Excerpt from "The Modern Drama: A Powerful Disseminator Of Radical Thought," by Emma Goldman
So long as discontent and unrest make themselves but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such manifestations. But when the dumb unrest grows into conscious expression and becomes almost universal, it necessarily affects all phases of human thought and action, and seeks its individual and social expression in the gradual transvaluation of existing values. An adequate appreciation of the tremendous spread of the modern, conscious social unrest cannot be gained from merely propagandistic literature. Rather must we become conversant with the larger phases of human expression manifest in art, literature, and, above all, the modern drama—the strongest and most far-reaching interpreter of our deep-felt dissatisfaction.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. To what does Goldman attribute the suppression of discontent?

2. What means does Goldman suggest for spreading one's message?

3. Do you think that her suggested means for reaching a critical mass would still work today? Besides the Arts, what means might you employ today for inspiring people to act on a certain cause?

Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)