Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nourish Your Soul in 4 Inspiring Minutes

Actress Sandra Oh reads the speech given by anarchist Emma Goldman in San Francisco before the United States entered WWI. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States given October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles California (featuring Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)

Oh, how prophetic! This all has come to pass.

Emma Goldman's words are just too good to miss! In case some won't want to spend four minutes watching, here are some excerpts from the reading: What is Patriotism? (1908),
Speech given in San Francisco, California

* 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 naïveté, we would watch the passing clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not float so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls?

* "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels," said Dr. Samuel Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our time, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment in the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the honest workingman.

* 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 Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner. It is for that purpose that we are clamoring for a greater army and navy, more battleships and ammunition.

An army and navy represent the people's toys.

* We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that she will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations.

Such is the logic of patriotism.

* 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 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.

* 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.


an average patriot said...

Wow! Food for thought you mean! Tolstoy had that nailed at least with Bush!

Border Explorer said...

Yeah, good for the mind, too! True: it applied to Bush, and I see so many apps to the US in the world now.

Jan said...

It's almost scary.

Border Explorer said...

Yeah, Emma Goldman is my new BFF. :-)

Utah Savage said...

Scary or not, I'm here to give you an award, but this means you have to visit me.

Emma Goldman was always my BFF. I have always been a socialist, so my love for Emma goes way back.

Brother Tim said...

Socialism is good. Jesus was a Socialist.

Dusty said...

This was awesome and so true! Thank You Billie for finding it and posting it. ;)

I put it up on Sirens.

Dianne said...

"the last resort of scoundrels" - Amen to that

and from what I've been reading and seeing and hearing lately the last resort of the mindless as well

eProf2 said...


Vicente Duque said...

The Injuries and wounds of Pastor Steven Anderson by Border Patrol in Arizona.

A Nice and Kind Baptist Pastor Beaten, Tormented, Tortured and Injured by Border Police while driving from San Diego to Phoenix.

His church has been very kind to Latinos, helping them with Spanish Language Sermons and Classes. He is a noble guy. I did some research on this man and his church, they integrate people to American life.

The pastor was tortured, tormented, steped on, injured with broken glass, etc ...

Does Steven Anderson look Latino or Mexican ??

No, he is a crew cut blond anglo, a law abiding American Citizen.

See many videos in YouTube.

Or in my site RACIALITY.COM where I am also building a beautiful Encyclopedia of ArchaeoGenetics, Archeology, ArchaeoMythology, etc ... to fight ignorance and unkindness.


Vicente Duque

Border Explorer said...

Geesh, what great comments! Leaving a comment is such a friendly thing to do. Thanks to everyone!