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Emma Goldman: Another Viewpoint - Essay Example

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Emma Goldman: Another Viewpoint

While there, she was introduced to the revolutionary philosophy of Chernyskevsky, the leader of the 1860's Democratic Revolution Movement in Russia. In these environments, Goldman discovered the seeds that motivated her strong opposition to governments. Not only did she oppose government, she believed that all forms of organizations, including that of religions, were frosted with a need to control individuals and was, therefore, detrimental to their freedom and rights to have an abundant life.
Goldman worked as a midwife and a nurse prior to her career as a writer and anarchist. During this time, she witnessed many examples of what she believed to be crimes against women, including deaths as the result of pregnancies.

In her belief that each individual should have the right to "share at the table of life...," Goldman would not have been classified as a modern-day feminist. Most likely, her views on the rights of individuals would not have coincided with feminists ideals to fight for the rights of women today. Human rights were always at the forefront of her efforts-not pluralism as many think is the case in enforcing the US Affirmative Action Law that feminists now espouse. If she were still alive, she would continue to seek the liberation of workers, including men and women. The inhumane treatment of the working class as that in America, Britain, Russia, China, Spain, and other parts of the world would still capture her anarchist spirit. As in Goldman's days, news about these peoples is seldom brought to the attention of the populace by the governments; instead, the leaders of these countries prefer to extol their virtues in support of the laboring. Human trafficking, sweatshops, use of the under-aged for labor, failure to pay minimum wage, fear of deportation, and all crimes against those who prostitute themselves to earn a living continue to beg for assistance from personalities portrayed by the Goldman heroism. It is through such radicals as Goldman and their pleas that public awareness is raised, not through our governments' spins, which prefer to ensnare us into believing that these inequities are being removed. Rather, the gap continues to widen as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
In 1886, when Goldman immigrated to America, she was a young woman of 16 or 17. The following year, in 1887, she learned of the Chicago Haymarket massacre and trial. This knowledge affected her in a way that ignited the anarchic course her life then took. Not until she heard the history of the massacre and the trial from the lips of another young woman, Johanna Greie, was her passions aroused to such a degree as to invoke her into action. Goldman first heard Grie at a meeting of German Socialists in Rochester. Grier spoke to the group about the events that led up to the Haymarket incident-how it was a peaceful meeting of organized workers until the police attacked the workers. She told about the police brutality that resulted in the beatings of men and women and the deaths of several individuals. Up until this time, Goldman knew much about the meaning of anarchism but not that it had a movement all its own. Upon learning about the movement, she began to call herself an anarchist. In time, she came up with her own definition for the philosophy of anarchism, which was:
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At the roots of many of the beliefs, which fostered Emma Goldman's adoption of anarchism and desire to help the working class, were the teachings of her Jewish parents. …
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