Posts Tagged ‘anarchy’

Charles Malato

September 4, 2017

by Charles Malato
adapted by Michael Shreve
cover by Mike Hoffman

The moqqadem whistled a strange tune and the folds of his burnous parted: the heads of snakes peeked out, their squirming coils twisted around his chest and waist.

Charles Malato (1857–1938) was a notorious French anarchist and revolutionary once accused of plotting the 1905 assassination attempt against King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Malato was also a distinguished journalist and the author of exotic adventures serials such as Lost! (1915).

Forced to hide in the still unexplored regions of Morocco, political prisoner and escapee Antonio Perez is caught in the grips of the most unexpected and most extraordinary predicaments. Lost! is original because of its Moroccan setting and contains the standard devices of lost world novels, each one more extraordinary than the last, piling mystery upon mystery, peril upon peril, such as an usurped throne, an enemy priestess, trial by combat, precious treasures, an ill-fated romance, but with unusual, original twists.

Malato’s heroes are not stereotypes, but subversive pariahs, marginal figures, escaping from society like Fantômas, Arsène Lupin and the real-life Bonnot Gang, bringing a radically different vision of the instability of the world around them.

This collection includes two other stories, The Rat and the Octopus, a Kanak Tale from New Caledonia (1885) and The Memoirs of a Gorilla (1901).

Available at Black Coat Press


Edouard Dubus

November 26, 2016


The Sacrilege by Edouard Dubus

Without an ounce of respect a drunkard took a piss
On and on before the church of Saint Sulpice.
The faithful flock ran away at the sight
Til the man in black showed up, his face turned white.
“We don’t piss here,” he shrieked and crossed himself,
“Vade retro, you swine! Go somewhere else!”

Without a word, not disturbed in the least,
The wino stared long and hard at the priest.
Then he pointed to the shrine of the heavenly throne
Where these three words were carved in stone,
Three words for everyone to see:
Liberty, equality, fraternity.

Like Napoleon standing in front of the Pyramids,
His gestures were grand and his voice became spirited:
“Liberty! So, I piss where I want to.
“Equality! You can piss here too.
“If you’d like, my friend, let’s piss here together.
“Fraternity! Come hold this for me, brother.”

They’re Going to Kill Sacco and Vanzetti

August 31, 2016

There are loud cries of damnation rising in the world against yankee stubbornness…

Source: They’re Going to Kill Sacco and Vanzetti

18-La Frondeuse

December 27, 2015

“I prefer to be a young old woman than an old young woman,”

severine9 18-La Frondeuse

The Death of Vaillant

September 27, 2015

I hope to Heaven that I am wrong, but I tremble for the ruthless!

Source: The Death of Vaillant

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


December 9, 2012

Hermann Paul2 from Sébastien Faure, The Anarchist Encyclopedia, 1934.

One who cannot be satisfied, sated. “There are two hungers that are never sated: that for knowledge and that for riches.” (Oriental saying)

The Insatiable, in the literal sense of the word, the “great eater”, no longer seems to enjoy the high regard he once had. History tells us, in fact, that the great festivities, even among the most “cultivated” of the monarchs, were never held without gargantuan meals and their majesties themselves took naïve pride in the huge quantities of food that they wolfed down while under the tables the few lucky hungry waited for a bone. The race of gluttons is certainly far from being extinct, but at least it has lost a great deal of its prestige.

The fashion now is for those insatiable for glory and riches. Let’s skip the butchers—they are judged and history proves that they are replete with glory only after their massacres, when they hypocritical say something like “I loved war too much…” and posterity will be indulgent and just wipe the slate clean.

As for the financiers, we know that it is their insatiability that cost us a war yesterday, that costs us a war today and that will cost us a war tomorrow. But what can we do? Who is powerful enough to rein in their appetites? “They people,” you might say, “if…”
Certainly if… but let’s not deal with assumptions. Right now the financiers rule everywhere, in the political parties just like in the temples of all faiths.

The real needs of a man are, however, minimal and the riches accumulated by the maniacs of gold are totally out of proportion. Fortune is desirable only in so far as it satisfies our needs; it is only a means of exchange… but the sages have cried out in vain for centuries that happiness lies not in things but in pleasure: turning their back on the goal, our insatiable pot-bellies frantically pursue the means! Poor people, basically, but… poor us!


November 22, 2012

from Sébastien Faure, The Anarchist Encyclopedia, 1934.

Plutocracy (from the Greek Ploutus, wealth and Kratos, power)

Influence of the rich on the State. Government of the rich. Carthage was a plutocracy (Larousse). In fact, there has never been anything but plutocracies. Every so-called civilized State is the expression of the dominating class and this class is that which possesses the wealth (capital and instruments of production). It was plutocracy in the Middle Ages, in the feudal system, when the lord, the landowner, dictated his law to the peasants. It is plutocracy in modern nations when the capitalist imposes his will on the workers: “Capital is a lord who swallows all gains; and work is a slave that they force to move mountains” (Pecqueur). There is plutocracy everywhere because the concentration of capital ends up putting all accumulated wealth into the hands of a few influential privateers. And yet how many gullible people think they live in a democracy! How many believed in the “night of August 4 [1789]” and the “sovereignty of the people”, in the free “expression of the national will”! “No more privileges. The law is equal for all.” What a sham! But it must be said that people are less and less gullible: the increasing number of financial scandals and more and more frequent application of the adage:
“Depending on how much you have or lack, the court will judge you white or black”
have opened the eyes of the most naïve of our contemporaries. One must suffer the “law of the rich” everywhere. And citing S. Faure in La Douleur Universelle we can quote Necker who said, “All civil institutions have been made by owners.” And Turgot: “The most powerful have made the laws and devastated the weak everywhere.” Lamennais, too, wrote: “What pleased the masters to command they called Law and the laws have been, for the most part, only measures of private interest, means to increase or perpetuate the domination and abuse of the domination of a small minority over the majority” (The Book of the People). Etc. In the same book S. Faure has brilliantly shown show so-called democracy, in reality, ends up in a covert plutocracy. And everyone knows that behind the “sovereign people”, behind the hundreds of puppets who say they represent it, there is the “wall of money”: a handful of magnates from Banking and Industry who are the real masters of the people.
Whether the government be a monarchy or a republic; whether Alfonso XIII [of Spain] be replaced by a democracy; whether a bloc from the so-called “left” be put in power instead bloc from the so-called “right”; whether X be put where Z was… or vice versa; what will have changed for the proletariat? Tomorrow it will have to sacrifice its arms to live just like before and the red or white politicians who step on stage, one after another, are there to fool them with their acrobatics. While over the wretched life of the worker looms the crushing shadow of the safe. And in the wings are the plutocrats, the true kings of the moment, the powerful dictators whose hands hold the lives of millions of human beings.


Arthur Ranc

November 10, 2012

Arthur Ranc, “Anarchy”, in L’Encyclopédie générale, 1871.

D’Alembert, after defining anarchy as “a disorder in the State that has no one with enough authority to command and make the laws respected and consequently the people do as they want, without subordination and without police,” concludes thus: “We can be assured that every government generally tends to either despotism or anarchy.”

At first glance this thought, which seems to place political societies between two equally pitiful alternatives, is basically, on closer examination, just a careless conception of the theory formulated by Proudhon thus: “The first term of the governmental series being Absolutism and the final term, inevitably, is Anarchy.”

Alembert’s apparent error comes from the fact that he conceived Authority as a principle of order whereas in modern societies order can only result from the successive and carefully thought out elimination of Authority. “Anarchy, or the absence of masters and sovereigns,” Proudhon says, “such is the form of government that we are approaching every day and that an inveterate habit of mind makes us see as the height of disorder and the expression of chaos.” Thus Proudhon expresses himself in his first On Property. Later, developing his thought and formulating it with his customary rigor, he affirmed that the goal of the Revolution was the very suppression of Authority, that is of government.

Anarchy, therefore, is understood in two not only different but absolutely contradictory senses. On the one hand it is the absence of government, authority, principle, rule, and consequently it is disorder in thoughts and deeds. On the other hand it is the elimination of authority in its three political, social and religious aspects; it is the dissolution of the government in the natural organism; it is the contract substituted for sovereignty, arbitration for judicial power; it is labor not organized by an outside power but organizing itself; it is religion disappearing as a social function and becoming appropriate to the individual manifestations of free conscience; it is citizens entering freely into contracts not with the government but between themselves; it is, finally, freedom; it is order.
Proudhon said elsewhere, “Freedom that is adequate and identical with order, that is all that is real in power and politics.”
The problem is not to know how we will be better governed, but how we will most free.

We can see now that the theory of d’Alembert was perfectly just. Yes, every government must necessarily end up in despotism or anarchy, either in the common sense of the word or in the philosophical meaning. Between absolutism and freedom there is no possible reconciliation, no middle ground, such is the conclusion we are forced to accept through theory and practice, through philosophy and history. Disorder is an act of rulers; trouble in society, turmoil in the State comes from the unjust resistance that the two-pronged temporal and spiritual power oppose, with the help and support of the privileged, to the legitimate demands of the citizens, of free thinkers and the proletariat.

For the idle, for the exploiters, for the privileged, for the gluttons, every idea of justice is an idea of disorder; every attempt against their privilege is an anarchist act. Just the thought of escaping exploitation is a guilty thought. The idle and the privileged want to enjoy their peace and quiet. The best government is the one that guarantees the most security for their pleasures. Speculators, golden boys, dandies, friends of order, business sharks—this is the cursed race that for almost eighty years has surrendered to despotism, a race of prostitutes that needs pimps. The ideal Paris for them is a city of pleasures, a huge Corinth, with very expensive girls, since they have a lot of money, and an obedient police force. They are the ones who after 9 Thermidor [27 July 1794] whipped the women and clubbed the patriots—ten against one—on the public square. They are the ones who in June after the battle shot the vanquished in the broken streets. They are the true anarchists, if by anarchists you mean creators of disorder. They are the ones who, to satisfy their base passions in peace, to wallow carefree in the orgy of revelers, terrifying the common interests, inflaming the bourgeois with fear, organizing panic and finally dragging with them the unconscious masses and prostrating themselves before the absolute power.

Now, Despotism is powerless even to guarantee the security of common interests. What did we see during the first Empire? A few months of prosperity that we paid dearly for and then the tyranny fell silent, the despotism became cunning; the police were the absolute masters over the lives and freedoms of the citizens; the survivors of the revolutionary ideal were hunted down by an implacable hatred; the ancient regime was reestablished; France was given over to the clergy; the aristocracy reconstructed; patriotic customs destroyed in the army; the republican cohorts sent to [the colony of] Saint Domingue as if to their death; “lettres de cachet” [royal orders] resumed; State prisons filled up; three million men turned into cannon fodder; commerce destroyed; agriculture ruined; the countryside surrendering its last man; and after all this to crown it all off, the invasion!

Yes, if by anarchy we understand disorder pushed to its limits, despotism and anarchy are the same thing because despotism cuts off the best part of human nature, stops social development, sacrifices everything to the material order, creates a conflict of interests and keeps society in a state of latent war.

Is there not, for example, disorder and anarchy in a country where the civil servants are set outside the common law and cannot be brought to trial, where the principle of equality before the law is unrecognized, where the judicial and executive power are mixed up? Is there not anarchy when the legislative power, reduced to a advisory body, does not have the ability to introduce laws and can only amend those that have been drawn up by a council whose members have been nominated by the executive power? When the Constitution can only be modified with the consent of the executive, which alone has the right to appeal to the nation while the nation has no legal or constitutional means to make their will known ex tempore without being asked by the executive? When the principle of executive responsibility has no sanction and when no procedure exists whereby action for damages can be constitutionally introduced?
Is there not anarchy, trouble and disorder when the electoral body is organized so that the urban groups are divided into sections, each of which is arbitrarily united to a larger group of voters in the countryside, when through this system their votes are canceled out and the cities and countryside are violently opposed to each other?

Therefore, absolutism is synonymous with disorder and also synonymous with anarchy in the common sense of the word.
Likewise, freedom and order are two correlative terms that transform into a third more general term, that of anarchy, such as Proudhon defined it, that is in the radical elimination of the principle of authority in all its forms.

Also available at The Anarchist Library

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