Emma Goldman Released From Prison After Inducing People to Dodge Draft Hot

Emma Goldman Released From Prison After Inducing People to Dodge Draft

Emma Goldman, 1917

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Emma Goldman is released from prison. She has just completed a two year sentence for conspiracy to "induce persons not to register" for the draft. She, along with Alexander Birkman, is rearrested and held for deportation.

The U.S. government is using the Anarchist Exclusion Act to get rid of politically inconvenient immigrants who have not yet become American citizens. Goldman, though, is a citizen, yet she will be deported anyway.

While they were still in prison, J. Edgar Hoover wrote:

"Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman are, beyond doubt, two of the most dangerous anarchists in this country and return to the community will result in undue harm."

Goldman, Berkman, and many others are sent to the Soviet Union. She is optimistic about this at first because she has supported the Bolshevik Revolution. At the same time, however, she has grave concerns about the growing state power within the Soviet Union — Goldman distrusts any state government, no matter who controls it.

Before long she discovers that Soviet society is rife with oppression, repression, violence, corruption, and fear. Workers' equality doesn't exist, and anyone who questions the actions of the government is deemed counter-revolutionary.

Alexander Berkman will be a little more willing to forgive some suppression of free speech during a revolutionary period, especially after discussing their concerns with Vladimir Lenin, but in the end both of them reject the Soviet Union as having replaced a bad system with a potentially worse one.

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Emma Goldman

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