant, interesting life, all full of meaning. . . . You are happy. What a delightful life yours is!

Trigorin. What is there so fine about it? Day and, night I am obsessed by the same persistent thought; I must write, I must write, I must write. . . . No sooner have I finished one story than I am somehow compelled to write another, then a third, and after the third a fourth. : . . I have no rest for myself; I feel that I am devouring my own life. . . . I've never satisfied myself. . . . I have the feeling for nature; it wakes a passion in me, an irresistible desire to write. But I am something more than a landscape painter; I'm a citizen as well; I love my country, I love the people; I feel that if I am a writer I am bound to speak of the people, of its suffering, of its future, to speak of science, of the rights of man, etc., etc.; and I speak about it all, volubly, and am attacked angrily in return by everyone; I dart from side to side like a fox run down by hounds; I see that life and science fly farther and farther ahead of me, and I fall farther and farther. behind, like the countryman running after the train; and in the end I feel that the only thing I can write of is the landscape, and in everything else I am untrue to life, false to the very marrow of my bones.

Constantine realizes that Nina is slipping away from him. The situation is aggravated by the constant friction with his mother and his despair at the lack of encouragement for his art. In a fit of despondency he attempts suicide, but without success. His mother, although nursing him back to health, is infuriated at her son's "foolishness," his inability to adapt himself to conditions, his impractical ideas. She decides to leave, accompanied by Trigorin. On the day of their departure Nina and Trigorin meet once more. The girl tells him of her, ambition to become an actress, and, encouraged by him, follows him to the city.

Two years later Mme. Arcadina, still full of her idle triumphs, returns to her estate. Trigorin is, again with her still haunted by the need of copy.

Constantine has in the interim matured considerably. Although he has made himself heard as a writer, he nevertheless feels that life to-day has no place for such as he: that sincerity in art is not wanted. His mother is with him, but she only serves to emphasize the flatness of his surroundings. He loves her, but her ways jar him and drive him into seclusion.

Nina, too, has returned to her native place, broken in body and spirit. Partly because of the memory of her past affection for Constantine, and mainly because she learns of Trigorin's presence, she is drawn to the place where two years before she had dreamed of the beauty of an artistic career. The cruel struggle for recognition, the bitter disappointment in her relation with Trigorin, the, care of a child and poor health have combined to change the romantic child into a sad woman.

Constantine still loves her. He pleads with her to go away with him, to begin a new life. But it is too late. The lure of the footlights is beckoning to Nina; she returns to the stage. Constantine, unable to stand the loneliness of his life and the mercenary demands upon his art, kills himself.

To the Anglo-Saxon mind such an ending is pessilmism, defeat. Often, however, apparent defeat is in reality the truest success. For is not success, as commonly understood, but too frequently bought at the expense of character and idealism?

"The Seagull" is not defeat. As long as there is still such material in society as the Constantines -men and women who would rather die than compromise with the sordidness of life--there is hope for humanity. If the Constantines perish, it is the social fault,--our indifference to, and lack of appreciation of, the real values that alone advance the fuller and more complete life of the race.


"THE CHERRY ORCHARD" is Tchekhof's prophetic song. In this play he depicts three stages of social development and their reflex in literature.

Mme. Ranevsky, the owner of the cherry orchard, an estate celebrated far and wide for its beauty and historic traditions, is deeply attached to the family place. She loves it for its romanticism: nightingales sing in the orchard, accompanying the wooing of lovers. She is devoted to it because of the memory of her ancestors and because of the many tender ties which bind her to the orchard. The same feeling and reverence is entertained by her brother Leonid Gayef. They are expressed in the Ode to an Old Family Cupboard:

Gayef. Beloved and venerable cupboard; honor and glory to your existence, which for more than a hundred years has been directed to the noble ideals of justice and virtue. Your silent summons to profitable labor has never weakened in all these hundred years. You have upheld the courage of succeeding generations of human kind; you have upheld faith in a better future and cherished in us ideals of goodness and social consciousness.

But the social consciousness of Gayef and of his sister is of a paternal nature: the attitude of the aristocracy toward its serfs. It is a paternalism that takes no account of the freedom and happiness of the people,- the romanticism of a dying class.

Mme. Ranevsky is impoverished. The cherry orchard is heavily mortgaged and as romance and sentiment cannot liquidate debts, the beautiful estate falls into the cruel hands of commercialism.

The merchant Yermolai Lopakhin buys the place. He is in ecstasy over his newly acquired possession. He the owner -- he who had risen from the serfs of the former master of the orchard!

Lopakhin. Just think of it! The cherry orchard is mine! Mine! Tell me that I'm drunk; tell me that I'm off my head; tell me that it's all a dream! . . . If only my father and my grandfather could rise from their graves and see the whole affair, how their Yermolai, their flogged and ignorant Yermolai, who used to run about barefooted in the winter, how this same Yermolai had bought a property that hasn't its equal for beauty anywhere in the whole world! I have bought the property where my father and grandfather were slaves, where they weren't even allowed into the kitchen.

A new epoch begins in the cherry orchard. On the ruins of romanticism and aristocratic ease there rises commercialism, its iron hand yoking nature, devastating her beauty, and robbing her of all radiance.

With the greed of rich returns, Lopakhin cries, Lay the ax to the cherry orchard, come and see the trees fall down! We'll fill the place with villas."

Materialism reigns supreme: it lords the orchard with mighty hand and in the frenzy of its triumph believes itself in control of the bodies and souls of men. But in the madness of conquest it has discounted a stubborn obstacle -- the spirit of idealism. It is symbolized in Peter Trophimof, the perpetual student," and Anya, the young daughter of Mme. Ranevsky. The "wonderful achievements" of the materialistic age do not enthuse them; they have emancipated themselves from the Lopakhin idol as well as from their aristocratic traditions.

Anya. Why is it that I no longer love the cherry orchard as I did? I used to love it so tenderly; I thought there was no better place on earth than our garden.

Trophimof. All Russia is our garden. The earth is great and beautiful; it is full of wonderful places. Think, Anya, your grandfather, your great-grandfather and all your ancestors were serf-owners, owners of living souls. Do not human spirits look out at you from every tree in the orchard, from every, leaf and every stem? Do you not hear human voices? . . . Oh! it is terrible. Your orchard frightens me. When I walk through it in the evening or at night, the rugged bark on the trees glow with a dim light, and the cherry trees seem to see all that happened a hundred and two hundred years ago in painful and oppressive dreams. Well, we have fallen at least two hundred years beyond the times. We have achieved nothing at all as yet; we have not made up our minds how we stand with the past; we only philosophize, complain of boredom, or drink vodka. It is so plain, that, before we can live in the present, we must first redeem the past, and have done with it.

Anya. The house we live in has long since ceased to be our house; I shall go away.

Trophimof. If you have the household keys, throw them in the well and go away. Be free, be free as the wind. . . . I am hungry as the winter; I am sick, anxious, poor as a beggar. Fate has tossed me hither and thither; I have been everywhere, everywhere. But everywhere I have been, every minute, day and night, my soul has been full of mysterious anticipations. I feel the approach of happiness, Anya; I see it coming . . . it is coming towards us, nearer and nearer; I can hear the sound of its footsteps. . . . And if we do not see it, if we do not know it, what does it matter? Others will see it.

The new generation, on the threshold of the new epoch, hears the approaching footsteps of the Future. And even if the Anyas and Trophimofs of to-day will not see it, others will.

It was not given to Anton Tchekhof to see it with his bodily eyes. But his prophetic vision beheld the coming of the New Day, and with powerful pen he proclaimed it, that others might see it. Far from being a pessimist, as charged by unintelligent critics, his faith was strong in the possibilities of liberty.

This is the inspiring message of "The Cherry Orchard."



WE in America are conversant with tramp literature. A number of writers of considerable note have described what is commonly called the underworld, among them Josiah Flynt and Jack London, who have ably interpreted the life and psychology of the outcast. But with all due respect for their ability, it must be said that, after all, they wrote only as onlookers, as observes. They were not tramps themselves, in the real sense of the word. In "The Children of the Abyss" Jack London relates that when he stood in the breadline, he had money, a room in a good hotel, and a change of linen at hand. He was therefore not an integral part of the underworld, of the homeless and hopeless.

Never before has anyone given such a true, realistic picture of the social depths as Maxim Gorki, himself a denizen of the underworld from his early childhood. At the age of eight he ran away from his poverty-stricken, dismal home, and for many years thereafter he lived the life of the bosyaki. He tramped through the length and breadth of Russia; he lived with the peasant, the factory worker and the outcast. He knew them intimately; he understood their psychology, for he was not only with them, but of them. Therefore Gorki has been. able to present such a vivid picture of the underworld.

"A Night's Lodging" portrays a lodging house, hideous and foul, where gather, the social derelicts,--the thief, the gamble, the ex-artist, the ex-aristocrat, the prostitute. All of them had at one time an ambition, a goal, but because of their lack of will and the injustice and cruelty of the world, they were forced into the depths and cast back whenever they attempted to rise. They are the superfluous ones, dehumanized and brutalized.

In this poisonous air, where everything withers and dies, we nevertheless find character. Natasha, a young girl, still retains her wholesome instincts. She had never known love or sympathy, had gone hungry all her days, and had tasted nothing but abuse from her brutal sister, on whom she was dependent. Vaska Pepel, the young thief, a lodger in the house, strikes a responsive chord in her the moment he makes her feel that he cares for her and that she might be of spiritual and moral help to him. Vaska, like Natasha, is a product of his social environment.

Vaska.. From childhood, I have been--only a thief. . . Always I was called Vaska the pickpocket, Vaska the son of a thief! See, it was of no consequence to me, as long as they would have it so . . . so they would have it. . . . I was a thief, perhaps, only out of spite . . . because nobody cane along to call me anything--thief. . . . You call me something else, Natasha. . . . It is no easy life that I lead--friendless; pursued like a wolf. . . I sink like a man in a swamp . . . whatever I touch is slimy and rotten . . . nothing is firm . . . but you are like a young fir-tree; you are prickly, but you give support.

There is another humane figure illuminating the dark picture in "A Night's Lodging ,--Luka. He is the type of an old pilgrim, a man whom the experiences of life have taught wisdom. He has tramped through Russia and Siberia, and consorted with all sorts of people; but disappointment and grief have not robbed him of his faith in beauty, in idealism. He believes that every man, however low, degraded, or demoralized can yet he reached, if we but know how to touch his soul. Luka inspires courage and hope in everyone he meets, urging each to begin life anew. To the, former actor, now steeped in drink, he says:

Luka. The drunkard, I have heard, can now be cured, without charge. They realize now, you see, that the drunkard is also a man. You must begin to make ready. Begin a new life!

Luka tries also to imbue Natasha and Vaska with new faith. They marvel at his goodness. In simplicity of heart Luka gives his philosophy of life.

Luka.. I am good, you say. But you see, there must be some one to be good. . . . We must have pity on mankind.... Have pity while there is still time, believe me it is very good. I was once, for example, employed as a watchman, at a country place which belonged to an engineer, not far from the city of Tomsk, in Siberia. The house stood in the middle of the forest, an out-of-the-way location . . . and it was winter and I was all alone in the country house. It was beautiful there . . . magnificent! And once ... I heard them scrambling up!

Natasha. Thieves!

Luka.. Yes. They crept higher and I took my rifle and went outside. I looked up: two men . . . as they were opening a window and so busy that they did not see anything of me at all. I cried to them: " Heh there, . . . get out of that " . . . and would' you think it, they fell on me with a hand ax. . . . I warned them--"Halt," I cried, "or else I fire" then I aimed first at one and then at the other. They fell on their knees, saying, " Pardon us." I was pretty hot . . . on account of the hand ax, you remember. You devils," I cried, "I told you to clear out and you didn't and now," I said, "one of you go into the brush. and get a switch." It was done. " And now," I commanded, " one Of, you stretch out on the ground, and the other thrash him " . . . and so they whipped each other at my command. And when they had each had a sound beating, they said to me: " Grandfather," said they, " for the sake of Christ give us a piece of bread. We haven't a bite in our bodies." They were the thieves, who had fallen upon me with the hand ax. Yes . . . they were a pair of splendid fellows. . . . I said to them, " If you had asked for bread." Then they answered: " We had gotten past that. . . . We had asked and asked and nobody would give us anything . . . endurance was worn out," . . . and so they remained with me the whole winter. One of them, Stephen by name, liked to take the rifle and go into the woods . . . and the other, Jakoff, was constantly ill, always coughing . . . the three of us watched the place, and when spring came, they said, "Farewell, grandfather," and went away--to Russia. . . .

Natasha. Were they convicts, escaping?

Luka.. They were . . . fugitives . . . they had left their colony . . . a pair of splendid fellows. . . . If I had not had pity on them -- who knows what would have happened. They might have killed me. . . . Then they would be taken to court again, put in prison, sent back to Siberia. . . . Why all that? You learn nothing good in prison, nor in Siberia . . . but a man, what can he not learn. Man may teach his fellowman something good . . . very simply.

Impressed and strengthened by Luka's wonderful faith and vision, the unfortunates make an attempt to rise from the social swamp. But he has come too late into their lives. They have been robbed of energy and will; and conditions always conspire to thrust them back into the depths. When Natasha and Vaska are about to start out. on the road to a new life, fate overtakes them. The girl, during a scene with her heartless sister, is terribly scalded by the latter, and Vaska, rushing to the defense of his sweetheart, encounters her brutal brother-in-law, whom he accidentally kills. Thus these " superfluous ones " go down in the struggle. Not because of their vicious or degrading tendencies; on the contrary, it is their better instincts that cause them to be swept back. into the abyss. But though they perish, the inspiration of Luka is not entirely lost. It is epitomized in the words of one of the victims.

Sahtin.. The old man -- he lived from within. He saw everything with his own eyes. . . I asked him once: "Grandfather, why do men really live? "Man lives ever to give birth to strength. There live, for example, the carpenters, noisy, miserable, people . . and suddenly in their midst is a carpenter born . . such all a carpenter as the world has never seen: he is above no other carpenter can be compared to him. He gives a new face to the whole trade . . . his own face, so to speak . . . and with that simple impulse it has advanced twenty years . . . and so the others live . . . the locksmiths and the shoemakers, and all the rest of the working people . . . and the same is true of other classes--all to give birth to strength. Everyone thinks that he for himself takes up room in the world, but it turns out that he is here for another's benefit -- for someone better . . . a hundred years . . . or perhaps longer . . . if we live so long . . . for the sake of genius . . . . All, my children, all, live only to give birth to strength. For that reason we must respect everybody. We cannot know who he is, for what purpose born, or what he may yet fulfill . . . perhaps he has been born for our good fortune . . . or great benefit."

No stronger indictment than "A Night's Lodging" is to be found in contemporary literature of our erverse civilization that condemns thousands -often the very best men and women -to the fate of the Vaskas and Anyas, doomed as superfluous and unnecessary in society. And yet they are necessary, aye, they are vital, could we but see beneath the veil of cold indifference and stupidity to discover the deep humanity, the latent possibilities in these lowliest of the low. If within our social conditions they are useless material, often vicious and detrimental to the general good, it is because they have been denied opportunity and forced into conditions that kill their faith in themselves and all that is best in their natures.

The so-called depravity and crimes of these derelicts are fundamentally the depravity and criminal anti-social attitude of Society itself that first creates the underworld and, having created it, wastes much energy and effort in suppressing and destroying the menacing phantom of its own making,--forgetful of the elemental brotherhood of man, blind to the value of the individual, and ingorant of the beautiful possibilities inherent in even the most despised children of the depths.



LEONID ANDREYEV is the youngest and at the present time the most powerful dramatist of Russia. Like Tchekhof and Gorki, he is very versatile: his sketches and stories possess as fine a literary quality and stirring social appeal as his plays.

No one who has read his terrible picture of war, "The Red Laugh," or his unsurpassed arraignment of capital punishment, "The Seven Who Were Hanged," can erase from memory the effect of Leonid Andreyev's forceful pen.

The drama "King-Hunger" deals with the most powerful king on earth,--King-Hunger. In the presence of Time and Death he pleads with Time to ring the alarm, to call the people to rebellion, because the earth is replete with- suffering: cities, shops, mines, factories and fields resound with the moans and groans of the people. Their agony is unbearable.

King-Hunger. Strike the bell, old man; rend to the cars its copper mouth. Let no one slumber!

But Time has no faith in King-Hunger. He knows that Hunger had deceived the people on many occasions: " You will deceive again, KingHunger. You have many a time deluded your children and me." Yet Time is weary with waiting. He consents to strike the bell.

King-Hunger calls upon the workingmen to re. bel. The scene is in a machine shop; the place is filled with deafening noises as of men's groans. Every machine, every tool, every screw, holds its human forms fettered to it and all keep pace with the maddening speed of their tormentors. And through the thunder and clatter of iron there rises 'the terrible plaint of the toilers.

We are starving.

--- We are crushed by machines.

--- Their weight smothers us.

--- The iron crushes.

--- The steel oppresses.

--- Oh, what a furious weight! As a mountain upon me!

--- The whole earth is upon me.

--- The iron hammer flattens me. It crushes the blood out of my veins, it fractures my bones, it makes me flat as sheet iron.

--- Through the rollers my body is pressed and drawn thin as wire. Where is my body? Where is my blood? Where is my soul?

--- The wheel is twirling me.

--- Day and night screaks the saw cutting steel.

Day and night in my ears the screeching of the saw cutting steel. All the dreams that I see, all the sounds and songs that I hear, is the screeching of the saw cutting steel. What is the earth? It is the screeching of the saw. What is the sky? It is the screeching of the saw cutting steel. Day and night.

--- Day and night.

--- We are crushed by the machines.

--- We ourselves are parts of the machines.

--- Brothers! We forge our own chains!

The crushed call upon King-Hunger to help them, to save them from the horror of their life. Is he not the most powerful king on earth?

King-Hunger comes and exhorts them to rebel. All follow his call except three. One of these is ,huge of body, of Herculean built, large of muscle but with small, flat head upon his massive shoulders. The second workingman is young, but with the mark of death already upon his brow. He is constantly coughing and the hectic flush on his cheeks betrays the wasting disease of his class. The third workingman is a worn-out old man. Everything about him, even his voice, is deathlike, colorless, as if in his person a thousand lives had been robbed of their bloom.

First Workingman. I am as old as the earth. I have performed all the twelve labors, cleansed stables, cut off the hydra's heads, dug and vexed the earth, built cities, and have so altered its face, that the Creator himself would not readily recognize her. But I can't say why I did all this. Whose will did I shape? To what end did I aspire? My head is dull. I am dead tired. My strength oppresses me. Explain it to me, 0 King! Or I'll clutch this hammer and crack the earth as a hollow nut.

King-Hunger. Patience, my son! Save your powers for the last great revolt. Then you'll know all.

First Workingman. I shall wait.

Second Workingman. He cannot comprehend it, 0 King. He thinks that we must crack, the earth. It is a gross falsehood, 0 King! The earth is fair as the garden of God. We must guard and caress her. as a, little girl. Many that stand there in the darkness say, there is no sky, no sun, as if eternal night is upon the earth. Just think: eternal night!

King-Hunger. Why, coughing blood, do you smile and gaze to heaven?

Second Workingman. Because flowers will blossom on my blood, and I see them now. On the breast. of a beautiful rich lady I saw a red rose she didn't know it was my blood.

King-Hunger. You are a poet, my son. I suppose you write verses, as they do.

Second Workingman. King, 0 King, sneer not at me. In darkness I learned to worship fire. Dying I understood that life is enchanting. Oh, how' enchanting! King, it shall become a great garden, and there shall walk in peace, unmolested, men and animals. Dare not ruffle the animals! Wrong not any 'man! Let them play, embrace, caress one another -- let them! But where is the path? Where is the path? Explain, King-Hunger.

King-Hunger. Revolt.

Second Workingman. Through violence to freedom? Through blood to love and kisses?

King-Hunger. There is no other way.

Third Workingman. You lie, King-Hunger. Then you have killed my father and grandfather and greatgrandfather, and would'st thou kill us? Where do you lead us, unarmed? Don't you see how ignorant we are, how blind and impotent. You are a traitor. Only here you are a king, but there you lackey upon their tables. Only here you wear a crown, but there you walk about with a napkin.

King-Hunger will not listen to their protest. He gives them the alternative of rebellion or starvation for themselves and their children. They decide to rebel, for King-Hunger is the most powerful king on earth.

The subjects of King-Hunger, the people of the underworld, gather to devise ways and means of rebellion. A gruesome assembly this, held in the cellar. Above is the palace ringing with music. and laughter, the fine ladies in gorgeous splendor, bedecked with flowers and costly jewels, the tables laden with rich food and delicious wines. Everything is most exquisite there, joyous and happy. And underneath, in the cellar, the underworld is gathered, all the dregs of society: the robber and the murderer, the thief and the prostitute, the gambler and the drunkard. They have come to consult with each other how poverty is to rebel, how to throw off the yoke, and what to do with the rich.

Various suggestions are made. One advises poisoning---thesupply of water. But this is condemned on the ground that the people, also have to drink from the same source.'

Another suggests that all books should be burned for they teach the rich how to oppress'. ."But the motion fails. What is the use of burning the books? The wealthy have money; they will buy writers, poets and scientists to make new books.

A third proposes that the, children of the rich be killed. From the darkest,, most dismal corner of the cellar comes the protest of an old woman:

Oh, not the children. Don't touch the children. I have buried many of them myself. I know the pain of the mother. Besides, the children are not to blame for the crimes of their parents. Don't touch the children! The child is pure and sacred. Don't hurt the child!

A little girl rises, a child of twelve with the face of the aged. She announces that for the last four years she has given her body for money. She had been sold by her mother because they needed bread for the smaller children. During the four years of her terrible life, she has consorted with all kinds of men, influential men, rich men, pious men. They infected her. Therefore she proposes that the rich should be infected.

The underworld plans and plots, and the grue. some meeting is closed with a frenzied dance between King-Hunger and Death, to the music of the dance above.

King-Hunger is at the trial of the Starving. He is the most powerful king on earth: he is at home everywhere, but nowhere more so than at the trial of the Starving. On high chairs sit the judges, in all their bloated importance. The courtroom is filled with curiosity seekers, idle ladies dressed as if for a ball; college professors and students looking for object lessons in criminal depravity; rich young girls are there, to satisfy a perverted craving for excitement.

The first starveling is brought in muzzled.

King-Hunger. What is your offense, starveling?

Old Man. I stole a five-pound loaf, but it was wrested from me. I had only time to bite a small piece of it. Forgive me, I will never again—

He is condemned in the name of the Law and King-Hunger, the most powerful king on earth.

Another starveling is brought before the bar of justice. It is a woman, young and beautiful, but pale and sad. She is charged with killing her child.

Young Woman. One night my baby and I crossed the long bridge over the river. And since I had long before decided, so then approaching the middle, where the river is deep and swift, I said: "Look, baby dear, how the water is a-roaring below." She said, I can't reach, mamma, the railing is so high." I said, Come, let me lift you, baby. dear." And when she was gazing down into the black deep, I threw her over. That's all.

The Law and King-Hunger condemn the woman to "blackest hell," there to be "tormented and burned in everlasting, slackless fires."

The heavy responsibility of meting out justice .has fatigued the judges. The, excitement of the trial has sharpened the appetite of the spectators. King-Hunger, at home 'With all people, proposes that the court adjourn for luncheon.

The scene in the restaurant, represents Hunger devouring like a wild beast the produce of toil, ravenous, famished, the victim of his own gluttonous greed.

The monster fed, his hunger and thirst appeased he now returns to sit in self-satisfied judgment over the Starving. The judges are more bloated than before, the ladies more eager to bask in the misery of their fellows. The college professors and students, mentally heavy with food, are still anxious to add data to the study of human. criminality.

A lean boy is brought in, muzzled; he is followed by a ragged woman.

Woman. Have mercy! He stole an apple for me, your Honor. I was sick, thought he. "Let me bring her a. little apple." Pity him! Tell them that you won't any more. Well! Speak!

Starveling. I won't any more.

Woman. I've already punished him myself. Pity his youth, cut not at the root his bright little days!

Voices. Indeed, pity one and then the next. Cut the evil at its roots.

--- One needs courage to be ruthless.

---It is better for them.

--- Now he is only a boy, but when he grows up—

King-Hunger. Starveling, you are condemned.

A starveling, heavily muzzled, is dragged in. He is big and strong. He protests to the court: he has always been a faithful slave. But King-Hunger announces that the man is dangerous, because the faithful slave, being strong and honest, is "obnoxious to people of refined culture and less brawny." The slave is faithful to-day, King-Hunger warns the judges, but "who can trust the to-morrow? Then in his strength and integrity we will encounter a violent and dangerous enemy."

In the name of justice the faithful slave is condemned. Finally the last starveling appears. He looks half human, half beast.

King-Hunger. Who are you, starveling? Answer. Do you understand human speech?

Starveling. We are the peasants.

King-Hunger. What's your offense?

Starveling. We killed the devil.

King- Hunger. It was a man whom you burnt.

Starveling. No, it was the devil. The priest told us so, and then we burnt him.

The peasant is condemned The session of the Court closes with a brief speech by King-Hunger:

KIng-Hunger. To-day you witnessed a highly instructive spectacle. Divine, eternal justice has found in us, as judges and your retainers, its brilliant reflection on earth. Subject only to the laws of immortal equity, unknown to culpable compassion, indifferent to cursing and entreating prayers, obeying the voice of our conscience alone---we illumed this earth with the light of human wisdom and sublime, sacred truth. Not for a single moment forgetting that justice is the foundation of life, we have crucified the Christ in days gone by, and since, to this very day, we cease not to grace Golgotha with new crosses. But, certainly, only ruffians, only ruffians are hanged. We showed, no mercy to God himself, in the name of the laws of immortal justice---would, we be now, disconcerted by the howling of this impotent, starving rabble, by their cursing and raging? Let them curse! Life herself blesses us, the great sacred truth will screen us with her veil, and the very decree of history will not be more just than our own. What, have they gained by cursing? What? They are there, we're here. They are in dungeons, in galleys, on crosses, but we will go to the theater. They perish, but we will devour them--devour--devour.

The court has fulfilled its mission. King-Hunger is the most powerful king on earth.

The starvelings break out in revolt. The bells peal with deafening thunder; all is confusion and chaos. The city is immersed in the blackness of despair, and all is dark. Now and then gusts of fire sweep the sky illuminating the scene of battle. The air is filled with cries and groans; there is the thud of falling bodies, and still the fight goes on.

In a secluded part of the town stands the castle. In its most magnificent ballroom the rich and their lackeys--scientists, teachers and artists--are gathered. They tremble with fear at the ominous sounds outside. To silence the loud beat of their terror they command the musicians to strike up the liveliest tunes, and the guests whirl about in a mad dance.

From time to time the door is forced open and someone drops exhausted to the floor. An artist rushes in, crying out that the art gallery is in flames.

"Murillo is burning! Velasquez is burning! Giorgione is burning!"

He is not in the least concerned with living values; he dwells in the past and he wildly bewails the dead weight of the past.

One after another men rush in to report the burning of libraries, the breaking of statues, and the destruction of monuments. No one among the wealthy mob regrets the slaughter of human life.

Panic-stricken the, mighty fall from their thrones. The Starving, infuriated and vengeful, are marching on the masters! They must not see the craven fear of the huddled figures in the mansions,- the lights are turned off. But darkness is even more terrible to the frightened palace mob. In the madness of terror they begin to accuse and denounce each other. They feel as helpless as children before the approaching avalanche of vengeance.

At this critical moment a man appears. He is small, dirty, and unwashed; he smells of cheap whisky and bad tobacco; he blows his nose with a red handkerchief and his manners are disgusting. He is the engineer. He looks calmly about him, presses a button, and the place is flooded with light. He brings the comforting.. news that, the revolt is crushed.

Engineer. On Sunny Hill we planted a line of immense machine guns of enormous power ... A few projectiles of a specially destructive power ... A public square filled with people . . . Enough one or two such shells. . . . And should the revolt still continue, we'll shower the city.

The revolt is over. All is quiet -- the peace of death. The ground is strewn with bodies, the streets are soaked with blood. Fine ladies flit about. They lift their children and bid them kiss the mouth of the cannon, for the cannon have saved the rich from destruction. Prayers and hymns are offered up to the cannon, for they have saved the masters and punished the starvelings. And all is quiet, with the stillness of the graveyard where sleep the dead.

King-Hunger, with hollow cheeks and sunken eyes, makes a desperate last appeal to his children.

King-Hunger. Oh, my son, my son! You clamored so loud -- why are you mute? Oh, my daughter, my daughter, you hated so profoundly, so intensely, you most miserable on earth -arise. Arise from the dust! Rend the shadowy bonds of death! Arise! I conjure you in the name of Life!--You're silent?

For a brief moment all remains silent and immovable. Suddenly a sound is heard, distant at first, then nearer and nearer, till a thousand-throated roar breaks forth like thunder:

--- We shall yet come!

--- We shall yet come!

--- Woe unto the victorious!

The Victors pale at the ghostly cry. Seized with terror, they run, wildly howling..

--- The dead arise!

--- The dead arise!

We shall yet come" cry the dead. For they who died for an ideal never die in vain. They must come back, they shall come back. And then--woe be to the victorious! King-Hunger is indeed the most terrible king on earth, but only for those who are driven by blind forces alon.

But they who can turn on the light, know the power of the things they have created. They will come, and take possession,--no longer the wretched scum, but the masters of the world.

A message revolutionary, deeply social in its scope, illumining with glorious hope the dismal horizon of the disinherited of the earth.

Preparedness, the Road to Universal Slaughter(1915)

Emma Goldman

[First published in Mother Earth, Vol. X, no. 10, December 1915, and also as a pamphlet.]

EVER since the beginning of the European conflagration, the whole human race almost has fallen into the deathly grip of the war anesthesis, overcome by the mad teaming fumes of a blood soaked chloroform, which has obscured its vision and paralyzed its heart. Indeed, with the exception of some savage tribes, who know nothing of Christian religion or of brotherly love, and who also know nothing of dreadnaughts, submarines, munition manufacture and war loans, the rest of the race is under this terrible narcosis. The human mind seems to be conscious of but one thing, murderous speculation. Our whole civilization, our entire culture is concentrated in the mad demand for the most perfected weapons of slaughter.

Ammunition! Ammunition! O, Lord, thou who rulest heaven and earth, thou God of love, of mercy and of justice, provide us with enough ammunition to destroy our enemy. Such is the prayer which is ascending daily to the Christian heaven. Just like cattle, panic-stricken in the face of fire, throw themselves into the very flames, so all of the European people have fallen over each other into the devouring flames of the furies of war, and America, pushed to the very brink by unscrupulous politicians, by ranting demagogues, and by military sharks, is preparing for the same terrible feat.

In the face of this approaching disaster, it behooves men and women not yet overcome by the war madness to raise their voice of protest, to call the attention of the people to the crime and outrage which are about to be perpetrated upon them.

America is essentially the melting pot. No national unit composing it, is in a position to boast of superior race purity, particular historic mission, or higher culture. Yet the jingoes and war speculators are filling the air with the sentimental slogan of hypocritical nationalism, "America for Americans," "America first, last, and all the time." This cry has caught the popular fancy from one end of the country to another. In order to maintain America, military preparedness must be engaged in at once. A billion dollars of the people's sweat and blood is to be expended for dreadnaughts and submarines for the army and the navy, all to protect this precious America.

The pathos of it all is that the America which is to be protected by a huge military force is not the America of the people, but that of the privileged class; the class which robs and exploits the masses, and controls their lives from the cradle to the grave. No less pathetic is it that so few people realize that preparedness never leads to peace, but that it is indeed the road to universal slaughter.

With the cunning methods used by the scheming diplomats and military cliques of Germany to saddle the masses with Prussian militarism, the American military ring with its Roosevelts, its Garrisons, its Daniels, and lastly its Wilsons, are moving the very heavens to place the militaristic heel upon the necks of the American people, and, if successful, will hurl America into the storm of blood and tears now devastating the countries of Europe.

Forty years ago Germany proclaimed the slogan: "Germany above everything. Germany for the Germans, first, last and always. We want peace; therefore we must prepare for war. Only a well armed and thoroughly prepared nation can maintain peace, can command respect, can be sure of its national integrity." And Germany continued to prepare, thereby forcing the other nations to do the same. The terrible European war is only the culminating fruition of the hydra-headed gospel, military preparedness.

Since the war began, miles of paper and oceans of ink have been used to prove the barbarity, the cruelty, the oppression of Prussian militarism. Conservatives and radicals alike are giving their support to the Allies for no other reason than to help crush that militarism, in the presence of which, they say, there can be no peace or progress in Europe. But though America grows fat on the manufacture of munitions and war loans to the Allies to help crush Prussians the same cry is now being raised in America which, if carried into national action, would build up and American militarism far more terrible than German or Prussian militarism could ever be, and that because nowhere in the world has capitalism become so brazen in its greed and nowhere is the state so ready to kneel at the feet of capital.

Like a plague, the mad spirit is sweeping the country, infesting the clearest heads and staunchest hearts with the deathly germ of militarism. National security leagues, with cannon as their emblem of protection, naval leagues with women in their lead have sprung up all over the country, women who boast of representing the gentler sex, women who in pain and danger bring forth life and yet are ready to dedicate it to the Moloch War. Americanization societies with well known liberals as members, they who but yesterday decried the patriotic clap-trap of to-day, are now lending themselves to befog the minds of the people and to help build up the same destructive institutions in America which they are directly and indirectly helping to pull down in Germany--militarism, the destroyer of youth, the raper of women, the annihilator of the best in the race, the very mower of life.

Even Woodrow Wilson, who not so long ago indulged in the phrase "A nation too proud to fight," who in the beginning of the war ordered prayers for peace, who in his proclamations spoke of the necessity of watchful waiting, even he has been whipped into line. He has now joined his worthy colleagues in the jingo movement, echoing their clamor for preparedness and their howl of "America for Americans." The difference between Wilson and Roosevelt is this: Roosevelt, a born bully, uses the club; Wilson, the historian, the college professor, wears the smooth polished university mask, but underneath it he, like Roosevelt, has but one aim, to serve the big interests, to add to those who are growing phenominally rich by the manufacture of military supplies.

Woodrow Wilson, in his address before the Daughters of the American Revolution, gave his case away when he said, "I would rather be beaten than ostracized." To stand out against the Bethlehem, du Pont, Baldwin, Remington, Winchester metallic cartridges and the rest of the armament ring means political ostracism and death. Wilson knows that, therefore he betrays his original position, goes back on the bombast of "too proud to fight" and howls as loudly as any other cheap politician for preparedness and national glory, the silly pledge the navy league women intend to impose upon every school child: "I pledge myself to do all in my power to further the interests of my country, to uphold its institutions and to maintain the honor of its name and its flag. As I owe everything in life to my country, I consecrate my heart, mind and body to its service and promise to work for its advancement and security in times of peace and to shrink from no sacrifices or privation in its cause should I be called upon to act in its defence for the freedom, peace and happiness of our people."

To uphold the institutions of our country--that's it--the institutions which protect and sustain a handful of people in the robbery and plunder of the masses, the institutions which drain the blood of the native as well as of the foreigner, and turn it into wealth and power; the institutions which rob the alien of whatever originality he brings with him and in return gives him cheap Americanism, whose glory consists in mediocrity and arrogance.

The very proclaimers of "America first" have long before this betrayed the fundamental principles of real Americanism, of the kind of Americanism that Jefferson had in mind when he said that the best government is that which governs least; the kind of America that David Thoreau worked for when he proclaimed that the best government is the one that doesn't govern at all; or the other truly great Americans who aimed to make of this country a haven of refuge, who hoped that all the disinherited and oppressed people in coming to these shores would give character, quality and meaning to the country. That is not the America of the politician and munition speculators. Their America is powerfully portrayed in the idea of a young New York Sculptor; a hard cruel hand with long, lean, merciless fingers, crushing in over the heart of the immigrant, squeezing out its blood in order to coin dollars out of it and give the foreigner instead blighted hopes and stulted aspirations.

No doubt Woodrow Wilson has reason to defend these institutions. But what an ideal to hold out to the young generation! How is a military drilled and trained people to defend freedom, peace and happiness? This is what Major General O'Ryan has to say of an efficiently trained generation: "The soldier must be so trained that he becomes a mere automation; he must be so trained that it will destroy his initiative; he must be so trained that he is turned into a machine. The soldier must be forced into the military noose; he must be jacked up; he must be ruled by his superiors with pistol in hand."

This was not said by a Prussian Junker; not by a German barbarian; not by Treitschke or Bernhardi, but by an American Major General. And he is right. You cannot conduct war with equals; you cannot have militarism with free born men; you must have slaves, automatons, machines, obedient disciplined creatures, who will move, act, shoot and kill at the command of their superiors. That is preparedness, and nothing else.

It has been reported that among the speakers before the Navy League was Samuel Gompers. If that is true, it signalizes the greatest outrage upon labor at the hands of its own leaders. Preparedness is not directed only against the external enemy; it aims much more at the internal enemy. It concerns that element of labor which has learned not to hope for anything from our institutions, that awakened part of the working people which has realized that the war of classes underlies all wars among nations, and that if war is justified at all it is the war against economic dependence and political slavery, the two dominant issues involved in the struggle of the classes.

Already militarism has been acting its bloody part in every economic conflict, with the approval and support of the state. Where was the protest of Washington when "our men, women and children" were killed in Ludlow? Where was that high sounding outraged protest contained in the note to Germany? Or is there any difference in killing "our men, women and children" in Ludlow or on the high seas? Yes, indeed. The men, women and children at Ludlow were working people, belonging to the disinherited of the earth, foreigners who had to be given a taste of the glories of Americanism, while the passengers of the Lusitania represented wealth and station--therein lies the difference.

Preparedness, therefore, will only add to the power of the privileged few and help them to subdue, to enslave and crush labor. Surely Gompers must know that, and if he joins the howl of the military clique, he must stand condemned as a traitor to the cause of labor.

Just as it is with all the other institutions in our confused life, which were supposedly created for the good of the people and have accomplished the very reverse, so it will be with preparedness. Supposedly, America is to prepare for peace; but in reality it will be the cause of war. It always has been thus--all through bloodstained history, and it will continue until nation will refuse to fight against nation, and until the people of the world will stop preparing for slaughter. Preparedness is like the seed of a poisonous plant; placed in the soil, it will bear poisonous fruit. The European mass destruction is the fruit of that poisonous seed. It is imperative that the American workers realize this before they are driven by the jingoes into the madness that is forever haunted by the spectre of danger and invasion; they must know that to prepare for peace means to invite war, means to unloose the furies of death over land and seas.

That which has driven the masses of Europe into the trenches and to the battlefields is not their inner longing for war; it must be traced to the cut-throat competition for military equipment, for more efficient armies, for larger warships, for more powerful cannon. You cannot build up a standing army and then throw it back into a box like tin soldiers. Armies equipped to the teeth with weapons, with highly developed instruments of murder and backed by their military interests, have their own dynamic functions. We have but to examine into the nature of militarism to realize the truism of this contention.

Militarism consumes the strongest and most productive elements of each nation. Militarism swallows the largest part of the national revenue. Almost nothing is spent on education, art, literature and science compared with the amount devoted to militarism in times of peace, while in times of war everything else is set at naught; all life stagnates, all effort is curtailed; the very sweat and blood of the masses are used to feed this insatiable monster--militarism. Under such circumstances, it must become more arrogant, more aggressive, more bloated with its own importance. If for no other reason, it is out of surplus energy that militarism must act to remain alive; therefore it will seek an enemy or create one artificially. In this civilized purpose and method, militarism is sustained by the state, protected by the laws of the land, is fostered by the home and the school, and glorified by public opinion. In other words, the function of militarism is to kill. It cannot live except through murder.

But the most dominant factor of military preparedness and the one which inevitably leads to war, is the creation of group interests, which consciously and deliberately work for the increase of armament whose purposes are furthered by creating the war hysteria. This group interest embraces all those engaged in the manufacture and sale of munition and in military equipment for personal gain and profit. For instance, the family Krupp, which owns the largest cannon munition plant in the world; its sinister influence in Germany, and in fact in many other countries, extends to the press, the school, the church and to statesmen of highest rank. Shortly before the war, Carl Liebknecht, the one brave public man in Germany now, brought to the attention of the Reichstag that the family Krupp had in its employ officials of the highest military position, not only in Germany, but in France and in other countries. Everywhere its emissaries have been at work, systematically inciting national hatreds and antagonisms. The same investigation brought to light an international war supply trust who cares not a hang for patriotism, or for love of the people, but who uses both to incite war and to pocket millions of profits out of the terrible bargain.

It is not at all unlikely that the history of the present war will trace its origin to this international murder trust. But is it always necessary for one generation to wade through oceans of blood and heap up mountains of human sacrifice that the next generation may learn a grain of truth from it all? Can we of to-day not profit by the cause which led to the European war, can we not learn that it was preparedness, thorough and efficient preparedness on the part of Germany and the other countries for military aggrandizement and material gain; above all can we not realize that preparedness in America must and will lead to the same result, the same barbarity, the same senseless sacrifice of life? Is America to follow suit, is it to be turned over to the American Krupps, the American military cliques? It almost seems so when one hears the jingo howls of the press, the blood and thunder tirades of bully Roosevelt, the sentimental twaddle of our college-bred President.

The more reason for those who still have a spark of libertarianism and humanity left to cry out against this great crime, against the outrage now being prepared and imposed upon the American people. It is not enough to claim being neutral; a neutrality which sheds crocodile tears with one eye and keeps the other riveted upon the profits from war supplies and war loans, is not neutrality. It is a hypocritical cloak to cover, the countries' crimes. Nor is it enough to join the bourgeois pacifists, who proclaim peace among the nations, while helping to perpetuate the war among the classes, a war which in reality, is at the bottom of all other wars.

It is this war of the classes that we must concentrate upon, and in that connection the war against false values, against evil institutions, against all social atrocities. Those who appreciate the urgent need of co-operating in great struggles must oppose military preparedness imposed by the state and capitalism for the destruction of the masses. They must organize the preparedness of the masses for the overthrow of both capitalism and the state. Industrial and economic preparedness is what the workers need. That alone leads to revolution at the bottom as against mass destruction from on top. That alone leads to true internationalism of labor against Kaiserdom, Kingdom, diplomacies, military cliques and bureaucracy. That alone will give the people the means to take their children out of the slums, out of the sweat shops and the cotton mills. That alone will enable them to inculcate in the coming generation a new ideal of brotherhood, to rear them in play and song and beauty; to bring up men and women, not automatons. That alone will enable woman to become the real mother of the race, who will give to the world creative men, and not soldiers who destroy. That alone leads to economic and social freedom, and does away with all wars, all crimes, and all injustice.

The Philosophy of Atheism(1916)

Emma Goldman

First published in February 1916 in the Mother Earth journal.


To give an adequate exposition of the Philosophy of Atheism, it would be necessary to go into the historical changes of the belief in a Deity, from its earliest beginning to the present day. But that is not within the scope of the present paper. However, it is not out of place to mention, in passing, that the concept God, Supernatural Power, Spirit, Deity, or in whatever other term the essence of Theism may have found expression, has become more indefinite and obscure in the course of time and progress. In other words, the God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in- proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events.

God, today, no longer represents the same forces as in the beginning of His existence; neither does He direct human destiny with the same Iron hand as of yore. Rather does the God idea express a sort of spiritualistic stimalus to satisfy the fads and fancies of every shade of human weakness. In the course of human development the God idea has been forced to adapt itself to every phase of human affairs, which is perfectly consistent with the origin of the idea itself.

The conception of gods originated in fear and curiosity. Primitive man, unable to understand the phenomena of nature and harassed by them, saw in every terrifying manifestation some sinister force expressly directed against him; and as ignorance and fear are the parents of all superstition, the troubled fancy of primitive man wove the God idea.

Very aptly, the world-renowned atheist and anarchist, Michael Bakunin, says in his great work God and the State: "All religions, with their gods, their demi-gods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties. Consequently, the religious heaven is nothing but the mirage in which man, exalted by ignorance and faith, discovered his own image, but enlarged and reversed -- that is divinised. The history of religions, of the birth, grandeur, and the decline of the gods who had succeeded one another in human belief, is nothing, therefore, but the development of the collective intelligence and conscience of mankind. As fast as they discovered, in the course of their historically progressive advance, either in themselves or in external nature, a quality, or even any great defect whatever, they attributed it to their gods, after having exaggerated and enlarged it beyond measure, after the manner of children, by an act of their religious fancy. . . . With all due respect, then, to the metaphysicians and religious idealists, philosophers, politicians or poets: the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and practice."

Thus the God idea, revived, readjusted, and enlarged or narrowed, according to the necessity of the time, has dominated humanity and will continue to do so until man will raise his head to the sunlit day, unafraid and with an awakened will to himself. In proportion as man learns to realize himself and mold his own destiny theism becomes superfluous. How far man will be able to find his relation to his fellows will depend entirely upon how much he can outgrow his dependence upon God.

Already there are indications that theism, which is the theory of speculation, is being replaced by Atheism, the science of demonstration; the one hangs in the metaphysical clouds of the Beyond, while the other has its roots firmly in the soil. It is the earth, not heaven, which man must rescue if he is truly to be saved.

The decline of theism is a most interesting spectacle, especially as manifested in the anxiety of the theists, whatever their particular brand. They realize, much to their distress, that the masses are growing daily more atheistic, more anti-religious; that they are quite willing to leave the Great Beyond and its heavenly domain to the angels and sparrows; because more and more the masses are becoming engrossed in the problems of their immediate existence.

How to bring the masses back to the God idea, the spirit, the First Cause, etc. - that is the most pressing question to all theists. Metaphysical as all these questions seem to be, they yet have a very marked physical background. Inasmuch as religion, "Divine Truth," rewards and punishments are the trade-marks of the largest, the most corrupt and pernicious, the most powerful and lucrative industry in the world, not excepting the industry of manufacturing guns and munitions. It is the industry of befogging the human mind and stifling the human heart. Necessity knows no law; hence the majority of theists are compelled to take up every subject, even if it has no bearing upon a deity or revelation or the Great Beyond. Perhaps they sense the fact that humanity is growing weary of the hundred and one brands of God.

How to raise this dead level of theistic belief is really a matter of life and death for all denominations. Therefore their tolerance; but it is a tolerance not of understanding; but of weakness. Perhaps that explains the efforts fostered in all religious publications to combine variegated religious philosophies and conflicting theistic theories into one denominational trust. More and more, the various concepts "of the only tree God, the only pure spirit, -- the only true religion" are tolerantly glossed over in the frantic effort to establish a common ground to rescue the modern mass from the "pernicious" influence of atheistic ideas.

It is characteristic of theistic "tolerance" that no one really cares what the people believe in, just so they believe or pretend to believe. To accomplish this end, the crudest and vulgarest methods are being used. Religious endeavor meetings and revivals with Billy Sunday as their champion -methods which must outrage every refined sense, and which in their effect upon the ignorant and curious often tend to create a mild state of insanity not infrequently coupled with eroto-mania. All these frantic efforts find approval and support from the earthly powers; from the Russian despot to the American President; from Rockefeller and Wanamaker down to the pettiest business man. They blow that capital invested in Billy Sunday, the Y.M.C.A., Christian Science, and various other religious institutions will return enormous profits from the subdued, tamed, and dull masses.

Consciously or unconsciously, most theists see in gods and devils, heaven and hell; reward and punishnient, a whip to lash the people into obedience, meekness and contentment. The truth is that theism would have lost its foeting long before this but for the combined support of Mammon and power. How thoroughly banlrupt it really is, is being demonstrated in the trenches and battlefields of Europe today.

Have not all theists painted their Deity as the god of love and goodness? Yet after thousands of years of such preachments the gods remain deaf to the agony of the human race. Confucius cares not for the poverty, squalor and misery of people of China. Buddha remains undisturbed in his philosophical indifference to the famine and starvation of outraged Hindoos; Jahve continues deaf to the bitter cry of Israel; while Jesus refuses to rise from the dead against his Christians who are butchering each other.

The burden of all song and praise "unto the Highest" has been that God stands for justice and mercy. Yet injustice among men is ever on the increase; the outrages committed against the masses in this country alone would seem enough to overflow the very heavens. But where are the gods to make an end to all these horrors, these wrongs, this inhumanity to man? No, not the gods, but MAN must rise in his mighty wrath. He, deceived by all the deities, betrayed by their emissaries, he, himself, must undertake to usher in justice upon the earth.

The philosophy of Atheism expresses the expansion and growth of the human mind. The philosophy of theism, if we can call it philosophy, is static and fixed. Even the mere attempt to pierce these mysteries represents, from the theistic point of view, non-belief in the all-embracing omnipotence, and even a denial of the wisdom of the divine powers outside of man. Fortunately, however, the human mind never was, and never can be, bound by fixities. Hence it is forging ahead in its restless march towards knowledge and life. The human mind is realizing "that the universe is not the result of a creative fiat by some divine intelligence, out of nothing, producing a masterpiece chaotic in perfect operation," but that it is the product of chaotic forces operating through aeons of time, of clashes and cataclysms, of repulsion and attraction crystalizing through the principle of selection into what the theists call, "the universe guided into order and beauty." As Joseph McCabe well points out in his Existence ot God: "a law of nature is not a formula drawn up by a legislator, but a mere summary of the observed facts -- a 'bundle of facts.' Things do not act in a particular way because there is a law, but we state the 'law' because they act in that way."

The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.

It may seem a wild paradox, and yet it is pathetically true, that this real, visible world and our life should have been so long under the influence of metaphysical speculation, rather than of physical demonstrable forces. Under the lash of the theistic idea, this earth has served no other purpose than as a temporary station to test man's capacity for immolation to the will of God. But the moment man attempted to ascertain the nature of that will, he was told that it was utterly futile for "finite human intelligence" to get beyond the all-powerful infinite will. Under the terrific weight of this omnipotence, man has been bowed into the dust -- a willless creature, broken and sweating in the dark. 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. Again and again the light of reason has dispelled the theistic nightmare, but poverty, misery and fear have recreated the phantoms -- though whether old or new, whatever their external form, they differed little in their essence. Atheism, on the other hand, in its philosophic aspect refuses allegiance not merely to a definite concept of God, but it refuses all servitude to the God idea, and opposes the theistic principle as such. Gods in their individual function are not half as pernicious as the principle of theism which represents the belief in a supernatural, or even omnipotent, power to rule the earth and man upon it. It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power.

The philosophy of Atheism has its root in the earth, in this life; its aim is the emancipation of the human race from all God-heads, be they Judaic, Christian, Mohammedan, Buddhistic, Brahministic, or what not. Mankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods; nothing but pain and persecution have been man's lot since gods began. There is but one way out of this blunder: Man must break his fetters which have chained him to the gates of heaven and hell, so that he can begin to fashion out of his reawakened and illumined consciousness a new world upon earth.

Only after the triumph of the Atheistic philosophy in the minds and hearts of man will freedom and beauty be realized. Beauty as a gift from heaven has proved useless. It will, however, become the essence and impetus of life when man learns to see in the earth the only heaven fit for man. Atheism is already helping to free man from his dependence upon punishment and reward as the heavenly bargain- counter for the poor in spirit.

Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partiy with self- righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not, conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself. To what heights the philosophy of Atheism may yet attain, no one can prophesy. But this much can already be predicted: only by its regenerating fire will human relations be purged from the horrors of the past

Thoughtful people are beginning to realize that moral precepts, imposed upon humanity through religious terror, have become stereotyped and have therefore lost all vitality. A glance at life today, at its disintegrating character, its conflicting interests with their hatreds, crimes, and greed, suffices to prove the sterility of theistic morality.

Man must get back to himself before he can learn his relation to his fellows. Prometheus chained to the Rock of Ages is doomed to remain the prey of the vultures of darkness. Unbind Prometheus, and you dispel the night and its horrors.

Atheism in its negation of gods is at the same time the strongest affirmation of man, and through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose, and beauty.

Address To The Jury(1917)

Emma Goldman, Anarchist

July 9, 1917


As in the case of my co-defendant, Alexander Berkman, this is also the first time in my life I have ever addressed a jury. I once had occasion to speak to three judges.

On the day after our arrest it was given out by the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney's office that the "big fish" of the No?Conscription activities had been caught, and that there would be no more trouble-makers and disturbers to interfere with the highly democratic effort of the Government to conscript its young manhood for the European slaughter. What a pity that the faithful servants of the Government, personified in the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney, should have used such a weak and flimsy net for their big catch. The moment the anglers pulled their heavily laden net ashore, it broke, and all the labor was so much wasted energy.

The methods employed by Marshal McCarthy and his hosts of heroic warriors were sensational enough to satisfy the famous circus men, Barnum & Bailey. A dozen or more heroes dashing up two flights of stairs, prepared to stake their lives for their country, only to discover the two dangerous disturbers and trouble-makers, Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, in their separate offices, quietly at work at their desks, wielding not a sword, nor a gun or a bomb, but merely their pens! Verily, it required courage to catch such big fish.

To be sure, two officers equipped with a warrant would have sufficed to carry out the business of arresting the defendants Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman. Even the police know that neither of them is in the habit of running away or hiding under the bed. But the farce-comedy had to be properly staged if the Marshal and the District Attorney were to earn immortality. Hence the sensational arrest; hence also, the raid upon the offices of THE BLAST, MOTHER EARTH, and the No-Conscription League.

In their zeal to save the country from the trouble-makers, the Marshal and his helpers did not even consider it necessary to produce a search warrant. After all, what matters a mere scrap of paper when one is called upon to raid the offices of Anarchists? Of what consequence is the sanctity of property, the right of privacy, to officials in their dealings with Anarchists! In our day of military training for battle, an Anarchist office is an appropriate camping ground. Would the gentlemen who came with Marshal McCarthy have dared to go into the offices of Morgan, or Rockefeller, or any of those men without a search warrant? They never showed us the search warrant, although we asked them for it. Nevertheless, they turned our office into a battlefield, so that when they were through with it, it looked like invaded Belgium, with only the difference that the invaders were not Prussian barbarians but good American patriots bent on making New York safe for democracy.

The stage having been appropriately set for the three-act comedy, and the first act successfully played by carrying off the villains in a madly dashing automobile--which broke every traffic regulation and barely escaped crushing every one in its way--the second act proved even more ludicrous. Fifty thousand dollars bail was demanded, and real estate refused offered by a man whose property is rated at three hundred thousand dollars, and that after the District Attorney had considered and, in fact, promised to accept the property for one of the defendants, Alexander Berkman, thus breaking every right guaranteed even to the most heinous criminal.

Finally the third act, played by the Government in this court during the last week. The pity of it is that the prosecution knows so little of dramatic construction, else it would have equipped itself with better dramatic material to sustain the continuity of the play. As it was, the third act fell flat, utterly, and presents the question, Why such a tempest in a teapot?

Gentlemen of the jury, my comrade and co-defendant having carefully and thoroughly gone into the evidence presented by the prosecution, and having demonstrated its entire failure to prove the charge of conspiracy or any overt acts to carry out that conspiracy, I shall not impose upon your patience by going over the same ground, except to emphasize a few points. To charge people with having conspired to do something which they have been engaged in doing most of their lives, namely their campaign against war, militarism and conscription as contrary to the best interests of humanity, is an insult to human intelligence.

And how was that charge proven? By the fact that MOTHER EARTH and THE BLAST were printed by the same printer and bound in the same bindery. By the further evidence that the same expressman had delivered the two publications! And by the still more illuminating fact that on June 2nd MOTHER EARTH and THE BLAST were given to a reporter at his request, if you please, and gratis.

Gentlemen of the jury, you saw the reporter who testified to this overt act. Did any one of you receive the impression that the man was of conscriptable age, and if not, in what possible way is the giving of MOTHER EARTH to a reporter for news purposes proof demonstrating the overt act?

It was brought out by our witnesses that the MOTHER EARTH magazine has been published for twelve years; that it was never held up, and that it has always gone through the U.S. mail as second-class mail matter. It was further proven that the magazine appeared each month about the first or second, and that it was sold or given away at the office to whoever wanted a copy. Where, then, is the overt act?

Just as the prosecution has utterly failed to prove the charge of conspiracy, so has it also failed to prove the overt act by the flimsy testimony that MOTHER EARTH was given to a reporter. The same holds good regarding THE BLAST.

Gentlemen of the jury, the District Attorney must have learned from the reporters the gist of the numerous interviews which they had with us. Why did he not examine them as to whether or not we had counseled young men not to register? That would have been a more direct way of getting at the facts. In the case of the reporter from the New York Times, there can be no doubt that the man would have been only too happy to accommodate the District Attorney with the required information. A man who disregards every principle of decency and ethics of his profession as a newspaper man, by turning material given him as news over to the District Attorney, would have been glad to oblige a friend. Why did Mr. Content neglect such a golden opportunity? Was it not because the reporter of the Times, like all the other reporters, must have told the District Attorney that the two defendants stated, on each and every occasion, they would not tell people not to register?

Perhaps the Times reporter refused to go to the extent of perjuring himself. Patrolmen and detectives are not so timid in such matters. Hence Mr. Randolph and Mr. Cadell, to rescue the situation. Imagine employing tenth-rate stenographers to report the very important speeches of dangerous trouble-makers! What lack of forethought and efficiency on the part of the District Attorney! But even these two members of the police department failed to prove by their notes that we advised people not to register. But since they had to produce something incriminating against Anarchists, they conveniently resorted to the old standby, always credited to us, "We believe in violence and we will use violence."

Assuming, gentlemen of the jury, that this sentence was really used at the meeting of May 18th, it would still fail to prove the indictment which charges conspiracy and overt acts to carry out the conspiracy. And that is all we are charged with. Not violence, not Anarchism. I will go further and say, that had the indictment been for the advocacy of violence, you gentlemen of the jury, would still have to render a verdict of "Not Guilty," since the mere belief in a thing or even the announcement that you would carry out that belief, can not possibly constitute a crime.

However, I wish to say emphatically that no such expression as "We believe in violence and we will use violence" was uttered at the meeting of May 18th, or at any other meeting. I could not have employed such a phrase, as there was no occasion for it. If for no other reason, it is because I want my lectures and speeches to be coherent and logical. The sentence credited to me is neither.

I have read to you my position toward political violence from a lengthy essay called "The Psychology of Political Violence."

But to make that position clearer and simpler, I wish to say that I am a social student. It is my mission in life to ascertain the cause of our social evils and of our social difficulties. As a student of social wrongs it is my aim to diagnose a wrong. To simply condemn the man who has committed an act of political violence, in order to save my skin, would be as unpardonable as it would be on the part of the physician, who is called to diagnose a case, to condemn the patient because the patient has tuberculosis, cancer, or some other disease. The honest, earnest, sincere physician does not only prescribe medicine, he tries to find out the cause of the disease. And if the patient is at all capable as to means, the doctor will say to him, "Get out of this putrid air, get out of the factory, get out of the place where your lungs are being infected." He will not merely give him medicine. He will tell him the cause of the disease. And that is precisely my position in regard to acts of violence. That is what I have said on every platform. I have attempted to explain the cause and the reason for acts of political violence.

It is organized violence on top which creates individual violence at the bottom. It is the accumulated indignation against organized wrong, organized crime, organized injustice which drives the political offender to his act. To condemn him means to be blind to the causes which make him. I can no more do it, nor have I the right to, than the physician who were to condemn the patient for his disease. You and I and all of us who remain indifferent to the crimes of poverty, of war, of human degradation, are equally responsible for the act committed by the political offender. May I therefore be permitted to say, in the words of a great teacher: "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." Does that mean advocating violence? You might as well accuse Jesus of advocating prostitution, because He took the part of the prostitute, Mary Magdalene.

Gentlemen of the jury, the meeting of the 18th of May was called primarily for the purpose of voicing the position of the conscientious objector and to point out the evils of conscription. Now, who and what is the conscientious objector? Is he really a shirker, a slacker, or a coward? To call him that is to be guilty of dense ignorance of the forces which impel men and women to stand out against the whole world like a glittering lone star upon a dark horizon. The conscientious objector is impelled by what President Wilson in his speech of Feb. 3, 1917, called "the righteous passion for justice upon which all war, all structure of family, State and of mankind must rest as the ultimate base of our existence and our liberty." The righteous passion for justice which can never express itself in human slaughter--that is the force which makes the conscientious objector. Poor indeed is the country which fails to recognize the importance of that new type of humanity as the "ultimate base of our existence and liberty." It will find itself barren of that which makes for character and quality in its people.

The meeting of May 18th was held before the Draft Bill had actually gone into effect. The President signed it late in the evening of the 18th. Whatever was said at that meeting, even if I had counseled young men not to register, that meeting cannot serve as proof of an overt act. Why, then, has the Prosecuting Attorney dwelt so much, at such length, and with such pains on that meeting, and so little on the other meetings held on the eve of registration and after? Is it not because the District Attorney knew that we had no stenographic notes of that meeting? He knew it because he was approached by Mr. Weinberger and other friends for a copy of the transcript, which request he refused. Evidently, the District Attorney felt safe to use the notes of a patrolman and a detective, knowing that they would swear to anything their superiors wanted. I never like to accuse anyone--I wouldn't go so far as my co-defendant, Mr. Berkman, in saying that the District Attorney doctored the document; I don't know whether he did or not. But I do know that patrolman Randolph and Detective Cadell doctored the notes, for the simple reason that I didn't say those things. But though we could not produce our own stenographic notes, we have been able to prove by men and women of unimpeachable character and high intelligence that the notes of Randolph are utterly false. We have also proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and Mr. Content did not dare question our proof, that at the Hunts' Point Palace, held on the eve of registration, I expressly stated that I cannot and will not tell people not to register. We have further proven that this was my definite stand, which was explained in my statement sent from Springfield and read at the meeting of May 23rd.

When we go through the entire testimony given on behalf of the prosecution, I insist that there is not one single point to sustain the indictment for conspiracy or to prove the overt acts we are supposed to have committed. But we were even compelled to bring a man eighty years of age to the witness stand in order to stop, if possible, any intention to drag in the question of German money. It is true, and I appreciate it, that Mr. Content said he had no knowledge of it. But, gentlemen of the jury, somebody from the District Attorney's office or someone from the Marshal's office must have given out the statement that a bank receipt for $2,400 was found in my office and must have told the newspapers the fake story of German money. As if we would ever touch German money, or Russian money, or American money coming from the ruling class, to advance our ideas! But in order to forestall any suspicion, any insinuation, in order to stand clear before you, we were compelled to bring an old man here to inform you that he has been a radical all his life, that he is interested in our ideas, and that he is the man who contributed the money for radical purposes and for the work of Miss Goldman.

Gentlemen of the jury, you will be told by the Court, I am sure, that when you render a verdict you must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt; that you must not assume that we are guilty before we are proven guilty; and that it is your duty to assume that we are innocent. And yet, as a matter of fact, the burden of proof has been laid upon us. We had to bring witnesses. If we had had time we could have brought fifty more witnesses, each corroborating the others. Some of those people have no relation with us. Some are writers, poets, contributors to the most conventional magazines. Is it likely that they would swear to something in our favor if it were not the truth? Therefore I insist, as did my co-defendant Alexander Berkman, that the prosecution has made a very poor showing in proving the conspiracy or any overt act.

Gentlemen of the jury, we have been in public life for twenty-seven years. We have been haled into court, in and out of season--we have never denied our position. Even the police know that Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman are not shirkers. You have had occasion during this trial to convince yourselves that we do not deny. We have gladly and proudly claimed responsibility, not only for what we ourselves have said and written, but even for things written by others and with which we did not agree. Is it plausible, then, that we would go through the ordeal, trouble and expense of a lengthy trial to escape responsibility in this instance? A thousand times no! But we refuse to be tried on a trumped-up charge, or to be convicted by perjured testimony, merely because we are Anarchists and hated by the class whom we have openly fought for many years.

Gentlemen, during our examination of talesmen, when we asked whether you would be prejudiced against us if it were proven that we propagated ideas and opinions contrary to those held by the majority, you were instructed by the Court to say, "If they are within the law." But what the Court did not tell you is, that no new faith--not even the most humane and peaceable--has ever been considered "within the law" by those who were in power. The history of human growth is at the same time the history of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn, and the brighter dawn has always been considered illegal, outside of the law.

Gentlemen of the jury, most of you, I take it, are believers in the teachings of Jesus. Bear in mind that he was put to death by those who considered his views as being against the law. I also take it that you are proud of your Americanism. Remember that those who fought and bled for your liberties were in their time considered as being against the law, as dangerous disturbers and trouble-makers. They not only preached violence, but they carried out their ideas by throwing tea into the Boston harbor. They said that "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God." They wrote a dangerous document called the Declaration of Independence. A document which continues to be dangerous to this day, and for the circulation of which a young man was sentenced to ninety days prison in a New York Court, only the other day. They were the Anarchists of their time--they were never within the law.

Your Government is allied with the French Republic. Need I call your attention to the historic fact that the great upheaval in France was brought about by extra-legal means? The Dantes, the Robespierres, the Marats, the Herberts, aye even the man who is responsible for the most stirring revolutionary music, the Marseillaise (which unfortunately has deteriorated into a war tune) even Camille Desmoulins, were never within the law. But for those great pioneers and rebels, France would have continued under the yoke of the idle Louis XVI., to whom the sport of shooting jack rabbits was more important than the destiny of the people of France.

Ah, gentlemen, on the very day when we were being tried for conspiracy and overt acts, your city officials and representatives welcomed with music and festivities the Russian Commission. Are you aware of the fact that nearly all of the members of that Commission have only recently been released from exile? The ideas they propagated were never within the law. For nearly a hundred years, from 1825 to 1917, the Tree of Liberty in Russia was watered by the blood of her martyrs. No greater heroism, no nobler lives had ever been dedicated to humanity. Not one of them worked within the law. I could continue to enumerate almost endlessly the hosts of men and women in every land and in every period whose ideas and ideals redeemed the world because they were not within the law.

Never can a new idea move within the law. It matters not whether that idea pertains to political and social changes or to any other domain of human thought and expression--to science, literature, music; in fact, everything that makes for freedom and joy and beauty must refuse to move within the law. How can it be otherwise? The law is stationary, fixed, mechanical, "a chariot wheel" which grinds all alike without regard to time, place and condition, without ever taking into account cause and effect, without ever going into the complexity of the human soul.

Progress knows nothing of fixity. It cannot be pressed into a definite mould. It cannot bow to the dictum, "I have ruled," "I am the regulating finger of God." Progress is ever renewing, ever becoming, ever changing--never is it within the law.

If that be crime, we are criminals even like Jesus, Socrates, Galileo, Bruno, John Brown and scores of others. We are in good company, among those whom Havelock Ellis, the greatest living psychologist, describes as the political criminals recognized by the whole civilized world, except America, as men and women who out of deep love for humanity, out of a passionate reverence for liberty and an all-absorbing devotion to an ideal are ready to pay for their faith even with their blood. We cannot do otherwise if we are to be true to ourselves--we know that the political criminal is the precursor of human progress--the political criminal of to-day must needs be the hero, the martyr and the saint of the new age.

But, says the Prosecuting Attorney, the press and the unthinking rabble, in high and low station, "that is a dangerous doctrine and unpatriotic at this time." No doubt it is. But are we to be held responsible for something which is as unchangeable and unalienable as the very stars hanging in the heavens unto time and all eternity?

Gentlemen of the jury, we respect your patriotism. We would not, if we could, have you change its meaning for yourself. But may there not be different kinds of patriotism as there are different kinds of liberty? I for one cannot believe that love of one's country must needs consist in blindness to its social faults, to deafness to its social discords, of inarticulation to its social wrongs. Neither can I believe that the mere accident of birth in a certain country or the mere scrap of a citizen's paper constitutes the love of country.

I know many people--I am one of them--who were not born here, nor have they applied for citizenship, and who yet love America with deeper passion and greater intensity than many natives whose patriotism manifests itself by pulling, kicking, and insulting those who do not rise when the national anthem is played. Our patriotism is that of the man who loves a woman with open eyes. He is enchanted by her beauty, yet he sees her faults. So we, too, who know America, love her beauty, her richness, her great possibilities; we love her mountains, her canyons, her forests, her Niagara, and her deserts--above all do we love the people that have produced her wealth, her artists who have created beauty, her great apostles who dream and work for liberty--but with the same passionate emotion we hate her superficiality, her cant, her corruption, her mad, unscrupulous worship at the altar of the Golden Calf.

We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. How else is the world to take America seriously, when democracy at home is daily being outraged, free speech suppressed, peaceable assemblies broken up by overbearing and brutal gangsters in uniform; when free press is curtailed and every independent opinion gagged. Verily, poor as we are in democracy, how can we give of it to the world? We further say that a democracy conceived in the military servitude of the masses, in their economic enslavement, and nurtured in their tears and blood, is not democracy at all. It is despotism--the cumulative result of a chain of abuses which, according to that dangerous document, the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to overthrow.

The District Attorney has dragged in our Manifesto, and he has emphasized the passage, "Resist conscription." Gentlemen of the jury, please remember that that is not the charge against us. But admitting that the Manifesto contains the expression, "Resist conscription," may I ask you, is there only one kind of resistance? Is there only the resistance which means the gun, the bayonet, the bomb or flying machine? Is there not another kind of resistance? May not the people simply fold their hands and declare, "We will not fight when we do not believe in the necessity of war"? May not the people who believe in the repeal of the Conscription Law, because it is unconstitutional, express their opposition in word and by pen, in meetings and in other ways? What right has the District Attorney to interpret that particular passage to suit himself? Moreover, gentlemen of the jury, I insist that the indictment against us does not refer to conscription. We are charged with a conspiracy against registration. And in no way or manner has the prosecution proven that we are guilty of conspiracy or that we have committed an overt act.

Gentlemen of the jury, you are not called upon to accept our views, to approve of them or to justify them. You are not even called upon to decide whether our views are within or against the law. You are called upon to decide whether the prosecution has proven that the defendants Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman have conspired to urge people not to register. And whether their speeches and writings represent overt acts.

Whatever your verdict, gentlemen, it cannot possibly affect the rising tide of discontent in this country against war which, despite all boasts, is a war for conquest and military power. Neither can it affect the ever increasing opposition to conscription which is a military and industrial yoke placed upon the necks of the American people. Least of all will your verdict affect those to whom human life is sacred, and who will not become a party to the world slaughter. Your verdict can only add to the opinion of the world as to whether or not justice and liberty are a living force in this country or a mere shadow of the past.

Your verdict may, of course, affect us temporarily, in a physical sense--it can have no effect whatever upon our spirit. For even if we were convicted and found guilty and the penalty were that we be placed against a wall and shot dead, I should nevertheless cry out with the great Luther: "Here I am and here I stand and I cannot do otherwise."

And gentlemen, in conclusion let me tell you that my co-defendant, Mr. Berkman, was right when he said the eyes of America are upon you. They are upon you not because of sympathy for us or agreement with Anarchism. They are upon you because it must be decided sooner or later whether we are justified in telling people that we will give them democracy in Europe, when we have no democracy here? Shall free speech and free assemblage, shall criticism and opinion--which even the espionage bill did not include--be destroyed? Shall it be a shadow of the past, the great historic American past? Shall it be trampled underfoot by any detective, or policeman, anyone who decides upon it? Or shall free speech and free press and free assemblage continue to be the heritage of the American people?

Gentlemen of the jury, whatever your verdict will be, as far as we are concerned, nothing will be changed. I have held ideas all my life. I have publicly held my ideas for twenty-seven years. Nothing on earth would ever make me change my ideas except one thing; and that is, if you will prove to me that our position is wrong, untenable, or lacking in historic fact. But never would I change my ideas because I am found guilty. I may remind you of two great Americans, undoubtedly not unknown to you, gentlemen of the jury; Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. When Thoreau was placed in prison for refusing to pay taxes, he was visited by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emerson said: "David, what are you doing in jail?" and Thoreau replied: "Ralph, what are you doing outside, when honest people are in jail for their ideals?" Gentlemen of the jury, I do not wish to influence you. I do not wish to appeal to your passions. I do not wish to influence you by the fact that I am a woman. I have no such desires and no such designs. I take it that you are sincere enough and honest enough and brave enough to render a verdict according to your convictions, beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt.

Please forget that we are Anarchists. Forget that it is claimed that we propagated violence. Forget that something appeared in MOTHER EARTH when I was thousands of miles away, three years ago. Forget all that, and merely consider the evidence. Have we been engaged in a conspiracy? has that conspiracy been proven? have we committed overt acts? have those overt acts been proven? We for the defense say they have not been proven. And therefore your verdict must be not guilty.

But whatever your decision, the struggle must go on. We are but the atoms in the incessant human struggle towards the light that shines in the darkness--the Ideal of economic, political and spiritual liberation of mankind!


Its Meaning and Menace(1919):

Last Message to the People of America

Alexander Berkman


Emma Goldman

Ellis Island, New York, U.S.A.,



Ten Cents A Copy

Order from M. E. FITZGERALD, 857 Broadway, New York City

(This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives courtesy of International Institute for Social History.(http://www.iisg.nl/))


WITH pencil and scraps of paper concealed behind the persons of friends who had come to say good-bye at the Ellis Island Deportation Station, Alexander Berkman hastily scribbled the last lines of this pamphlet.

I THINK it is the best introduction to this pamphlet to say that before its writing was finished the rulers of America began deporting men directly and obviously for the offense of striking against the industrial owners of America.

THE "Red Ark" is gone. In the darkness of early morning it slipped away, leaving behind many wives and children destitute of support. They were denied even the knowledge of the sailing of the ship, denied the right of farewell to the husbands and fathers they may never see again. After the boat was gone, women and children came to the dock to visit the prisoners, bringing such little comforts as are known to the working class, seedy overcoats for the Russian winter, cheap gloves and odds and ends of food. They were told that the ship was gone. The refined cruelty of the thing was too much for them; they stormed the ferry-house, broke a window, screamed and cried, and were driven away by soldiers

THE "Red Ark" will loom big in American history. It is the first picturesque incident of the beginning effort of the War Millionaires to crush the soul of America and insure the safety of the dollars they have looted over the graves of Europe and through the deaths of the quarter million soldier boys whom American mothers now mourn.

YES, the "Red Ark" will go into history. Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman whom the screaming harlots of the yellow press have chosen to call the "leaders" of those whose distinction is that they have no leaders, are more fortunate than otherwise. Berkman and Goldman have been deported as "Russians." They were born in Russia, but they did their thirty years' work of en, enlightenment in this, our America. I think they are therefore Americans, in the best sense, and the best of Americans. They fought for the elementary rights of men, here in our country when others of us were afraid to speak, or would not pay the price. In all

We leading cities of this land, they have contributed to the intellectual life of the younger, aspiring generation. I venture to say that there is hardly a liberal in the United States whose life has not been influenced directly or indirectly and made better, by Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.

ALEXANDER BERKMAN spent in American prisons more years than like to remember. He did it deliberately. He did it for the welfare of men, and the American portion of mankind. He never hesitated to offer his life for his brother. I recall a picture; it is in Russia. We were gathered in Moscow. It looked as though the Revolution were going to its death. Everywhere the Soviet armies Were retreating, the masses were sinking into despair, the German working class was not rising in rebellion as we had hoped, the Austrians likewise; the White Terror was raising its head through. out Russia. A pallid girl, a Russian-American immigrant returned

her native country, held in her hand the bulletin of the day's news. "A hundred Alexander Berkmans distributed throughout Europe at this time, and the history of Europe would be different!" she exclaimed.

BERKMAN wrote a book, "Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist," which is one of America's vital literary products. It won for him the admiration of such intellectuals here as had the courage to admire.

THE "intellectuals" for the most part did not bid Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman good-bye. Most of those who dared to visit the passengers of the "Red Ark" in their Ellis Island prison were young men and women of the working class. That is as it should

It is in the working class where Goldman and Berkman's brave

be. work will find the growth that will count. American plutocracy -hew this. That is why American plutocracy deported Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.

This pamphlet is the "good-bye message" of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman; and I think it is in spirit the message of all the passengers of the "Red Ark." As such it appears first in this form and will appear later in history. Read it and keep it for the future.


DEPORTATION-Its Meaning and Menace


THE war is over, but peace there is not. On a score of fronts human slaughter is going on as before; men, women, and children are dying by the hundred thousands because of the blockade of Russia; the "small nations" are still under the iron heel of the foreign oppressor; Ireland, India, Egypt, Persia, Korea, and numerous other peoples, are being decimated and exploited even more ruthlessly than before the advent of the- Great Prophet of World Democracy; "self-determination" has become a by-word, nay a crime, and world-wide imperialism has gotten a strangle hold upon humanity.

WHAT, then, has the Great War accomplished? To what purpose the sacrifice of millions of human lives, the unnamable loss in blood and treasure? What, especially, has happened in these United States?

FRESH in mind are still the wonderful promises made in behalf of [lie War. It was to be the last war, a holy crusade of liberty against tyranny, a war upon all wars that was to sweep the earth clear of oppression and misery, and make the world safe for true democracy.

As with a sacred fire burned the heart of mankind. What soul so small, what human so low, not to be inspired by the glorious shibboleth of liberty and well-being for all! A tornado of social enthusiasm, a new-born world consciousness, swept the United States. The people were aflame with a new faith; they would slay the Dragon of Despotism, and conquer the world for democracy.

TRUE, it was but yesterday their sovereign will registered a mighty protest against human slaughter and bloodshed. With a magnificent majority they had voted not to participate in the foreign War, not to become entangled in the treacherous schemes of European despotisms. Triumphantly they had elected as President of the United States the man who "kept them out of the war" that he might still keep them out of it.

THEN suddenly, almost over night, came the change. From Wall Street sounded the bugle ordering the retreat of Humanity. Its echo reverberated in Washington, and thence throughout the whole country. There began a campaign of war publicity that roused the tiger in man and fed his lust for blood and vengeance. The quiet,

made the villain of the wildest stories of "enemy" atrocities and outrages. The nation-wide propaganda of hatred, persecution, and intolerance carried its subtle poison into the hearts of the obscurest hamlet, and the minds of the people were systematically confused and perverted by rivers of printer's ink. The conscience of America. wanting peace, was stifled in the folds of the national emblem, and its voice drowned by the martial beat of a thousand war drums.

HERE and there a note of protest was heard. Radicals of various political and social faiths- Anarchists, Socialists, I. W. Ws., some pacifists, conscientious objectors, and other anti- militarists sought to stem the tide of the war hysteria. They pointed out that the people of the United States had no interest in-the European War. That this country, because of its geographical location and natural advantages, was beyond all danger of invasion. They showed that the War was the result of European over-preparedness for war, aggravated by a crisis in capitalist competition, old monarchical rivalries and ambitions of super-despotic rulers. The peoples of Europe, the radicals emphasized, had neither say nor interest in the war: they were the sheep led to slaughter on the altar of Mammon contending against Baal. America's great humanitarian mission, the war protestants insisted, was to keep out of the war, and use its potent influence and compelling economic and financial power to terminate the European slaughter and bring peace to the bleeding nations of die old world.

But these voices of sanity and judgment were lost in the storm of unloosed war passions. The brave men and women that dared to speak in behalf of peace and humanity, that had the surpassing integrity of remaining true to themselves and to their ideals, with the courage of facing danger and death for conscience sake-these, the truest friends of Man, had to bear the cross of Golgotha, as did the Nazarene of yore, as the lovers of humanity have done all through the centuries of human progress. The jail and lynch law for them; execution and persecution by their contemporaries. But if it be true that history repeats itself, surely these political criminals" of today will be hailed tomorrow as martyrs and pioneers.

THE popular war hysteria was roused and especially successfully cultivated by the alleged progressive, "intellectual" element in the United States. Their notoriously overwhelming self-esteem and vanity had been subtly flattered by their fellow- intellectual, the college professor become President. This American intelligentzia inclusive of a good many quite unintelligent suffragettes, was the real "balance of power" in the re-election of Woodrow Wilson.

The silken cord occasionally golden in spots) of mutual interests that bound the President and the intellectual element ultimately proved much stronger at their end that at his. The feeling of gratitude is always more potent with the giver than with the recipient. Howbeit the "liberals", the "radicals", were devoted heart and soul to the professor, they stood solidly behind the President, to use their own intellectually expressive phrase.

SHAME upon the mighty power of the human mind! It was the "radical intellectuals" who, as a class, turned traitors to the best interests of humanity, perverted their calling and traditions, and became the bloodiest canines of Mars. With a power of sophistry that the Greek masters of false logic never matched, they cited history, philosophy, science-aye, they called their very Christ to witness that the killing of man by man is a most worthy and respectable occupation, indeed a very Christian institution, and that wholesale human slaughter, if properly directed and successfully conducted, is a very necessary evolutionary factor, a great blessing in disguise.

IT was this "intellectual" element that by perversion of the human mind turned a peace- demanding people into a war-mad mob. The popular refusal to volunteer for Service was hailed by them as a universal demand for military draft as "the most democratic expression of a free citizenship." Forced service became in their interpretation "equality of contribution for rich and poor alike." The protest of one's conscience against killing was branded by them as high treason, and even mere disagreement regarding the causes of the war, or the slightest criticism of the administration, was condemned as disloyalty and pro-Germanism. Every expression of humanity, of social -sympathy, and understanding was cried down with a Babel of high phrases, in which "patriotism" and democracy" competed in volume. Oh, the tragedy of the human mind that absorbs fine words and empty phrases, and is deaf to motives and blind to deeds!

YET there lacked unanimity in the strenuously cultivated war demand. There was no popular enthusiasm for American participation in the European holocaust. Mothers protested against their children being torn from the home hearth; fathers hid their you

sons. The spirit of discontent was abroad. Ile Government bad to resort to drastic methods: the hand of white terror was lifted in Washington. Again we raised our voices to warn the people, the revolutionists of various social views who remained true to our ideal of human brotherhood and proletarian solidarity. We pointed out that the masses of the world had nothing to gain and everything to lose by war; that the chief sufferers of every war

were the workers, and that they were being used as mere pawns in the game of international diplomacy and imperialist capitalism. We reminded the toilers that they alone possessed the power to wage-war or make peace, and that they-as the creators of the world's wealth-were the true arbiters of the fate of humanity. Their mission, we reiterated, is to secure peace on earth, and the product of labor to the producers.

Emphatically We warned the people of America against the policy of suppression by the enactment of special legislation. Alleged war necessity was being used-we asserted-to incorporate in the statute books new laws and new legal principles that would remain operative after the war, and be effective for the continued prohibition of governmentally unapproved thoughts and views. The practice of stifling and choking free speech and press, established and tolerated during the war, sets a most dangerous precedent for after-war days. The principle of such outrages upon liberty once introduced, it will require a long and arduous struggle to win back the liberties lost. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Thus .we argued.

HERE again the "intellectuals" and radicals of chameleon hue hastened to the rescue of the forces of reaction. We were scoffed at, our "vain fears" ridiculed. It was all for the best interests of the country-the sophists protested-for the greater security and glory of Democracy.


Now reaction is in full swing. The actual reality is even darker than our worst predictions. Liberty is dead, and white terror on top dominates the country. Free speech is a thing of the past. Not a city in the whole wide land but that forbids the least expression of an unpopular opinion. It is descriptive of the whole situation that after thirty years' activity in New York, we are unable

upon our return from prison-to secure any hall, large or small, to lecture even on the subject of prison life or to speak on the question of amnesty for political and industrial prisoners. The doors of every meeting place are closed to us, as well as to other revolutionists, by order of the powers that be.

FREE press has been abolished, and every radical paper that dares speak out, is summarily suppressed. Raids of public gatherings, of offices, and private dwelling places, accomplished with utmost brutality and uncalled for violence, are of daily occurrence throughout the United States. The headquarters of Anarchists, of Socialists, ,of 1. W. W.s, of the Union of Russian Workers, and numerous other

progressive and educational organizations, have been raided by the local police and Federal agents in practically every city of this country. Men and women are beaten up indiscriminately, fearfully clubbed and blackjacked without any provocation, frequently to be released afterwards because no offence whatever could be charged against them. Books and whole libraries of "radical centers" are confiscated, even text books of arithmetic or geography torn to shreds, furniture destroyed, pianos and victrolas smashed to kindling wood-all in the name of the new Democracy and for the safety of the glorious, free Republic of these United States.

THE half-baked radicals, their hearts as soft as their heads, now stand aghast at this terrible sight. They had helped to win the war. Some had sacrificed fathers, brothers, husbands-all of them had suffered an agony of misery and tears, to help the cause of humanity, to make the world safe for democracy. Is this what we fought and bled for? they are asking. Have we been misled by the fine- sounding phrases of a Professor, and have we in turn helped to delude the people, the suffering masses of the world? Is the great prophet of the New Democracy strong only in rhetoric?

PITY the mind that awaits miracles and looks expectantly to a universal Savior. The clear-sighted man, well informed, may reasonably foresee the inevitability of certain results from given causes. But only a charlatan can play the great Savior, and only the fool has faith in him. Individuals, however great, may profoundly influence, but are powerless to control, the fate of mankind. Deep socio- political causes produced the war. The Kaiser did not create it, though the spirit of Prussianism no doubt accelerated its coming. Nor is President Wilson responsible for the present bloody peace. He did not make the war: he was made by it. He did not make the peace: he was unmade by it. The social and economic forces that control the world are stronger than any man, than any set of men. These forces are inherent in the fundamental institutions of our wage-slave civilization, in the social atmosphere created by it, and in the individual mind. These forces are by no means harmonious. The human heart and mind, eternally reaching out for greater joy and beauty-the spirit of idealism, in short-is constantly at strife with the established, the institutionalized. These contending social and human factors produce war, as they produce revolution.

THE powers that succeeded in turning the instinctive current of man's idealism into the channels of war, became the masters of human destiny for the nonce. By a campaign of publicity and advertising on a scale history had never witnessed before, by

chicanery and 'lying, by exaggeration and misrepresentation, by persistent and long-continued appeals to the basest as well as to the noblest. traits of man, by every imaginable and unprecedented manner and method, the great financial interests, eager for war and aided by the international Junkers, thrust humanity into the great world war. Whatever of noble impulse and unsophisticated patriot- ism there was in the hearts of the masses, in and out of uniform, wait soon almost totally drained in the fearsome rivers of human blood, in the brutal, filthy, degrading charnel house of elemental passions set on fire. But the tiger in man, once thoroughly awakened, grew strong and more vicious with the sights he witnessed and the food he was fed on. The basest propensities unchained, the anti-social tendencies engendered and encouraged by the war, and the war propaganda, are now let loose upon the country. Hatred, intolerance, persecution and suppression-the efficient "educational" factors in the preparedness and war campaign-are now permeating the very heart of this country and propagating its virulent poison into every phase of our social life.

But there is no more "Hun" to be hated and lynched. Commerce and business know their interests. We must feed Germany at a good profit. We must do business with its people. Exit the Hun-der Moor hat seine Schuldigkeit gethan. What a significant side-light on the artificiality and life-brevity of national and racial antagonisms, when the fires of mutual distrust and hatred are not fed by the interested stokers of business and religion! But the Frankenstein and intolerance and suppression cultivated by the war campaign is there, alive and vital, and must find some vent for his accumulated bitterness and misery.

OR, there, the radical, the Bolshevik! What better prey to be cast to the Frankenstein monster?

THE powers that be-the plutocratic imperialist and the jingoprofiteer-all heave a happy sigh of relief.


THE after-war conditions in the United States are filling the Government and the more intelligent, class-conscious capitalists with trepidation. Revolution is stalking across Europe. Its spectre is threatening America. Disquieting signs multiply daily. A new discontent, boding ill and full of terrible possibilities, is manifest in every walk of life. Ile war has satisfied no one. Only too obviously the glorious promises failed of fulfillment. Excepting the great financial interests and some smaller war profiteers, the American people at large are aching with a poignant disappointment.

Some vaguely, other more consciously and clearly, but almost all feel themselves in some way victimized. They had brought supreme sacrifices, suffered untold misery and pain, in the confident hope of a great change to come into their lives after the victorious war, in the assurance of a radically changed and bettered world.

THE people feel cheated. Not yet have they been able to fix their gaze definitely upon the specific source of their disappointments, to define the true causes of their discontent. But -their impatience with existing conditions is passionate and bitter, and their former faith in the established order profoundly shaken. Significant symptoms of a social breakdown! Revolutions begin in the heart and in the mind. Action follows in due course. Political and industrial institutions, bereft of the people's faith in them, are doomed. The changed attitude toward the once honored and sacred conditions, now evident throughout the land, symbolizes the complete bankruptcy of the existing order. The old conceptions and ideas underlying present-day society are fast disintegrating. New ideals are germinating in the hearts of the masses-a prolific soil, rich with the promise of a brighter future. America is on the threshold of the Social Revolution.

ALL this is well realized by the financial and political masters of this country. The situation is profoundly disquieting. But most terrifying to them is the new attitude of labor. It is unprecedented, intolerable in its complete disregard of long accepted standards and conditions, its open rebellion against Things' as They Are, its "shameless demands," its defiance of constituted authority. Is it possible, the masters wonder, that we had gone too far in our war-time promises of democracy and freedom, of justice to the workers, of well-being for all? Too reckless was our motto, "Labor will win the war": it has given the toilers a sense of their power, it has made them arrogant, aye, menacing. No more are they satisfied with "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work"; no, not even with wages doubled and trebled. They are laying sacrilegious hands upon the most sacrosanct institution of private ownership, they challenge the exclusive mastery of the owner in his own mine and mill, they demand actual participation in industry, even in the most secret councils that control production and manipulate distribution they even dare suggest the taking over by labor of all industry.

UNHEARD of impudence! Yet this is not all. More menacing still is the revolutionary spirit that is beginning to transfuse itself through every rank of labor, from the highest-paid to the lowest, organized and the unorganized as well. Disobedience is rampant.

Gone is the good old respect for orders, the will of superiors is secretly thwarted or openly defied, the mystic power of contracts has lost its old hold. Labor is in rebellion-in rebellion against State and Capital, aye, even against their own leaders that have a so long held them in check.

No time is to be lost! Quick, drastic action is necessary. Else the brewing storm will overwhelm us, and the workers deprive us of the wealth we have been at such pains to accumulate. Even now there are such terribly disquieting rumblings, as if the very earth were shaking beneath our feet- rumors of "the dictatorship of the proletariat," of "Soviets of workers, soldiers and sailors." Horrible thought! Why, if the soldiers should join these discontented workers, what would become of us poor capitalists? Indeed, 'halve, not the police of Boston already set the precedent-made common cause with labor, these traitors to their masters!

"SOVIET OF WORKERS," dictatorship of the Proletariat"! Why, that's the Russian idea, the terrible Bolshevik menace. Never shall this, the most heinous crime, be forgiven Soviet Russia! Readily would we overlook their repudiation of the Czar's numerous obligations and even their refusal to pay their debts to the American and European money lenders. We'd find some way to recuperate our losses, at a reasonable profit, maybe. But that they have broken down the very pillars of capitalism, abolished profits, given to the peasants the masters' lands for cultivation and use, proclaimed all wealth common property, and subjected the aristocrat and capitalist to the indignity of working for a living-this hellish arch-crime they shall never be forgiven.

THAT such things should threaten the rich men of this free country is intolerable. Nothing must be left undone to prevent such a calamity. It would be terrible to be put on a level with the common laborer, and we with all our millions unable to procure champagne, because, forsooth, some hod- carrier's brat-illegitimate, perchance-did not get his milk for breakfast. Unthinkable! That is chaos, anarchy! We must not permit our beloved country to come to such a pass. Labor rebellion and discontent must be crushed, energetically, forthwith. Bolsheviki ways and Soviet ideas must gain no foothold in America. But the thing must be done diplomatically; the workers must not be permitted to look into our cards. We should he strong as a lion, subtle as die snake.


The war-time anti-Hun propaganda is now directed against the "Bolshevik," "the radical," and particularly against the Slav or

anything resembling him. The man or woman of Russian birth or nationality is made the especial target. The press, the pulpit, all the servile tools of capitalism and imperialism combine to paint Russia, Soviet Russia, in colors of blood and infamy. No misrepresentation, no lie too base to be flung at Russia. Falsehood and forgery the weapons where guns and bayonets have failed. The direct result of this poison propaganda is now culminating in American pogroms against Russians, Bolsheviki, communists, radicals, and progressives in general.

THE United States has fortunately always been free from the' vicious spirit of race hatred and persecution of the foreigner. The native negro excepted, this country has known no race problem. The American people were never guilty of harboring bitterness or deep-seated prejudice against members of other nationalities. In truth, the great majority of them are themselves of foreign birth or descent, the only true native being the American Indian. What. ever racial differences there may exist between the various nationalities or stocks, they have never assumed the form of active strife. On the contrary, they have always been of a superficial nature, due to misunderstanding or other temporary causes, and have never manifested themselves in anything save light, good- humored banter. Even the much-advertised antagonism of the West toward the Chinese and Japanese is not due to any inherent hatred, but rather to very definite commercial and industrial factors. In the case of the Russians especially, as well as in regard to members of the various branches of the Slavic race, the people of America have always been particularly friendly and well- disposed. But suddenly all the war-time hatred toward the "Hun enemy," the blindest intolerance and persecution are poured upon the head of the Russian, the Slav. Great indeed is the power of propaganda! Great is the power of the American thought controller-the capitalist press. The Russian has become the victim of American pogroms!

OFTEN and again in the past have we Anarchists pointed out that the feudal lords of this land would follow, in their march to imperialism, in the footsteps of the Czars of old Russia, and even outdo their preceptors. Our liberal friends denounced us as fanatics, alarmists, and pessimists. Yet now we are confronted with a state of affairs in democratic America which, in point of brutality and utter repudiation of every fundamental libertarian principle, surpasses the worst autocratic methods the Czars of Russia ever dared apply against political dissenters.

THE world is familiar with the story of the pogrom horrors practiced upon the Jews of Czarist Russia. But what the world, especially

the American world, does not know is that every pogrom *Russia was directly incited, financed, and prepared by the Government as a means of distracting the attention of the Russian people from the corrupt despotic regime under which they suffered-a deliberate method of confusing and checking the fast growing discontent and holding back the rising tide of revolutionary upheaval.

BUT thoughtful people in Russia were not long deceived by this hell" stratagem. That is why Russians of character and intelligence never lent themselves to the practice of Jew-baiting and persecution. The authorities frequently had to resort to importing the human dregs of distant communities, fill them with vodka, and then turn them loose on the defenceless Jews. These Black Hundreds and hooligans of Czarist Russia were the infamous regime now forever cast into the abyss of oblivion by the awakened and regenerated spirit of New Russia. There have been no pogroms in Soviet Russia.

BUT the Black Hundreds and the hooligans have now come to life again-in democratic America. Here they are more mad and pernicious than their Russian colleagues in crime had ever been. Their wild orgies of assault and destruction are directed, not against the Jew, but against the more comprehensive scape-goat of Capitalism, "the alien," the "radical." These are being made the lightning rod upon which is to be drawn all the fury of the storm that is menacing the American plutocracy. As the Czars pointed at the Jew as the sole source and cause of the Russian people's poverty and servitude, so the feudal lords of America have chosen the "foreign radical ... .. the Bolshevik" as the vicarious victim for the sins of the capitalist order. But while no intelligent and self-respecting Russian ever degraded himself with the Czar's bloody work, we see in our democracy so-called cultured people, professional men and women, "good Americans," inspired and aided by the 44 respectable, reputable" press, turn into bestial mobs. We see high Government officials, State and Federal, play the part of the hooligans encouraging and aiding the American Black Hundred of legionaries, in a frenzied crusade against the "foreigner," whose sole crime consists in taking seriously the American guarantees of free speech, free press, and free assembly.

THE war hate against everything German was vicious enough, though the people of America were repeatedly assured that we were not making war against the German people. One can understand also, though not countenance, the vulgar clamor against the best and finest expressions of German culture, the stupid prohibition of the language of Goethe and Schiller, of the revolutionary music

of Wagner and Beethoven, the poetry of Heine, the writings of Nietzsche, and all the other great creative works of Teuton genius. But what possible reason is there for the post-war hatred toward aliens in general and Russians in particular? The outrages and cruelties perpetrated upon Germans in America during the war pale almost into insignificance compared with the horrible treatment the Russians in the United States are now subjected to. In fact, the Czarist pogroms, barring a few exceptions, never rivaled the fearful excesses now happening almost daily in various American cities, their victims, men and women, guilty only of being Russians.

Tins state of affairs is the more significant because Russians, and the Slavic people in general, were hitherto always welcomed to these shores as the best offering Europe contributed to the Moloch of American industry. The Slav was so good natured, and docile, such a patient slave, so appreciative of the liberties he enjoyed in die new land-"liberties" which the socially conscious American had long since learned to see as a delusion and a snare. But to the unsophisticated Russian peasant, always half-starved and browbeaten, they seemed real and resplendant, the symbol of paradise found. By the thousands be flocked to the promised land, swarmed into the centers of industry to build our railroads, forge iron, dig coal, till the soil, weave cloth, and toil at scores of other useful occupations, his reward a mere pittance.

NOR was it only the workers in fields and factories who were welcomed here from Russia. Russian culture was an honored guest in America. The great literature of the Slav, his music, his dancing-all found the most generous reception and fullest appreciation. Above all, the Russian intelligentzia, the political refugees, exiles, and active revolutionists that came to America, and came-most of them-not merely to express their opinions but rather to plot the forcible overthrow of the Russian autocracy, all found sympathetic hearing and generous purses in this country, aye, even at the seat of Government.

AND now? Now it is considered the most heinous crime to have been born in Russia.

WHAT has caused this peculiar change? What is back of this sudden reversal of feeling?

IT is the Russian Revolution. Not, of course, the Miliukov-Kerensky revolution, but the real revolution that gave birth to Soviet Russia. The submissive, enslaved, long-suffering Russian people unexpectedly transformed into a free, daring Giant breaking a new path for the progress of mankind-that is the reason for the

changed attitude of the capitalistic world. It is one thing to help Russian revolutionists to overthrow the Czar and to put in his place a "democratic" form of government which has proven such a boon to our own Czars of commerce and industry. But it is quite a different thing to see the Prometheus of labor rise in his might, strike off his chains, and with the full consciousness of his complete economic power bring to life the dreams and aspirations of a thousand years,-the economic, political, and spiritual emancipation of the masses of the world. This pioneer social experiment now being tried in Russia-the greatest and most fundamental ever witnessed in all history-is the guiding star to all the oppressed and disinherited of the world. Already its magic light is spreading over the whole European horizon, the harbinger of the approaching Dawn of Man. What if it should traverse the ocean and embrace our own shores within its orbit? The whole social order of the financial Czars, industrial Kaisers, and land Barons of America is at stake: the "order" maintained by club and gun, by jail and lynch law in and out of court; the "order" founded on robbery and violence, built upon sham and unreason, artificiality and insanity, and supported by misery and starvation, by the watercure, the dungeon and straitjacket; an "order" that transcends all chaos and daily makes confusion worse confounded.

Such social "order" is doomed. It bears within itself the virus of disintegration. Already the conscience of America is awakening. The war marked the crisis. Already American men have chosen imprisonment, torture, and death, rather than become participants in an unholy war. Already American men and women are beginning to realize the anti-social destructive character and purpose of authority and government by violence, force, and fraud. Already the workers of America are outgrowing the vicious circle of craft unionism, learning the lesson and the power of solidarity of the international proletariat, and gaining confidence in their own initiative and judgment, to the confusion and terror of their antiquated, spineless leadership. Already they are seeing through the sham of "equality before the law," and are in open rebellion to government by injunction.

A spark from the glowing flame of Soviet Russia, and the purseproud autocracy of America may be swept away by the social conflagration.

Wherefore the united chorus of all Czars and Kaisers, "Death to the Bolsheviki, the aliens, the I. W. Ws., the Communists, the Anarchists!"


WHATEVER might be said of the American plutocracy and the Government, no one can accuse them of originality. The methods used by them to confuse and confound the people are but cheap imitations of the old tactics long resorted to by the despotic rulers of Europe. Even before the world war Washington had borrowed many a trick from London. And all through the war American militarism, with its conscription, espionage, torture of conscientious objectors, and suppressive legislation, was but aping-stupidly and destructively-the modus operandi of the bankrupt imperialism of the Old World. For lack of originality and ideas, American official

dom was content to be the echo of the military and court circles of London and Paris. And now again we witness Washington following in the exact footsteps of the worst autocracy of modern times. For the hue and cry against the "alien" is a faithful replica of the persecution of the Jews by the Czars of Russia, and the American pogroms against radicals are the exaggerated picture of Russian Jew-baiting.

AND, finally, the most infamous and most inhuman method of Czarist Russia, the method that sacrificed hundreds of thousands of the finest and bravest men and women of Russia, and systematically robbed the country of the very flower of its youth, is now being transplanted on American soil, in these great United States, the freest democracy on earth. The dreaded Russian administrative process the newest American institutions! Sudden seizure, anonymous denunciation, star chamber proceedings, the third degree, secret deportation and banishment to unknown lands. 0 shades of Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Patrick Henry! That you

must witness the bloodiest weapon of Czarism rescued from the ruins of defunct absolutism and introduced into the country for whose freedom you had fought so heroically!

WHAT means the administrative process?

IT means the suppression and elimination of the political protestant

and social rebel. It is the practice of picking men upon the street, on the merest suspicion of "political untrustworthiness," of arresting them in their club rooms or homes, tearing them away from their families, locking them up in jails or detention pens, holding them incommunicado for weeks and months, depriving them of a hearing in open court, denying them trial by jury, and finally deporting them or banishing them to unknown shores. All this, not for any crime committed or even any punishable act charged, but merely on the denunciation of an enemy or the irresposible

accusation by a Secret Service man that the "suspect" holds certain unpopular or "forbidden" opinions.

Lest the truth or accuracy of this statement be called in question, let it be stated that at this very moment there are one hundred such "political suspects" held at Ellis Island, with several hundred more in the various Immigration Detention jails, every one of them a victim of the administrative process described above. . Not one of them is charged with any specific crime; one and all are accused of entertaining "illegal" views on political or Social questions. Nearly all of them have been seized on the street or arrested in their homes or reading-rooms while engaged in the dangerous pursuit of studying the English language, mathematics, or American history. (The latter seems lately to be regarded by the authorities as a particularly dangerous occupation, and those guilty of it a prima facie menace to our American institutions.) Others were arrested in the factory, at their work bench, or in the numerous recent raids of homes and peaceful meetings. Many of them were beaten and clubbed most brutally, the wounds of some necessitating hospital treatment in the police stations they were subjected to the third degree, threatened, tortured, and finally thrust into the bull pens of Ellis Island. Here they are treated as dangerous felons, kept all the time under lock and key, and allowed to see their wives and families only once a week, with a screen between them and malicious guards constantly at their side. Here their mail is subjected to the most stringent censorship, and their letters delivered or not, according to the whims of the petty officials in charge. Here some of them, because they dared protest against their isolation and the putrid food, were placed in the insane asylum. Here it was that the brutal treatment and unbearable conditions of existence drove men and women, the politicals awaiting deportation, to the desperate extremity of a hunger strike, the last resort of defenseless beings, the paradoxical self-defense of despair. For weeks and months these men have now been kept prisoners at Ellis Island, tortured by the thought of their wives and children whom the Government has ruthlessly deprived of support, and living in constant uncertainty of the fate that is awaiting them, for the good American Government, refinedly cruel, is keeping their destination secret, and certain death may be the goal of the deportees when the hour of departure finally strikes.

SUCH is the treatment and the fate of the first group of Russian refugees from American "democracy." Such is the process known as the administrative methods, penalizing governmentally unapproved

Thought, suppressing disbelief in the omniscence of the powers that be.

IN enlightened, free America. Not in Darkest Russia.

WHEN the terrible significance of the administrative process practiced in Russia became known in Europe, civilization stood aghast. It caused a storm of protest in the British Parliament, and called forth violent interpellations in the Italian Diet and the French Chamber. Even the German Reichstag, in the days of the omnipotent Kaiser, ventured a heated debate of the barbaric administrative process which doomed thousands of innocents to underground dungeons and the frozen taigas of Siberia.

ARE the Czar's methods, the Third Section, the secret political spy organizations, anonymous denunciations, star chamber proceedings, deprivation of trial, wholesale deportations and banishment, to become an established American institution? Let the people speak.

THE full significance of the principle of deportation is becoming daily more apparent. The field of its menace is progressively broadening. Not only the alien social rebel is to be crushed by the new White Terror. Its hand is already reaching out far for the naturalized American whose social views are frowned upon by the Government. And yet deeper it strikes. One hundred per cent Americanism is to root out the last vestige, the very memory, of traditional American freedom. Not alone foreigners, but the naturalized citizen and the native-born are to be mentally fumigated, made politically "reliable" and governmentally kosher, by eliminating the social critics and industrial protestants, by denaturalization and banishment, by exile to the Island of Guam or to Alaska, the future Siberia of the United States.

FOLLOWING the "alien radical," the naturalized American is the first victim of the Czarification of America. Patriotic profiteers and political hooligans are united in the cry for the "Americanization" of the foreigner in the United States. He is to be "naturalized," intellectually sterilized and immunized to Bolshevism, so that he may properly appreciate the glorious spirit of American democracy. Simultaneously, however, the Federal Government is introducing the new policy of summarily depriving the naturalized American of his citizenship, in order to bring him when so desired, within the scope of the administrative process which subjects the victim to deportation without trial.

A MOST important precedent had already been act. The case of Emma Goldman affords significant proof to what lengths the

Government will go to rid itself of a disquieting social rebel, though he be a citizen for a quarter of a century.

THE story is interesting and enlightening. More than eight years ago Secret Service men of the Federal Government were ordered to gather "material" in Rochester, N. Y., or elsewhere, that would enable the authorities to disfranchise a certain Rochester citizen. The man in question was of no concern whatever to Washington, as subsequent events proved. He was an ordinary citizen, a quiet working man, without any interest in social or political questions. He was never known to entertain any unpopular views or opinions. As a matter of fact, the man had long been considered dead by his local friends and acquaintances; since he had disappeared from his home years previously and no clue to his whereabouts or any sign that he was still among the living could be found; indeed, has not been found till this day, notwithstanding the best efforts. At great expense, and with considerable winking at its own rules and regulations in such matters, the United States Government finally disfranchised the man-the corpse, perhaps, for anything known to the contrary. The proceeding necessitated a good deal of secrecy and subterfuge, for even the wife of the man in question, whose status as citizen by right of her marriage was involved, was not apprised by the Government of its intended action. On the pretext that the man was not fully of legal age at the time of his naturalization 20 years before-the mighty Republic of America declared the citizenship of the man of unknown whereabouts and against whom no crime or offence of any kind was ever charged, as null and void.

TEN years passed. The disfranchised citizen, so far as humanly known, was still as dead as at the time of his denaturalization. No trace of him could be found, and nothing more was heard of the motives and purposes of the Government in depriving of citizenship a man who had apparently been dead for years. Dark and peculiar are the ways of Government.

MORE time passed. Then it became known that the United States Government intended to deport Emma Goldman. But Emma Goldman had acquired citizenship by marriage 30 years before, and, as a citizen, she could not be deported under the present laws of the United States. But lo and behold! The Government suddenly announced that Emma Goldman was a citizen no more, because her husband had been disfranchised ten years ago!

DARK and peculiar indeed are the ways of government. But there is Method in its madness.

WHAT a striking comment this case afford on the true character Of government, and the chicanery and subterfuge it resorts to when legal means fail to achieve its purposes. Long did the United States Government bide its time. The moment was not propitious to get rid of Emma Goldman. But she must be gotten rid of, by fair means or foul. Yet public sentiment was not ready for such things as deportation and banishment. Patience! The hour of a great popular hysteria will come, will be made, if necessary, and then we shall deport this bete noir of government.

THE moment has now come. It is here. The national hysteria against radicals, inspired and fed by the bourgeois press, pulpit, and politicians, has created the atmosphere needed to introduce in America the principle and practice of banishment. At last the Government may deport Emma Goldman, for through the width and breadth of the country there is not a Judge-and possibly not even a jury-with enough integrity and courage to give this enfant terrible a fair hearing and an unprejudiced examination of her claim to citizenship.

THEREFORE Emma Goldman is to be deported.

BUT her case sets a precedent, and American life is ruled by legal precedents. Henceforth the naturalized citizen may be disfranchised, on one pretext or another, and deported because of his or her social views and opinions. Already Congress is preparing to embody this worthy precedent in our national legislation by passing special laws providing for the disenfranchisement of naturalized Americans for reasons satisfactory to our autocratic regime.

THUS another link is forged to chain the great American people. For it is against the liberties and welfare of the people at large that these new methods are fundamentally directed. Not merely against Emma Goldman, the Anarchists, the 1. W. W's., Communists, and other revolutionists. These are but the primary victims, the prologue which introduces and shadows forth the tragedy about to be enacted.

THE ultimate blow of the imperialist plutocracy of America is aimed at Labor, at the increasing discontent of the masses, their growing class-consciousness, and their progressive aspiration for more joy and life and beauty. The fate of America is in the balance.

THAT is the true meaning and the real menace of the principle of deportation, banishment, and exile, now being introduced in the life of the United States. That is the purpose of the State and Federal Anti-Anarchist laws, criminal-syndicalist-legislation, and all

similar weapons that the master class is forging for the defeat of the awakening proletariat of America.

SHALL the United States, once the land of opportunity, the refuge of all the oppressed, be Prussianized Czarified? Shall the melting pot of the world be turned into a fiery caldron brewing strife and slaughter, spitting tyranny and assassination? Shall we here, on this soil baptized with the sacred blood of the great heroes of the Revolutionary War, engage in the sanguinary struggle of brother against brother? Shall we re-enact in this land the frightful nightmare of Darkest Russia? Shall this land re-echo the horrible tramp, tramp of a thousand feet, on their way to an American Siberia? Tortured bodies, manacled hands, clanking chains, in weary, endless procession-shall that be the heritage of our youth? Shall the songs of mothers be turned into a dirge, and little babies be suckled with the teat of hate?

No, it shall not be. There is yet time to pause, to turn back. High time, high time for the voice of every true man and woman, of every lover of liberty, to thunder forth such a mighty collective protest that shall reverberate from North to South, and East to West, and rouse the awakened manhood of America to a heroic stand for Liberty and Justice.

BUT if not, --if our warning prediction unhappily come true and the fearful tragedy be played to its end, yet shall we not despair, nor misdoubt the finale.

HATEFUL is the Dream of Oppression. And as vain. Where the man who could name the judges that doomed Socrates? Where the persecutors of the Gracchi, the banishers of Aristides, the excommunicators of Spinoza and Tolstoy? Their very memory is obliterated by the footsteps of Progress. Unceasingly it marches, forward and upward, all obstacles notwithstanding, keeping time with the heart beats of Humanity. Vain the efforts to halt it, to banish ideas, to strangle thought. Vain the frenzied struggle to turn back the hands of Time. The mightiest Goliath of Reaction has fought his last fight-his final gesture, Old Russia, a hopeless surrender. Too late to revive this corpse. It is beyond resurrection. Attempts there may be, aye, will be, for the Bourbons never learn,-and the people are long suffering. But attempts useless, destructive, utterly fatal to their purpose. The Dream of Reaction ends in abysmal nightmare.

IT is darkest before dawn, in history as in nature. But the dawn has begun. In Russia. Its light is a promise and the hope of the world.


MEN and women of America, there is much work to be done. If you hate injustice and tyranny, if you love liberty and beauty, there is work for you. If oppression rouses your indignation, and the sight of misery and ugliness makes you unhappy, there is work for you. If your country is dear to you and the people your kin, there is work for you. There is much to be done.

WHOEVER you are, artist or educator, writer or worker-be you but a true man or true woman-there is important work for you. Let not prejudice and narrow-mindedness blind you. Let not a false press mislead you. Permit not this country to sink to the depths of despotism. Do not stand supinely by, while every passing day strengthens reaction. Rouse yourself and others to resent injustice and every outrage on liberty. Demand an open mind and fair hearing for every idea. Hold sacred the right of expression: protect the freedom of speech and press. Suffer not Thought to be forcibly limited and opinions proscribed. Make conscience free, undisciplined. Allow no curtailment of aspirations and ideals. These are the levers of progress, the fountain-head of joy and beauty.

JOIN your efforts, lovers of humanity. Do not uphold the hand that strangles Life. Align yourselves with the dreamers of the Better Day. The cause is worthy, the need urgent. The future looks towards you, its voice calls you, calls.

MAY it not call in vain.

AND you, fellow workers in factory, mine, and field, a great mission is yours. You, the feeders of the world and the creators of its wealth, you are the most interested in the fate of your country. The menace of despotism is greatest to you. Long has your masters' service humiliated and degraded you. Will you permit yourselves to be driven into still more abject slavery? Your emancipation is your work. Others may help, but you alone can win. In shop and union, take up this your greatest problem. Let not the least of you be victimized. Remember, an injury to one is the concern of all. No worker can stand alone in the face of organized capitalism with all its legislative and military weapons. Learn solidarity: each with a common purpose, all with a common effort. Know your enemy: there is no "mutual interest" between the robber and the robbed. Understand your true friends. You'll always find them maligned and persecuted by your enemies. The idealists, the seekers of the slaveless world, speak from your heart. Give them hearing.

YOUR fate, the fate of the country, is in your hands. Yours is the mightiest power. There is no strength in the Government, except you give it. No strength in your masters, except you suffer it. The only true mastery is in you, the working class, in your power to feed and clothe the world and make it joyous. The greatest power, for good or evil. Use it for liberty, for justice. Allow no suppression of the freedom of thought and speech, for it is a snare for your undoing. Sooner or later every suppression comes home to labor, for its greater enslavement. Realize the menace of deportation, of the principle of banishment and exile. 'Tis the latest method of the American plutocracy to silence the discontent of the workers. Lose no time. It is of the most vital importance to you. It threatens you, your union, your very existence. Take the matter up in your organizations. The fortunes of labor in America are at stake. Only your united effort can conquer the peril that menaces you. Take action. Rouse the workers of the whole country. In union and solidarity, in clear purpose and courage is your only salvation.

Quotations from American and Foreign Authors Which Would Fall Under the Criminal Anarchy Law, Espionage Law, Etc.

THESE authors, distinguished thinkers, philosophers and humanitarians of world-wide renown would, if still alive and of foreign birth, not be permitted on American shores if they tried to land here, or, if born Americans, they would be threatened by deportation to the Island of Guam.


THE man who will not investigate both sides of a question is dishonest.

THE cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the end of one or even one hundred defeats.

THE authors of the Declaration of Independence meant it to be a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn free people back into the paths of despotism.

I HAVE always thought that all men should be free, but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others.

If there is anything that it is the duty of the whole people never to intrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity of their own liberties.


ALL eyes are opening to the right of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.

SOCIETIES exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable: (1) Without government, as among our Indians. (2) Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence; as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our States, in a great one. (3) Under governments of force; as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that, enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too; the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weight this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of governments, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of governments.

WE have long enough suffered under the base prostitution of law to party passions in one judge, and the imbecility of another.

IT is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.


LIBERTY for each, for all, and forever.

No person will rule over me with my consent. I will rule over no man.

ENSLAVE the liberty of but one human being and the liberties of the world are put in peril.

WHEN I look at these crowded thousands, and see them trample on their consciences and the rights of their fellowmen at the bidding of a piece of parchment, I say, my curse be on the Constitution of the United States.

WHY, sir, no freedom of speech or inquiry is conceded to me in this land. Am I not vehemently told both at the North and the South that I have no right to meddle with -the question of slavery? And my right to speak on any other subject, in opposition to public opinion, is equally denied to me.

I, Am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as Truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen -but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest-I will not equivocate I will not excuse I will not retreat a single inch-and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten to the resurrection of the dead.-In the first issue of the Liberator, January 1, 1831.


IF there is anything that cannot bear free thought, let it crack.

NOTHING but Freedom, Justice, and Truth is of any permanent advantage to the mass of mankind. To these society, left to itself, is always tending.

"THE right to think, to know and to utter," as John Milton said, is the dearest of all liberties. Without this right, there can be no liberty to any people; with it, there can be no slavery.

WHEN you have convinced thinking men that it is right, and humane men that it is just, you will gain your cause. Men always lose half of what is gained by violence. What is gained by argument, is gained forever.

THE manna of liberty must be gathered each day, or it is rotten.

ONLY by unintermitted agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.

LET us believe that the whole truth can never do harm to the whole of virtue; and remember that in order to get the whole of truth, you must allow every man, right or wrong, freely to utter his conscience, and protect him in so doing. Entire unshackled freedom for every man's life, no matter how wide its range. The community which dares not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves.


GOVERNMENTS have hitherto been established, and have apologized for the unseemly fact of their existence, from the necessity of establishing and maintaining order; but order has never yet been maintained, revolutions and violent outbreaks have never yet been ended, public peace and harmony have never yet been secured, for the precise reason that the organic, essential, and indestructible natures of the objects which it was attempted to reduce to order have always been constricted and infringed by every such attempt. Just in proportion as the effort is less and less made to reduce men to order, just in that proportion they become more orderly, as witness the difference in the state of society in Austria and the United States. Plant an army of one hundred thousand soldiers in New York, as at Paris, to preserve the peace, and we should have a bloody revolution in a week; and be assured that the only remedy for what little of turbulence remains among us, as compared with European societies, will be found to be more liberty. When there remain positively no external restrictions, there will be positively no disturbance, provided always certain regulating principles of justice, to which I shall advert presently, are accepted and enter into the public mind, serving as substitutes for every species of repressive laws.


IN our time, as in times before, creep on the insidious forces that, producing inequality, destroy Liberty. On the horizon the clouds begin to lower. Liberty calls to us again. We must follow her further; we must trust her fully. Either we must wholly accept her or she will not stay. It is not enough that men should vote; it is not enough that they should be theoretically equal before the law. They must have liberty to avail themselves of the opportunities and means of life; they must stand on equal terms with reference to the bounty of nature. Either this, or Liberty withdraws

her light! Either this, or darkness comes on, and the very forces that progress has evolved turn to powers that work destruction. This is the universal law. This is the lesson of the centuries. Unless its foundations be laid in justice the social structure cannot stand.


LAW never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, aye, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?

THE mass of men serve the State thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, gaolers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens.

OTHERS -as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders-serve the State chiefly with their heads; and as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God.

How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace, be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.

ALL men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.


IT will never make any difference to a hero what the laws are.

For what avail the plough or sail

Or land or life, if freedom fail?

THE wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand which perishes in the twisting.

OUR distrust is very expensive. The money we spend for courts and prisons is very ill laid out.

EVERY actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey the laws too well. What satire on government can equal the severity of censure conveyed in the word politics which now for ages has signified cunning, intimating that the State is a trick?

No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if everything were titular and ephemeral but him. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.


ALL writers on the science of policy are agreed, and they agree with experience, that all governments must frequently infringe the rules of justice to support themselves; that truth must give way to dissimulation, honesty to convenience, and humanity to the reigning interest. The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state. It is a reason which I own I cannot penetrate. What sort of a protection is this of the general right, that is maintained by infringing the rights of particulars? What sort of justice is this which is enforced by breaches of its own laws? These paradoxes I leave to be solved by the able beads of legislators and politicians. For my part, I say what a plain man would say on such occasion. I can never believe that any institution, agreeable to nature, and proper for mankind, could find it necessary, or even expedient, in any case whatsoever, to do what the best and worthiest instinct of mankind warn us to avoid. But no wonder that what is set up in

opposition to the state of nature should preserve itself by trampling upon the law of nature.


To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.

THE more perfect civilization is, the less occasion has it for government because the more does it regulate its own affairs, and govern itself; but so contrary is the practice of old governments to the reason of the case, that the expenses of them increase in the proportion they ought to diminish. It is but few general laws that civilized life requires, and those of such common usefulness, that -whether they are enforced by the forms of government or not, the effect will be nearly the same. If we consider what the principles are that first condense man into society, and what the motives that regulate their mutual intercourse afterwards, we shall find, by the time we arrive at what is called government, that nearly the whole of the business is performed by the natural operation of the parts upon each other.

SOCIETY in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

THE trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.


MANKIND can hardly be too often reminded, that there was once a man named Socrates, between whom and the legal authorities and public opinion of his time, there took place a memorable collision. Born in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while we know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy. Their acknowledged master of all the eminent thinkers who have since lived-whose fame, still growing after more than two thousand years, all but outweighs the whole

remainder of the names which make his native city illustrious-was put to death by his countrymen, after a judicial conviction, for impiety and immorality. Impiety, in denying the Gods recognized by the State; indeed his accusers asserted (see the "Apologia") that he believed in no gods at all. Immorality, in being, by his doctrines and instructions, a "corrupter of youth." Of these charges the tribunal, there is every ground for believing, honestly found him guilty, and condemned the man who probably of all then born had deserved best of mankind, to be put to death as a criminal.


WHEN we have made our constitution purely democratic, thinks to himself the earnest reformer, we shall have brought government into harmony with absolute justice. Such a faith, though perhaps needful for the age, is a very erroneous one. By no process can coercion be made equitable. The freest form of government is only the least objectionable form. The rule of the many by the few we call tyranny: the rule of the few by the many is tyranny also, only of a less intense kind. "You shall do as we will, and not as you will," is in either case the declaration; and, if the hundred make it to ninety-nine instead of the ninety-nine to the hundred, it is only a fraction less immoral. Of two such parties, which ever fulfills this declaration, necessarily breaks the law of equal freedom: the only difference being that by the one it is broken in the persons of ninety-nine, whilst by the other it is broken in the persons of a hundred. And the merit of the democratic form of government consists solely in this,-that it trespasses against the smallest number.

THE very existence of majorities and minorities is indicative of an immoral state. The man whose character harmonizes with the moral law, we found to be one who can obtain complete happiness without establishing the happiness of his fellows. But the enactment of public arrangements by vote implies a society consisting of men otherwise constituted-implies that the desires of some cannot be satisfied without sacrificing the desires of others-implies that in the pursuit of their happiness the majority inflict a certain amount of unhappiness on the minority-implies, therefore, organic immorality. Thus, from another point of view, we again perceive that even in its most equitable form it is impossible for government to disassociate itself from evil; and further, that, unless the right to ignore the State is recognized, its acts must he essentially criminal.


THE cause of the miserable condition of the workers is slavery. The cause of slavery is legislation. Legislation rests on organized violence. It follows that an improvement in the condition of the people is possible only through the abolition of organized violence. "But organized violence is government, and how can we live without governments? Without governments there will be chaos, anarchy; all the achievements of civilization will perish, and the people will revert to their primitive barbarism." But why should we suppose this? Why think that non-official people could not arrange it, not for themselves, but for others? We see, on the contrary, that in the most diverse matters people in our times arrange their own lives incomparably better than those who govern them arrange for them. Without the least help from government, and often in spite of the interference of government, people organize all sorts of social undertakings-workmen's unions, co-operative societies, railway companies, and syndicates. If collections for public works are needed, why should we suppose that free people could not without violence voluntarily collect the necessary means, and carry out all that is carried out by means of taxes, if only the undertakings in question are really useful for anybody? Why suppose that there cannot be tribunals without violence?

THE robber generally plundered the rich, the governments generally plunder the poor and protect those rich who assist in their crimes. The robber doing his work risked his life, while the governments risk nothing, but base their whole activity on lies and deception. The robber did not compel anyone to join his band, the governments generally enrol their soldiers by force. All who paid the tax to the robber had equal security from danger. But in the state, the more any one takes part in the organized fraud the more he receives not merely of protection, but also of reward.


Socialism: Caught in the Political Trap(s.d.)

Emma Goldman

This article appears courtesy of Emma Goldman Papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Legend tells us that healthy newborn infants aroused the envy and hatred of evil spirits. In the absence of the proud mothers, the evil ones stole into the houses, kidnapped the babies, and left behind them deformed, hideous-looking monsters.

Socialism has met with such a fate. Young and lusty, crying out defiance to the world, it aroused the envy of the evil ones. They stole near when Socialism least expected and made off with it, leaving behind a deformity which is now stalking about under the name of Socialism.

At its birth, Socialism declared war on all constituted institutions. Its aim was to fell every injustice to the ground and replace it with economic and social well-being and harmony.

Two fundamental principles gave Socialism its life and strength: the wage system and its master, private property. The cruelty, criminality, and injustice of these principles were the enemies against which Socialism hurled its bitterest attacks and criticisms. Private property and the wage system being the staunchest pillars of society, every one who dared expose their cruelty was denounced as an enemy of society, a dangerous character, a revolutionist. Time was when Socialism carried these epithets with head erect, feeling that the hatred and persecution of its enemies were its greatest attributes.

Not so the Socialism that has been caught in the trap of the evil ones, of the political monsters. This sort of Socialism has either given up altogether the unflinching attacks against the bulwarks of the present system, or has weakened and changed its form to an unrecognizable extent.

The aim of Socialism today is the crooked path of politics as a means of capturing the State. Yet it is the State which represents the mightiest weapon sustaining private property and our system of wrong and inequality. It is the power which protects the system against every rebellious, determined revolutionary attack.

The State is organized exploitation, organized force, and crime. And to the hypnotic manipulation of this very monster, Socialism has become a willing prey. Indeed, the representatives or Socialism are more devout in their religious faith in the State than the most conservative statists.

The Socialist contention is that the State is not half centralized enough. The State, they say, should not only control the political phase of society, it should become the arch manager, the very fountain-head, of the industrial life of the people as well, since that alone would do away with special privileges, with trusts and monopolies. Never does it occur to these abortionists of a great idea that the State is the coldest, most inhuman monopolist, and if once economic dictatorship were added to the already supreme political power of the State, its iron heel would cut deeper into the flesh of labor than that of capitalism today.

Of course, I will be told that Socialism does not aim for such a State, that it wants a true, just, democratic, real State. Alas, the true, real, and just State is like the true, real, just God, who has never yet been discovered. The real God, according to our good Christians, is kind and loving, just and fair. But what has he proven to be in reality? A God of tyranny, of war and bloodshed, of crime and injustice. The same is the case with the State, whether of Republican, Democratic, or Socialist color. Always and everywhere it has and must stand for supremacy, hence for slavery, submission, and dependency.

How the political scene-shifters must grin when they see the rush of the people to the newest attraction in the political moving-picture show. The poor, deluded, childish people, who are forever fed on the political patent medicine, either of the Republican elephant, the Democratic cow, or the Socialist mule, the grunting of each merely representing a new ragtime from the political music box.

The muddy waters of the political life run high for a time, while underneath moves the giant beast of greed and strife, of corruption and decay, mercilessly devouring its victims. All politicians, no matter how sincere (if such an anomaly is at all thinkable), are but petty reformers, hence the perpetuators of the present system.

Socialism in its inception was absolutely and irrevocably opposed to this system. It was anti-authoritarian, anticapitalistic, anti-religious; in short, it could not and would not make peace with a single institution of today. But since it was led astray by the evil spirit of politics, it landed in the trap and has now but one desire---to adjust itself to the narrow confines of its cage, to become part of the authority, part of the very power that has slain the beautiful child Socialism and left behind a hideous monster.

Since the days of the old Internationale, since the strife between Bakunin, Marx and Engels, Socialism has slowly but surely been losing its fighting plumes---its rebellious spirit and its strong revolutionary tendencies---as more and more it has allowed itself to be deceived by political gains and government offices. And more and more, Socialism has grown powerless to arouse itself from the political hypnosis, thereby spreading apathy and passivity in proportion to its political successes.

The masses are being drilled and canned for the political cold storage of Socialist campaigns. Every direct, independent, and courageous attack on capitalism and the State is being discouraged or tabooed. The stupid voters wait patiently from one political performance to another for the comrade actors in the theater of representation to give a show, and perhaps perform a new stunt. Meanwhile, the Socialist congressman introduces yard upon yard of resolutions for the waste basket, proposing the perpetuation of the very things Socialism once set out to overthrow. And the Socialist mayors are busy assuring the business interests of their towns that they may rest in peace, no harm will ever come to them from a Socialist mayor. And if such Punch-and-Judy shows are criticised, the good Socialist adherents grow indignant and say that we must wait until the Socialists have the majority.

The political trap has transferred Socialism from the proud, uncompromising position of a revolutionary minority, fighting fundamentals and undermining the strongholds of wealth and power, to the camp of the scheming, compromising, inert political majority, busying itself with non-essentials, with things that barely touch the surface, measures that have been used as political bait by the most lukewarm reformers: old age pensions, initiative and referendum, the recall of judges, and other such very startling and terrible things.

In order to achieve these "revolutionary" measures, the elite in the Socialist ranks go down on their knees to the majority, holding out the palm leaf of compromise, catering to every superstition, every prejudice, every silly tradition. Even the Socialist politicians know that the voting majority is intellectually steeped in ignorance, that it does not know as much as the ABC of Socialism. One would therefore assume that the aim of these "scientific" Socialists would be to lift the mass up to its intellectual heights. But no such thing. That would hurt the feelings of the majority too much. Therefore the leaders must sink to the low level of their constituency, therefore they must cater to the ignorance and prejudice of the voters. And that is precisely what Socialism has been doing since it was caught in the political trap.

One of the commonplaces of Socialism today is the notion of evolution. For heaven's sake, let's have nothing of revolution, we are peace-loving people, we want evolution. I shall not now attempt to prove that evolution must mean growth from a lower to a higher state of mind, and that thus Socialists, from their own evolutionary standpoint, have failed miserably, since they have gone back on every one of their original principles. I only wish to examine into this wonderful thing, Socialist evolution.

Thanks to Karl Marx and Engels we are assured that Socialism has developed from a Utopia to a science. Softly, gentlemen, Utopian Socialism is not the kind that would allow itself to be caught in the political trap, it is the kind that will never make peace with our murderous system, it is the kind that has inspired and still inspires enthusiasm, zeal, courage, and idealism. It is the kind of Socialism that will have none of the disgustingly cringing compromise of a Berger, a Hillquit, a Ghent, and other-such "scientific" gentlemen.

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. If "scientific" Socialism is to substitute stagnation for activity, cowardice for courage, acquiescence for daring, submission for defiance, then Marx and Engels might never have lived, for all the service they have done to Socialism.

But I deny that so-called scientific Socialism has proven its superiority to Utopian Socialism. Certainly, if we examine into the failure of some of the predictions the great prophets have made, we will see how arrogant and overbearing the scientific contentions are. Marx was determined that the middle class would get off the scene of action, leaving but two fighting forces, the capitalistic and proletarian classes. But the middle class has had the impudence not to oblige comrade Marx.

The middle class is growing everywhere, and is indeed the strongest ally of capitalism. In fact, the middle class was never more powerful than it is today, as can be adduced by a thousand facts, but mainly by the very gentlemen in the Socialist ranks---the lawyers, ministers, and small businessmen---who infest the movement. They are making of Socialism a respectable, middle-class, law-abiding issue because they themselves represent that very tendency. It is inevitable that they should espouse methods of propaganda to fit everybody's taste and strengthen the system of robbery and exploitation.

Marx prophesied that the workers would grow poorer in proportion to the increase of wealth. That did not come to pass, either, in the way Marx hoped. The masses of workers are really getting poorer, but that has not prevented the rise of an aristocracy of labor in the very ranks of labor. A class of snobs who---because of superior wages and more respected positions, but mainly because they have saved a little or acquired some property---have lost sympathy with their own kind, and are now the loudest proclaimers against revolutionary means. Truth is, the entire Socialist Party of today is recruited from these very aristocrats of labor; that's why they will have nothing to do with those who stand for revolutionary, anti-political methods. The possibility of becoming mayor, congressman, or some other high official is too alluring to allow these upstarts to do anything that would jeopardize such a glorious chance.

But what about the much-extolled class consciousness of the workers which is to act as such leaven? Where and how does it assert itself? Surely, if it were an innate quality the workers would long since have demonstrated this fact, and their first act would have been to sweep clean from the Socialist ranks lawyers, ministers, and real-estate sharks, the most parasitic types in society.

Class consciousness can never be demonstrated in the political arena, for the interests of the politician and the voter are not identical. The one aims for office while the other must stand the cost. How then can there be a fellow-feeling between them?

Solidarity of interests develops class consciousness, as is demonstrated in the Syndicalist and every other revolutionary movement, in the determined effort to overthrow the present system, in the great war that is being waged against every institution of today in behalf of a new edifice.

The political Socialists care nothing at al1 for such a class consciousness. On the contrary, they fight it tooth and nail. In Mexico, class consciousness is being demonstrated as it has not been since the great French Revolution. The real and true proletarians, the robbed and enslaved peons, are fighting for land and liberty. It is true they know nothing of the theory of scientific Socialism, nor yet of the materialistic interpretation of history, as laid down in Mare's Das Kapital, but they know with mathematical accuracy that they have been sold into slavery. They also know that their interests are inimical to the interests of the land robbers, and they have risen in revolt against that class, against those interests.

How do the class-conscious monopolists of scientific Socialism meet this wonderful uprising? With the cries of "bandits, filibusters, anarchists, ignoramuses"---unfit to understand or interpret economic necessity. And predictably, the paralysing effect of the political trap does not permit of sympathy with the sublime wrath of the oppressed. It must move in straight-laced legal bounds, while the Indian Yaquis, the Mexican peons have broken all laws, all propriety, they have even had the impudence to expropriate the land from the expropriators, they have driven back their tyrants and tormentors. How then can peaceful aspirants for political jobs approve such conduct? Trying hard for the fleshpots of the State, which is the staunchest protector of property, the Socialist cannot possibly affiliate with any movement that so brazenly attacks property. On the other hand, it is quite consistent with the political aims of the party to oblige those who might add to the voting strength of class-conscious Socialism. Witness how tenderly religion is treated, how prohibition is patted on the back, how the anti-Asiatic and Negro question is met with, in short how every spook prejudice is treated with kid gloves so as not to hurt its sensitive souls.

Down With the Anarchists!(s.d.)

Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman

The original pamphlet [191?] is in my possession. It is a single sheet, with two pages printed per side and designed to be folded into a four-page flyer.

We must get rid of the Anarchists! They are a menace to society. Does not Hearst say so? Do not the M. & M.

and the gentlemaen of the Chamber of Commerce, who have also declared war on Labor, assure us that the Anarchists are dangerous and that they are responsible for all our troubles? Does not every skinner of Labor and every grafting politician shout against the Anarchists? Isn't that enough to prove that the Anarchists are dangerous?

But why are all the money bags and their hirelings so unanimous in condemning the Anarchists? Generally they disagree on many questions and they bitterly fight each other in their business and social life. But on TWO questions they are always in accord.

Smash the Labor Unions!

Hang the Anarchists!

WHY? Because the Labor Unions are cutting the bosses' profits by constantly demanding higher wages. And the Anarchists want to abolish the boss altogether.

Now, what is the matter with the Anarchists? What do you really know about them, except the lies and misrepresentations of their enemies --- who are also the enemies of the workers and opposed to every advancement of Labor? If you stop to think of it, you really know nothing of the Anarchists and their teachings. Your masters and their press have taken good care that you shouldn't learn the truth about them. Why?" Because as long as they can keep you busy shouting against the Anarchists, they are safe in their saddle on the backs of the people.

That's the whole secret.

What do the Anarchist really want? When you know that, you will be able to decide for yourself whether the Anarchists are your enemies or your friends.

The Anarchists say that it is not necessary to have murder and crime, poverty and corruption in the world. They say that we are cursed with these evils because a handful of people have monopolized the earth and all the wealth of the country. But who produces that wealth? Who builds the railroads, who digs the coal, who works in the fields and factories? You can answer that question for yourself. It is the toilers who do all the work and who produce all that we have in the world.

The Anarchists say: The products of Labor should belong to the producers. The industries should be carried on to minister to the needs of the people instead of for profit, as at present. Abolishing monopoly in land and in the sources of production, and making the opportunity for production accessible to all, would do away with capitalism and introduce free and equal distribution. That, in turn, would do away with laws and government, as there would be no need for them, government serving only to conserve the institutions of today and to protect the masters in their exploitation of the people. It would abolish war and crime, because the incentive to either would be lacking. It would be a society of real freedom, without coercion or violence, based on the voluntary communal arrangement of "To each according to his needs; from each according to his ability."

That is what the Anarchists teach. Suppose they are all wrong. Are you going to prove it by hanging them? If they are wrong, the people will not accept their ideas, and therefore there can be no danger from them. But, if they are right, it would be good for us to find it out. In any case it is a question of learning what these Anarchists really want. Let the people hear them.

But how about violence? you say. Don't the Anarchist preach and practice violence and murder?

They don't. On the contrary, the Anarchists hold life as the most sacred thing. That's why they want to change the present order of things where everyone's hand is against his brother, and where war, wholesale slaughter in the pursuit of the dollar, bloodshed in the field, factory and workshop is the order of the day. The poverty, misery and bitter industrial warfare, the crimes, suicides and murder committed every day of the year in this country will convince any man of intelligence that in present society we have plenty of Law, but mighty little order or peace.

Anarchism means OPPOSITION to violence, by whomever committed, even if it be by the government. The government has no more right to murder than the individual. Anarchism is therefore opposition to violence as well as to government forcibly imposed on man.

The Anarchists value human life. In fact, no one values it more. Why, then, are the Anarchists always blamed for every act of violence? Because your rulers and exploiters want to keep you prejudiced against the Anarchists, so you will never find out what the Anarchist really want, and the masters will remain safe in their monopoly of life.

Now, what are facts about violence? Crimes of every kind happen every day. Are the Anarchists responsible for them? Or is it not rather misery and desperation that drive people to commit such acts? Does a millionaire go out on the street and knock you down with a gaspipe to rob you of a few dollars? O, no. He builds a factory and robs his workers in a way that is much safer, more profitable and within the law.

Who, then, commits acts of violence? The desperate man, of course. He to whom no other resort seems open. Violence is committed by all kinds of people. Such violence is mostly for the purpose of theft or robbery. But there are also cases where it is done for social reasons. such impersonal acts of violence have, from time immemorial, been the reply of goaded and desperate classes, and goaded and desperate individuals to wrongs from their fellow-men, which they felt to be intolerable. Such acts are the violent RECOIL from violence, whether aggressive or repressive; they are the last desperate struggle of outraged and exasperated human nature for breathing space and life. And their CAUSE LIES NOT IN ANY SPECIAL CONVICTION, BUT IN HUMAN NATURE ITSELF. The whole course of history, political and social, is strewn with evidence of this fact. To go no further, take the Revolutionists of Russia, the Fenians and Sinn Feiners of Ireland, the Republicans of Italy. Were those people Anarchists? No. Did they all hold the same political opinions? No. But all were driven by desperate circumstances into this terrible form of revolt.

Anarchists, as well as others, have sometimes committed acts of violence. Do you hold the Republican Party responsible for every act committed by a Republican? Or the Democratic Party, or the Presbyterian or Methodist Church responsible for acts of individual members? It would be stupid to do so.

Under miserable conditions of life, any vision of the possibility of better things makes the present misery more intolerable, and spurs those who suffer to the most energetic struggles to improve their lot, and if these struggles only immediately result in sharper misery, the outcome is sheer desperation. In our present society, for instance, an exploited wage worker, who catches a glimpse of what work and life might and ought to be, finds the toilsome routine and the squalor of his existence almost intolerable; and even when he has the resolution and courage to continue steadily working his best, and waiting until new ideas have so permeated society as to pave the way for better times, the mere fact that he has such ideas and tries to spread them brings him into difficulties with his employers. How many thousands of rebel workers, of Socialists, of Industrialists and Syndicalists, but above all of Anarchists, have lost work and even the chance of work, solely on the ground of their opinions? It is only the specially gifted craftsman who, if he be a zealous propagandist, can hope to retain permanent employment. And what happens to a man with his brain working actively 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 starving, 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, out-raged and despoiled in their persons and those of their fellow sufferers. And are we, who ourselves are not 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, often sacrificing their lives in protest, where less social and 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! We hate murder with a hatred that may seem absurdly exaggereated to apologists for war, industrial slaughter and Ludlow massacres, to callous acquiescers in governmental and plutocratic violence, but we decline in such cases of homicide as those of which we are treating, to be guilty of the cruel injustice of flinging the whole responsibility of the deed upon the immediate perpetrator. The guilt of thes homicides lies upon every man and woman who, intentionally or by cold indifference, helps to keep up social condidtions that drive human beings to despair. The man who flings his whole life into the attempt, often 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 at such a one.








It is up to you, as an intelligent man or woman, to familiarize yourself with Anarchism, the philosophy of a freer and happier life. Send for literature or free sample copies to THE BLAST,

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The Social Importance of the Modern School(s.d.)

Emma Goldman

To fully grasp the social importance of the Modern School, we must understand first the school as it is being operated today, and secondly the idea underlying the modern educational movement.

What, then, is the school of today, no matter whether public, private, or parochial?

It is for the child what the prison is for the convict and the barracks for the soldier--a place where everything is being used to break the will of the child, and then to pound, knead, and shape it into a being utterly foreign to itself.

I do not mean to say that this process is carried on consciously; it is but a part of a system which can maintain itself only through absolute discipline and uniformity; therein, I think, lies the greatest crime of present-day society.

Naturally, the method of breaking man's will must begin at a very early age; that is, with the child, because at that time the human mind is most pliable; just as acrobats and contortionists, in order to achieve skill over their muscles, begin to drill and exercise when the muscles are still pliable.

The very notion that knowledge can be obtained only in school through systematic drilling, and that school time is the only period during which knowledge may be acquired, is in itself so preposterous as to completely condemn our system of education as arbitrary and useless.

Supposing anyone were to suggest that the best results for the individual and society could be derived through compulsory feeding. Would not the most ignorant rebel against such a stupid procedure? And yet the stomach has far greater adaptability to almost any situation than the brain. With all that, we find it quite natural to have compulsory mental feeding.

Indeed, we actually consider ourselves superior to other nations, because we have evolved a compulsory brain tube through which, for a certain number of hours every day, and for so many years, we can force into the child's mind a large quantity of mental nutrition.

Emerson said sixty years ago, "We are students of words; we are shut up in schools and colleges for ten or fifteen years and come out a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing." Since these wise words were written, America has reached the very omnipotence of a school system, and yet we are face to face with the fact of complete impotence in results.

The great harm done by our system of education is not so much that it teaches nothing worth knowing, that it helps to perpetuate privileged classes, that it assists them in the criminal procedure of robbing and exploiting the masses; the harm of the system lies in its boastful proclamation that it stands for true education, thereby enslaving the masses a great deal more than could an absolute ruler.

Almost everyone in America, liberals and radicals included, believes that the Modern School for European countries is a great idea, but that it is unnecessary for us. "Look at our opportunities," they proclaim.

As a matter of fact, the modern methods of education are needed in America much more than in Spain or in any other country, because nowhere is there such little regard for personal liberty and originality of thought. Uniformity and imitation is our motto. From the very moment of birth until life ceases this motto is imposed upon every child as the only possible path to success. There is not a teacher or educator in America who could keep his position if he dared show the least tendency to break through uniformity and imitation.

In New York a high school teacher, Henrietta Rodman, in her literature class, explained to her girls the relation of George Eliot to Lewes.* A little girl raised in a Catholic home, and the supreme result of discipline and uniformity, related the classroom incident to her mother. The latter reported it to the priest, and the priest saw fit to report Miss Rodman to the Board of Education. Remember, in America the State and Church are separate institutions, yet the Board of Education called Miss Rodman to account and made it very clear to her that if she were to permit herself any such liberties again she would be dismissed from her post.

In Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Stewart, a very efficient high school teacher, presided at the Ferrer Memorial meeting, thereby insulting the Catholics of that city, who promptly entered a protest with the Board of Education. Mr. Stewart was put on trial and was compelled to apologize in order to keep his position. In fact, our halls of learning, from the public school to the university, are but straitjackets for teachers as well as pupils, simply because a straitjacket of the mind is the greatest guarantee for a dull, colorless, inert mass moving like a pack of sheep between two high walls.

I think it is high time that all advanced people should be clear on this point, that our present system of economic and political dependence is maintained not so much by wealth and courts as it is by an inert mass of humanity, drilled and pounded into absolute uniformity, and that the school today represents the most efficient medium to accomplish that end. I do not think that I am exaggerating, nor that I stand alone in this position; I quote from an article in Mother Earth of September 1910 by Dr. Hailman, a brilliant schoolteacher with nearly twenty-five years of experience, and this is what he has to say:

Our schools have failed because they rest upon compulsion and restraint. Children are arbitrarily commanded what, when, and how to do things. Initiative and originality, self-expression, and individuality are tabooed. . . It is deemed possible and important that all should be interested in the same things, in the same sequence, and at the same time. The worship of the idol of uniformity continues openly and quietly. And to make doubly sure that there shall be no heterodox interference, school supervision dictates every step and even the manner and mode of it, so that disturbing initiative or originality and the rest may not enter by way of the teacher. We still hear overmuch of order, of methods, of system, of discipline, in the death dealing sense of long ago; and these aim at repression rather than at the liberation of life.

Under the circumstances teachers are mere tools, automatons who perpetuate a machine that turns out automatons. They persist in forcing their knowledge upon the pupil, ignore or repress their instinctive yearning for use and beauty, and drag or drive them in an ill-named, logical course, into spiritless drill. They substitute for natural inner incentives that fear no difficulty and shrink from no effort, incentives of external compulsion and artificial bribes, which, usually based upon fear or upon anti-social greed or rivalry, arrest development of joy in the work for its own sake, are hostile to purposeful doing, quench the ardor of creative initiative and the fervor of social service. and substitute for these abiding motives, transient, perishable caprice.

It goes without saying that the child becomes stunted, that its mind is dulled, and that its very being becomes warped, thus making it unfit to take its place in the social struggle as an independent factor. Indeed, there is nothing hated so much in the world today as independent factors in whatever line.

The Modern School repudiates utterly this pernicious and truly criminal system of education. It maintains that there is no more harmony between compulsion and education than there is between tyranny and liberty; the two being as far apart as the poles. The underlying principle of the Modern School is this: education is a process of drawing out, not of driving in; it aims at the possibility that the child should be left free to develop spontaneously, directing his own efforts and choosing the branches of knowledge which he desires to study. That, therefore, the teacher, instead of opposing, or presenting as authoritative his own opinions, predilections, or beliefs should be a sensitive instrument responding to the needs of the child as they are at any time manifested; a channel through which the child may attain so much of the ordered knowledge of the world, as he shows himself ready to receive and assimilate. Scientific, demonstrable facts in the Modern School will be presented as facts, but no interpretation of theory--social, political, or religious--will be presented as having in itself such sanction, or intellectual sovereignty, as precludes the right to criticize or disbelieve.

The Modern School, then, must be libertarian. Each pupil must be left free to his true self. The main object of the school is the promotion of the harmonious development of all of the faculties latent in the child. There can be no coercion in the Modern School, nor any such rules or regulations. The teacher may well evoke, through his own enthusiasm and nobility of character, the latent enthusiasm and nobility of his pupils, but he will overstep the liberties of his function as soon as he attempts to force the child in any way whatsoever. To discipline a child is invariably to set up a false moral standard, since the child is thereby led to suppose that punishment is something to be imposed upon him from without, by a person more powerful; instead of being a natural and unavoidable reaction and result of his own acts.

The social purpose of the Modern School is to develop the individual through knowledge and the free play of characteristic traits, so that he may become a social being, because he has learned to know- himself, to know his relation to his fellow-men, and to realize himself in a harmonious blending with society.

Naturally, the Modern School does not propose to throw aside all that educators have learned through the mistakes of the past. But though it will accept from past experience, it must at all times employ methods and materials that will tend to promote the self-expression of the child. To illustrate: the way composition is taught in our present-day school, the child is rarely allowed to use either judgment or free initiative. The Modern School aims to teach composition through original themes on topics chosen by the pupils from experience in their own lives; stories arid sketches are suggested by the imaginative or actual experience of the pupils.

This new method immediately opens up a new vista of possibilities. Children are extremely impressionable, and very vivid; besides not yet having been pounded into uniformity, their experience will inevitably contain much more originality, as well as beauty, than that of the teacher; also it is reasonable to assume that the child is intensely interested in the things which concern its life. Must not, then, composition based upon the experience and imagination of the pupil furnish greater material for thought and development than can be derived from the clocklike method of today which is, at best, nothing but imitation?

Everyone at all conversant with the present method of education knows that in teaching history the child is being taught what Carlyle has called a "compilation of lies." A king here, a president there, and a few heroes who are to be worshipped after death make up the usual material which constitutes history. The Modern School, in teaching history, must bring before the child a panorama of dramatic periods and incidents, illustrative of the main movements and epochs of human development. It must, therefore, help to develop an appreciation in the child of the struggle of past generations for progress and liberty, and thereby develop a respect for every truth that aims to emancipate the human race. The underlying principle of the Modern School is to make impossible the mere instructionist: the instructionist blinded by his paltry specialty to the full life it is meant to serve; the narrow-minded worshipper of uniformity; the small-soured reactionary who cries for "more spelling and arithmetic and less life"; the self-sufficient apostle of consolation, who in his worship of what has been fails to see what is and what ought to be; the stupid adherent of a decaying age who makes war upon the fresh vigor that is sprouting from the soil--all these the Modern School aims to replace by life, the true interpreter of education.

A new day is dawning when the school will serve life in all its phases and reverently lift each human child to its appropriate place in a common life of beneficent social efficiency, whose motto will be not uniformity and discipline but freedom, expansion, good will, and joy for each and all.

Sex Education

An educational system which refuses to see in the young budding and sprouting personality independence of mind and wholesomeness of a freely developed body will certainly not admit the necessity of recognizing the phase of sex in the child. Children and adolescent people have their young dreams, their vague forebodings of the sexual urge. The senses open slowly like the petals of a bud, the approaching sex maturity enhances the sensibilities and intensifies the emotions. New vistas, fantastic pictures, colorful adventures follow one another in swift procession before the sex-awakened child. It is conceded by all sex psychologists that adolescence is the most sensitive and susceptible period for unusual fanciful and poetic impressions. The radiance of youth--alas, of so brief duration--is inseparably bound up with the awakening of eroticism. It is the period when ideas and ideals, aims and motives, begin to fashion themselves in the human breast; that which is ugly and mean in life still remains covered with a fantastic veil, because the age which marks the change from child to youth is indeed the most exquisitely poetic and magical phase in all human existence.

Puritans and moralists leave nothing undone to mar and besmirch this magic time. The child may not know his own personality, much less be conscious of its sex force. Puritans build a high wall around this great human fact; not a ray of light is permitted to penetrate through the conspiracy of silence. To keep the child in all matters of sex in dense ignorance is considered by educators as a sort of moral duty. Sexual manifestations are treated as if they were tendencies to crime, yet puritans and moralists more than anyone else know from personal experience that sex is a tremendous factor. Nevertheless, they continue to banish everything that might relieve the harassed mind and soul of the child, that might free him from fear and anxiety.

The same educators also know the evil and sinister results of ignorance in sex matters. Yet, they have neither understanding nor humanity enough to break down the wall which puritanism has built around sex. They are like parents who, having been maltreated in their childhood, now ill-treat and torture their children to avenge themselves upon their own childhood. In their youth the parents and educators had it dinned into their ears that sex is low, unclean, and loathsome. Therefore, they straightway proceed to din the same things into their children.

It certainly requires independent judgment and great courage to free oneself from such impressions. The two-legged animals called parents lack both. Hence, they make their children pay for the outrage perpetrated upon them by their parents--which only goes to prove that it takes centuries of enlightenment to undo the harm wrought by traditions and habits. According to these traditions, "innocence" has become synonymous with "ignorance"; ignorance is indeed considered the highest virtue, and represents the "triumph?' of puritanism. But in reality, these traditions represent the crimes of puritanism, and have resulted in irreparable internal and external suffering to the child and youth.

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. Whenever the dull moral demand conflicts with the sexual urge, the latter invariably conquers. But how? In secrecy, in lying and cheating, in fear and nerve-racking anxiety. Verily, not in the sexual tendency lies filth, but in the minds and hearts of the Pharisees: they pollute even the innocent, delicate manifestations in the life of the child. One often observes groups of children together, whispering, telling one another the legend of the stork. They have overheard something, they know it is a terrible thing, prohibited on pain of punishment to talk about in the open, and the moment the little ones spy one of their elders they fly apart like criminals caught in the act. How shamed they would feel if their conversation were overheard and how terrible it would be to be classed among the bad and the wicked.

These are the children who eventually are driven into the gutter because their parents and teachers consider every intelligent discussion of sex as utterly impossible and immoral. These little ones must seek for their enlightenment in other places, and though their store of natural science is only somewhat true, yet it is really wholesomer than the sham virtue of the grown-ups who stamp the natural sex symptoms in the child as a crime and a vice.

In their studies the young often come upon the glorification of love. They learn that love is the very foundation of religion, of duty, of virtue and other such wonderful things. On the other hand, love is made to appear as a loathsome caricature because of the element of sex. The rearing, then, of both sexes in truth and simplicity would help much to ameliorate this confusion. If in childhood both man and woman were taught a beautiful comradeship, it would neutralize the oversexed condition of both and would help woman's emancipation much more than all the laws upon the statute books and her right to vote.

Most moralists and many pedagogues still adhere to the antiquated notion that man and woman belong to two different species, moving in opposite directions, and hence, must be kept apart. Love, which should be the impetus for the harmonious blending of two beings, today drives the two apart as a result of the moral flagellation of the young into an overwrought, starved, unhealthy sexual embrace. This kind of satisfaction invariably leaves behind a bad taste and "bad conscience."

The advocates of puritanism, of morality, of the present system of education, only succeed in making life smaller, meaner, and more contemptible--and what fine personalities can tolerate such an outrage? It is therefore a human proposition to exterminate the system and all those who are engaged in so-called education. The best education of the child is to leave it alone and bring to it understanding and sympathy.


* Editor's Note: George Eliot lived for many years with George Henry Lewes, and was ostracized for this relationship.

Anarchy Defended by Anarchists(1896)

John Most and Emma Goldman

From Metropolitan Magazine, vol. IV, No. 3; October 1896.

To most Americans Anarchy is an evil-sounding word -- another name for wickedness, perversity, and chaos. Anarchists are looked upon as a herd of uncombed, unwashed, and vile ruffians, bent on killing the rich and dividng their capital. Anarchy, however, to its followers actually signifies a social theory which regards the union of order with the absense of all government of man by man; in short, it means perfect individual liberty.

If the meaning of Anarchy has so far been interpreted as a state of the greatest disorder, it is because people have been taught that their affairs are regulated, that they are ruled wisely, and that authority is a necessity.

In by-gone centuries any person who asserted that mankind could get along without the aid of worldly and spiritual authority was considered a madman, and was either placed in a lunatic asylum or burned at the stake; whereas to-day hundreds of thousands of men and women are infidels who scorn the idea of a supernatural Being.

The freethinkers of to-day, for instance, still believe in the necessity of the State, which protects society; they do not desire to know the history of our barbarian institutions. They do not understand that government did not and cannot exist without oppression; that every government has committed dark deeds and great crimes against society. The development of government has been in the order, despotism, monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy; but it has always been a tyranny.

It cannot be denied that there are a large number of wise and well-meaning people who are anxious to better the present conditions, but they have not sufficiently emancipated themselves from the prejudices and superstitions of the dark ages to understand the true inwardness of the institution called government.

"How can we get along without government?" ask these people. "If our government is bad let us try to have a good one, but we must have government by all means!"

The trouble is that there is no such thing as good government, because its very existence is based upon the submission of one class to the dictatorship of another. "But men must be governed," some remark; "they must be guided by laws." Well, if men are children who must be led, who then is so perfect, so wise, so faultless as to be able to govern and guide his fellows.

We assert that men can and should govern themselves individually. If men are still immature, rulers are the same. Should one man, or a small number of men, lead all the blind millions who compose a nation?

"But we must have some authority, at least," said an American friend to us. Certianly we must, and we have it, too; it is the inevitable power of natural laws, which manifests itself in the physical and social world. We may or may not understand these laws, but we must obey them as they are a part of our existence; we are the absolute slaves of these laws, but in such slavery there is no humiliation. Slavery as it exists to-day means an external master, a lawmaker outside of those he controls; while the natural laws are not outside of us -- they are in us; we live, we breathe, we think, we move only through these laws; they are therefore not our enemies but our benefactors.

Are the laws made by man, the laws on our statute books, in conformity with the laws of Nature? No one, we think, can have the temerity to assert that they are.

It is because the laws prescribed to us by men are not in conformity with the laws of Nature that mankind suffers from so much ill. It is absurd to talk of human happiness so long as men are not free.

We do not wonder that some people are so bitterly opposed to Anarchy and its exponents, because it demands changes so radical of existing notions, while the latter ofend rather than conciliate by the zealousness of their propaganda.

Patience and resignation are preached to the poor, promising them a reward in the hereafter. What matters it to the wretched outcast who has no place to call his own, who is craving for a piece of bread, that the doors of Heaven are wider open for him than for the rich? In the face of the great misery of the masses such promises seem bitter irony.

I have met very few intelligent women and men who honestly and conscientiously could defend existing governments; they even agreed with me on many points, but they were lacking in moral courage, when it came to the point, to step to the front and declare themselves openly in sympathy with anarchistic principles.

We who have chosen the path laid down for us by our convictions oppose the organization called the State, on principle, claiming the equal right of all to work and enjoy life.

When once free from the restrictions of extraneous authority, men will enter into free relations; spontaneous organizations will spring up in all parts of the world, and every one will contribute to his and the common welfare as much labor as he or she is capable of, and consume according to their needs. All modern technical inventions and discoveries will be employed to make work easy and pleasant, and science, culture, and art will be freely used to perfect and elevate the human race, while woman will be coequal with man.

"This is all well said," replies some one, "but people are not angels, men are selfish."

What about? Selfishness is not a crime; it only becomes a crime when conditions are such as to give an individual the opportunity to satisfy his selfishness to the detriment of others. In an anarchistic society everyone will seek to satisfy his ego; but as Mother Nature has so arranged things that only those survive who have the aid of their neighbors, man, in order to satisfy his ego, will extend his aid to those who will aid him, and then selfishness will no more be a curse but a blessing.

A dagger in one hand, a torch in the other, and all his pockets brimful with dynamite bombs -- that is the picture of the Anarchist such as it has been drawn by his enemies. They look at him simply as a mixture of a fool and a knave, whose sole purpose is a universal topsy-turvy, and whose only means to that purpose is to slay any one and every one who differs from him. The picture is an ugly caricature, but its general acceptance is not to be wondered at, considering how persistently the idea has been drummed into the mind of the public. However, we believe Anarchy -- which is freedom of each individual from harmful constraint by others, whether these others be individuals or an organized government -- cannot be brought about without violence, and this violence is the same which won at Thermopylae and Marathon.

The popular demand for freedom is stronger and clearer than it has ever been before, and the conditions for reaching the goal are more favorable. It is evident that through the whole course of history runs an evolution before which slavery of any kind, compulsion under any form, must break down, and from which freedom, full and unlimited freedom, for all and from all must come.

From this it follows that Anarchism cannot be a retrogade movement, as has been insinuated, for the Anarchists march in the van and not in the rear of the army of freedom.

We consider it absolutely necessary that the mass of the people should never for a moment forget the gigantic contest that must come before their ideas can be realized, and therefore they use every means at their disposal -- the speech, the press, the deed -- to hasten the revolutionary development.

The weal of mankind, as the future will and must make plain, depends upon communism. The system of communism logically excludes any and every relation between master and servant, and means really Anarchism, and the way to this goal leads through a social revolution.

As for the violence which people take as the charachteristic mark of the Anarchist, it cannot and it shall not be denied that most Anarchists feel convinced that "violence" is not any more reprehensible toward carrying out their designs than it is when used by an oppressed people to obtain freedom. The uprising of the oppressed has always been condemned by tyrants: Persia was astounded at Greece, Rome at the Caudine Forks, and England at Bunker Hill. Can Anarchy expect less, or demand victories without striving for them?

What I Believe(1908)

Emma Goldman

From: New York World, July 19, 1908.

"What I believe" has many times been the target of hack writers. Such blood-curdling and incoherent stories have been circulated about me, it is no wonder that the average human being has palpitation of the heart at the very mention of the name Emma Goldman. It is too bad that we no longer live in the times when witches were burned at the stake or tortured to drive the evil spirit out of them. For, indeed, Emma Goldman is a witch! True, she does not eat little children, but she does many worse things. She manufactures bombs and gambles in crowned heads. B-r-r-r!

Such is the impression the public has of myself and my beliefs. It is therefore very much to the credit of The World that it gives its readers at least an opportunity to learn what my beliefs really are.

The student of the history of progressive thought is well aware that every idea in its early stages has been misrepresented, and the adherents of such ideas have been maligned and persecuted. One need not go back two thousand years to the time when those who believed in the gospel of Jesus were thrown into the arena or hunted into dungeons to realize how little great beliefs or earnest believers are understood. 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, then, from time immemorial, the New has met with opposition and condemnation, why should my beliefs be exempt from a crown of thorns?

"What I believe" is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect. While it may be true that Herbert Spencer's formulation of liberty is the most important on the subject, as a political basis of society, yet life is something more than formulas. In the battle for freedom, as Ibsen has so well pointed out, it is the struggle for, not so much the attainment of, liberty, that develops all that is strongest, sturdiest and finest in human character.

Anarchism is not only a process, however, that marches on with "sombre steps," coloring all that is positive and constructive in organic development. It is a conspicuous protest of the most militant type. It is so absolutely uncompromising, insisting and permeating a force as to overcome the most stubborn assault and to withstand the criticism of those who really constitute the last trumpets of a decaying age.

Anarchists are by no means passive spectators in the theatre of social development; on the contrary, they have some very positive notions as regards aims and methods.

That I may make myself as clear as possible without using too much space, permit me to adopt the topical mode of treatment of "What I Believe":


"Property" means dominion over things and the denial to others of the use of those things. So long as production was not equal to the normal demand, institutional property may have had some raison d'être. One has only to consult economics, however, to know that the productivity of labor within the last few decades has increased so tremendously as to exceed normal demand a hundred-fold, and to make property not only a hindrance to human well-being, but an obstacle, a deadly barrier, to all progress. It is the private dominion over things that condemns millions of people to be mere nonentities, living corpses without originality or power of initiative, human machines of flesh and blood, who pile up mountains of wealth for others and pay for it with a gray, dull and wretched existence for themselves. I believe that there can be no real wealth, social wealth, so long as it rests on human lives --- young lives, old lives and lives in the making.

It is conceded by all radical thinkers that the fundamental cause of this terrible state of affairs is (I) that man must sell his labor; (2) that his inclination and judgment are subordinated to the will of a master.

Anarchism is the only philosophy that can and will do away with this humiliating and degrading situation. It differs from all other theories inasmuch as it points out that man's development, his physical well-being, his latent qualities and innate disposition alone must determine the character and conditions of his work. Similarly will one's physical and mental appreciations and his soul cravings decide how much he shall consume. To make this a reality will, I believe, be possible only in a society based on voluntary co-operation of productive groups, communities and societies loosely federated together, eventually developing into a free communism, actuated by a solidarity of interests. There can be no freedom in the large sense of the word, no harmonious development, so long as mercenary and commercial considerations play an important part in the determination of personal conduct.


I believe government, organized authority, or the State is necessary only to maintain or protect property and monopoly. It has proven efficient in that function only. As a promoter of individual liberty, human well-being and social harmony, which alone constitute real order, government stands condemned by all the great men of the world.

I therefore believe, with my fellow-Anarchists, that the statutory regulations, legislative enactments, constitutional provisions, are invasive. They never yet induced man to do anything he could and would not do by virtue of his intellect or temperament, nor prevented anything that man was impelled to do by the same dictates. Millet's pictorial description of "The Man with the Hoe," Meunier's masterpieces of the miners that have aided in lifting labor from its degrading position, Gorki's descriptions of the underworld, Ibsen's psychological analysis of human life, could never have been induced by government any more than the spirit which impels a man to save a drowning child or a crippled woman from a burning building has ever been called into operation by statutory regulations or the policeman's club. I believe --- indeed, I know --- that whatever is fine and beautiful in the human expresses and asserts itself in spite of government, and not because of it.

The Anarchists are therefore justified in assuming that Anarchism --- the absence of government --- will insure the widest and greatest scope for unhampered human development, the cornerstone of true social progress and harmony.

As to the stereotyped argument that government acts as a check on crime and vice, even the makers of law no longer believe it. This country spends millions of dollars for the maintenance of her "criminals" behind prison bars, yet crime is on the increase. Surely this state of affairs is not owing to an insufficiency of laws! Ninety per cent of all crimes are property crimes, which have their root in our economic iniquities. So long as these latter continue to exist we might convert every lamp-post into a gibbet without having the least effect on the crime in our midst. Crimes resulting from heredity can certainly never be cured by law. Surely we are learning even to-day that such crimes can effectively be treated only by the best modern medical methods at our command, and, above all, by the spirit of a deeper sense of fellowship, kindness and understanding.


I should not treat of this subject separately, since it belongs to the paraphernalia of government, if it were not for the fact that those who are most vigorously opposed to my beliefs on the ground that the latter stand for force are the advocates of militarism.

The fact is that Anarchists are the only true advocates of peace, the only people who call a halt to the growing tendency of militarism, which is fast making of this erstwhile free country an imperialistic and despotic power.

The military spirit is the most merciless, heartless and brutal in existence. It fosters an institution for which there is not even a pretense of justification. The soldier, to quote Tolstoi, is a professional man-killer. He does not kill for the love of it, like a savage, or in a passion, like a homicide. He is a cold-blooded, mechanical, obedient tool of his military superiors. He is ready to cut throats or scuttle a ship at the command of his ranking officer, without knowing or, perhaps, caring how, why or wherefore. I am supported in this contention by no less a military light than Gen. Funston. I quote from the latter's communication to the New York Evening Post of June 30, dealing with the case of Private William Buwalda, which caused such a stir all through the Northwest. "The first duty of an officer or enlisted man," says our noble warrior, "is unquestioning obedience and loyalty to the government to which he has sworn allegiance; it makes no difference whether he approves of that government or not."

How can we harmonize the principle of "unquestioning obedience" with the principle of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? The deadly power of militarism has never before been so effectually demonstrated in this country as in the recent condemnation by court-martial of William Buwalda, of San Francisco, Company A, Engineers, to five years in military prison. Here was a man who had a record of fifteen years of continuous service. "His character and conduct were unimpeachable," we are told by Gen. Funston, who, in consideration of it, reduced Buwalda's sentence to three years. Yet the man is thrown suddenly out of the army, dishonored, robbed of his chances of a pension and sent to prison. What was his crime? Just listen, ye free-born Americans! William Buwalda attended a public meeting, and after the lecture he shook hands with the speaker. Gen. Funston, in his letter to the Post, to which I have already referred above, asserts that Buwalda's action was a "great military offense, infinitely worse than desertion." In another public statement, which the General made in Portland, Ore., he said that "Buwalda's was a serious crime, equal to treason."

It is quite true that the meeting had been arranged by Anarchists. Had the Socialists issued the call, Gen. Funston informs us, there would have been no objection to Buwalda's presence. Indeed, the General says, "I would not have the slightest hesitancy about attending a Socialist meeting myself." But to attend an Anarchist meeting with Emma Goldman as speaker --- could there be anything more "treasonable"?

For this horrible crime a man, a free-born American citizen, who has given this country the best fifteen years of his life, and whose character and conduct during that time were "unimpeachable," is now languishing in a prison, dishonored, disgraced and robbed of a livelihood.

Can there be anything more destructive of the true genius of liberty than the spirit that made Buwalda's sentence possible --- the spirit of unquestioning obedience? Is it for this that the American people have in the last few years sacrificed four hundred million dollars and their hearts' blood?

I believe that militarism --- a standing army and navy in any country --- is indicative of the decay of liberty and of the destruction of all that is best and finest in our nation. The steadily growing clamor for more battleships and an increased army on the ground that these guarantee us peace is as absurd as the argument that the peaceful man is he who goes well armed.

The same lack of consistency is displayed by those peace pretenders who oppose Anarchism because it supposedly teaches violence, and who would yet be delighted over the possibility of the American nation soon being able to hurl dynamite bombs upon defenseless enemies from flying machines.

I believe that militarism will cease when the liberty-loving spirits of the world say to their masters: "Go and do your own killing. We have sacrificed ourselves and our loved ones long enough fighting your battles. In return you have made parasites and criminals of us in times of peace and brutalized us in times of war. You have separated us from our brothers and have made of the world a human slaughterhouse. No, we will not do your killing or fight for the country that you have stolen from us."

Oh, I believe with all my heart that human brotherhood and solidarity will clear the horizon from the terrible red streak of war and destruction.


The Buwalda case is only one phase of the larger question of free speech, free press and the right of free assembly.

Many good people imagine that the principles of free speech or press can be exercised properly and with safety within the limits of constitutional guarantees. That is the only excuse, it seems to me, for the terrible apathy and indifference to the onslaught upon free speech and press that we have witnessed in this county within the last few months.

I believe that free speech and press mean that I may say and write what I please. This right, when regulated by constitutional provisions, legislative enactments, almighty decisions of the Postmaster General or the policeman's club, becomes a farce. I am well aware that I will be warned of consequences if we remove the chains from speech and press. I believe, however, that the cure of consequences resulting from the unlimited exercise of expression is to allow more expression.

Mental shackles have never yet stemmed the tide of progress, whereas premature social explosions have only too often been brought about through a wave of repression.

Will our governors never learn that countries like England, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, with the largest freedom of expression, have been freest from "consequences"? Whereas Russia, Spain, Italy, France and, alas! even America, have raised these "consequences" to the most pressing political factor. Ours is supposed to be a country ruled by the majority, yet every policeman who is not vested with power by the majority can break up a meeting, drag the lecturer off the platform and club the audience out of the hall in true Russian fashion. The Postmaster General, who is not an elective officer, has the power to suppress publications and confiscate mail. From his decision there is no more appeal than from that of the Russian Czar. Truly, I believe we need a new Declaration of Independence. Is there no modern Jefferson or Adams?


At the recent convention of the political remnants of a once revolutionary idea it was voted that religion and vote getting have nothing to do with each other. Why should they? "So long as man is willing to delegate to the devil the care of his soul, he might, with the same consistency, delegate to the politician the care of his rights. That religion is a private affair has long been settled by the Bis-Marxian Socialists of Germany. Our American Marxians, poor of blood and originality, must needs go to Germany for their wisdom. That wisdom has served as a capital whip to lash the several millions of people into the well-disciplined army of Socialism. It might do the same here. For goodness' sake, let's not offend respectability, let's not hurt the religious feelings of the people.

Religion is a superstition that originated in man's mental inability to solve natural phenomena. The Church is an organized institution that has always been a stumbling block to progress.

Organized churchism has stripped religion of its naïveté and primitiveness. It has turned religion into a nightmare that oppresses the human soul and holds the mind in bondage. "The Dominion of Darkness, as the last true Christian, Leo Tolstoi, calls the Church, has been a foe of human development and free thought, and as such it has no place in the life of a truly free people.


I believe these are probably the most tabooed subjects in this country. It is almost impossible to talk about them without scandalizing the cherished propriety of a lot of good folk. No wonder so much ignorance prevails relative to these questions. Nothing short of an open, frank, and intelligent discussion will purify the air from the hysterical, sentimental rubbish that is shrouding these vital subjects, vital to individual as well as social well-being.

Marriage and love are not synonymous; on the contrary, they are often antagonistic to each other. I am aware of the fact that some marriages are actuated by love, but the narrow, material confines of marriage, as it is, speedily crush the tender flower of affection.

Marriage is an institution which furnishes the State and Church with a tremendous revenue and the means of prying into that phase of life which refined people have long considered their own, their very own most sacred affair. Love is that most powerful factor of human relationship which from time immemorial has defied all man-made laws and broken through the iron bars of conventions in Church and morality. Marriage is often an economic arrangement purely, furnishing the woman with a life-long life insurance policy and the man with a perpetuator of his kind or a pretty toy. That is, marriage, or the training thereto, prepares the woman for the life of a parasite, a dependent, helpless servant, while it furnishes the man the right of a chattel mortgage over a human life.

How can such a condition of affairs have anything in common with love? --- with the element that would forego all the wealth of money and power and live in its own world of untrammeled human expression? But this is not the age of romanticism, of Romeo and Juliet, Faust and Marguerite, of moonlight ecstasies, of flowers and songs. Ours is a practical age. Our first consideration is an income. So much the worse for us if we have reached the era when the soul's highest flights are to be checked. No race can develop without the love element.

But if two people are to worship at the shrine of love, what is to become of the golden calf, marriage? "It is the only security for the woman, for the child, the family, the State." But it is no security to love; and without love no true home can or does exist. Without love no child should be born; without love no true woman can be related to a man. The fear that love is not sufficient material safety for the child is out of date. I believe when woman signs her own emancipation, her first declaration of independence will consist in admiring and loving a man for the qualities of his heart and mind and not for the quantities in his pocket. The second declaration will be that she has the right to follow that love without let or hindrance from the outside world. The third and most important declaration will be the absolute right to free motherhood.

In such a mother and an equally free father rests the safety of the child. They have the strength, the sturdiness, the harmony to create an atmosphere wherein alone the human plant can grow into an exquisite flower.


And now I have come to that point in my beliefs about which the greatest misunderstanding prevails in the minds of the American public. "Well, come, now, don't you propagate violence, the killing of crowned heads and Presidents?" Who says that I do? Have you heard me, has any one heard me? Has anyone seen it printed in our literature? No, but the papers say so, everybody says so; consequently it must be so. Oh, for the accuracy and logic of the dear public!

I believe that Anarchism is the only philosophy of peace, the only theory of the social relationship that values human life above everything else. I know that some Anarchists have committed acts of violence, but it is the terrible economic inequality and great political injustice that prompt such acts, not Anarchism. Every institution to-day rests on violence; our very atmosphere is saturated with it. So long as such a state exists we might as well strive to stop the rush of Niagara as hope to do away with violence. I have already stated that countries with some measure of freedom of expression have had few or no acts of violence. What is the moral? Simply this: No act committed by an Anarchist has been for personal gain, aggrandizement or profit, but rather a conscious protest against some repressive, arbitrary, tyrannical measure from above.

President Carnot, of France, was killed by Caserio in response to Carnot's refusal to commute the death sentence of Vaillant, for whose life the entire literary, scientific and humanitarian world of France had pleaded.

Bresci went to Italy on his own money, earned in the silk weaving mills of Paterson, to call King Humbert to the bar of justice for his order to shoot defenseless women and children during a bread riot. Angelino executed Prime Minister Canovas for the latter's resurrection of the Spanish inquisition at Montjuich Prison. Alexander Berkman attempted the life of Henry C. Frick during the Homestead strike only because of his intense sympathy for the eleven strikers killed by Pinkertons and for the widows and orphans evicted by Frick from their wretched little homes that were owned by Mr. Carnegie.

Every one of these men not only made his reasons known to the world in spoken or written statements, showing the cause that led to his act, proving that the unbearable economic and political pressure, the suffering and despair of their fellow-men, women and children prompted the acts, and not the philosophy of Anarchism. They came openly, frankly and ready to stand the consequences, ready to give their own lives.

In diagnosing the true nature of our social disease I cannot condemn those who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from a wide-spread malady.

I do not believe that these acts can, or ever have been intended to, bring about the social reconstruction. That can only be done, first, by a broad and wide education as to man's place in society and his proper relation to his fellows; and, second, through example. By example I mean the actual living of a truth once recognized, not the mere theorizing of its life element. Lastly, and the most powerful weapon, is the conscious, intelligent, organized, economic protest of the masses through direct action and the general strike.

The general contention that Anarchists are opposed to organization, and hence stand for chaos, is absolutely groundless. True, we do not believe in the compulsory, arbitrary side of organization that would compel people of antagonistic tastes and interests into a body and hold them there by coercion. Organization as the result of natural blending of common interests, brought about through voluntary adhesion, Anarchists do not only not oppose, but believe in as the only possible basis of social life.

It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color and form --- the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously will the organized activity of free human beings endowed with the spirit of solidarity result in the perfection of social harmony --- which is Anarchism. Indeed, only Anarchism makes non-authoritarian organization a reality, since it abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes.

A New Declaration of Independence(1909)

Emma Goldman

[Published in Mother Earth, Vol. IV, no. 5, July 1909.]

When, in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of man, when they serve merely to enslave, rob, and oppress mankind, the people have the eternal right to rebel against, and overthrow, these institutions.

The mere fact that these forces--inimical to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--are legalized by statute laws, sanctified by divine rights, and enforced by political power, in no way justifies their continued existence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings, irrespective of race, color, or sex, are born with the equal right to share at the table of life; that to secure this right, there must be established among men economic, social, and political freedom; we hold further that government exists but to maintain special privilege and property rights; that it coerces man into submission and therefore robs him of dignity, self-respect, and life.

The history of the American kings of capital and authority is the history of repeated crimes, injustice, oppression, outrage, and abuse, all aiming at the suppression of individual liberties and the exploitation of the people. A vast country, rich enough to supply all her children with all possible comforts, and insure well-being to all, is in the hands of a few, while the nameless millions are at the mercy of ruthless wealth gatherers, unscrupulous lawmakers, and corrupt politicians. Sturdy sons of America are forced to tramp the country in a fruitless search for bread, and many of her daughters are driven into the street, while thousands of tender children are daily sacrificed on the altar of Mammon. The reign of these kings is holding mankind in slavery, perpetuating poverty and disease, maintaining crime and corruption; it is fettering the spirit of liberty, throttling the voice of justice, and degrading and oppressing humanity. It is engaged in continual war and slaughter, devastating the country and destroying the best and finest qualities of man; it nurtures superstition and ignorance, sows prejudice and strife, and turns the human family into a camp of Ishmaelites.

We, therefore, the liberty-loving men and women, realizing the great injustice and brutality of this state of affairs, earnestly and boldly do hereby declare, That each and every individual is and ought to be free to own himself and to enjoy the full fruit of his labor; that man is absolved from all allegiance to the kings of authority and capital; that he has, by the very fact of his being, free access to the land and all means of production, and entire liberty of disposing of the fruits of his efforts; that each and every individual has the unquestionable and unabridgeable right of free and voluntary association with other equally sovereign individuals for economic, political, social, and all other purposes, and that to achieve this end man must emancipate himself from the sacredness of property, the respect for man-made law, the fear of the Church, the cowardice of public opinion, the stupid arrogance of national, racial, religious, and sex superiority, and from the narrow puritanical conception of human life. And for the support of this Declaration, and with a firm reliance on the harmonious blending of man's social and individual tendencies, the lovers of liberty joyfully consecrate their uncompromising devotion, their energy and intelligence, their solidarity and their lives.

This `Declaration' was written at the request of a certain newspaper, which subsequently refused to publish it, though the article was already in composition.

Anarchism: what it really stands for(1911)

Emma Goldman


Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood,

Thou art the grisly terror of our age.

"Wreck of all order," cry the multitude,

"Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage."

O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven

The truth that lies behind a word to find,

To them the word's right meaning was not given.

They shall continue blind among the blind.

But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure,

Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.

I give thee to the future! Thine secure

When each at least unto himself shall waken.

Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill?

I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see!

I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will

Not rule, and also ruled I will not be


THE history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn. In its tenacious hold on tradition, the Old has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and cruelest means to stay the advent of the New, in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition, difficulties, and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea. The rack, the thumbscrew, and the knout are still with us; so are the convict's garb and the social wrath, all conspiring against the spirit that is serenely marching on.

Anarchism could not hope to escape the fate of all other ideas of innovation. Indeed, as the most revolutionary and uncompromising innovator, Anarchism must needs meet with the combined ignorance and venom of the world it aims to reconstruct.

To deal even remotely with all that is being said and done against Anarchism would necessitate the writing of a whole volume. I shall therefore meet only two of the principal objections. In so doing, I shall attempt to elucidate what Anarchism really stands for.

The strange phenomenon of the opposition to Anarchism is that it brings to light the relation between so-called intelligence and ignorance. And yet this is not so very strange when we consider the relativity of all things. The ignorant mass has in its favor that it makes no pretense of knowledge or tolerance. Acting, as it always does, by mere impulse, its reasons are like those of a child. "Why?" "Because." Yet the opposition of the uneducated to Anarchism deserves the same consideration as that of the intelligent man.

What, then, are the objections? First, Anarchism is impractical, though a beautiful ideal. Second, Anarchism stands for violence and destruction, hence it must be repudiated as vile and dangerous. Both the intelligent man and the ignorant mass judge not from a thorough knowledge of the subject, but either from hearsay or false interpretation.

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. The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong or foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well as sustain, new life. In the light of this conception, Anarchism is indeed practical. More than any other idea, it is helping to do away with the wrong and foolish; more than any other idea, it is building and sustaining new life.

The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about Anarchism. Not a thing too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents. Therefore Anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child,--a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence.

Destruction and violence! How is the ordinary man to know that the most violent element in society is ignorance; that its power of destruction is the very thing Anarchism is combating? Nor is he aware that Anarchism, whose roots, as it were, are part of nature's forces, destroys, not healthful tissue, but parasitic growths that feed on the life's essence of society. It is merely clearing the soil from weeds and sagebrush, that it may eventually bear healthy fruit.

Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think. The widespread mental indolence, so prevalent in society, proves this to be only too true. Rather than to go to the bottom of any given idea, to examine into its origin and meaning, most people will either condemn it altogether, or rely on some superficial or prejudicial definition of non-essentials.

Anarchism urges man to think, to investigate, to analyze every proposition; but that the brain capacity of the average reader be not taxed too much, I also shall begin with a definition, and then elaborate on the latter.

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.

The new social order rests, of course, on the materialistic basis of life; but while all Anarchists agree that the main evil today is an economic one, they maintain that the solution of that evil can be brought about only through the consideration of every phase of life,--individual, as well as the collective; the internal, as well as the external phases.

A thorough perusal of the history of human development will disclose two elements in bitter conflict with each other; elements that are only now beginning to be understood, not as foreign to each other, but as closely related and truly harmonious, if only placed in proper environment: the individual and social instincts. The individual and society have waged a relentless and bloody battle for ages, each striving for supremacy, because each was blind to the value and importance of the other. The individual and social instincts,--the one a most potent factor for individual endeavor, for growth, aspiration, self-realization; the other an equally potent factor for mutual helpfulness and social well-being.

The explanation of the storm raging within the individual, and between him and his surroundings, is not far to seek. The primitive man, unable to understand his being, much less the unity of all life, felt himself absolutely dependent on blind, hidden forces ever ready to mock and taunt him. Out of that attitude grew the religious concepts of man as a mere speck of dust dependent on superior powers on high, who can only be appeased by complete surrender. All the early sagas rest on that idea, which continues to be the Leitmotiv of the biblical tales dealing with the relation of man to God, to the State, to society. Again and again the same motif, man is nothing, the powers are everything. Thus Jehovah would only endure man on condition of complete surrender. Man can have all the glories of the earth, but he must not become conscious of himself. The State, society, and moral laws all sing the same refrain: Man can have all the glories of the earth, but he must not become conscious of himself.

Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, 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. There is no conflict between the individual and the social instincts, any more than there is between the heart and the lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life essence, the other the repository of the element that keeps the essence pure and strong. The individual is the heart of society, conserving the essence of social life; society is the lungs which are distributing the element to keep the life essence--that is, the individual--pure and strong.

"The one thing of value in the world," says Emerson, "is the active soul; this every man contains within him. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth and creates." In other words, the individual instinct is the thing of value in the world. It is the true soul that sees and creates the truth alive, out of which is to come a still greater truth, the re-born social soul.

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. To accomplish that unity, Anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts, the individual and society.

Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man's enslavement and all the horrors it entails. Religion! How it dominates man's mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began. Anarchism rouses man to rebellion against this black monster. Break your mental fetters, says Anarchism to man, for not until you think and judge for yourself will you get rid of the dominion of darkness, the greatest obstacle to all progress.

Property, the dominion of man's needs, the denial of the right to satisfy his needs. Time was when property claimed a divine right, when it came to man with the same refrain, even as religion, "Sacrifice! Abnegate! Submit!" The spirit of Anarchism has lifted man from his prostrate position. He now stands erect, with his face toward the light. He has learned to see the insatiable, devouring, devastating nature of property, and he is preparing to strike the monster dead.

"Property is robbery," said the great French Anarchist Proudhon. Yes, but without risk and danger to the robber. Monopolizing the accumulated efforts of man, property has robbed him of his birthright, and has turned him loose a pauper and an outcast. Property has not even the time-worn excuse that man does not create enough to satisfy all needs. The A B C student of economics knows that the productivity of labor within the last few decades far exceeds normal demand. But what are normal demands to an abnormal institution? The only demand that property recognizes is its own gluttonous appetite for greater wealth, because wealth means power; the power to subdue, to crush, to exploit, the power to enslave, to outrage, to degrade. America is particularly boastful of her great power, her enormous national wealth. Poor America, of what avail is all her wealth, if the individuals comprising the nation are wretchedly poor? If they live in squalor, in filth, in crime, with hope and joy gone, a homeless, soilless army of human prey.

It is generally conceded that unless the returns of any business venture exceed the cost, bankruptcy is inevitable. But those engaged in the business of producing wealth have not yet learned even this simple lesson. Every year the cost of production in human life is growing larger (50,000 killed, 100,000 wounded in America last year); the returns to the masses, who help to create wealth, are ever getting smaller. Yet America continues to be blind to the inevitable bankruptcy of our business of production. Nor is this the only crime of the latter. Still more fatal is the crime of turning the producer into a mere particle of a machine, with less will and decision than his master of steel and iron. Man is being robbed not merely of the products of his labor, but of the power of free initiative, of originality, and the interest in, or desire for, the things he is making.

Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting a dull and hideous existence,--too weak to live, too cowardly to die. 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 continue 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.

Anarchism cannot but repudiate such a method of production: its goal is the freest possible expression of all the latent powers of the individual. Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as "one who develops under perfect conditions, who is not wounded, maimed, or in danger." A perfect personality, then, is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose the mode of work, the conditions of work, and the freedom to work. One to whom the making of a table, the building of a house, or the tilling of the soil, is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to the scientist,--the result of inspiration, of intense longing, and deep interest in work as a creative force. That being the ideal of Anarchism, its economic arrangements must consist of voluntary productive and distributive associations, gradually developing into free communism, as the best means of producing with the least waste of human energy. Anarchism, however, also recognizes the right of the individual, or numbers of individuals, to arrange at all times for other forms of work, in harmony with their tastes and desires.

Such free display of human energy being possible only under complete individual and social freedom, Anarchism directs its forces against the third and greatest foe of all social equality; namely, the State, organized authority, or statutory law,--the dominion of human conduct.

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 State enslaved his spirit, dictating every phase of conduct. "All government in essence," says Emerson, "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.

Referring to the American government, the greatest American Anarchist, David Thoreau, said: "Government, what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instance losing its integrity; it has not the vitality and force of a single living man. Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice."

Indeed, the keynote of government is injustice. With the arrogance and self-sufficiency of the King who could do no wrong, governments ordain, judge, condemn, and punish the most insignificant offenses, while maintaining themselves by the greatest of all offenses, the annihilation of individual liberty. Thus Ouida is right when she maintains that "the State only aims at instilling those qualities in its public by which its demands are obeyed, and its exchequer is filled. Its highest attainment is the reduction of mankind to clockwork. In its atmosphere all those finer and more delicate liberties, which require treatment and spacious expansion, inevitably dry up and perish. The State requires a taxpaying machine in which there is no hitch, an exchequer in which there is never a deficit, and a public, monotonous, obedient, colorless, spiritless, moving humbly like a flock of sheep along a straight high road between two walls."

Yet even a flock of sheep would resist the chicanery of the State, if it were not for the corruptive, tyrannical, and oppressive methods it employs to serve its purposes. Therefore Bakunin repudiates the State as synonymous with the surrender of the liberty of the individual or small minorities,--the destruction of social relationship, the curtailment, or complete denial even, of life itself, for its own aggrandizement. The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice.

In fact, there is hardly a modern thinker who does not agree that government, organized authority, or the State, is necessary only to maintain or protect property and monopoly. It has proven efficient in that function only.

Even George Bernard Shaw, who hopes for the miraculous from the State under Fabianism, nevertheless admits that "it is at present a huge machine for robbing and slave-driving of the poor by brute force." This being the case, it is hard to see why the clever prefacer wishes to uphold the State after poverty shall have ceased to exist.

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, and 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 laws of nature."

Unless it be the order of Warsaw after the slaughter of thousands of people, 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 interests 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, prisons,--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 its own creation.

Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, 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 statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime. What does society, as it exists today, know of the process of despair, the poverty, the horrors, the fearful struggle the human soul must pass on its way to crime and degradation. Who that knows this terrible process can fail to see the truth in these words of Peter Kropotkin:

"Those who will hold the balance between the benefits thus attributed to law and punishment and the degrading effect of the latter on humanity; those who will estimate the torrent of depravity poured abroad in human society by the informer, favored by the Judge even, and paid for in clinking cash by governments, under the pretext of aiding to unmask crime; those who will go within prison walls and there see what human beings become when deprived of liberty, when subjected to the care of brutal keepers, to coarse, cruel words, to a thousand stinging, piercing humiliations, will agree with us that the entire apparatus of prison and punishment is an abomination which ought to be brought to an end."

The deterrent influence of law on the lazy man is too absurd to merit consideration. If society were only relieved of the waste and expense of keeping a lazy class, and the equally great expense of the paraphernalia of protection this lazy class requires, the social tables would contain an abundance for all, including even the occasional lazy individual. Besides, it is well to consider that laziness results either from special privileges, or physical and mental abnormalities. Our present insane system of production fosters both, and the most astounding phenomenon is that people should want to work at all now. Anarchism aims to strip labor of its deadening, dulling aspect, of its gloom and compulsion. 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.

To achieve such an arrangement of life, government, with its unjust, arbitrary, repressive measures, must be done away with. At best it has but imposed one single mode of life upon all, without regard to individual and social variations and needs. In destroying government and statutory laws, Anarchism proposes to rescue the self-respect and independence of the individual from all restraint and invasion by authority. Only in freedom can man grow to his full stature. Only in freedom will he learn to think and move, and give the very best in him. Only in freedom will he realize the true force of the social bonds which knit men together, and which are the true foundation of a normal social life.

But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism?

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?

John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?

Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities.

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.

This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.

As to methods. 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 life, constantly creating new conditions. The methods of Anarchism therefore do not comprise an iron-clad program to be carried out under all circumstances. Methods must grow out of the economic needs of each place and clime, and of the intellectual and temperamental requirements of the individual. The serene, calm character of a Tolstoy will wish different methods for social reconstruction than the intense, overflowing personality of a Michael Bakunin or a Peter Kropotkin. Equally so it must be apparent that the economic and political needs of Russia will dictate more drastic measures than would England or America. Anarchism does not stand for military drill and uniformity; it does, however, stand for the spirit of revolt, in whatever form, against everything that hinders human growth. All Anarchists agree in that, as they also agree in their opposition to the political machinery as a means of bringing about the great social change.

"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 to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority." A close examination of the machinery of politics and its achievements will bear out the logic of Thoreau.

What does the history of parliamentarism show? Nothing but failure and defeat, not even a single reform to ameliorate the economic and social stress of the people. Laws have been passed and enactments made for the improvement and protection of labor. Thus it was proven only last year that Illinois, with the most rigid laws for mine protection, had the greatest mine disasters. In States where child labor laws prevail, child exploitation is at its highest, and though with us the workers enjoy full political opportunities, capitalism has reached the most brazen zenith.

Even were the workers able to have their own representatives, for which our good Socialist politicians are clamoring, what chances are there for their honesty and good faith? One has but to bear in mind the process of politics to realize that its path of good intentions is full of pitfalls: wire-pulling, intriguing, flattering, lying, cheating; in fact, chicanery of every description, whereby the political aspirant can achieve success. Added to that is a complete demoralization of character and conviction, until nothing is left that would make one hope for anything from such a human derelict. Time and time again the people were foolish enough to trust, believe, and support with their last farthing aspiring politicians, only to find themselves betrayed and cheated.

It may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill. Perhaps not; but such men would be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in behalf of labor, as indeed has been shown in numerous instances. The State is the economic master 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 one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.

The political superstition is still holding sway over the hearts and minds of the masses, but the true lovers of liberty will have no more to do with it. Instead, they believe with Stirner that man has as much liberty as he is willing to take. Anarchism therefore stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral. But defiance and resistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of man. Everything illegal necessitates integrity, self-reliance, and courage. In short, it calls for free, independent spirits, for "men who are men, and who have a bone in their backs which you cannot pass your hand through."

Universal suffrage itself owes its existence to direct action. If not for the spirit of rebellion, of the defiance on the part of the American revolutionary fathers, their posterity would still wear the King's coat. If not for the direct action of a John Brown and his comrades, America would still trade in the flesh of the black man. True, the trade in white flesh is still going on; but that, too, will have to be abolished by direct action. Trade-unionism, the economic arena of the modern gladiator, owes its existence to direct action. It is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade-union movement, and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators. Had they sought to assert their cause through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade-unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in England (witness the growing rebellion of English labor unions), direct, revolutionary, economic action has become so strong a force in the battle for industrial liberty as to make the world realize the tremendous importance of labor's power. The General Strike, the supreme expression of the economic consciousness of the workers, was ridiculed in America but a short time ago. Today every great strike, in order to win, must realize the importance of the solidaric general protest.

Direct action, having proven effective along economic lines, is equally potent in the environment of the individual. There a hundred forces encroach upon his being, and only persistent resistance to them will finally set him free. Direct action against the authority in the shop, direct action against the authority of the law, direct action against the invasive, meddlesome authority of our moral code, is the logical, consistent method of Anarchism.

Will it not lead to a revolution? Indeed, it will. 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.

Anarchism, the great leaven of thought, is today permeating every phase of human endeavor. Science, art, literature, the drama, the effort for economic betterment, in fact every individual and social opposition to the existing disorder of things, is illumined by the spiritual light of Anarchism. It is the philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual. It is the theory of social harmony. It is the great, surging, living truth that is reconstructing the world, and that will usher in the Dawn.

The modern drama:

A powerful disseminator of radical thought(1911)

Emma Goldman

The text is from Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 247-277.

SO LONG as discontent and unrest make themselves but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such manifestations. But when the dumb unrest grows into conscious expression and becomes almost universal, it necessarily affects all phases of human thought and action, and seeks its individual and social expression in the gradual transvaluation of existing values.

An adequate appreciation of the tremendous spread of the modern, conscious social unrest cannot be gained from merely propagandistic literature. Rather must we become conversant with the larger phases of human expression manifest in art, literature, and, above all, the modern drama--the strongest and most far-reaching interpreter of our deep-felt dissatisfaction.

What a tremendous factor for the awakening of conscious discontent are the simple canvasses of a Millet! The figures of his peasants--what terrific indictment against our social wrongs; wrongs that condemn the Man With the Hoe to hopeless drudgery, himself excluded from Nature's bounty.

The vision of a Meunier conceives the growing solidarity and defiance of labor in the group of miners carrying their maimed brother to safety. His genius thus powerfully portrays the interrelation of the seething unrest among those slaving in the bowels of the earth, and the spiritual revolt that seeks artistic expression.

No less important is the factor for rebellious awakening in modern literature--Turgeniev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Andreiev, Gorki, Whitman, Emerson, and scores of others embodying the spirit of universal ferment and the longing for social change.

Still more far-reaching is the modern drama, as the leaven of radical thought and the disseminator of new values.

It might seem an exaggeration to ascribe to the modern drama such an important rôle. But a study of the development of modern ideas in most countries will prove that the drama has succeeded in driving home great social truths, truths generally ignored when presented in other forms. No doubt there are exceptions, as Russia and France.

Russia, with its terrible political pressure, has made people think and has awakened their social sympathies, because of the tremendous contrast which exists between the intellectual life of the people and the despotic regime that is trying to crush that life. Yet while the great dramatic works of Tolstoy, Tchechov, Gorki, and Andreiev closely mirror the life and the struggle, the hopes and aspirations of the Russian people, they did not influence radical thought to the extent the drama has done in other countries.

Who can deny, however, the tremendous influence exerted by The Power of Darkness or Night Lodging. Tolstoy, the real, true Christian, is yet the greatest enemy of organized Christianity. With a master hand he portrays the destructive effects upon the human mind of the power of darkness, the superstitions of the Christian Church.

What other medium could express, with such dramatic force, the responsibility of the Church for crimes committed by its deluded victims; what other medium could, in consequence, rouse the indignation of man's conscience?

Similarly direct and powerful is the indictment contained in Gorki's Night Lodging. The social pariahs, forced into poverty and crime, yet desperately clutch at the last vestiges of hope and aspiration. Lost existences these, blighted and crushed by cruel, unsocial environment.

France, on the other hand, with her continuous struggle for liberty, is indeed the cradle of radical thought; as such she, too, did not need the drama as a means of awakening. And yet the works of Brieux --as Robe Rouge, portraying the terrible corruption of the judiciary--and Mirbeau's Les Affaires sont les Affaires--picturing the destructive influence of wealth on the human soul--have undoubtedly reached wider circles than most of the articles and books which have been written in France on the social question.

In countries like Germany, Scandinavia, England, and even in America--though in a lesser degree--the drama is the vehicle which is really making history, disseminating radical thought in ranks not otherwise to be reached.

Let us take Germany, for instance. For nearly a quarter of a century men of brains, of ideas, and of the greatest integrity, made it their life-work to spread the truth of human brotherhood, of justice, among the oppressed and downtrodden. Socialism, that tremendous revolutionary wave, was to the victims of a merciless and inhumane system like water to the parched lips of the desert traveler. Alas! The cultured people remained absolutely indifferent; to them that revolutionary tide was but the murmur of dissatisfied, discontented men, dangerous, illiterate trouble-makers, whose proper place was behind prison bars.

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 towards 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 beast's, shelterless and ragged, without hope or ambition.

This condition of affairs was particularly pronounced in Germany after the Franco-German war. Full to the bursting point with its victory, Germany thrived on a sentimental, patriotic literature, thereby poisoning the minds of the country's youth by the glory of conquest and bloodshed.

Intellectual Germany had to take refuge in the literature of other countries, in the works of Ibsen, Zola, Dalldet, Maupassant, and especially in the great works of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Turgeniev. But as no country can long maintain a standard of culture without a literature and drama related to its own soil, so Germany gradually began to develop a drama reflecting the life and the struggles of its own people.

Arno Holz, one of the youngest dramatists of that period, startled the Philistines out of their ease and comfort with his Familie Selicke. The play deals with society's refuse, men and women of the alleys, whose only subsistence consists of what they can pick out of the garbage barrels. A gruesome subject, is it not? And yet what other method is there to break through the hard shell of the minds and souls of people who have never known want, and who therefore assume that all is well in the world?

Needless to say, the play aroused tremendous indignation. The truth is bitter, and the people living on the Fifth Avenue of Berlin hated to be confronted with the truth.

Not that Familie Selicke represented anything that had not been written about for years without any seeming result. But the dramatic genius of Holz, together with the powerful interpretation of the play, necessarily made inroads into the widest circles, and forced people to think about the terrible inequalities around them.

Sudermann's Ehre1 and Heimat2 deal with vital subjects. I have already referred to the sentimental patriotism so completely turning the head of the average German as to create a perverted conception of honor. Duelling became an every-day affair, costing innumerable lives. A great cry was raised against the fad by a number of leading writers. But nothing acted as such a clarifier and exposer of that national A disease as the Ehre.

Not that the play merely deals with duelling; it analyzes the real meaning of honor, proving that it is not a fixed, inborn feeling, but that it varies with every people and every epoch, depending particularly on one's economic and social station in life. We realize from this play that the man in the brownstone mansion will necessarily define honor differently from his victims.

The family Heinecke enjoys the charity of the millionaire Mühling, being permitted to occupy a dilapidated shanty on his premises in the absence of their son, Robert. The latter, as Mühling's representative, is making a vast fortune for his employer in India. On his return Robert discovers that his sister had been seduced by young Mühling, whose father graciously offers to straighten matters with a check for 40,000 marks. Robert, outraged and indignant, resents the insult to his family's honor, and is forthwith dismissed from his position for impudence. Robert finally throws this accusation into the face of the philanthropist millionaire:

"We slave for you, we sacrifice our heart's blood for you, while you seduce our daughters and sisters and kindly pay for their disgrace with the gold we have earned for you. That is what you call honor."

An incidental side-light upon the conception of honor is given by Count Trast, the principal character in the Ehre, a man widely conversant with the customs of various climes, who relates that in his many travels he chanced across a savage tribe whose honor he mortally offended by refusing the hospitality which offered him the charms of the chieftain's wife.

The theme of Heimat treates of the struggle between the old and the young generations. It holds a permanent and important place in dramatic literature.

Magda, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Schwartz, has committed an unpardonable sin: she refused the suitor selected by her father. For daring to disobey the parental commands she is driven from home. Magda, full of life and the spirit of liberty, goes out into the world to return to her native town, twelve years later, a celebrated singer. She consents to visit her parents on condition that they respect the privacy of her past. But her martinet father immediately begins to question her, insisting on his "paternal rights." Magda is indignant, but gradually his persistence brings to light the tragedy of her life. He learns that the respected Councillor von Keller had in his student days been Magda's lover, while she was battling for her economic and social independence. The consequence of the fleeting romance was a child, deserted by the man even before birth. The rigid military father of Magda demands as retribution from Councillor von Keller that he legalize the love affair. In view of Magda's social and professional success, Keller willingly consents, but on condition that she forsake the stage, and place the child in an institution. The struggle between the Old and the New culminates in Magda's defiant words of the woman grown to conscious independence of thought and action: ". . . I'll say what I think of you--of you and your respectable society. Why should I be worse than you that I must prolong my existence among you by a lie! Why should this gold upon my body, and the lustre which surrounds my name, only increase my infamy? Have I not worked early and late for ten long years? Have I not woven this dress with sleepless nights? Have I not built up my career step by step, like thousands of my kind ? Why should I blush before anyone? I am myself, and through myself I have become what I am."

The general theme of Heimat--the struggle between the old and young generations--was not original. It had been previously treated by a master hand in Fathers and Sons, portraying the awakening of an age. But though artistically far inferior to Turgeniev's work, Heimat--depicting the awakening of a sex--proved a powerful revolutionizing factor, mainly because of its dramatic expression.

The dramatist who not only disseminated radicalism, but literally revolutionized the thoughtful Germans, is Gerhardt Hauptmann. His first play, Vor Sonnenaufgang,3 refused by every leading German threatre, but finally performed in the independent Lessing Theatre, acted like a stroke of lightning, illuminating the entire social horizon. Its subject matter deals with the life of an extensive land-owner, ignorant, illiterate, and brutalized, and his economic slaves of the same mental calibre. The influence of wealth, both on the victims who created it and the possessor thereof, is shown in the most vivid colors, as resulting in drunkenness, idiocy, and decay. But the most striking feature of Vor Sonftenaufgang, the one which brought a shower of abuse on Hauptmann's head, was the question as to the indiscriminate breeding of children by unfit parents.

During the second performance of the play a leading Berlin surgeon almost caused a panic in the theatre by swinging a pair of forceps over his head and screaming at the top of his voice: "The decency and morality of Germany are at stake if childbirth is to be discussed openly from the stage." The surgeon is forgotten, and Hauptmann stands a colossal figure before the world:

When Die Weber4 first saw the light, pandemonium broke out in the land of thinkers and poets. "What," cried the moralists, "workingmen, dirty, filthy slaves, to be put on the stage! Poverty in all its horrors and ugliness to be dished out as an after dinner amusement? That is too much!"

Indeed, it was too much for the fat and greasy bourgeoisie to be brought face to face with the horrors of the weaver's existence. It was too much because of the truth and reality that rang like thunder in the deaf ears of self-satisfied society, J'accuse!

Of course, it was generally known even before the appearance of this drama that capital can not 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. But it is the purpose of the modern drama to rouse the consciousness of the oppressed; and that, indeed, was the purpose of Gerhardt Hauptmann in depicting to the world the conditions of the weavers in Silesia. Human beings working eighteen hours daily, yet not earning enough for bread and fuel; human beings living in broken, wretched huts half covered with snow, and nothing but tatters to protect them from the cold; infants covered with scurvy from hunger and exposure; pregnant women in the last stages of consumption. Victims of a benevolent Christian era, without life, without hope, without warmth. Ah, yes, it was too much!

Hauptmann's dramatic versatility deals with every stratum of social life. Besides portraying the grinding effect of economic conditions, he also treats of the struggle of the individual for his mental and spiritual liberation from the slavery of convention and tradition. Thus Heinrich, the bell-forger, in the dramatic prose-poem Die Versunkene Glocke,5 fails to reach the mountain peaks of liberty because, as Rautendelein said, he had lived in the valley too long. Similarly Dr. Vockerath and Anna Maar remain lonely souls because they, too, lack the strength to defy venerated traditions. Yet their very failure must awaken the rebellious spirit against a world forever hindering individual and social emancipation.

Max Halbe's Jugend6 and Wedekind's Frühling's Erwachen7 are dramas which have disseminated radical thought in an altogether different direction. They treat of the child and the dense ignorance and narrow Puritanism that meet the awakening of nature. Particularly is this true of Frühling's Erwachen. Young girls and boys sacrificed on the altar of false education and of our sickening morality that prohibits the enlightenment of youth as to questions so imperative to the health and well-being of society,--the origin of life, and its functions. It shows how a mother--and a truly good mother, at that--keeps her fourteen-year-old daughter in absolute ignorance as to all matters of sex, and when finally the young girl falls a victim to her ignorance, the same mother sees her child killed by quack medicines. The inscription on her grave states that she died of anaemia, and morality is satisfied.

The fatality of our Puritanic hypocrisy in these matters is especially illumined by Wedekind in so far as our most promising children fall victims to sex ignorance and the utter lack of appreciation on the part of the teachers of the child's awakening.

Wendla, unusually developed and alert for her age, pleads with her mother to explain the mystery of life:

"I have a sister who has been married for two and a half years. I myself have been made an aunt for the third time, and I haven't the least idea how it all comes about.... Don't be cross, Mother, dear! Whom in the world should I ask but you? Don't scold me for asking about it. Give me an answer.-- How does it happen.?--You cannot really deceive yourself that I, who am fourteen years old, still believe in the stork."

Were her mother herself not a victim of false notions of morality, an affectionate and sensible explanation might have saved her daughter. But the conventional mother seeks to hide her "moral" shame and embarrassment in this evasive reply:

"In order to have a child--one must love the man--to whom one is married.... One must love him, Wendla, as you at your age are still unable to love.--Now you know it!"

How much Wendla "knew" the mother realized too late. The pregnant girl imagines herself ill with dropsy. And when her mother cries in desperation, "You haven't the dropsy, you have a child, girl," the agonized Wendla exclaims in bewilderment: "But it's not possible, Mother, I am not married yet.... Oh, Mother, why didn't you tell me everything?"

With equal stupidity the boy Morris is driven to suicide because he fails in his school examinations And Melchior, the youthful father of Wendla's unborn child, is sent to the House of Correction, his early sexual awakening stamping him a degenerate in the eyes of teachers and parents.

For years thoughtful men and women in Germany had advocated the compelling necessity of sex enlightenment. Mutterschutz, a publication specially devoted to frank and intelligent discussion of the sex problem, has been carrying on its agitation for a considerable time. But it remained for the dramatic genius of Wedekind to influence radical thought to the extent of forcing the introduction of sex physiology in many schools of Germany.

Scandinavia, like Germany, was advanced through the drama much more than through any other channel. Long before Ibsen appeared on the scene, Björnson, the great essayist, thundered against the inequalities and injustice prevalent in those countries. But his was a voice in the wilderness, reaching but the few. Not so with Ibsen. His Brand, Doll's House, Pillars of Society, Ghosts, and An Enemy of the People have considerably undermined the old conceptions, and replaced them by a modern and real view of life. One has but to read Brand to realize the modern conception, let us say, of religion,--religion, as an ideal to be achieved on earth; religion as a principle of human brotherhood, of solidarity, and kindness.

Ibsen, the supreme hater of all social shams, has torn the veil of hypocrisy from their faces. His greatest onslaught, however, is on the four cardinal points supporting the flimsy network of society. First, the lie upon which rests the life of today; second, the futility of sacrifice as preached by our moral codes; third, petty material consideration, which is the only god the majority worships; and fourth, the deadening influence of provincialism. These four recur as the Leitmotiv in most of Ibsen's plays, but particularly in Pillars of Society, Doll's House, Ghosts, and An Enemy of the People.

Pillars of Society! What a tremendous indictment against the social structure that rests on rotten and decayed pillars,--pillars nicely gilded and apparently intact, yet merely hiding their true condition. And what are these pillars?

Consul Bernick, at the very height of his social and financial career, the benefactor of his town and the strongest pillar of the community, has reached the summit through the channel of lies, deception, and fraud. He has robbed his bosom friend Johann of his good name, and has betrayed Lona Hessel, the woman he loved, to marry her stepsister for the sake of her money. He has enriched himself by shady transactions, under cover of "the community's good," and finally even goes to the extent of endangering human life by preparing the Indian Girl, a rotten and dangerous vessel, to go to sea.

But the return of Lona brings him the realization of the emptiness and meanness of his narrow life. He seeks to placate the waking conscience by the hope that he has cleared the ground for the better life of his son, of the new generation. But even this last hope soon falls to the ground, as he realizes that truth cannot be built on a lie. At the very moment when the whole town is prepared to celebrate the great benefactor of the community with banquet praise, he himself, now grown to full spiritual manhood, confesses to the assembled townspeople:

"I have no right to this homage--. . . My fellow citizens must know me to the core. Then let every one examine himself, and let us realize the prediction that from this event we begin a new time. The old, with its tinsel, its hypocrisy, its hollowness, its Iying propriety, and its pitiful cowardice, shall lie behind us like a museum, open for instruction."

With a Doll's House Ibsen has paved the way for woman's emancipation. Nora awakens from her doll's rôle to the realization of the injustice done her by her father and her husband, Helmer Torvald.

"While I was at home with father, he used to tell me all his opinions, and I held the same opinions. If I had others I concealed them, because he would not have approved. He used to call me his doll child, and play with me as I played with my dolls. Then I came to live in your house. You settled everything according to your taste, and I got the same taste as you, or I pretended to. When I look back on it now, I seem to have been living like a beggar, from hand to mouth. I lived by performing tricks for you, Torvald, but you would, have it so. You and father have done me a great wrong."

In vain Helmer uses the old philistine arguments of wifely duty and social obligations. Nora has grown out of her doll's dress into full stature of conscious womanhood. She is determined to think and judge for herself. She has realized that, before all else, she is a human being, owing the first duty to herself. She is undaunted even by the possibility of social ostracism. She has become sceptical of the justice of the law, the wisdom of the constituted. Her rebelling soul rises in protest against the existing. In her own words: "I must make up my mind which is right, society or I."

In her childlike faith in her husband she had hoped for the great miracle. But it was not the disappointed hope that opened her vision to the falsehoods of marriage. It was rather the smug contentment of Helmer with a safe lie--one that would remain hidden and not endanger his social standing.

When Nora closed behind her the door of her gilded cage and went out into the world a new, regenerated personality, she opened the gate of freedom and truth for her own sex and the race to come.

More than any other play, Ghosts has acted like a bomb explosion, shaking the social structure to its very foundations.

In Doll's House the justification of the union between Nora and Helmer rested at least on the husband's conception of integrity and rigid adherence to our social morality. Indeed, he was the conventional ideal husband and devoted father. Not so in Ghosts. Mrs. Alving married Captain Alving only to find that he was a physical and mental wreck, and that life with him would mean utter degradation and be fatal to possible offspring. In her despair she turned to her youth's companion, young Pastor Manders who, as the true savior of souls for heaven, must needs be indifferent to earthly necessities. He sent her back to shame and degradation,--to her duties to husband and home. Indeed, happiness--to him--was but the unholy manifestation of a rebellious spirit, and a wife's duty was not to judge, but "to bear with humility the cross which a higher power had for your own good laid upon you."

Mrs. Alving bore the cross for twenty-six long years. Not for the sake of the higher power, but for her little son Oswald, whom she longed to save from the poisonous atmosphere of her husband's home.

It was also for the sake of the beloved son that she supported the lie of his father's goodness, in superstitious awe of "duty and decency." She learned-- alas, too late that the sacrifice of her entire life had been in vain, and that her son Oswald was visited by the sins of his father, that he was irrevocably doomed. This, too, she learned, that "we are all of us ghosts. It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that walks in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas and lifeless old beliefs. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same and we can't get rid of them.... And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of light. When you forced me under the yoke you called Duty and Obligation; when you praised as right and proper what my whole soul rebelled against as something loathsome, it was then that I began to look into the seams of your doctrine. I only wished to pick at a single knot, but when I had got that undone, the whole thing ravelled out. And then I understood that it was all machine-sewn."

How could a society machine-sewn, fathom the seething depths whence issued the great masterpiece of Henrik Ibsen? It could not understand, and therefore it poured the vials of abuse and venom upon its greatest benefactor. That Ibsen was not daunted he has proved by his reply in An Enemy of the People.

In that great drama Ibsen performs the last funeral rites over a decaying and dying social system. Out of its ashes rises the regenerated individual, the bold and daring rebel. Dr. Stockman, an idealist, full of social sympathy and solidarity, is called to his native town as the physician of the baths. He soon discovers that the latter are built on a swamp, and that instead of finding relief the patients, who flock to the place, are being poisoned.

An honest man, of strong convictions, the doctor considers it his duty to make his discovery known. But he soon learns that dividends and profits are concerned neither with health nor priniciples. Even the reformers of the town, represented in the People's Messenger, always ready to prate of their devotion to the people, withdraw their support from the "reckless" idealist, the moment they learn that the doctor's discovery may bring the town into disrepute, and thus injure their pockets.

But Doctor Stockman continues in the faith he entertains for his townsmen. They would hear him. But here, too, he soon finds himself alone. He cannot even secure a place to proclaim his great truth. And when he finally succeeds, he is overwhelmed by abuse and ridicule as the enemy of the people. The doctor, so enthusiastic of his townspeople's assistance to eradicate the evil, is soon driven to a solitary position. The announcement of his discovery would result in a pecuniary loss to the town, and that consideration induces the officials, the good citizens, and soul reformers, to stifle the voice of truth. He finds them all a compact majority, unscrupulous enough to be willing to build up the prosperity of the town on a quagmire of lies and fraud. He is accused of trying to ruin the community. But to his mind "it does not matter if a lying community is ruined. It must be levelled to the ground. All men who live upon lies must be exterminated like vermin. You'll bring it to such a pass that the whole country will deserve to perish."

Doctor Stockman is not a practical politician. A free man, he thinks, must not behave like a black guard. "He must not so act that he would spit in his own face." For only cowards permit "considerations" of pretended general welfare or of party to override truth and ideals. "Party programmes wring the necks of all young, living truths; and considerations of expediency turn morality and righteousness upside down, until life is simply hideous."

These plays of Ibsen--The Pillars of Society, A Doll's House, Ghosts, and An Enemy of the People --constitute a dynamic force which is gradually dissipating the ghosts walking the social burying ground called civilization. Nay, more; Ibsen's destructive effects are at the same time supremely constructive, for he not merely undermines existing pillars; indeed, he builds with sure strokes the foundation of a healthier, ideal future, based on the sovereignty of the individual within a sympathetic social environment.

England with her great pioneers of radical thought, the intellectual pilgrims like Godwin, Robert Owen, Darwin, Spencer, William Morris, and scores of others; with her wonderful larks of liberty--Shelley, Byron, Keats--is another example of the influence of dramatic art. Within comparatively a few years the dramatic works of Shaw, Pinero, Galsworthy, Rann Kennedy, have carried radical thought to the ears formerly deaf even to Great Britain's wondrous poets. Thus a public which will remain indifferent reading an essay by Robert Owen on poverty, or ignore Bernard Shaw's Socialistic tracts, was made to think by Major Barbara, wherein poverty is described as the greatest crime of Christian civilization. "Poverty makes people weak, slavish, puny; poverty creates disease, crime, prostitution; in fine, poverty is responsible for all the ills and evils of the world." Poverty also necessitates dependency, charitable organizations, institutions that thrive off the very thing they are trying to destroy. The Salvation Army, for instance, as shown in Major Barbara, fights drunkenness; yet one of its greatest contributors is Badger, a whiskey distiller, who furnishes yearly thousands of pounds to do away with the very source of his wealth. Bernard Shaw therefore concludes that the only real benefactor of society is a man like Undershaft, Barbara's father, a cannon manufacturer, whose theory of life is that powder is stronger than words.

"The worst of crimes," says Undershaft, "is poverty. All the other crimes are virtues beside it; all the other dishonors are chivalry itself by comparison. Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible pestilences; strikes dead the very soul of all who come within sight, sound, or smell of it. What you call crime is nothing; a murder here, a theft there, a blow now and a curse there: what do they matter? They are only the accidents and illnesses of life; there are not fifty genuine professional criminals in London. But there are millions of poor people, abject people, dirty people, ill-fed, ill-clothed people. They poison us morally and physically; they kill the happiness of society; they force us to do away with our own liberties and to organize unnatural cruelties for fear they should rise against us and drag us down into their abyss.... Poverty and slavery have stood up for centuries to your sermons and leading articles; they will not stand up to my machine guns. Don't preach at them; don't reason with them. Kill them.... It is the final test of conviction, the only lever strong enough to overturn a social system.... Vote! Bah! When you vote, you only change the name of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders, and set up new."

No wonder people cared little to read Mr. Shaw's Socialistic tracts. In no other way but in the drama could he deliver such forcible, historic truths. And therefore it is only through the drama that Mr. Shaw is a revolutionary factor in the dissemination of radical ideas.

After Hauptmann's Die Weber, Strife, by Galsworthy, is the most important labor drama.

The theme of Strife is a strike with two dominant factors: Anthony, the president of the company, rigid, uncompromising, unwilling to make the slightest concession, although the men held out for months and are in a condition of semi-starvation; and David Roberts, an uncompromising revolutionist, whose devotion to the workingmen and the cause of freedom is at white heat. Between them the strikers are worn and weary with the terrible struggle, and are harassed and driven by the awful sight of poverty and want in their families.

The most marvelous and brilliant piece of work in Strife is Galsworthy's portrayal of the mob in its fickleness and lack of backbone. One moment they applaud old Thomas, who speaks of the power of God and religion and admonishes the men against rebellion; the next instant they are carried away by a walking delegate, who pleads the cause of the union,--the union that always stands for compromise, and which forsakes the workingmen whenever they dare to strike for independent demands; again they are aglow with the earnestness, the spirit, and the intensity of David Roberts--all these people willing to go in whatever direction the wind blows. It is the curse of the working class that they always follow like sheep led to slaughter.

Consistency is the greatest crime of our commercial age. No matter how intense the spirit or how important the man, the moment he will not allow himself to be used or sell his principles, he is thrown on the dustheap. Such was the fate of the president of the company, Anthony, and of David Roberts. To be sure they represented opposite poles--poles antagonistic to each other, poles divided by a terrible gap that can never be bridged over. Yet they shared a common fate. Anthony is the embodiment of conservatism, of old ideas, of iron methods:

"I have been chairman of this company thirty-two years. I have fought the men four times. I have never been defeated. It has been said that times have changed. If they have, I have not changed with them. It has been said that masters and men are equal. Cant. There can be only one master in a house. It has been said that Capital and Labor have the same interests. Cant. Their interests are as wide asunder as the poles. There is only one way of treating men--with the iron rod. Masters are masters. Men are men."

We may not like this adherence to old, reactionary notions, and yet there is something admirable in the courage and consistency of this man, nor is he half as dangerous to the interests of the oppressed, as our sentimental and soft reformers who rob with nine fingers, and give libraries with the tenth; who grind human beings like Russell Sage, and then spend millions of dollars in social research work; who turn beautiful young plants into faded old women, and then give them a few paltry dollars or found a Home for Working Girls. Anthony is a worthy foe; and to fight such a foe, one must learn to meet him in open battle.

David Roberts has all the mental and moral attributes of his adversary, coupled with the spirit of revolt and the depth of modern ideas. He, too, is consistent, and wants nothing for his class short of complete victory.

"It is not for this little moment of time we are fighting, not for our own little bodies and their warmth: it is for all those who come after, for all times. Oh, men, for the love of them don't turn up another stone on their heads, don't help to blacken the sky. If we can shake that white-faced monster with the bloody lips that has sucked the lives out of ourselves, our wives, and children, since the world began, if we have not the hearts of men to stand against it, breast to breast and eye to eye, and force it backward till it cry for mercy, it will go on sucking life, and we shall stay forever where we are, less than the very dogs."

It is inevitable that compromise and petty interest should pass on and leave two such giants behind. Inevitable, until the mass will reach the stature of a David Roberts. Will it ever? Prophecy is not the vocation of the dramatist, yet the moral lesson is evident. One cannot help realizing that the workingmen will have to use methods hitherto unfamiliar to them; that they will have to discard all those elements in their midst that are forever ready to reconcile the irreconcilable, namely Capital and Labor. They will have to learn that characters like David Roberts are the very forces that have revolutionized the world and thus paved the way for emancipation out of the clutches of that "white-faced monster with bloody lips," towards a brighter horizon, a freer life, and a deeper recognition of human values.

No subject of equal social import has received such extensive consideration within the last few years as the question of prison and punishment.

Hardly any magazine of consequence that has not devoted its columns to the discussion of this vital theme. A number of books by able writers, both in America and abroad, have discussed this topic from the historic, psychologic, and social standpoint, all agreeing that present penal institutions and our mode of coping with crime have in every respect proved inadequate as well as wasteful. One would expect that something very radical should result from the cumulative literary indictment of the social crimes perpetrated upon the prisoner. Yet with the exception of a few minor and comparatively insignificant reforms in some of our prisons, absolutely nothing has been accomplished. But at last this grave social wrong has found dramatic interpretation in Galsworthy's Justice.

The play opens in the office of James How and Sons, Solicitors. The senior clerk, Robert Cokeson, discovers that a check he had issued for nine pounds has been forged to ninety. By elimination, suspicion falls upon William Falder, the junior office clerk. The latter is in love with a married woman, the abused, ill-treated wife of a brutal drunkard. Pressed by his employer, a severe yet not unkindly man, Falder confesses the forgery, pleading the dire necessity of his sweetheart, Ruth Honeywill, with whom he had planned to escape to save her from the unbearable brutality of her husband. Notwithstanding the entreaties of young Walter, who is touched by modern ideas, his father, a moral and law-respecting citizen, turns Falder over to the police.

The second act, in the court-room, shows Justice in the very process of manufacture. The scene equals in dramatic power and psychologic verity the great court scene in Resurrection. Young Falder, a nervous and rather weakly youth of twenty-three, stands before the bar. Ruth, his married sweetheart, full of love and devotion, burns with anxiety to save the youth whose affection brought about his present predicament. The young man is defended by Lawyer Frome, whose speech to the jury is a masterpiece of deep social philosophy wreathed with the tendrils of human understanding and sympathy. He does not attempt to dispute the mere fact of Falder having altered the check; and though he pleads temporary aberration in defense of his client, that plea is based upon a social consciousness as deep and all-embracing as the roots of our social ills--"the background of life, that palpitating life which always lies behind the commission of a crime." He shows Falder to have faced the alternative of seeing the beloved woman murdered by her brutal husband, whom she cannot divorce; or of taking the law into his own hands. The defence pleads with the jury not to turn the weak young man into a criminal by condemning him to prison, for "justice is a machine that, when someone has given it a starting push, rolls on of itself.... Is this young man to be ground to pieces under this machine for an act which, at the worst, was one of weakness? Is he to become a member of the luckless crews that man those dark, ill-starred ships called prisons? . . . I urge you, gentlemen, do not ruin this young man. For as a result of those four minutes, ruin, utter and irretrievable, stares him in the face.... The rolling of the chariot wheels of Justice over this boy began when it was decided to prosecute him."

But the chariot of Justice rolls mercilessly on, for--as the learned Judge says--"the law is what it is--a majestic edifice, sheltering all of us, each stone of which rests on another."

Falder is sentenced to three years' penal servitude.

In prison, the young, inexperienced convict soon finds himself the victim of the terrible "system." The authorities admit that young Falder is mentally and physically "in bad shape," but nothing can be done in the matter: many others are in a similar position, and "the quarters are inadequate."

The third scene of the third act is heart-gripping in its silent force. The whole scene is a pantomime, taking place in Falder's prison cell.

"In fast-falling daylight, Falder, in his stockings, is seen standing motionless, with his head inclined towards the door, listening. He moves a little closer to the door, his stockinged feet making no noise. He stops at the door. He is trying harder and harder to hear something, any little thing that is going on out side. He springs suddenly upright--as if at a sound--and remains perfectly motionless. Then, with a heavy sigh, he moves to his work, and stands looking at it, with his head down; he does a stitch or two, having the air of a man so lost in sadness that each stitch is, as it were, a coming to life. Then, turning abruptly, he begins pacing his cell, moving his head, like an animal pacing its cage. He stops again at the door, listens, and, placing the palms of his hands against it with his fingers spread out, leans his forehead against the iron. Turning from it, presently, he moves slowly back towards the window, holding his head, as if he felt that it were going to burst, and stops under the window. But since he cannot see out of it he leaves off looking, and, picking up the lid of one of the tins, peers into it, as if trying to make a companion of his own face. It has grown very nearly dark. Suddenly the lid falls out of his hand with a clatter--the only sound that has broken the silence--and he stands staring intently at the wall where the stuff of the shirt is hanging rather white in the darkness--he seems to be seeing somebody or something there. There is a sharp tap and click; the cell light behind the glass screen has been turned up. The cell is brightly lighted. Falder is seen gasping for breath.

"A sound from far away, as of distant, dull beating on thick metal, is suddenly audible. Falder shrinks back, not able to bear this sudden clamor. But the sound grows, as though some great tumbril were rolling towards the cell. And gradually it seems to hypnotize him. He begins creeping inch by inch nearer to the door. The banging sound, traveling from cell to cell, draws closer and closer; Falder's hands are seen moving as if his spirit had already joined in this beating, and the sound swells till it seems to have entered the very cell. He suddenly raises his clenched fists. Panting violently, he flings himself at his door, and beats on it."

Finally Falder leaves the prison, a broken ticket-of-leave man, the stamp of the convict upon his brow, the iron of misery in his soul. Thanks to Ruth's pleading, the firm of James How and Son is willing to take Falder back in their employ, on condition that he give up Ruth. It is then that Falder learns the awful news that the woman he loves had been driven by the merciless economic Moloch to sell herself. She "tried making skirts . . . cheap things. . . . I never made more than ten shillings a week, buying my own cotton, and working all day. I hardly ever got to bed till past twelve.... And then . . . my employer happened--he's happened ever since." At this terrible psychologic moment the police appear to drag him back to prison for failing to report himself as ticket-of-leave man. Completely overcome by the inexorability of his environment, young Falder seeks and finds peace, greater than human justice, by throwing himself down to death, as the detectives are taking him back to prison.

It would be impossible to estimate the effect produced by this play. Perhaps some conception can be gained from the very unusual circumstance that it had proved so powerful as to induce the Home Secretary of Great Britain to undertake extensive prison reforms in England. A very encouraging sign this, of the influence exerted by the modern drama. It is to be hoped that the thundering indictment of Mr. Galsworthy will not remain without similar effect upon the public sentiment and prison conditions of America. At any rate it is certain that no other modern play has borne such direct and immediate fruit in wakening the social conscience.

Another modern play, The Servant in the House, strikes a vital key in our social life. The hero of Mr. Kennedy's masterpiece is Robert, a coarse, filthy drunkard, whom respectable society has repudiated. Robert, the sewer cleaner, is the real hero of the play; nay, its true and only savior. It is he who volunteers to go down into the dangerous sewer, so that his comrades "can 'ave light and air." After all, has he not sacrificed his life always, so that others may have light and air?

The thought that labor is the redeemer of social well-being has been cried from the housetops in every tongue and every clime. Yet the simple words of Robert express the significance of labor and its mission with far greater potency.

America is still in its dramatic infancy. Most of the attempts along this line to mirror life, have been wretched failures. Still, there are hopeful signs in the attitude of the intelligent public toward modern plays, even if they be from foreign soil.

The only real drama America has so far produced is The Easiest Way, by Eugene Walter.

It is supposed to represent a "peculiar phase" of New York life. If that were all, it would be of minor significance. That which gives the play its real importance and value lies much deeper. It lies, first, in the fundamental current of our social fabric which drives us all, even stronger characters than Laura, into the easiest way--a way so very destructive of integrity, truth, and justice. Secondly, the cruel, senseless fatalism conditioned in Laura's sex. These two features put the universal stamp upon the play, and characterize it as one of the strongest dramatic indictments against society.

The criminal waste of human energy, in economic and social conditions, drives Laura as it drives the average girl to marry any man for a "home"; or as it drives men to endure the worst indignities for a miserable pittance.

Then there is that other respectable institution, the fatalism of Laura's sex. The inevitability of that force is summed up in the following words: "Don't you know that we count no more in the life of these men than tamed animals? It's a game, and if we don't play our cards well, we lose." Woman in the battle with life has but one weapon, one commodity--sex. That alone serves as a trump card in the game of life.

This blind fatalism has made of woman a parasite, an inert thing. Why then expect perseverance or energy of Laura? The easiest way is the path mapped out for her from time immemorial. She could follow no other.

A number of other plays could be quoted as characteristic of the growing role of the drama as a disseminator of radical thought. Suffice it to mention The Third Degree, by Charles Klein; The Fourth Estate, by Medill Patterson; A Man's World, by Ida Croutchers,--all pointing to the dawn of dramatic art in America, an art which is discovering to the people the terrible diseases of our social body.

It has been said of old, all roads lead to Rome. In paraphrased application to the tendencies of our day, it may truly be said that all roads lead to the great social reconstruction. The economic awakening of the workingman, and his realization of the necessity for concerted industrial action; the tendencies of modern education, especially in their application to the free development of the child; the spirit of growing unrest expressed through, and cultivated by, art and literature, all pave the way to the Open Road. Above all, the modern drama, operating through the double channel of dramatist and interpreter, affecting as it does both mind and heart, is the strongest force in developing social discontent, swelling the powerful tide of unrest that sweeps onward and over the dam of ignorance, prejudice, and superstition.


1 Honor.

2 Magda.

3 Before Sunrise.

4 The Weavers.

5 The Sunken Bell.

6 Youth.

7 The Awakening of Spring.


The modern menace to capitalism(1913)

Emma Goldman

Pamphlet published by Mother Earth Publishing Association, 55 West 28th Street, New York, 1913

IN view of the fact that the ideas embodied in Syndicalism have been practised by the workers for the last half century, even if without the background of social consciousness; that in this country five men had to pay with their lives because they advocated Syndicalist methods as the most effective, in the struggle of labor against capital; and that, furthermore, Syndicalism has been consciously practised by the workers of France, Italy and Spain since 1895, it is rather amusing to witness some people in America and England now swooping down upon Syndicalism as a perfectly new and never before heard-of proposition.

It is astonishing how very naïve Americans are, how crude and immature in matters of international importance. For all his boasted practical aptitude, the average American is the very last to learn of the modern means and tactics employed in the great struggles of his day. Always he lags behind in ideas and methods that the European workers have for years past been applying with great success.

It may be contended, of course, that this is merely a sign of youth on the part of the American. And it is indeed beautiful to possess a young mind, fresh to receive and perceive. But unfortunately the American mind seems never to grow, to mature and crystallize its views.

Perhaps that is why an American revolutionist can at the same time be a politician. That is also the reason why leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World continue in the Socialist party, which is antagonistic to the principles as well as to the activities of the I. W. W. Also why a rigid Marxian may propose that the Anarchists work together with the faction that began its career by a most bitter and malicious persecution of one of the pioneers of Anarchism, Michael Bakunin. In short, to the indefinite, uncertain mind of the American radical the most contradictory ideas and methods are possible. The result is a sad chaos in the radical movement, a sort of intellectual hash, which has neither taste nor character.

Just at present Syndicalism is the pastime of a great many Americans, so-called intellectuals. Not that they know anything about it, except that some great authorities --- Sorel, Lagardelle, Berth and others --- stand for it: because the American needs the seal of authority, or he would not accept an idea, no matter how true and valuable it might be.

Our bourgeois magazines are full of dissertations on Syndicalism. One of our most conservative colleges has even gone to the extent of publishing a work of one of its students on the subject, which has the approval of a professor. And all this, not because Syndicalism is a force and is being successfully practised by the workers of Europe, but because --- as I said before --- it has official authoritative sanction.

As if Syndicalism had been discovered by the philosophy of Bergson or the theoretic discourses of Sorel and Berth, and had not existed and lived among the workers long before these men wrote about it. The feature which distinguishes Syndicalism from most philosophies is that it represents the revolutionary philosophy of labor conceived and born in the actual struggle and experience of the workers themselves --- not in universities, colleges, libraries, or in the brain of some scientists. The revolutionary philosophy of labor, that is the true and vital meaning of Syndicalism.

Already as far back as 1848 a large section of the workers realized the utter futility of political activity as a means of helping them in their economic struggle. At that time already the demand went forth for direct economic measures, as against the useless waste of energy along political lines. This was the case not only in France, but even prior to that in England, where Robert Owen, the true revolutionary Socialist, propagated similar ideas.

After years of agitation and experiment the idea was incorporated by the first convention of the internationale, in 1867, in the resolution that the economic emancipation of the workers must be the principal aim of all revolutionists, to which everything else is to be subordinated.

In fact, it was this determined radical stand which eventually brought about the split in the revolutionary movement of that day, and its division into two factions: the one, under Marx and Engels, aiming at political conquest; the other, under Bakunin and the Latin workers, forging ahead along industrial and Syndicalist lines. The further development of those two wings is familiar to every thinking man and woman: the one has gradually centralized into a huge machine, with the sole purpose of conquering political power within the existing capitalist State; the other is becoming an ever more vital revolutionary factor, dreaded by the enemy as the greatest menace to its rule.

It was in the year 1900 while a delegate to the Anarchist Congress in Paris, that I first came in contact with Syndicalism in operation. The Anarchist press had been discussing the subject for years prior to that; therefore we Anarchists knew something about Syndicalism. But those of us who lived in America had to content themselves with the theoretic side of it.

In 1900, however, I saw its effect upon labor in France: the strength, the enthusiasm and hope with which Syndicalism inspired the workers. It was also my good fortune to learn of the man who more than anyone else had directed Syndicalism into definite working channels, Fernand Pelloutier. Unfortunately, I could not meet this remarkable young man, as he was at that time already very ill with cancer. But wherever I went, with whomever I spoke, the love and devotion for Pelloutier was wonderful, all agreeing that it was he who had gathered the discontented forces in the French labor movement and imbued them with new life and a new purpose, that of Syndicalism.

On my return to America I immediately began to propagate Syndicalist ideas, especially Direct Action and the General Strike. But it was like talking to the Rocky Mountains --- no understanding, even among the more radical elements, and complete indifference in labor ranks.

In 1907 I went as a delegate to the Anarchist Congress at Amsterdam and, while in Paris, met the most active Syndicalists in the Confédération Générale an Travail: Pouget, Delesalle, Monatte, and many others. More than that, I had the opportunity to see Syndicalism in daily operation, in its most constructive and inspiring forms.

I allude to this, to indicate that my knowledge of Syndicalism does not come from Sorel, Lagardelle, or Berth, but from actual contact with and observation of the tremendous work carried on by the workers of Paris within the ranks of the Confédération. It would require a volume to explain in detail what Syndicalism is doing for the French workers. In the American press you read only of its resistive methods, of strikes and sabotage, of the conflicts of labor with capital. These are no doubt very important matters, and yet the chief value of Syndicalism lies much deeper. It lies in the constructive and educational effect upon the life and thought of the masses.

The fundamental difference between Syndicalism and the old trade union methods is this: while the old trade unions, without exception, move within the wage system and capitalism, recognizing the latter as inevitable, Syndicalism repudiates and condemns present industrial arrangements as unjust and criminal, and holds out no hope to the worker for lasting results from this system.

Of course Syndicalism, like the old trade unions, fights for immediate gains, but it is not stupid enough to pretend that labor can expect humane conditions from inhuman economic arrangements in society. Thus it merely wrests from the enemy what it can force him to yield; on the whole, however, Syndicalism aims at, and concentrates its energies upon, the complete overthrow of the wage system. Indeed, Syndicalism goes further: it aims to liberate labor from every institution that has not for its object the free development of production for the benefit of all humanity. In short, the ultimate purpose of Syndicalism is to reconstruct society from its present centralized, authoritative and brutal state to one based upon the free, federated grouping of the workers along lines of economic and social liberty.

With this object in view, Syndicalism works in two directions: first, by undermining the existing institutions; secondly, by developing and educating the workers and cultivating their spirit of solidarity, to prepare them for a full, free life, when capitalism shall have been abolished.

Syndicalism is, in essence, the economic expression of Anarchism. That circumstance accounts for the presence of so many Anarchists in the Syndicalist movement. Like Anarchism, Syndicalism prepares the workers along direct economic lines, as conscious factors in the great struggles of to-day, as well as conscious factors in the task of reconstructing society along autonomous industrial lines, as against the paralyzing spirit of centralization with its bureaucratic machinery of corruption, inherent in all political parties.

Realizing that the diametrically opposed interests of capital and labor can never be reconciled, Syndicalism must needs repudiate the old rusticated, worn-out methods of trade unionism, and declare for an open war against the capitalist régime, as well as against every institution which to-day supports and protects capitalism.

As a logical sequence Syndicalism, in its daily warfare against capitalism, rejects the contract system, because it does not consider labor and capital equals, hence cannot consent to an agreement which the one has the power to break, while the other must submit to without redress.

For similar reasons Syndicalism rejects negotiations in labor disputes, because such a procedure serves only to give the enemy time to prepare his end of the fight, thus defeating the very object the workers set out to accomplish. Also, Syndicalism stands for spontaneity, both as a preserver of the fighting strength of labor and also because it takes the enemy unawares, hence compels him to a speedy settlement or causes him great loss.

Syndicalism objects to a large union treasury, because money is as corrupting an element in the ranks of labor as it is in those of capitalism. We in America know this to be only too true. If the labor movement in this country were not backed by such large funds, it would not be as conservative as it is, nor would the leaders be so readily corrupted. However, the main reason for the opposition of Syndicalism to large treasuries consists in the fact that they create class distinctions and jealousies within the ranks of labor, so detrimental to the spirit of solidarity. The worker whose organization has a large purse considers himself superior to his poorer brother, just as he regards himself better than the man who earns fifty cents less per day.

The chief ethical value of Syndicalism consists in the stress it lays upon the necessity of labor getting rid of the element of dissension, parasitism and corruption in its ranks. It seeks to cultivate devotion, solidarity and enthusiasm, which are far more essential and vital in the economic struggle than money.

As I have already stated, Syndicalism has grown out of the disappointment of the workers with politics and parliamentary methods. In the course of its development Syndicalism has learned to see in the State --- with its mouthpiece, the representative system --- one of the strongest supports of capitalism; just as it has learned that the army and the church are the chief pillars of the State. It is therefore that Syndicalism has turned its back upon parliamentarism and political machines, and has set its face toward the economic arena wherein alone gladiator Labor can meet his foe successfully.

Historic experience sustains the Synclicalists in their uncompromising opposition to parliamentarism. Many had entered political life and, unwilling to be corrupted by the atmosphere, withdrew from office, to devote themselves to the economic struggle --- Proudhon, the Dutch revolutionist Nieuwenhuis, John Most and numerous others. While those who remained in the parliamentary quagmire ended by betraying their trust, without having gained anything for labor. But it is unnecessary to discuss here political history. Suffice to say that Syndicalists are anti-parlarnentarians as a result of bitter experience

Equally so has experience determined their anti-military attitude. Time and again has the army been used to shoot down strikers and to inculcate the sickening idea of patriotism, for the purpose of dividing the workers against themselves and helping the masters to the spoils. The inroads that Syndicalist agitation has made into the superstition of patriotism are evident from the dread of the ruling class for the loyalty of the army, and the rigid persecution of the anti-militarists. Naturailly --- for the ruling class realizes much better than the workers that when the soldiers will refuse to obey their superiors, the whole system of capitalism will be doomed.

Indeed, why should the workers sacrifice their children that the latter may be used to shoot their own parents? Therefore Syndicalism is not merely logical in its anti-military agitation; it is most practical and far-reaching, inasmuch as it robs the enemy of his strongest weapon against labor.

Now, as to the methods employed by Syndicalism --- Direct Action, Sabotage, and the General Strike.

DIRECT ACTION.---Conscious individual or collective effort to protest against, or remedy social conditions through the systematic assertion of the economic power of the workers.

Sabotage has been decried as criminal, even by so-called revolutionary Socialists. Of course, if you believe that property, which excludes the producer from its use, is justifiable, then sabotage is indeed a crime. But unless a Socialist continues to be under the influence of our bourgeois morality --- a morality which enables the few to monopolize the earth at the expense of the many --- he cannot consistently maintain that capitalist property is inviolate. Sabotage undermines this form of private possession. Can it therefore be considered criminal? On the contrary, it is ethical in the best sense, since it helps society to get rid of its worst foe, the most detrimental factor of social life.

Sabotage is mainly concerned with obstructing, by every possible method, the regular process of production, thereby demonstrating the determination of the workers to give according to what they receive, and no more. For instance, at the time of the French railroad strike of 1910 perishable goods were sent in slow trains, or in an opposite direction from the one intended. Who but the most ordinary philistine will call that a crime? If the railway men themselves go hungry, and the "innocent" public has not enough feeling of solidarity to insist that these men should get enough to live on, the public has forfeited the sympathy of the strikers and must take the consequences.

Another form of sabotage consisted, during this strike, in placing heavy boxes on goods marked "Handle with care," cut glass and china and precious wines. From the standpoint of the law this may have been a crime but from the standpoint of common humanity it was a very sensible thing. The same is true of disarranging a loom in a weaving mill, or living up to the letter of the law with all its red tape, as the Italian railway men did, thereby causing confusion in the railway service. In other words, sabotage is merely a weapon of defense in the industrial warfare, which is the more effective because it touches capitalism in its most vital spot, the pocket.

By the General Strike, Syndicalism means a stoppage of work, the cessation of labor. Nor need such a strike be postponed until all the workers of a particular place or country are ready for it. As has been pointed out by Pelloutier, Pouget, as well as others, and particularly by recent events in England, the General Strike may be started by one industry and exert a tremendous force. It is as if one man suddenly raised the cry "Stop the thief!" Immediately others will take up the cry, till the air rings with it. The General Strike, initiated by one determined organization, by one industry or by a small, conscious minority among the workers, is the industrial cry of "Stop the thief," which is soon taken up by many other industries, spreading like wildfire in a very, short time.

One of the objections of politicians to the General Strike is that the workers also would suffer for the necessaries of life. In the first place, the workers are past masters in going hungry; secondly, it is certain that a General Strike is surer of prompt settlement than an ordinary strike. Witness the transport and miner strikes in England: how quickly the lords of State and capital were forced to make peace! Besides, Syndicalism recognizes the right of the producers to the things which they have created; namely, the right of the workers to help themselves if the strike does not meet with speedy settlement.

When Sorel maintains that the General Strike is an inspiration necessary for the people to give their life meaning, he is expressing a thought which the Anarchists have never tired of emphasizing. Yet I do not hold with Sorel that the General Strike is a "social myth," that may never be realized. I think that the General Strike will become a fact the moment labor understands its full value --- its destructive as well as constructive value, as indeed many workers all over the world are beginning to realize.

These ideas and methods of Syndicalism some may consider entirely negative, though they are far from it in their effect upon society to-day. But Syndicalism has also a directly positive aspect. In fact, much more time and effort is being devoted to that phase than to the others. Various forms of Syndicalist activity are designed to prepare the workers, even within present social and industrial conditions, for the life of a new and better society. To that end the masses are trained in the spirit of mutual aid and brotherhood, their initiative and self-reliance developed, and an esprit de corps maintained whose very soul is solidarity of purpose and the community of interests of the international proletariat.

Chief among these activities are the mutualitées, or mutual aid societies, established by the French Syndicalists. Their object is, foremost, to secure work for unemployed members, and to further that spirit of mutual assistance which rests upon the consciousness of labor's identity of interests throughout the world.

In his "The Labor Movement in France," Mr. L. Levine states that during the year 1902 over 74,000 workers, out of a total of 99,000 applicants, were provided with work by these societies, without being compelled to submit to the extortion of the employment bureau sharks.

These latter are a source of the deepest degradation, as well as of most shameless exploitation, of the worker. Especially does it hold true of America, where the employment agencies are in many cases also masked detective agencies, supplying workers in need of employment to strike regions, under false promises of steady, remunerative employment.

The French Confédération had long realized the vicious rôle of employment agencies as leeches upon the jobless worker and nurseries of scabbery. By the threat of a General Strike the French Syndicalists forced the government to abolish the employment bureau sharks, and the workers' own mutualitées have almost entirely superseded them, to the great economic and moral advantage of labor.

Besides the mutualitées, the French Syndicalists have established other activities tending to weld labor in closer bonds of solidarity and mutual aid. Among these are the efforts to assist workingmen journeying from place to place. The practical as well as ethical value of such assistance is inestimable. It serves to instill the spirit of fellowship and gives a sense of security in the feeling of oneness with the large family of labor. This is one of the vital effects of the Syndicalist spirit in France and other Latin countries. What a tremendous need there is for just such efforts in this country! Can anyone doubt the significance of the consciousness of workingmen coming from Chicago, for instance, to New York, sure to find there among their comrades welcome lodging and food until they have secured employment? This form of activity is entirely foreign to the labor bodies of this country, and as a result the traveling workman in search of a job --- the "blanket stiff" --- is constantly at the mercy of the constable and policeman, a victim of the vagrancy laws, and the unfortunate material whence is recruited, through stress of necessity, the army of scabdom.

I have repeatedly witnessed, while at the headquarters of the Confédération, the cases of workingmen who came with their union cards from various parts of France, and even from other countries of Europe, and were supplied with meals and lodging, and encouraged by every evidence of brotherly spirit, and made to feel at home by their fellow workers of the Confédération. It is due, to a great extent, to these activities of the Synclicalists that the French government is forced to employ the army for strikebreaking, because few workers are willing to lend themselves for such service, thanks to the efforts and tactics of Syndicalism.

No less in importance than the mutual aid activities of the Syndicalists is the cooperation established by them between the city, end the country, the factory worker and the peasant or farmer, the latter providing the workers with food supplies during strikes, or taking care of the strikers' children. This form of practical solidarity has for the first time been tried in this country during the Lawrence strike, with inspiring results.

And all these Syndicalist activities are permeated with the spirit of educational work, carried on systematically by evening classes on all vital subjects treated from an unbiased, libertarian standpoint --- not the adulterated "knowledge" with which the minds are stuffed in our public schools. The scope of the education is truly phenomenal, including sex hygiene, the care of women during pregnancy and confinement, the care of home and children, sanitation and general hygiene; in fact, every branch of human knowledge --- science, history, art --- receives thorough attention, together with the practical application in the established workingmen's libraries, dispensaries, concerts and festivals, in which the greatest artists and literati of Paris consider it an honor to participate.

One of the most vital efforts of Syndicalism is to prepare the workers, now, for their rôle in a free society, Thus the Syndicalist organizations supply its members with textbooks on every trade and industry, of a character that is calculated to make the worker an adept in his chosen line, a master of his craft, for the purpose of familiarizing him with all the branches of his industry, so that when labor finally takes over production and distribution, the people will be fully prepared to manage successfully their own affairs.

A demonstration of the effectiveness of this educational campaign of Syndicalism is given by the railroad men of Italy, whose mastery of all the details of transportation is so great that they could offer to the Italian government to take over the railroads of the country and guarantee their operation with greater economy and fewer accidents than is at present done by the government.

Their ability to carry on production has been strikingly proved by the Syndicalists, in connection with the glass blowers' strike in Italy. There the strikers, instead of remaining idle during the progress of the strike, decided themselves to carry on the production of glass. The wonderful spirit of solidarity resulting from the Syndicalist propaganda enabled them to build a glass factory within an incredibly short time. An old building, rented for the purpose and which would have ordinarily required months to be put into proper condition, was turned into a glass factory within a few weeks, by the solidaric efforts of the strikers aided by their comrades who toiled with them after working hours. Then the strikers began operating the glass-blowing factory, and their cooperative plan of work and distribution during the strike has proved so satisfactory in every way that the experimental factory has been made permanent and a part of the glass-blowing industry in Italy is now in the hands of the cooperative organization of the workers.

This method of applied education not only trains the worker in his daily struggle but serves also to equip him for the battle royal and the future, when he is to assume his place in society as an intelligent, conscious being and useful producer, once capitalism is abolished.

Nearly all leading Syndicalists agree with the Anarchists that a free society can exist only through voluntary association, and that its ultimate success will depend upon the intellectual and moral development of the workers who will supplant the wage system with a new social arrangement, based on solidarity and economic well-being for all. That is Syndicalism, in theory and practice.

Address to the International Working Men's Association Congress(1938)

Emma Goldman

This article appears courtesy of Emma Goldman Papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were.

I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away from their revolutionary aim. Subsequent events have proven that those of us who saw the danger ahead were right. The participation of the CNT-FAI in the government, and concessions to the insatiable monster in Moscow, have certainly not benefited the Spanish Revolution, or even the anti-Fascist struggle. Yet closer contact with reality in Spain, with the almost insurmountable odds against the aspirations of the CNT-FAI, made me understand their tactics better, and helped me to guard against any dogmatic judgment of our comrades.

I am inclined to believe that the critics in our ranks outside of Spain would be less rigid in their appraisal if they too had come closer to the life-and-death struggle of the CNT-FAI--not that I do not agree with their criticism. I think them 95 per cent right. However, I insist that independent thinking and the right of criticism have ever been our proudest Anarchist boast, indeed, the very bulwark of Anarchism. The trouble with our Spanish comrades is their marked sensitivity to criticism, or even to advice from any comrade outside of Spain. But for that, they would understand that their critics are moved not by villainy, but by their deepest concern for the fate of the CNT-FAI.

The Spanish Anarcho-Syndicalist and Anarchist movements until very recently have held out the most glaring fulfillment of all our dreams and aspirations. I cannot therefore blame those of our comrades who see in the compromises of the Spanish Anarchists a reversal of all they had held high for well nigh seventy years. Naturally some comrades have grown apprehensive and have begun to cry out against the slippery road which the CNT-FAI entered on. I have known these comrades for years. They are among my dearest friends. I know it is their revolutionary integrity which makes them so critical, and not any ulterior motive. If our Spanish comrades could only understand this, they would be less indignant, nor consider their critics their enemies.

Also, I fear that the critics too are very much at fault. They are no less dogmatic than the Spanish comrades. They condemn every step made in Spain unreservedly. In their sectarian attitude they have overlooked the motive element recognised in our time even in capitalist courts. Yet it is a fact that one can never judge human action unless one has discovered the motive back of the action.

When I have pointed this out to our critical comrades they have insisted that Lenin and his group were also moved by the best intentions, "and see what they have made of the Revolution." I fail to see even the remotest similarity. Lenin aimed at a formidable State machine, a deadly dictatorship. From the very beginning, this spelled the death of the Russian Revolution--whereas the CNT-FAI not only aimed at, but actually gave life to, libertarian economic reconstructions. From the very moment they had driven the Fascists and militarists out of Catalonia, this herculean task was never lost sight of. The work achieved, considering the insurmountable obstacles, was extraordinary. Already on my first visit I was amazed to find so many collectives in the large cities and the villages.

I returned to Spain with apprehension because of all the rumours that had reached me after the May events of the destruction of the collectives. It is true that the Lister and Karl Marx Brigades went through Aragon and places in Catalonia like a cyclone, devastating everything in their way; but it is nevertheless the fact that most of the collectives were keeping up as if no harm had come to them. In fact I found the collectives in September and October 1937 in better-organised condition and in better working order-- and that, after all, is the most important achievement that must be kept in mind in any appraisal of the mistakes made by our comrades in Spain. Unfortunately, our critical comrades do not seem to see this all-important side of the CNT-FAI. Yet it is this which differentiates them from Lenin and his crowd who, far from even attempting to articulate the Russian Revolution in terms of constructive effort, destroyed everything during the civil war and even many years after.

Strangely enough, the very comrades of the civil war in Russia who had explained every step of the dictatorship as "revolutionary necessity" are now the most unyielding opponents of the CNT-FAI. "We have learned our lesson from the Russian Revolution," they say. But as no one learns anything from the experience of others, we must, whether we like it or not, give our Spanish comrades a chance to find their bearings through their own experience. Surely our own flesh and blood are entitled to the same patient help and solidarity some of us have given generously to our archenemies the Communists.

The CNT-FAI are not so wrong when they insist that the conditioning in Spain is quite different from that which actuated the struggle in Russia. In point of fact the two social upheavals are separate and distinct from each other.

The Russian Revolution came on top of a war-exhausted people, with all the social fabric in Russia disintegrated, the country far removed from outside influences. Whatever dangers it encountered during the civil war came entirely from within the country itself. Even the help given to the interventionists by England, Poland, and France were contributed sparingly. Not that these countries were not ready to crush the Revolution by means of well-equipped armies; but Europe was too sapped. There were neither men nor arms enough to enable the Russian counter-revolutionists to destroy the Revolution and its people.

The revolution in Spain was the result of a military and Fascist conspiracy. The first imperative need that presented itself to the CNT-FAI was to drive out the conspiratorial gang. The Fascist danger had to be met with almost bare hands. In this process the Spanish workers and peasants soon came to see that their enemies were not only Franco and his Moorish hordes. They soon found themselves beseiged by formidable armies and an array of modern arms furnished to Franco by Hitler and Mussolini, with all the imperialist pack playing their sinister underhanded game. In other words, while the Russian Revolution and the civil war were being fought out on Russian soil and by Russians, the Spanish revolution and anti-Fascist war involves all the powers of Europe. It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Civil War has spread out far beyond its own confines.

As if that were not enough to force the CNT-FAI to hold themselves up by any means, rather than to see the revolution and the masses drowned in the bloodbath prepared for them by Franco and his allies--our comrades had also to contend with the inertia of the international proletariat. Herein lies another tragic difference between the Russian and Spanish revolutions.

The Russian Revolution had met with almost instantaneous response and unstinted support from the workers in every land. This was soon followed by the revolution in Germany, Austria, and Hungary; and the general strike of the British workers who refused to load arms intended for the counter-revolutionists and interventionists. It brought about the mutiny in the Black Sea, and raised the workers everywhere to the highest pitch of enthusiasm and sacrifice.

The Spanish revolution, on the other hand, just because its leaders are Anarchists, immediately became a sore in the eyes not only of the bourgeoisie and the democratic governments, but also of the entire school of Marxists and liberals. In point of truth the Spanish revolution was betrayed by the whole world.

It has been suggested that our comrades in every country have contributed handsomely in men and money to the Spanish struggle, and that they alone should have been appealed to.

Well, comrades, we are members of the same family and we are among ourselves. We therefore need not beat around the bush. The deplorable fact is that there is no Anarchist or Anarcho-Syndicalist movement of any great consequence outside of Spain, and in a smaller degree France, with the exception of Sweden. Whatever Anarchist movements there are in other countries consist of small groups. In all England, for instance, there is no organised movement--only a few groups.

With the most fervent desire to aid the revolution in Spain, our comrades outside of it were neither numerically nor materially strong enough to turn the tide. Thus finding themselves up against a stone wall, the CNT-FAI was forced to descend from its lofty traditional heights to compromise right and left: participation in the government, all sorts of humiliating overtures to Stalin, superhuman tolerance for his henchmen who were openly plotting and conniving against the Spanish revolution.

Of all the unfortunate concessions our people have made, their entry into ministries seemed to me the least offensive. No, I have not changed my attitude toward government as an evil. As all through my life, I still hold that the State is a cold monster, and that it devours everyone within its reach. Did I not know that the Spanish people see in government a mere makeshift, to be kicked overboard at will, that they had never been deluded and corrupted by the parliamentary myth, I should perhaps be more alarmed for the future of the CNTFAI. But with Franco at the gate of Madrid, I could hardly blame the CNT-FAI for choosing a lesser evil--participation in the government rather than dictatorship, the most deadly evil.

Russia has more than proven the nature of this beast. After twenty years it still thrives on the blood of its makers. Nor is its crushing weight felt in Russia alone. Since Stalin began his invasion of Spain, the march of his henchmen has been leaving death and ruin behind them. Destruction of numerous collectives, the introduction of the Tcheka with its "gentle" methods of treating political opponents, the arrest of thousands of revolutionaries, and the murder in broad daylight of others. All this and more, has Stalin's dictatorship given Spain, when he sold arms to the Spanish people in return for good gold. Innocent of the jesuitical trick of "our beloved comrade" Stalin, the CNT-FAI could not imagine in their wildest dreams the unscrupulous designs hidden behind the seeming solidarity in the offer of arms from Russia.

Their need to meet Franco's military equipment was a matter of life and death. The Spanish people had not a moment to lose if they were not to be crushed. What wonder if they saw in Stalin the saviour of the anti-Fascist war? They have since learned that Stalin helped to make Spain safe against the Fascists so as to make it safer for his own ends.

The critical comrades are not at all wrong when they say that it does not seem worthwhile to sacrifice one ideal in the struggle against Fascism, if it only means to make room for Soviet Communism. I am entirely of their view--that there is no difference between them. My own consolation is that with all their concentrated criminal efforts, Soviet Communism has not taken root in Spain. I know whereof I speak. On my recent visit to Spain I had ample opportunity to convince myself that the Communists have failed utterly to win the sympathies of the masses; quite the contrary. They have never been so hated by the workers and peasants as now.

It is true that the Communists are in the government and have political power--that they use their power to the detriment of the revolution, the anti-Fascist struggle, and the prestige of the CNT-FAI. But strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless no exaggeration when I say that in a moral sense the CNT has gained immeasurably. I give a few proofs.

Since the May events the Madrid circulation of the CNT [paper] has almost doubled, while the two Communist papers in that city have only 26,000. The CNT alone has 100,000 throughout Castile. The same has happened with our paper, Castilla Libre. In addition, there is the Frente Libertario, with a circulation of 100,000 copies.

A more significant fact is that when the Communists call a meeting it is poorly attended. When the CNT-FAI hold meetings the halls are packed to overflowing. I had one occasion to convince myself of this truth. I went to Allecante with comrade Federica Montseney and although the meeting was held in the forenoon, and rain came down in a downpour. the hall was nevertheless packed to capacity. It is the more surprising that the Communists can lord it over everybody; but it is one of the many contradictions of the situation in Spain.

If our comrades have erred in permitting the Communist invasion it was only because the CNT-FAI are the implacable enemies of Fascism. They were the first, not only in Spain but in the whole world, to repulse Fascism, and they are determined to remain the last on the battlefield, until the beast is slain. This supreme determination sets the CNT-FAI apart in the history of indomitable champions and fighters for freedom the world has ever known. Compared with this, their compromises appear in a less glaring light.

True, the tacit consent to militarization on the part of our Spanish comrades was a violent break with their Anarchist past. But grave as this was, it must also be considered in the light of their utter military inexperience. Not only theirs but ours as well. All of us have talked rather glibly about antimilitarism. In our zeal and loathing of war we have lost sight of modern warfare, of the utter helplessness of untrained and unequipped men face to face with mechanized armies, and armed to their teeth for the battle on land, sea, and air. I still feel the same abhorrence of militarism, its dehumanization, its brutality and its power to turn men into automatons. But my contact with our comrades at the various fronts during my first visit in 1936 convinced me that some training was certainly needed if our militias were not to be sacrificed like newborn children on the altar of war.

While it is true that after July 19 tens of thousands of old and young men volunteered to go to the front--they went with flying colours and the determination to conquer Franco in a short time--they had no previous military training or experience. I saw a great many of the militia when I visited the Durruti and Huesca fronts. They were all inspired by their ideal--by the hatred of Fascism and passionate love of freedom. No doubt that would have carried them a long way if they had had only the Spanish Fascists to face; but when Germany and Italy began pouring in hundreds of thousands of men and masses of war materiel, our militias proved very inadequate indeed. If it was inconsistent on the part of the CNT-FAI to consent to militarisation, it was also inconsistent for us to change our attitude toward war, which some of us had held all our lives. We had always condemned war as serving capitalism and no other purpose; but when we realised that our heroic comrades in Barcelona had to continue the anti-Fascist struggle, we immediately rallied to their support, which was undoubtedly a departure from our previous stand on war. Once we realised that it would be impossible to meet hordes of Fascists armed to the very teeth, we could not escape the next step, which was militarisation. Like so many actions of the CNT-FAI undoubtedly contrary to our philosophy, they were not of their making or choosing. They were imposed upon them by the development of the struggle, which if not brought to a successful end, would exterminate the CNT-FAI, destroy their constructive achievements, and set back Anarchist thought and ideas not only in Spain but in the rest of the world.

Dear comrades, it is not a question of justification of everything the CNT-FAI have been doing. It is merely trying to understand the forces that drove and drive them on. Whether to triumph or defeat will depend a great deal on how much we can awaken the international proletariat to come to the rescue of the struggle in Spain; and unless we can create unity among ourselves, I do not see how we can call upon the workers of the world to unite in their efforts to conquer Fascism and to rescue the Spanish revolution.

Our comrades have a sublime ideal to inspire them; they have great courage and the iron will to conquer Fascism. All that goes a long way to hold up their morale. Airplanes bombarding towns and villages and all the other monster mechanisms cannot be stopped by spiritual values. The greater the pity that our side was not prepared, nor had the physical means to match the inexhaustible supplies streaming into Franco's side.

It is a miracle of miracles that our people are still on deck, more than ever determined to win. I cannot but think that the training our comrades are getting in the military schools will make them fitter to strike, and with greater force. I have been strengthened in this belief by my talks with young comrades in the military schools--with some of them at the Madrid front and with CNT-FAI members occupying high military positions. They all assured me that they had gained much through the military training, and that they feel more competent and surer of themselves to meet the enemy forces. I am not forgetting the danger of militarisation in a prolonged war. If such a calamity should happen, there will not be many of our gallant militias left to return as military ultimatums. I fervently hope that Fascism will be conquered quickly, and that our comrades can return from the front in triumph to where they came from--the collectives, land and industries. For the present there is no danger that they will become cogs in the military wheel.

All these factors directing the course of the CNT-FAI should be taken into consideration by the comrade critics, who after all are far removed from the struggle, hence really not in a position to see the whole tragic drama through the eyes of those who are in the actual struggle.

I do not mean to say that I may not also reach the painful point of disagreement with the CNT-FAI. But until Fascism is conquered, I would not raise my hand against them. For the present my place is at the side of the Spanish comrades and their great struggle against a whole world.

Comrades, the CNT-FAI are in a burning house; the flames are shooting up through every crevice, coming nearer and nearer to scorch our comrades. At this crucial moment, and with but few people trying to help save our people from the consuming flame, it seems to me a breach of solidarity to pour the acid of your criticism on their burned flesh. As for myself, I cannot join you in this. I know the CNT-FAI have gone far afield from their and our ideology. But that cannot make me forget their glorious revolutionary traditions of seventy years. Their gallant struggle--always haunted, always driven at bay, always in prison and exile. This makes me think that the CNT-FAI have remained fundamentally the same, and that the time is not far off when they will again prove themselves the symbol, the inspirational force, that the Spanish Anarcho-Syndicalists and Anarchists have always been to the rest of the Anarchists in the world.

Since I have been privileged to be in Spain twice--near the comrades, near their splendid constructive labour-- since I was able to see their selflessness and determination to build a new life on their soil, my faith in our comrades has deepened into a firm conviction that, whatever their inconsistencies, they will return to first principles. Tested by the fires of the anti-Fascist war and the revolution, the CNTFAI will emerge unscathed. Therefore I am with them, regardless of everything. A thousand times would I have rather remained in Spain to risk my life in their struggle than returned to the so-called safety in England. But since that could not be, I mean to strain every muscle and every nerve to make known, in as far as my pen and voice can reach, the great moral and organisational force of the CNT-FAI and the velour and heroism of our Spanish comrades.

This article appears courtesy of:

Emma Goldman Papers

Manuscripts and Archives Division

The New York Public Library

Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

The Individual, Society and the State (1940)

Emma Goldman

The minds of men are in confusion, for the very foundations of our civilization seem to be tottering. People are losing faith in the existing institutions, and the more intelligent realize that capitalist industrialism is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve.

The world is at a loss for a way out. Parliamentarism and democracy are on the decline. Salvation is being sought in Fascism and other forms of "strong" government.

The struggle of opposing ideas now going on in the world involves social problems urgently demanding a solution. The welfare of the individual and the fate of human society depend on the right answer to those questions The crisis, unemployment, war, disarmament, international relations, etc., are among those problems.

The State, government with its functions and powers, is now the subject of vital interest to every thinking man. Political developments in all civilized countries have brought the questions home. Shall we have a strong government? Are democracy and parliamentary government to be preferred, or is Fascism of one kind or another, dictatorship - monarchical, bourgeois or proletarian - the solution of the ills and difficulties that beset society today?

In other words, shall we cure the evils of democracy by more democracy, or shall we cut the Gordian knot of popular government with the sword of dictatorship?

My answer is neither the one nor the other. I am against dictatorship and Fascism as I am opposed to parliamentary regimes and so-called political democracy.

Nazism has been justly called an attack on civilization. This characterization applies with equal force to every form of dictatorship; indeed, to every kind of suppression and coercive authority. For what is civilization in the true sense? All progress has been essentially an enlargement of the liberties of the individual with a corresponding decrease of the authority wielded over him by external forces. This holds good in the realm of physical as well as of political and economic existence. In the physical world man has progressed to the extent in which he has subdued the forces of nature and made them useful to himself. Primitive man made a step on the road to progress when he first produced fire and thus triumphed over darkness, when he chained the wind or harnessed water.

What role did authority or government play in human endeavor for betterment, in invention and discovery? None whatever, or at least none that was helpful. It has always been the indivitual that has accomplished every miracle in that sphere, usually in spite of the prohibition, persecution and interference by authority, human and divine.

Similarly, in the political sphere, the road of progress lay in getting away more and more from the authority of the tribal chief or of the clan, of prince and king, of government, of the State. Economically, progress has meant greater well-being of ever larger numbers. Culturally, it has signified the result of all the other achievements - greater independence, political, mental and psychic.

Regarded from this angle, the problems of man's relation to the State assumes an entirely different significance. It is no more a question of whether dictatorship is preferable to democracy, or Italian Fascism superior to Hitlerism. A larger and far more vital question poses itself: Is political goverment, is the State beneficial to mankind, and how does it affect the individual in the social scheme of things?

The individual is the true reality in life. A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State, nor for that abstraction called "society," or the "nation," which is only a collection of individuals. Man, the individual, has always been and, necessarily is the sole source and motive power of evolution and progress. Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against "society," that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship. Man's greatest battles have been waged against man-made obstacles and artificial handicaps imposed upon him to paralyze his growth and development. Human thought has always been falsified by tradition and custom, and perverted false education in the interests of those who held power and enjoyed privileges. In other words, by the State and the ruling classes. This constant incessant conflict has been the history of mankind.

Individuality may be described as the consciousness of the individual as to what he is and how he lives. It is inherent in every human being and is a thing of growth. The State and social institutions come and go, but individuality remains and persists. The very essence of individuality is expression; the sense of dignity and independence is the soil wherein it thrives. Individuality is not the impersonal and mechanistic thing that the State treats as an "individual". The individual is not merely the result of heredity and environment, of cause and effect. He is that and a great deal more, a great deal else. The living man cannot be defined; he is the fountain-head of all life and all values; he is not a part of this or of that; he is a whole, an individual whole, a growing, changing, yet always constant whole.

Individuality is not to be confused with the various ideas and concepts of Individualism; much less with that "rugged individualism" which is only a masked attempt to repress and defeat the individual and his individuality So-called Individualism is the social and economic laissez faire: the exploitation of the masses by the classes by means of legal trickery, spiritual debasement and systematic indoctrination of the servile spirit, which process is known as "education." That corrupt and perverse "individualism" is the strait-jacket of individuality. It has converted life into a degrading race for externals, for possession, for social prestige and supremacy. Its highest wisdom is "the devil take the hindmost."

This "rugged individualism" has inevitably resulted in the greatest modern slavery, the crassest class distinctions, driving millions to the breadline. "Rugged individualism" has meant all the "individualism" for the masters, while the people are regimented into a slave caste to serve a handful of self-seeking "supermen." America is perhaps the best representative of this kind of individualism, in whose name political tyranny and social oppression are defended and held up as virtues; while every aspiration and attempt of man to gain freedom and social opportunity to live is denounced as "unAmerican" and evil in the name of that same individualism.

There was a time when the State was unknown. In his natural condition man existed without any State or organized government. People lived as families in small communities; They tilled the soil and practiced the arts and crafts. The individual, and later the family, was the unit of social life where each was free and the equal of his neighbor. Human society then was not a State but an association; a voluntary association for mutual protection and benefit. The elders and more experienced members were the guides and advisers of the people. They helped to manage the affairs of life, not to rule and dominate the individual.

Political government and the State were a much later development, growing out of the desire of the stronger to take advantage of the weaker, of the few against the many. The State, ecclesiastical and secular, served to give an appearance of legality and right to the wrong done by the few to the many. That appearance of right was necessary the easier to rule the people, because no government can exist without the consent of the people, consent open, tacit or assumed. Constitutionalism and democracy are the modern forms of that alleged consent; the concent being inoculated and indoctrinated by what is called "education," at home, in the church, and in every other phase of life.

That consent is the belief in authority, in the necessity for it. At its base is the doctrine that man is evil, vicious, and too incompetent to know what is good for him. On this all government and oppression is built. God and the State exist and are supported by this dogma.

Yet the State is nothing but a name. It is an abstraction. Like other similar conceptions - nation, race, humanity - it has no organic reality. To call the State an organism shows a diseased tendency to make a fetish of words.

The State is a term for the legislative and administrative machinery whereby certain business of the people is transacted, and badly so. There is nothing sacred, holy or mysterious about it. The State has no more conscience or moral mission than a commercial company for working a coal mine or running a railroad.

The State has no more existence than gods and devils have. They are equally the reflex and creation of man, for man, the individual, is the only reality. The State is but the shadow of man, the shadow of his opaqueness of his ignorance and fear.

Life begins and ends with man, the individual. Without him there is no race, no humanity, no State. No, not even "society" is possible without man. It is the individual who lives, breathes and suffers. His development, his advance, has been a continuous struggle against the fetishes of his own creation and particularly so against the "State."

In former days religious authority fashioned political life in the image of the Church. The authority of the State, the "rights" of rulers came from on high; power, like faith, was divine. Philosophers have written thick volumes to prove the sanctity of the State; some have even clad it with infallibility and with god-like attributes Some have talked themselves into the insane notion that the State is "superhuman," the supreme reality, "the absolute."

Enquiry was condemned as blasphemy. Servitude was the highest virtue. By such precepts and training certain things came to be regarded as self-evident, as sacred of their truth ,but [sic] because of constant and persistent repetition.

All progress has been essentially an unmasking of "divinity" and "mystery," of alleged sacred, eternal "truth"; it has been a gradual elimination of the abstract and the substitution in its place of the real, the concrete. In short, of facts against fancy, of knowledge against ignorance, of light against darkness.

That slow and arduous liberation of the individual was not accomplished by the aid of the State. On the contrary, it was by continuous conflict, by a life-and death struggle with the State, that even the smallest vestige of independence and freedom has been won. It has cost mankind much time and blood to secure what little it has gained so far from kings, tsars and governments

The great heroic figure of that long Golgotha has been Man. It has always been the individual, often alone and singly, at other times in unity and co-operation with others of his kind, who has fought and bled in the age-long battle against suppression and oppression, against the powers that enslave and degrade him.

More than that and more significant: It was man, the individual, whose soul first rebelled against injustice and degradation; it was the individual who first conceived the idea of resistance to the conditions under which he chafed. In short, it is always the individual who is the parent of the liberating thought as well as of the deed.

This refers not only to political struggles, but to the entire gamut of human life and effort, in all ages and climes. It has always been the individual, the man of strong mind and will to liberty, who paved the way for every human advance, for every step toward a freer and better world; in science, philosophy and art, as well as in industry, whose genius rose to the heights, conceiving the "impossible," visualizing its realization and imbuing others with his enthusiasm to work and strive for it. Socially speaking, it was always the prophet, the seer, the idealist, who dreamed of a world more to his heart's desire and who served as the beacon light on the road to greater achievement.

The State, every government whatever its form, character or color - be it absolute or constitutional, monarchy or republic, Fascist, Nazi or Bolshevik - is by its very nature conservative, static, intolerant of change and opposed to it. Whatever changes it undergoes are always the result of pressure exerted upon it, pressure strong enough to compel the ruling powers to submit peaceably or otherwise, generally "otherwise" - that is, by revolution. Moreover, the inherent conservatism of govemment, of authority of any kind, unavoidably becomes reactionary. For two reasons: first, because it is in the nature of government not only to retain the power it has, but also to strengthen, widen and perpetuate it, nationally as well as internationally. The stronger authority grows, the greater the State and its power, the less it can tolelate a similar authority or political power along side of itself. The psychology of govemment demands that its influence and prestige constantly grow, at home and abroad, and it exploits every opportunity to increase it. This tendency is motivated by the financial and commercial interests back of the government, represented and served by it. The fundamental raison d'etre of every government to which, incidentally, historians of former days wilfully shut their eyes, has become too obvious now even for professors to ignore.

The other factor which impels governments to become even more conservative and reactionary is their inherent distrust of the individual and fear of individuality. Our political and social scheme cannot afford to tolerate the individual and his constant quest for innovation. In "self-defense" the State therefore suppresses, persecutes, punishes and even deprives the individual of life. It is aided in this by every institution that stands for the preservation of the existing order. It resorts to every form of violence and force, and its efforts are supported by the "moral indignation" of the majority against the heretic, the social dissenter and the political rebel - the majority for centuries drilled in State worship, trained in discipline and obedience and subdued by the awe of authority in the home, the school, the church and the press.

The strongest bulwark of authority is uniformity; the least divergence from it is the greatest crime. The wholesale mechanisation of modern life has increased uniformity a thousandfold. It is everywhere present, in habits, tastes, dress, thoughts and ideas. Its most concentrated dullness is "public opinion." Few have the courage to stand out against it. He who refuses to submit is at once labelled "queer," "different," and decried as a disturbing element in the comfortable stagnancy of modern life.

Perhaps even more than constituted authority, it is social uniformity and sameness that harass the individual most. His very "uniqueness," "separateness" and "differentiation" make him an alien, not only in his native place, but even in his own home. Often more so than the foreign born who generally falls in with the established.

In the true sense one's native land, with its back ground of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home. A certain atmosphere of "belonging," the consciousness of being "at one" with the people and environment, is more essential to one's feeling of home. This holds good in relation to one's family, the smaller local circle, as well as the larger phase of the life and activities commonly called one's country. The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings than in his native land.

In pre-war time the individual could at least escape national and family boredom. The whole world was open to his longings and his quests. Now the world has become a prison, and life continual solitary confinement. Especially is this true since the advent of dictatorship, right and left.

Friedrich Nietzsche called the State a cold monster. What would he have called the hideous beast in the garb of modern dictatorship? Not that government had ever allowed much scope to the individual; but the champions of the new State ideology do not grant even that much. "The individual is nothing," they declare, "it is the collectivity which counts." Nothing less than the complete surrender of the individual will satisfy the insatiable appetite of the new deity.

Strangely enough, the loudest advocates of thig new gospel are to be found among the British and American intelligentsia. Just now they are enamored with the "dictatorship of the proletariat." In theory only, to be sure. In practice, they still prefer the few liberties in their own respective countries. They go to Russia for a short visit or as salesmen of the "revolution," but they feel safer and more comfortable at home.

Perhaps it is not only lack of courage which keeps these good Britishers and Americans in their native lands rather than in the millenium come. Subconsciously there may lurk the feeling that individuality remains the most fundamental fact of all human association, suppressed and persecuted yet never defeated, and in the long run the victor.

The "genius of man," which is but another name for personality and individuality, bores its way through all the caverns of dogma, through the thick walls of tradition and custom, defying all taboos, setting authority at naught, facing contumely and the scaffold - ultimately to be blessed as prophet and martyr by succeeding generations. But for the "genuis of man," that inherent, persistent quality of individuality, we would be still roaming the primeval forests.

Peter Kropotkin has shown what wonderful results this unique force of man's individuality has achieved when strengthened by co-operation with other individualities. The one-sided and entirely inadequate Darwinian theory of the struggle for existence received its biological and sociological completion from the great Anarchist scientist and thinker. In his profound work, Mutual Aid Kropotkin shows that in the animal kingdom, as well as in human society, co-operation - as opposed to internecine strife and struggle - has worked for the survival and evolution of the species. He demonstrated that only mutual aid and voluntary co-operation - not the omnipotent, all-devastating State - can create the basis for a free individual and associational life.

At present the individual is the pawn of the zealots of dictatorship and the equally obsessed zealots of "rugged individualism." The excuse of the former is its claim of a new objective. The latter does not even make a pretense of anything new. As a matter of fact "rugged individualism'' has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Under its guidance the brute struggle for physical existence is still kept up. Strange as it may seem, and utterly absurd as it is, the struggle for physical survival goes merrily on though the necessity for it has entirely disappeared. Indeed, the struggle is being continued apparently because there is no necessity for it. Does not so-called overproduction prove it? Is not the world-wide economic crisis an eloquent demonstration that the struggle for existence is being maintained by the blindness of "rugged individualism" at the risk of its own destruction?

One of the insane characteristics of this struggle is the complete negation of the relation of the producer to the things he produces. The average worker has no inner point of contact with the industry he is employed in, and he is a stranger to the process of production of which he is a mechanical part. Like any other cog of the machine, he is replaceable at any time by other similar depersonalized human beings.

The intellectual proletarian, though he foolishly thinks himself a free agent, is not much better off. He, too, has a little choice or self-direction, in his particular metier as his brother who works with his hands. Material considerations and desire for greater social prestige are usually the deciding factors in the vocation of the intellectual. Added to it is the tendency to follow in the footsteps of family tradition, and become doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, etc. The groove requires less effort and personality. In consequence nearly everybody is out of place in our present scheme of things. The masses plod on, partly because their senses have been dulled by the deadly routine of work and because they must eke out an existence. This applies with even greater force to the political fabric of today. There is no place in its texture for free choice of independent thought and activity. There is a place only for voting and tax-paying puppets.

The interests of the State and those of the individual differ fundamentally and are antagonistic. The State and the political and economic institutions it supports can exist only by fashioning the individual to their particular purpose; training him to respect ''law and order;" teaching him obedience, submission and unquestioning faith in the wisdom and justice of government; above all, loyal service and complete self-sacrifice when the State commands it, as in war. The State puts itself and its interests even above the claims of religion and of God. It punishes religious or conscientious scruples against individuality because there is no individuality without liberty, and liberty is the greatest menace to authority.

The struggle of the individual against these tremendous odds is the more difficult - too often dangerous to life and limb - because it is not truth or falsehood which serves as the criterion of the opposition he meets. It is not the validity or usefulness of his thought or activity which rouses against him the forces of the State and of "public opinion.'' The persecution of the innovator and protestant has always been inspired by fear on the part of constituted authority of having its infallibility questioned and its power undermined.

Man's true liberation, individual and collective, lies in his emancipation from authority and from the belief in it. All human evolution has been a struggle in that direction and for that object. It is not invention and mechanics which constitute development. The ability to travel at the rate of 100 miles an hour is no evidence of being civilized. True civilization is to be measured by the individual, the unit of all social life; by his individuality and the extent to which it is free to have its being to grow and expand unhindered by invasive and coercive authority.

Socially speaking, the criterion of civilization and culture is the degree of liberty and economic opportunity which the individual enjoys; of social and international unity and co-operation unrestricted by man-made laws and other artificial obstacles; by the absence of privileged castes and by the reality of liberty and human dignity; in short, by the true emancipation of the individual.

Political absolutism has been abolished because men have realized in the course of time that absolute power is evil and destructive. But the same thing is true of all power, whether it be the power of privilege, of money, of the priest, of the politician or of so-called democracy. In its effect on individuality it matters little what the particular character of coercion is - whether it be as black as Fascism, as yellow as Nazism or as pretentiously red as Bolshevism. It is power that corrupts and degrades both master and slave and it makes no difference whether the power is wielded by an autocrat, by parliament or Soviets. More pernicious than the power of a dictator is that of a class; the most terrible - the tyranny of a majority.

The long process of history has taught man that division and strife mean death, and that unity and cooperation advance his cause, multiply his strength and further his welfare. The spirit of government has always worked against the social application of this vital lesson, except where it served the State and aided its own particular interests. It is this anti-progressive and anti-social spirit of the State and of the privileged castes back of it which has been responsible for the bitter struggle between man and man. The individual and ever larger groups of individuals are beginning to see beneath the surface of the established order of things. No longer are they so blinded as in the past by the glare and tinsel of the State idea, and of the ''blessings'' of ''rugged individualism." Man is reaching out for the wider scope of human relations which liberty alone can give. For true liberty is not a mere scrap of paper called ''constitution,'' "legal right'' or "law." It is not an abstraction derived from the non-reality known as "the State." It is not the negative thing of being free from something, because with such freedom you may starve to death. Real freedom, true liberty is positive: it is freedom to something; it is the liberty to be, to do; in short, the liberty of actual and active opportunity.

That sort of liberty is not a gift: it is the natural right of man, of every human being. It cannot be given: it cannot be conferred by any law or government. The need of it, the longing for it, is inherent in the individual. Disobedience to every form of coercion is the instinctive expression of it. Rebellion and revolution are the more or less conscious attempt to achieve it. Those manifestations, individual and social, are fundamentally expressions of the values of man. That those values may be nurtured, the community must realize that its greatest and most lasting asset is the unit - the individual.

In religion, as in politics, people speak of abstractions and believe they are dealing with realities. But when it does come to the real and the concrete, most people seem to lose vital touch with it. It may well be because reality alone is too matter-of-fact, too cold to enthuse the human soul. It can be aroused to enthusiasm only by things out of the commonplace, out of the ordinary. In other words, the Ideal is the spark that fires the imagination and hearts of men. Some ideal is needed to rouse man out of the inertia and humdrum of his existence and turn the abject slave into an heroic figure.

Right here, of course, comes the Marxist objector who has outmarxed Marx himself. To such a one, man is a mere puppet in the hands of that metaphysical Almighty called economic determinism or, more vulgarly, the class struggle. Man's will, individual and collective, his psychic life and mental orientation count for almost nothing with our Marxist and do not affect his conception of human history.

No intelligent student will deny the importance of the economic factor in the social growth and development of mankind. But only narrow and wilful dogmatism can persist in remaining blind to the important role played by an idea as conceived by the imagination and aspirations of the individual.

It were vain and unprofitable to attempt to balance one factor as against another in human experience. No one single factor in the complex of individual or social behavior can be designated as the factor of decisive quality. We know too little, and may never know enough, of human psychology to weigh and measure the relative values of this or that factor in determining man's conduct. To form such dogmas in their social connotation is nothing short of bigotry; yet, perhaps, it has its uses, for the very attempt to do so proved the persistence of the human will and confutes the Marxists.

Fortunately even some Marxists are beginning to see that all is not well with the Marxian creed. After all, Marx was but human - all too human - hence by no means infallible. The practical application of economic determinism in Russia is helping to clear the minds of the more intelligent Marxists. This can be seen in the transvaluation of Marxian values going on in Socialist and even Communist ranks in some European countries. They are slowly realising that their theory has overlooked the human element, den Menschen, as a Socialist paper put it. Important as the economic factor is, it is not enough. The rejuvenation of mankind needs the inspiration and energising force of an ideal.

Such an ideal I see in Anarchism. To be sure, not in the popular misrepresentations of Anarchism spread by the worshippers of the State and authority. I mean the philosophy of a new social order based on the released energies of the individual and the free association of liberated individuals.

Of all social theories Anarchism alone steadfastly proclaims that society exists for man, not man for society. The sole legitimate purpose of society is to serve the needs and advance the aspiration of the individual. Only by doing so can it justify its existence and be an aid to progress and culture.

The political parties and men savagely scrambling for power will scorn me as hopelessly out of tune with our time. I cheerfully admit the charge. I find comfort in the assurance that their hysteria lacks enduring quality. Their hosanna is but of the hour.

Man's yearning for liberation from all authority and power will never be soothed by their cracked song. Man's quest for freedom from every shackle is eternal. It must and will go on.

This pamphlet is sponsored by the Free Society Forum

1241 N. California Avenue

Chicago, Illinois



The white slave traffic(1910)

Emma Goldman

"The White Slave Traffic." New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association. (1910).

OUR reformers have suddenly made a great discovery: the white slave traffic. The papers are full of these "unheard of conditions" in our midst, and the lawmakers are already planning a new set of laws to check the horror.

How is it that an institution, known almost to every child, should have been discovered so suddenly? How is it that this evil, known to all sociologists, should now be made such an important issue?

It is significant that whenever the public mind is to diverted from a great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency, gambling, saloons, etc. And what is the result of such crusades? Gambling is increasing, saloons are doing a lively business through back entrances, prostitution is at its height, and the system of pimps and cadets is but aggravated.

To assume that the recent investigation of the white slave traffic by George Kibbe Turner and others (and by the way, a very superficial investigation), has discovered anything new is, to say the least, very foolish. Prostitution was, and is a widespread evil, yet mankind goes on its business, perfectly indifferent to the sufferings and distress of the victims of prostitution. As indifferent, indeed, as mankind has so far remained to our industrial system, of to economic prostitution.

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 help to create a few more fat political jobs--parasites who stalk about the world as inspectors, investigators, detectives, etc.

What really is the cause of the trade in women? Not merely white women, but yellow and black women as well. Exploitation, of course: the merciless Moloch of capitalism that fattens on underpaid labor, thus driving thousands of women and girls into prostitution. With Mrs. Warren these girls feel, "Why waste your life working for a few shillings a week in a scullery, eighteen hours a day?"

Naturally our reformers say nothing about this cause. They know it well enough, but it doesn't pay to say anything about it. It is much more profitable to play the Pharisee, to pretend an outraged morality, than to go to the bottom of things.

However, there is one commendable exception among the young writers: Reginald Wright Kauffman, whose work The House of Bondage is the first earnest attempt to treat the social evil--not from a sentimental Philistine viewpoint. A journalist of wide experience, Mr. Kauffman proves that our industrial system leaves most women no alternative except prostitution. The women portrayed in The House of Bondage belong to the working class. Had the author portrayed the life of women in other spheres, he would have been confronted with the same state of affairs.

Nowhere is woman treated according to the merit of her work, but rather as a sex. It is therefore almost inevitable that she should pay for her right to exist, to keep a position in whatever line, with sex favors. Thus it is merely 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.

Just at present our good people are shocked by the disclosures that in New York City alone one out of every ten women works in a factory, that the average wage received by women is six dollars per week for forty-eight to sixty hours of work, and that the majority of female wage workers face many months of idleness which leaves the average wage about $280 a year. In view of these economic horrors, is it to be wondered at that prostitution and the white slave trade have become such dominant factors?

Lest the preceding figures be considered an exaggeration, it is well to examine what some authorities on prostitution have to say:

"A prolific cause of female depravity can be found in the several tables, showing the description of the employment pursued, and the wages received, by the women previous to their fall, and it will be a question for the political economist to decide how far mere business consideration should be an apology --on the part of employers for a reduction in their rates of remuneration, and whether the savings of a small percentage on wages is not more than counterbalanced by the enormous amount of taxation enforced on the public at large to defray the expenses incurred on account of a system of vice, which is the direct result, in many cases, of insufficient compensation of honest labor."

Our present-day reformers would do well to look into Dr. Sanger's book. There they will find that out of 2,000 cases under his observation, but few came from the middle classes, from well-ordered conditions, or pleasant homes. By far the largest majority were working girls and working women; some driven into prostitution through sheer want, others because of a cruel, wretched life at home, others again because of thwarted and crippled physical natures (of which I shall speak later on). Also it will do the maintainers of purity and morality good to learn that out of two thousand cases, 490 were married women, women who lived with their husbands. Evidently there was not much of a guaranty for their "safety and purity" in the sanctity of marriage.

Dr. Alfred Blaschko, in Prostitution in the Nineteenth Century, is even more emphatic in characterizing economic conditions as one of the most vital factors of prostitution. "Although prostitution has existed in all ages, it was left to the nineteenth century to develop it into a gigantic social institution. The development of industry with vast masses of people in the competitive market, the growth and congestion of large cities, the insecurity and uncertainty of employment, has given prostitution an impetus never dreamed of at any period in human history."

And again Havelock Ellis, while not so absolute in dealing with the economic cause, is nevertheless compelled to admit that it is indirectly and directly the main cause. Thus he finds that a large percentage of prostitutes is recruited from the servant class, although the latter have less care and greater security. On the other hand, Mr. Ellis does not deny that the daily routine, the drudgery, the monotony of the servant girl's lot, and especially the fact that she may never partake of the companionship and joy of a home, is no mean factor in forcing her to seek recreation and forgetfulness in the gaiety and glimmer of prostitution. In other words, the servant girl, being treated as a drudge, never having the right to herself, and worn out by the caprices of her mistress, can find an outlet, like the factory or shopgirl, only in prostitution.

The most amusing side of the question now before the public is the indignation of our "good, respectable people," especially the various Christian gentlemen, who are always to be found in the front ranks of every crusade. Is it that they are absolutely ignorant of the history of religion, and especially of the Christian religion? Or is it that they hope to blind the present generation to the part played in the past by the Church in relation to prostitution? Whatever their reason, they should be the last to cry out against the unfortunate victims of today, since it is known to every intelligent student that prostitution is of religious origin, maintained and fostered for many centuries, not as a shame, but as a virtue, hailed as such by the Gods themselves.

"It would seem that the origin of prostitution is to be found primarily in a religious custom, religion, the great conserver of social tradition, preserving in a transformed shape a primitive freedom that was passing out of the general social life. The typical example is that recorded by Herodotus, in the fifth century before Christ, at the Temple of Mylitta, the Babylonian Venus, where every woman, once in her life, had to come and give herself to the first stranger, who threw a coin in her lap, to worship the goddess. Very similar customs existed in other parts of western Asia, in North Africa, in Cyprus, and other islands of the eastern Mediterranean, and also in Greece, where the temple of Aphrodite on the fort at Corinth possessed over a thousand hierodules, dedicated to the service of the goddess.

"The theory that religious prostitution developed, as a general rule, out of the belief that the generative activity of human beings possessed a mysterious and sacred influence in promoting the fertility of Nature, is maintained by all authoritative writers on the subject. Gradually, however, and when prostitution became an organized institution under priestly influence, religious prostitution developed utilitarian sides, thus helping to increase public revenue.

"The rise of Christianity to political power produced little change in policy. The leading fathers of the Church tolerated prostitution. Brothels under municipal protection are found in the thirteenth century. They constituted a sort of public service, the directors of them being considered almost as public servants."

To this must be added the following from Dr. Sanger's work:

"Pope Clement II. issued a bull that prostitutes would be tolerated if they pay a certain amount of their earnings to the Church.

"Pope Sixtus IV. was more practical; from one single brothel, which he himself had built, he received an income of 20,000 ducats."

In modern times the Church is a little more careful in that direction. At least she does not openly demand tribute from prostitutes. She finds it much more profitable to go in for real estate, like Trinity Church, for instance, to rent out death traps at an exorbitant price to those who live off and by prostitution.

Much as I should like to, my space will not admit speaking of prostitution in Egypt, Greece, Rome, and during the Middle Ages. The conditions in the latter period are particularly interesting, inasmuch as prostitution was organized into guilds, presided over by a Brothel Queen. These guilds employed strikes as a medium of improving their condition and keeping a standard price. Certainly that is more practical a method than the one used by the modern wage slave in society.

Never, however, did prostitution reach its present depraved and criminal position, because at no time in past ages was prostitution persecuted and hounded as it is to-day, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, where Phariseeism is at its height, where each one is busy hiding the skeletons in his own home by pointing to the sore of the other fellow.

But I must not lose sight of the present issue, the white slave traffic. I have already spoken of the economic cause, but I think a cause much deeper and by far of greater importance is the complete ignorance on sex matters. It is a conceded fact that woman has been reared as a sex commodity, and yet she is kept in absolute ignorance of the meaning and importance of sex. Everything dealing with that subject is suppressed, and people who attempt to bring light into this terrible darkness are persecuted and thrown into prison. Yet it is nevertheless true that so long as a girl is not to know how to take care of herself, not to know the function of the most important part of her life, we need not be surprised if she becomes an easy prey to prostitution or any other form of a relationship which degrades her to the position of an object for mere sex gratification.

It is due to this ignorance that the entire life and nature of the girl is thwarted and crippled. We have long ago taken it as a self-evident fact that the boy may follow the call of the wild, that is to say that the boy may, as soon as his sex nature asserts itself, satisfy that nature, but our moralists are scandalized at the very thought that the nature of a girl should assert itself. To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it to many.

Having been looked upon as a mere sex-commodity, the woman's honor, decency, morality, and usefulness have become a part of her sex life. Thus society considers the sex experiences of a man as attributes of his general development, while similar experiences in the life of a woman are looked upon as a terrible calamity,