Single Taxers and Socialism
[Reprinted from Land and Freedom,
Emma Goldman's Living My Life makes many mentions of "the
Single Taxers" who so plentifully stood by her in her endless
fights for free speech, for birth control, etc. the last a fight like
the fights against the most of Comstockism that has been won. Wherever
Liberty was assailed, Emma stood up for it, absolutely unafraid. She
names many Single Taxers and recounts their efforts to help.
I feel sure that her absolute frankness and plain speaking about
herself, and about every one else whom she knew, will put her book
above Rousseau's Confessions and Marie Baskirtseff's Journal.
About Russia she is completely disillusioned; naturally, not seeing
the fundamental importance of then" attack upon private property
in land. She seems to fail to realize that the freed slave is ever the
most cruel slave-driver, and that the Socialist is always and mainly
an authoritarian, although she does see that the Single Taxer's belief
is akin to anarchy.
She defines anarchy as "the philosophy of a new social order
based on liberty, unrestricted by man-made laws" the conception
that "all forms of government rest on violence and are therefore
wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary." No wonder she is
shocked at the Russian "republic."
All Socialists believe that laws made by wise persons can compel
people to be good. Naturally, they incline to the Roman Catholic view:
that it is of little consequence how many are destroyed if only the
System succeeds in well-being for the remainder.
Considering the 150,000,000 of ex-serfs, nearly all illiterate,
Russia seems to be doing as well as could be expected, and holds out
great hope? because she has apparently pretty well rubbed out private
property in land. Tyranny there is no worse than in the French
Revolution, though it deals with far greater multitudes, far more
widely scattered. At any rate, Russia has tackled the economic
question, and does not torture her political prisoners as we torture