Emma Goldman

Anarchism: What it Really Stands For

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Emma Goldman (1869 – 1940) was an anarchist political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
In this essay, (1910) Goldman sets forth her interpretation of the ideology of anarchism. Like most anarchists, she was highly idealistic; believing that human nature was inherently good, she was convinced that a state of absolute freedom would maximize human happiness and productivity. Here she enumerates the many constraints — including religion, property, law and government — that she sees as limiting the individual's liberty. She claims that 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.
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