- Max Baginski and Emma Goldman, “Mother Earth,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March, 1906): 1-4.
- Maxim Gorky and Alice Stone Blackwell (translator), “The Song of the Storm-Finch,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 4-5.
To the Readers
The name "Open Road" had to be abandoned, owing to the existence of a magazine by that name.
Observations and Comments
The importance of written history for the people can easily be compared with the importance of a diary for the individual. It furnishes data for recollections, points of comparison between the Past and Present. But as most diaries and auto-biographies show a lack of straight-forward, big, simple, sincere self-analyses, so does history seldom prove a representation of facts, of the truth, of reality.
The way history is written will depend altogether on whatever purpose the writers have in view, and what they hope to achieve thereby. It will altogether depend upon the sincerity or lack thereof, upon the broad or narrow horizon of the historian. That which passes as history in our schools, or governmentally fabricated books on history, is a forgery, a misrepresentation of events. Like the old drama centering upon the impossible figure of the hero, with a gesticulating crowd in the background. Quacks of history speak only of "great men" like Bonapartes, Bismarcks, Deweys, or Rough Riders as leaders of the people, while the latter serve as a setting, a chorus, howling the praise of the heroes, and also furnishing their blood money for the whims and extravagances of their masters. Such history only tends to produce conceit, national impudence, superciliousness and patriotic stupidity, all of which is in full bloom in our great Republic.
Our aim is to teach a different conception of historical events. To define them as an ever-recurring struggle for Freedom against every form of Might. A struggle resultant from an innate yearning for selfexpression, and the recognition of one's own possibilities and their attitude toward other human beings. History to us means a compilation of experiences, out of which the individual, as well as the race, will gain the right understanding how to shape and organize a mode of life best suited to bring out the finest and strongest qualities of the human race.
The American Brutus is, of course, a business man and has no time to overthrow Caesar. Recently, however, the imperialistic stew became hot and too much for him. The marriage of Miss Alice Roosevelt produced such a bad odor of court gossip, as to make the poor American Brutus ill with nausea. He grew indignant, draped his sleeve in mourning, and with gloomy mien and clenched fists, went about prophesying the downfall of the Republic.
Between ourselves, the number of those who still believe in the American Republic can be counted on one's fingers. One has either pierced through the lie, all for the people and by the people—in that case one must become a Revolutionist; or, one has succeeded in putting one's bounty in safety—then he is a conservative. "No disturbances, please. We are about to close a profitable contract." Modern bourgeoisie is absolutely indifferent as to who is to be their political boss, just so they are given opportunity to store their profits, and accumulate great wealth. Besides,the cry about the decline of the great Republic is really meaningless. As far as it ever stood for liberty and wellbeing of the people, it has long ceased to be. Therefore lamentations come too late. True, the American Republic has not given birth to an aristocracy. It has produced the power of the parvenu, not less brutal than European aristocracy, only narrower in vision and not less vulgar in taste.
Instead of mourning one ought to rejoice that the latest display of disgusting servility has completely thrown off the mantle of liberty and independence of Dame Columbia, now exposed before the civilized world in all her slavish submissiveness.
The storm in Russia has frightened many out of their warm bed-clothes.
A real Revolution in these police-regulated times. More than one voice was raised against the possibility of a Revolution, and they who dared to predict it were considered fit for the lunatic asylum.
The workingmen, peasants and students of Russia, however, have proven that the calculations of the "wise" contained a hitch somewhere. A Revolution swept across the country and did not even stop to ask permission of those in authority.
Authority and Power are now taking revenge on their daring sons and daughters. The Cossacks, at the command of the "good Czar" are celebrating a bloody feast—knouting, shooting, clubbing people to death, dragging great masses to prisons and into exile, and it is not the fault of that vicious idiot on the throne, nor that of his advisors, Witte and the others, if the Revolution still marches on, head erect. Were it in their power, they would break her proud neck with one stroke, but they cannot put the heads of a hundred million people on the block, they cannot deport eighty millions of Peasants to Siberia, nor can they order all the working-men in the industrial districts shot. Were the working bees to be killed, the drones would perish of starvation—that is why the Czar of the Peace Treaty still suffers some of his people to live ?
In Mayville, Wis., a transvaluation society has been formed, the purpose of which is, to bring about the transvaluation of all values in matters of love and the relations of the sexes. The members of this society are to contribute by word and deed towards the breaking of all barriers that prevent an ideal and healthy conception of love.
The president of this society, Emil Ruedebusch, known in this country through his work, "The Old and New Ideal," which, by the way, was confiscated upon the grounds of obscenity and the author put on trial. It is an undisputed fact that robust, graft-greedy Columbia abhors every free expression on love or marriage. Emil Ruedebusch, like many others who have dared to lift the veil of hypocrisy, was condemned to a heavy fine. A second work of the author, "Die Eigenen," was published in Germany.
His idea, that the relation of the sexes must be freed from the oppressing fetters of a lame morality that degrades every human emotion to the plane of utility and purpose, I heartily endorse. His method of achieving the ideal seems to me too full of red tape. However, I welcome every effort against the conspiracy of ignorance, hypocrisy and stupid prudery, against the simplest manifestation of nature.
- Emma Goldman, “The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 9-18.
- Grace Potter, “Try Love,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 18-19.
Japan.—A new civilization. The land of a new culture! was the cry of every penny-a-liner at the time when she began to display her battleships, cannon, and her accomplished method of drilling her soldiers. They were mocking themselves and did not know how. They talk of culture and civilization and their criterion thereof is the development of the technique of murder. Again, Japan a modern state. She can take her place in the ranks of other civilized countries. Rejoice and then learn that victorious Japan is on the threshold of a famine. Nearly a million people, it is laconically reported, are in danger of dying of starvation. Surely, no one will possibly doubt now that Japan is a civilized country.
A few days ago the red ghost of revolution showed itself in the White House. The President saw it and threatened it with his boxing fists: "What are you looking for here, be off to Russia." "You are comical in your excitement," answered Revolution. "You must know, I am not only Russian, I am international, at home here as well as on the other side of the great water."
A Proposition.—Would it not be wiser to explain theories out of life and not life out of theories?
- Frances Maulk Bjorkman, “Vive le Roi,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 27.
- Reflections of a Rich Man
Eleven million, nine hundred and seventeen thousand, nine hundred and forty-six dollars and fifty-eight cents is what the gallant Gen. Bingham asks us for protecting us from each other for the ensuing year. With a population of four million and 4.50 members to a family, we pay a fraction less than $3 per head, and about $13.50 for a family, a year for police protection in this enlightened Christian (750,000 of us are Jews, but ours is a Christian city) city of ours. I'd give that silver watch of mine away and mind my own business if I thought it would come cheaper, but it won't do. H. H. Rogers is my brother and keeper, and he insists he needs protection, and I must pay for it, so what can I do? I've told him I'm a peaceful, propertyless man with no higher ambition than to love my fellow-man—and woman, and mind my own business: but his reply has invariably been, "I'm Dr. Tarr, and my system prevails in this lunatic asylum!" I recognize the logic of his argument all right and continue to pay for his protection and feel grateful for the privilege of grumbling a little now and again.
- John Russell Coryell, “Comstockery,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 30-40.
- Don Quixote and Hamlet
- Edwin Bjorkman, “On the Banks of Acheron,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 42-44.
- H. Kelly, The British Elections and the Labor Parties
- Bolton Hall, “And You?,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 3.
- Internationalist, National Atavism
- M. B., Mine Owners' Revenge