Margaret Sanger, "Self Preservation," Apr 1914.

Source: " The Woman Rebel, April 1914, p. 16 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C16:530."


In all living creatures there are strong instincts. One of the strongest, which has predominated throughout the evolutionary process of man, is the instinct of self-preservation. Man is the victorious species, through the action and strength of this instinct. The history of mankind is the history of classes. Between the two classes of to-day the question is which class shows in the strongest way, the instinct of self-defense.

At Union Square, New York, Saturday, April 4th there came men and women who had spent their adult lives on the firing line of the class war. They came, scenting, feeling, knowing that brutal treatment awaited them. They came fearlessly, yet they came weaponless and unarmed. What has happened to the workers that they have lost the greatest principle of all life--self defense?

Throughout the United States there have been brutal demonstrations by the police against the workers. In San Francisco, Sacramento,Cleveland, Chicago, New York have occurred most outrageous beatings and clubbings, broken heads, and maimed bodies--always by the police. The I. W. W. boys and the anarchists are not so unsophisticated that they look for justice or freedom; they have been too long on the firing line to expect it and yet they continue to hope!

Subject Terms:

Copyright, Margaret Sanger Project