Archive for the ‘Drapeau Noir’ Category

The Frightened

October 4, 2013

Jossot Les vivants ont la peau The Frightened, Le Drapeau Noir, No. 13, November 4 1883.

I don’t know anyone more frightened than the capitalists. As soon as they hear the word anarchist they start trembling like wet hens. And why do they tremble? Because the goods they have are stolen goods and we say that whoever has gotten rich at the expense of the worker is going pay for it. They understand this to mean themselves and, in fact, if the shoe fits… And they’re scared.
Yes, workers, we make them tremble. Our name inspires intense fear in these parasites, which proves that they’re guilty.
A joker tosses a firecracker into a room and right away they accuse us. The next day the daily papers report the event and we see the bourgeoisie turn pale while reading the story of the firecracker. Frightened, then!
Well, on the great day of the social liquidation they will crumble in fear when they find out that the Revolution has been declared, when we tell them that they’ll have to answer for their acts (not to God because we don’t know that man, we’ve never seen him), that they’ll have to tell us how they got the treasures they possess. Poor devils, I almost feel sorry for them. And what will happen to the bourgeoisie when we tear down their mansions and take away their treasures? They’ll die of fear; and to finish them off, in case they don’t, we’ll have knives to speak for us.
No, no pity for these people; they have no pity for us. They hear, without pity, the wives of our companions crying out in misery when their husbands are in their bastilles and they cannot survive on their own. They hear our brothers’ children asking them for bread when their fathers are not there to give them any. They see, without shuddering, our companions led into their bastilles. They watch all this without trembling, but when they hear a firecracker explode, they get goose bumps.
We will have no fear on the day of the Revolution. On the contrary, we will all be armed with a courage that will astound our enemies. We will make them tremble, but we won’t tremble.
Yes, the bourgeoisie must disappear and by any means possible. Let’s use knives, poison and dynamite to destroy the capitalists. Let’s strike in the shadows. Any capitalist we can’t strike head on should not be left alone; we can still strike him from behind or pour a couple of drops of arsenic in his coffee.
Yes, we have to destroy all these parasites. They have to learn that they can’t feed on the bread of the worker forever.
Yes, death to all the bourgeoisie who think of nothing but investing their capital well and who make a god of their bellies.
Yes, death to the vile bosses who keep us in their clutches and treat us like slaves.
Yes, death to all the blind judges who want to send us to the penal colony because we curse them and tell them the truth about themselves.
Yes, death to the whole gang of rulers, each one a worse thief than the other, and all of them keeping us in the shit.
Yes, death to all the priests, finally, who also gobble up the bread of the poor and who live without doing anything, the vile men whose motto is: hypocrisy and cowardice.
Workers, the dawn is breaking, the Revolution is coming. Soon we can satisfy our vengeance. Soon we can cut these parasites’ throats at our leisure. So, we have to get moving because time is short. Let’s kill our bosses and the bourgeoisie. Let’s burn their property. We will only be doing our duty and if anyone tries to stop us, they won’t be around for long.
The most terrifying ways are the best. Remember the goods and let our motto always be: Ni Dieu, ni maître; no God, no master, no government, no oppressed.

Also available at The Anarchist Library


The Black Flag

May 9, 2013

black flag The Black Flag, Le Drapeau Noir, No. 1, August 12 1883.

To live free working or die fighting.

It’s not just as another challenge to bourgeois society that we gave the title Drapeau Noir [Black Flag] to this newspaper—bound to continue the struggle of the Lutte—and that we print here the immortal motto of our brothers the Canuts [in Lyon]. We also wanted to keep this glorious workers’ insurrection alive; to remind those who have already forgotten and to inform those who might still be ignorant. We wanted to warn the bourgeoisie that the only flag under which we will stand together now is the same one that poverty and desperation raised up in the streets of Croix-Rousse on November 21 1831 and that until the coming victory, we will have no other.
Our enemies couldn’t care less and our readers and supporters might give us a hard time, so they have to know—and we don’t have the right to keep them ignorant—why we are flying this flag, why we are adopting this emblem, why we are accepting what has, until now, been considered only a historical curiosity but absolutely inoffensive from a revolutionary standpoint.
We are not afraid to admit it, it will cost us—dearly—to abandon the scarlet banner of those defeated in May, to renounce the red flag of the brave men and woman of ’71, [in the Paris Commune], because we still shed tears for them and they still inspire us. We hold dear the stirring reminders of good times on those glorious anniversaries and the hate and vengeance that rises up on the dark dates. We haven’t forgotten those living in exile and prison, we whisper praise to them and dream of the coming triumph.
But there is something more convincing than all these ideas, stronger than principles, more powerful than theories.
What happens everyday clearly shows us that the red flag, so glorious in defeat, can in victory hide the ambitious dreams of the lowliest schemers in its blazing folds, as we see it has already cloaked a government and served as the banner of constitutional authority. That’s how we knew that for us, mutinous everyday, rebellious every hour, it could provide nothing but confusion and illusion.
Of course, if we still wanted to fight out in the open, in the organized battles that until now the revolutionaries have always had the naïve pretension to engage in with their enemies, the red flag could become ours. It is, in fact, all pretty and scarlet, a fitting banner for such fights and battles. A good representation, like feudal coats of arms talking, of getting rid of the privileged castes in the huge mass of people, the complete disappearance of social inequality, the unification of all classes into one class of workers.
But this is not enough anymore. We’re done with the misguided ways of the past regarding the purely practical domain of revolutionary action, just as in the speculative realm, perhaps, of emblems and symbols.
What we want now—and we say it without fear of reprisal in any way—is a partisan war, the combat of the “lost children” in the streets, as relentless as they are dissipated, fighting in the shadows, but hitting the mark, the only logical war, the civil war—the only worthwhile war—the social war.
Therefore, it is to those who are suffering, to those who are holding their breaths under the ever-increasing burden of poverty whom we call. Let those who have had enough of exploitation and slavery, those who want to put an end to the political and economic domination that is crushing us, those who want to break forever the iron chians that bind and keep us separate forever, come to us.
We distance ourselves from all sentimentalism and all compromise. We are starting a duel to the death with bourgeois society. They cannot win. And by taking the Black Flag, by unfurling to the winds the dark folds of desperation, it is more than a warning, it is better than a call, it is the death of the old world that we are displaying, it is the inevitable promise of its coming end and it is, at the same time, for all the poor and wretched, for those wallowing in misery, for all those dying of hunger, the definite announcement of an era of happiness, justice, liberty and peace: it is ANARCHY.

Also available at The Anarchist Library

Capital and the Capitalists

October 19, 2012

Capital and the Capitalists, Le Drapeau Noir, no. 16, November 25 1883.

What is capital? The harvest of the rich by the sweat of the people.
Yes, we workers created capital. By our work we increase it every day. And far from profiting from what we have created, we become slaves to it and by making the capitalists richer to our own detriment, we become insufferable. Many workers look to suicide to end this order of things. I think there is a better way.
What, the capitalist wallows in pleasure and the worker cannot live off the product of his labor. While the former is dancing and feasting, the latter is starving.
O worker, my brother, you are suffering and the capitalist is laughing at your pains. You die and he insults your corpse. Faced with these blatant facts, you find nothing better than to end your life without caring that on the day of action your brothers in slavery will be missing your support.
No, you have not thought of that and that is your excuse, but from now on chase these thoughts from your head and feel something different.
Yes, there is a better way than dying. You have to live in order to prepare the great era of the future. You have to live to see your efforts crowned with success. You have to live to be present at the resurrection of the worker and the death of the capitalist.
To get there what do we need: Audacity—we have it. Finances—we’ll find it. Sacrifices—we are all ready to give what is dearest to us for the triumph of our ideals.
Therefore, let’s get to work. Let’s group together—there is strength in union. No half-measures. Think of those who are suffering, whose children demand vengeance. Encourage the weak. Finally, let’s get ready because the hour approaches when we will have to call upon different arguments than those of our corrupt representatives.
And on that day, no mercy to the masters, like they have shown none to us. Let our battle cry be:
Down with capital.
Crush the capitalists.
Death to traitors and scoundrels.
Long live the Revolution!

–Letter from a worker exploited by capital.

Also available at The Anarchist Library

Manifesto of Nihilist Women

June 29, 2012

Manifesto of Nihilist Women, Le Drapeau Noir [The Black Flag], n. 4, September 2 1883, Lyon.

Let men have their fun blabbering on and on about the Revolution—They’re free to do it! The nihilist women are tired of all this procrastination and are determined to act. Thinking about annihilating the bourgeoisie, they are ready to sacrifice everything to hasten the realization of this undertaking. In the inextinguishable hatred that is devouring them, they will call up whatever strength is necessary to overcome all obstacles.
But since this grandiose project cannot be carried out in one day, they will take their time, preferring for now to use poison and once in a while, to achieve their goal more easily, with a few bad seeds.
The nihilist women will make up for their lack of scientific knowledge and laboratory practice by mixing small doses in the food of their exploiters, deadly substances that are available to the poor and easy to handle for the most ignorant and inexperienced women.
From hundreds of ingredients with incontestable results, we can cite: lead acetate, which you can get in a few days if you leave lead shot sitting around or a piece of lead in vinegar; pieces of rotten meat; hemlock, which is so often mistaken for parsley and which grows everywhere on the side of the road, on the backsides of ditches.
At least we will give back to our despicable oppressors some of the evil that they give us every day. We will not smile and support the tyranny knowing that our enemies’ lives are at our mercy… They want to be the masters! Let them suffer the consequences.
In the three years that the league has been around, hundreds of bourgeois families have already paid the fatal price, gnawed away by a mysterious illness that medicine cannot define or avert.
To work, then, all you women who are fed up with suffering and who are looking for a remedy to your misery. Imitate the nihilist women!

Also available at The Anarchist Library

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