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I truly admire most of the anarchists that I've studied or that I have met in person. I find them to be wonderfully fascinating persons with such powerful personalities.
There are a few, however, that have specifically captured my interests : Emma Goldman and Mollie Steimer. For some reason, these two, powerful, brilliant women have given me role models. All of my life I have been taught to hold women in high regard, thus guiding me down a road to being a "crazy feminist" as some have termed me, but these two women I had never heard of until this summer. I find them to be truly strong, sophisticated, and brilliant women. I wonder why we're taught about Betsy Ross, Princess Diana, various queens, Amelia Earhart, etc but none of them were anarchists. Why would we look at women like Joan of Arc without the addition of Emma Goldman and Mollie Steimer. I shall end my thoughts with a quote from Ms Steimer :
"Anarchism is a new social order where no group shall be governed by another group of people. Individual freedom shall prevail in the full sense of the word. Private ownership shall be abolished. Every person shall have an equal opportunity to develop himself well, both mentally and physically. We shall not have to struggle for our daily existence as we do now. No one shall live on the product of others. Every person shall produce as much as he can, and enjoy as much as he needs - receive according to his need. Instead of striving to get money, we shall strive towards EDUCATION, towards KNOWLEDGE.
While at present the people of the world are divided into various groups, calling themselves nations while one nation defies another - in most cases considers the other as competitive - we, the workers of the world, shall stretch out our hands towards each other with brotherly love. To the fulfillment of this idea, I shall devote all my energy, and, if necessary, render my life for it."
That, to me, is inspirational and is an image of strength. She was exiled from the United States, deported back to Russia. She was told that she could do some good with their rebellion. The Rebellion failed and Communism rose. She then, with her partner, moved to German and opened a photo shop. When Nazi Hitler took power, she moved again to Spain to aid her friend, Emma Goldman before finally settling down in Mexico, like many other anarchists of the time.
You've just now been introduced to Goldman and Steimer? Well, congratulations then, and welcome to their fan club. If you're ever in Baltimore, there's a wonderful anarchist bookstore / coffeeshop that I spent a little time in awhile back called Red Emma's that you must explore.