Monday, March 19, 2012

Feminism in Lyon before 1848: Eugénie Niboyet and Flora Tristan

FEMINISM IN LYON BEFORE 1848

I. —Feminist Tendencies before 1834. Mme Niboyet.

When Fourier and, after him, the Saint-Simonians denounced the inequality of the sexes as a denial of justice, they revived a long-interrupted tradition. After Condorcet, the ardent forerunner of feminism, who was concerned with the role of woman? The Revolution, accustomed to find in her an enemy more often than an ally, had neglected to take her part after the assassination of Marat by Charlotte Corday. Napoleon was not the man to make her a part of his plans. She herself seemed disinterested in her own cause. Enfantin and Fourier returned her to the consciousness of her rights. The former showed her a new society, where every function would be fulfilled by a couple; the latter claimed to free her, to revise the law of marriage, to remove the anathema pronounced against love by Christianity. Without accepting all these ideas, some women, already distinctly detached from catholic dogma, although all religious sentiment was not dead in them, felt vaguely that a greater share of influence was due them. At Lyon, beginning in the year 1833, their complaints began to be formulated, and their aspirations as well.

L'Echo de la Fabrique, the journal of the workers, did not hesitate to open its columns to them, and to lend them its support. They would insert demands there inspired by Saint-Simonism and Fouriérism. “It is to us,”  wrote one of them, “that belong the greater part of human miseries, of rights distorted and misunderstood; to us also the complaint and the hope for a better future.” They had had enough of being “grown-up children, alternately caressed or oppressed;” they waited with impatience for the society promised by Fourier, that triumph of harmony which will be the victory of their right. A collaborator of l'Écho[i] advocated in education, in the laws, in the regime of industry, some reforms which he did not specify, but which would allow woman, by assuring her a breadwinner, to escape from dependence on her husband, from the role of "household utensils and living room furniture," and finally receive some benefit from a civilization that is her work.

To many minds, the cause of women is intertwined with that of the people. Is there not for that matter an immense female proletariat, even more wretched than the other, which has the same interests and pursues the same ends? At each attempt of the workers to obtain higher wages, women have addressed to them the testimony of their sympathy.[ii] Finally, in a democratic spirit, Mme. Niboyet, grouping around her some collaborators, strove to give a center to the confused tendencies of her sex, and founded at Lyon, in November, 1833, a journal titled: le Conseiller des Femmes.

Mme. Eugénie Niboyet deserves to be mentioned among the first workers of the feminist idea, but it is hardly possible, if it is possible at all, to catch a glimpse of her face in the little information that we possess. We know that she was born in Montpellier in 1797. The daughter of pastor Mouchon, she must have been raised in the protestant religion. About her life and role until 1833, the date when she set up residence at Lyon, we have no information. She speaks somewhere of “combining by a fortunate agreement physical and moral strengths,” of “finding the law of emulative attraction,” so many formulas of Fourierism or Saint-Simonism, and let it be believed that she adhered to one or the other system.[iii] She was an educator at the same time as a journalist: in the notices, there is talk of her courses, without any more details. She was a journalit at heart, and a tireless one. After the Conseiller des Femmes, which ceased to appear in 1834, she published la Mosaïque, a literary journal, then, having left Lyon for Paris, she founded l'Avenir, a journal of social tendencies.[iv] In 1848, she could be found in the company of Désirée Gay, Pauline Rolland, Adèle Esquiros and especially Jeanne Déroin, at the Club des Femmes of which she was the president.[v] She founded a new journal, la Voix des Femmes; she wrote to Cabet, to congratulate him for having spoken at a meeting in favor of female emancipation, a letter also signed by Jeanne Deroin and Désirée Gay, where she called for equality for all women as well as all men. La Voix des Femmes not being able to continue publication, after forty-six issues, she collaborated on l'Opinion des Femmes, which her friend Jeanne Déroin had just founded, and which lasted until the month of August, 1849.

From this date we lose her track, but there is enough for us to judge what prodigious activity she expended for the cause to which she was committed. Le Conseiller des Femmes is the first in date, at least to our knowledge, of the long series of journals that she created, or at least to the editing of which she contributed. She had at her side, in 1833, numerous collaborators, of whom the two most remarkable were Louise Maignaud and Jeanne Dubuisson.

Mme. Niboyet took care to inform us of the goal that she pursued: “We believe,” she wrote, “that we labor at a work of organization, in accordance with the will of God and the needs of the era, for if in fact and in right woman is in the natural and numeric order one half of humanity, it seems to us just and necessary that she take her part in the ascending movement impressed on our civilization.”[vi]  The feminist tendencies did not exclude a religious inspiration: Mme. Niboyet further declared “that it will draw all its precepts from the divine books.”[vii] That profession of faith did not prevent le Conseiller des Femmes of being the target of the attacks of the Catholics, of whom le Réparateur is the organ, which she dismissed eloquently, by invoking with Louise Maignaud the right that every conviction has to be respected.[viii] But what the editors especially took to heart was the education of their sex. They thought to create “a practical journal;” their desire was to contribute, to the extent that they could, to improve the sort of women of every condition.

Without doubt, it would be much lamented here and there that woman, “tributary of the State by taxes and by her children, could not take any part in political or administrative affairs:”[ix] but such complaints were rare; instruction was considered, at least in the present state of things, as the only means of feminine emancipation. Let woman “be able to enter in her turn the careers of science and industry!”[x] The journal abounded with projects for her education. It even published some lesson in grammar for her usage; it followed all the periods of her life, in the course of her daily occupations: a multitude of stories and poems, of which many were the work of Mme. Desbordes-Valmore, then present in Lyon, gave it a literary tone without ever distracting attention from that which was its eternal subject.

The solicitude of the editors was especially aroused by the women of the working class, so numerous in Lyon. Louise Maignaud, Jeanne Dubuisson laid out in long pages the tableau of their misery. Are they not reserved to the fabrication of étoffes unies, that is to those labors that are worst remunerated; don't they work fifteen to eighteen hours per day for a pittance?  To the claims in favor of the workers, add those particular to the romantic age in favor of the fallen woman:  "You, poor women who have found in the world only snares, seductions and injustices, whose passions have overflowed the soul... does one think that for you there will not be love and sympathy in our hearts?" L'Echo de la Fabrique reproduced these articles:[xi] it congratulated the collaborators of Mme. Niboyet for the interest that they brought to the plight of the daughters of the people, they who, placed by their condition far from misery, could divert their thoughts to other objects.

From the month of December 1833, Mme. Niboyet was no longer content to write; she wanted to act in order to make her ideas triumph. She thought to create free schools, two for the boys, and two for the girls of seven to twelve years of age, by appealing to private subscriptions, and asking the city to lend a location for it.[xii] The teacher had not abdicated. Imbued with the Fourierist idea of attractive labor, she hoped that children would be employed at small labors the products of which would be turned to their benefit, that instead of imposing a task on them, one would make them ask for it. The project remained a dead letter. She does not seem to have had a great determination to make it succeed: but another took it more to heart.

Thinking that among women, the little girls are not the only ones to be raised, she considered founding in Lyon a feminine society, a special Athenaeum for women. "All will not be called to be permanent members of this body, but all could attend the courses that will be held there. It will be a moral and intellectual forum open to all women." The ladies of the society would pay a subscription of 20 francs per year; several would be charged with the instruction. There would be courses in grammar, reading, and expression, then courses bearing on the study of social science, political economy, education, history, literature, and morals. An appeal will be made to all the devotions to establish a library and distribute books for free.

By dint of patience, Mme. Niboyet was able to start fulfilling her ideas. On March 8, 1834, her paper congratulated the city of Lyon on being the first to possess a women's Athenaeum. You can read at the head of the statutes of the new society "that in a century of progress women must labor in an active manner at the development of their moral and intellectual faculties,... that it is given to them to do things both good and useful to humanity." But the terrible days of April, which came so soon after, would abruptly the courses that had hardly commenced, and would cause, amidst so many ruins, the ruin of that fragile institution, the hope of the Lyonnais feminists.

Le Conseiller des Femmes however, survived them until the month of September, 1834. The editor had clearly taken the part of the vanquished. She wrote[xiii] “that one could, by combining the use of capital, by utilizing all the branches of industry, organize immense workshop where all, as associates, would receive the price of their labor.” The women who followed her closely or from afar, would not hide their devotion to the cause of the workers any more than she did. In a letter to a friend, Mme. Desbordes-Valmore called divine wrath down on “the cruel authors of the bloody week.”[xiv] But the feminist impulse was nonetheless broken. Le Conseiller des Femmes became entirely literary and insignificant, and little by little died away. Mme. Niboyet herself was not slow to leave Lyon. The feminists would cease to form a distinct group, but, though their number was doubtless very limited, there influence was not nothing, and they would contribute their part to the propaganda and to the success of Fourierism.

II. — The Passage of Flora Tristan at Lyon, in 1844.

Ten years after the attempt of Mme. Niboyet, a woman came to Lyon who worked as she had with zeal to spread the feminist ideal. Without doubt, the lectures given in that city by Flora Tristan, addressed to a working-class audience, were not of an exclusively feminist character: far from it, but feminism was at least mingled there. Also, her propaganda was sufficiently linked to the very name of Flora Tristan to justify the place that we grant it in this study.

Many apostles had already come to preach their gospel of social happiness before the Lyonnais when, after their example, in 1844, Flora Tristan arrived at Lyon. She had, the year before, developed in a small book a curious project of a “Workers Union,” but she realized that the common people, to whom she addressed herself, didn’t know it or could not read: her devotion to their cause gave her strength and faith; she would then teach them fraternity and union herself. “I have understood,” she wrote, “that, my book published, I have another work to accomplish, that I must go myself, with my project in hand, from one end of France to the other, to speak to the workers.”[xv]

As an itinerary, she adopted that of the Companions of the Tour de France: she would walk in the footsteps of those she came to help. Leaving Paris in April 1844, after having stopped at Auxerre, Dijon, Chàlons and Màcon, she was in Lyon sometime in the month of May.[xvi] The Fourierists from Paris with whom she was connected opened doors for her in this city where their system was widespread. Besides, it was not her first appearance there: Benoit reported her involvement with the Société Lyonnaise des Familles, dispersed in 1843: we must then admit that one of her voyages had been prior to that date.[xvii] In 1844, Victor Considerant put her in contact with the weaver, Joseph Reynier who, in his Mémoires, not without some pride, relates her visit. “I aided her with all my power,” he said, “and with a great devotion: and I regarded her very highly.”[xviii] Indeed, he introduced her to the Lyonnais Societies of compagnonnage, introduced her to the mayor of each arrondissement, and organized with her some meetings where she explained her ideas.

Flora Tristan came to spread a doctrine and found an association. A restless and unhappy life, a voyage to London, in the course of which she had been able to observe in its horror the poverty of the worker, had predisposed her, the grand-daughter of a viceroy of Peru, to take up the defense of two great causes, that of women, who already claimed some rights, and that of the workers, who demanded an improvement of their condition. With the very clear sense of the antagonism of the classes, inherited from the Saint-Simonians or brought back from London, she dreamed of organizing the workers. Let them elect some representatives, let them form a solid union across the borders,[xix] let them have in each capital of Europe some committees of correspondence where they will register: these are the words of advice, mixed with strange fantasies, that she did not stop lavishing on them in every town where she passed, and especially in Lyon.

Everywhere she sought members for the great association which, in her thought, must first cover France, and then Europe, and which we can consider as the true draft of the International Association. To make her ideas accessible, she presented them in palpable form; the gave the workers a glimpse of palaces being raised in the administrative center of every department, then in each arrondissement, then in each commune, where the incapacitated workers would be housed and fed, palaces constructed in no time, thanks to an annual assessment of a few francs, contributed by each worker.[xx] Doubtless she also made an appeal to the women, whom she regarded as the indispensable auxiliaries of every social renovation, and she proclaimed their unrecognized rights. How seductively she propagated her ideas, we know by the testimony of Sébastien Commissaire. He portrays her as he say her in the course of a meeting of workers in Lyon, a woman of medium height, still young, — she was then thirty-eight years old, — the sympathetic expression on her face framed by black hair, and still possessing the remains of a beauty that her contemporaries all recognized. “She spoke with a great ease,” he said. “Her vibrant, harmonious voice impressed me: I was under the charm.”[xxi]

Could Flora Tristan freely continue the course of her Conferences? The Echo de la Fabrique for May 15 spoke of judiciary proceedings; on the contrary, it emerges from the Censeur of July 11 that it was not worried. Perhaps it must be admitted that the prosecutions did not succeed, and that the authorities, once moved, remained quiescent. We know, moreover, that the meetings were secret, that only reliable persons were invited.

But what it is especially important to know is the opinion that the Lyonnais formed of the doctrine. The bourgeois republican party could only be hostile. To the tolerance of the publics powers, whether right or wrong, the journalists of the Censeur[xxii] opposed severe measures to be taken against the workers, as soon as they attempt to unite. Flora Tristan prompted some gatherings with the very complicated aim of regenerating Society: wouldn’t it be better to content oneself with demanding some increase of wages for the workers? Isn’t it by an insidious calculation that authority suppresses the workers as soon as they pursue a precise and immediate interest, while it delivered them to all the chimeras, while it left all the makers of systems free to lull them? Mistress of illusion, this is how Flora Tristan appeared to the Republican formalists of the Censeur. Perhaps they also, but without admitting it, feared on behalf of the bourgeoisie, whose interpreters they were, the threat of a general association of workers. Always they went as far as demanding the strict application of the laws of September, that they blamed the judiciary power for allowing to lie dormant with regard to the socialist dreamers of both sexes.

The attack was so violent, that Cabet, then present in Lyon, addressed to the Censeur, on August 3, 1844, a letter in which he took up the defense of Flora Tristan, although he did not share her ideas.[xxiii] He had read with “a sad astonishment” the articles directed against her. It was important to him that the legality of the meetings she had held was recognized.

A paper ordinarily rather indifferent to social ideas, the Kaléidoscope, gave the opinion of the merchants and industrialists. Antony Luyrard, whose name appeared at the bottom of the article,[xxiv] was more moderate than the journalist from the Censeur. He recognized the necessity of an organization of labor, but the thoughts of Flora Tristan frightened him. He did not want to admit that the working class needed a legal representation; but above all he could not stand the idea of a compact and solid union of the workers. Let them content themselves “with an association of efforts,” he said in vague terms, “though it only be temporary.”

The Republicans of the Censeur, and the industrialists of the Kaléidoscope agreed then to reject the project of the workers’ union, and that agreement was not astonishing. Did Flora Tristan have, on the other hand, the approval of the working class, the only one which matters?

It would not seem so, to read the Echo de la Fabrique. Even before Flora Tristan was in Lyon, Marius Chastaing had critiqued her book,[xxv] and on several points, it must be said, the critique was penetrating. The projected association, supposing that the government allowed it to survive — which could not happen — would be a veritable state within the State; it would result in the division of France into two camps, and “as two armies facing one another will not be able to delay coming to blows,” it would lead to an unholy war. Finally, a democrat such as Chastaing could not allow the principle of equality to be undermined, even if it profited the most numerous class. He did not applaud the idea of raising palaces, or of creating an education which would be the privilege of the workers. Let education be common to all, he demanded; let us take nothing to heart as much as inculcating in the children “the spirit of equality.” Also, as soon as he learned of the arrival of Flora Tristan,[xxvi] he strove to protect the workers against her doctrine: “let them not fool themselves, and let themselves be taken in, by listening to such reveries. By wishing to put it into practice, they compromise the future of the cause of progress, far from hastening its coming.”

Did the Lyonnais workers listen to that advice, partake in this regard of the theories of the Union, and the disdain of the editor of the Echo? Chastaing himself declared that by taking sides against Flora Tristan, he separated himself from a great number of his friends.[xxvii] Commissaire and Reynier attest to the success won among the workers by the ardent socialist. Many doubtless rallied to her plan, not because it fit their own ideas, but solely because it was an attempt to improve their condition, and, as Commissaire wrote, “to shake off the drowsiness of the masses.”[xxviii] Others had to accept it without reservation: it was for them, it seems, that there appeared in Lyon the third edition of The Workers’ Union. When Flora Tristan left the city, she went with many subscriptions, and even more numerous sympathies. She was linked, during her short stay, with one woman, Eléonore Blanc, doubtless a Lyonnaise,[xxix] who had been converted to her ideas, and who has passed on to us the memory of a friendship that was very strong, but very short.

Some months after her departure from Lyon, on November 14, 1844, Flora Tristan died at Bordeaux, Flora Tristan, crushed by the severe task that she had been given, and with her disappeared that project of Universal Association, which later, taken up again by foreign hands, would succeed. Eléonore Blanc was able to carry to her the farewells of the Lyonnais workers. All lamented her early death. “I have always regretted it,” wrote Reynier, and Commissaire acknowledged “that the workers have lost an ardent and devoted friend.” When it was a question of raising a monument to Flora Tristan at Bordeaux, a folder from the Croix-Rousse, Lardet,[xxx] was charged with collecting subscriptions, along with the faithful Eléonore Blanc, who in 1845 published in Lyon a little book on his departed friend, exhorting the workers, in mystical terms, to accept the legacy of labor left to them, to be “the worthy brothers, the worthy sons” of she who, such a short time before, hard charmed them with such lovely words of assurance.

Maximilien BUFFENOIR.



Revue d'histoire de Lyon, Volume 7 (1908), 348-358.




[i] Jullien, Echo de la Fabrique, June 1833: de la Condition sociale des Femmes au xixe siècle.
[ii] See the letter cited: Echo de la Fabrique, February 23, 1834.
[iii] See Charléty, Saint-Simonisme, p. 116, note 1. When the Saints-Simonians, desirous of winning over the workers, created a special system of education for them in the twelve arrondissements of Paris, in the course of the year 18J1, a Mme. Niboyer figured among the chief Saints-Simonians of the 6th arrondissement. Despite the difference in spelling, isn’t it likely that Mme. Niboyer et Mme. Niboyet were one and the same person?
[iv] See the Tribune Lyonnaise, March 1845.
[v] See the revue: la Révolution de 1848, 1908, p. 321, article of Adrien Ranvier on Jeanne Déroin.
[vi] Conseiller des Femmes, November 1, 1833.
[vii] Conseiller des Femmes, prospectus.
[viii] Conseiller des Femmes, January 11, 1834: Un Mot au « Réparateur », par Louise Maignaud.
[ix] Conseiller des Femmes, December 14, 1833.
[x] Id., November 16, 1833.
[xi] See the Echo de la Fabrique, April 27, 1834, March 25, 1834, and prior to February 2, 1833.
[xii] Conseiller des Femmes, December 21, 1833.
[xiii] Conseiller des Femmes, April 26, 1834.
[xiv] Letter to M. Quinebaux, May 6, 1834, Lyon (Collection Herriot).
[xv] Preface of the second edition of l'Union ouvrière, Paris, 1844.
[xvi] Eléonore Blanc, Flora Tristan, Lyon, 1840, p. 5.
[xvii] If, however, we refer to Benoit (Souvenirs d'un Prolétaire) the end of the Société des Familles was on that date in 1843.
[xviii] Mémoires de J. Reynier.
[xix] See Union ouvrière, 1843, p. 74. See also, on the ideas of Flora Tristan, the interesting work of L. Puech, le Proudhonisme dans l'Internationale.
[xx] Commissaire, Souvenirs, p. 108, tome I.
[xxi] Commissaire, Souvenirs, tome I.
[xxii] Censeur, July 22 and August 1, 1844.
[xxiii] Censeur, August 6, 1844.
[xxiv] Le Kaléidoscope du Commerce, July 13, 1844: de la Classe ouvrière, by Antony Luyrard.
[xxv] Echo de la Fabrique, February 15, 1844.
[xxvi] Echo de la Fabrique, May 15, 1844.
[xxvii] Echo de la Fabrique, October 31, 1844.
[xxviii] Commissaire, I.
[xxix] She lived in Lyon, on the Rue Luizerne, Echo de la Fabrique, December 15, 1844.
[xxx] Echo de la Fabrique, December 15, 1844.

Friday, March 16, 2012

To the Socialist Democrats of the Department of the Seine, 1850



 TO THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE SEINE.

Some men and women whose devotion to the Republic has cast them into exile, some comrades in belief and in misfortune, lack everything, and we are sad that we cannot do anything to alleviate their sufferings. So far, the cantonal allowances, and some individual assistance have been enough to make their position tolerable; today, our feeble resources are exhausted. The refugees provided for by the State are barracked and subjected to a regime which treats them like prisoners of war. The little food they are given is detestable; no one gives them a drop of wine, and nothing of any sort is provided for their care; they also lack linens and the necessary articles of clothing. This sad situation will be aggravated more if, as everyone is led to believe, the proscripts are soon obliged to undertake long and costly voyages to seek refuge elsewhere. It is thus urgent to gather as soon as possible some resources in order to deal with so many needs. That is why, after being constituted as an interim emergency committee, we come Citizens, to make an appeal to your patriotism. You see, it is only in the last extremity that we make this decision, for we know what heavy responsibilities weigh on the laborer in these times of iniquity, and it couldn’t be more painful for us to increase them further by taking a toll on their bare necessities.

But we also know that the people possess some troves of love and that their devotion brings forth miracles. We know that our appeal will be heard because it is addressed to those for whom Fraternity is not a vain word; to those who have little money and lots of heart; to that people, who without bread, barefoot, in tatters, knew how in March 1848, to find some offerings for the fledgling Republic; to all the disinherited finally, whose numbers make their strength and who by their assembled efforts can compensate for the shortage of individual means.

Little brooks form great rivers: thus, the penny a week of the proletarians can produce a mass more than sufficient to shelter their exiled fellows from need.

We wait, full of confidence and hope!

Lauzane, February 18, 1850.

Fraternal greetings,

Rolland, Felix Pyat, Boichot, L. Avril, Eug. Raspail, Tannot, R. Hopp, Ernest Coeurderoy.

P. S. — Addresse replies to MM. LACROIX & SIMON, Campagne JOURDIL, descente d'OUCHY, (LAUSANNE).

Paris. Imp. BOISSEAU et Ce, pass. du Caire, 128-434.


[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

Alfred Darimon, Notice on the Journals of Proudhon


 From Alfred Darimon, A Travers une Révolution (1884)

NOTICE

ON THE JOURNALS OF PROUDHON

I. — le Représentant du Peuple.

The true founder of the Représentant du Peuple was Mr. Jules Viard, a humorous writer who died very young. Mr. Jules Viard published under this title, in 1847, a financial and two sample issues, one dated October 4, 1847, and the second dated November 13, 1847.
It was also M. Jules Viard who began, after the revolution of February, the publication of the Représentant du Peuple.
The first issue appeared on February 27, 1848; but after the third issue, bearing the date of February 29, le journal was subjected to an interruption which lasted until the month of April.
Starting on the 1st of April, the Représentant du Peuple resumed publication under this title, which became permanent:

le Représentant du Peuple.
Journal des Travailleurs.

On each side of the title, the following mottos were featured:

What is the producer? Nothing. What should he be? All.
What is the capitalist? All. What should he be? Nothing.

A decree of General Cavaignac, rendered because of the state of siege, suspended the Représentant du Peuple on July 10, 1848.
The suspension was raised on August 9; but the journal was suspended anew by a decree dated August 21, 1848.
It endured in its new form three months and twenty-one days.
The issue of the Représentant du Peuple published on April 1 carried the number 1.
The last issue, published August 21, was number 108.
But there were some errors in the numbering of the journal that it is important to remember:
1° The journal did not appear on the 26th or 27th of June. The issues of June 28, 29, and 30, and July 1 are numbered 88, 89, 88, 89. The issue for June 25 being numbered 85, we must obvious substitute for those numbers the following: 86, 87, 88, 89.
2° The issue for July 9 is numbered 97. However the number for August 9, the date of the reappearance of the journal, after its suspension, bears the number 96. That is an obvious error. All the numbering up to August 21, the date of the final suppression of the journal, should be modified. The last issue should bear the number 110.
P.-J. Proudhon did not begin to collaborate with the Représentant du Peuple until April 19.
The following articles were published in this journal: How Revolutions are Lost, What the Revolution Owes to Literature, The Revolutionary Program and the famous pamphlet: The Malthusians.
It is also in the Représentant du Peuple that Proudhon outlined the principles underlying the Bank of the People. That series of articles was later gathered in a volume under the title: Résumé De La Question Sociale. — Banque D'échange, with a preface by Mr. Alfred Darimon.
The political direction of the journal was in the hands of Mr. Charles Fauvety.
The managing editor was a former typographer, M. L. Vasbenter.
Among the usual writers of the journal were: Jules Viard, Amédée de Césena, Philippe Faure, A. Etex, Gabriel Mortillet, G. Duchêne.
Towards the middle of the month of June, le journal appointed Alfred Darimon and J.-A. Langlois as associates.

II. — le Peuple.

The Peuple was the continuation of an enterprise formed in the month of May, 1847, that the revolution of February had prevented from being carried out.
Mr. Victor Pilhes had planned to revive Dupoty’s Journal du Peuple. The new organ would carry the title: le Peuple, journal hebdomadaire de la Démocratie française.
M. Victor Pilhes was assured of the collaboration of. P.-J. Proudhon, Dupoty, Félix Pyat, T. Thoré, A. Luchet and Lucien de la Hodde.
The prospectus of the journal appeared by itself in October 1847.
The Peuple of 1848 took the following title:

le Peuple
Journal de la République démocratique et sociale.

The following epigraphs were placed in banner headlines on each side of the title:

What is the producer? Nothing. What should he be? All.
What is the capitalist? All. What should he be? Nothing.

 (Le Représentant du Peuple de 1848)

No more taxes; no more usury, no more poverty.
Labor for all, property for all.
division of functions. — indivisibility of power.

The sample issue appeared September 2 with this indication: Editor in chief, P.-J. Proudhon.
The first issue, bearing the number 2, was published November 1, 1848, with this indication: Director: P.-J. Proudhon. Administrator: Charles Fauvety.
The Peuple was weekly until November 23, 1848. From that date, it became a daily.
From issue number 8 to number 23, the journal bore this indication: Director: P.-J. Proudhon. Managing Editor: G. Duchène. It disappeared with number 24 (December 11, 1848).
The Peuple, as a daily, published a weekly edition containing a four-page supplement.
The last number of the Peuple, appearing June 13, 1849, bore the number 205.
It had been suspended by a decree on June 13 and suppressed following a military occupation and the ransacking of its offices.
Proudhon had engaged in a most active collaboration with the Peuple. Among the articles that he published in that journal, we must cite: the Toast to the Revolution, the Pamphlet on the Presidency, the Argument à la Montagne, the Responsibility of the President, the Demonstration of Socialism, the Legal Resistance, the Protocole à la Montagne, etc., etc.
The duration of the Peuple had been five months and thirteen days (from November 1, 1848 to June 13, 1849).
The list of the usual contributors to the Peuple, in November 1848, is found at the bottom of the electoral manifesto of the journal. According to that list, the original editorial staff was made up of P.-J. Proudhon, Alfred Darimon, J.-A. Langlois, Ph. Faure, L. Vasbenter, Charles Fauvety and G. Duchêne.
In the month of March 1849, the staff was subjected to some modifications. The list places at the bottom of the article: Violation de la constitution, résistance légale (March 22, 1849), caries the following name: P.-J. Proudhon, Alfred Darimon, J.-A. Langlois, Ph. Faure, G. Duchêne, L. Vasbenter, Louis Ménard, A. Crétin, C.-F. Chevé, T. Delord, A. Fremy, A. Madier de Montjau, Sr., lawyer for the Peuple.
In the weekly supplement, in addition to the usual contributors to the journal, we find the names of. J.-B. Bocquet, J. Benoît, Charles Sellier, Pierre Dupont, Ernest Lebloys, Luc Desages, Delbrouck, Benjamin Gastineau. Goupy, Gautier, Pierre Lefranc, Pierre Lachambaudie, Alexis Lagarde, Savinien Lapointe, Th. Morisset, Gabriel Morlillet, Pauline Roland, Ramon de la Sagra, A. Salières, Tournoux.

III. — la Voix du peuple.

The Voix du Peuple had neither subtitle nor epigraph.
The journal was daily; but like the Peuple, it had a weekly edition composed of a double issue.
The sample issue appeared September 25, 1849.
The first issue was published on October 1, 1849.
The last issue, bearing the number 223, appeared on May 14, 1850.
The Voix du Peuple lasted for five months and fourteen days (from October 1, 1849 to May 14, 1850).
The first issue contained a letter from Proudhon in which one read:
“My position as a condemned prisoner, the conventions of every sort which it requires me to respect, in these difficult times, my forced distance from you, the impossibility which results for me to direct, from dusk until dawn, a process of composition whose consequences could become, at any given moment, excessively serious, I am obliged to remind your readers and whomever it may concern, that, whatever influence I exert, by my communications and advice, on the composition of the Voix du Peuple, I cannot and must not accept any other responsibility than that of the articles signed by me, all other participation in your work being forbidden me on political grounds.”
The collaboration of Proudhon with the Voix du Peuple had above all an economic and philosophical character. It was in the Voix du Peuple that were published that remarkable series of articles on Socialism and Taxation, on The Present Utility and Future Possibility of the State, on Communism, etc. It is  in the columns of that journal that the brilliant tournament between Proudhon and Bastiat on the legitimacy of interest took place.
The usual contributors to the Voix du Peuple were Alfred Darimon, Charles Edmond, G. Duchêne, A. Herzen, Ch.-F. Chevé, Philippe Faure, François Favre, A. Crétin, L. Vasbenter.
The managing editor was M. P. Laugrand.
The supplement counted among its collaborators, apart from the usual contributions: Victor Avril, d'Alton-Shée, P. Bizet, J.-Ph. Berjeau, Colfavru, G. Duchêne, J. Dessirier, A. Etex, Benjamin Gastineau, Edouard Hervé, Charles de Janzé, Alexis Lagarde, Louis-Arsène Meunier, Edouard Pompéry, Pauline Roland, A. Rousselle, Charles Robin, Paul Robert, J. Tournoux, M.-L. Boutteville.
The Voix du Peuple ceased to appear following the withdrawal of the license of its printer.

le Peuple de 1850.

The Peuple de 1850 appeared three times per week. The sample issue was published on June 15, 1850. The last issue, bearing number 33, appeared October 13, 1850.
The journal lasted two months and thirteen days.
The involvement of Proudhon in the Peuple de 1850 appears to have been almost nothing.
The principal contributors to the journal were Alfred Darimon, Marc Dufraisse, Massol, Ch.-F. Chevé, Boutteville, Ph. Faure, Gallot, Villegardelle.
The managing editor was M. L. Vasbenter, former managing editor of the Représentant du Peuple.
The Peuple de 1850 was forced to disappear because of an infraction of the law on securities.
____________

The articles published by Proudhon in the four journals with which he cooperated have been gathered by M.-L. Boutteville, under the title: Mélanges. — Articles De Journaux. — 1848-1852. Paris, librairie internationale, 3 volumes in-18, 1868, 1869, 1871.
The public should treat this collection cautiously: we observe in it some unfortunate suppressions and omissions.
Thus the admirable pamphlet, The Presidency, which appeared in the Peuple in November 1848, has been subjected to an entirely inexplicable mutilation; more than a hundred lines have been suppressed, which removed a great deal of its literary flavor and its political significance.
The article, First Campaign of Louis Bonaparte, published in the Peuple on January 30, 1849, has been replaced by some lines of periods.
The article Sainte-Pélagie to l'Élysée, Greetings!, which appeared in the Voix du Peuple on November 8, 1849, was equally mutilated.
In March, 1850 there was a polemic between Proudhon and E. de Girardin under the heading The Question of Tomorrow, of which we do not find the least trace in the collection of Mr. M.-L. Boutteville. While the articles of Proudhon were not signed, they were easy to find, with the aid of the correspondence maintained with his collaborators.
Mr. M.-L. Boutteville has doubtless had to submit to certain exigencies, and that is his excuse. But what are we to say of the qualifications he has made on the subject of the legitimacy of interest and the rent of capital in a note placed t the head of the discussion between Proudhon and Bastiat? On the part of a former contributor to the Voix du Peuple and the Peuple de 1850, these qualifications must appear curious at the very least.

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Coeurderoy and Vauthier, "The Barrier of the Combat" (1852)



The Barrier of the Combat,

or the last great assault which has just been engaged between the citizens Mazzini, Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, Étienne Cabet, Pierre Leroux, Martin Nadaud, Malarmet, A. Bianchi (de Lille) and other Hercules of the north.

Ernest Cœurderoy and Octave Vauthier

Bruxelles, 1852





This was written long ago. The slight impact made by the manifestos of Mazzini, Ledru, L. Blanc and their companions had at first discouraged us from publishing it.
After the meeting of the outcasts of the Seine, who had taken refuge in London, which took place on June 13, we could no longer hush up what we believed it useful to say.
We have changed nothing of what you are going to read; we have added this epigraph pulled from the Saltimbanques: IT MUST BEEEEEE!!!

London, June 1852.




THE

BARRIER OF THE COMBAT.




            ΑΝΑΓΚΗ.

            Il le faaallait!!!!
(Les Saltimbanques.)

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from les brambles?”
            (Gospel of Matthew.)

When the Revolution is ready to emerge from the womb of humanity, the two opposing terms of the social problem emerge, facing one another, and the an-archy that seethes in the bowels of the people should lead the madness for power in the cracked brains of those who claim to lead them.
The struggle is thus engaged, hand to hand, inexorable, for it can only end with the destruction of one of the two forces
That is where we are.
A breathless France must have, at the present hour, either the empire to take it in hand or the liberty to emancipate it.
Every neutral system has become unbearable to it.
It is bored with the eunuchs who, for sixty years, made it turn in the tight circle of their constitutional reforms.
In the end, either the people must reign unconditionally, or they must abdicate.
Coco Romieu was seized by a luminous inspiration when he predicted to the surprised politicians the coming of the Caesars.
Well, here they are! They all cry: “The European democracy has no need of a Caesar.”
And yet, if they agitate, if they compete so much, it is because each of them hopes to raise himself to supreme power over his downcast adversaries.
It is only that at base.
It is very truly a question of humanity, of its destiny, of the reign of justice on earth; and it is a question of pointing out on the horizon of the world the black point whether the storm gathers, from which will come the lightning, shattering everything, scattering everything, in order to make harmony flow from this chaos of debris.
They do not see so far, these rhetoricians of the late empire engaged in vain discussions for supremacy over the sound of the crackling of a crumbling world.
Take you time, your eminences; what’s your hurry? The Revolution ground you to powder, presumptuous Phaetons, the day you tried your hand at driving it.
You are dead and well dead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dance, fools, dance!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Step right up, you showy bourgeois, overworked re-vo-lu-tion-aries[1], socialist martyrs, exhausted Romans of the old republican theater, you who love to listen to the toothless lions and masturbated tigers snarl; you who take pleasure in seeing the rabbits beat the drums, the clever hares shoot pistols, and china dogs fence with wooden swords.
Step right up, tenderhearted ladies; there will be no dead, no wounded; blood will not flow; it is nothing but a blackguarding.
That’s the spectacle that begins!!!
Enter, enter, follow the crowd, you’ll only pay at the exit, and if you are satisfied.

There's something for all tastes:
Do you want action? Here’s the actionnaire.[2] — Devoured by ambition, dried-up, sallow and feverish, — forehead creased with anxiety, the eye bright with a dark fire, — the attitude ascetic, — the hand contorted on its pen or on the handle of a stylus: it is Mazzini the monk; Man, Pope and God; Italy, Europe, Humanity.

Do you want government? Help yourself! — Tiny body, vast ability, — subtle mind, narrow view, — abundance of style, absence of general observations, — leader of the lead workers, Napoleon of labor, — shocking denial of the physical and intellectual equality dreamed of by his accomplice Cabet, at once governor and servant, — communist and proprietor, — fraternal and selfish, — Montagnard and socialist, — revolutionary and doctrinaire, — vain and intelligent, — pitiful heroes of March 17, April 16, May 15 and June 23, — at once the Thiers and the Guizot of the party: that is Louis Blanc.

Do you want humanity? Here is the man. — It is brother Pierre and his brother Jules Leroux, inviting us all to be brothers, and circulating with his triad.

Would you go to Icaria? Let’s go. —Presumptuous zero — spoil-sauce writer — political porter — reformer-grocer, bending under a brutal level the intelligence, the heart/feelings, and the figure of all men; weighing, in its inflexible balance, the ration of his faithful children — prison warden driving with his stick his colony of convicts — inscrutable oracle — veiled Vestal before which the flock of Icarus kneel: — There is Môossieu Étienne Cabet.
Go on, old rebut, return to your shop; sell in peace your tasteless foodstuffs, and roll some cones equal to the Républicain Social “written by the people” and you.

Do you like departmental socialism? They put it in everything. — In fact, a little grain of departmental socialism can’t hurt anything; if it does no good, it can do no harm, — just like the national guard of Louis-Philippe. — What is the man, a little bit concerned with the future of his country, who has not dreamed of departmental socialism? The need for it has made itself generally felt; it was in the most profound aspirations of the thinkers. No doubt you will ask us what is departmental socialism? What is its formula? Its reason for being? Its means? Its aim? Dame! Those are not our concern; stop by the office of the editor-in-chief. For us, seekers of truth, the name of departmental socialism is enough for our happiness. It is unknown, that is true; it is only a fetus, we are forced to admit it; it still has no form, nor color, nor physical properties; it is even insipid, we agree; perhaps it will not live? Who knows! But, in the end, it exists, and we are convinced that that from this day on there will not be a pas montagnard or socialist manifesto will be made which does not have its little nuance of departmental socialism.
departmental socialism, we tell you, will come eventually. And to get well started and prevent all counterfeiting, it is good that the public be warned that departmental socialism has been created and brought into the world by the citizen A. Bianchi,[3] of Lille (Nord).

Now that you know the personages, we will tear off the masks! “There should be no secrets or reservations from peoples and powers. He disgraces himself and fails in respect for his fellows, who, in publishing his opinions, employs evasion and cunning.”[4]
You do not want to deliver, future dictators; well! we will lay you out on the dissection table and carry out the Cesarean operation.
By summoning you one after the other at the bar of your highest tribunals you have carelessly delivered your cases to us.
Here is what the Revolution finds there:
In yours, Mr. Mazzini:
1° That you have established yourself as an authority, against French socialism, — which fits, moreover, your habits, — public prosecutor of we know not what bastard Republic, unlike anything ever seen except in Rome while you were all-powerful;
2° That your accusations are so badly coordinated that they are destroyed by one another;
3° That with an entirely southern luxury of empty synonyms you have accused socialism of Revelation, Materialism, Skepticism, Cosmopolitanism and Egoism.
— Of Revelation! Because it “has claimed to produce, at a fixed hour, from isolated minds, an organization which could be produced only by the cooperation of all human faculties.”
— Of Materialism! Because it “has repeated with Bentham and Volney that life is the search for happiness.”
— Of Skepticism! “because it has dried up the sources of faith in the heart of the worker.”
— Of vague Cosmopolitanism! “because it has weakened, destroyed the national sentiment.”
— And finally, of Egoism! because, “with Proudhon, it has denied all government.”

Therefore, pronouncing through us, who only record its ruling, the Revolution condemns you:
Whereas the Humanitary Revelation is made, as socialism affirms, by a succession of individual revelations.
If God is God, humanity cannot be his prophet, as you yourself affirm. So follow the evolution of your own thought, and you will learn that before an idea appears complete in the mind, each special faculty of the intelligence reveals as aspect of it, that it is only after these individual operations that the synthesis is accomplished.
Open the history of philosophy and you will read there on every page that the revelators that you speak out against have played, with regard to societies, the same role that each part of your brain plays with regard to the whole.
One does not deny so rudely themselves, and history, and the life which beats in the arteries, and the ashes of the revelators sown along the path of time!…..

The Revolution condemns you:
Whereas, in order that a man can live by love and intelligence, it is necessary for him not to be killed first by hunger.
Observe more, and, if you want to make an experiment which will depart from your habits, your will know that when the stomach has suffered a long time the brain is nearly empty and the heart is full of hate.
One does not so comfortably deny the raft of the Medusa!!…

The Revolution condemns you:
Whereas without skepticism, there is no affirmation.
Humanity, every time that it works on an idea, begins by examining everything anew and by doubting everything; thus it repudiates the past and rises only on its rubble to an affirmation in closer relation to the needs of the times.
Consider then: do you have your ideas of eight years ago?… If you have preserved them, we pity you. The man who has repudiated nothing, has never affirmed anything: he is a cretin.
One does not deny so positively Socrates, Jesus, Jan Hus and the Revolution of ‘93!!!

The Revolution condemns you:
Whereas the vague cosmopolitanism of which you speak, it is the solidarity between men.
A principle either is or is not. When it is admitted, it must be exaggerated to the limits. We must, when we accept liberty, apply it only to the individual, and when we accept solidarity, to only apply it to humanity. An individual cannot, by their puny individuality, compromise the humanitary order; a family, a nation may take a very great influence to put it in peril.
Read again: on what does your act of accusation turn if it is not on the too-great influence that, for sixty years, France has exerted on the destinies of humanity.
One does not deny so clumsily, when one is made public prosecutor, the basis on which the accusation rests!!!!

The Revolution condemns you:
Whereas individualism, or selfishness, if you prefer, is the natural motive of men.
If individuals can make society as they wish, society cannot remake individuals. It is thus from the individual that we must begin to organize society, from liberty in order to determine solidarity, from right in order to make order reign. In a similar social body, individuals asserting themselves and making themselves respected, duty no longer has a reason to be: it is a word to erase from the human vocabulary.
Listen: “We have a thirst for authority — the people must have confidence in some authority — we all seek authority.”
In the end, isn’t it you who comes again to dictate their duties to democracy?
One does not deny so brazenly the despotism of the Bonapartes and the ambition of the Mazzinis!!!!!

Let us take up the dossiers again.
Your turn, Louis Blanc, Pierre Leroux, Étienne Cabet and consorts. At first inspection the Revolution condemns you:
Because, speaking in the name of France, you have expressed yourself like the Chauvins that you are.
Because, speaking in the name of socialism, you have expressed yourself like the communists and propertarians that you still are.
We want to read you the reasons for judgment.
For you, there is only one people: the Frrrench people.
Only one politics: — the politics of France.
Only one history: — the history of France.
Only one revolutionary tradition: — the revolutionary tradition of France.
Only one glory: — the glory of France.
Only one art, one science, one literature: — the art, science and literature of France.
Only one country on the globe, only one name in the annals of the world: — the French country and the Frrrench name.
Yes, you are chauvinists, Frrrenchmen, and you must be from Pontoise, from Pézénas, from Brives-la-Gaillarde, unless you are by chance from Quimper-Corentin.
Thus, the other dogs do not have their reason to be, their history, their action, their genius! Thus they are mute instruments in the social concert!
The man who believes himself stronger than his fellows, soon despises them, puts is foot on their throat and creates a vacuum around him: this is Tiberius, Nero, Louis XI, Loyola or Robespierre.
Just so the nation foolish enough to diminish the others in its own thought, would inevitably become the Attila of the universe. Marching everywhere its armies eager for carnage, its instruments of destruction, its blazing torches, it would raze monuments, burn masterpieces and archives, and would sit enthroned, overwhelmed and without point of reference, on the abyss.
Is that the role you dream of for France? Do you want its name to be loathed and cursed, with good cause, by all peoples? Too often, alas! it was driven down that unhappy path:
— By Louis XIV! with whom it ravaged Europe in order to beg some strips of ground and import some Bourbons in Spain.
— By the republic! with which, under pretext of defending itself against allied Europe and of freeing the peoples, it imposed liberty like tyrants impose le despotism, carving up, organizing, and regulating, without taking account of places or customs, sowing along its devastating route some Republics made in its image, and giving its generals these inflexible orders: “Sign no treat until after the consolidation of the sovereignty and independence of the people in the territory which the troops of the Republic will enter, after they have adopted the principles of Equality and established a free, popular government.”
And there are people of boast of this!!!
— By Napoleon!

“……………… through Earth that name explore!
That name! 'tis mark'd in characters of gore,
From Tanais' borders unto Kedar's height,
On bronze and marble, on the valiant breast,
And on the hearts of bands of slaves oppress'd
Under his car, in fright!”[5]

And also the name of France.
“The initiative of France! They are blind who do not see it. It is written in lines of flame, in letters of blood on the surface of the globe, from the Pyramids to the Kremlin………………..”
But we stop ourselves… These lines of flame and these letters of blood disgust us.
— By the Restoration! which, after having dragged her through Spain, let itself be dragged by her under the ramparts of Algiers.
— By Louis-Philippe, the merchant! under whom it made the ridiculous expeditions of Antwerp and Ancona, while she attended, motionless, execution of Poland; under whom it persisted in that impious conquest of Africa, disgrace of the 19th century, which is only equaled by the poisoning of China and the organized pillage of the two Indias.
— By the provisional government! with which it disowned liberty everywhere.
— By Bonaparte! who led it to Rome to raise up the Holy Father, by the force of bayonets.
We do not see its mission like you do. There is in France an opposing minority which has a genius for expansion, an immense need for sociability and love, which will inevitably lead the nation to lose itself in the bosom of humanity.
Look everywhere: this is not the France that one admires; reduced, despised even for all the crimes that we have just enumerated. It is its manners, its ideas, its creations of luxury and art which penetrates and is assimilated in all parts of the world; it is its language which is spoken in Saint Petersburg as in Rome and which Mr. Mazzini himself adopts. All that is propagated by a few individual efforts and talents.
Admit then that the body of the nation dissolves; its spirit alone glides. It is the river which loses itself in the immensity of the sea.
Within a century, there will no longer be a French nation; humanity will grow from its ashes
But please, do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship that does not exist; do not confuse the little group of French humanitaires with the chauvinist, boastful nation of France, which is in love with itself and is above all Gascon.
Say that this imperceptible minority has always fought for the solidarity of peoples; say that Lafayette, Carrel, Laviron, Barbès, Raspail, to name no others, were the soldiers of that principle; say that the aborted manifestations of May 15 and June 13 have been enterprises to sustain that idea, and you will be in the right
But do not say that it is the nation. The nation! Do you know where it has always been? It was with the conquering armies of the Republic; with it Convention, which refused aid to exhausted Poland, under the pretext that Kościuszko was born a gentleman; it was at Saint-Domingue, in Italy, at Zaragoza; it raised some columns and triumphal arcs to its great emperor; it was in Spain, with the Duke of Angoulême; in Africa, with Bourmont, Bugeaud, Changarnier, Cavaignac, Lamoricière and Pelissier; it fired some cannon shots and pyrotechnics in honor of the taking of Antwerp; it demanded with loud cries the boundaries of the Rhine; it allowed Poland to be sacrificed; it entered Rome with the Duke of St. Pancras.
The nation! It approved the poetic manifesto of Lamartine, and the flat refusal that its powerless representation sent, on May 15, to the aroused peoples by voting: “the liberation of Poland, the independence of Italy and the fraternal pact with Germany.” It was always solidary in words, oppressive in actions.
You plead extenuating circumstances. — A pitiful defense! — A nation, you say, is not responsible for the acts of its government. What!… a nation which lets itself be made policeman, jailer or executioner of the others, isn’t it an accomplice of those that lead it? who then pays for all that?
Let President Bonaparte declare war against England tomorrow, and the whole nation would race to the shores of the Channel, as it rushed to Palestine in the time of the crusades.
And you, Gentlemen, protected by English hospitality, what would you do?… Our ears are full of your screams each day, and we blush to say it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If you were content to be Chauvins…; but you have done more: you have been communists and propertarians.
You have denied everything that makes the glory, the strength and the right to live of socialism. You still bow before all the principles on which the old society revolves; you have the pretention to demolish and reconstruct, and you work at most after the fashion of those workers of the national workshops, who move a wheelbarrow of earth.
Taking up again the pronouncement of its justice,
The Revolution condemns you:
Because, repudiating the government of M. Bonaparte, — you affirm that of Louis Blanc;
Repudiating the religions recognized by the State, — you affirm that of Pierre-Jules Leroux;
Repudiating the social organization of civilization, — you affirm that of Étienne Cabet;
Because, denying each individually, you affirm all together;
Because you always require property, the family, religion and morals; virtue, duty, devotion, sacrifice and martyrdom; interest on money, the code, the justice system, the army, customs and the police; the taxman, the policeman, the jailer, the snitch and the executioner.
You cannot be at once for God and for Mammon, for France and humanity, for the republic and the revolution, for politics and truth;
Because you do not dare to stand up to the selfish, bourgeois society of the 19th century, and say to it:
Your property! it is theft; it breeds theft — to destroy.
Your marriage! it is prostitution; it perpetuates prostitution — to destroy.
Your family! it is tyranny; it motivates tyranny — to destroy.
Your morality! it is mayhem; it reproduces mayhem — to destroy.
Your duty! it is suffering; it reflects suffering — to destroy.
Your religion! it is atheism; it gives rise to atheism — to destroy.
Your justice! it is injustice; it justifies injustice — to destroy.
Your order! it is disorder; it recreates disorder — to destroy.
Accursed society! Mechanism of iniquity! What efforts fraud and force have stored up to construct it! What efforts will be necessary to break the clockwork! What torment to live in your hell, when one glimpses our heaven!!
One word more. With Mr. Mazzini, there is only the scandal of your past friendship which could equal the scandal of your present rupture. What! You, brevet socialists, who would separate yourself dramatically from the Jacobin Ledru, you would throw yourself into the arms of the triumvirate of Rome, which always prides itself with repulsing socialism!
While the reputation of Mazzini grew in Europe, and you supposed his ambition limited to Italy, it seemed to you good policy to get close to him. On the contrary, the entirely French competition of Mr. Ledru-Rollin offended you.
Professional jealousy!
Now that the dictator of the Vatican openly poses his candidacy for the European papacy, now that the principle of individual liberty has invaded all, and that the governments go, you abandon your old friend to his misfortune and you give yourselves the trinitary embrace.
Hypocrisy of ambition!
May this ceremony succeed for you, MM. L. Blanc, Cabet and Pierre Leroux!!! As for us, we do not like to see men give each other the Lamourette-kiss.
While there is still time, stifle this project of the socialist union which you hold so much to heart and that you will never execute. That would be the point of departure for a new schism louder than all the others.
How would you get along?
Mr. Étienne Cabet maintains that needs are equal; Mr. L. Blanc, that they are proportional; — Mr. Pierre-Jules Leroux calls for freedom of instruction and religion; L. Blanc and Étienne Cabet, a religion and education of the State. — Mr. Étienne Cabet understands between men and women only an indissoluble union; L. Blanc and Pierre Leroux want to facilitate amorous liberty by divorce. — Mr. L. Blanc affirms that he must be crazy to attack property; Mr. Leroux is crazy enough to find it unjust.[6] — Mr. Étienne Cabet sings to us the methodical relaxations of Icaria; Mr. L. Blanc, the regulatory advantages of the social workshops; and Mr. Pierre-Jules Leroux, the charm of individual liberty.
And so on… That’s a new method for creating perfect agreements.
Let one analyze, let one turn, and turn again, let one dissect and let one squeeze the essence from your whole political jumble; let one go to the depths of all that you have said; let one makes the Mulots, father and son, descend into your most intimate thoughts, and we challenge them to bring back anything but that credo that you would like to impose on us:
“I believe in Étienne Cabet, the All-Powerful Father, who has not built Icaria in seven days; in Louis Blanc, his only son, your servant, who was conceived by Pierre-Jules Leroux, born of George Sand, always Virgin, has suffered under Cavaignac, has been condemned, is dead, but is not exactly buried; is descended into England, to regain there his senses and after three years to rebuild an Olympus where he is seated at the right hand of Étienne Cabet, the All-Powerful Father, from which he will return to France to oppress, in egalitarian fashion, the anarchists and reactionaries.
“I believe in Pierre and in Jules Leroux, in the holy community, in the socialist union, in the reconstruction of the social workshops, in the resurrection of Nauvoo, in the eternal circulation in humanity. Amen.”
And then?…
In truth, citizen-Caesars, you are greater despots than the Caesars ever were. You respect nothing:
Not the excellent intentions of your friend Pyat, who is not a Caesar and who, good Frrrenchman that he is, strives, alas! to make you all agree;
Not the good republic public which, by political profession, is forced to read you;
Not these admirable Belgian presses which, by social profession, are forced to print you;
Not the despair of that peaceful Mr. Potvin who, by his profession as a Belgian and a journalist, if forced to lament your dissensions, and, that at this rate, you will soon finish off.
And all that to teach us, what?
That MM. Blanc, Cabet, Leroux and consorts, and French and humanitarians — proprietors and communists — an-archists and dictators — monopolists and equals — atheists and deists — re-vo-lu-tion-a-ries and socialists — diplomats philosophers — revelators and governors, etc., etc.
We have long since know it.
That M. Mazzini is Italian, and European-aristocratic, and a demagogue — papist and anti-papist — conventional and constitutional — an-archist and monarchist — that he did not act in Savoy — that he did not act in Milan — that he did not act in Rome — that he will never act — that he commands no one — that he directs nothing — that he does not have a thread of conspiracy in his hands — that all of his tactics consists of enveloping himself in mystery, in transporting himself incognito from one point in Europe to another, — to assuming all the disguises — to run ragged all the postmen of Europe — finally, to make everyone, including himself, believe that he conspires.
Who then was unaware of that?…
That M. Ledru-Rollin, the most handsome of the Caesars, would rather be hung than not take part in this assault where all the contemporary democratic examples brawl; that he has arrived, as usual, in good health, full of good will, sweating, panting, out of breath, commanding attention with his majestic bearing, imposing silence with his voice of thunder, and letting fall from beneath his moustache these sacramental words: “Our fathers of the Convention were famous hearties! Love, reread, glorify, worship and deify our fathers of the Convention! It is they who discovered that sublime thought: “Everyone unite to save the Republic. Brothers!!! These words, which hold at once an expiation and a hope, remain constantly present to our minds; that they are the invocation of the morning, the inspiration of the day, the meditation of the evening; that each mouth repeats them; that every democrat conforms his acts to them…”
“My dear Pierre Leroux! Why do you mess up your hair like that? Do you want to scare your grandchildren? Remember that you are man-humanity, and that you are fragile as glass; take care against breaking!
“Excellent Louis Blanc! Do not fidget so. Be careful with your feeble organization; we have seen many others when we were in that hell of the provisional government, in company with Marrast who posed, with Arago who opposed, with Garnier-Pagès who imposed and with Lamartine who imposed them; it would truly require ill will on our part not to agree here.
“Virtuous Étienne Cabet! unflattered counterfeit of the wise Nestor, you who have said that we are all equals and brothers, do not kindle the fire, and do not seek to make your superiority noted; that would be to deny your own system and make, moreover, a useless effort. In consideration of your past services, we will return you prepaid to your well-loved colony of Nauvoo.
“Sadly, the unruly democracy of Prairial did not listen to our father of the Convention any more than you will listen to me today, I fear. Ah! How agreeable love is! What scourge but war! How much more sweet would tranquility be to my distressed heart! How advantageous it would be for the Republic for us to unite all our strengths, all our aspirations, all our thoughts, all our loves, all our hearts, all our lungs and all our vocal cords pour to send some thanksgivings our fathers of the Convention, who are very certainly in heaven!…
“Once more! What a beautiful thing is harmony! If ever I return to the ministry of the interior, I swear that instead of making some anarchic bulletins, I will satisfy by elevating at the Concorde a temple decorated with statues of our fathers of the Convention.
“Once more! Everyone unite to save the Republic!!! Close your ranks, and support one another! Union makes strength! Union or death!!! Embrace, and have done with it!!”

Well! Re-vo-lu-tionaries invited to that ridiculous comedy… here it is finished. Are you satisfied? Isn’t it edifying, this steeple-chase to dictatorship? And aren’t these would-be Caesars tired enough to deserve your bravos?
Furious sheep who range in great flocks under the rod of your masters and their herding dogs, are you corrected? Do you still feel disposed to utter to your leaders, who beg for it, this routine tribute of your worship:

St. Auguste Caesar Ledru! Unite us! Revolutionize us!
St. Joseph Caesar Mazzini! Activate us! Direct us!
St. Louis Caesar Blanc! Enregiment us! Serve us!
St. Étienne Caesar Cabet! Level us! Transport us!
St. Pierre Jules Caesar Leroux! Love us! Humanize us!
St. Auguste Caesar Blanchi! Departmentalize us! Socialize us!
St. Martin Caesar Nadaud! Sustain us! Support us!
St. Placide Caesar Malarmé! Arm us! Alarm us!

Variant that we sang in the past to the same tune:

St. Caesar de Robespierre! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Saint-Just! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Danton! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Fouquier Tinville! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Cromwell! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Luther! Pray for us!
St. Caesar Loyola! Pray for us!

Just as we still sing:

Sancta Maria! Ora pro nobis!
Sancta Cunegunda! Ora pro nobis!
Sancte Troas! Ora pro nobis!
Sancte Unibald! Ora pro nobis!
Sancte Hilarion! Ora pro nobis!
Sancte Bonaventure! Ora pro nobis!
Sancte Dagobert! Ora pro nobis!

And so on until Saint Sylvester.
For us, who do not believe that the democratic faith is more pure because one is an agitator by profession, peddler of political canards, public house orator and blackener of pipes; because one affects grubby clothes, hair in disorder, a dirty shirt, a bushy face and fingernails in mourning, we separate ourselves from the school which studies nothing, which probes nothing deeply, which understands only slogans and which kneels before fetishes.
Everything that time brings passes with time. Your Caesars came to political life with the bastard opposition of the Restoration and Louis-Philippe. At that time, one still believed that, as authority does evil, it could also do good. It is from the liberal societies that they borrowed their doctrinaire argot; it is there that they became accustomed to approach the question backwards, to think of these societies as a single piece, in which the individual counted for nothing; that’s why they imagine that force can implant an idea.
We see too clearly the tendency of your Caesars to constitute, on the people and apart from them, the authority of their persons, to bemoan, as you do, their divisions; we rejoice in them, on the contrary, for we know that their divided power will perish.
Don’t you want to see it? Since 48, an immense revolution has been made in minds. We know it: as revelator, man never goes too far; as governor, he can only realize, the day after a victory, the ideas spread by propaganda. As idea, the revelator forces the hand of the societies; as action, the societies force the hand of the governors.
For us, that fate has made ​​son of the French bourgeoisie, — that our free and rational choice has made ​​children of humanity;
For us, that the chance of the times, and the place in which we live, made republicans, — that examination and study made revolutionaries, we say to you:
The time of litanies has passed. Look, instead, you who are on stage, you do not receive one bravo; you are reduced to paying for some applause; the public is bored with your acrobatics; with your European Democratic Committee; with your New World; with your unions, with your disunions, with your discussions and your reconciliations; with your proclamations, commissions, centralizations, discourses and exhibitions; the very organization of your squadrons of respectful STARLINGS would be able to move it.
Every Revolution must succeed by good or by evil. It could happen by good, but you have not wanted it; so let it clear its way by evil.
Humanity is of two minds. It is awaiting a Revolution more profound than that which Christianity brought about. Civilization cracks and crumbles: step aside, if you do not want to be crushed under its rubble!!
The Revolution which harries us! It will have the world for its theater; for actors, the peoples; for means, a cataclysm; for result, and always, a unitary despotism at first, and then equality everywhere. What does all that have to do with your puny personalities ?
In man, as in society, there are no partial growths. An avant-garde does not constitute an army. France is not Europe; the other nations must rejoin it. assuming that she could make the Revolution at home today, she could not live in the midst of a hostile Europe, resistant to its ideas.
In chemistry, it is by the intervention of a powerful reagent that the body in dissolution precipitates in a new form; it could not be otherwise in the social crucible.
The elements of civilization are dissociated; an immense, new force must intervene to produce the order that we await.

Socialism has arisen in the heart of the civilized nations. Christianity was born in a stable in the pagan world.
In the pagan society that persecuted it, Christianity would never have grown. It was necessary that the Roman world was overwhelmed by the invasion of the Barbarians. In the civilized society which is hostile to it, socialism will perish, and it can not perish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
So it is up to learned France to propagate the ideas of the Revolution, an uncultivated nation is required to realize them.
Which is the better of these two missions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
One says: “From the north to the south of Europe, there is no other great people constituted than the French people.” One counts for nothing that half of Europe inhabited by the disinherited, who will one day be called the firstborn of socialism, and that are still enslaved, at this hour, by a handful of Boyards!…..
Certainly, there will still be riots in Europe. — Who contests their usefulness?… We will labor there like the others. But no REVOLUTION can be made from now on without the intersection of peoples, forces and ideas.
Since it is necessary… let them come, the hordes of the North! Let them pour into Europe galloping on their steeds, lances in hand, shaking with savage hurrahs the glaciers of the Alps, the old chateaus of the Rhine, the echoes of Versailles and the city of the seven hills.
Let them descend, the Barbarians! Let them transfuse their young blood in the veins of our decrepit societies, constitutionally, organically bourgeois.
Let them come, and let them be blessed! Are they not our brothers?…
We, sons of France, republicans-democrats-socialists, look forward to the arrival of the Cossacks, for we understand the REVOLUTION.
Those who deny the sun, are also free to deny that power whose weight overburdens us; — they are free to deny the sun, in order not to see the clouds, the lightning, and the immense resources of the coming invasion; — it is easy for them to doom us to the hatred of the patriotic divinities and to rain maledictions and anathema on our heads; — we prefer to coldly consider the future. The avalanche will doubtless carry us along with all those who seek to halt its advance… At least we will have sensed its impact…
As for you, who have neither instinct nor courage, drown in the civilized morass, which you will not drain. Continue, if it seems good to you, your culinary exercises, with the help of Mr. Mazzini, who will break the monotony of your labors by speaking with you about “great thought”……
You have thought of yourself as masons, you have all only been BUNGLERS . . . . .


The limited scope of this publication does not allow us to give our ideas the development they call for. We will do this later.


[1] To be sung to the tune of “les Lampions.”
[2] Actionnaire = stockholder.
[3] This is not a typographical error.
[4] From Proudhon’s Second Memoir on Property.
[5] From “Bonaparte,” by Alphonse de Lamartine. Translation by Rev. William Pulling, 1849.
[6] As aubaine not resulting from the product of labor.

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]