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Voltairine de Cleyre

Geburtstag: 17. November 1866
Todesdatum: 20. Juni 1912

Voltairine de Cleyre war eine US-amerikanische Autorin und Anarchistin.

Zitate Voltairine de Cleyre

„I would rather, much rather, be illegitimate according to the statutes of men, than illegitimate according to the unchanging law of Nature.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Sex Slavery (1890), Context: O height and depth of purity, which fears so much that the children will not know who their fathers are, because, forsooth, they must rely upon their mother's word instead of the hired certification of some priest of the Church, or the Law! I wonder if the children would be improved to know what their fathers have done. I would rather, much rather, not know who my father was than know he had been a tyrant to my mother. I would rather, much rather, be illegitimate according to the statutes of men, than illegitimate according to the unchanging law of Nature.

„I am told this is farfetched idealism, to paint this happy, povertyless, crimeless, diseaseless world; I have been told I "ought to be behind the bars" for it.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Economic Tendency of Freethought (1890), Context: "For it must needs that offences come, but woe to him through whom the offence cometh." The crimes of the future are the harvests sown of the ruling classes of the present. Woe to the tyrant who shall cause the offense! Sometimes I dream of this social change. I get a streak of faith in Evolution, and the good in man. I paint a gradual slipping out of the now, to that beautiful then, where there are neither kings, presidents, landlords, national bankers, stockbrokers, railroad magnates, patentright monopolists, or tax and title collectors; where there are no over-stocked markets or hungry children, idle counters and naked creatures, splendor and misery, waste and need. I am told this is farfetched idealism, to paint this happy, povertyless, crimeless, diseaseless world; I have been told I "ought to be behind the bars" for it. Remarks of that kind rather destroy the white streak of faith. I lose confidence in the slipping process, and am forced to believe that the rulers of the earth are sowing a fearful wind, to reap a most terrible whirlwind. When I look at this poor, bleeding, wounded World, this world that has suffered so long, struggled so much, been scourged so fiercely, thorn-pierced so deeply, crucified so cruelly, I can only shake my head and remember:

„Sometimes I dream of this social change. I get a streak of faith in Evolution, and the good in man.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Economic Tendency of Freethought (1890), Context: "For it must needs that offences come, but woe to him through whom the offence cometh." The crimes of the future are the harvests sown of the ruling classes of the present. Woe to the tyrant who shall cause the offense! Sometimes I dream of this social change. I get a streak of faith in Evolution, and the good in man. I paint a gradual slipping out of the now, to that beautiful then, where there are neither kings, presidents, landlords, national bankers, stockbrokers, railroad magnates, patentright monopolists, or tax and title collectors; where there are no over-stocked markets or hungry children, idle counters and naked creatures, splendor and misery, waste and need. I am told this is farfetched idealism, to paint this happy, povertyless, crimeless, diseaseless world; I have been told I "ought to be behind the bars" for it. Remarks of that kind rather destroy the white streak of faith. I lose confidence in the slipping process, and am forced to believe that the rulers of the earth are sowing a fearful wind, to reap a most terrible whirlwind. When I look at this poor, bleeding, wounded World, this world that has suffered so long, struggled so much, been scourged so fiercely, thorn-pierced so deeply, crucified so cruelly, I can only shake my head and remember:

„Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air.
Regnant ideas, everywhere! Did you ever see a dead vine bloom? I have seen it.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Dominant Idea (1910), Context: In everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea — an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies — living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air. Regnant ideas, everywhere! Did you ever see a dead vine bloom? I have seen it.

„The love of material ease has been, in the mass of men and permanently speaking, always greater than the love of liberty.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Anarchism & American Traditions (1908), Context: The love of material ease has been, in the mass of men and permanently speaking, always greater than the love of liberty. Nine hundred and ninety nine women out of a thousand are more interested in the cut of a dress than in the independence of their sex; nine hundred and ninety nine men out of a thousand are more interested in drinking a glass of beer than in questioning the tax that is laid on it; how many children are not willing to trade the liberty to play for the promise of a new cap or a new dress? That it is which begets the complicated mechanism of society; that it is which, by multiplying the concerns of government, multiplies the strength of government and the corresponding weakness of the people; this it is which begets indifference to public concern, thus making the corruption of government easy. As to the essence of Commerce and Manufacture, it is this: to establish bonds between every corner of the earths surface and every other corner, to multiply the needs of mankind, and the desire for material possession and enjoyment.

„He gave a concrete example of the effect of sex slavery, and for it he is imprisoned.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Sex Slavery (1890), Context: He cried out through the letter of Dr. Markland, that a young mother lacerated by unskillful surgery in the birth of her babe, but recovering from a subsequent successful operation, had been stabbed, remorselessly, cruelly, brutally stabbed, not with a knife, but with the procreative organ of her husband, stabbed to the doors of death, and yet there was no redress! And because he called a spade a spade, because he named that organ by its own name, so given in Webster's dictionary and in every medical journal in the country, because of this Moses Harman walks to and fro in his cell tonight. He gave a concrete example of the effect of sex slavery, and for it he is imprisoned. It remains for us now to carry on the battle, and lift the standard where they struck him down, to scatter broadcast the knowledge of this crime of society against a man and the reason for it; to inquire into this vast system of licensed crime, its cause and its effect, broadly upon the race.

„In everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Dominant Idea (1910), an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies — living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and swims far over our heads in the free world of air. Regnant ideas, everywhere! Did you ever see a dead vine bloom? I have seen it.

„Hold unto the last: that is what it means to have a Dominant Idea, which Circumstance cannot break. And such men make and unmake Circumstance.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Dominant Idea (1910), Context: Let us have Men, Men who will say a word to their souls and keep it — keep it not when it is easy, but keep it when it is hard — keep it when the storm roars and there is a white-streaked sky and blue thunder before, and one's eyes are blinded and one's ears deafened with the war of opposing things; and keep it under the long leaden sky and the gray dreariness that never lifts. Hold unto the last: that is what it means to have a Dominant Idea, which Circumstance cannot break. And such men make and unmake Circumstance.

„She believes that co-operation would entirely supplant competition; I hold that competition in one form or another will always exist, and that it is highly desirable it should. But whether she or I be right, or both of us be wrong, of one thing I am sure; the spirit which animates Emma Goldman is the only one which will emancipate the slave from his slavery, the tyrant from his tyranny — the spirit which is willing to dare and suffer.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation (1893), Context: Miss Goldman is a communist; I am an individualist. She wishes to destroy the right of property, I wish to assert it. I make my war upon privilege and authority, whereby the right of property, the true right in that which is proper to the individual, is annihilated. She believes that co-operation would entirely supplant competition; I hold that competition in one form or another will always exist, and that it is highly desirable it should. But whether she or I be right, or both of us be wrong, of one thing I am sure; the spirit which animates Emma Goldman is the only one which will emancipate the slave from his slavery, the tyrant from his tyranny — the spirit which is willing to dare and suffer.

„Though largely unsuccessful, it is to the measure of success they did achieve that we are indebted for such liberties as we do retain, and not to the general government.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Anarchism & American Traditions (1908), Context: Among the fundamental likeness between the Revolutionary Republicans and the Anarchists is the recognition that the little must precede the great; that the local must be the basis of the general; that there can be a free federation only when there are free communities to federate; that the spirit of the latter is carried into the councils of the former, and a local tyranny may thus become an instrument for general enslavement. Convinced of the supreme importance of ridding the municipalities of the institutions of tyranny, the most strenuous advocates of independence, instead of spending their efforts mainly in the general Congress, devoted themselves to their home localities, endeavoring to work out of the minds of their neighbors and fellow-colonists the institutions of entailed property, of a State-Church, of a class-divided people, even the institution of African slavery itself. Though largely unsuccessful, it is to the measure of success they did achieve that we are indebted for such liberties as we do retain, and not to the general government.

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„I think it can be shown that the law makes ten criminals where it restrains one.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Economic Tendency of Freethought (1890), Context: I think it can be shown that the law makes ten criminals where it restrains one. On that basis it would not, as a matter of policy merely, be an economical institution.

„What I say is, that the real non-resistants can believe in direct action only, never in political action. For the basis of all political action is coercion; even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Direct Action (1912), Context: Those who, by the essence of their belief, are committed to Direct Action only are — just who? Why, the non-resistants; precisely those who do not believe in violence at all! Now do not make the mistake of inferring that I say direct action means non-resistance; not by any means. Direct action may be the extreme of violence, or it may be as peaceful as the waters of the Brook of Siloa that go softly. What I say is, that the real non-resistants can believe in direct action only, never in political action. For the basis of all political action is coercion; even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through.

„Bear it aloft, O roaring flame!
Skyward aloft, where all may see.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Context: Bear it aloft, O roaring flame! Skyward aloft, where all may see. Slaves of the World! Our cause is the same; One is the immemorial shame; One is the struggle, and in One name — Manhood— we battle to set men free. "Uncurse us the Land!" burn the words of the Dead, Written-in-red. "Written-In-Red", last lines.

„As long as the working-people fold hands and pray the gods in Washington to give them work, so long they will not get it.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation (1893), Context: As long as the working-people fold hands and pray the gods in Washington to give them work, so long they will not get it. So long as they tramp the streets, whose stones they lay, whose filth they clean, whose sewers they dig, yet upon which they must not stand too long lest the policeman bid them "move on"; as long as they go from factory to factory, begging for the opportunity to be a slave, receiving the insults of bosses and foremen, getting the old "no," the old shake of the head, in these factories they built, whose machines they wrought; so long as they consent to herd like cattle, in the cities, driven year after year, more and more, off the mortgaged land, the land they cleared, fertilized, cultivated, rendered of value; so long as they stand shivering, gazing thro' plate glass windows at overcoats, which they made, but cannot buy, starving in the midst of food they produced but cannot have; so long as they continue to do these things vaguely relying upon some power outside themselves, be it god, or priest, or politician, or employer, or charitable society, to remedy matters, so long deliverance will be delayed. When they conceive the possibility of a complete international federation of labor, whose constituent groups shall take possession of land, mines, factories, all the instruments of production, issue their own certificates of exchange, and, in short, conduct their own industry without regulative interference from law-makers or employers, then we may hope for the only help which counts for aught — Self-Help; the only condition which can guarantee free speech (and no paper guarantee needed).

„Humanity can not be made equal by declarations on paper. Unless the material conditions for equality exist, it is worse than mockery to pronounce men equal.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
In Defense of Emma Goldman and the Right of Expropriation (1893), Context: Humanity can not be made equal by declarations on paper. Unless the material conditions for equality exist, it is worse than mockery to pronounce men equal. And unless there is equality (and by equality I mean equal chances for every one to make the most of himself) unless, I say, these equal chances exist, freedom, either of thought, speech, or action, is equally a mockery.

„In the transition epoch, surely crimes will come.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Economic Tendency of Freethought (1890), Context: This is not a question of expediency, but of right. In antebellum days the proposition was not, Are the blacks good enough to be free? but, Have they the right? So today the question is not, Will outrages result from freeing humanity? but, Has it the right to life, the means of life, the opportunities of happiness? In the transition epoch, surely crimes will come. Did the seed of tyranny ever bear good fruit? And can you expect Liberty to undo in a moment what Oppression has been doing for ages? Criminals are the crop of despots, as much a necessary expression of the evil in society as an ulcer is of disease in the blood; and so long as the taint of the poison remains, so long there will be crimes.

„Ah, not to a blaze of light I go,
Nor shouts of a triumph train;
I go down to kiss the dregs of woe,
And drink up the Cup of Pain.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
And Thou Too (1888), Context: Ah, not to a blaze of light I go, Nor shouts of a triumph train; I go down to kiss the dregs of woe, And drink up the Cup of Pain. And whether a scaffold or crucifix waits 'Neath the light of my silver star, I know and I care not: I only know I shall pause not though it be far.

„Written in red their protest stands,
For the Gods of the World to see“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Context: Written in red their protest stands, For the Gods of the World to see; On the dooming wall their bodiless hands have blazoned "Upharsin," and flaring brands Illumine the message: "Seize the lands! Open the prisons and make men free!" Flame out the living words of the dead Written-in-red. "Written-In-Red" de Cleyre's last poem, dedicated "To Our Living Dead in Mexico's Struggle"; first lines.

„Every person who ever thought he had a right to assert, and went boldly and asserted it, himself, or jointly with others that shared his convictions, was a direct actionist.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
Direct Action (1912), Context: Every person who ever thought he had a right to assert, and went boldly and asserted it, himself, or jointly with others that shared his convictions, was a direct actionist. Some thirty years ago I recall that the Salvation Army was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak, assemble, and pray. Over and over they were arrested, fined, and imprisoned; but they kept right on singing, praying, and marching, till they finally compelled their persecutors to let them alone.

„A man won't steal, ordinarily, unless that which he steals is something he cannot as easily get without stealing; in liberty the cost of stealing would involve greater difficulties than producing, and consequently he would not be apt to steal.“

—  Voltairine de Cleyre
The Economic Tendency of Freethought (1890), Context: A man won't steal, ordinarily, unless that which he steals is something he cannot as easily get without stealing; in liberty the cost of stealing would involve greater difficulties than producing, and consequently he would not be apt to steal. But suppose a man steals. Today you go to a representative of that power which has robbed you of the earth, of the right of free contract of the means of exchange, taxes you for everything you eat or wear (the meanest form of robbery), — you go to him for redress from a thief!

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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