65 Inspirational Emma Goldman Quotes On Success In Life

Emma Goldman was an anarchist political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the 20th century. Born in Kaunas, Russian Empire to a Jewish family, Goldman emigrated to the United States in 1885. These Emma Goldman quotes will motivate you.

Best Emma Goldman Quotes

  1. “The most violent element in society is ignorance.” ~ Emma Goldman
  2. “People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.” ~ Emma Goldman
  3. “I demand the independence of woman, her right to support herself; to live for herself; to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. I demand freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love and freedom in motherhood.” ~ Emma Goldman
  4. “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” ~ Emma Goldman

  5. “Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism… 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.” ~ Emma Goldman
  6. “I believe – indeed, I know – that whatever is fine and beautiful in the human expresses and asserts itself in spite of government, and not because of it.” ~ Emma Goldman
  7. “Men and women … do you not realize that the State is the worst enemy you have? It is a machine that crushes you in order to sustain the ruling class, your masters. Like naïve children you put your trust in your political leaders. You make it possible for them to creep into your confidence, only to have them betray you to the first bidder. But even where there is no direct betrayal, the labor politicians make common cause with your enemies to keep you in leash, to prevent your direct action. The State is the pillar of capitalism, and it is ridiculous to expect any redress from it.” ~ Emma Goldman
  8. “The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought.” ~ Emma Goldman

  9. “Anarchism stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion and liberation of the human body from the coercion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. It stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals.” ~ Emma Goldman
  10. “Some people never seem to learn from experience. No matter how often they had seen the lion devour the lamb, they continued to cling to the hope that the nature of the beast might change. If only the lion could get to know the lamb better, they argued, or talk matters over.” ~ Emma Goldman
  11. “The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man’s right to his body, or woman’s right to her soul.” ~ Emma Goldman
  12. “A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.” ~ Emma Goldman

  13. “Art is a part of the rebellion against the realities of its unfulfilled desire.” ~ Emma Goldman
  14. “Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.” ~ Emma Goldman
  15. “Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.” ~ Emma Goldman
  16. “The State, every government whatever its form, character or color – be it absolute or constitutional, monarchy or republic, Fascist, Nazi or bolshevik – is by its very nature conservative, static, intolerant of change and opposed to it.” ~ Emma Goldman
  17. “Out of the chaos, the future emerges in harmony and beauty.” ~ Emma Goldman

  18. “Revolution is indeed a violent process. But if it is to result only in a change of dictatorship, in a shifting of names and political personalities, then it is hardly worthwhile.” ~ Emma Goldman
  19. “If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus.” ~ Emma Goldman
  20. “The majority cannot reason; it has no judgment. It has always placed its destiny in the hands of others; it has followed its leaders even into destruction. The mass has always opposed, condemned, and hounded the innovator, the pioneer of a new truth.” ~ Emma Goldman
  21. “‎Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against “society,” that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.” ~ Emma Goldman
  22. “Political violence is organized violence on the top which creates individual violence at the bottom.” ~ Emma Goldman

  23. “I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years been working to undo the botched job your god has made.” ~ Emma Goldman
  24. “‘Rugged individualism’ has meant all the ‘individualism’ for the masters, while the people are regimented into a slave caste to serve a handful of self-seeking ‘supermen.’ America is perhaps the best representative of this kind of individualism, in whose name political tyranny and social oppression are defended and held up as virtues; while every aspiration and attempt of man to gain freedom and social opportunity to live is denounced as ‘un-American’ and evil in the name of that same individuality.” ~ Emma Goldman
  25. Women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open.” ~ Emma Goldman

  26. “‘What I believe’ is a process rather than a finality. Finalities are for gods and governments, not for the human intellect.” ~ Emma Goldman
  27. “The people are urged to be patriotic … by sacrificing their own children. Patriotism requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother, sister.” ~ Emma Goldman
  28. “Salvation lies in an energetic march onward towards a brighter and clearer future.” ~ Emma Goldman
  29. “Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.” ~ Emma Goldman
  30. “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ~ Emma Goldman

  31. “What a strange development of patriotism that turns a thinking being into a loyal machine!” ~ Emma Goldman
  32. “Politicians promise you heaven before election and give you hell after” ~ Emma Goldman
  33. “It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life.” ~ Emma Goldman
  34. “There’s never been a good government.” ~ Emma Goldman

  35. “Religion! How it dominates man’s mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began.” ~ Emma Goldman
  36. “I may be arrested, I may be tried and thrown into jail, but I never will be silent.” ~ Emma Goldman
  37. “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” ~ Emma Goldman
  38. “Life without an ideal is spiritual death.” ~ Emma Goldman

  39. “Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” ~ Emma Goldman
  40. “…The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism.” ~ Emma Goldman
  41. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” ~ Emma Goldman
  42. “The most vital right is the right to love and be loved.” ~ Emma Goldman
  43. “Every daring attempt to make a great change in existing conditions, every lofty vision of new possibilities for the human race, has been labeled Utopian.” ~ Emma Goldman
  44. “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.” ~ Emma Goldman
  45. “The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.” ~ Emma Goldman
  46. “The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice.” ~ Emma Goldman

  47. “The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed.” ~ Emma Goldman
  48. “The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.” ~ Emma Goldman
  49. “No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.” ~ Emma Goldman
  50. “No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action.” ~ Emma Goldman

  51. “To the moralist prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock.” ~ Emma Goldman
  52. “How long would authority … exist, if not for the willingness of the mass to become soldiers, policemen, jailers, and hangmen.” ~ Emma Goldman
  53. “Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us today. The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gun.” ~ Emma Goldman
  54. “The soldier’s business is to take life. For that he is paid by the State, eulogized by political charlatans and upheld by public hysteria. But woman’s function is to give life, yet neither the State nor politicians nor public opinion have ever made the slightest provision in return for the life woman has given.” ~ Emma Goldman
  55. “Democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world.” ~ Emma Goldman
  56. “… resistance to tyranny is man’s highest ideal.” ~ Emma Goldman

  57. “”All government in essence,” says Emerson, “is tyranny.” It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance, its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual.” ~ Emma Goldman
  58. “Patriotism … is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.” ~ Emma Goldman
  59. “Conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism.” ~ Emma Goldman
  60. “What I believe is a process rather than a finality.” ~ Emma Goldman
  61. “Give us what belongs to us in peace, and if you don’t give it to us in peace, we will take it by force.” ~ Emma Goldman

  62. “true emancipation … will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent two antagonistic worlds.” ~ Emma Goldman
  63. “The triumph of the philosophy of Atheism is to free man from the nightmare of gods; it means the dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond.” ~ Emma Goldman
  64. “If I were to give a summary of the tendency of our times, I would say, Quantity. The multitude, the mass spirit, dominates everywhere, destroying quality. Our entire life–production, politics, and education–rests on quantity, on numbers. The worker who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality of his work has been replaced by brainless, incompetent automatons, who turn out enormous quantities of things, valueless to themselves, and generally injurious to the rest of mankind. Thus quantity, instead of adding to life’s comforts and peace, has merely increased man’s burden.” ~ Emma Goldman
  65. “If not for the direct action of a John Brown and his comrades, America would still trade in the flesh of the black man.” ~ Emma Goldman

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