June 19, 2021
From Radical Glasgow (UK)
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               I am an admirer of Voltairine de Clerye, poet, essayist, revolutionary, anarchist without adjectives, and it is for no other reason than that admiration that I post the following. She lead a very active but short life, dying before her 46th birthday, born November 17, 1866 – died June 20, 1912, she left behind some deep thoughtful poems, among other writings. Her statement below should be made more widely broadcast as it states what anarchism is about and flies in the face of the mainstream media interpretation of the meaning of anarchism.

         “Anarchism, to me, means not only the denial of authority, not only a new economy, but a revision of the principles of morality. It means the development of the individual, as well as the assertion of the individual. It means self-responsibility, and not leader-worship.
          Anarchism…teaches the possibility of a society in which the needs of life may be fully supplied for all, and in which the opportunities for complete development of mind and body shall be the heritage of all…It teaches that the present unjust organisation of the production and distribution of wealth must finally be completely destroyed, and replaced by a system which will insure to each the liberty to work, without first seeking a master to whom he or she must surrender a tithe of his or her product, which will guarantee his liberty of access to the sources and means of production…Out of the blindly submissive, it makes the discontented; out of the unconsciously dissatisfied, it makes the consciously dissatisfied…Anarchism seeks to arouse the consciousness of oppression, the desire for a better society, and a sense of the necessity for unceasing warfare against capitalism and the State.”

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The Suicide’s Defense

           (Of all the stupidities wherewith the law-making power has orignaled its own incapacity for dealing with the disorders of society, none appears so utterly stupid as the law which punishes an attempted suicide. To the question “What have you to say in your defense?” I conceive the poor wretch might reply as follows.)

To say in my defense? Defense of what?
Defense to whom? And why defense at all?
Have I wronged any? Let that one accuse!
Some priest there mutters I “have outraged God”!
Let God then try me, and let none dare judge
Himself as fit to put Heaven’s ermine on!
Again I say, let the wronged one accuse.
Aye, silence! There is none to answer me.
And whom could I, a homeless, friendless tramp,
To whom all doors are shut, all hearts are locked,
All hands withheld — whom could I wrong, indeed
By taking that which benefited none
And menaced all?
Aye, since ye will it so,
Know then your risk. But mark, ‘tis not defense,
‘Tis accusation thah I hurl at you.
See to’t that ye prepare your own defense.
My life, I say, Is an eternal threat
To you and yours; and therefore it were well
To have foreborne your unasked services.
And why? Because I hate you! Every drop
of blood that circles in your plethoric veins
Was wrung from out the gaunt and sapless trunks
Of men like me. who in your cursed mills
Were crushed like grapes within the wine-press
ground.
To us ye leave the empty skin of life;
The heart of it, the sweet of it, ye pour
To fete your dogs and mistresses withal!
Your mistresses! Our daughters! Bought, for bread,
To grace the flesh that once was father’s arms!

Yes, I accuse you that ye murdered me!
Ye killed the Man — and this that speaks to you
Is but the beast that ye have made of me!
What! Is it life to creep and crawl an beg,
And slink for shelter where rats congregate?
And for one’s ideal dream of a fat meal?
Is it, then, life, to group like pigs in sties,
And bury decency in common filth,
Because, forsooth, your income must be made,
Though human flesh rot in your plague-rid dens?
Is it, then, life, to wait another’s nod,
For leave to turn yourself to gold for him?
Would it be life to you? And was I less
Than you? Vas I not born with hopes and dreams
Ane pains and passions even as were you?

But these ye have denied. Ye seized the earth,
Though it was none of yours, and said: “Hereon
Shall none rest, walk or work, till first to me
Ye render tribute!” Every art of man,
Born to make light of the burdens of the world,
Ye also seized, and made a tenfold curse
To crush the man beneath the thing he made.
Houses, machines, and lands — all, all are yours;
And us you do not need. When we ask work
Ye shake your heads. Homes? — Ye .vict us. Bread? —

“Here, officer, this fellow’s begging. Jail’s
the place for him!” After the stripes, what next?
Poison! — I took it! — Now you say ‘twas sin
To take this life which troubled you so much.
Sin to escape insult, starvation, brands
Of felony, inflicted for the crime
Of asking food! Ye hypocrites! Within
Your secret hearts the sin is that I failed!
Because I failed ye judge me to the stripes.
And the hard toil denied when I was free.
So be it. But beware! — a Prison cell,s
An evil bed to grow morality!
Black swamps breed black miasms; sickly soils
Yield poison fruit; snakes warmed to life will sting.
This time I was content to go alone;
Perchance the next I shall not be so kind.

Philadelphia, September 1894

The last poem Voltairine de Cleyre wrote
 
Written — in — Red

To Our Living Dead
in Mexico’s Struggle


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.

gods of the World! Their mouths are dumb!
Your guns have spoken and they are dust.
But the shrouded Living, whose hearts were numb,
have felt the beat of a wakening drum
Within them sounding-the Dead men’s tongue —
Calling: “Smite off the ancient rust!”
Have beheld “Resurrexit,” the word of the Dead,
Written — in — red.

Bear it aloft, O roaring, flame!
Skyward aloft, where all may see.
Slaves of the World! Our caose 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. 

The struggle still goes on, in Mexico and across the planet.

Visit ann arky’s home at;

http://strugglepedia.co.uk/index.php?title=Main_Page




Source: Radicalglasgowblog.blogspot.com