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Emma Goldman’s “Anarchism Without Adjectives”

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Kathy E. Ferguson su The Public Domain Review delinea la figura di Emma Goldman (1869-1940).

Emma Goldman è stata un’anarchica, attivista, filosofa e saggista russa, naturalizzata statunitense, che ebbe un ruolo nella diffusione del pensiero anarchico in Europa e Nordamerica.

Subì diversi arresti negli Stati Uniti d’America, i più clamorosi dei quali per diffondere informazioni sulle modalità di controllo delle nascite. Costretta a lasciare gli Stati Uniti d’America sotto minaccia di deportazione, visse in seguito dividendosi tra Francia e Canada, Paese in cui trascorse gli ultimi anni.

Emma Goldman fu una figura radicale:

Emma Goldman was a well-known radical critic of capitalism, the state, religion, patriarchy and colonialism during the fertile political years at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. For over a half century, she articulated an anarchist vision of a strong, free, self-creating individual within an egalitarian, participatory society. While anarchists are often dismissed as the lunatic fringe of the Left, Goldman presented anarchism as the most practical approach to human liberation. She emphasized concrete and creative anarchist activities, including cooperatives, radical schools, labor actions, and publications, which showed anarchism in action.

Nata in Lituania, nel corso di oltre mezzo secolo la Goldman ha tracciato una visione anarchica di un individuo forte, libero e autodeterminato all’interno di una società egualitaria e partecipativa.

Goldman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into an economically insecure Jewish family. Her brief formal education was enhanced by exposure to nihilist revolutionaries and Russian radical literature. Immigrating with her sister to the United States in 1885, she settled originally in Rochester, New York. Like many young people of her generation, she was galvanized politically by the trial and execution of several young anarchists who were framed for the killing of police at the Haymarket riots in Chicago in 1886. She subsequently moved to New York City and joined the anarchist movement, rapidly rising to become one of the best known speakers in the lively radical landscape of the time.

Le sue idee hanno contribuito a creare ciò che molti anarchici della sua generazione chiamavano “anarchismo senza aggettivi”.

Into this sweeping critique of established authority, Goldman introduced the aesthetic sensibility of the American romantic movement, Nietzsche’s spirit of rebellion, and her own unique feminism. From Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau she absorbed a poetic, sensuous individualism. Like many other anarchists of her day, she emphasized the centrality of radical art, poetry, literature and drama to the emergence of free individuals. She was one of the first anarchists to become enthusiastic about Nietzsche, embracing him as a catalyst for a spiritual transvaluation of values. While she scorned the women’s suffrage movement, seeing any effort to reform rather than transform society as a useless distraction from more radical goals, she developed a revolutionary feminism that anticipated many themes prevalent in the later women’s movements. She focused her feminism on women’s bodies, demanding that women control their own reproduction, find their own sexual autonomy, claim equality in relations with men, and work with men to overthrow the prevailing authorities and create new relations of equality and freedom.

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