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TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Love, Relationships, Thought of the Day | Posted on 08-07-2008

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Love, the strongest and deep­est ele­ment in all life, the har­bin­ger of hope, of joy, of ecsta­sy; love, the defi­er of all laws, of all con­ven­tions; love, the freest, the most pow­er­ful mold­er of human des­tiny; how can such an all-com­pelling force be syn­ony­mous with that poor lit­tle State and Church-begot­ten weed, mar­riage?

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. Man has sub­dued bod­ies, but all the pow­er on earth has been unable to sub­due love. Man has con­quered whole nations, but all his armies could not con­quer love. Man has chained and fet­tered the spir­it, but he has been utter­ly help­less before love. High on a throne, with all the splen­dor and pomp his gold can com­mand, man is yet poor and des­o­late, if love pass­es him by. And if it stays, the poor­est hov­el is radi­ant with warmth, with life and col­or. Thus love has the mag­ic pow­er to make of a beg­gar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no oth­er atmos­phere.

Anarchism and Other EssaysEmma Gold­man, “Mar­riage and Love,” Anar­chism and Oth­er Essays (1911)