This information provided by The Federal Observer, http://www.federalobserver.com
NEW YORK, N.Y., 1910 - The contention that patriotism is a poison for the minds of free men is the keynote of a recent speech successfully delivered before audiences across the country by Miss Emma Goldman, the Russian immigrant who has become one of the leading voices of anarchism, permitted free rein under the liberties of her adopted country.
Miss Goldman, at age 46, is a well educated Russian woman who came to the United States in 1886 and, after a preliminary period of hard labor in the looms and mills of New York and New England, turned to the movement of radicals that preaches the total destruction of organized society as the means of "freeing" individuals.
She is notable as an anachronism in American development, gaining vast audiences for her spell-binding talks, primarily from amongst the more recently arrived immigrant groups, who are apparently are entertained by her ideas, but who, with few exceptions go from her meetings back to their jobs and their sober political beliefs.
The following was taken from Miss Goldmans' own transcription as reprinted by the Mother Earth Publishing Company, New York:
What is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivete, we would watch the floating clouds, and wonder why we, too,could not run so swiftly? In short, is it love for the spot every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous and playful childhood?
If that were patriotism, few American men of today would be called upon to be patriotic, since the place of play has been turned into factory, mill, and mine, while deepening sounds of machinery have replaced the music of the birds. No longer can we hear the tales of great deeds, for the stories our mothers tell today are but those of sorrow, tears and grief.
What, then, is patriotism? "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels," said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our time, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers.
Indeed, conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot consider themselves nobler, better, grander, more intelligent than those living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.
The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, of course, with the result that from early infancy the mind of the child is provided with blood-curdling stories about the Germans, the French, the ltalians, Russians, etc.
Thinking men and women the world over are beginning to realize that patriotism is too narrow and limited a conception to meet the necessities of our time. The centralization of power has brought into being an international feeling of solidarity among the oppressed nations of the world; a solidarity which represents a greater harmony of interests between the workingman of America and his brothers abroad than between the American miner and his exploiting compatriot; a solidarity which fears not foreign invasion, because it is bringing all the workers to the point when they will say to their masters, "Go and do your own killing. We have done it long enough for you."
The proletariat of Europe has realized the great force of that solidarity and has, as a result, inaugurated a war against patriotism and its bloody spectre - militarism. Thousands of men fill the prisons of France, Germany, Russia and the Scandinavian countries because they dared to defy the ancient superstition.
America will have to follow suit. The spirit of militarism has already permeated all walks of life. Indeed, I am convinced that militarism is a greater danger here than anywhere else, because of the many bribes capitalism holds out to those whom it wishes to destroy.
The beginning has already been made in the schools. Children are trained in military tactics, the glory of military achievements extolled in the curriculum, and the youthful mind perverted to suit the government. Thus innocent boys are morally shanghaied into patriotism, and the military Moloch strides conquering through the nation.
When we have undermined the patriotic lie, we shall have cleared the path for the great structure where all shall be united into a universal brotherhood - a truly free society.
~ Postlogue ~
Emma Goldman lived out thirty embittered years after delivering this speech. In 1916 she was imprisoned briefly for publicly advocating birth control and in 1917 for the more serious crime of obstructing the draft.
In 1919 she was deported to Russia, but in 1921 left Russia because of dissatisfaction with communism, and emigrated to England, where in 1926 she married James Colton, a Welshman.
In 1924 she visited the United States for the last time on a speaking tour, permitted by the authorities on her pledge to avoid political discussion. The year 1936 found her actively participating in the Spanish civil war, but now she was old and tired. She died in Toronto, Canada, in 1940.