Emma Goldman

A Canonical Quote: Goldman on Patriotism

#trumpswindle | #resist

“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 squander 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.”

Emma Goldman

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Goldman, Emma. “Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty”. Anarchism and Other Essays. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association. 1911.

Your Morning Metal (One Foot in Hell)

Detail of front cover art for 'Twisted into Form' by Forbidden, 1990, by Kent Mathieu.

In a strange way, the caricatures driving rebellion in metal-laden explorations of conscience do not seem so exaggerated today. Once upon a time, we argued about listening to the music. And it feels both strange and familiar, perhaps the one for the other. That is to say, the shape of these arguments going on today, about boys wearing skirts and girls having babies really does feel like nothing more than the heavy metal wars all over again, and this time for higher stakes. It isn’t fair, I don’t think, to say that we got it, understood the mere fact of caricaturization, but they didn’t. Still, that’s how it feels. We built monstrous, shadowy legends to represent the hatred we feared. They really do seem to be dressing up in it. Or, at least, that’s how it feels.

Regression! Progressive downfall! Grabbing what’s there and still wanting it all! On words they fall. Obsession! Religioius belief! Worshipped on Sunday, forgotten all week! One foot in Hell. Taking the truth from “The Book” and then twisting it, feeling they’re touched by the Lord. Loving their neighbor, yet tasting the flavor of sin but seeing no wrong. Cramming the wisdom that righteously flows in them, walking the crooked straight line. Closing of minds to these innocent crimes, now they’re deaf, dumb, and blind! One foot in Hell! Wretches! This pitiful man, preaching and teaching with Cross in hand. On words he falls. Into his final mistake; this fool was fooled, it was all give and take. One foot in hell. I look to the Heavens and call the Lord’s name. Praying on my knees, with much faith, and little doubt. I have a yearning for the answers to my calling in life. Am I wasting away on spirits of myth? Am I questioning the Lord’s prayer? Is this unholy temptation or my final realization? Please, God, if you’re there for me, give me wisdom for faith. Help me, Lord! God help me! Show me the way; point to the light. Is there a Heaven after I die? What is a truth, where does it lie? Give me the answer! Bare my soul, naked and cold! End confusion, shed my last tear! Take me, Lord! Open your Gates! End my deep sorrow! One foot in Hell. Who’s answering the bell?

Forbidden, “One Foot in Hell” (1990)

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A Burden of Wealth

Jen Sorensen notes:

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, 18 November 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Now, it seems to me that other factors may be coming into play here. For example, when 1% of the world’s population holds as much wealth as the bottom half, you’re going to see some pressure on those Picasso price points. It’s a clash of the titans — titans with near-infinite resources to spend impressing each other to death!

When you see the price of luxury homes as a more reliable indicator of inflation than the price of milk or gas — or government data showing that inflation is under control — it says more about your limited, paranoid perspective than anything else.

Which, in turn, reminds me of something Emma Goldman wrote a century ago:

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.

What else are we supposed to think when rich Americans complain about the burdens of shopping for real estate in London?

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Sorensen, Jen. “Life in the billionaire bubble”. Daily Kos. 18 November 2014.

Goldman, Emma. “Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty”. Anarchy and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911.

Not Unexpected

Gillian Flaccus, of Associated Press:

It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

Wannabe Anarchists?Dozens of gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.

On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted more than 400 attendees, all bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.

The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek “40 Dates, 40 Nights” tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch dozens of Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world.

So the story goes, Sanderson Jones came up with the idea because, well, why should Christmas carols and other fun stuff be the exclusive province of theists?

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