We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My thoughts on the plaques themselves are somewhat different than NJSoldier's, though I agree with him.
First, while none of this is "Ozymandias", I've always found these kinds of honors to be strange. A plaque on a bridge, for example, which outlines who the governor, mayor, and 25 city councilmen were, along with the architect and chief engineer. As far as I'm concerned, the architect and chief engineer were the only meaningful names necessary. The rest was just a bunch of guys who won popularity contests and got to say "put my name on that" or got to redistribute public funds to their buddies.
Second, I wonder if Emma's plaque was paid for privately by people who liked her. If so, that's rather ironic, isn't it? If not, why would we spend public funds on a person who probably would not have wanted a plaque, but more importantly was deported? Even if you think her deportation was unjustified (as I do), she did many other things which were designed to diminish and undermine the liberty of others. Simply because it's what she wanted.
Upon reading her Wiki article, I am surprised that she wasn't deported decades earlier. Basically from the minute she reached the States in her early twenties, she was a very vocal anarchist agitator- and more.
To her credit, she wised up up about the Soviet Union.
In March 1921, strikes erupted in Petrograd when workers took to the streets demanding better food rations and more union autonomy. Goldman and Berkman felt a responsibility to support the strikers, stating: "To remain silent now is impossible, even criminal." The unrest spread to the port town of Kronstadt, where a military response was ordered. In the fighting that ensued, approximately 1,000 rebelling sailors and soldiers were killed and two thousand more were arrested. In the wake of these events, Goldman and Berkman decided there was no future in the country for them. "More and more", she wrote, "we have come to the conclusion that we can do nothing here. And as we can not keep up a life of inactivity much longer we have decided to leave."
Had she taken longer to reach her conclusion about the Soviet Union, she would have been stuck there.
oldman found it difficult to acclimate to the German leftist community. Communists despised her outspokenness about Soviet repression; liberals derided her radicalism. While Berkman remained in Berlin helping Russian exiles, she moved to London in September 1924. Upon her arrival, the novelist Rebecca West arranged a reception dinner for her, attended by philosopher Bertrand Russell, novelist H. G. Wells, and more than two hundred others. When she spoke of her dissatisfaction with the Soviet government, the audience was shocked. Some left the gathering; others berated her for prematurely criticizing the Communist experiment. Later, in a letter, Russell declined to support her efforts at systemic change in the Soviet Union and ridiculed her anarchist idealism.
Emma Goldman might have been labeled Politically Incorrect, given how she shocked that audience.
She reached a conclusion about the Spanish Civil War similar to one that George Orwell reached in Homage to Catalonia.
Goldman began to worry about the future of Spain's anarchism when the CNT-FAI joined a coalition government in 1937—against the core anarchist principle of abstaining from state structures—and, more distressingly, made repeated concessions to Communist forces in the name of uniting against fascism. She wrote that cooperating with Communists in Spain was "a denial of our comrades in Stalin's concentration camps.
She was an Anarchist, not a Stalinist. But as I said, I do not disagree with her being deported, just that it should have happened much earlier.
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