Voltairine de Cleyre

Voltairine de Cleyre
Voltairine de Cleyre
  • Born: November 17, 1866
  • Died: June 20, 1912
  • Nationality:
  • Profession: Writer, Lecturer, Tutor

33

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33

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205

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Quotes
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...I have no resentment towards the man. If society were so constituted as to allow every man, woman and child to lead a normal life there would be no violence in this world. It fills me with horror to think the brutal acts done in the name of government. Every act of violence finds its echo in another act of violence. The policeman's club breeds criminals. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… every police lieutenant considers himself, and rightly so, as more powerful than the General Law of the Union. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… laws make every married woman what she is, a bonded slave, who takes her master's name, her master's bread, her master's commands, and serves her master's passions Discrimination & Prejudice ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
… so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. Freedom & Liberty
… what our national experience has made plain is this, that to remain in a continually exalted moral condition is not human nature. That has happened which was prophesied: we have gone down hill from the Revolution until now; we are absorbed in "mere money-getting. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Capitalism
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. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Contrary to public understanding, Anarchism means 'peace on earth, good will to men'. Acts of violence done in the name of Anarchy are caused by men and women who forget to be philosophers - teachers of the people - because their physical and mental suffering drive them to desperation Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Policy & Policy Making
Every person who ever had a plan to do anything, and went and did it, or who laid his plan before others, and won their co-operation to do it with him, without going to external authorities to please do the thing for them, was a direct actionist. Human Nature
Government is as unreal, as intangible, as unapproachable as God. Try it, if you don't believe it. Seek through the legislative halls of America and find, if you can, the Government. In the end you will be doomed to confer with the agent Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Humanity can not be made equal by declarations on paper. Unless the material conditions for equality exist Equality & Equal Opportunity
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? Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is an American tradition that a standing army is a standing menace to liberty; in Jefferson's presidency the army was reduced to 3,000 men. It is American tradition that we keep out of the affairs of other nations. It is American practice that we meddle with the affairs of everybody else from the West to the East Indies, from Russia to Japan; and to do it we have a standing army of 83,251 men. Military & Veterans
It would be an outrage against civilization if he were sent to jail for an act which was the product of a diseased brain Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Let every woman ask herself, Why am I the slave of Man? Why is my brain said not to be equal of his brain? Why is my work not paid equally with his? Why must my body be controlled by my husband, giving me in exchange what he deems fit? Minorities & Women
Let the guarantee of free speech be in every man's determination to use it, and we shall have no need of paper declarations. On the other hand, so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. Freedom & Liberty
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. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
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; Human Nature
Socialism and Communism both demand a degree of joint effort and administration which would beget more regulation than is wholly consistent with ideal Anarchism; Individualism and Mutualism … Regulation & Deregulation
That is rape, where a man forces himself sexually upon a woman whether he is licensed by the marriage law to do it or not. And that is the vilest of all tyranny where a man compels the woman he says he loves, to endure the agony of bearing children that she does not want, and for whom, as is the rule rather than the exception, they cannot properly provide. It is worse than any other human oppression … Families, Children & Parenting
The Constitution was made chiefly because of the demands of Commerce. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights ;Capitalism
The law makes ten criminals where it restrains one. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The love of material ease has been, in the mass of men and permanently speaking, always greater than the love of liberty. Freedom & Liberty
The paramount question of the day is not political, is not religious, but is economic. The crying-out demand of today is for a circle of principles that shall forever make it impossible for one man to control another by controlling the means of his existence. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Freedom & Liberty
The paramount question of the day is not political, is not religious, but is economic. The crying-out demand of today is for a circle of principles that shall forever make it impossible for one man to control another by controlling the means of his existence. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The Puritans had accused the Quakers of "troubling the world by preaching peace to it. They refused to pay church taxes; they refused to bear arms; they refused to swear allegiance to any government …. So the Puritans, being political actionists, passed laws to keep them out, to deport, to fine, to imprison, to mutilate, and finally, to hang them. And the Quakers just kept on coming … ; and history records that after the hanging of four Quakers, and the flogging of Margaret Brewster at the cart's tail through the streets of Boston, the Puritans gave up trying to silence the new missionaries; that Quaker persistence and Quaker non-resistance had won the day. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There is not upon the face of the earth today a government so utterly and shamelessly corrupt as that of the United States of America. There are others more cruel, more tyrannical, more devastating; there is none so utterly venal. Corruption
There is one common struggle against those who have appropriated the earth, the money, and the machines. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
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?” Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We are permitted to ride, providing we sit in a position ruinous to the horse; providing we wear a riding-habit long enough to hide the obscene human foot, weighed down by ten pounds of gravel to cheat the wind in its free blowing, so running the risk of disabling ourselves completely should accident throw us from the saddle. Think how we swim! We must even wear clothing in the water, and run the gauntlet of derision, if we dare battle in the surf minus stockings! Discrimination & Prejudice
What the working-class can do, when once they grow into a solidified organization, is to show the possessing class, through a sudden cessation of all work, that the whole social structure rests on them; that the possessions of the others are absolutely worthless to them without the workers' activity; that such protests, such strikes, are inherent in the system of property and will continually recur Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
When America passed the Fugitive Slave Law compelling men to catch their fellows more brutally than runaway dogs, Canada, aristocratic, unrepublican Canada, still stretched her arms to those who might reach her. But there is no refuge upon earth for the enslaved sex. Right where we are, there we must dig our trenches, and win or die. Minorities & Women ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Workers, the most absolutely necessary part of the whole social structure, without whose services none can either eat, or clothe, or shelter himself, are just the ones who get the least to eat, to wear, and to be housed withal — to say nothing of their share of the other social benefits which the rest of us are supposed to furnish, such as education and artistic gratification. Work, Workers & The Labor Force