The Best Emma Goldman quotes

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Emma Goldman was a prominent anarchist thinker and activist who influenced popular discourse on a variety of social issues in the early twentieth century. Her work as an organizer and writer challenged traditional notions about government, gender, and sexuality, and helped to advance the cause of anarchism as a meaningful political movement. Despite her controversial views, Goldman’s wit and charisma won her many admirers, and her work continues to be studied and debated today. This blog post will explore Goldman’s life and legacy, with a particular focus on her contributions to anarchist thought.

Discover the most known Free, Liberty, Love, Social, Human Beings, Life, Revolution, World, Mind quotes from Emma Goldman, and much more.


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About Emma Goldman

birth of the author

June 27, 1869

death of the author

May 14, 1940

movement of the author

Anarchism Feminism


The most vital right is the right to love and be loved. — Emma Goldman

Love is it’s own protection. — Emma Goldman

All unnatural unions which are not hallowed by love are prostitution. — Emma Goldman

Love needs no protection; it is its own protection. — Emma Goldman

the most vital right is the right to love and be loved Emma Goldman quote

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

Whether love last but one brief span of time or for eternity, it is the only creative, inspiring, elevating basis for a new race, a new world. — Emma Goldman

On rare occasions one does hear of a miraculous case of a married couple falling in love after marriage, but on close examination it will be found that it is a mere adjustment to the inevitable. — Emma Goldman

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


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M]an has as much liberty as he is willing to take. — Emma Goldman

m an has as much liberty as he is willing to take Emma Goldman quote

Patriotism is a menace to liberty. — Emma Goldman

People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take. — Emma Goldman

Mother Liberty caresses with generous affections…[those] who, armed with the weapons of high–minded honesty,…have grasped that the freedom of each is rooted in the freedom of all. — Emma Goldman

They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death–knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock–like, mechanical atmosphere. — Emma Goldman

Liberty will not descend to a people, a people must raise themselves to liberty… — Emma Goldman

patriotism is a menace to liberty Emma Goldman quote


Life without an ideal is spiritual death. — Emma Goldman

Woman’s] life–long economic parasitism has utterly blurred her conception of the meaning of equality. — Emma Goldman

Christ and his teachings are the embodiment of submission, of inertia, of the denial of life; hence responsible for the things done in their name. — Emma Goldman

If the production of any commodity necessitates the sacrifice of human life, society should do without that commodity, but itcan not do without that life. — Emma Goldman

Atheism in its negation of gods is at the same time the strongest affirmation of man, and through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose, and beauty. — Emma Goldman

life without an ideal is spiritual death Emma Goldman quote

Marriage is primarily an economic arrangement, an insurance pact. It differs from the ordinary life insurance agreement only in that it is more binding, more exacting. — Emma Goldman

Love needs no protection; it is its own protection. So long as love begets life no child is deserted, or hungry, or famished for the want of affection. I know this to be true. — Emma Goldman

How to raise this dead level of theistic belief is really a matter of life and death for all denominations. Therefore their tolerance; but it is a tolerance not of understanding; but of weakness. — Emma Goldman

The individual is the true reality of life. A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State, nor for that abstraction called ‘society,’ or the ‘nation,’ which is only a collection of individuals. — Emma Goldman

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


A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having. — Emma Goldman

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution. — Emma Goldman

It cannot be sufficiently emphasized that revolution is in vain unless inspired by its ultimate ideal. Revolutionary methods must be in tune with revolutionary aims. — Emma Goldman

Revolution that divests itself of ethical values thereby lays the foundation of injustice, deceit, and oppression for the future society. — Emma Goldman

Revolution is but thought carried into action. — Emma Goldman

a revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having Emma Goldman quote

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 worth while. — Emma Goldman

No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… revolution is but thought carried into action. — Emma Goldman


Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. — Emma Goldman

Free love? as if love is anything but free. Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. — Emma Goldman

The free expression of The hopes and aspirations of a people is The greatest and only safety in a sane society. — Emma Goldman

yes love is free it can dwell in no other atmosphere Emma Goldman quote

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

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. — Emma Goldman

All government, whatever its forms or pretenses, is a dead weight that paralyzes the free spirit and activities of the masses. — Emma Goldman

Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another. — Emma Goldman

The motto should not be: Forgive one another; rather understand one another. — Emma Goldman

before we can forgive one another we have to understand one another Emma Goldman quote


Democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world. — Emma Goldman

Redundant Thematics

In Emma Goldman Statements


Politics is the reflex of the business and industrial world. — Emma Goldman

We say that if America has entered the war to make the world safe for democracy, she must first make democracy safe in America. — Emma Goldman

Idealists foolish enough to throw caution to the winds have advanced mankind and have enriched the world. — Emma Goldman

Politics is the reflex of the business and industrial world, the mottos of which are: ‘To take is more blessed than to give’; ‘buy cheap and sell dear’; ‘one soiled hand washes the other. — Emma Goldman

democracy must first be safe for america before it can be safe for the world Emma Goldman quote

The idealists and visionaries, foolish enough to throw caution to the winds and express their ardor and faith in some supreme deed, have advanced mankind and have enriched the world. — Emma Goldman

The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings as in his native land. — Emma Goldman


Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! — Emma Goldman

The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice. — Emma Goldman

Have not all theists painted their Deity as the god of love and goodness? Yet after thousands of years of such preachments the gods remain deaf to the agony of the human race. — Emma Goldman

poor human nature what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name Emma Goldman quote

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

The history of human growth is at the same time the history of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn, and the brighter dawn has always been considered illegal, outside of the law. — Emma Goldman

Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colors will baby people become interested–for a while at least. The people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys every day. — Emma Goldman

In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home. — Emma Goldman

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


It is significant that whenever the public mind is to be diverted from great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency. — Emma Goldman

No other superstition is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstition of Morality. — Emma Goldman

All claims of education notwithstanding, the pupil will accept only that which his mind craves. — Emma Goldman

It is safe to say that no other superstItion is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstItion of moralIty. — Emma Goldman

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion. — Emma Goldman

The average mind is easily content with inherited and acquired things, or with the dicta of parents and teachers, because it is much easier to imitate than to create. — Emma Goldman

Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man’s enslavement and all the horrors it entails. — Emma Goldman

Public school–where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression. — Emma Goldman

Just as religion has fettered the human mind, and as property, or the monopoly of things, has subdued and stifled man’s needs, so has the State enslaved his spirit, dictating every phase of conduct. — Emma Goldman

The majority represent a mass of cowards, willing to accept him who mirror its own soul and mind poverty. — Emma Goldman

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One cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills; the extreme thing is generally the true thing. — Emma Goldman

Social and economic well–being will become a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non–compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass. — Emma Goldman

The God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events. — Emma Goldman

Anarchism…stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral. — Emma Goldman

Perhaps even more than constituted authority, it is social uniformity and sameness that harass the individual most. — Emma Goldman

Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony. — Emma Goldman

EMMA GOLDMAN Quotes Take Away

Emma Goldman was a remarkable woman with a lot of wisdom to share, and her quotes are as relevant today as they were over 100 years ago. We hope these quotes have inspired you as much as they’ve inspired us, and we encourage you to check out our upcoming courses on anarchism and related topics. With the right tools, you can change the world- just like Emma Goldman did.

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