Here is a one hundred year old history lesson which seems just as timely today as it did then.
I caught part of a PBS documentary on Emma Goldman Sunday night. Goldman died in 1940, before I was born. I had never heard of Goldman before. She had been tarred by her association with various “anarchist” movement figures in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Her actual contribution to modern American thinking seems to have focused on improved working conditions for workers, abortion rights, and equal rights for women (“feminism”). How awful!
I switched off KSCM-TV at 11PM and turned in. I resolved to Google the topic in the morning. What piqued my interest was an extraordinarily visceral hatred of Goldman by certain interest groups in the United States, including the FBI. This woman appeared to promote a politically and economically secure labor force, women’s rights and, more generally, civil liberty. As a civil libertarian and card-carrying ACLU member, I already know that taking liberty and justice “too seriously” is a sure-fire way to arouse the ire of conservative ideologues.