Russia During Red Emma's Days

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In Memory of Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and Voltairine de Cleyre Russia during Red Emma’s Days by Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D. © May 2014, Skull Press Ebook Publications, Ghent, Belgium Public Domain and Non Commercial

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Page 1: Russia During Red Emma's Days

In Memory of Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman,

and Voltairine de Cleyre

Russia during Red Emma’s Days by Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D.

© May 2014, Skull Press Ebook Publications, Ghent, Belgium – Public

Domain and Non Commercial

Page 2: Russia During Red Emma's Days


Russia during Red Emma’s Days


Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D.

Humanity is today as it was even

in the twentieth century more

sensitive to ideas than ever

before, and this is why the many

ideologies, and for this reason, in

defence of their plans, even the

most recalcitrant of the nations

has to discover some idealistic

excuse to put before the other

nations when occupied with any

infringement of recognised law.

The major ideas in modern times

as it was in Emma Goldman’s

time fall into five categories I

think, and this is aggression for

the sake of possession and the

authority of a man or a group

and of a church representing a

State. For selfish purposes and of policy such powers may work behind the

scenes but their tenets and motives are easily recognisable, as I already said for

selfish ambition and violently imposed authority.

Those ideas which were relatively new such as Nazism, Fascism, and

Communism, though they were not really as new as people are apt to think.

They are the same on one important point. The State or community of human

beings counts as of importance whilst the individual does not; he can be

slaughtered at any time for the good of the State or for the so-called general


Democracy is an illusionary idea in which (supposed but as so far never

factually) the people govern and the governments represents the will of the

people, determining the trend of world affairs. As such, the world picture today

is one outstanding chaos, of striving ideologies of warring forces, persecution of

the minorities, of hatreds working into a furious preparation of war, and of

anxiety and terror.

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The idea of a world state is the dream of the Anarchist, but for which humanity

is as such not yet ready. Anarchists think that the present world situation is a

disaster. In spite of the many ideologies, each one is fighting with each other for

supremacy and oblivious of the important fact that all these ideologies may be

temporarily adapted to the groups or nations who adopt them. They are none of

them suitable for general use (and I say this equally of democracy as of any

other ideology); they suit well in all probability the nations who accept them and

mould their national life on their premises. Nothing as yet is permanent.

Emma Goldman, after her experiences in the United States, after two years

under the Soviet Government, ventures the assertion “I was never more

convinced of the truth of my ideas, never in my life had greater proof of the

logic and justice of Anarchism.” Kropotkin, speaking, says: “We Anarchists

have talked much about the revolution, but how many have ever taken pains to

prepare for the actual work during and after the revolution? The Russian

Revolution has demonstrated the imperativeness of such preparation of practical

reconstructive work.”

Round about the activities of Emma Goldman, the static stabilising tendency of

Germany showed for instance in her futile effort to preserve a racial purity, as

then, impossible. This has been the line of least resistance for Germany, for

though their grandiose manifestation at that time, yet the bulk of the people in

power in Germany during the past world war (1914-1945) were all misled by

those in authority aiming their own interests. They were all dangerously

dreaming. It is for this reason that Great Britain could contact the German race

and handle the people in that sad country more understandingly than can the

other nations or Great Powers. They shared similar qualities and one of the

services which Great Britain could render at that time is to come to the aid of

world peace and live up to her motto, "I serve," by acting as an interpreter.

A careful analysis of the idealism of Russia and of the United States may reveal

no resemblances in the goal of their idealism; the Russian was driven to an

idealised order and a community of interests. Because of this and because of the

enforced work, some forces are present and active in Russia yesterday and even

today with Putin which need most careful handling which needs most careful

consideration. These forces which were working in Russia are concerned with

the magic of the outer form whereas Anarchism is concerned only with freedom

of all, and the working class. The "black forces of capitalism," are as much

rampant in Russia than in other parts of the world, but the Russian reaction and

attitude to enforced rule and order has been disastrous. Germany also enforced a

standardised order and way of living but this was definitely submitted to the

control of the black forces of the government at its head Adolf Hitler.

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You will note that of the major nations only Brazil, Great Britain and the United

States of America were definitely under the influence of Wisdom and

Comprehension. Great Britain represented that aspect of the mind which

expressed itself in intelligent government, based on just and charitable

understanding. That is, of course, the ideal before her, but not as yet the exactly

fulfilled achievement. The United States represented the more intuitive faculty,

as enlightenment for the surrounding nations, plus the power to fuse and blend.

Brazil — at some distant date — represented a linking interpreting civilisation,

based on the unfoldment of the abstract consciousness comparable with a blend

of the intellect and the intuition and which served to reveal some kind of


It was too dangerous in those days of difficulty and world turmoil to express

oneself more definitely as to the future lines of unfoldment. The destiny and the

future functioning of the nations laid hid in their activities. The majority of my

readers may be far too nationalistic in their thinking, and too deeply engrossed

with the prime importance of their own nation and its supreme significance, for

me to be able to do more than generalise and indicate the major lines of

progress. The role of a prophet is a dangerous one, for destiny lies in the hands

of the people and no one knows exactly what the people will do — once aroused

and educated. The time has not yet come when the bulk of the people of any

nation can see the picture whole or be permitted to know the exact part their

nation must play in the history of nations. Every nation — without exception —

has its peculiar virtues and vices which are dependent upon the point in

evolution, the measure of control of the personality, the emerging control of the

understanding (mind), and the general focus of the nation.

It is, however, useful to bear in mind that some nations are negative and

feminine and others are masculine and positive. India, France, the United States

of America, Russia and Brazil are all feminine and constitute the nurturing

mother aspect. They are feminine in their psychology — intuitive, mystical,

alluring, beautiful, fond of display and colour, and with the faults also of the

feminine aspect, such as over emphasis upon the material aspects of life, upon

pageantry, upon possession and upon money or its equivalent as a symbol of the

form side of existence. They mother and nurture civilisation and ideas.

China, Germany, Great Britain and Italy were masculine and positive; they were

mental, political, governing, standardising, group-conscious, metaphysical by

inclination, aggressive, full of grandeur, interest in law and in laying the

emphasis upon race and empire.

National relationships and the major intellectual cleavages were based also upon

the governing influences. Spain, Austria and France worked out in a most

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interesting manner in the Middle Ages, and the destinies of these three nations

were closely related. The newly forming country of the United States was

likewise mentally and intimately associated — in its form aspect — with Brazil,

Russia and Italy; hence the early influx of certain types of emigrants into the

country and hence also the pull of the South American countries upon the

American consciousness, and the growth (rightly or wrongly) of the ideal of

Pan-America. We may note the following consequential notes sensing an

Anarchic ideal:

1. The sensing of the Anarchic ideal.

2. The formulation of the Anarchic theory of freedom and equality.

3. The growth of public opinion.

4. The imposition of the Anarchic and developing pattern upon the

evolving life.

5. The production of a form, based upon that pattern.

6. The stabilised functioning of the life within the Anarchic form.

As in France:

Since the 1789 French Revolution, the political spectrum in France has obeyed

the left–right distinction. However, due to the historical association of the term

droite (right) with monarchism, conservative or right-wing parties have tended

to avoid officially describing themselves as representing the "right wing".

Contemporary French politics are characterised by two politically opposed

groupings: one left-wing, centred around the French Socialist Party, and the

other right-wing, centred previously around the Rassemblement pour la

République (RPR) and now its successor the Union for a Popular Movement

(UMP). The executive branch is currently composed mostly of the Socialist


The Second Republic in France from 1848

To reduce popular discontent the provisional government created national

workshops in Paris for the unemployed (some unemployed workers from the

provinces came to work in them). However the workers were dissatisfied and

they still held demonstrations. In June 1848 the government decided to close the

workshops and they ordered the workers to disperse. However the workers

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refused and they manned barricades in Paris. Eventually government troops

crushed the uprising known as the June Days.

Then, in November 1848 the new constitution was published. All men were

allowed to vote and there was to be a single elected assembly and a popularly

elected president. In December 1848 Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon

Bonaparte was elected president.

However the constitution did not allow the president to serve a second term.

Therefore on 2 December 1851 Napoleon led a coup. A referendum was held

and the people agreed to allow the president to change the constitution. He did

so and in December 1852 he made himself Emperor Napoleon III. (This was

because Louis XVI was executed in 1793 and his son was never crowned. He

died in 1795. However when the monarchy was restored in 1814 royalists

insisted that Louis XVI's son had been Louis XVII even though he never ruled

France. So the next Bourbon king was named Louis XVIII. Napoleon Bonaparte

had a son who never ruled France and who died young. Following the royalist

myth Louis Napoleon insisted that he had been Napoleon II and he called

himself Napoleon III).

Napoleon III

Napoleon III was responsible for largely rebuilding Paris. Many wide

boulevards were built during his reign. Furthermore new sewers made Paris a

healthier city. The building work also provided employment for many of the


Meanwhile industrialization continued in France. During Napoleon's time many

more railways were built and new banks were founded.

However Napoleon had a disastrous foreign policy. In 1854 he went to war with

Russia (The Crimean War). Although the war ended successfully in 1856 France

gained nothing. Then, in 1859 he fought a war with Austria. Again the war was

successful but France gained little (only Savoy and Nice).

Furthermore in 1862 France joined Britain and Spain in sending an expedition to

collect debt from Mexico. Spain and Britain withdrew but Napoleon foolishly

tried to make Maximillian, a prince of Austria, emperor of Mexico. The

Mexicans rebelled and in 1865 Napoleon was forced to withdraw his troops.

Maximillian was shot.

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Realizing he was losing popularity after 1867 Napoleon made his regime more

liberal. He relaxed press censorship and restrictions on public meetings.

Workers were given the right to strike.

However in 1870 Napoleon went to war with Prussia. The French were utterly

defeated at Sedan in September. Napoleon was captured and abdicated. He later

fled abroad.

A provisional government was formed led by Adolphe Thiers. Meanwhile the

Germans surrounded Paris and the inhabitants were reduced to virtual starvation.

Finally on 28 January 1871 Paris surrendered. By the peace treaty France lost

Alsace-Lorraine. She also had to pay an indemnity and German troops were

stationed in northern France until it was paid.

Shortly after the surrender of Paris a National Assembly took control of the

government. It met at Versailles. However the Parisians were outraged by the

peace treaty and they rebelled. The Parisians formed their own municipal

government called the commune. Thiers was determined to crush the revolt and

on 21 May 1871 he sent in the army. While the Germans watched French

soldiers took the city street by street with great loss of life.

Afterwards Thiers was named president and he quickly managed to pay the

indemnity demanded by Germany. The last German soldiers left France in

September 1873.

Meanwhile in 1873 Thiers was replaced by Marshal MacMahon, a monarchist.

Nevertheless in 1875 the National Assembly established the Third Republic by

one vote.

The Third Republic in France

In the late 19th century industrialization in France continued. Iron and chemical

industries grew rapidly and in the early 20th century car making became an

important industry. Meanwhile more railways were built.

In the late 19th century living standards for ordinary French people improved

and their diet became better. In 1900 a law was passed limiting women and

children to working no more than 10 hours a day.

However on 15 October 1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who worked in the

intelligence section of the General Staff of the French army was arrested for

treason. He was accused of selling military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus was

tried and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devils Island.

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However Dreyfus was Jewish and he was a victim of anti-Semitism. He was also

an Alsatian and was seen as an outsider. He was completely innocent of the


After two years a man named Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart uncovered

evidence that the real culprit was a Major Walsin Esterhazy. However the army

transferred Picquart to Tunisia and a military court acquitted Esterhazy, despite

the evidence.

Then the novelist Emile Zola published an article in a newspaper, which was

called J'accuse! (I accuse) in which he denounced the army cover up. The case

then split France with the right ring and the leaders of the Catholic Church

against Dreyfus and the left wing for him.

In 1899 Dreyfus was given a new court-martial but again he was found guilty!

Nevertheless the president pardoned Dreyfus and he returned to France. Poor

Dreyfus had to wait until 1906 before he was cleared of all blame.

France in the 20th Century

Also in 1906 a law was passed separating Church from State.

Then in 1914 France was plunged into the First World War. About 1.3 million

French soldiers died in the war. Nearly a million men were left disabled. The

war also caused great damage to the French economy. Many buildings were

destroyed and many domestic animals were killed. Furthermore the French

government was left heavily in debt.

However in the early 1920s the French economy recovered. By 1924 industrial

production had reached its 1914 level and by 1929 it had risen to a level 40%

above that. Many foreigners such as Poles, Italians, and Spaniards came to work

in France.

However in 1929 the Wall Street Crash triggered a worldwide depression. It

took a long time to reach France but the economy began to slump in 1932.

Then, in the mid-1930s the communists formed a common front with the

socialists. It was called the Popular Front and it won the 1936 election. However

following the election there was a wave of strikes and factory sit-ins. So the

main employers got together and made concessions. They made the Matignon

Agreement with Leon Blum, leader of the Popular Front. By it wages were

raised 10% and a 40-hour week was introduced. Workers were granted 2 weeks

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paid holiday. However the French economy was still depressed and

unemployment remained high.

France in the Second World War

The Second World War began on 3 September 1939 when France declared war

on Germany.

On 10 May 1940 the Germans attacked neutral Holland and Belgium. The

British and French rushed armies into Belgium to stop them. However German

tanks drove through the Ardennes Forest in northeast France. They then drove to

the coast, cutting off the allied troops.

The British army and 140,000 French troops were evacuated by sea. However

the Germans now advanced into France. Panic-stricken millions of French

civilians fled before them. Finally on 25 June 1940 Petain made an armistice

with the Germans.

The German terms were draconian. North and eastern France were occupied and

the French army was limited to 100,000 men. Then on 10 July 1940 the French

assembly granted Petain dictatorial powers. He became head of a new fascist

state in southern France, based in Vichy. The Vichy regime soon began to

persecute Jews. However the regime was short lived. The Germans occupied

southern France in November 1942.

Furthermore the Germans drained France of its resources. Hundreds of

thousands of Frenchmen were forced to go and work in Germany. The Germans

also took much of French industry's goods and they took much of French

agriculture's produce. As a result there was widespread malnutrition in France.

Meanwhile resistance groups formed in France while in England Charles de

Gaulle became leader of the French forces still fighting the Germans.

Then in the summer of 1944 the allies liberated France and de Gaulle became

provisional president. However he soon quarreled with a newly elected

assembly and he resigned in January 1946.

A new constitution was drawn up in 1947. However from the start de Gaulle

opposed the new constitution. As he feared it produced a series of weak

governments. However in the late 1940s France quickly recovered from the war.

By 1951 French industrial production had reached its pre-war level.

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Then in the 1950s France had trouble with its colonies. In the late 19th century

France built up an empire in Southeast Asia. However after 1945 Vietnam

fought for independence. In 1954 the Communists won a great victory at Dien

Bien Phu and the French were forced to withdraw.

France also split over the issue of Algerian independence. Then on 13 May 1958

French colonists in Algeria seized power and France was threatened with civil

war. At the moment of crisis, on 1 June 1958 the National Assembly voted to

give de Gaulle emergency powers for 6 months. The Fourth Republic came to an


The Fifth Republic in France

De Gaulle called a referendum for a revised constitution in September 1958. The

French voted overwhelmingly in favour. De Gaulle gave himself, as president,

greatly increased powers.

Then in 1959 de Gaulle entered into negotiations with the FLN in Algeria.

However in 1961 French colonists in Algeria formed the OASC (Organisation

Armee Secrete) to fight against independence. Attempts were made to

assassinate de Gaulle but in July 1962 Algeria voted for independence.

De Gaulle was re-elected in 1965 but only by a very narrow majority. However

in May 1968 France exploded. It began as a protest among students at the

university of Nanterre. The protests soon spread to the Sorbonne. Workers also

joined the protests. On 10 May the riot police attacked demonstrators and in

response the trade unions called a general strike. Protests also spread across


However the Communist Party continued to support de Gaulle. Furthermore the

prime minister Georges Pompidou defused working class anger by offering

wage rises. Finally de Gaulle called an election and there was a right wing

backlash. The right took control of the French assembly and the crisis fizzled


However de Gaulle resigned in 1969. He died in 1970.

De Gaulle was replaced by Georges Pompidou. He was re-elected in 1972 but

died soon afterwards. He was succeeded by Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

Although the French economy boomed during the 1960s in the 1970s inflation

and unemployment rose.

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In 1981 Francois Mitterrand was elected president. Mitterrand was a socialist

and under him the welfare state was enlarged and working hours were reduced.

However the dream soon turned sour. The French were forced to devalue the

France several times in the early 1980s and both inflation and unemployment


Mitterrand changed course and introduced wage freezes and cut public

spending. By 1986 inflation had fallen and unemployment, though high was

stable. Mitterrand was re-elected in 1988. In 1995 he was replaced by Jacques

Chirac. Nicolas Sarkozy was elected president in 2007.

Meanwhile France was one of the founder members of the EU in 1957. In 1999

France joined the Euro.

Like the rest of Europe France suffered in the recession of 2009 but the

economy soon recovered. Today France is a prosperous country.

Today the population of France is 65 million.

As in Italy

The Economy of Italy under Fascism refers to the economy in Italy between

1922 and 1943 when the Fascists were in control. Italy had emerged from World

War I in a poor and weakened condition. An unpopular and costly conflict had

been borne by an underdeveloped country. Post-war there was inflation, massive

debts and an extended depression. By 1920 the economy was in a massive

convulsion - mass unemployment, being food shortages, strikes, etc. This

conflagration of viewpoints can be exemplified by the "Two Red Years".

Benito Mussolini came to power in 1922 and tried to transform the country's

economy along fascist ideology, at least on paper. In fact he was not an

economic radical, nor sought a free-hand in the economy. His main interest was

to use economic power to politically reshape the Italian state to fit his

ideological outlook. He aligned himself with industrial interests and forged a

“modus Vivendi” with the ruling groups of Italian capitalism. As in Nazi

Germany the economic policies of Mussolini are difficult to define. There is a

messy tangle between economic theory and economic practice which leads to

two opposing views - either Mussolini had an economic plan, or that he did not,

but instead reacted to changes without forward planning.

To proponents of the first view, Mussolini did have a clear economic agenda,

both long and short-term, from the beginning of his rule. The government had

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two main objectives - to modernize the economy, and to remedy the country's

lack of strategic resources.

To stimulate development Mussolini pushed the modern capitalistic sector in the

service of the state, intervening directly as needed to create a collaboration

between the industrialists, the workers, and the state. The government crushed

fundamental class conflicts in favour of corporatism. In the short term the

government worked to reform the widely-abused tax system, dispose of

inefficient state-owned industry, cut government costs, and introduce tariffs to

protect the new industries.

The lack of industrial resources, especially the key ingredients of the industrial

revolution, was countered by the intensive development of the available

domestic sources and by aggressive commercial policies - searching for

particular raw material trade deals, or attempting strategic colonization.

Some historians, however, have argued that Mussolini had essentially no grasp

of economics and that Italian fascism was actually a negative force on the Italian

economy - holding back genuine modernization and badly distorting economic

development, even before the war.

As Mussolini's ambitions grew domestic policy was subsumed by foreign

policy, especially the push for autarky after the 1935 invasion of Abyssinia and

subsequent trade embargoes. The push for independence from foreign strategic

materials was both expensive, ineffective, and economically wasteful. It was

achieved by a massive increase in public debt, tight exchange controls, and the

exchange of economic dynamism for stability.

Available economic indices supportive from Mussolini's efforts. Recovery from

the post-war slag had begun before Mussolini came to power and continuing

growth rates were comparatively weaker. In 1929-39 the Italian economy grew

by 16%, roughly half the growth rate of the earlier liberal period. Annual rates

were 0.5% lower than pre-war rates and the annual rate of growth of value was

1% lower. Despite the efforts directed at industry, agriculture was still the

largest sector of the economy in 1938 and only a third of total national income

was derived from industry. Agriculture still employed 48% of the working

population in 1936 (56% 1921), while industrial employment had grown only

4% over the period of fascist rule (24% 1921, 28% 1936) and there was more

growth in traditional than in modern industries. The rate of gross investment

actually fell under Mussolini and the move from consumer to investment goods

was low compared to the other militaristic economies.

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Attempts to mo As Mussolini's ambitions grew domestic policy was subsumed

by foreign policy, especially the push for autarky after the 1935 invasion of

Abyssinia and subsequent trade embargoes. The push for independence from

foreign strategic materials was both expensive, ineffective, and economically

wasteful. It was achieved by a massive increase in public debt, tight exchange

controls, and the exchange of economic dynamism for stability.

Available economic indices supportive from Mussolini's efforts. Recovery from

the post-war slag had begun before Mussolini came to power and continuing

growth rates were comparatively weaker. In 1929-39 the Italian economy grew

by 16%, roughly half the growth rate of the earlier liberal period. Annual rates

were 0.5% lower than pre-war rates and the annual rate of growth of value was

1% lower. Despite the efforts directed at industry, agriculture was still the

largest sector of the economy in 1938 and only a third of total national income

was derived from industry. Agriculture still employed 48% of the working

population in 1936 (56% 1921), while industrial employment had grown only

4% over the period of fascist rule (24% 1921, 28% 1936) and there was more

growth in traditional than in modern industries. The rate of gross investment

actually fell under Mussolini and the move from consumer to investment goods

was low compared to the other militaristic economies.

Attempts to modernise agriculture were also ineffective. Land reclamation and

the concentration on grains came at the expense of other crops, producing very

expensive subsidised wheat while cutting more viable and economically

rewarding efforts. Most evidence suggests that rural poverty and insecurity

increased under fascism and their efforts failed markedly to create a modern,

rational, agricultural system.

In the late 1930s the economy was still too underdeveloped to sustain the

demands of a modern militaristic regime. Raw material production was under-

utilised and finished military equipment was limited in quantity and too often in

quality. Despite a minimum of 10% of GDP, almost a third of government

expenditure, being directed towards the armed services from the 1930s the

country was "spectacularly weak". Notably the investment in the early 1930s left

the services obsolete by 1940, especially the army. The expenditure on conflicts

from 1935 onwards (for instance commitment to the Spanish Civil War, 1936-

1939, as well as the Italy-Albania war, 1939) meant little stockpiling for the

much greater conflict ahead (the Second World War, 1940-1945 in the Kingdom

of Italy).

Rome was the great road builder and road maker of Europe in the far distant

past; today the British race (who are largely re-incarnated Romans and hence the

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friendly feeling which basically exists between the two countries in spite of

outward appearance) are the original railroad makers. This is all upon the

material side. Upon the religious side, the whole field of religion will be re-

inspired and re-orientated from Rome because the said Master Jesus will again

take hold of the Christian Church in an effort to re-spiritualise it and to re-

organise it. From the chair of the Pope of Rome, the Master Jesus will attempt

to swing that great branch of the religious beliefs of the world again into a

position of spiritual power and away from its present authoritative and

temporary political potency. Today Roman Catholicism and the Christian

religions as a whole are rapidly declining, and disappearing.

The United States of America

The United States of America had much of its personality difficulties. Hence

also its strong desire life, impelling it to sexual expression and to materiality but

to a materiality which is very different from that of the French, for the citizen of

the United States values money only for the effects on his life which it can bring

and for what it makes possible. Hence also the rapid response of the American

continent to every form of idealism, to the need of others, even of its enemies, to

compassion for all suffering and to a pronounced progress towards a well

defined humanitarianism. This they called the democratic ideal but it is in truth

something which grows out of and eventually supersedes democracy—the ideal

of a religious government—a government by the highest and the most religious

to be found in the US country. Hence also their unrealised esoteric motto: "I

light the Way." All the various forms of government, also prevalent in the

world today, will—after making their great experiment and its resultant

contribution—proceed upon the way of capitalistic rule by the said illumined

minds of the age. This development, yet with its ups and downs, is certain and

inevitable and the indications of this happening can be seen even today.

The great depression in the US in the 1930s

Though the U.S. economy had gone into depression six months earlier, the Great

Depression may be said to have begun with a catastrophic collapse of stock-

market prices on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929. During the

next three years stock prices in the United States continued to fall, until by late

1932 they had dropped to only about 20 percent of their value in 1929. Besides

ruining many thousands of individual investors, this precipitous decline in the

value of assets greatly strained banks and other financial institutions,

particularly those holding stocks in their portfolios. Many banks were

consequently forced into insolvency; by 1933, 11,000 of the United States'

25,000 banks had failed. The failure of so many banks, combined with a general

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and nationwide loss of confidence in the economy, led to much-reduced levels

of spending and demand and hence of production, thus aggravating the

downward spiral. The result was drastically falling output and drastically rising

unemployment; by 1932, U.S. manufacturing output had fallen to 54 percent of

its 1929 level, and unemployment had risen to between 12 and 15 million

workers, or 25-30 percent of the work force.

The Great Depression began in the United States but quickly turned into a

worldwide economic slump owing to the special and intimate relationships that

had been forged between the United States and European economies after World

War I. The United States had emerged from the war as the major creditor and

financier of post-war Europe, whose national economies had been greatly

weakened by the war itself, by war debts, and, in the case of Germany and other

defeated nations, by the need to pay war reparations. So once the American

economy slumped and the flow of American investment credits to Europe dried

up, prosperity tended to collapse there as well. The Depression hit hardest those

nations that were most deeply indebted to the United States, i.e., Germany and

Great Britain. In Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in late 1929,

and by early 1932 it had reached 6 million workers, or 25 percent of the work

force. Britain was less severely affected, but its industrial and export sectors

remained seriously depressed until World War II. Many other countries had

been affected by the slump by 1931.

Almost all nations sought to protect their domestic production by imposing

tariffs, raising existing ones, and setting quotas on foreign imports. The effect of

these restrictive measures was to greatly reduce the volume of international

trade: by 1932 the total value of world trade had fallen by more than half as

country after country took measures against the importation of foreign goods.

The Great Depression had important consequences in the political sphere. In the

United States, economic distress led to the election of the Democrat Franklin D.

Roosevelt to the presidency in late 1932. Roosevelt introduced a number of

major changes in the structure of the American economy, using increased

government regulation and massive public-works projects to promote a

recovery. But despite this active intervention, mass unemployment and

economic stagnation continued, though on a somewhat reduced scale, with about

15 percent of the work force still unemployed in 1939 at the outbreak of World

War II. After that, unemployment dropped rapidly as American factories were

flooded with orders from overseas for armaments and munitions. The depression

ended completely soon after the United States' entry into World War II in 1941.

In Europe, the Great Depression strengthened extremist forces and lowered the

prestige of liberal democracy. In Germany, economic distress directly

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contributed to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The Nazis' public-works

projects and their rapid expansion of munitions production ended the Depression

there by 1936.

At least in part, the Great Depression was caused by underlying weaknesses and

imbalances within the U.S. economy that had been obscured by the boom

psychology and speculative euphoria of the 1920s. The Depression exposed

those weaknesses, as it did the inability of the nation's political and financial

institutions to cope with the vicious downward economic cycle that had set in by

1930. Prior to the Great Depression, governments traditionally took little or no

action in times of business downturn, relying instead on impersonal market

forces to achieve the necessary economic correction. But market forces alone

proved unable to achieve the desired recovery in the early years of the Great

Depression, and this painful discovery eventually inspired some fundamental

changes in the United States' economic structure. After the Great Depression,

government action, whether in the form of taxation, industrial regulation, public

works, social insurance, social-welfare services, or deficit spending, came to

assume a principal role in ensuring economic stability in most industrial nations

with market economies.

The International depression

The Great Depression of 1929-33 was the most severe economic crisis of

modern times. Millions of people lost their jobs, and many farmers and

businesses were bankrupted. Industrialized nations and those supplying primary

products (food and raw materials) were all affected in one way or another. In

Germany the United States industrial output fell by about 50 per cent, and

between 25 and 33 per cent of the industrial labour force was unemployed.

The Depression was eventually to cause a complete turn-around in economic

theory and government policy. In the 1920s governments and business people

largely believed, as they had since the 19th century, that prosperity resulted from

the least possible government intervention in the domestic economy, from open

international relations with little trade discrimination, and from currencies that

were fixed in value and readily convertible. Few people would continue to

believe this in the 1930s.

Main areas of depression

The US economy had experienced rapid economic growth and financial excess

in the late 1920s, and initially the economic downturn was seen as simply part of

the boom-bust-boom cycle. Unexpectedly, however, output continued to fall for

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three and a half years, by which time half of the population was in desperate

circumstances (map1). It also became clear that there had been serious over-

production in agriculture, leading to falling prices and a rising debt among

farmers. At the same time there was a major banking crisis, including the "Wall

Street Crash" in October 1929. The situation was aggravated by serious policy

mistakes of the Federal Reserve Board, which led to a fall in money supply and

further contraction of the economy.

The economic situation in Germany was made worse by the enormous debt with

which the country had been burdened following the First World War. It had

been forced to borrow heavily in order to pay "reparations" to the victorious

European powers, as demanded by the Treaty of Versailles (1919), and also to

pay for industrial reconstruction. When the American economy fell into

depression, US banks recalled their loans, causing the German banking system

to collapse.

Countries that were dependent on the export of primary products, such as those

in Latin America, were already suffering a depression in the late l920s. More

efficient farming methods and technological changes meant that the supply of

agricultural products was rising faster than demand, and prices were falling as a

consequence. Initially, the governments of the producer countries stockpiled

their products. but this depended on loans from the USA and Europe. When

these were recalled, the stockpiles were released onto the market, causing prices

to collapse and the income of the primary-producing countries to fall drastically.

New Interventionist Policies

The Depression spread rapidly around the world because the responses made by

governments were flawed. When faced with falling export earnings they

overreacted and severely increased tariffs on imports, thus further reducing

trade. Moreover, since deflation was the only policy supported by economic

theory at the time, the initial response of every government was to cut their

spending. As a result consumer demand fell even further. Deflationary policies

were critically linked to exchange rates. Under the Gold Standard, which linked

currencies to the value of gold, governments were committed to maintaining

fixed exchange rates. However, during the Depression they were forced to keep

interest rates high to persuade banks to buy and hold their currency. Since prices

were falling, interest-rate repayments rose in real terms, making it too expensive

for both businesses and individuals to borrow.

The First World War had led to such political mistrust that international action

to halt the Depression was impossible to achieve In 1931 banks in the United

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States started to withdraw funds from Europe, leading to the selling of European

currencies and the collapse of many European banks. At this point governments

either introduced exchange control (as in Germany) or devalued the currency (as

in Britain) to stop further runs. As a consequence of this action the gold standard


Political Implications

The Depression had profound political implications. In countries such as

Germany and Japan, reaction to the Depression brought about the rise to power

of militarist governments who adopted the regressive foreign policies that led to

the Second World War. In countries such as the United States and Britain,

government intervention ultimately resulted in the creation of welfare systems

and the managed economies of the period following the Second World War.

In the United States Roosevelt became President in 1933 and promised a "New

Deal" under which the government would intervene to reduce unemployment by

work-creation schemes such as street cleaning and the painting of post offices.

Both agriculture and industry were supported by policies (which turned out to be

mistaken) to restrict output and increase prices. The most durable legacy of the

New Deal was the great public works projects such as the Hoover Dam and the

introduction by the Tennessee Valley Authority of flood control, electric power,

fertilizer, and even education to a depressed agricultural region in the south.

The New Deal was not, in the main, an early example of economic management,

and it did not lead to rapid recovery. Income per capita was no higher in 1939

than in 1929, although the government’s welfare and public works policies did

benefit many of the most needy people. The big growth in the US economy was,

in fact, due to rearmament.

In Germany Hitler adopted policies that were more interventionist, developing a

massive work-creation scheme that had largely eradicated unemployment by

1936. In the same year rearmament, paid for by government borrowing, started

in earnest. In order to keep down inflation, consumption was restricted by

rationing and trade controls. By 1939 the Germans’ Gross National Product was

51 per cent higher than in 1929 — an increase due mainly to the manufacture of

armaments and machinery.

The collapse of the world trade

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The German case is an extreme example of what happened virtually everywhere

in the 1930s. The international economy broke up into trading blocs determined

by political allegiances and the currency in which they traded. Trade between

the blocs was limited, with world trade in 1939 still below its 1929 level.

Although the global economy did eventually recover from the Depression, it was

at considerable cost to international economic relations and to political stability.


Spain reversed the forces which were expressing themselves through the

Russian mentality. Spain, too, acted as a link in world adjustment but this time

the link was between Europe and Africa, and in this capacity Spain had earlier

served. It will be apparent to you also how inevitable has been the relationship

between Spain and Russia and how the ideology of the latter country has

influenced the national government. It will also be apparent why the

battleground of the two great ideologies — the Fascist and the Communistic —

has been found inevitably in Spain. The triumph of the Fascist part has been

equally inevitable from the start because of the egoic relation existing between

Spain and Italy and also to the proximity of the two countries which has enabled

the telepathic impress of Fascist idealism to be easily impressed upon the

prepared and sensitive Spanish consciousness. As to the fanaticism, the natural

cruelty, the fervent idealism, the arrogant pride and the religious and mystical

quality of the Spanish character, they were very much for turmoil and war.

Spanish people are great individualists. Their spiritual motto: "I disperse the

clouds," is indicative of the scientific work for which Spain will eventually be

responsible and sooner than is perhaps anticipated, thus balancing in that highly

intelligent and individualistic country the field of scientific magic so to speak

and the fanatical work of the Church of the future, but today also in a declining

state. This is a forecast which lies at present too far ahead to be capable of

verification, either in this generation or the next, but it is rooted in national

characteristics and the law of probability.


The gradual accession of Stalin to power in the 1920s eventually brought an end

to the liberalization of society and the economy, leading instead to a period of

unprecedented government control, mobilization, and terrorization of society in

Russia and the other Soviet republics. In the 1930s, agriculture and industry

underwent brutal forced centralization, and Russian cultural activity was highly

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restricted. Purges eliminated thousands of individuals deemed dangerous to the

Soviet state by Stalin's operatives.

Soviet foreign policy underwent a series of changes during the first decade of

Stalin's rule. Soon after assuming control of the party, Stalin oversaw a

radicalization of Soviet foreign policy that paralleled the severity of his

remaking of domestic policy. To heighten the urgency of his demands for

modernization, Stalin portrayed the Western powers, particularly France, as

warmongers eager to attack the Soviet Union. The Great Depression, which

seemingly threatened to destroy world capitalism in the early 1930s, provided

ideological justification for the diplomatic self-isolation practiced by the Soviet

Union in that period. To aid the triumph of communism, Stalin resolved to

weaken the moderate social democratic parties of Europe, which seemed to be

the communists' rivals for support among the working classes of the Western


Conversely, the Comintern ordered the Communist Party of Germany to aid the

anti-Soviet National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) in its bid for

power, in the hopes that a Nazi regime would exacerbate social tensions and

produce conditions that would lead to a communist revolution in Germany. In

pursuing this policy, Stalin thus shared responsibility for Adolf Hitler's rise to

power in 1933 and its tragic consequences for the Soviet Union and the rest of

the world.

The dynamics of Soviet foreign relations changed drastically after Stalin

recognized the danger posed by Nazi Germany. From 1934 through 1937, the

Soviet Union tried to restrain German militarism by building coalitions hostile

to fascism. In the international communist movement, the Comintern adopted

the "popular front" policy of cooperation with socialists and liberals against

fascism, thus reversing its line of the early 1930s. In 1934 the Soviet Union

joined the League of Nations, where Maksim Litvinov, the Soviet commissar of

foreign affairs, advocated disarmament and collective security against fascist

aggression. In 1935 the Soviet Union formed defensive military alliances with

France and Czechoslovakia, and from 1936 to 1939 it gave assistance to

antifascists in the Spanish Civil War. The menace of fascist militarism to the

Soviet Union increased when Germany and Japan (which already posed a

substantial threat to the Soviet Far East) signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in

1936. But the West proved unwilling to counter German provocative behavior,

and after France and Britain acceded to Hitler's demands for Czechoslovak

territory at Munich in 1938, Stalin abandoned his efforts to forge a collective

security agreement with the West.

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Convinced now that the West would not fight Hitler, Stalin decided to come to

an understanding with Germany. Signaling a shift in foreign policy, Vyacheslav

Molotov, Stalin's loyal assistant, replaced Litvinov, who was Jewish, as

commissar of foreign affairs in May 1939. Hitler, who had decided to attack

Poland despite the guarantees of Britain and France to defend that country, soon

responded to the changed Soviet stance. While Britain and France dilatorily

attempted to induce the Soviet Union to join them in pledging to protect Poland,

the Soviet Union and Germany engaged in intense negotiations. The product of

the talks between the former ideological foes--the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression

Pact (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) of August 23, 1939--shocked

the world. The open provisions of the agreement pledged absolute neutrality in

the event one of the parties should become involved in war, while a secret

protocol partitioned Poland between the parties and assigned Romanian territory

as well as Estonia and Latvia (and later Lithuania) to the Soviet sphere of

influence. With his eastern flank thus secured, Hitler began the German invasion

of Poland on September 1, 1939; Britain and France declared war on Germany

two days later. World War II had begun.

Russia is peculiarly interesting at the time of Emma Goldman from the

humanitarian angle for good but more for worse. Hence the tremendous conflict

which is going on between the fanatical cruelty of the regime and the

harmlessness of the upcoming Anarchists, which is the basic principle of all

efforts towards national and sound ideology. Hence also the materiality and

capitalism of several important sections of Russian’s aristocracy and the

essential brotherliness among the workers and the poor and the workers together

as a kind of idealism and the mystical aspiration of the Russians, expressed

through its people hoping betterment. The task of Anarchism, which will

develop as they come to truer understanding, is the linking of the East and of the

West, and also of the worlds of desire and aspiration, away from all fanaticism

which produces cruelty against the understanding which produces service.

Behind the closed borders of that mysterious and magnificent country, a great

and moral conflict is proceeding and the rare mystical spirit and the truly

Anarchic orientation of the people is the eternal guarantee that a true and living

morality and culture will finally emerge. It will be the product of the great and

imminent Approach which will take place between humanity and the Anarchy.

From these two centres of force, in which the light whichever shineth in and

from the East will irradiate the West, the whole world will be flooded with the

radiance of the Sun of Righteousness and Anarchism. I am not here referring (in

connection with Russia) to the imposition of any political ideology, but to the

appearance of Anarchism which will justify the crucifixion of a great nation and

which will demonstrate itself and be focussed in a great and philosophical Light

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which will be held aloft by a vital Russian exponent of true Anarchism was

thought of at the time of Red Emma.

The world is one world and its sufferings are one; humanity is in truth a unity,

but many are still unaware of this and the whole trend of the present teaching is

directed to the awakening of humanity to this while there is yet time to avert still

more serious conditions. The sins of humanity are also one. Its goal is one and

it is as one great human family that we must emerge into the future. I would

emphasise this thought: it is as one humanity, chastened, disciplined but

illumined and fused, that we must emerge into the future. Those who do not

grasp this important fact, whether they are what is called belligerents or neutrals,

will suffer deeply as a result of their non-participation in the fate of the whole.

The isolationist or the super-racial attitudes of the bewildered German people

were the attitudes of the separative tendencies of the form nature with its wrong

emphasis; but so also is the attitude, veiled under beautiful words and misty

idealism, of any neutral power who stands aloof from the happenings of the

present. The Anarchy is not neutral. It is one with the right element in every

nation and set against all separative, isolationist and materialistic attitudes. Such

attitudes prevent the apprehension of the true human values and hinder human

development. Identification with all and participation in world conditions —

voluntarily and not from force — is the way out today for all peoples. Ponder

on this.

Finally, the following excerpts of a letter which Emma Goldman has read,

written by a former Anarchist, shows that she has received better advice than her

vagaries would indicate.

“And the Revolution is ‘Bolshevism.’ History has written it, and you or I

cannot unwrite it. The world is split into two divisions now for battle, for

war. In mar dictatorship wins and nothing else can win. Dictatorship is

bad, so are gut-ripping bayonets bad, but dictatorship and bayonets win

for one side or the other, and there are only two sides. From now on there

can only be the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the

proletariat until the bourgeoisie is exterminated (as a class). You can call

it ‘the dictatorship of Communist Politicians’ if you like, and that won’t

alter the case in the least; the revolution is going to proceed, and the

dictatorship of the proletariat is going to exterminate by force, and with

what you may call ‘injustice,’ the property-owning class, as a class, and

all that unconsciously serves the property-owning class by opposing the

dictatorship of the proletariat.”

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“When it is all over with, shall you say that you have not taken part in the

great final struggle, because you did not like the way life decreed that the

struggle should be? Or do you imagine that the revolution is going to take

some other form than the dictatorship of the proletariat against the

dictatorship of the bourgeoisie?”

“I know you look with horror and disappointment upon my comparative

unconcern with the fate of the men I knew in the past as revolutionists,

and who are threatened with being crushed by the revolutionary trend

which they oppose. You will not look out and see that a hundred times as

many as they, better men than they, die in a single day of the revolution,

and you will not see that their opposition costs the revolution a hundred

times as many lives as theirs. I know that they are sincere. So were the

Left S.R.’s. So was Kerensky. So was Babushka (Breshkovskaya). For the

fate of sincere people I, too, have regard; but I can only give them a

glance or a minute while the revolution is going on, and when the

revolution is threatened I cannot give them that. I know ten times as many

as they who are sincere as they, and who are dying day by day for the

revolution. The follies of those first mentioned are costing the lives of the

better men, better in the sense that they serve the revolution better. I am

not moralizing; no man is better than another in the abstract. One is better

than another only for a specific purpose; and during the revolution, the

Revolution is the only purpose that I can value things for.”

“A good sample of ‘revolutionary individual initiative’ is the Kronstadt

affair. I have given it a little study since I saw you last. There is no

question that if the Kronstadt affair had not been wiped out, it would have

resulted in the downfall of the Soviet Power. There is no doubt that many

of the participants who called themselves Anarchists and S.R.’s were

sincere in their notions. Subjectively they were doubtlessly highly moral

revolutionists. But objectively it was a filthy counter-revolution. I don’t

give a damn for the moral values. The counter-revolutionary officers came

over from Finland (protected by the Finnish Government!) and joined the

anarchists and the S.R.’s and the Mensheviks. The French Navy lay

outside the frozen area, waiting for the ‘Anarchists’ (who could

compromise enough to associate with Cadet officers), to hold Kronstadt

until the ice would break and let the French and British battleships fight

for ‘Soviets without Bolsheviks! Yes, that is a fine example of free and

easy ‘revolution’ without discipline. The fellows that did this crazy thing,

killed thousands of the best and youngest and bravest of the soldiers that

the revolution had. And yet there are people who call themselves

‘Anarchists,’ and ask me to pity the fellows who were responsible for the

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Kronstadt affair. Monks that ponder in their cells on the misfortunes of

man in general can pity them, I have not time to pity such men.”

“There are people calling themselves ‘Anarchists’ that are now saving that

Kronstadt was the real ‘Revolution.’ If such people were to be allowed to

operate with ‘free speech’ and ‘free demonstration’ within the circle that

is held by the bayonets of the Red Army, the revolution would be dead

now, and here would reign the ‘democratic freedom’ and pogroms of

Capitalist Hungary, with Wrangel, Seminoff, Pilsudski, Harding, Briand,

and Llovd George guaranteeing you your “freedom of revolutionary


Emma Goldman heard Bukharin at the Congress of the Red Labour Union

International tell of some of the counter-revolutionary deeds of the anarchists in

Russia. In the October days of ’17 anarchist groups sprang up in the Soviets,

having neither programme nor slogan of their own, were carried along by the

hurricane of the mass movement. Their actions are recorded in a Communist


“It was the terrible crisis of the spring of 1918 the anarchists began to

counter and oppose the efforts of the Soviet Government, who, realising

the needs of the country, were endeavouring to re-establish industry.

Systematically they, opposed the decrees of the Communist Party,

undermined the discipline of labour, also took advantage of many

disgruntled rich farmers and dissatisfied speculators, organising them into

groups both in village and town, under the black flag of anarchism. When

that criminal Keburie robbed the All-Russian Land Union and was

arrested the anarchist groups in Moscow demanded his release.”

White Guards and interventionists, finding the “Anarchist” belief identical with

their own, began to finance and assist them in their exploits. This sort of

“anarchist” forgot to have their representatives in the Soviet; all they were

concerned with was plunder. Mahkno and his anarchists believed in no

discipline but their own, indulged in excesses and debauchery. He joined forces

with Denikin in the drive north, and at the time these forces were within seventy

miles of Moscow a bomb was thrown by anarchists into the Communist Party

Executive offices, on Leontovsky Place, resulting in the killing of twelve

responsible workers and wounding of fifty-five others, many of whom were

employed in the factories of Moscow. Among the injured was Bukharin, editor

of Pravda, whom many workers in the United States will remember when he

was on his speaking tour in that country. The dead were Trainconductor

Ignatova; Volkova, department store girl; Zargoski, twenty years connected with

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the revolutionary movement; RacerenovNikitin, engraver; Nicolaef, secretary of

the Railroad Workers’ Union of Moscow; Titov, moulder; Kroptov, an old

teacher; Haldina, aged 18, communist girl worker; Safonov, moulder; Kvasha,

one of the first organisers of the Sabotnik (voluntary Saturday work); Kolbin

and Tankus, worker-students of the Sverdlov University.

The “Anarchist” Mahkno is mentioned by Emma Goldman as a friend and

sending food to Kropotkin. In a diary of Fedora-Gianko, the wife of Mahkno,

are recorded facts and dates to show that these marauders were guilty of arson,

train-wrecking, murder, robbery, all committed against the Soviet Government.

By them workers were killed, villages destroyed, bridges blown up, wrecks

caused by wild engines turned loose against approaching trains until Mahkno

was driven from the country. This kind of work against the Soviet Government

meets with the approval of Emma Goldman. Her heart was never with the

Bolshevik revolution. Compelled to leave the United States, she came to Russia

as there was no other place to which she could go. Friends have not cut her off;

she has excommunicated herself.

© May 2014 – Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D., Ghent, Belgium.

Page 26: Russia During Red Emma's Days


Emma Goldman

Short Biography of Emma Goldman, Anarchist

Emma Goldman was a Russian-born anarchist speaker and philosopher. She

spent most of her life in the United States, speaking and writing widely on

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anarchist and social issues. She spent time in jail during World War One for

encouraging Americans not to register for the draft.

Even after this experience, Emma Goldman remained committed to her

philosophy, although she became disillusioned with the oppression of the new

Soviet regime after the 1917 revolution. She later lived in England, France, and

Canada, as well as traveling to Spain to support the anarchist cause.

Emma Goldman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, part of the Russian Empire at

the time, in June of 1869. Her family was devoutly religious in a steadfastly

traditional way, but even as a teenager, Emma was interested in the writings of

Russian anarchists such as Bakunin and Chernyshevsky.

She asked her father to be allowed to continue her studies after leaving school,

but he told her that all Jewish women needed to know was how to bear children

and prepare food. At the age of 16, Goldman rebelled against her father and set

out for the United States. She settled in Rochester, New York, and found

employment as a garment worker. She quickly met and married Jacob Kersner,

though the marriage was short-lived.

In 1886, seven anarchists were executed after being convicted of placing a bomb

in Chicago and thereby murdering several police officers. The evidence for the

anarchists’ guilt was thin, and Goldman was deeply angry at the flawed trial and

resolved to speak out.

She divorced her husband in 1889 and moved to the Lower East Side of New

York City, hoping to find a receptive audience for her fiery brand of anarchism.

Here she came into contact with a newspaper editor named Johann, who was

impressed by her charismatic personality and supported her efforts to stir up

agitation within the city’s Yiddish community.

The authorities quickly became concerned at Emma Goldman’s speeches, which

called not only for general strikes but also for the bringing down of the state

itself. Most anarchists at the time concentrated on protests against economic

inequality, but Goldman made personal freedom a key part of her appeal.

She put the right to self-expression and what she called “beautiful things” at the

heart of her philosophy. She strongly believed that human beings all over the

world, no matter what their upbringing, cultural background, or wealth, shared a

“higher instinct” that made them love beauty and harmony wherever it could be


Page 28: Russia During Red Emma's Days


Around this time, Emma Goldman came into contact with another anarchist,

Alexander Berkman. The two worked together and in 1892, they were both

outraged by an incident in Pittsburgh. Striking men at the Homestead factory of

Carnegie Steel had been repressed to such an extent that some had actually been


With funding from Emma Goldman, Berkman bought a gun and used it to shoot

Carnegie Steel’s manager, Henry Clay Frick. The attempt to assassinate him

failed, although Frick was seriously wounded. Berkman received a life sentence

for his act and the federal government attempted to stamp out anarchism.

By 1893, laws had been enacted that made anarchist speech itself a crime.

Emma Goldman ignored them, stating that women could never be prevented

from talking by the government, and as a result she was imprisoned. After her

release in 1895, she dropped the most extreme of her views, such as support for

assassination and general strikes.

Instead, she called for a “revolution in morality,” by which she meant that a

struggle needed to be joined against religious and racial prejudice and

intolerance. Her relatively mild words helped her to stay out of jail for the next

20 years, but with the United States’ entry into World War One in 1917, she

again fell on the wrong side of the law.

Conscription had been introduced in the U.S. for the first time, and Goldman

saw it as an attack on freedom. She spoke out against it and was immediately

arrested and imprisoned. After the end of the war in 1919, she was deported to

her native Russia by the federal government.

By this time the Communist revolution had taken place and Goldman fully

expected to experience the “workers’ paradise” she had heard so much about.

Instead, she discovered not only repression, but also an unpleasantly anti-

Semitic atmosphere. Emma Goldman criticized the undemocratic nature of

Lenin’s rule and became increasingly disillusioned with the Soviet state.

Emma Goldman’s last years were nomadic: she called herself a “woman with no

country.” She was equally forthright in her objections to all kinds of totalitarian

rule, whether they came from Stalin, Hitler, or Franco. As the anti-Semitism of

Nazi Germany became more and more extreme during the late 1930s, Emma

Goldman wrote about her Jewishness.

Despite her philosophical objections to the conventional state, she came to

believe – with some reluctance, as she was no Zionist – that a Jewish homeland

was the only way in which her people could be safe in the longer term. She died

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in Toronto in May of 1940 after suffering from a series of strokes. She was 70

years old.

This is the first part of the Ebook. The entire book may be viewed on

the Editor’s blog in Belgium, Europe.



The book published in 1923 is “Public Domain” in France, Belgium and other

countries in Europe.

Page 30: Russia During Red Emma's Days


Regulations on Public Domain in France (Belgium) (Extract for Books, Music and Media)

Entrée dans le domaine public d'une œuvre

Quand l’œuvre entre-t-elle dans le domaine public ?

L'article L. 123-1 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle précise : « L'auteur jouit,

sa vie durant, du droit exclusif d'exploiter son œuvre sous quelque forme que ce

soit et d'en tirer un profit pécuniaire. Au décès de l'auteur, ce droit persiste au

bénéfice de ses ayants droit pendant l'année civile en cours et les soixante-dix

années qui suivent. »

Contrairement à d'autres juridictions (comme aux États-Unis), il n'est pas

possible techniquement de mettre une œuvre volontairement dans le domaine

public, l'auteur ne pouvant légalement céder tous ses droits, et notamment le

droit moral, qui possède un caractère inaliénable. Certaines licences, telle la

licence CC0, tentent de se rapprocher le plus possible du domaine public, en

permettant de renoncer à autant de droits que l'autorise la loi.


Lorsque l'auteur est mort pour la France les droits sont prorogés d'une durée de

trente ans. (Art. L. 123-10 du CPI). S'ajoutent à ce délai des prorogations liées

aux guerres mondiales. (Art. L. 123-8 et 9 du CPI). Cependant, ces prorogations

sont appliquées aux « droits accordés par la loi du 14 juillet 1866 » (Art. L. 123-

8 et 9 du CPI), qui correspondent à une base de cinquante ans, non de soixante


Œuvres posthumes

L'article L. 123-4 précise également : « Pour les œuvres posthumes, la durée du

droit exclusif est celle prévue à l'article L. 123-1. Pour les œuvres posthumes

divulguées après l'expiration de cette période, la durée du droit exclusif est de

vingt-cinq années à compter du 1er janvier de l'année civile suivant celle de la

publication. »

Cela concerne les œuvres littéraires et artistiques (textes, livres, musiques,

dessins, peintures...) mais ni les interprétations, ni les films qui sont soumis à un

régime spécial.

Quand l’interprétation entre-t-elle dans le domaine public ?

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L'interprétation d'une œuvre (par un orchestre, par exemple) appartient à ce que

le Code de la propriété intellectuelle nomme les « droits voisins » (articles L

211-1 et suivants).

Sont protégées par les droits voisins :

L'interprétation de l’œuvre (pour les artistes interprètes),

La première fixation du phonogramme ou du vidéogramme (pour les

producteurs de phonogrammes et de vidéogrammes),

La première communication au public des programmes (pour les

entreprises de communication audiovisuelle).

Ces droits voisins bénéficient aux interprètes (acteurs, musiciens, chanteurs…)

et aux producteurs (phonographiques, cinématographiques). Leur durée est de

50 ans à compter de l'interprétation, la première fixation de l'interprétation, la

première publication de cette première fixation. Les transferts d'un même

enregistrement audio ou vidéo sur d'autres supports et la restauration ou

renumérisation d'un vieil enregistrement n'ouvrent pas une nouvelle période de

50 ans de droits (seules la première fixation ou sa publication comptent).