Emma Goldman: Another Viewpoint

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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. They began with her birth on June 27, 1869, in the province of Kaunas, (Kovno), Lithuania.


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. These incidents, no doubt, further ignited her desire to alleviate the suffering of others, and in particular that of women.
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. ...
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