[This is an in-progress, working translation.
A revised edition is being prepared for publication.]
Utopia: "A dream not realized, but not unrealizable."
Anarchy: "Absence of government."
Revolutions are conservations.
(P. J. Proudhon)
The only true revolutions are the revolutions of ideas.
Let us make customs, and no longer make laws.
(Emile de Girardin)
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty…. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Saint Paul the Apostle)
What is this Book!
This book is not a literary work, it is an infernal labor, the cry of a rebel slave.
Being, like the cabin boy of the Salamander, unable, in my individual weakness, to strike down all those who, on the ship of the legal order, dominate and mistreat me, when my day is done at the workshop, when my watch is finished on the bridge, I descend by night to the bottom of the hold, I take possession of my solitary corner and, there, with teeth and claws, like a rat in the shadows, I scratch and gnaw at the worm-eaten walls of the old society. By day, as well, I use my hours of unemployment, I arm myself with a pen like a borer, I dip it in bile for grease, and, little by little, I open a way, each day larger, to the flood of the new; I relentlessly perforate the hull of Civilization. I, a puny proletarian, on whom the crew, the horde of exploiters, daily inflict the torment of the aggravated misery of the brutalities of exile or prison, I open up the abyss beneath the feet of my murderers, and I spread the balm of vengeance on my always-bloody scars. I have my eye on my Masters. I know that each day brings me closer to the goal; that a formidable cry—the sinister every man for himself!—will soon resound at the height of their joyous intoxication. A bilge-rat, I prepare their shipwreck; that shipwreck alone can put an end to my troubles and to those of my fellows. Come the revolution, will not the suffering have, for biscuit, ideas in reserve, and, for a life-line, socialism!
This book is not written in ink; its pages are not paper sheets.
This book is steel, turned in octavo, and charged with fulminate of ideas. It is an authoricidal projectile that I cast in a thousand copies on the cobblestones of the civilizées. May its shards fly far and mortally pierce the ranks of the prejudiced. May it split the old society down to its foundations.
Privileged ones!—for those who have sown slavery, the hour has come to reap rebellion. There is not a worker who, in the hidden reaches of his brain, does not clandestinely fashion some thoughts of destruction. You, you have the bayonet and the penal code, the catechism and the guillotine; we have the barricade and utopia, sarcasm and the bomb. You, you are the pressure; we are the mine: one spark can blow you up!
Know that today, in their iron shackles, beneath their superficial torpor, the multitudes are composed of grains of powder; the fibers of the thinkers are its caps. Is it not without risk that you crush liberty on the brow of the somber multitudes. Rash reactionaries!—God is God, you say. Yes, but Satan is Satan!... The elect of the golden calf are few, and hell is full of the damned. Aristocrats, there is no need to play with fire, the fire of hell, understand!...
This book is not a document, it is an act. It has not been traced by the gloved hand of a fantasist; it is filled with heart and logic, with blood and fever. It is a cry of insurrection, a strike of the tocsin rung with the hammer of the idea in the hearing of the popular passions. It is moreover a chant of victory, a triumphant salvo, the proclamation of individual sovereignty, the advent of universal liberty; it is full and complete amnesty for the authoritarian sorrows of the past by anarchic decree of the humanitarian future.
This is a book of hatred, a book of love!....
Social science proceeds by inductions and deductions, by analogy. It is by a series of comparisons that it arrives at the combination of truth.
Thus, I will proceed by analogy.
I will try to be brief. The large volumes are not those that are most read. In preference to long dissertations, to classical pedagogies, I will employ the colorful phrase, it has the advantage of being able to say a lot in a few words.
I am far from being steeped in science. I have read a bit, observed more, and meditated a great deal. I am, I believe, despite my ignorance in one of the one of the most favorable places to sum up the needs of humanity. I possess all the passions, although I cannot satisfy them, those of love and those of hate, the passion for extreme luxury and for extreme simplicity. I understand all appetites, those of the heart and of the belly, those of the flesh and of the mind. I have a taste for white bread, but also for black bread, for stormy discussions and also for sweet causeries. I know all the appetites, physical and moral; I have the intuition of all intoxications; all that which excites or calms has seductions for me: the café and poetry, champagne and art, wine and tobacco, milk and honey, spectacles, tumult and lights, shadow, solitude and pure water. I love work, hard labors; I also love leisure, times of languid idleness. I could live a little and find myself rich, consume enormously and find myself poor. I have looked through the keyhole at the intimate life of opulence, I know its hot houses and it sumptuous salons; and I also know from experience both cold and poverty. I have been overfull and I have been hungry. I have a thousand caprices and not one pleasure. I am likely to commit at times what the argot of the civilized blacken with the name of virtue, and more often still what they honor with the name of crime. I am the man most empty of prejudices and most full of passions that I know; proud enough to not be vain, and too proud to be hypocritically modest. I have only one face, but that face is as mobile as the face of the waves; at the least breath, it passes from one expression to another, from calm to storm and from anger to tenderness. That is why, as a multiple passionality, I hope to deal with human society with some chance of success, because treating it well depends as much on the knowledge that one has of one’s own passions, as on the knowledge that one has of the passions of others.
The world of anarchy is not of my invention, certainly, any more than it is the invention of Proudhon, nor of Pierre, nor of Jean. Each by himself invents nothing. Inventions are the result of collective observations; is the explanation of a phenomenon, a scratch made on the colossus of the unknown, but it is the work of all men and all generations of men linked together by an indissoluble solidarity. Now, if there is invention, I have the right at most to a patent of improvement. I would be rather poorly praised if some hoaxers wanted to apply to my face the title of the chief of a school. I know that one expounds ideas bringing together or straying more or less from known ideas. But what I do not understand is that there have been men who accept them slavishly, in order to make themselves the followers of the first comer, to model themselves on his way of seeing, to imitate him in the least details: and to put on, like a soldier or a lackey, his uniform or his livery. At least adjust them to your waistline; trim them or widen them, but do not wear them as-is, with sleeves too short or tails too long. Otherwise, it is not a sign of intelligence; it is hardly worthy of a man who feels and thinks, thus it is ridiculous.
Authority aligns men under its flags by discipline, it shackles them by the code of military orthodoxy, passive obedience; its imperious voice commands silence and immobility in the ranks, autocratic fixity. Liberty rallies men to its banner with the voice of free examination; it does not petrify them in the same line. Each lines up where he likes and moves as he pleases. Liberty does not regiment men under the plume of the head of a sect: it initiates them in the movement of ideas and inculcates in them the sentiment of active independence. Authority is unity in uniformity! Liberty is unity in diversity. The axis of authority, it is knout-archie [literally, government by whip]. Anarchy is the axis of liberty.
For me, it is much less a question of making disciples than of making men, and one is a man only on condition of being oneself. We incorporate the ideas of others and incarnate our ideas in others; we combine our thoughts, and nothing is better than that; but let us make of that mixture a conception henceforth our own. Let us be an original work and not a copy. The slave models himself on the master; he imitates. The free man only produces his own type; he creates.
My plan is to paint a picture of society as society appears to me in the future: individual liberty is moving anarchically in the social community and producing harmony.
I do not presume to impose my views on others. I do not descend from cloudy Sinai. I do not march escorted by lightning and thunder. I am not sent by the autocrat of the whole universe to reveal his words to his so-humble subjects and publish the imperial ukase of his commandments. I inhabit the depths of society; I have drawn from them some revolutionary thoughts, and I pour them forth, rending the darkness. I am a seeker of truths, a herald of progress, a star-gazer for enlightenment. I sigh after happiness and I conjure up its ideal. If that ideal makes you smile, do as I do, and love it. If you find imperfections in it, correct them. If it displeases you, create another. I am not exclusive, and I will willingly abandon mine for yours, if yours seems more perfect to me. However, I see only two great figures possible; one can modify its expression, that is not to change its traits: there is absolute liberty or absolute authority. As for me, I choose liberty. We have seen the works of authority, and its works condemn it. It is an old prostitute that has never learned anything but depravation and never engendered anything but death. Liberty still only makes herself known by her timid smile. She is a virgin that the embrace of humanity has still not made fertile; but, let man allow himself to be seduced by her charms, let him give her all his love, and she will soon give birth to generations worthy of the great name that she carries.
To weaken authority and criticize its acts is not enough. A negation, in order to be absolute, needs to complete itself with an affirmation. That is why I affirm liberty, why I deduce its consequences.
I address myself above all to the proletarians, and the proletarians are for the most part still more ignorant than me; also, before giving an account of the anarchic order, a portrait which will be for this book the last stroke of the author’s pen, it is necessary to outline the history of Humanity. I will follow its march across the ages in the past and in the present and I will accompany it into the future.
In this sketch I have to recreate a subject touched with a master’s hand by a great artist in poetry. I don’t have his work at hand; and if I had it, I rarely reread a book, as I have neither the leisure nor courage for it. My memory is my only library, and my library is often quite disordered. If some reminiscences escape me, if I happen to draw from my memories, believing I drew it from my own thoughts, I declare at least that it will be without knowing or wishing to. I hold plagiarists in horror. However, I am also of the opinion of Alfred de Musset, I thus think what another has thought before me. I would desire one thing, it is that those who have not read the book of Eugène Pelletan, Le Monde Marche, will want to read the book before continuing the reading of mine. The work of this brilliant writer are a museum of the reign of humanity up through our times, magnificent pages that it is always good to know, and which will be an aid to more than one civilizee, leaning on his elbows before my work, not only to supply what it lacks, but also to aid in understanding its shadows and lights.
And now, reader, if you want to travel along with me, stock up on intelligence, and let’s go!
"If one says to them (i.e., to the civilized) that our swirl of approximately two hundred comets and planets presents but the image of a bee occupying a single cell in the hive; that the other fixed stars, each one surrounded by such a swirl, represent other planets, and that the whole of this vast universe, in its turn, counts only as a single bee in a hive formed of approximately a hundred and thousand sidereal universes, the ensemble of which comprises a biniverse, that then comes the triniverse formed from several thousand biniverses, and so on; finally, that each one of these universes, biniverses, triniverses is a creature, having, like us, its own soul, its own phases of youth and old age, death and birth…….; they will not follow this theme to its end, they will cry out against the insanity, the outrageous daydream; and yet they pose in principle the universal analogy!”
We know the physiognomy of the Earth, its external structure. The pencil, the brush and the pen have retraced the features. The canvases of the artists and the books of the poets have taken it in its cradle and have made us see it first enveloped in the swaddling clothes of the flood, all soft still and with the tint of the first days; then firming up and covering itself with a vegetative mane, animating its sites, improving itself as it advances in life.
We also know its internal structure, its physiology; we have made the anatomy of its entrails. Excavations have stripped its skeleton to which we have given the name of mineral; its arteries, where the water circulates, its intestines covered with a viscous flow of fire.
But who has occupied themselves with its psychological organism? Nobody. Where within it is the seat of its thought? Where is its brain located? We don’t know. And yet the globes, despite being of a different nature than our own, are no less thinking and moving beings. Is that which we have taken for the surface of the earth really the surface? And by skinning it, by the scalping of the atmospheres that envelope it, don't we leave its flesh and fibers exposed, pierce the cerebellum clear to the spinal cord, and strip the skin from the bones?
Who knows if, for the terrestrial globe, which is also an animated being, of which the zoological study is so far from being completed, who knows if humanity is not its brain-matter? If the human atom is not the animalcule of thought, the molecule of planetary intelligence functioning under the vast cranium of its atmospheric rings? Do we know anything of the nature of its intimate senses? And would it be strange if all our social actions, a swarm of homuncular societies, were the ideas and dreams that people the face of the globe from one pole to the other?
I won’t claim a prima facie resolution of the question, or affirm or deny it absolutely. I have certainly not thought enough about the subject. I only pose the thing in interrogative form, in order to provoke research and a response. I very well may make that response myself. It does not appear to me without interest to consider the intellectual organization of the of the being within which we have been born, any more than it appears to me uninteresting to occupy myself with its bodily organism. For whoever wants to study the zoology of beings, animals or planets, psychology is inseparable from physiology.
This prologue ended, let us leave the world to turn on its axis and gravitate towards its sun, and let us occupy ourselves with the movement of humanity and its gravitation towards progress.
Movement of Humanity
‘‘A cretin! That is to say a poor, dejected being, timid and small; a matter that moves or a man that vegetates, a disgraced creature which is stuffed with aqueous vegetables, black bread and flood waters; – a nature without industry, without ideas, without past, without future, without forces; – an unfortunate who does not recognize his fellows, who does not speak, who remains insensible to the world outside, who is born, grows and dies in the same place, miserable as the bitter lichen and the gnarled oaks.
Oh! to see the man squatting in the dust and the head tilted toward the ground, arms hanging, bent back, knees flexed, eyes bright or dull, the gaze vague or frightening in its fixity, barely able to reach out his hand to passers-by – with sunken cheeks, with long fingers and long toes, hair standing on end like the fur of cats, a receding or drawn brow, a flat head and a monkey’s face.
How imperceptible our body is in the midst of the universe, if it is not magnified by our knowledge! How the first men were trembling in the face of flood waters and falling rock! As the great Alps dwarf the mountaineer of Valais! As he creeps slowly, from their feet to their heads, by barely passable paths! One might say that he is afraid of arousing subterranean furies. An earthworm, ignorant, slave, cretin, man would be all of that today if he had never revolted against force. And there he is, superb, giant, God, because he has dared all!
But man would still fight against the Revolution! The son would curse his mother. Moses, saved from the waters, would deny the noble daughter of the Pharaoh! That cannot be. To the God of heaven, to Fatality, the blind Lightning; to the God of the earth, to the free man, the Revolution which sees clear. Fire against fire, flash against flash, deluge against deluge, light against light. Heaven is not so high that we can not already see it; and man sooner or later attains what he desires!”
‘‘The world moves.’’
The world moves, as Pelletan says—a beautiful writer, but a bourgeois writer, a Girondin writer, a theocrat of the intelligence. Yes, the world moves forward, on and on. Initially, it started by crawling, face to the ground, on knees and elbows, rummaging with its snout an earth still soaked with the waters of the deluge, and it fed itself on peat. The vegetation made it smile, and it raised itself on its hands and feet, and it grazed with its muzzle on tufts of grass and the bark of trees. Crouching at the foot of the tree whose height solicited its regard, it dared to lift its head; then it raised its hands to the height of his shoulders, then finally it was standing on its own two feet, and, from this height, it dominated with the weight of its gaze all that which had dominated it the moment before. Then, still so weak and naked, it felt something like a thrill of pride. It had just learned the measure of its own body. The blood which, in the horizontal gait of the man, had buzzed in its ears and deafened it, suffused its eyes and blinded it, flooded its brain and muffled it; this blood, finding its level, like the fluvial waters, the océanide waters, after the flood, this blood flowed back in its natural arteries by the revolution from horizontality to human verticality, clearing his forehead from one temple to the other, and uncovering, for the fertilization, the limon of all the intellectual seeds.
Until then, the human animal had only been a brute among brutes; he had just revealed himself as man. Thought had dawned; it was still in the germinal state, but the seed contained future harvests... The tree in whose shadow the man had stood up bore fruit; he took one of them with his hand, the hand... that hand which until then had been for him only a leg and had served him to drag himself, to advance, now it was going to become the sign of his royal animality, the scepter of his terrestrial power. Having eaten the fruit in his reach, he sees some that his arm cannot reach. So he uproots a young shoot, extends the reach of his arm by means of this stick to the height of the fruit and detaches it from its branch. This stick will soon aid him in his walking, in defending himself against wild beasts or to attack them. After having bitten fruit, he wanted to bite flesh; and off he goes to hunt; and as he has plucked the apple, lo and behold he kills the game. And he makes a fur garment from some animal skins, a shelter with some branches and leaves from trees, those trees who trunks he had grazed yesterday, and whose highest crowns he climbs today in order to seek out the eggs and nestlings of birds. His eyes, which he had held glued to the crust of the soil, now contemplated with majesty the azure sky and all the golden pearls in its splendid jewel case. It is his sovereign crown, king among all those who breathe, and to each of these celestial jewels, he gives a name, and an astronomical value. The instinct that wailed in him has been succeeded by an intelligence which still babbles but will speak tomorrow. His tongue, like his hands, has been untied and both operate at once. He can converse with his fellows and join his hands with theirs, exchange with them ideas and strengths, sensations and feelings. The man is no longer alone, isolated, and feeble; he is a race. He thinks and acts, and he participates by thought and action in all that thinks and acts among other men. Solidarity has been revealed to him. His life is increased by it: he no longer lives only in his individuality, no longer only in the present generation, but in the generations that have preceded him and in those that will follow him. Originally a reptile, he has become a quadruped, from a quadruped a biped, and, standing on his two feet, he advances bearing, like Mercury, wings on his head and heels. Through sight and thought, he rises like an eagle above the clouds and plunges into the depths of the infinite. The coursers that he has tamed lend him their agility in crossing terrestrial spaces; the hollowed trunks of trees cradle him on the waves, some branches carved as paddles serve him as fins. From a simple grazer he has made himself a hunter, then a shepherd, a farmer, and an industrial worker. Destiny has said to him: March! And he marches, always advancing. And he has stolen a thousand secrets from nature; he has shaped wood, molded the earth, forged metals; he has put his stamp on everything around him.
Thus the individual-man has emerged from chaos. He has first vegetated as a mineral or plant; then he has crawled; he advances and aspires to the winged life, to a more rapid and extensive locomotion. Man-humanity is still a fetus, but the fetus develops in the organ of generation, and after its successive phases of growth, it will emerge, free itself finally from the chaos, and, from gravitation to gravitation, attain the fullness of its social faculties.
– God is evil.
– Property is Theft.
– Slavery is Assassination.
The Family is Evil; it is Theft; it is Assassination.
Everything that was, was necessary. Recriminations would change nothing. The past is the past, and there is no returning there, except to draw some lessons from it for the future.
In the first days of the human being, when men, still feeble in strength and number, were dispersed over the globe and vegetated, rooted and scattered in the forests like bluets in the fields, shocks and strains could hardly occur. Each lived upon the common teat, and it produced abundantly for all. Besides, a little was enough for a man: fruit to eat, leaves for clothing or shelter, such was the trifling sum of his needs. Only, what I observe, the point on which I insist, is that man, from his debut in the world, on emerging from the belly of the earth, at the hour when the instinctive law guides the first movements of newborn beings, at that hour when the great voice of nature speaks into their ears and their destiny is revealed to them by this voice which shows the birds the aerial spaces, the fish the underwater firmaments, and the other animals the plains and forests to roam; which says to the bear: you shall live solitary in your den, to the ant: you shall live in society in the anthill; to the dove: you shall live couple in the same nest, male and female, in the times of love;–man then hears that voice say to him: you will live in community on the earth, free and in fraternity with your fellows; a social being, sociability shall increase your being; rest your head where you will, pick fruits, kill game, make love, eat or drink, you are everywhere at home; everything belongs to you as to all. If you want to do violence to your neighbor, male or female, your neighbor will respond with violence, and, you know, their strength is nearly equal to your own; give free reign to all your appetites, to all your passions, but do not forget that there must be a harmony between your strength and your intelligence, between what pleases you and what pleases others. And, now, go: the earth, on these conditions, will be for you the garden of the Hesperides.
Before arriving at the combination of the races, the Earth, a little girl eager to dabble in generation, hewed and carved from the clay, in the days of its ferment, many shapeless monsters that she then crumpled and tore up with a quiver of anger and a deluge of tears. Every work demands an apprenticeship. And it is necessary to make many defective attempts before arriving at the formation of complete beings, at the composition of species. For the human species, her masterwork, she made the mistake of squeezing the brains a bit and giving a little too much scope to the belly. The development of the one does not correspond to the development of the other. This makes an uneven joint, leading to disharmony. It is not a reproach that I address to her. Could she have done better? No. It was in the inevitable order that it be thus. Everything was rough and savage around man; man must then begin by being rough and savage; too great a delicacy of the senses would have killed him. The sensitive withdraws into itself when the weather is stormy. It only blossoms under the calm and radiant blue.
The day then comes when the increase of the human race surpasses the increase of their intelligence. Man, still on the edge of idiocy, had little rapport with man. His stupefaction makes him fierce. His body is, it is true, much refined from its primitive abjection; he had trained his muscular dexterity well, conquered bodily strength and agility; but his mind, awakened for a moment, had fallen back into its embryonic lethargy threatened to drag on in that state. The intellectual fiber stagnated it its swaddling clothes. The goad of pain became necessary to tear the mind of man from its somnolence and recall him to his social destiny. The fruits became more rare, the chase more difficult: he had to compete for possession. Men were brought together, often in order to fight, but also to lend their support. No matter how, there was contact. Rootless as they were, men and women would pair up; then they would form groups, tribes. The groups had their herds, then their fields, then their workshops. Intelligence was from now on released from it torpor. The voice of necessity cried, March! And they marched. However, all this progress was not accomplished without heartbreak. The development of ideas always lagged behind the development of appetites. Equilibrium, once upset, could not be reestablished. The world advanced, or rather teetered in blood and tears. Iron and flame brought desolation and death everywhere. The strong killed the weak or took possession of them. Slavery and oppression attached themselves like a leprosy to the flanks of humanity. The natural order collapsed.
A supreme moment, which would decide for a long series of centuries the fate of humanity. What would intelligence do? Would it vanquish ignorance? Would it deliver men from the torment of mutual destruction? Would it lead them from this labyrinth where sorrow and hunger wail? Would it show them the road paved with fraternal instincts which leads to liberation, to general happiness? Would it break the odious chains of the patriarchal family? Would it break down the emerging barriers of property? Would it destroy the tablets of the law, the governmental power, that double-edged sword which kills those it should protect? Would it lead to triumph the revolt which always threatens the tyranny which always stirs? Finally, – column of light, principle of life – would it found the anarchic order in equality and liberty or, – funerary urn, essence of death – would it found an arbitrary order on hierarchy and authority? Which would have the upper hand, the fraternal communion of interests or their fratricidal division? Would humanity perish two steps from its cradle?
Alas! Very nearly so! In its inexperience, humanity took the poison for an elixir. It writhed in terrible convulsions. It did not die; but centuries have passed on its head without being able to put an end to the torments that devour it; the poison always burns its innards.
That poison, a mix of nicotine and arsenic, is labeled with a single word: God...
From the day when Man has swallowed God, the sovereign master; from the day when it allowed into its brain the idea of an Elysium and a Tartarus, of a hell and an otherworldly paradise, from that day he was punished because he had sinned. The authority of heaven logically sanctioned authority on the earth. The subject of God became the creature of man. It was no longer a question of free humanity, but of masters and slaves. And it was in vain that, for a thousand years, the legions of Christ died as martyrs to atone for its sin, called original, and deliver it from God and his pomps, from the authority of Church and State.
As the physical world had its deluge, the moral world has had its own as well. Religious faith submerged consciences, brought devastation in minds and hearts. All the robberies of force were legitimated by the ruse. The possession of man by man became taken for granted. From then on the revolt of the slave against the master was suppressed by the lure of heavenly rewards or infernal punishments. Woman was stripped of her titles to the name of human, deprived of her soul, and relegated forever to the rank of the domestic animals. The holy institution of authority covered the ground with temples and fortresses, soldiers and priests, swords and chains, instruments of war and instruments of torture. Property, fruit of conquest, became sacred for the victors and the vanquished, in the insolent hand of the invader as in the flashing eyes of the dispossessed. The family, arranged in a pyramid with the leader at the head, women, children, and servants at the base, the family was consolidated and blessed, and dedicated to the perpetuation of the evil. In the midst of this flood of divine beliefs, the liberty of man sinks down, and with it the instinct for demanding right against fact. All that there was of revolutionary forces, all that there was of vital energy in the struggle for human progress, all of that was drowned, swallowed up; all of that disappeared in the floods of the cataclysm, in the depths of superstition.
Will the moral world, like the physical world, emerge from the chaos someday? Will the light shine in the darkness? Will we witness a new genesis of humanity? Yes, for the idea, that other dove which wanders its surface, the idea which has still not found a patch of earth to gather a palm, the idea sees the level of prejudices, errors, and ignorance diminish day by day under the sky, – that is to say under the skull, – of human intelligence. A new world will issue from the Ark of utopia. And you, silt of the societies of the past, peat of Authority, will serve to fertilize the germination and blossoming of the societies of the Future and to illuminate in the gaseous state the monument of Liberty.
Could that moral cataclysm have been avoided? Was man free to think and act otherwise than he did? We might as well say that the Earth was free to avoid the deluge. Every effect has its cause. And... but here comes an objection that I see coming from far off, which every smug confessor of God will not fail to pose to you, chuckling with delight:
“You say, Mr. Déjacque, that ever effect has a cause. Very well. But then, you recognize God, for in the end the universe was not created all by itself; it is an effect, is it not? And who do you expect created it, if not God?... God is thus the cause of the universe? Ah! Ah! You see, I have you, my poor Mr. Déjacque; you could not escape me. There is no way out.”
“Imbecile! And the cause... of God?”
“The cause of God... the cause of God... Damnation! You know very well that God cannot have a cause, since he is the first cause.”
“But, you brute, if you admit that there is a first cause, then there is no more of anything, and there is no more God, since if God can be its own cause, the universe can perhaps also be the proper cause of the universe. That is as easy as ABC. If, on the contrary, you affirm with me that every effect has its cause, and that consequently there is no cause without a cause, your God must also have one. For in order to be the cause of which the universe is the effect, it must be the effect of a superior cause. What’s more, I want to tell you, the cause of which your God is the effect is not at all of a higher order; very well, it is of a very inferior order; that cause is very simply your cretinism. Go on, that is enough interruption. Silence! And understand this well from now on: you are not the son, but the father of God.
So I say that every effect has its cause. Only, that cause is visible or invisible for us, depending on whether or vision or our thought is more or less perfect, and our vision or our thought is an optical instrument that is very crude, very incomplete.
There is not a being which is not the plaything of circumstances, and man is like the other beings in this respect. He is dependant on his nature and the nature of the objects that surround him, or, to put it better, the beings that surround him, for all these objects have voices which speak to him and constantly modify his education. All of man’s liberty consists of satisfying his nature, of yielding to his attractions. All that he has a right to demand of his fellows is that they do not attack his liberty, the complete development nature. All that they have a right to demand of him is that he does not attack theirs. From his first steps, man having grown prodigiously in strength, and having grown a bit in intelligence as well, although the proportion was not the same, and comparing what he had become with what he had been in the cradle, the man was amazed, dizzied. Pride is innate with him. This sentiment has doomed him; it will also save him. The bourrelet of creation weighed on the head of the human child. It wanted to be rid of it. And as it already have the knowledge of many things, even though there remained many things for it to experience; as it could not explain certain facts, and wanted all the same to explain them, it found nothing better than to expel them from the natural order and relegated them to the supernatural spheres. In its vain ignorance, the terrible child wanted to play with the unknown, it has made a false step, and it has fallen head first on the angle of absurdity. Toddler’s mutiny, wound of youth, of which it will long bear the scar!...
Man, – what pride, and at the same time what childishness! – man has thus proclaimed a God, creator of all things, an idiotic and ferocious God, a God in his own image. That is to say that he had made himself the creature of God. He has laid the egg, he has incubated it and he began to adore his chick, – I was going to say his droppings, – for man must have had a very violent diarrhea of the brain the day when he does the necessary... with such foolishness. The chick naturally has for a henhouse some temples, some churches. Today that chick is an old cock, three-quarters featherless, without crest and spurs, an old carcass so stunted that it hardly deserves to have its neck twisted to put it in the kettle. Science has taken from it, one by one, all of its terrible attributions. And the acrobats in cassocks, who still wander the fairgrounds of the world, no longer have much more of the almighty God than the image displayed on the posters of their shack. And yet that image is still a werewolf for the mass of humanity. Ah! if, instead of kneeling before it, the faithful of the divinity had dared to look into its face, they would see clearly that it was not a real person, but a bad painting, a bit of varnish and mud, a masque all greasy with blood and sweat, an antique masque with which the intriguers cover themselves in order to impose on the simple and rope them in.
Like religion, – the family, property and government have had their cause. It is equally in the ignorance of man. It is a consequence of the nature of his intelligence, more lackadaisical about awakening than the nature of his physical faculties.
Among the beasts, depending on whether the young ones require care for a longer or shorter period of time, the material instinct is more or less developed and is exercised in a more or less different manner, according to the condition suitable for the species. Nature watches over the preservation of the species. Among the wild animals, there are none which live other than in a solitary state: the she-wolf nurses her cubs and seeks her own food; she does not keep company with the male; her strong individuality is all-sufficient. Maternal love doubles her strength. Among the birds, frail and tender creatures, the nightingale, the warbler, the mother incubates her offspring in the nest, the male will go to seek a beakful. There is a union between the two sexes until the day when the living fruits of their love have grown warm down and strong feathers, and they are vigorous enough to cleave the air with the strokes of their wings and go to the fields to harvest their food. Among the insects, the ants and bees, sociable races, the young are raised in common; there, individual marriage does not exist, the nation being one single, indivisible family.
Human young take a long time to raise. The human female could not do it herself, nurse it, cradle it and still provide for her own needs. It is necessary that the man draw closer to her, like the bird with its brood, that he help with the household tasks and bring food and drink back to the cabin.
Man has often been less constant and more brutal than the birds, and maternity has always been a heavier burden than paternity.
That was the cradle of the family.
At the time when the earth was a vast virgin forest, the horizon of man was more limited. He lived like the hare in the limits of its nest. His region did not extent more than a day or two’s journey. The lack of communications made man nearly a stranger to man. Not being cultivated by the society of his fellows, his intelligence remained fallow. Wherever there could be conurbation of men, the progress of their intelligence acquired more strength and more extent. Man, disciple of man, gathered the servile, made a flock of them, confined them in pens. He plowed the fields, sowed the furrows and saw the harvest ripen there. But soon from the depths of the uncultivated forests appeared wild men whom hunger drove from the woods. Isolation kept them in the state of brutes; fasting, under the whip by which they were assembled, made them fierce. Like a pack of furious wolves, they would pass through the middle of these fields, massacring the men, raping and butchering the women, destroying the harvest and driving the herds before them. Later, the would take possession of the fields, establish themselves in the habitations, spare the lives of half of their victims, of whom they would make a herd of slaves. The man was yoked to the plow; the woman took her place with the hens or in the pig sty, destined for the cares of the cooking pot or the obscene appetites of the master.
This armed robbery by violators and murderers, this theft was the kernel of property.
At the news of these robberies, the producers who were not yet conquered assembled in the city, in order to better protect themselves against the invaders. Following the example of the conquerors, whose approach they dreaded, they named a chief or chiefs charged with organizing the public forces and watching over the security of the citizens. Just as the devastating hordes had established conventions which regulated the share of each in the spoils; so they established a legal system to regulate their disagreements and guarantee to each the possession of the instruments of labor. But soon the chiefs would abuse their power. The laborers of the city no longer had to defend themselves only against the abuses from outside, but also against abuses from within. Unknowingly, they had introduced and established the enemy in the heart of the square. Pillage and murder had breached the walls and sat enthroned in the midst of the forum, supported by the authoritarian beams. The republic bore in its entrails its gnawing worm. Government had just been born there.
Certainly, it would be preferable that the family, property, government and religion not invade the domain of facts. But, in this time of individual ignorance and collective improvidence, could it be otherwise? Could infancy not be infancy? Social science, like the other sciences, is the fruit of experiment. Could man hope that nature would disrupt the order of the seasons, and that it would grant him the grape harvest before the flowering of the vine, and the liqueur of harmony before the development of the ideas?
In that era of savage childbirth, when the Earth still bore on her skin the scars of a difficult delivery; when, rolling in her soiled sheets, she still shuddered at the memory of her labor pains, and when in her hours of fever, she twisted and tore at herself, and made floods of sulfur and fire gush from the craters of her breasts; when, in her terrible convulsions, she crushed, laughing a wild laugh, her limbs between the rocks; in that era all peopled with horrors and disasters, with furies and deformities, man, assailed by the elements, was prey to all the fears. Danger surrounded him, and harried him from all sides. His mind and his body were both in peril; but above all he had to concern himself with the body, to save the fleshly globe, the star, in order the preserve the radiance, the mind. Now, I repeat, his intelligence was not at a level with his physical faculties; muscular strength had a step on intellectual force. The latter, moved more slowly than the former, let itself be outdistanced by it, and marched behind it. A day will come when the opposite will be the case, and when intellectual force will surpass physical force in speed; it will be the cart, become a locomotive, which will tow the ox. Everything that is destined to gain high peaks begins first by extending its roots underground before growing towards the light and spreading its foliage there. The oak sprouts less quickly than the grass; the acorn is smaller than the pumpkin; and yet the acorn contains a colossus. A remarkable thing, the child prodigies, little marvels at a young age, are rarely geniuses at the age of maturity. In the fields of men as in the societies of wheat, there are seeds that lie dormant longer beneath the earth which often produce the finest stalk, the richest fruits. Before rising, the sap needs to collect.
Everything that happens afterwards is only the consequence of these three facts, family, property, and government, gather in a single one, which they have all three crowned sanctified,–religion. So I will rapidly pass over all that remains to cross of the past, as I pass over that which is in the zones of the present, in order to arrive more swiftly at the goal, the society of the future, the world of anarchy. In this retrospective sketch of humanity, as in the outline of the future society, my intention is not to make even an abridged history of the march of human progress. I indicate, rather than narrate. It is up to the reader to fill in from memory or intuition what I forget or fail to mention.
Liberty, equality, fraternity! – or death!
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. (Moses.)
The world marches. From a pedestrian it made itself a cavalier, navigator of the road. Commerce, that conquest, and conquest, that other commerce, galloped on the gravel of the great ways and sailed on the flood of the marine plains. The chests of the camels and the prows of the ships cut across the deserts and the Mediterraneans. Horses and elephants, oxen and chariots, sails and galleys maneuvered under the hand of man and traced their furrow on the earth and on the wave. The idea penetrated with the sword in the flesh of the populations, it circulated in their veins with the foodstuffs of all climates, it was reflected in their sight with the merchandise of all countries. The horizon had expanded. Man had marched, first from the family to the tribe, then from the tribe to the city, and finally from the city to the nation. Asia, Africa, and Europe no longer formed but one continent; the armies and caravans had bridged the distances. India, Egypt, Greece, Carthage and Rome had overflowed one on the other, rolling in their current blood and gold, iron and fire, life and death; and, like the waters of the Nile, they had borne with the devastation a fertilizing manure for the arts and sciences, industry and agriculture. The flood of the ravagers having passed by or been absorbed by the conquered people, progress hastened to lift its head and to furnish a finer and more ample harvest. India first, then Egypt, then Greece, then Rome had each shone in their turn on the undulations of men and had matured their head [intelligence] a little. Architecture, statuary, and letters already formed a magnificent sheaf. In its revolutionary flight, philosophy, like an electric fluid, still wandered in the clouds, but it growled softly and occasionally sent out some sparks while waiting to rid itself of its shackles and produce the thunderbolt. All-powerful Rome had one foot in Persia and the other in Armorica. Like the divine Phoebus driving the chariot of the sun, it held in its hands the reins of light and shone on the world. But it its triumphal course, it had passed its zenith and entered into its decadent phase. Its proconsular dictatorship bordered on its decline. It had indeed, at some distance, triumphed over the Gauls and Carthaginians; it had wiped out, in blood and nearly at its gates, a formidable insurrection of slaves; one hundred thousand Spartacuses had perished, arms in hand, cut to the heart by the swords of the civic legions; the broken links had been resoldered and the chain rendered weightier by the idea. But the she-wolf had been frightened. And that struggle, where it had been necessary to spend the better part of its strength, that struggle to the death had exhausted it. – Oh! In recalling to myself those great June days of ancient times, that immense barricade raised by the gladiators before the privileged of the Republic and the armies of the Capitol; oh! I cannot help thinking in these modern times of that other levee of shields of the proletarians, and to salute across the centuries, – I, the vanquished of the banks of the Seine, – the vanquished of the banks of the Tiber! The noise made by such rebellions is not lost in the night of time, it reverberates from fiber to fiber, from muscle to muscle, from generation to generation, and it will have its echo on the earth as long as society will be a den of exploiters!...
The gods of the Capitol grew old, Olympus crumbled, undermined by a new heresy. The pagan Gospel had become unreadable. The progress of time had corroded its letter and spirit. Progress produced the Christian fable. The Empire had followed the Republic, the Caesars and emperors the tribunes and consuls. Rome was always Rome. But the debauched praetorians, the auctioneers of empire had replaced the recruiters of people, the bloody pioneers of universal unity. The Roman eagles were no longer deployed to the murmur of strong breezes, their weary eyes could not longer gaze at the great lights. The dull torches of the orgy alone suited their aging pupils; the exploits of the circus and the hippodrome were enough for their bellicose caducity. Like Jupiter, the eagle appeared old. The time of moral decomposition had arrived. Rome was now hardly a shadow of Rome. The sewer was its Acheron, and it drifted, drunk with abjection and led by the steersman of decadence, towards the resting place of the dead.
In those days, as life appears in the breast of cadavers, as vegetation emerges from putrefaction; in those days, Christianity swarmed in the catacombs, sprouted underground, and pushed like grass through the pores of society. The more it was mowed down the more strength it acquired.
Christianity, work of the Saint-Simonians of the era, has a revolutionary character more superficial than profound. The formalists follow one after another and... resemble one another. It is always [a matter] of universal theocracy, God and the pope; never-ending authority, both celestial and terrestrial, the begetting father and the Père Enfantin, but also father Cabet and the Almighty Father, the Supreme Being and the holy father Robespierre; hierarchy of all degrees, command and submission at every instant, the shepherd and the lamb, the victim and the sacrificer. It is always the herdsman, the dogs and the flock, God, the priests and the mob. To the extent that it will be a question of divinity, the divinity will always have as a consequence in humanity, – at the summit, – the pontiff or the king, the man-God; the altar, the throne, or the seat of authority; the tiara, the crown, or the presidential gown: the personification on the earth of the sovereign master of the heavens. – At the basis, – slavery or servitude, the system of helots or the proletariat; the fasting of the body and the intelligence; the rags of the attic or the rags of the penal colony; the work and the fleece of the brutes, the work skimmed, the fleece sheared, and the flesh itself devoured by the rich. – And between these two terms, between the base and the summit, – the clergy, the army, the bourgeoisie; the church, the barracks, the shop; theft, murder, cunning; man, lackey to his superiors, and arrogant lackey to his inferiors, crawling as the reptiles crawl, and, sometimes, rearing up and hissing like them.
Christianity was all of that. In the evangelical utopia there was much more chaff than wheat, and the wheat has been stifled by the chaff. Christianity, in reality, has been much more a conservation than a revolution. But, from its appearance, there was in it some sap/lifeblood subversive of the old social order. That is what raised woman from her inferiority and proclaimed her the equal of man; what broke the irons in the thought of the slave and opened to him the doors of a world where the damned of this one would be the elect of that. There had already been in some parts revolts of Amazons, as there had been revolts of helots. But it is not in the destiny of man and woman to march divided and exclusively from one another. The Christ, or rather the multitude of Christs that the name personifies, took them by the hand, made brothers and sisters of them, gave them the word for a sword, future immortality for a place to conquer. Then, from the height of his cross, he showed them the circus: and all the free recruits, these volunteers of the religious revolution set forth, – hearts beating and courage in their faces, to the lion’s maw, to the blaze of the pyre. Man and woman mixed their blood in the arena and received side by side the baptism of the martyr. Woman was not the least heroic. It is her heroism which decided the victory. These young girls tied to a post and delivered to the teeth of the flames or eaten alive by ferocious beasts; these gladiators without defenses, who died with such good grace and with so much charm; these women, these Christians bearing on their brows the halo of enthusiasm, all these massacres, become apotheoses, ended by impressing the spectators and by stirring them in favor of the victims. They would espouse their beliefs. The martyrs moreover rose from their ashes. The circus, which had massacred so many of them, always massacred them, and always armies of assailants came to stretch out their necks and die there. In the end, however, the circus admitted its defeat, and the victorious emblems of Christendom were displayed on the walls of the field of carnage. Christianity would become Catholicism. The good grain, exhausted, would give way completely to the bad.
The grandeur of Rome no longer existed but in name. The empire struggled like a castaway in the midst of an ocean of barbarians. That rising tide overran the Roman possessions and breached the walls of the imperial city. Rome succumbed to the fury of the waves [lames]. Pagan civilization had had its dawn, its zenith, its setting; now it tied up the bloody glimmer of its last rays in the gloomy immensities. Following that tempest, all that there was of scum at the heart of society tossed on its surface and sat in state on the crest of these barbaric intelligences. The successors of the apostles tainted in its dignity the virginity of Christianity. The fraternal immaculate conception aborted on its bed of triumph. The doctors in charge of the delivery had introduced into the maternal organ a killing solvent, and the drug had produced its effect. On the day of delivery, the fetus no longer gave signs of life. Then, in place of the aborted fraternity, they put the young from their own loins, a monster half authority and half servility. The barbarians were too uncouth to perceive the fraud, and they worshipped the usurpation of the Church as a legitimate thing. To propagate the new cult, to take around the cross and banner was the mission of barbarism. Only, in these hands used to wielding the sword, they reversed the image of the crucified. They throttled the crucifix by the head, which they took for the handle, and put its point in the air like a blade out of a sheath.
However, these great displacements of men did not occur without shifting some barriers in their passage. Some properties and nationalities were modified. Slavery become servitude. The patriarchate/patriarchy had had its days of splendor, it was now the turn of the prelacy and the barony. Military and religious feudalism covered the ground with keeps and steeples. The baron and the bishop were the powerful then. The federation of these demi-gods formed the empire of which the kings and the popes were the master-gods, the suzerain lords. – The Middle Ages, nocturnal disk, rose on the horizon. The bees of science no longer had anywhere to deposit their honey, if it was not in some monastery cell; and still the very holy catholic inquisition would infiltrate there the pincers and red iron in the hand to destroy the precious deposit and torture the philosophical swarm. Already it was no longer the shadows of the twilight but the funereal veils of the night which glided over the manuscripts of antiquity. The darkness was so thick that it seemed that humanity must never escape from it. Eighteen times the tolling of the centuries rang on the clock of time before the huntress Diana shot like an arrow the first rays of the dawn in the heart of that long night. Only once during those eighteen centuries of barbarism or civilization, – call them what you will, – one single time, the giant Humanity stirred beneath its chains. He would have still endured the tithe and the land tax, the corvée and the hunger, the lash and the gallows, but the violation of his flesh, the odious seigneurial rights weighed too heavily on his heart. The titan convulsively clenched its fists, gnashed its teeth, opened its mouth, and an eruption of torches and pitchforks, of stones and scythes flowed out over the lands of the seigneurs; and château-forts collapsed and chatelaines loaded with crimes ground under the debris. The wildfire that lowly vassals had kindled, which enlightened/illuminated for an instant the somber feudal period, was extinguished in their own blood. The Jacquerie, like Christianity, had its martyrs. The war of the peasants of France, like that of the helots of Rome, led to defeat. The Jacques, those legitimate sons of the Christs and the Spartacuses, would share the fate of their ancestors. There would soon be no more of that rebellion than a bit of ash. The emancipation of the communes was all that resulted from it. Only the notables among the villagers would profit from it. But the spark brooded under the ashes and should later produce a general conflagration: 89 and 93 would blaze over the world.
We know that era too well for it to be necessary to de la revisit it. I will say just one thing: what doomed the Revolution of 93, was first, as always, the ignorance of the masses, and then it was the Montagnards, people more unruly than revolutionary, more agitated than agitators. What doomed the Revolution, was the dictatorship, it was the committee of public safety, royalty in twelve persons superimposed on a vast body of citizen-subjects, who from them on became accustomed to be nothing more than the enslaved limbs of the great mind, to having no other will than the will of the head that dominated them; so much that, the day when that head was decapitated, there would be no more republicans. The head dead, the body dies. The chattering multitude clapped their hands at the Thermidorian representation, as it clapped its hands before the trestles of the Decemvirs and as it clapped its hands at the spectacle of the [coup of] 18 Brumaire. They had wanted to dictate to the masses, they had worked at their exhaustion by stripping them of all initiative, by making them abdicate all individual sovereignty. They had subjugated them in the name of the Republic and by the yoke of the conductors of the res publica; the Empire only had to yoke this cattle to its chariot to be cheered by it. While if, on the contrary, we had left to each the task of representing himself, of being his on agent; if this committee of public safety was composed of the thirty millions inhabitants who peopled the territory of the Republic, that is to say of all that which in this number, men or women, were of an age to think and act; if the necessity then had forced each to seek, in his initiative or in the initiative of his close relations, the proper measures to safeguard their independence; if one had reflected more carefully and that we have seen that the social body like the human body is not the inert slave of thought, but rather a sort of animated still [alambic] the free function of whose organs produces thought; that the thought is only the quintessence of that anarchy of evolution the unity of which is caused by the attractive forces alone; finally, if the Montagnard bourgeoisie had had less monarchic instincts; if it had only wanted to count as one drop among others in the arteries of the revolutionary flood, instead of posing like a pearl/bead crystallized/precipitated on its flood, like an authoritarian gem set in its foam; if it had wanted to revolutionize the heart of the masses instead of enthroning itself over them and claiming to govern them: doubtless the French armies would not have disemboweled nations with cannon shots, planted the tricolor flag over all the European capitals, and slap with the slanderous and so-called honorary title of French citizen all the conquered people; doubtless not. But the genius of liberty would have made men everywhere inside as outside; but each man had become an impregnable citadel, each intelligence an inexhaustible arsenal, each arm an invincible army to combat despotism and destroy it in all its forms; but the Revolution, that Amazon with the fascinating eye, that conqueror of man by humanity, would have struck up some great social Marseillaise, and unfold over the earth its scarlet scarf, the rainbow of harmony, the radiant purple of unity!...
The Empire, restoration of the Caesars, led to the restoration of the old monarchy, which was a progress over the Empire: and the restoration of the old monarchy led to 1830, which was a progress from 1815. But what progress! A progress in idea much more than in facts.
Since the ages of antiquity, the sciences had constantly gained ground. The Earth is no longer a solid and immobile surface, as we formerly believed in the days of a creator-God, ante- or ultra-diluvian monster. No: the earth is a globe always in motion. The heavens are no longer a ceiling, the floor of a paradise or an Olympus, a sort of vault painted in blue and festooned with golden corbels; it is an ocean of fluid of which neither the eyes nor the thoughts can plumb the depths. The stars, like the suns roll in that azure wave, and are worlds gravitating, like our own, in their vast orbits, and with an animated pupil under their luminous lashes. This definition of the Circulus: “Life is a circle in which we can find neither beginning nor end, for, in a circle, all the points of the circumference are the beginning or end;” that definition, taking some more universal proportions, will receive an application closer to the truth, and thus become more understandable to the common. All these globes circulating freely in the ether, attracted tenderly by these, repulsed gently by those, all obeying only their passion, and finding in their passion the law of their mobile and perpetual harmony; all these globes turning first by themselves, then grouping together with other globes, and forming what is called, I believe, a planetary system, a colossal circumference of globes voyaging in concert with more gigantic planetary systems, from circumference to circumference, always extending, and always finding new worlds to increase their volume and always unlimited spaces in which to execute their progressive evolutions; in the end, all these globes of globes and their continuous movement can only give a spherical idea of the infinite, and demonstrate by irrefutable arguments, – arguments that one can touch with the eye and the thought, – that anarchic order is universal order. For a sphere that always turns, and in every sense, a sphere which has neither beginning nor end, can have neither high nor low, and consequently neither a god at the summit nor a devil at the base. The Circulus in universality dethrones divine authority and proves its negation by proving the movement, as the circulus in humanity dethrones the governmental authority of man over man and proves it absurd by proving movement. Just as the globes circulate anarchically in universality, so men should circulate anarchically in humanity, under the sole impetus of sympathies and antipathies, reciprocal attractions and repulsions. Harmony can only exist by anarchy. That is the whole solution of the social problem. To desire to resolve it otherwise, is to want deny Galileo eternally, to say that the earth is not a sphere, and that this sphere does not revolve. And yet it turns, I will repeat with that poor old man who was condemned to perjure himself, and accepted the humiliation of life in order, no doubt, to save his idea. With this great authoricide, I forgive his apparent cowardice in favor of his science: it is not only the Jesuits who believe that the end justifies the means. The idea of the Circulus in universality is in my eyes a subject of too great scope to devote to it only these few lines; I will return to it. While awaiting more complete developments, I call on revolutionaries to meditate on this passage.
Thus, from discovery to discovery, the sciences advance. New continents, the two Americas, Australia, was grouped around the old. One of the proclaimers of American independence, Franklin, snatched the lightning from the hands of Jehovah, and science made of it a domestic force which travels on a thread of iron with the speed of a flash and fetch you the response to the word that you throw it, with the docility of a dog. Fulton tamed steam, that amphibious locomotive, that Salomon de Caus had grasped by the throat. He muzzled it and gave it for armor the hull of a ship, and he took advantage of some muscular fins to replace the capricious wingspan of the sails. And the strength of the hydra is so great that it laughs at winds and waves, and it is so well tamed that it obeys with an incredible suppleness to the least pressure of the helmsman.
On land, on roads lined with rails, the monster the body of iron and the raucous voice, with flaming lungs, leaves for behind it the tender, the coucou [a kind of carriage] and the stage-coach. At the signal of the one who mounts it, at a light tap of the stirrup, it leaves, dragging in tow a whole avenue of rolling houses, the population of a whole quarter of town, and that with a speed which prevails over the flight of the bird. In the factories, slave to the thousand cogs, it work with a marvelous dexterity at the most delicate labors as at the crudest work. Typography, that magnificent invention by means of which we sculpt the word and reproduce it in thousands of copies, typography owes it a new development. It is it which weaves the cloth, dyes it, waters it, stitches it, it which saws the wood, files the iron, polishes the steel; it finally which fashions a mass of instruments of labor and objects of consumption. In the fields, it clears, it labors, it sows, it harrows and it reaps; it grinds the grain under the millstone; the milled wheat, it bears to the city, it kneads it and makes it into bread: it is an encyclopedic laborer. Without doubt, in society as it is organized, the steam machine displaces many existences/livelihoods and has competed successfully with [human] arms. But what is that but a partial and passing evil, in comparison with the general and final results? It is it that clears the roads of the future. In Barbarism as in Civilization, which in our days are synonymous, progress can make a road only by passing over corpses. The era of peaceful progress will only open on the bones of the civilized world, when monopoly will have given the last gasp and the products of labor will be in the public domain.
Astronomy, physics, chemistry, all the sciences, to put it better, had progressed. Social science alone had remained stationary. Since Socrates who drank the hemlock, and Jesus who was crucified, it had no great light. When, in the most squalid regions of society, in something very differently contemptible than a stable, in a shop, was born a great reformer. Fourier came to discover a new world where all the individualities have a value necessary to the collective harmony. The passions are the instruments of the living concert which has for a bow the fiber/disposition of the attractions. It was hardly possible that Fourier would entirely reject the habit; he preserved, despite himself, from his commercial education, bourgeois tradition, some prejudices in favor of authoritarian and servitude which made him deviate from absolute liberty and equality, from anarchy. Nonetheless, I take off my hat to this bourgeois, and I recognize in him an innovator, a revolutionary. As much as the other bourgeois are dwarfish, so much that one is a giant. His name will remain inscribed in the memory of humanity. 1848 arrived, and revolutionary Europe caught fire like a powder-trail. June, that jacquerie of the nineteenth century, protested against the modern abuses of the new seigneur. The violation of the right to work and of the right to love, the exploitation of man and woman by gold raised up the proletariat and put weapons in its hands. The feudalism of capital trembled on its bases. The great barons of usury and the baronets of small business walled themselves up in their counting-houses, and from the height of their platform launch at the insurrection enormous blocs of armies, boiling floods of mobile guards. By means of Jesuitical tactics they managed to crush the revolt. More than thirty thousand rebels, men, women and children, were cast into the dungeons of the hulks and blockhouses. Countless prisoners were shot, in defiance of a placard posted at all the street-corners, which invited the insurgents to lay down their arms and declared that there would be neither victors nor vanquished, but only brother, – warring brothers, they meant! The roads were littered with bits of brains. The disarmed proletarians were crammed in the vaults of the Tuileries, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Ecole Militaire, in the stables of the barracks, in the quarries of Ivry, in the ditches of the Champ-de-Mars, in all the cesspits of the capital of the civilized world, and massacred there with all the refinements of cruelty! Shots rained through all the basement windows, lead fell in the guise of bread in these cesspools where, among the rales of the dying, the bursts of mad laughter, – they splashed in the blood and piss up to the knees, asphyxiated by the lack of air and tortured by hunger and thirst. The neighborhoods were treated, as in the Middle Ages, as a place taken by storm. The archers of civilization would go up in the houses, descend into the cellars, probing all the nooks and crannies, passing the blade of the bayonet through anything that appeared suspect. Between the dismantled barricades and the place of each cobblestone one could have put the head of a corpse... Never, since the world began, had we seen such slaughter. And not only the national guards of the city and the province, the industrialists and the shopkeepers, the bourgeois and their satellites would commit after the combat a thousand and one atrocities; but even the women, the women of the shop and of the salon, would show themselves till more relentless then their husbands in the bloody scramble. It was they who, from the height of balconies, waves the scarfs; they who cast flowers, ribbons, and kisses to the troops conducting the convoys of prisoners; they who insulted the vanquished; they who demanded with loud cries and with dreadful words that they shoot before their door and hang from their shutters these chained lions whose roaring had made them grow pale in the midst of their agio or their orgy; they who, at the passage of these gigantic victims of torture, spat in their faces these words, which for many were a sentence: To death! To the garbage!... Ah! Those women were not women, but females of the bourgeois!
They thought they had destroyed Socialism in the blood. They had, on the contrary, just given it the baptism of life! Crushed in the public square, it took refuge in the clubs, in the workshops, like Christianity in the catacombs, recruiting proselytes everywhere. Far from destroying the sentence, the persecution had made it germinate. Today, like the grain of wheat under the snow, the seed is buried under money, victor over labor. But let time pass, let the thaw arrive, let the liquidation melt with a spring sun all that cold display of lucre, that metallic blanket heaped up in layers on the breast of the proletariat; let the revolutionary season emerge from the Fish of February [Pisces] and enter into the sign of Aries, and we will see Socialism lift up its head and follow its zodiacal momentum until it has reached the figure of the Lion, – until the grain has produced its ear.
As 89 had its rebellious angel: Mirabeau, launching from the heart of the Jeu de Paume [Tennis Court], that fierce/bloody apostrophe at the brow of the aristocracy: "Go say to your master that we are here by the will of the people, and that we will only leave by the force of bayonets!", 48 also had it Proudhon, another rebellious spirit, who in a book, had spit that fatal conclusion in the face of the bourgeoisie: "Property, it is theft!" Without 48, that truth would have long rested ignored in the depths of some library of the privileged. 48 has brought it to light, and given it for setting the advertisement of the daily press, the full blown abundance/diversity of the clubs: it has been etched in the thought of each laborer. The great merit of Proudhon is not to have been always logical, far from it, but of having provoked others to seek logic. For the man who also said: "God is evil, – Slavery is assassination, Charity is a mystification", – and so on; the man who has demanded with so much force the liberty of man; that same man, alas! has also attacked the liberty of woman: he has banned for from society, he has declared her outside of humanity. Proudhon is still only a fraction of revolutionary genius; half of his being is paralyzed, and it is unfortunately the side of the heart. Proudhon has anarchic tendencies, but he is not an anarchist; he is not humanity, he is masculinity. But if, – as reformer, there are flaws to that diamond, – as agitator, it has some dazzling gleams. Certainly, that is something. And the Mirabeau of the Proletariat has no reason to envy the Mirabeau of the Bourgeoisie; he has surpassed him with all the loftiness of his groundbreaking intelligence. The one was only a single surge of rebellion, he was a flash, a glimmer rapidly extinguished in the darkness of corruption. The other made thunder clap after thunder clap reverberate. He has not only threatened, he has struck down the old social order. Never has a man crushed in his passage so many age-old abuses, so many so-call legitimate superstitions.
89 was the 48 of the insurgent Bourgeoisie against the nobility; 48, the 89 of the insurgent Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie. See you soon, 93!
And now, pass on provisional authorities: white republic, as long ago called for it a famous poet who feared then that one would melt down the Vendome Column to make two pieces of it. Pass on, blue republic and red republic, republic called moderate and honest, as it made of men known as devoted, doubtless because these men and that republic were neither one nor the other. Pass too, pashaism of Cavaignac the African, hideous Othello, jealous of the form, who stabbed the Republic in the heart because it had some social leanings. Pass, Napoleonic presidency, emperor and empire, pontificate of theft and murder, catholicity of mercantile, Jesuitical and soldierly interests. Pass, pass, last glimmers of the lamp [of] Civilization and, before you go out, make move on the panes of the temple of Plutus [the Bourse?] the bourgeois shadows of that great seraph. Pass, pass, dying light, and illuminate in receding the nightly rounds of the courtesans of the present regime, phantoms grouped around the specter of Sainte-Hélène, that whole phantasmagoria of titled, mitered, tasseled, silvered, coppered, verdigrised revenants, that bohemia of court, of sacristy, of shop and backroom, sophisticated sorcery of the imperial Sabbat. Pass! pass! The dead go fast!...
Go on, Caesar, in that den of vice that they called the Tuileries, satisfy your obscene whims: caress these ladies, and these flasks, empty the cup of princely delights; sleep, Masters, on cushions of smooth satin, or velvet pillows. That elysian whorehouse is well worthy of your old hovel of Hay-Market. Go on, ex-constable of London, take your scepter in hand, and beat them all, these great lackey-lords, and that whole people lackeys of your lackeys; bend them further still under the weight of your despotism and your abjection. Go on, providential man, break the bones of this skeleton society; reduce it to powder, so that one day the Revolution will have nothing to do but breath over it to make it disappear.
Priests, intone the Te Deum over the planks of your churches. Baptize, catechize, confess, marry and bury the living and the dead; sprinkle the word with sermons and holy water in order to exorcise the demon of free thought.
Soldiers, sing the dregs and the foam, the red intoxications. Kill at Sebastopol and kill in Paris. Bivouac in the blood and the wine and the sputum; empty your tins and empty your rifles; smash human skulls and make their brains gush out; unstop tons of spirit, make them flow in a purple stream, and wallow in this stream to drink full gulps... Victory! soldiers: you have, in the number of 300 thousand, and after two years of hesitation, taken the ramparts of Sebastopol, defended by the fair-haired children of Russia; and, 500 thousand strong, and after one or two nights of ambush, you have conquered, with a wholly military bravura, the boulevards of Paris, these boulevards where parade, arm in arm, an army of strollers of all ages and all sexes. Soldiers! you are brave, and from the depths of his grave [Louis-Auguste] Papavoine contemplates you!...
Judges, informers, legislators and executioners, track, deport, guillotine, penalise the good and the bad according to the code, that proliferation of malcontents who, encountering you, nibblers and devourers of budgets, do not think that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Manipulators of the scales of justice, weigh in the weight of gold the culpability for the social demands. – Bankers, shopkeepers, factory owners, leeches of production for whom the producer is such a pleasant prey, reach out your trunks, grasp the proletariat by the throat, suck all the gold from his veins. Speculate, trade, engage in usury, exploit; make holes in the worker’s smock and holes in the moon. Rich men, fatten your paunch and thin the flesh of the poor. – Lawyers, plead the pro and the con, the black and the white; dispossess the widow and orphan for the profit of the influential prevaricator, and the small artisan for the profit of the large industrialist. Provoke trials among the proprietors, until society convenes your trial and that of property. Lend to the criminal tribunals the support of your parodies of defense, and so exonerate the sentence, under the pretext of exonerating the accused. – Bailiffs, solicitors and notaries, write on paper stamped with acts of property or piracy; dispossess these and invest in those; frolic like caterpillars on the rich and fertile summits, in order to drain more quickly the sap which from lower layers rises without ceasing to feed them. – Doctors of Public Education, who have the ability/faculty to mercurialize the children of society in the name of the university or clerical, cretinism, spank the girls and boys and then spank them again. – Graduates of the Faculty of Medicine for the mercurial and arsenical medication, authorize the sick, experiment on the proletarians and torture them on the beds of your hospitals. Go on, empiricals, not only your certificate of scientific incapacity and parochial rapacity authorizes you to it, but you have, moreover, the guarantee of the government. Do it, and if only you are in possession of an aristocratic clientele and a right-thinking character, the head of State will detach from his crown a star of gold to hang from your buttonhole.
All of you, finally, who luxuriate in shame, abusers of authority on whom fortune smiles, as the prostitutes smile on the doorsteps of the houses of ill repute; debauchees of the Christian decadence, corrupters and corrupted, stamp, stamp on the “vile multitude,” soil it with your much, wound it with your heels, try to kill its decency, its intelligence, its life; do it, and do it again!...
And then, after…?
Will you prevent the sun from shining and progress from following its course? No, for you could not make it so that usury is not usury, that poverty is not poverty, that bankruptcy is not bankruptcy, and that revolution is not revolution!!...
Oh, Bourgeois, you who have never produced anything but abuses, and who dream of eternal satisfactions by managing your momentary satisfactions, tell me, Bourgeois, when you pass now through the streets, don’t you sense something like a shadow that follows you, something that goes and does not lose your trail? As long as you are standing, dressed in the imperial livery, as in a breast-plate, as long as you have regimented bayonets for crutches, and the blade of the guillotine tops this immense body of weapons, with the penal catechism on one side and the religious code on the other; as long as capital shines on all of that like a sun of Austerlitz, Bourgeois, you will have nothing to fear from the wolf, the hyena or the ghost whose scent frightens you. But, on the day when a veil passes over the sun; the day when your livery will be worn down to threads, the day when, shivering in your nudity, you stumble from misstep to misstep and roll to the ground, alarmed, terrified; the day when you fall back from Moscow to Berezina; oh! that day, I say to you, woe to you! The wolf, the hyena, or the ghost will open you at the belly and the throat, and it will devour your entrails, and it will tear into shreds you livery and your limbs, your bundles of bayonets and you catechisms and codes. Then it will be over for your utopia of capital. Like a kite whose string is broken, your sun of gold will plunge into the abyss. Paris will become your Waterloo; and Waterloo, you know, leads to St. Helena... In truth, in truth I tell you, there will be neither pity nor mercy for you. “Remember June!” they will shout at you. Eye for eye and tooth for tooth! – Bourgeois, bourgeois, you have been too Jewish to know the law of Moses...
Ah! Always iron, lead and fire! Always fratricide among men! Always victors and vanquished! When will the time of bloody trials cease? Will Civilization, which eats cadavers, finally die from indigestion?
When then will men understand that Authority is evil;
– That Property, which is also authority, is evil;
– That the Family, which is still authority, is evil;
– That Religion, which is always authority, is evil;
– That Legality, Constitutionality, Regulativity, Contractality, which are all authority, are evil, still evil, always evil!
Genius of Anarchy, spirit of future centuries, deliver us from evil!!!
End of the first part
Dream, Idea, Utopia
Daughters of right, sylphs of my dreams,
Equality! Liberty! my loves!
Will you always only be lies!
Fraternity! Will you always flee from us!
No, n’est-ce pas ? my darling goddesses;
The day approaches when the ideality
The old clock-face of reality
Will mark the hour of utopias!...
Dear utopia, ideal of my heart,
Oh! defy one more the ignorance and error.
What is a utopia? A dream unrealized, but not unrealizable. The utopia of Galileo is now a truth; it has triumphed despite the sentence of his judges: the earth turns. The utopia of Christopher Columbus was realized despite the clamor of his detractors: a new world, America, has risen at his call from the depths of the Ocean. What was Salomon de Caus? A utopian, a madman, but a madman who discovered steam. And Fulton? Another utopian. Instead, ask the academicians of the Institute and their emperor and master, Napoleon, called the Great... Great like the prehistoric monsters, with stupidity and ferocity. All innovative ideas were utopias at their birth; age alone, by developing them, makes them enter the world of the real. The seekers of ideal happiness, like the searchers for the philosopher’s stone, will never realize their utopia absolutely, but their utopia will be the cause of humanitary progress. Alchemy did not succeed in making gold, but it has drawn from its crucible something good more precious than a vain metal; it has produced a science, chemistry. Social science will be the work of the dreamers of perfect harmony.
Humanity, that conquering immortal, is an army corps that has its vanguard in the future and its rearguard in the past. To move the present and pave its way, it must have its outposts of skirmishers, lost sentries who shoot the idea at the limits of the Unknown. All the great stages of humanity, its forced marches on the terrain of social conquest have only been established in the steps of the guides of thought. “Forward!” cried these explorers of the Future, standing on the alpine summits of utopia. “Halt!” grumbled the laggards of the Past, squatting in the ruts of mired reactions. “March!” responded the genius of Humanity. And the great revolutionary masses set off at its voice.—Humanity! On the road of future centuries I fly the flag of the anarchic utopia, and cry to you: “Forward!” Let the stragglers of the Past sleep in their cowardly immobility and find death there. Respond to their death-rattle, to their deathly groans with a resounding call to movement, to life. Put the clarion of Progress to your lips, take your insurrectionary drumsticks in your hands, and beat and sound the marching tune.
—March! March!! March!!!
Today when steam exists in all its virility, and electricity exists in an infant state; today when locomotion and navigation are made with great speed; that there are no longer Pyrenees, nor Alps, nor deserts, nor oceans; today when the printing house publishes the word in hundreds of thousands of copies and commerce peddles in even the most unknown corners of the globe; today when exchange by exchange we open the ways of unity; today when the labors of generations have formed, stage by stage and arch by arch, this gigantic aqueduct that pours across the present world torrents of science and enlightenment; today when the motive and the force of expansion exceeds all that the most utopian dreams of ancient times could imagine of the grandeur of modern times; today when the word “impossible” scratched out of the human dictionary; today when man, new Phoebus directing the advance of steam, warms up the vegetation and produces where he pleases greenhouses where sprout, grow and flower the plants and trees of all climates, an oasis that the traveler encounters in the midst of the snow and ice of the North; today when human genius, in the name of its suzerainty, has taken possession of the sun, that focus of brilliant artists, when it has captured its rays, chained them in its workshop, and constrained them, like servile vassals, to etch and paint its image on zinc plates or sheets of paper; today, finally, when every march takes giant’s steps, is it possible that Progress, that giant among giants, will continue to advance softly, softly [piano-piano] on the railways of social science? No, no. I tell you that it will change its pace; it will put itself in step with steam and electricity, and it will struggle with them with peace and agility. Woe then to those who want to stop it in its course: they will be spewed out in shreds on the other side of the tracks by the cowcatcher of the colossal locomotive, that cyclops with an eye of fire that tows with all the heat of hell the satanic procession of humanity, and which, standing up on its axels, advances, brow high and head lowered, along the straight way of anarchy, shaking in the air its brown hair studded with sparks of flame! Woe to those who would want to go against this rolling volcano! All the gods of the ancient and modern worlds are not big enough to measure up to this new Titan. Make way! Make way! Step aside, crowned cowherds, merchants of human livestock who return from Poissy with your cart, Civilization. Pull over, Lilliputian bully-boys, and make way for utopia. Make way! Make way for the forceful breath of the Revolution! Step aside, money-changers and forgers of chains, make way for the idea-changers, to the forger of the thunderbolt!...
— I had hardly finished writing these lines when I was forced to stop, as I have been forced to do quite often in the course of this work. The excessive stress on all my faculties, to lift and cast off the burden of ignorance which weighs on my head, that fanatic overexcitement of thought, acting on my weak temperament, made tears pour from my eyes. I choked and sobbed. Blood beat in my temples and raised in my brain some torrential waves, boiling flood that my arteries did not stop precipitate there through all their channels. And while with the right hand I tried to contain and calm the frantic activity of my brow, with the left hand I tried in vain to contain the accelerated pulsations of my heart. The air no longer reached my lungs. I tottered like a drunken man, going to open the window of my room. I approached my bed and threw myself down on it.—I asked myself: Was I going to lose life or reason? And I got up, not being able to remain lying down, and I lay down again, unable to remain standing. It seemed to me that my head would explode, and that someone twisted my breasts with pliers. I choked: iron muscles grasped my by the throat... Ah! The Idea is a lover who in its ardent embraces bites you until you cry out, and only leaves you a moment, breathless and spent, to prepare yourself for new and more ardent caresses. To woo her, if you are not strong in science, you must be brave in intuition. “Back!” she says to the rogues and cowards, “You are unbelievers!” And she leaves them to mope outside the shrine. That languorous, splendid and passionate mistress requires men of saltpeter and bronze for lovers. Who knows how many days each of her kisses costs! Once the spasm subsided, I sat down at my desk. The Idea came to sit beside me. And, my head resting on her shoulder, one hand in her hand and the other in the curls of her hair, we exchanged a long look of calm intoxication. I went back to writing, and in her turn she leaned on me. and I felt her soft contact reawaken the eloquence in my brain and in my heart, and her breath again inflamed mine. After rereading what I had written, and in thinking of that inert mass of prejudices and ignorance that it was necessary to transform into active individualities, into free and studious intelligences, I felt a hint of doubt slip into my mind. But the Idea, speaking in my ear, soon dispelled it. A society, she told me, which in its most obscure strata, under the blouse of the worker, feels such revolutionary lava rumble, storms of sulfur and fire such as circulate in your veins; a society in which are found some disinherited to write what you have written, and thus appeal to all the rebellions of arms and intelligence; a society where such writings find presses to print them and men to clasp the hands of their authors; where these authors, who are proletarians, still find bosses to employ them,—with exceptions, naturally,—and where these heretics of the legal order can walk the streets without being marked on the forehead with a hot iron, and without anyone dragging them to the stake, them and their books; oh, go on, such a society, although it is officially the adversary of new ideas, is close to going over to the enemy... If it still does not have a feeling of the morality of the Future, at least it no longer has a feeling for the morality of the Past. The society of the present is like a fortress surrounded on all sides, which has lost communication with the army which has protected it and which has been destroyed. It knows that it can no longer resupply. So it no longer defends itself except for appearances sake. One can calculate in advance the day of its surrender. Without any doubt, there would still be volleys of cannon shots exchanged; but when it has exhausted its last munitions, emptied its arsenals and its granaries of abundance, it must strike the flag. The old society no longer dares protect itself, or, if it does protect itself, it is which a fury which testifies to its weakness. Young people enthusiastic for the good can be bold and see success crown their audacity. The old, envious and cruel, always fail in their recklessness. There are still in our days, and more than ever, many priests to religionize souls, as there are judges to torture bodies; soldiers to pasture on authority, as there are bosses to live at the expense of the workers. But priests and judges, soldiers and bosses no longer have faith in their priesthood. There is in their public glorification of themselves, by themselves, something like an ulterior motive of shame for doing what they do. All these social climbers, these bearers of chasubles or robes, of belts garnished with pieces of gold or steel blades, do not feel at ease between the world that is coming and the world that is departing; their legs are reckless, and they feel like they’re walking on hot coals. It is true that they always continue to preside, to sentence, to shoot, to exploit, but, “in their heart of hearts, they are not sure they are not thieves and assassins!...” that is to say that they do not dare to admit it to themselves fully, for fear of being too afraid. They vaguely understand that they are at odds, that civilized society is a society of ill repute, and that one day or another the Revolution can accomplish a raid of justice in this dive. The footstep of the future echoes dully on the cobblestones. Three knocks on the door, three blasts of the alarm in Paris, and that’s it for the stakes and the players!
Civilization, the daughter of Barbarism, who has Savagery for a grandmother, Civilization, exhausted by eighteen centuries of debauchery, suffers from an incurable disease. She is condemned by science. She must pass away. When? Sooner than one might think. Her sickness is a pulmonary phthisis, and we know that consumptives maintain the appearance of life up to the last hour. One debauched night she will lie down, to rise no more.
When the Idea had finished speaking, I drew her gently into my lap and there, between two kisses, I asked her the secret of the future times. She was so tender and so good to those who love her ardently that she could not refuse me. and I remained hanging at her lips and gathered each of her words, as if captivated by the attractive fluid, by the emanations of light with which her pupil inundated me. how beautiful she was then, the graceful enchantress! I wish I could retell with all the charm with which she told me these splendors of the anarchic utopia, all these magical delights of the Harmonian world. My pen is not skillful enough to give anything but a pale glimpse. Let those who would know its ineffable enchantments appeal, as I did, to the Idea, and let them, guided by her, evoke in their turn the sublime visions of the ideal, the luminous apotheosis of future ages.
Ten centuries have passed over the face of Humanity. We are in the year 2858. —Imagine a savage from the earliest ages, torn from the heart of his primitive forest and cast without transition forty centuries distant into the midst of present-day Europe, in France, at Paris. Suppose that a magical power had liberated his intelligence and walked him through the marvels of industry, agriculture, architecture, of all the arts and all the sciences, and that, like a cicerone, it had shown him and explained to him all their beauties. And now imagine the astonishment of that savage. He would fall down in admiration before all these things; he would not be able to believe his eyes or ears; he would cry out at the miracle, the civilization, the utopia!
Now imagine a civilisée suddenly transplanted from the Paris of the 19th century to the time of humanity’s beginnings. And imagine his amazement before these men who still have no other instincts but those of the brute, who graze and bleat, who bellow and ruminate, who kick and bray, who bite, claw and roar, men for whom their fingers, tongue, and intelligence are tools of which they do not know the use, a mechanism of which they are not in a state to understand the works. Picture this civiliseé, thus exposed to the mercy of savage men, to the fury of wild beasts and untamed elements. He could not live among all these monstrosities. For him it would be disgust, horror, and chaos!
Well! The anarchic utopia is to civilization what civilization is to savagery. For one who has crossed by thought the ten centuries that separate the present from the future, who has entered into the future world and explored its marvels, how has seen, heard and felt all its harmonious details, who has been initiated into all the pleasures of that humanitary society, for that person the world of the present is still an uncultivated, swampy land, a cesspool peopled with fossil men and institutions, a monstrous skeleton of society, something misshapen and hideous that the sponge of the revolutions must wipe from the surface of the globe. Civilization, with it monuments, its laws, and its customs, with its property boundaries and its ruts of nations, its authoritarian brambles and its familial roots, its prostitutional vegetation; Civilization with its English, German, French, and Cossack patois, with its gods of metal, its crude fetishes, its pagodian animalities, its mitered and crowned caimans, its herds of rhinoceros and deer, of bourgeois and proletarians, its impenetrable forests of bayonets and its bellowing artilleries, bronze torrents stretched out in their carriages, roaring and vomiting up cascades of bullets; Civilization, Civilization, with its caves of misery, its penal colonies and its workshops, its houses of prostitution and detention, with its mountainous chains of palaces and churches, of fortresses and shops, its dens of princes, bishops, generals, and bourgeois, obscene macaques, hideous vultures, ill-mannered bears, metalivores and carnivores who soil with their debauchery and make bleed with their claws human flesh and intelligence; Civilization, with its Penal gospel and its religious Code, its emperors and its popes — its gallows-constrictors which throttle a man in their hemp loops and then swing him on high from a tree, after having broken his neck, its guillotine-alligators which crush you like a dog between their terrible jaws and separate the head from the body with one blow of their triangular portcullis; Civilization, finally, with its habits and customs, its pestilential charters and constitutions, its moral cholera, all its epidemic religionalities and its governmentalities; Civilization, in a world, in all its vigor and exuberance, Civilization, in all its glory, is, for the one who has fixed in his sight the dazzling Future, what the savagery at the origin of the world would be for the Civilizee, the newly born man emerging from his terrestrial mold and still wading through the menses of chaos; so also the anarchic utopia is, for the civilisée, what the revelation of the civilized world would be for the savage; that is to say something hyperbolically good, hyperbolically beautiful, something ultra- and extra-natural, the paradise of man on the earth.
Man is an essentially revolutionary being. He does not know how to stay in place. He does not live the life of limits, but the life of the stars. Nature has given him movement and light, in order to orbit and shine. Isn’t the limit itself, although slow to move, transformed imperceptibly each day until it is entirely metamorphosed, and doesn’t continue in the eternal life its eternal metamorphoses?
So, Civilisees, do you want to be more limited than the limits?
“Revolutions are acts of conservation.”
So revolutionize yourself, in order to preserve yourself.
In the arid desert where our generation is camped, the oasis of anarchy is still for the caravan worn out from marches and counter-marches, a mirage floating at random. It is up to human intelligence to solidify that vapor, to settle the azure-winged phantom on the ground, to give it a body. Do you see over there, in the deepest depths of the immense misery, do you see a somber, reddish cloud gathering on the horizon? It is the revolutionary simoom. Look out, Civilisées. There is only time to fold the tents, if you do not want to be engulfed in that avalanche of burning sand. Look out! And flee straight ahead. You will find the fresh spring, the green lawns, the fragrant flowers, the tasty fruit, and a protective shelter under wide, high canopies. Do you hear the simoom that threatens you? Do you see the mirage that calls to you? Look out! Behind you is death; to the right and to the left, death; where you stand, death... March! Before you is life. Civilisées, Civilisées, I tell you: the mirage is not a mirage, utopia is not a utopia; what you take for a phantom is the reality!...
And, having given me three kisses, the idea drew aside the curtain of the centuries and revealed to my eyes the main stage of the future world, where it would show me the Anarchic Utopia.
The Future World
Mutual liberty is the common law.
(Emile de Girardin)
And the earth, which was dry, became green again, and all could eat of its fruits, and come and go without anyone asking them: Where are you going? You cannot pass here.
And the little children gathered flowers, and brought them to their mothers, who smiled sweetly on them.
And there were neither rich nor poor, but all had in abundance the things necessary to their needs, because everyone loved and helped each other as brothers.
(Paroles d'un croyant)
And first, the Earth has changed its features. In the place of the swampy wounds which consume its cheeks, shines an agricultural down, golden harvest of fertility. The mountains seem to suck in wildly the open air of liberty, and balance on their crowns their fine plume of foliage. The deserts of sand have given place to forests peopled with oaks, cedars, and palms, who trample underfoot a thick carpet of moss, soft greenery enameled with all the flowers that love the cool shade and clear streams. The craters have been muzzled, their devastating eruptions have been hushed, and a useful course has been given to those reservoirs of lava. Air, fire, and water, all the elements with destructive instincts have been tamed, and captive under the eye of man, they obey his least desires. The heavens have been scaled. Electricity carries man on its wings and leads him through the clouds, him and his aerial steamboats. It makes him cross in a few seconds spaces that would today take us entire months to cover on the backs of heavy marine vessels. An immense irrigation network covers the vast prairies, where they have cast the barriers in the fire, and where countless herds pass, destined to feed man. Man sits enthroned atop his machines of labor, he no longer fertilizes the field with the steam of his body, but with the sweat of the locomotive. Not only have they filled the ruts of the fields, but they have also passed the harrow over the borders of nations. The railroads, the bridges cast over the narrows and the submarine tunnels, the diving-vessels and aerostats, propelled by electricity, have made the whole globe a single city which one can tour in less than a day. The continents are the quarters or districts of the universal city. Monumental dwellings, scattered in groups in the midst of cultivated land, form squares. The globe is like a park, in which the oceans are the watery parts; a child can, playing ball, step over them as nimbly as a brook. Man, holding the scepter of science in his hand, has from now on the power that we have previously attributed to the gods, in the good old days of the hallucinations ignorance, and he makes rain and good weather as he pleases; he commands the seasons, and the seasons bow before their master. Tropical plants bloom in the Heaven discovered in the polar regions; some channels of boiling lava snake at their feet; the natural labor of the globe and the artificial labor of man have transformed the temperature of the poles, and they have unleashed spring there where perpetual winter reigns. All the cities and hamlets of the Civilized world, its temples, its citadels, its palaces, and its cottages, all its luxuries and all its miseries have been swept from the earth like filth from the public roads; there remains no more of Civilization than the historic cadaver, relegated to the Mont-Faucon of memory. A magnificent and elegant architecture, as nothing that exists today can give the sketch, to replace the petty proportions and the poverties of style of the structures of the Civilized. On the site of Paris, a colossal construction raises its bases of granite and marble, its cast pillars of a prodigious thickness and height. Under its huge iron dome open to the sky and set, like lace, upon a base of crystal, a million strollers can gather there without being crushed. Circular galleries, laid out one on top of the other and planted with trees like boulevards, form around that immense circle a vast belt no less than twenty leagues in circumference. Amid these galleries, a railway transports, in light and graceful carriages, from one point to another, take them and drop them off where they please. In each side of the railway is a mossy avenue, a lawn; then, a sandy avenue for the horsemen; then, a paved or parqueted avenue; then, finally, an avenue covered with a thick, soft carpet. All along these avenues are positioned couches and chairs with spring cushions, covered with silk and velour, wool and chintz; and also benches and chairs of varnished wood, marble or bronze, bare or furnished with seats of braids or leather, plain cloth or fur in spots or stripes. On the edges of these avenues, some flowers from all the countries, blooming on their stems, have fore flowerbeds long consoles of white marble. At intervals light fountains are detached, some in white marble, in stucco, in agate and bronze, lead and solid silver; the others in black marble, in violet breccia, in Siena yellow, in malachite, in granite, in stones, in shells and copper, and gold and iron. The elements are mixed together, in whole or in part, with a perfect understanding harmony. Their forms, infinitely varied, are skillfully arranged. Some sculptures, works of deft artists, animate by ideal fantasies these urns from which, in the evening, gush, with streams and bursts of clear water, streams and bursts of light, cascades of diamonds and lava that flow through the plants and aquatic flowers. The pillars and ceilings of the galleries have a bold and strongly accented ornamentation. It is neither Greek, nor Roman, nor Moorish, nor Gothic, nor Renaissance; it is something recklessly beautiful, audaciously graceful, it is the purity of profile with the lasciviousness of contours, it is supple and responsive; this ornamentation is to the ornamentation of our days what the majesty of the lion, that superb mane-bearer, is to the ungainliness and nakedness of the rat. Stone, wood, and metal contribute to the decoration of these galleries, come together harmoniously. On bases of gold and silver stand sculptures of oak, maple, and ebony. On fields of colors soft or severe runs raised ornamental foliage of galvanized iron and lead. Muscles of bronze and marble divide all this rich fleshiness into a thousand sections, and connect the whole. Opulent draperies hang along arcades that, on the inward side, are open to the amphitheater, and, on the outward side, are closed off from bad weather in all seasons by a wall of glass. Inside, colonnades forming a veranda support at their summit an entablature and platform or terrace, crenellated like a fortress or a dovecote, and gives passage, through these architectural openings, to the visitors who descend or climb there by means of a moving balcony raising or lowering at the least pressure. These circular galleries, regular on the whole, but different in the details, are cut at intervals by projecting wings of a still more imposing character. In these pavilions, which are like the links of that chain of avenues, there are rooms for refreshments and snacks, rooms for conversation and reading, for games and rest, for amusements and recreation, for the adult ages as well as for the childish ones. In these sorts of repositories, open to the motley crowds of pilgrims, all the refinements of luxury that one could call aristocratic in our time, seem to have been exhausted, while there is an otherworldly wealth and elegance there. These pavilions, in their lower story, are so many peristyles through which one enters the immense arena. This new Coliseum, of which we just explored the tiers, has its arena, like the ancient coliseums: it is a park dotted with groves of trees, lawns, bed of flowers, rustic grottos and splendid bandstands. The Seine and a multitude of canals and pools of all shapes, whitewater and backwaters, careen or wander, rest or snake through all of that. Wide chestnut-lined avenues and narrow paths bordered by hedges, and covered with woodbine and hawthorn, cross them in all directions. Groups in bronze and marble, masterpieces of statuary, mark these avenues and are enthroned there at intervals, or stand, at the branching of some hidden way, in the crystal of a solitary fountain. At night, little globes of electric light project, like stars, their timid rays on the on the shadows of the greenery, and farther along, above the most uncovered parts, an enormous sphere of electric light pours from its orb torrents of solar light. Some heat sources, infernal braziers, and some ventilators, aeolian lungs, combine their efforts to produce in that enclosure a climate that is always temperate, and a perpetual flowering. It is something a thousand and one times more magical than the palace and garden of the Thousand and One Nights. Aerostatic skiffs, aerial boatsmen cross as the crow flies that free human aviary, come, go, enter and leave, follow or cross one another in their whimsical progressions. Here are multicolored butterflies that flit from flower to flower, there some birds from the equatorial zones, which frolic in complete liberty. Children play on the lawns with roe deer les lions, animals which have become domesticated or civilized, and they serve them as hobby horses to ride upon or to harness to their wheelbarrows. Panthers, tame as house cats, climb beneath the columns or trees, leap on the shoulders of the rock of the grottos, and, in their splendid bounds or their fickle simpering, draw around the man the most graceful curves; and, creeping on its feet, asks him for a look or a caress. Some subterranean organ, roaring of steam or electricity, make heard at times their baritone voice and, as with a common concert, mix their dull notes with the keen warbling of the singing birds, those light tenors. About the center of this valley of harmony rises a labyrinth, at the high point of which is a cluster of palm trees. At the foot of these palms is a platform in ivory and oak, with the most beautiful silhouette. Above this platform, and leaning against the stems of the palms, is hung a large crown of polished steel surrounding a cap of blue satin proportionate to the crown. A drapery of velvet and garnet silk, with a golden fringe, and supported by some twists of gold, falls in curls behind. On the front of the banner is a large diamond star, surmounted by a crescent and a plume of open flame. On each side are two bronze hands, also attached to the banner, one on the right and one on the left, also serving as two clips for the flame. It is on that platform that, in the days of solemnity, climb those who wish to speak to the crowd. It is understood that, to dare approach such a pulpit, they must be something other than our orators and parliamentarians. Those would literally be crushed under the moral weight of that crown; they would feel the platform beneath their feet quake from shame and fall away to engulf them. Also, these men who come to take their place under this diadem and on these allegorical stages, are only those who have to spread, from the height of that urn of intelligence, some great and fertile thought, a pearl set in a brilliant speech, which, coming out of the crowd, falls back on the crow like the dew on the flowers. The rostrum is free. Ascend those who wish,—but only wish it if you can ascend. In this world, which is very different from our own, they take a sublime pride in only raising their voices in public to say something. Icarus would not have dared to test his wings; he would have been too certain of falling. He would have needed more than an intelligence/understanding of wax to attempt the ascension of speech before such an audience. An ingenious acoustic mechanism allows the million listeners to hear distinctly all the words of the speaker, as far as he may be from them. Some optical instruments, admirably perfected, allow them to follow the movements, both gestures and facial expressions, at a very great distance.
Seen with the eyes of the Past, that colossal carousel, with all its human waves, had for me the spectacular appearance of the Ocean. Seen with the eyes of the Future, our societies of lawmakers and our democratic councils, the Palais Bourbon and the Salle Martel, no longer appeared to me except in the form of a glass of water. That is man and as he sees things different, as the panorama of the centuries rolls or unrolls his perspectives. What was utopia for me was for them completely ordinary. They had much more gigantic dreams that my little imagination could not embrace. I heard talk of plans so far above the common that I could barely grasp the sense of them. How, I asked myself, would a civilisée from the Rue des Lombards look in the midst of these people: in vain he could put his head in his mortar, crush it like a peach pit, grind the brain up fine, he will never manage to extract from it a ray of intelligence capable of understanding even the smallest word.
This monument of which I have tried to give a sketch, is the palace or rather the temple of the arts and sciences, something in the future society like the Capitol and Forum in the societies of the past. It is the central point where all the radii of a circle lead and from which they then spread out to all the points of the circumference. It is called the Cyclidéon, that is to say the “place devoted to the circulus of ideas,” and consequently to all that is the product of these ideas; it is the altar of the social cult, the anarchic church of the utopian humanity.
Among the sons of this new world, there is neither divinity nor papacy, nor royalty nor gods, nor kings nor priests. Not wanting to be slaves, they do not want masters. Being free, they worship only Liberty, and they practice it from their infancy and profess it at every moment, even in the last moments of their life. Their anarchic communion has no need of bibles or codes; each carries within them their law and their prophet, their heart and their intelligence. They do no do to others what they would not want others to do to them, and they do to others what they would want others to do to them. Desiring good for all, they do good for others. Not wanting their free will attacked, they do not attack the free will of others. Lovers, loved, they want to increase in love and multiply by love. As men, they give back to Humanity a hundredfold what as children they cost Humanity in care; and to their neighbor the sympathies that are due to their neighbor: look for look, smile for smile, kiss for kiss, and, when needed, bite for bite. They know that they have only one common mother, Humanity, that they are all brothers, and they know what fraternity demands. They are conscious that harmony can only exist through the cooperation of individual wills, that the natural law of attractions is the law for the infinitely small as for the infinitely large, that nothing that is sociable can move except by it, that it is the universal thought, the unity of unities, the sphere of spheres, that it is immanent and permanent in the eternal movement; and they say: Apart from anarchy there is no safety! And they add: Happiness is of our world. And all are happy, and all encounter on their road the satisfactions that they seek. They knock, and all doors open; sympathy, love, pleasures and joys respond to the beating of their hearts, to the pulsations of their brains, to the hammer-blows of their arms; and, standing at their doorstep, they salute the brother, the lover, the laborer; and Science, like a humble servant, introduces them farther into the vestibule of the Unknown.
And you would want a religion, some laws among such a people? Go on, then! Either that would be a danger, or it would be a useless thing [hors-d’oeuvre]. Laws and religions are made for slaves by masters who are also slaves. Free men carry neither spiritual ties nor temporal chains. Man is his own kind and his own God. “Me and my right,” such is his motto.
On the site of the principal cities of today, they have constructed some Cyclidéons, not like, but analogous to the one I have described. That day, there was in this one a universal exhibition of the products of human genius. Sometimes there were only partial expositions, expositions by district or continent. It is on the occasion of this solemnity that three or four orators had delivered speeches. In this cyclique of poetic labors of arms and intelligence was displayed a whole museum of marvels. Agriculture brought its sheaves, horticulture its flowers and fruits, industry its fabrics, its furniture, its finery, science all its gears, its mechanisms, its statistics, its theories. Architecture brought its plans, painting its pictures, sculpture and statuary their ornaments and statues, music and poetry the purest of their songs. The arts, like the sciences, had put in this setting their richest jewels.
It was not a contest like our contests. There was neither a jury for admission nor a jury for rewards selected by lot or ballot, nor a grand prize granted by official judges, nor crowns, nor certificates, nor laureates, nor medals. The great, free voice of the public is the sole sovereign judge. It is in order to please that power of opinion that each comes to submit their works, and it is that power which, passing before the works of each, awarding them according to its special aptitudes, not trifles of distinction, but more or less lively admirations, examinations more or less attentive, or more or less disdainful. Also, its judgments are always equitable, always in condemnation of those less courageous, always in praise of the most valiant, always an encouragement to emulation, for the weak as well as the strong. It is the great righter of wrongs, which testifies to each individually that they have more or less followed the path of their vocation, that they are more or less astray; and the future is charged with ratifying these maternal observations. And all its children grow at every opportunity through that mutual instruction, for all have the proud ambition to distinguish themselves equally in their various labors.
At the end of the feast, I went up in an aerostat with my guide, we sailed in the air for a minute and we soon disembarked on the steps of one of the squares of the universal city. It is something like a phalanstery, but without any hierarchy, without any authority, where all, on the contrary, bears witness to liberty and equality, to the most complete anarchy. The form of that city is very nearly that of a star, but its rectangular faces are not at all symmetrical, each has its particular type. The architecture seems to have modeled in the folds of its structural robe all the undulations of grace, all the curves of beauty. The interior decorations are of an impressive elegance. It is a happy mix of luxury and simplicity, a harmonious choice of contrasts. The population there is five or six thousand persons. Each man and woman has their separate apartment, which is composed of two bedrooms, a bathroom or washroom, a study or library, a parlor, and a patio or hothouse full of flowers and greenery. It is all ventilated by fans and heated by stoves, which does not prevent there also being chimneys for the approval of the sight: in winter, lacking sunlight, they love to see the flames glow in the hearth. Each apartment also has its taps for water and light. The furniture is on an artistic splendor which puts to shame the princely rags of our contemporary aristocracies. And still each can add or restrain as they wish, simplify or enrich the details; they have only to express the desire. If they want to occupy the same apartment for a long time, they occupy it; if they want to change every day, they change. Nothing is more simple, there are always vacancies at their disposition. These apartments, by their position, allow each to enter and leave without being seen. On one side, in the interior, is a vast gallery giving onto the park, which serves as a great artery for the circulation of the inhabitants. On the other side, on the exterior, is a labyrinth of little private galleries where modesty and love slip secretly. There, in that anarchic society, the family and legal property are dead institutions, hieroglyphs whose meaning has been lost: the family is one and indivisible, and property is one and indivisible. In that fraternal communion, labor is free, and love is free. Everything that is the work of arms and intelligence, everything which is an object of production and consumption, common capital, collective property, belongs to each and to all. Everything which is a work of the heart, everything which is private in essence, individual sensation and sentiment, [is an] individual capital, bodily property, everything which is man, finally, in its proper sense, whatever his age or his sex, belongs to him. Producers and consumers produce and consume as they will, when and where they please. "Freedom is free." Nobody demands of them: Why this? Why that? As the children of wealth, at the hour of recreation [recess?], draw from the basket of their playthings, one taking a hoop, the other a racket, this one a ball and that one a bow, playing together or separately, and change friends or toys according to their fancy, but always urged into movement by the sight of others and the needs of the turbulent nature; so also the children of anarchy, men or women, choose in the community the tools and the labor that suits them, working along or in groups, and change groups or tools according to their whims, but always stimulated to production by the example or others and by the attraction that they feel to work/play [jouer] together at the creation. So also at a diner of friends, the guests eat and drink at the same table, take as they choose a bit of some dish, a glass of some wine, without any of them overdoing with the gluttony of a an early fruit or a rare wine; and so too the men of the future, at that banquet of anarchic communion, consume according to their taste everything that appears pleasant to them, without ever overdoing with a delicious early fruit or a rare product. It is instead for who will only take the smallest portion.—At the common table [table d’hôte], in Civilized countries, the travelling salesman, the businessman, the bourgeois, is coarse and brutal: he is unknown and he pays. Those are legal manners. At a meal of hand-picked people, the man of the world, the aristocrat, is decent and courteous: he bears his name emblazoned on his face, and the instinct of reciprocity commands civility from him. Those who oblige others are obliged. Those are free manners. Like this bumpkin of commerce, legal liberty is coarse and brutal; anarchic liberty, however, has all the delicacies of good fellowship. [Déjacque’s note is found at the end of the text.]
Men and women make love when the please, as they please, and with whom they please. Full and complete freedom on both side. No convention or legal contract binds them. Attraction is their only chain, and pleasure their only rule. And love is more lasting and surrounded by more modesty than among the Civilized. The mystery with which they like to envelope their free liaisons adds a charm which is always renewed. They would regard as an offense to moral chastity and as a provocation to jealous infirmities, to unveil in the light of the public the intimacy of their sexual amours. All, in public, have tender glances for one another, like those of brothers and sisters, the vermillion radiance of warm friendship; the spark of passion only glows in secret, like the stars, those chaste glimmers, in the dark azure of the nights. Fortunate loves seek shade and solitude. It is from these hidden sources that they draw pure happiness. For hearts in love with one another there are some sacraments which should remain unknown to the non-believers.—In the Civilized world, men and women appear at the town hall and church to publicize their union, spread the nakedness of their marriage in the lights of a fancy ball, in the midst of a quadrille, and with orchestral accompaniment: all the sparkle, all the bacchanal desired. And scandalous custom of the of the brothel nuptial, at the appointed hour, by the fig leaf is torn the hands of the matrons from the lips of the bride; they prepare her for some horrible bestialities.—In the anarchic world, one with turn aside with blushing and disgust from that prostitution and these obscenities. All these women sold, this commerce in cashmeres and études, petticoats and pot-au-feu, this profanation of human flesh and thought, this crapularisation of love,—if the men of the future could picture it, they would shudder with horror as we would shudder, in a dream, at the thought of a terrible reptile that clutches us in its cold and mortal coils, and we will bathe our face with its lukewarm, venomous saliva.
In the anarchic world, a man can have several lovers, and a woman as well, without any doubt. Temperaments are not all the same, and attractions are proportional to our need. A man can love one woman for one thing, and love another for another thing, and reciprocally for the woman’s man. Where is the evil, if they obey their fate? The evil would be to assail and not to satisfy it. Free love is like fire; it purifies everything. What I can say is that, in the anarchic world, inconstant loves are a very small number, and constant loves, exclusive loves, loves between two, are the greatest number. Vagabond love is the search for love, it is the journey to it, the emotions and the fatigues, but it is not the end. The unique love, perpetual love, axis of two hearts merged in a reciprocal attraction, such is the crowning bliss of the lovers, the apogee of sexual evolution; it is the radiant hearth towards which all pilgrimages tend, the apotheosis of the human couple, happiness at its zenith.
At the hour when we love, isn’t doubting the perpetuity of our love denying it? either we don’t, and so do not love; or we love, and do not doubt. In the old society love was hardly possible possible; it is always only a momentary illusion, too many unnatural prejudices and interests are there to disperse it, it is a fire as soon extinguished as lit, which goes up in smoke. In the new society, love is a flame too bright and the breezes that surround it too pure, too according to the sweet, smooth, and human poetry, to not be strengthened in its ardor and exalted by the contact of al these breaths. Far from impoverishing it, everything it encounters serves it as food. Here the young man, and the young woman, have all the time to be acquainted. Equal by education, as well as by social position, brother and sister in arts and in sciences, in studies and professional labors, free in their steps, their gestures, their words, and their look, free in their thoughts as well as their actions, they have only to seek one another to find one another. Nothing is opposed to their meeting, noting opposes the modesty of their first confessions, pleasure of their first kisses. They love, not because it is the will of fathers and mothers, by commercial interests or genital or cerebral debauchery, but because nature has prepared them for one another, because it has made twin hearts, united by a single current of thoughts, a sympathetic fluid that echoes all their heartbeats and puts their two beings in communication.
Is this the love of the Civilized [really] love, love in naked form, public love, legal love? It is love’s savagery, something like a rude and brutal intuition. Love among the harmonized, love artistically veiled, love chaste and worthy, although sensory and passionate, anarchic love, that is humanely and naturally love, it is its ideal realized, the scientification. The first is animal love; the second is hominal love. One is obscenity and venality, brutish sensation, cretinous sentiment; the other is chastity and liberty, the sensation and sentiment of the human being.
The principle is one, for the wild stock as for the hominal, for the man of Civilized times as for the man of Harmonic times, it is beauty. Only, beauty for the earlier and inferior men, for the fossils of Humanity, is the blood-red and plump complexion, the shapeless and multicolored enceinture, a luxury of meat or crinoline, feathers of sea birds or Austrian ribbons, it is the Hottentot Venus or the party girl [poupée de salon]. For the later, superior men, beauty is not only in the carnal stuff, it is also in the purity of forms, in the grace and majesty of manners, in the elegance and choice of finery, and especially in the luxury, in the magnificence of the heart and mind.
Among these perfectibilized persons, beauty is not a privilege of birth any more than the sparkle of a golden crown, as in the savage and bourgeois societies; it is the daughter of their works, the fruit of their own labor, an individual acquisition. What lights up their face is not the external reflection of an inert metal, as it were, a cheap thing, it is the radiation of everything that is in the man of boiling ideas, of vaporized passions, of heat in movement, continuous gravitation which, arrived at the summit of the human body, at the cranium, filters through its pores, flows from it, drips from it in impalpable pearls, and, luminous essence, floods all the forms and all the external movements, crowns the individual.
What, ultimately, is physical beauty? The stalk of which mental beauty is the flower. All beauty comes from labor; it is through labor that it grows and blossoms on the brow of each, intellectual and moral crown.
Essentially carnivorous love, the love which is only instinct, is, for the human race, only the sign, only the root of love. It grows, opaque and without perfume, sunk in the refuse of the soil and delivered to the embraces of that muck. Hominalized love, the love which is above all intelligence, is the corolla of the transparent flesh, bodily enamel from which escape some scented emanations, free incense, invisible atoms that run the fields and rise to the skies.
— To Humanity in germ, tainted love...
— To Humanity in flower, flower of love!
This square or phalanstery, that I will call from now on the Humanisphere, and that because of the analogy of that human constellation with the grouping and the movement of the stars, attractive organization, passional and harmonic anarchy. There is the simple Humanisphere and the composite humanisphere, that is the Humanisphère considered in its individuality, or embryonic monument and group, and the humanisphère considered in its collectivity, or harmonic monument and group. One hundred simple humanispheres grouped around a cyclidéon form the first circle of that serial chain and take the name of “communal Humanisphère.” All the communal humanisphères of a single continent form the first link of that chain and take the name of “continental Humanisphère.” The gathering of all the continental humanisphères form the complement of the serial chain and take the name of “universal Humanisphère.”
The simple Humanisphère is a building composed of a dozen wings united together and resembling the star (at least the one of which I undertake the description here, for there are all sorts of forms, diversity being a condition of harmony). One part is reserved for the apartments of men and women. These apartments are all separated by walls that neither voices nor vision can pierce, partitions that absorb light and sound, in order that each be comfortable at home and can laugh, dance, sing, or even make music there (which is not always entertaining for the forced listener), without bothering their neighbors and without being bothered by them. Another part is arranged as the apartment for children. Then come the kitchens, the bakery, the butcher’s shop, the fishmonger’s, the dairy, the greengrocer’s; then the laundry room, the machines to wash, dry, and iron the lingerie; then the workshops for all that which relates to the various industries, the factories of all sorts; the stores of provisions and the stores of raw materials manufactured objects. Elsewhere there are the barns and stables pour some animals for riding which wander during the day freely in the inner park, and with which small children or grownups play at cavalier or coachman; nearby are the barns for the fancy carriages; then come the saddlery, the sheds for the tools and locomotives, some agricultural instruments. Here is the landing stage for small and large aerial craft. A monumental platform serves them for basin. They drop anchor at their arrival and raise them at their departure. Further along there are the study-rooms for all tastes and all ages, — mathematics, mechanics, physics, anatomy, astronomy, — the observatory; the chemistry laboratories; the hothouses, the botanical garden; the museum of natural history, the galleries for paintings, sculpture; the great library. Here there are the rooms for reading, conversation, drawing, music, dance, gymnastics. There, it is the theater, the rooms for spectacles, for concerts; the riding stable, the arena for equitation; the rooms for shooting, for playing billiards and for all the games of skill; the rooms for the entertainment of young children, the common room for young mothers; then the large meeting rooms, the canteens, etc, etc. then finally comes the place where they assemble to discuss the questions of social organization. It is the little cyclidéon, a club or forum specific to the humanisphere. In this parliament of anarchy, each is his own representative and the equal of the others. Oh! It is very different among the Civilized; there, we do not hold forth, we do not argue, we do not vote, we do not legislate, but all, young or old, men or women, confer in common on the needs of the humanisphere. Individual initiative accepts or rejects the word by itself, according to whether it appears useful or not to speak. In that enclosure, there is a bureau, as usual. Only, at this bureau, the only authority is a book of statistics. The humanispherians find that it is an eminently impartial president, of a very eloquent terseness. And they want no others.
The apartments for the children are large rooms in suites, lit from above, with a row of bedrooms on each side. This recalls, but in much more spectacular proportions, the salons and cabins of the magnificent American steamboats. Each child occupies two adjoining cabinets, one for sleep and the other for study, where are place, according to its age and tastes, its books, its tools or its preferred playthings. Day and night some overseers, men and women, occupy watch-rooms in which are placed divans. These watchers contemplate with concern the movements and the slumber of all these young human sprouts, and provide for all their desires, for all their needs. That guard, moreover, is an entirely voluntary guard that those who have the strongest feelings of paternity or maternity which rise and descend freely. It is not a corvée commanded by discipline and regulation. In the Humanisphère there is no other rule or discipline than the will of each; it is an entirely spontaneous impulse, like the glance of a mother at the at the beside of her child. It is up to those who evidence the most love for these dear little beings, those who most enjoy their childish caresses. And all these children are charming children. Mutuality is their humane educator. It is mutuality which teaches them the exchange of pleasant manners, which makes them disciples of rectitude, kindness, and generosity, which trains their physical and moral aptitudes, which develops in them the appetites of the heart, the appetites of the brain; which guides them at play and in study; in the end it teaches them to pluck the roses instruction and education without scratching themselves on the thorns.
Caresses, that is all that each seeks, the child as well as the man, the man as well as the elder. The caresses of science are not obtained without a labor of the brow, without expenditure of intelligence, and the caresses of love without a work of the heart, without expenditure of feeling. The man-child is a diamond in the rough. Its friction with its fellows polishes it, sizes it and shapes it into a social jewel. It is, at all ages, a pebble of which society is the millstone and of which individual selfishness is the lapidary. The more it is in contact with the other and the more it receives impressions from which multiply the passional facets on its brow as in its heart, from which spring the sparks of feeling and intelligence. The Diamond is born swaddled in an opaque, tough crust. It becomes a really precious stone, it shows itself diaphanous, it shines in the light only when rid of that rough crust. Man is like the precious stone, he passes to the state of brilliance only after having worn away, in all its senses and with all his senses, his crust ignorance, his rough and impure virginity.
In the Humanisphere all the young children learn to smile at those who smile at them, to embrace those who embrace them, to love those who love them. If they are ill-tempered towards them who are friendly with them, soon the shortage of kisses will teach them that they are not ill-tempered with impunity, and will bring courtesy back to their lips. The sentiment of reciprocity is thus engraved in their little brains. The adults learn among them to become men humanely and socially. If one of them wants to abuse their strength towards another, they soon have all the players against them, they are banished from juvenile opinion, and the desertion of their comrades is a punishment much more terrible and much more effective than the official reprimand of a pedagogue would be. In the scientific and professional studies, if there is one of them whose relative ignorance casts a shadow in the midst of the scholars of his age, it is a dunce’s cap much heavier for them to bear than would be the paper wig inflicted by a Jesuit of the University or a professor of the Sacré Collège. And they will hasten to rehabilitate themselves, and strive to take their place again on the level of the others. In authoritarian education, the martinet and the punishment exercise can murder the body and mind of the students, degrade the work of human nature, practice vandalism; they cannot shape original men, epitomes of grace and strength, intelligence and love. For that we require the inspiration of that great artiste who is called Liberty.
The adults almost always occupy their quarters during the night. It happens, however, but rarely, if one of them, for example, spends the evening at their mother’s and lingers there, that they will remain there until the next morning. The apartments of the adults being composed, as we known, of two bedrooms, free for them to share, if it is convenient for the mother and child. This is the exception, the general custom is to separate at bedtime: the mother remaining in possession of her apartment, the child returning to sleep in its dormitory. What’s more, in these dormitories the children are no more bound than the grownups to always keep the same compartment; they change them as they wish. Nor are there special places for the boys or the girls; each makes their nest where they wish: only the attractions decide for them. The youngest generally squeeze in pell-mell. The older ones, those approaching puberty, generally group themselves according to sexes; and admirable instinct for modesty distances them from each other during the night. No inquisition, moreover, inspects the sleep. The watchers have nothing to do there, the children being big enough to take care of themselves. The children find, without leaving their abode, water, fire, light, and the syrups and essences of which they may have need. During the day, girls and boys meet either to the fields, the study halls, or the workshops; gathered and urged to labor by these common exercise, taking part in them without distinction between the sexes and without regular fixity in their places; always acting only according to their whims.
As for these quarters, I needn’t add that they lack nothing, neither comfort nor elegance. They are furnished and decorated with opulence, but also with simplicity. The wood of the walnut and oak, marble, wax cloth, mats of rushes, floral cloth, unbleached cloth striped in color after color, or twill of soft shades, oil paintings and hangings of varnished paper making up the furnishings and decorations. All the accessories are in porcelain, terra cotta, stoneware, and tin, and some are in silver.
For the youngest children, the great room is covered with sand like a riding stable and serves as an arena for their faltering movements. All around is a thick, wide roll of Moroccan leather, stuffed and surrounded by frames of varnished wood. That is what takes the place of wainscoting. Above this paneling, on boards divided into squares, are frescos representing the scenes judged most capable of awakening the imagination of the children. The ceiling is of iron and crystal. Daylight comes from above. There are, moreover, openings arranged on the sides. During the night, the candelabras and chandeliers spread their light there. In the quarters for older children, the flooring is covered with oilcloth, mats or carpets. The decoration of the walls is appropriate for their intelligence. Some tables, placed in the middle of the various rooms, are loaded with albums and books for all ages and tastes, with toy-boxes and necessary tools; finally a multitude of playthings serving as studies and studies serving as playthings.
In our times, many people, — even those who are partisans of large reforms, — are still inclined to think that nothing can accomplished except by authority, while the contrary alone is true. It is authority which is an obstacle to everything. Progress in ideas is not imposed by decrees, but results from the free and spontaneous teaching of men and things. Compulsory instruction is an absurdity. Whoever says instruction says liberty. Whoever says obligation says servitude. The politicians and Jesuits may want to impose instruction, that it their affair, for authoritarian instruction, is compulsory stupefaction. But the socialists can only want anarchist study and education, liberty of instruction, in order to have instruction for liberty. Ignorance is what is most disagreeable to human nature. Man, at every moment of life, and especially the child, asks nothing better than to learn; it is urged by all his aspirations. But the civilized society, like the barbaric society, like savage society, far from facilitating the development of his aptitudes only knows how to contemplate and compromise them. The manifestation of his faculties is put down as crime, as a child, by paternal authority; as a man, by governmental authority. Deprived of educated care, of the life-giving embrace of Liberty (which would have made a race of fine, strong minds) child and man alike stagnate in their original ignorance, wallows in the guano of prejudices, and, dwarfed in the arm, the heart, and the brain, produces and perpetuates, for generation to generation, that uniformity of misshapen cretins which has only the name of human being.
The child is the mimic of the man, but the perfectible mimic. It reproduces all that it sees done, but more or less slavishly, depending on whether the intelligence of the man is more or less slavish, more or less in infancy. The most prominent angles of the virile mask, that is what first strikes the imagination. Let the child be born among a warrior people, and it will play at being a soldier; it will love paper helmets, wooden cannons, firecrackers and drums. Let it be among a nation of seafarers, it will play at being a sailor; it will make boats with walnut shells and set them going on the water. Among a farming people, it will play in a little garden, it will amuse itself with spades, rakes, and wheelbarrows. If it has a railroad before it, it will want a little locomotive; some joiner’s tools, if it is close to a woodworking shop. Finally, it will imitate, with an equal zeal, all the vices as well as all the virtues which the society will display before them. They will take up the habit of brutality, it they are among brutes; of urbanity, if they are among polite folks. The child will a boxers with John Bull, it will let out savage howls with Jonathan. It will be a musician in Italy, a dancer is Spain. It will grimace and gambol at all the unisons, marked on its brow and in its movements with the stamp of the industrial, artistic or scientific life, if it lives with laborers in industry, art or science: or else, marked with a stamp of extravagance and inactivity, if it is only in contact with idlers and parasites.
Society acts on the child and then the child reacts on society. They move in solidarity and not exclusively of one another. Thus it is wrong to say that, in order to reform society, we must first begin by reforming infancy. All reforms must advance hand in hand.
The child is a mirror that reflects the image of virility. It is the zinc plate where, under the radiation of physical and moral sensations, the traits of the social man are daguerreotyped. And these features are reproduced in the one in a more accentuated form the more in relief they appear in the other. A man, like a curate to his parishioners, says in vain to the child: "Do what I say and not what I do." The child will not take any account of the speech, if the speech is not in accord with the actions. In its little logic, it will try especially hard to follow your example; and, if you do the opposite of what you say, it will be the opposite of what you have preached. So you could succeed in making the child a hypocrite, but you would never make it a good man.
In the Humanisphere, the child has only good and beautiful examples before its eyes. And it grows in goodness and beauty. It is taught progress by everything which falls under its senses, by the voice and by gesture, by sight and by touch. Everything moves, everything gravitates around it in a perpetual exhalation of knowledges, under a streaming of light. Everything exhales the gentlest sentiments, the most exquisite perfumes of the heart and brain. Every contact there is a sensation of pleasure, an embrace fertile with prolific delights. The greatest pleasure of man, labor, has become a series of attractions by the liberty and diversity of labors and reverberates from one to the other in an immense and unceasing harmony. How, in such a milieu, could the child not be hard-working, studious? How could it not love to play at science, at the arts, or at industry, and not try its hand, from the most tender age, at the use of its productive forces? How could it resist the innate need to know everything, the charm, always new, of educating oneself? To respond other than in the affirmative would be to wilfully misjudge human nature.
Even look at the Civilized child, the little one of the hosier or the grocer; see them leaving their lodging, on the promenade; should the child perceive one thing of which its does not know the existence or does not understand the mechanism, a mill, a plow, a balloon, a locomotive: straightaway it will interrogate son conductor, it wants to know the name and the use of all the objects. But, alas! very often, in civilization, its conductor, ignorant of all the sciences or preoccupied with mercantile interests, cannot or does not want to give the explanations that it requests. If the child insists, they scold it, they threaten not to take it out another time. So they close the child’s mouth, they violently arrest the expansion of its intelligence, they muzzle it. And when the child has been very docile all along the way, when it has kept to itself, and has not annoyed papa and mama with its tiresome questions; when it has let itself be led slyly or stupidly by the hand, like a dog on a leash; then they say that it has been very wise, very nice, and, to reward it, they buy it a lead soldier or gingerbread man. In the bourgeois societies that is called molding the minds of children. — Oh! authority! oh! the little family!... And no one is on the track of that father or mother to cry out: Murder! violation! infanticide!...
Under the wing of liberty, in the bosom of the great family, on the contrary, the child, finding everywhere among their elders, men or women, only educators inclined to listen and respond to them, learn quickly how to know the how and why of things. The notion of the just and the useful also takes root in their juvenile understanding and prepares them with equitable and intelligent judgments for the future.
Among the Civilized, man is a slave, a big child, a can that lacks sap, a stake without root and foliage, an aborted intelligence. Among the Humanispherians, is a free man in small form, an intelligence which sprouts and whose young sap is full of exuberance.
The young children naturally have their cradle in the home of their mother; and every mother nurses her child. No woman in the Humanisphere would want to deprive herself of the sweet rewards of maternity. If the inexpressible love of the mother for the little being to whom she has brought into the light is not enough to convince her to be the nurse, the care for her beauty, the instinct for her own preservation will still speak to her. In our days, for having dried up the source of their milk, there are women who die of it, all lose something of their health, something of their ornament.
The woman who aborts her breast commits an attempt at infanticide that nature condemns equally to the one who aborts the organ of generation. Punishment closely follows the fault. Nature is inexorable. Soon the womb of that woman withers, weakens and testifies, by a hasty decrepitude, against this attack committed against her organic functions, an attack of lèse-maternité. against the bombing of his bodily functions , attack lese motherhood. What is more graceful than a young mother suckling her child, lavishing caresses and kisses on it? If only from vanity, every woman should breastfeed her child. And then it is thus nothing to follow day by day the phases of development of this young life, to feed it at the breast the sap of this sprig of a man, to follow its continuous progress, to see this human bud grow, and grow more beautiful under the rays of maternal tenderness, like the bud of the flower in the heat of the sun, and open itself finally more and more, until it has blossomed on its stem in all the grace of its smile and the purity of its gaze, in all the charming naïveté of its first steps? The woman who does not understand such pleasures is not a woman. Her heart is a lyre whose strings are broken. She may have preserved a human appearance, but she has none of its poetry. Half a mother will never be but half a lover.
In the humanisphere, every woman feels the quiverings of love. The mother and the lover alike tremble with delight at all the breezes of the human passions. Their heart is a complete instrument, a lute where not one string is missing; and the smile of the infant, like the smile of the beloved man, always awakens sweet emotions there. There, maternity is really maternity, and the sexual loves/amours are true loves. Moreover, this work of breastfeeding, like all other work then, is a game rather than a punishment. Science has destroyed what was the most repugnant in production, and there are machines powered by steam or electricity which are charged with all the rough tasks. There are those that was the diapers, clean up the cradles and prepare the baths. And these iron negresses always act with docility and promptness. Their service responds to all needs. It is because of their care/tidiness that all the rubbish, and all the excrement disappears; it is by their tireless clockwork which takes hold of them and throws them down [the maws of] some cast-iron conduits, subterranean boas which crush and digest them in their dark circuits, and then excrete them on the croplands as a precious fertilizer. It is that factotum that is responsible for everything relating to the household; it makes the beds, sweeps the floor, dusts the apartments. In the kitchens, it is the one that washes the dishes, scrubs the pans, peels or scrapes the vegetables, trims the meat, plucks and guts the poultry, opens the oysters, scales and washes the fish, turns the spit, saws and breaks the wood, carries the coal and tends the fire. It transports the food to the domicile or to the common refectory; it serves it and clear the table. And everything is done by that domestic gearbox, by that slave with a thousand arms, with breath/murmur of iron, with muscles of steel, as if by magic. Command, it says to the man, and you will be obeyed. And all the order that it receives are punctually executed. If a humanispherian wants to have dinner served in his individual abode, a sign is enough, and the serving machine sets itself in motion; it has understood. If he prefers to go the rooms of the refectory, a carriage lowers it running board, an armchair lends him a hand, the crew rolls and transports him to his destination. Arriving and the refectory, he takes his place wherever seems good to him, at a large or a small table, and eats according to his taste. Everything there is in abundance.
The salons of the refectory are of an elegant architecture, and have nothing uniform in their decorations. One of these salons was carpeted with embossed leather framed with an ornamentation in bronze and gold. The doors and windows had oriental hangings, with a black base and arabesques of gold, and adorned across with wide bands of sharp colors. The furniture was of sculpted walnut, and decorated with fabric like the hanging. In the middle of the room was suspended, between two archways, a large clock. It was at once a Bacchante and Ceres in white marble, lying on a hammock of polished steel mesh. With one hand she teased with a sheaf of wheat a small child who tramples on her, with the other she held a cup which she raised at arm’s length above her head, as if to play/quarrel with the mischievous child who sought to seize the cup and the sheaf at the same time. The head of the woman, crowned with grape vines and grain, was bent back on a barrel of porphyry which served her as a pillow, some sheaves of wheat in gold lay beneath her back and formed her litter. The barrel was the face where to golden sheaves marked the hours. At night, a flame poured from the cup like a fiery liquor. Some bronze grapevines, which climbed the vault and ran across the ceiling, darted flames in the form of grape leaves, made a bower of light above this group and illuminated all its contours. Bunches of grapes in grains of crystal hung across the foliage and sparkled in the midst of these undulating lights.
On the table, the porcelain and the stucco, the porphyry and the crystal, the gold and silver contained the host of dishes and wines, and sparkled in the reflection of the lights. Some baskets of fruits and flowers offered their flavor and fragrance to each. Men and women exchanged words and smiles, and seasoned their repast with spirited conversations.
The meal finished, one passes into other rooms decorated no less splendidly, but more elegant, where one has coffee, liqueurs, cigarettes or cigars; potpourri-rooms where burn and smoke all the spices of the Orient, all the essences that please the taste, all the perfumes that charm the sense of small, everything that caresses and stimulates the digestive functions, everything that oils the physical mechanism [engrenage], and, as a result, accelerates the development of the mental functions. Some savor, in a crowd or apart, the vaporous puffs of tobacco, the capricious reveries; some other drinks in, in the company of two or three friends, fragrant mouthfuls of coffee or cognac, drink, clinking glasses, the softly sparkly champagne, fraternize with all these stimulants to lucidity; this one speaks of science or listens, deposit or draw from a group the nutritious distillations of knowledge, offer or accept the spiritualized fruits of thought; that one gathers artistically in a little circle the fine flowers of conversation, critiques one chose, lauds another, and gives a free course to all the emanations of his melancholy or laughing spirits. If it is after lunch, everyone soon goes, alone or in groups, to their work; some to the kitchen, others to the fields or various workshops. No regulatory constraint weighs on them, and the go to work as if to a pleasure party. Doesn’t the hunter, sleeping in a warm bed, rise by himself to go wander the snow-filled woods? It is also attraction that makes them rise from their couches and leads them, through weariness, but in the society of brave companions and a charming countryside, to the rendezvous of production. The best workers reckon themselves the happiest. It is the one who distinguishes himself among the hardest workers, who will furnish the finest use of their tools.
After dinner, they go from the coffee salons to the great salons for conversation, or to the little private get-togethers, or to the various scientific courses, or else to the rooms for reading, drawing, music, dance, etc., etc. and always freely, voluntarily, capriciously, for the instructor as for the enthusiast, for study as well as for teaching. Professors are always found, quite naturally, for the students, and students for the professors. A call always brings a response; a satisfaction always replies to a need. Man proposes and man disposes. Harmony results from the diversity of desires. The classrooms for scientific studies and the salons for artistic studies, like the spacious meeting rooms, are magnificently ornate. The classrooms are built as amphitheaters, and the tiers of seats, constructed of marble, are embellished with velvet stalls. On each side is a room for refreshments. The decoration of these amphitheaters in a rich, reserved style. In the rooms for leisure, luxury flashes profusely. These room communicate with one another, and could easily contain ten thousand people. One of them was decorated as follows: wainscoting, cornices and pilasters in white marble, with ornamentation in gilt copper. The wall-coverings in the panels were of damask silk of a solitary color and had for interior border a hem cover in silver on which was placed, by way of gilt nails, a multitude of rhinestones. A field of pink satin separated the border from the pilaster. The ceiling was in squares, and from the heart of the ornaments issued some jets of flame which made designs and completed the decoration, while also serving as lighting; in the middle of the pilasters also sprung some arabesques of lights. In the middle of the room was a pretty fountain in bronze, gold and white marble; that fountain was also a clock. A cupola in bronze and gold served as support to a group in white marble representing an Eve laying nonchalantly on a bed of foliage and flowers, head resting on a rock, and raising in her hands her child, who had just been born; two doves, placed on the rock, bill; the rock served as face, and two hand in gold, depicting serpents, market the hours. Behind the rock was seen banana tree in gold, whose branches, loaded with fruit, stretched out above the group. The bananas were formed by jets of light.
An artistic fireplace in white marble and gold served as pedestal for an immense mirrors; mirrors or well-chosen paintings were also suspended in all the panels in the midst of hangings of brown silk. The doors and windows, in this room, like everywhere in the Humanisphère, do not open by means of hinges, nor from bottom to top, but by means of runners on springs; they go back from right to left and from left to right into the walls arranged for this purpose.
In this way, the panels are in no one’s way and they can open doors and windows as much or as little as they want.
Several times a week, there is a performance at the theater. They present some lyric pieces, some dramas, and some comedies, but all of it is quite different from the poverties played out on the stages of our time. It is, in a magnificent language, the critique of the tendencies to immobilization, an aspiration towards the future ideal.
There is also the gymnasium where they compete in strength and agility; the stables where horsemen and horsewomen rival one another in grace and vigor and excel at driving, standing on their backs, the horses and lions galloping and bounding in the arena; the rooms for shooting pistols and rifles, and the rooms for billiards or other games where the enthusiasts exert their skill.
If the weather is good, there are also promenades in the splendidly illuminated park; concerts in the open air, pastoral amusements, excursions far into the country, across lonely forests, rustic plains and mountains, where they encounter, at some distance, grottos and chalets where they can refresh themselves and snack. Some aerial craft or railroad wages locomote according to their whims these swarms of ramblers.
At the end of the day, each returns home, one to summarize their impressions of the days before giving themselves up to slumber; the other to await or find their loved one. In the morning, lovers separate mysteriously, exchanging a kiss, and again take up, each according to their taste, the path of their multiple occupations. The variety of pleasures excludes satiety. Happiness is their at every moment.
About once a week, more or less, as it is required, they assemble in the conference room, otherwise known as the little domestic cyclidéon. Some great works will be carried out. Those who are most versed in the knowledge specially in question, take the initiative in the discussion. Besides the statistics, proposals, and designs have already appeared in the printed sheets, in the papers; they have already been discussed in small groups; the urgency has generally been recognized or rejected by each individually. And there is often only one voice, the unanimous voice, for the acclamation or the rejection. They do not vote; the majority or minority never makes law. If some proposition brings together a sufficient number of laborers to accomplish it, let those workers be the majority or the minority, and the proposition will be executed, if such is the will of those who agree to it. and most often the majority is won over by the minority, or the minority by the majority. As in one part of the country, some propose to go to Saint-Germain, the others to Meudon, these to Sceaux and those to Fontainebleau; they will separate; then at the end of the day everyone gives in to the attraction of reuniting with the others. And all together in a single, common accord they take the same route, without any authority than that of pleasure governing them. Attraction is the whole law of their harmony. But, at the point of departure, as en route, each is always free to abandon themselves to their whims, to keep to themselves if that suits them, to rest if they are weary, or turn back if they are bored. Constraint is the mother of all vices. And it is banished by reason from the Humanisphere. Of course egoism, intelligent egoism, is too well developed there for anyone to think of assaulting their neighbor. And it is by egoism that they make fair exchanges.
Man is egoism. Without egoism, man would not exist. It is egoism which is the motive of all his actions, the motor of all his thoughts. It is what makes him think of his own preservation, and of his development, which is also his preservation. It is egoism which teaches him to produce in order to consume, to care for others because they are in agreement, to like others because they like him, to work for others because those other have worked for him. It is egoism which stimulates his ambition and excites him to distinguish himself in all the careers where man employs his strength, skill, and intelligence. It is egoism which elevates him to the height of genius; it is to improve himself, to enlarge the circle of his influence, that man carries his head high and sets his gaze on the distance. It is for his own gratification that he marches off to win collective satisfactions. It is for himself, individually, that he wants to participate in the lively effervescence of the general good fortune; it is for his own sake that he dreads the thought of the suffering of others. His egoism, constantly goaded by the instinct of his gradual development, and by the sentiment of solidarity which ties him to his fellows, demands perpetual expression of his existence in the existence of others. It is what ancient society improperly called devotion, but which is only speculation—more humanitarian as it is more intelligent, and more humanicidal as it is more idiotic. Man in society only reaps what he sows. If he reaps disease, he sows disease. He reaps health if he sows health. Man is the social cause of all the effects he suffers in society. If he is brotherly, he will create fraternity among those around him, if he is fratricidal, he will create fratricide. It is not humanly possible to make a move, to act with the arms, the heart or the brain, without the sensation reflecting back from one to the other like an electric shock. And that takes place in the state of anarchic community, in the state of free and intelligent nature, as in the state of civilization, the state of domesticated man, of nature enchained. Only, in civilization, man being institutionally at war with man, he can only envy the good fortune of his neighbor, and howl and gnash his teeth at his expense. He is a mastiff, tied, crouching in his kennel and gnawing his bone, growling in ferocious and constant menace. Under anarchy, man, being harmonically at peace with his fellows, will know that competition with them, in the pursuit of their passions, will bring universal good fortune. In the Humanisphere, a hive where liberty is the queen, man gathering from men only perfumes, will know how to produce only honey. So don’t curse egoism, for to curse egoism is to curse man. The suppression of our passions is the sole cause of their disastrous effects. Man, like society, is perfectible. General ignorance has been the inevitable cause of our misfortunes; universal science will be the remedy. Let us educate ourselves, therefore, and let us spread the knowledge around us. Let us analyze, compare, contemplate and thus arrive at the scientific knowledge of our natural mechanisms.
In the Humanisphere, there is no government. An attractive organization takes the place of legislation. The liberty of sovereign individuals presides over all collective decisions. The authority of anarchy, the absence of all dictatorship of number or strength, replaces arbitrary authority, the despotism of the sword and the law. Faith in ourselves is the religion of the Humanisphereans. Gods and priests, religious superstitions will rouse against themselves universal disapproval. It is by their own laws that each governs themselves, and it is on that government of each by himself that the social order is founded.
Consult history, and see if authority has ever been anything but universal suicide. The destruction of man by man—do you call that order? Is it order that reigns in Paris, in Warsaw, in St. Petersburg, in Vienna, in Rome, in Naples and Madrid, in aristocratic England and democratic America? I tell you that it is murder! Order with dagger or cannon, gallows or guillotine; order with Siberia or Cayenne, with the knout or the bayonet, with the watchman’s baton or the sword of the policeman; order personified in that homicidal trinity: iron, gold, and holy water; the order of gunshots, or shots from bibles or bank-bills; the order which sits enthroned on corpses and feeds on them, that can pass for order in moribund civilizations, but it will never be anything but disorder, a gangrene in societies lacking the sentiment of life. Authorities are vampires, and vampires are monsters who only live in cemeteries and only walk in darkness.
Consult your memories and you will see that the greatest absence of authority has always produced the greatest amount of harmony. See the people atop their barricades, and say if in these passing moments anarchy, they do not testify, by their conduct, in favor of natural order. Among these men who are there, arms bare and black with powder, there are certainly no lack of ignorant natures, men hardly smoothed by the plane of social education, and capable, in their private life and as heads of families, of many brutalities towards their wives and children. See them, then, in the midst of the public insurrection and in the role of men momentarily free. Their brutality has been transformed as by magic into sweet courtesy. Let a woman pass by, and they will have only decent and polite words for her. It is with an entirely fraternal eagerness that they will aid her to pass over the barrier of cobblestones. Those who, on Sunday, on the promenade, would have blushed to bear their child and would have left the entire burden to the mother, would, with a smile of satisfaction on their lips, that in their arms an unknown child to carry it across the barricade. It is an instantaneous metamorphosis. In the man of the day you would not recognize the man of the day before. — Allow Authority to rebuild, and the man of tomorrow will soon again become the man of yesterday!
Let us recall again the day of the distribution of flags, after February 48: there were in the crowd, larger than there ever was at any festival, neither gendarmes, nor agents of the police force; no authority directed traffic; each, so to speak, was his own police. Well! Was there ever more order than in that disorder? Who was trampled? Nobody. Not a single traffic jam took place. Everyone looked after one another. The compact multitude flowed through the boulevards and streets as naturally as the blood of a healthy man circulates in his arteries. In men it is disease which produces congestion: among multitudes, it is the police and armed forces: disease thus bears the name of authority. Anarchy is the state of healthy multitudes.
It was in 1841, I believe,—aboard a frigate of war. The officers and the commander himself, each time that they presided over a maneuver, swore and stormed after the sailors; and the more they swore, the more they stormed, the more badly the maneuver was executed. There was an officer on board who was an exception to the rule. When he was on watch, he hardly spoke four word and he always spoke with a really feminine mildness. Never were maneuvers better and more rapidly executed than under his orders. If it was a matter of reefing a topsail, it was done in the blink of an eye; and as soon as the reef was taken, the topsails were hoisted; the pulleys smoked. A fairy could not have acted more promptly with a wave of a wand. Long before the command, each was at his post, ready to climb into the rigging or drop the halyards. They did not wait for him to give the order to allow them to perform the maneuver. And there was not the least confusion, not a knot missed, nothing which was not rigorously completed. It was with enthusiasm and harmony. Do you want to know the magic secret of that officer and the way in which he brought about that miracle: he did not swear; he did not storm; he did not command, in a word, but left them to the work [laissait faire]. And that was best. Thus are men: under the lash of authority, the sailor only acts like a brute; he goes slowly and stupidly where he is pushed. Left to his own anarchic initiative, he acts like a man, and operates with his hands and his intelligence. The events that I cited took place on board the frigate the Calypso in the seas of the Orient. The officer in question stayed only two months on board, the commander and officers being jealous of him.
Now then the absence of orders is the true order. The law and the sword is only the order of bandits, the code of theft and murder that presides at the division of the spoils, at the massacre of the victims. It is on that bloody pivot that the civilized world turns. Anarchy is its antipode, and that antipode is the axis of the humanispherean world.
— Liberty is their whole government.
— Liberty is their whole constitution.
— Liberty is all their legislation.
— Liberty is all their regulation.
— Liberty is all their contracts.
— Everything that is not liberty is outside of morals.
— Liberty, all liberty, nothing but liberty — such is the formula engraved on the tablets of their conscience, the criterion of all their relations with one another.
Do we lack in one corner of Europe and products from another continent? The newspapers of the Humanisphere mention it, it is inserted in the Advertising Bulletin, that monitor of anarchic universality; and the Humanispheres of Asia, Africa, America or Oceania dispatch the requested product. If there is, on the contrary, a European product that is lacking in Asia, Africa, America and Oceania, the Humanispheres of Europe will ship it. The exchange takes place naturally and not arbitrarily. Thus, what does it matter that a Humanisphere gives more one day and receives less? Doubtless tomorrow it will receive more and give less. Everything belonging to all, and each being able to change Humanispheres as they change apartments, — if a thing is here or there in the universal circulation, what difference does it make? Isn't everyone free to have it transported wherever they want or to transport themselves wherever seems best?
In anarchy, consumption feeds itself by production. It would make no more sense to a humanispherean that a man might be forced to work, than that he might be forced to eat. For natural man, the need to work is as pressing as the need to eat. Man is not all stomach: he has arms and a brain, and apparently this is so he might work. Work, whether manual or intellectual, is the food which makes him live. If a man has no needs but those of the mouth and stomach, he is no longer a man, but an oyster, in which case, nature, in place of hands, which are attributes of his intelligence, would have given him, like a mollusk, two shells.—And idleness! Idleness! Do you cry to me, you civilizées? Idleness is not the daughter of liberty and human genius, but of slavery and civilization; it is something foul and against nature, that one could only encounter in some Sodom, old or new. Idleness is not a pleasure, it is a gangrene and a paralysis. The bygone societies, the old worlds, the corrupt civilizations could only produce and spread the same scourges. Humanisphereans satisfy naturally the need for the exercise of the arm, as well as that of the stomach. It is no more possible to ration the appetite for production that the appetite for consumption. It is up to each to consume and to produce according to their strengths, according to their needs. By bending all beneath a uniform remuneration, one would starve some and cause others to die of indigestion. Only the individual is capable of knowing the proportion of labor that his stomach, his brain, or his hand can digest. One rations a horse at the stable; the master allocates to domestic animal so much food. But in liberty the animal rations itself, and the instincts offer it, better than the master, that which suits its temperament. Wild animals scarcely know disease. Having all in profusion, they do not fight among themselves to pull up a blade of grass. They know the wild meadow produces more pasturage than they are able to graze, and they mow it in peace, one beside the other. Why do men wrest consumption from one another, when production, by mechanical forces, furnishes more than their needs?
—Authority is idleness.
—Labor is liberty.
The slave alone is lazy, rich or poor:—the rich, slave to prejudice, to false science; the poor, slave to ignorance and prejudices,—both slaves of the law, the one to suffer it, the other to impose it. Isn’t it suicide to dedicate its productive faculties to inertia? The inert man is not a man; he is less than a brute, because the brute acts in the measure of its means, and obeys its instinct. Whoever possesses a particle of intelligence could at least obey it. And intelligence is not idleness; it is fertilizing movement. It is progress. The intelligence of man is his instinct, and that instinct says to him without ceasing: Labor; put the hand and the brow to the work; produce and discover; productions and discoveries, these are liberty. Those who do not work, do not enjoy. Work is life.—Idleness is death!—Die or work!
In the Humanisphere, property being undivided, each has an interest in making it productive. The aspirations of science, also rid of the fragmentation of thought, invents and perfects in common some machines suitable for all uses. Everywhere, the activity and the rapidity of labor makes an exuberance of products blossom around man. As in the first ages of the world, he no longer has to do anything but reach out his hand to grasp the fruit, to stretch out at the foot of the tree to have shelter. But the tree is now a magnificent monument where all the satisfactions of luxury are found; the fruit is every luscious thing that the arts and sciences can offer. It is anarchy, no longer in the swampy forest, with murky idiocy and tetchy brutality, but anarchy in an enchanting park with lucid intelligence and smiling humanity. It is not longer anarchy in weakness and ignorance, the kernel of savagery, barbarism and of civilization, but anarchy in strength and knowledge, the branching trunk of harmony, the glorious blossoming of man into flower, for the free man, in the azure regions under the radiance of universal solidarity.
Among the humanispherians, a man who could only handle one tool, whether that tool was a pen or a file, would blush with shame at the very thought. Man wants to be complete, and he is complete only on the condition of knowing a great deal. The one who is only a man of the pen or a man of the file is a castrato that the civilized can well accept or admire in their churches or in their mills, in their workshops or in their academies, but he is not a natural man; he is a monstrosity who will incite only distance and disgust among the perfected men of the humanisphere. A man must be at once a man of thought and a man of action, and produce with the arm as well as with the brain. Otherwise he murders his virility, he forfeits the work of creation; and, to achieve a falsetto voice, he loses all the broad and stirring notes of his free and living instrument. The man is no longer a man then, but a serinette.
A humanispherian thinks and acts at the same time, but he also practices different trades in the same day. He will carve a piece of jewelry and work on a piece of land: he will pass from the chisel to the pick, and from the kitchen stove to the orchestra seat. He is familiar with a host of labors. An inferior worker in this one, he is a superior worker in that. He has his specialty where he excels. And it is precisely that inferiority and that superiority of some with regard to others that produces harmony. It costs a man nothing to submit to a superiority, I would not say officially, but unofficially recognized, when at the next moment, in another phase of production, that superiority will become your inferiority. That creates a healthy emulation, a benevolent reciprocity, destructive of jealous rivalries. Then, by these various labors, the man acquires the possession of more objects for comparison, his intelligence is multiplied, as is his strength; it is a perpetual and varied study that develops all his physical and intellectual faculties, of which he takes advantage to perfect himself in his chosen activity.
I repeat here what I have previously noted:
When I speak of the man, it is not only a question of one half of humanity, but of the entire humanity, of woman as well as man, of the Human Being. What applies to one applies equally to the other. There is only one exception to the general rule, one work which is the exclusive prerogative of woman, which is childbirth and nursing. While women accomplish this labor, it is quite simple that they can hardly concern themselves actively with others. It is a specialty which temporarily takes her away from the multiplicity of general functions, but, her pregnancy and nourishing accomplished, she resumes her functions in the community, identical to all those of the humanispherians.
At birth, the child is enrolled in the full name of its mother in the book of statistics; later, it takes for itself the first and last name that suits it, keeping the ones it has been given or changing them. In the humanisphere, there are neither disinherited bastards nor legitimate children of privilege. The children are the children of nature, and not of artifice. All are equal and legitimate before the mother, the humanisphere and the humanispherity. As long as the external embryo is still attached to the breast of his mother, like the fetus in the internal organ, it is considered as being one with its nurse. The weaning is for the woman a second delivery which occurs when the child can come and go by itself. The mother and child can still remain together, if such is the good pleasure of them both. But if the child who feels the push of its little will prefers the company and dwelling of the other children, or if the mother, worn out from a long nesting/brooding, no longer cares to have it constantly near her, then they can separate. The children’s apartment is there, and no more than the others will it lack care, for all the mothers take their turns there. If, in the permutation of deaths and births, it happens that a newborn loses its mother, or a mother loses its child, the young woman who has lost her child gives her breast to the child who has lost its mother, or else they give to the orphan the breast of a goat or a lioness. It is even the custom among the nursing mothers to make sickly infants drink the milk of vigorous animals, such as the milk of the lioness, as among the Civilized we give asses’ milk to the consumptive. (Do not forget that in the era of which it is a question, les lionesses and panthers are domestic animals; that men possess herds of bears, as today we possess flocks of sheep; that the most ferocious animals brought into line, subdued and disciplined under the pontificate of man; that they grovel on their paws with a secret terror and bow before the halo of light and electricity which crowns his brow and imposes respect. Man is the sun around which all the animal races gravitate.)
The nourishment of men and women is based on hygiene. They prefer to adopt the foodstuffs most proper to the nutrition of the muscles of the body and the fibers of the brain. They do not have a single meal without eating some cuts of roasted meat, either of mutton, bear, or beef; some spoonfuls of coffee or other liquors which overexcite the sap of thought. Everything is combined so that the pleasures, even those of the table, are not unproductive or harmful to the development of the man and of the man’s faculties. Among them every pleasure is a labor, and every labor is a pleasure. The pollination of happiness is perpetual there. It is a continuous springtime and autumn of satisfactions. The flowers and fruits of production, like the flowers and fruits of the tropics, bloom there in every season. As the banana tree is the little humanisphere which provides the bed and food of the brown negro, so the humanisphere is the great banana tree which satisfies the immense needs of the free man. It is in its hade the he inhales with full lungs all the soft breezes of nature and that, raising its pupils to the height of the stars, contemplating all its beams.
As we might expect, there are no doctors, that is to say that there are no diseases. What causes illness today? The pestilential emanations of one part of the globe and, especially, the lack of equilibrium in the exercise of the human organs. Man exhausts himself at a single labor, at a single enjoyment. One writhes in the convulsions of fasting, others in the colics and hiccups of indigestion. One occupies his arm to the exclusion of his brain, the other his brain to the exclusion of his arms. The strains of the day, and the anxieties of the next, tighten the fibers of man, arrest the natural circulation of the blood and produce internal cesspools from which rise decline and death. The doctor arrives, he who has an interest in their being illnesses, as the lawyer has an interest in there being trials, and he infests the veins of the patient with mercury and arsenic; from a passing indisposition, he makes an incurable leprosy, which is communicated from generation to generation. We are horrified by a Brinvilliers, but truly what is a Brinvilliers compared to those poisoners we call doctors? The Brinvilliers only await the life of some of their contemporaries; they await the life and intelligence of all the men down to their posterity. Civilizees! Civilizees! have academies for executioners if you wish, but don’t have academies of medicine! Man of amphitheaters or scaffolds, assassinate the present if you must, but at least spare the future!...
Among the humanispherians there is equation in the exercise of men’s faculties, and this level produces health. That is not to say that no one there is concerned with surgery or anatomy. No art, no science is neglected there. There is not even one humanispherian who has not more or less pursued their course [of study]. Those laborers who practice surgery apply their knowledge on an arm or leg when an accident occurs. As for minor illnesses, as everyone has some notion of hygiene and anatomy, they medicate themselves. One takes a bit of exercise, the other a vial of some sleeping aid, and the next day, most often all is said and done: they are the fittest people in the world.
Unlike Gall and Lavater, who have taken the effect for the cause, they do not believe that man is born with aptitudes absolutely determined. The lines of the face and the contours of the head are not things innate in us, they say; we are all born with the germ of all the faculties (save for rare exceptions, there are those who are mentally as well as physically infirm, but the monstrosities are destined to disappear in Harmony), and external circumstances act directly on them. Depending on whether these faculties are or have been exposed to their influence, they acquire a greater or lesser growth, taking shape in one manner or another. The physiognomy of the man reflects his penchants, but that physiognomy is most often very different from the one that he had as a child. The craniology of the man testifies to his passions, but that craniology most often has nothing in common with what he had in the cradle. — Just as the right arm exercised to the detriment of the left arm, gains more strength, more elasticity and a greater size than its twin brother, so much that the abuse of that exercise can make a man hunchbacked on one shoulder, so also the exclusive exercise given to certain passional faculties can develop his organs and make a man hunchbacked in the head. The creases of the face, like the bumps of the skull, are the blossoming of our sensations on our face, but are not at all original stigmata. The milieu in which we live and the diversity of the viewpoints where men are placed, which make it so that not one can see things from the same angle, explain the varieties of craniology and phrenology among men, like the diversity of their passions and aptitudes. The skull whose bumps are equally developed is undoubtedly the skull of the most perfect man. The ideal type is probably to be neither crooked/bumped nor horned. Yet how proud people in the present world of their bumps and their horns! If some learned astrologer, in the name of the so-called science, had just said that it was the sun that escapes the rays, and not the rays which escape the sun, my word, he would find some civilizees to believe it and some assistant professors to utter it. Poor world! Poor teaching staffs! Hell for men! Paradise for the small-minded/grocers!
As there are neither slaves nor masters, chiefs nor subordinates, proprietors nor disinherited, nor legality, nor penalty, nor borders or gates, nor civil or religious codes, there are no longer civil, military and religious authorities, nor lawyers or bailiffs, nor solicitors or notaries, nor judges or police, nor bourgeois or lords, nor priests or soldiers, nor thrones or altars, nor barracks or churches, nor prisons, nor fortresses, nor butchers or scaffolds; or, if they still have them, they are preserved in esprit-de-vin [ethanol], mummified at their natural size or reproduced in miniature, all lined up and numbered in some back room of a museum as objects of curiosity and antiquity. Even the books of French authors, Cossacks, Germans, English, etc., etc., lie in the dusty attics of the libraries: no one reads them, and besides they are in dead languages. A universal language has replaced all these national jargons. In that language, they say more in a word than we could say in a sentence in our own. When by chance a humanispherian risks casting their eyes on the pages written in the civilized times and has the courage to read a few lines from it, they soon close the book again with a shudder of shame and disgust; and, thinking about what humanity was in that era of Babylonian depravity and of civilitic constitutions, they feel the blood rise to their face, like a woman, still young, whose youth had been soiled by debauch, would blush, after having been rehabilitated, at the memory of her days of prostitution.
Property and commerce, that putrid affection for gold, that usurian sickness, that corrosive contagion which infests contemporary societies with a virus of venality, and metalizes friendship and love; that scourge of the nineteenth century has disappeared from the bosom of humanity. There are no longer sellers nor sold. The anarchic communion of interests has spread purity and health in mores everywhere. Love is no longer a filthy traffic, but an exchange of pure and tender sentiments. Venus is no longer the immodest Venus, but the Uranian Venus. Friendship is no longer a merchant of the halles fondling the pocket/fob of the passersby and changing the best words into fighting words, according to whether they accept or refuse his merchandise, it is a charming child which asks only for some caresses in return for its caresses, sympathy for sympathy. In the Humanisphere, everything that is apparent is real: the appearance is not a distortion. Concealment was always the livery of lackeys and slaves: it is de rigueur among the Civilized. The free man bears frankness in his heart, that badge of Liberty. Concealment is not even an exception among the humanispherians.
Religious artifices, the structures of superstition respond among the civilized, as among the barbarians, as among the savages, to a need for the ideal that these populations, not finding it in the world of the real, will breathe in the world of the impossible. Women especially, that half of the human race, even more excluded from the other from social rights, and relegated, like Cinderella, to a corner of the hearth of the household, delivered to their catechismal meditations, to their pathological hallucinations, woman is abandoned with all the impetus of the heart and the imagination to the charm of religious pomp and masses of great spectacle, to all the mystical poetry of that mysterious romance, of which the handsome Jesus is the hero, and divine love the intrigue. All these songs of angels and angelesses, this paradise full of light, music and incense, that opera of eternity, of which God is the great maestro, the designer, the composer and the conductor, these stalls of azure where Mary and Magdalene, these two daughters of Eve, have places of honor; that whole phantasmagoria of the sacerdotal physicians cannot fail in a society like our own to strongly impress the sentimental fiber of the woman, that compressed and always trembling fiber. The body enchained in its kitchen stove, at its boutique counter or its salon piano, she wanders by thought, — without ballast and without sails, without rudder and without compass, — towards the idealization of the human being in the scattered spheres of reefs, star-studded with superstition from the fluidic azure, in the exotic reveries of the heavenly life. She reacts by mysticism, she rebels by superstition against this level of inferiority on which man has placed her. She calls to it from her terrestrial humbling to the celestial ascension, from the bestiality of man to the spirituality of God.
In the Humanisphère, nothing like that can take place. The man is nothing more than the woman, and the woman is nothing more than the man. Both are equally free. The urns of voluntary instruction have poured streams of science on their brows. The clash of intelligences has leveled the path. The rise/spate of the fluxtueux needs raises its level every day. Man and woman swim in that ocean of progress, embracing one another. The lively headwaters of the heart pour forth in society their syrupy and burning passions and make for man and woman alike a delicious bath, perfumed by their mutual ardors. Love is no longer [a matter of] mysticism or bestiality, love has all the delights of the physical and moral sensations, love is of humanity, humanity purified, invigorated, regenerated, humanity made man. The ideal being on the earth, earth present or future, who would want to go seek it elsewhere? In order for the divinity to walk on the clouds of the imagination, there must be clouds, and under the humanispherian cranium there are only rays of light. There where light reigns, there is no darkness; there where the intelligence reigns, there is not superstition. Today, where existence is a perpetual mortification, a cloistering of the passions, happiness is a dream. In the future world, life being the expansion of all the passionnal fibers, life will be a dream of happiness.
In the civilized world, everything is just masturbation and sodomy, masturbation or of the flesh, masturbation or sodomy of the mind. The mind is a sewer of vile thoughts, the flesh a drain for filthy pleasures. In our time, men and women do not make love, they do their business... In that time they will have a need only for love! And it is only with the fire of passion in the heart, with the fervor of feeling in the brain that they will join in a mutual embrace. All the sensual pleasures will no longer stir except in the natural order, those of the flesh as well as those of the mind. Liberty will have purified them all.
After visiting in detail the buildings of the Humanisphere, where everything is just workshops of pleasure and salons of labor, stores of sciences and arts and museums of all the productions: after admiring these machines of iron of which steam and electricity is the mobile, hard-working multitudes of gears which are to the humanispherians what the multitudes of proletarians or slaves are to the Civilized; after witnessing the no less admirable of those human gears, of that multitude of free laborers, a serial mechanism of which attraction is the sole motor; after observing the marvels of that egalitarian organization which produces harmony through its anarchic evolution; after visiting the fields, the gardens, the pastures, the rural sheds/depots where the herds that wander the countryside come to shelter themselves, the attics of which serve as granaries for feed; after having traveled all the lines of iron which traverse the interior and exterior of the Humanisphere, and having navigated in those magnificent aerial steamers which transport, as the eagle flies, men and products, ideas and objects, from one humanisphere to another humanisphere, from one continent to another, and from one point on the globe to its extremities; after having seen and heard, after having felt all these things with the fingers and with thought, — how is it, I said to myself, reflecting on the Civilized, how is it that we ca live under the Law, that Knout of Authority, when anarchy, that law of Liberty, has manners so pure and so sweet? How is it that we regard that intelligent fraternity as such a freakish thing, and that fratricidal imbecility as something so normal?... Ah! freaks and utopias are only freaks and utopias in relation to our ignorance. Everything that is freakish for our world, is entirely ordinary for another world, whether it is a question of the movement of planets or the movement of men; and what would have seemed much more freakish to me, is that society would remain perpetually in social darkness and not awaken to the light. Authority is a nightmare which bears down on the chest of Humanity stifles it; what does the voice of Liberty hear, when it awakens from its unpleasant slumber, and soon it will have recovered the fullness of its senses, and its aptitude for labor, love, and happiness!
While in the Humanisphere the machines do all the coarsest work, there were, in my opinion, some labors more disagreeable than other, there were even some which seemed to me must be to the taste of no one. Nevertheless, these tasks were accomplished without any constraining law or regulation whatsoever. How was that? I asked myself, I, who still saw things with my civilized eyes. It was, however, very simple. What is it that makes labor attractive? It is not always the nature of the labor, but the conditions under which it is exercised and the condition of the result to be obtained. In our times, a worker will practice one profession; it is not always the profession that they would have chosen: chance, more than attraction, has determined it so. let that profession procure for him a certain, relative ease, let his wages be raised, let him do business with a boss who does not make his authority felt too severely, and that worker will accomplish his labor with a certain pleasure. Consequently, let this same worker labor for a surly boss, let his wage be diminished by half, let his profession no longer procure more than poverty, and he will now feel only disgust for the work that not long ago he accomplished with pleasure. Drunkenness and idleness have no other cause among the workers. Slaves at the end of their patience, they throw up their hands and, cast-offs of the world, they wallow in the much and the lees, of if they are of the best character, they rise up to the point of murder, to the point of martyrdom, like [Louis] Alibaud, like Moncharmont, and demand their rights as men, iron against iron and face to face with the scaffold. Glorious immortality to them!
In the Humanisphère, the small number of labors which by their nature appeared repugnant to me nevertheless found some workers to execute them with pleasure. And the cause was the condition in which they worked. The different series of laborers recruited themselves voluntarily, as men recruit themselves for a barricade, and are entirely free to remain their as long as they want or pass on to another series or another barricade. There is not chief, official or unofficial. The one who has the most knowledge or aptitude at the labor naturally directs the others. Each take the initiative mutually, as they recognize their capacity for it. Each in turn gives and receives opinion. There is an amicable understanding, there is no authority. What’s more, it is rare that there is not a mixture of men and women among the laborers of a series. And the work is in conditions too attractive, though it would be repugnant by itself, for them not to find a certain charm in accomplishing it. Then there is the nature of the results to be obtained. If this work is indeed essential, those most disgusted by it and who abstain from it will be delighted that others are responsible for it, and they will affably give back, in laborious considerations elsewhere, compensation for the service that the others have rendered them. We must not believe that the coarsest labors are, among the humanispherians, the portion of inferior intelligences; quite the contrary, it is the superior intelligences, the eminent figures in the sciences and arts who are most often happy to accomplish these chores. The more exquisite the sensitivity is in a man, the more developed his moral sense, and the more apt he is at certain moments to the harsh and dreadful labors, especially when these labors are a sacrifice offered in love to humanity. I have seen, during the transportation of June, at Fort du Homet, and at Cherbourg, some delicate natures who could have, by means of a few bits of change, had their turn at the chores done by a fellow inmate, — and it was a nasty job to empty the tubs of waste, — and who, to satisfy their moral pleasures, in internal testimony to their fraternity with their fellows, preferred to do that chore themselves and to spend in the canteen, with some of their comrades for the drudgery, the money which could have served to free them from it. The man who is truly a man, the man who is egoistically, is more happy to do a thing for the good that it provides other than to dispense with it with an eye to an immediate and entirely personal satisfaction. He knows that it is a seed sown in good earth, from which he will sooner or later gather the fruit. Egoism is the source of all the virtues. The first Christians, those who lived in community and fraternity in the catacombs, were egoists, they placed their virtues at usurious interest in the hands of God, in order to obtain the premiums of celestial immortality. The humanispherians place their good actions in an annuity on Humanity, in order to enjoy, — from the extraction of their birth to the extinction of their life, — some of the benefits of mutual insurance. Humanely speaking, we can only buy individual happiness at the price of universal delight.
I have still not spoken of the costume of the humanispherians. Their costume is not at all uniform, each dressing as they please. There is no special fashion. Elegance and simplicity is its general mark. It is especially distinguished by the cut and quality of the fabrics. The smock, called a roulière [or carter’s smock], à pagoda sleeves, of canvas for work, or serge or silk for leisure; Breton trousers or pants, loose or tight-fitting, but always narrow at the bottom, with top-boots over the pants or light buskins in patent leather; a round felt hat with a simple ribbon or topped with a feather, or else a turban; the neck bare as in the Middle Ages; and the facings of the shirt spilling out at the neck and wrists underneath the blouse, such is the costume most often in use. Now, the color, the nature of the fabric, the cut, and the accessories largely differ. One lets their smock flutter, the other wears a scarf as a belt, or else a handbag in morocco leather or cloth, suspended by a steel chain or a leather band and falling on the thigh. In winter, one wraps themselves in a coat, the other in a burnoose. Men and women wear the same costume indifferently, but the women most generally substitute a skirts for the pants, decorate their smock or tunic with lace, their wrists and neck with artistically worked jewelry, striving for the hairstyles most capable of highlighting their facial features; but none of them would find it graceful to pierce their nose or ears in order to pass hoops or gold or silver and attach gems there. A great number wear fitted dresses in an endless multiplicity of forms. They do not seek to be uniform with one another, but to differentiate themselves from one another. And it is the same for the men. The men generally all wear beards, and long hair parted on the top of the head. They do not find it more natural or less ridiculous to shave the chin than the skull; and in their old age, when the snow of the years has whitened their brow and dulled their vision, they do not pluck the white hairs any more than they pluck out the eyes. They also wear many diverse costumes, costumes of the Louis XIII variety, among others, but not one of the masculine or crinoline costumes of our era. The balloons in which the women of our era navigate over the earth are reserved for the aerial steamers, and the tubes of sheet metal or black silk only serve as headgear for the cerebellum of a chimney. I do not think that there is a single man among the humanispherians who would want to make a fool of himself in the bourgeois redingote or frock coat, that livery of the Civilized. There they want to be free to move, and want their costume to testify to the grace and liberty of the one who wears it. They prefer the majesty of a loose and roomy pleat to the puffed up rigidity of crinoline and the epileptic grimace of a tailcoat with the head of a cretin and the tail of a cod. The clothes, says a proverb, do not make the monk. That is true in the sense of the proverb. But society makes its clothes, and a society which is dressed like ours, denounces, like the chrysalid for its husk, its caterpillar ugliness to the clarity of the eyes. In the humanisphère, humanity is far from being a caterpillar, it is no longer a prisoner in its cocoon, it has sprouted wings, and it has put on the loose and graceful tunic, the charming coloration, the elegant wingspan of the butterfly. — Taken in the absolute sense, the envelope is the man: Physiognomy is never a mask for those who know how to examine it. The moral always breaks through into the physical. And the physique of the present society is not handsome: how much more ugly still are its morals!
In my excursions, I had seen no cemeteries anywhere. And I asked myself where the dead pass, when I had occasion to witness a burial.
The dead man was lying in an open coffin which had the form of a large cradle. He was surrounded by no funereal aspect. Some natural flowers were plucked in the cradle and covered the body. The uncovered head rested on some bouquets de roses which served him as pillow. They put the casket in a wagon; those who had most particularly known the dead man took place behind them. I imitated them.
Once in the country, at a place where there was an iron machine erected on some granite steps, the convoy halted. The machine in question had very nearly the appearance of a locomotive. A drum or boiler sat on an intense brazier. The boiler was topped by a long hose with a valve. They took the corpse from the casket, wrapped it in its shroud, then slid it through a drawer-like opening in the drum. The brazier was charged with reducing it to ash. Then each of the witnesses cast a handful of plucked roses on the slab of the monument. They burst into a hymn to universal transformation. Then they all separated. The ashes of the dead are then cast as fertilizer on the cultivated lands.
The humanispherians claim that cemeteries are a cause of squalor, and that it is much preferable to sow them with wheat seed than gravestones, since the wheat nourishes the living and the marble vaults can only work against the regeneration of the dead. They do not understand the funerary prisons any more than they understand the cellular tombs, or the detention of the dead than the detention of the living. It is not superstition which makes law among the, it is science. They only have reason, and no prejudices. For them all matter is animated; they do not believe in the duality of soul and body, they only recognize the unity of substance; only, that substance acquires thousands and thousands of forms, it is more or less course, more or less purified, more or less solid or more or less volatile. Even admitting, they say, that the soul was a thing distinct from the body, which all deny, — it would still be an absurdity to believe in its individual immortality, in its eternally compact personality, in its indestructible fixity. The law of composition and decomposition which rules the body, and which is the universal law, would also be the law of souls.
Just as, in the heat of caloric, water vapor condenses in the brain of the locomotive and constitutes what we could call its soul, so in the interior/hearth of the human body, the bubbling of our sensations, condensing in steam within our skull, constitutes our thought and makes move, with all the force of the electricity of our intelligence, the gears of our bodily mechanism. But does it follow that the locomotive, a finite form and consequently ephemeral, should have a soul more immortal than its casing? Certainly, the electricity which animates it will not disappear into the impossible void, any more than the palpable substance with which it is adorned. But at the moment of death, as at the moment of existence, the boiler, like the steam, cannot preserve their exclusive individuality. Rust eats away the iron, the steam evaporates; bodies and souls are transformed incessantly and disperse through the entrails of the earth or on the wings of the winds in as many bits as the metal or the fluid contains molecules, that is to say ad infinitum, the molecule being for the infinitesimals what the terrestrial globe is for men, a world inhabited and in movement, a living aggregation of imperceptibles susceptible to attraction and repulsion, and consequently to formation and dissolution. What makes life, or, that which is the same thing, movement, is the condensation and expansion of the substance formulated by the chemical action of nature. It is this alimentation and evacuation of steam in the locomotive, of thought in the man, which moves the pendulum of the body. But the body wears out form friction, the locomotive goes to the scrapheap, the man to the tomb. That is what we call death, which is only a metamorphosis, since nothing is lost and everything takes new forms under the incessant manipulation of the attractive forces.
It is recognized that the human body renews itself every seven years; there does not remain to us one molecule on another. From the sole of the feet to the tips of the hair, all has been destroyed, bit by bit. And we would wish that the soul, which is only the summary of our sensations, something like their living mirror, a mirror where is reflected the evolutions of this world of infinitely small elements of which the whole is called a man; we would have it that the soul is not renewed from year to year and instant to instant; that it loses nothing of its individuality by breathing itself out, and acquires nothing of the individuality of others by breathing in the emanations? And when death, extending its breath over the physical, finished form, comes to disperse its debris to the wind and scatter its dust in the furrows, like a seed which bears in it the germ of new harvests, we would have it, — vain and absurd silliness on our part! — that this breath/blast destruction could not break the human soul, finished form, and disperse its dust to the world?
In truth, when we hear the Civilized boast about the immortality of their soul, we are tempted to ask if we have swindlers or brutes before us, and we end by concluding that they are both.
We cast, say the humanispherians, the ashes of the dead as fertilizer on our croplands, in order to incorporate them more quickly into ourselves in the form of foodstuffs and cause them to be reborn more quickly into the life of humanity. We would regard as a crime to relegate the bottom of the earth a part of ourselves and thus delay it coming to light. As there is no doubt that the earth exchanges emanations with the other globes, and that in the most subtle of forms, that of thought, we are certain that the purer the thought of a man is, the more it is apt to rise towards the spheres of higher worlds. That is why we do not want what has belonged to humanity to be lost to humanity, so that these remains called again into the alembic of human life, an alembic always more sophisticated, acquire a more ethereal property and pass thus from the human circulus to a higher circulus, and from circulus to circulus in the universal circulation.
The Christians, the Catholics eat God out of love for divinity, they commune as god-eaters [théophages]. The humanispherians push the love of humanity as far as cannibalism: they eat man after his death, but in a form which is not at all repugnant, in the form of the Host, that is in the form of bread and wine, de meat and fruits, in the form of foodstuffs. It is the communion of man by man, the resurrection of cadaveric remains to human existence. It is better, they say, to revive the dead than to cry. And they accelerate the clandestine labor of nature, they shorten the phases of the transformation, the twists and turns of the metempsychosis. And they pay tribute to death, as well as birth, these two cradles of a new life with festive songs floral perfumes. Immortality, they maintain, is not at all immaterial. The man, body of flesh, luminous with thought, like all the suns dissolves when it has furnished its career. The flesh is ground up and returns to the flesh; and thought, brightness projected by it, radiated towards its ideal, decomposes in its rays and adheres there. — Man sows man, harvest him, shapes it and makes it himself by nutrition. Humanity is the sap of humanity, and it blossoms in it and is exhaled outside, a cloud of Thought or incense which rises towards better worlds.
Such is their pious belief, a scientific belief based on induction and deduction, on analogy. They are not, if truth be told, believers [croyants], but viewers/surveyors [voyants].
I crossed all the continents, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania. I saw many diverse physiognomies, but I saw everywhere only one single race. The universal interbreeding of the Asiatic, European, African and American (Redskin) populations; the multiplication of all by all has leveled all the unevenness of color and language. Humanity is one. In the gaze of every humanispherian there is a mixture of gentleness and pride which has a strange charm. Something like a cloud of magnetic fluid surrounds his whole person and illuminates his brow with a phosphorescent halo. You feel yourself drawn to him by an irresistible attraction. The grace of his movements adds still more beauty to his figure. The word which flows from his lips, impressed throughout with his sweet thoughts, is like a perfume which emanates from him. Statuary could not model the animated contours of his body and face, which lends to that animation a charm that is always new. Painting could not reproduce the pupil and the enthusiastic and limpid thought, full of languor or energy, mobile aspects of light which vary like the mirror of a clear stream in calm or rapid, but always picturesque course. Music could not create his speech, for it could not achieve its ineffability of sentiment; and poetry could not translate its sentiment, for it could not attain its inexpressible melody. He is the idealized human being, bearing in his form and movement, in look and in gesture, in word and in thought, stamped with the most utopian perfectibility. In short, he is man become man.
Thus the ulterior world appeared to me; thus unrolled before my eyes the succession of times; thus was raised to my mind harmonic anarchy: the libertarian, egalitarian society and universal human family. 0 Liberty! Ceres of anarchy, you who plough the heart of modern civilizations with your heel and sow rebellion there, you who prune the savage instincts of the contemporary societies and graft on their stems the utopian thoughts of a better world, greetings, universal fécondatrice, and glory to you, Liberty, who bear in your arms the sheaf of future harvests, the basket of the flowers and fruits of the Future, the cornucopia of social progress. Greetings and glory to you, Liberty.
And you, Idea, thank you for having allowed me the contemplation of this human paradise, of this humanitary Eden. Idea, lover always beautiful, mistress full of grace, enchanting houri, for whom my heart and my voice quiver, for whom my eye and my thoughts have only looks of love; Idea, whose kisses are spasms of pleasure, oh! let me live and die and live again in your abiding embrace; let me take root in this world that you have evoked; let me develop in the midst of this human flowerbed; let me bloom among all these flowers, men and women. Let me gather in and exhale the fragrances of universal bliss!
Idea, [magnetic] pole of love, magnetic star, attractive beauty, oh! remain attached to me, do not abandon me, do not plunge me back from the future dream into the present reality, from the sun of liberty into the darkness of authority; make it so I am no longer just a spectator, but an actor in this anarchic romance which you have displayed for me. 0 you, by whom miracles are worked, let drop again behind me the curtain of the centuries, and let me live my life in the humanisphere and the humanispherity!...
Child, she said to me, I cannot grant what you desire. Time is time. And there are distances that thought alone can cross. The feet belong on the ground that has seen their birth. The law of gravity will it so. Remain then on the soil of Civilization as on a Calvary, as you must. Be one of the messiahs of the social regeneration. Make your words shine like a sword. Plunge them, bare and sharp, into the breast of corrupt societies, and strike at the place of the heart the walking corpse of Authority. Call to you the little children and the women and the proletarians, and teaching them by preaching and example to demand the right of individual and social development. Confess the almighty power of the Revolution on the steps of the barricade, and even on the platform of the scaffold. Be the brand which sets aflame and the torch which enlightens. Pour gall and honey on the heads of the oppress. Wave in your hands the standard of ideal progress and provoke the free intelligences to a crusade against the barbaric ignorances. Oppose truth to prejudice, liberty to authority, good to evil. Wandering man, be my champion; cast a bloody challenge to bourgeoisial legality; fight with the rifle and the pen, with sarcasm and cobblestones, with the brow and the hand; kill or be killed! Martyred man, social crucified, bear with courage your crown of thorns, bite the bitter sponge that the civilized put to your lips, let the wounds of your heart bleed; it is this blood which will make the scarfs of free men. The blood of the martyrs is a fertile dew, shake drops of it on the world. Happiness is not of this century, it is on the earth which is revolutionized each day by gravitating towards the light, it is in the future humanity!...
Alas! you will still pass through the sieve of many generations, you will still witness many misshapen attempts at social renewal, many disasters, followed by new progress and new disasters, before arriving at the promised land and before all the cracies and the archies have given way to anarchy. Men and nations will still break and reforge their chains many more times before casting their last links behind them. Liberty is not a prostitute [femme de lupanar], who gives herself to the first comer. She must be won by valiant proofs, you must make yourself worthy of her to obtain her smile. She is a grande dame who is proud of her nobility, for her nobility comes from her brow and heart. Liberty is a chatelaine who sits in state at the antipodes of civilization, she invites Humanity there. With steam and electricity we abbreviate the distances. All the roads lead to the goal, and the shortest is the best. The Revolution has laid its iron rails there. Men and nations, let us go!!!
The Idea had spoken: I bowed before it...
END OF THE SECOND PART.
The Transitional Period.
How will the progress be accomplished? What means will prevail? What route will be chosen? That is what is it is difficult to determine in an absolute manner. But whatever these means, whatever the route, if it is a step towards anarchic liberty, I will applaud it. Let the progress take place by the arbitrary scepter of the czars or by the independent hand of the republics; let it be by the Cossacks of Russia or the proletarians of France, German, England or Italy in whatever manner the unity should come about, let the national feudalism disappear, and I will shout bravo. Let the soil, divided in a thousand fractions, be unified and formed into vast agricultural associations, the associations could even be, like the railroad corporations, usurious exploitations, and I will still cry bravo. Let the proletarians of the city and country organize themselves in corporations and replace wages with vouchers [bon de circulation], boutiques with bazaars, private monopoly with public exhibition and the commerce in capital with the exchange of products; let them subscribe in common to a mutual insurance and found a bank of reciprocal credit; let them begin to decree the abolition of all sorts of usury, and always I will shout bravo. Let women participate in all the advantages of society, as she does in all its burdens; let marriage disappear; let us suppress inheritance and employ the product of the successions to dower each mother with a pension for the feeding and education of her child; let us take from prostitution and begging ever chance of occurring; let us take the pickaxe to the barracks and the churches, raze them, and build on their sites monuments of public utility; let arbitrators replace the official judges and individual contract to the law; let universal registration [l'inscription universelle], as Girardin understands it, demolish the prisons penal colonies, the penal code and the scaffold; let the smallest, or the slowest, reforms be given rein, reforms with the scales and legs of a turtle, and provided they are real progresses and not harmful palliatives, a step into the future and not a return to the past, and with both hands I will cheer them on with my applause.
Everything that has become big and strong was first puny and week. The human being of today is incomparably greater in science, and more powerful in industry than the man of the past. Everything that begins with monstrous dimensions is not born viable. The fossilized monstrosities have preceded the birth of humanity as the civilized societies still precede the creation of harmonic societies. The earth requires the fertilizer of dead plants and animals to render it productive, as humans required the detritus of rotten civilizations to render them social and fraternal. The times reap what time has sown. The future supposes the past and the past a future; the present oscillates between these two movements without being about to keep balance, and is drawn by an irresistible magnetic attraction toward the unknown. We cannot resist Progress indefinitely. There is an irresistible weight that will always and despite everything drag down one of the trays of the scale. We can certainly violently resist it for a moment, jolt things in the opposite direct, subject it to reactionary pressures; but when the pressure fades, it will just regain, and more strongly, its natural inclination, and affirm more vigorously the power of the Revolution. Ah! Instead of clinging with rage to the branch of the Past, instead of agitating ourselves about it unsuccessfully and covering our powerlessness with blood, let us allow the social pendulum to swing freely towards the Future. And, one hand resting in the ropes, feet on the edge of the spherical plateau, oh you, gigantic aeronaut who has the terrestrial globe for a gondola, Humanity, do not block your eyes, do not throw yourself in the bilge, do not tremble thus with fright, do not tear your chest with your nails, don’t clasp your hands in a sign of distress: fear is a bad adviser, it peoples our thoughts with ghosts. Raise, on the contrary, the veil of your eyelids and look, eagle, with your pupils: look and greet the limitless horizons, the luminous, azure depths of the Infinite, all these splendors of anarchy universal. Queen, who has for jewels in her crown the gems of intelligence, oh! be worthy of your sovereignty. Everything that is before you is your domain, the vastness that is your empire. Enter there, human beautiful as Venus, mounted on the terrestrial globe, your triumphant aerostat, and led by the doves of attraction. Stand, blonde sovereign, — mother, not this time of a sick child, of a love [that is] blind and armed with poisoned arrows, but on the contrary of men in possession of all their senses, of clear-sighted loves, armed with a productive mind and arm. Go, Majesty, fly at your prow your flag of purple, and sail, diadem on the head and scepter in the hand, in the midst of cheers for the Future!...
Two sons of the Bourgeoisie, who have partially renounced their bourgeois education and sworn themselves to [the cause of] liberty, Ernest Cœurderoy and Octave Vauthier, together in a pamphlet, la Barrière du Combat, and one of them in his book la Révolution dans l'homme et dans la société, prophesy the regeneration of society by a Cossack invasion. They rely, in order to make this judgment, on the analogy that they see existing between our society in decline and Roman decadence. They maintain that socialism will only be established in Europe when Europe is one. From an absolute point of view, yes, they are right to claim that liberty must be everywhere or nowhere. But it is not only in Europe, it is all over the globe that unity must be made before socialism in its catholicity, embracing the whole world with its roots, can rise high enough to shelter Humanity from the cruel storms, and bring it to the harbor of the charms of universal and reciprocal fraternity. To be logical, it is not only the invasion of France by the Cossacks that we must call for, but also the invasion of the Sepoys of Hindustan, of the Chinese, Mongol and Tartar multitudes, of the savages of New Zealand and Guinea, Asia, Africa and Oceania; that of the Red-Skins of the two Americas and of the Anglo-Saxons of the United State, more savage than the Red-Skins; we would have to call all of these tribes from the four corners of the earth to the conquest and domination of Europe. But no. The conditions are no longer the same. The means of communication are completely different than they were in the times of the Romans; the sciences have made an immense step forward. It is not only on the banks of the Neva of the Danube that there now rise up hordes of Barbarians summoned to the sack of Civilization, but on the banks of the Seine and the Rhône, the Thames and the Tagus, the Tiber and the Rhine. — It is from the empty furrow, it is from the floor of the workshop, it is sweeping along, in its floods of men and women, the pitchfork and the torch, the hammer and the gun; it is under the farmer’s overalls and the smock of the worker; it is with the hunger in the belly and the fever in the heart, but under the supervision of the Idea, that Attila of the modern invasion; it is under the generic name of the proletariat and rolling its eager masses towards the luminous centers of the utopian City; it is from Paris, London, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon, Rome, Naples, that, raising up its enormous waves and pushed by its insurrectionary flood, the devastating torrent will overflow. It is at the noise of the social tempest, it is in the current of that regenerating deluge that Civilization will collapse in decadence. It is at the breath of the innovating spirit that the popular ocean will bound up from its gulf. It is the [stormy] turmoil of new ideas that will bring down the heads and thrones of the civilized and pass with its level of iron and fire over the ruins. It is this that will drown in blood and flames all the notarized and certified deeds, and the procurers of those deeds, and will make the parceled and propertized soil a collective whole. This time it is not darkness that the Barbarians will bring to the world, but light. The old order took from Christianity only the name and the letter, but they have killed its spirit; the new will not profess absolutely the letter, but the spirit of socialism. Wherever they can find a patch of social earth, they will plant the seed of the tree of Liberty. They will pitch their tent there, the nascent tribe of free people. From there they will project the branches of the propaganda everywhere they can be extended. They will increase in number and strength, in scientific and social progress. They will invade, step by step, idea by idea, all of Europe, from the Caucasus to Mount Hekla and from Gibraltar to the Urals. The tyrants will struggle in vain. Oligarchic Civilization cede the terrain ascendant advance of Social Anarchy. Europe conquered and freely organized, America must be socialized in its turn. The republic of the Union, this breeding ground of grocers who award themselves voluntarily the name of model republic, of which all the grandeur consists in the extent of the territory; this cesspool where wallow and croak all the villainies of mercantilism, filibusters of commerce and piracies of human flesh; this den of all the hideous and ferocious beasts revolutionary Europe will have rejected from its breast, last rampart of bourgeois civilization, but where, also, some colonies of Germans, of revolutionaries of all nations, established within, will have driven into the earth the mileposts of Progress, laid down the first foundations of social reforms; this shapeless giant, this republic with a heart of stone, an icy face, a goitrous neck, a statue of cretinism whose feet rest on a bale of cotton and whose hands are armed with a whip and a Bible; harpy carrying a revolver and a knife in her teeth; thieving like a magpie, murderous like a tiger; vampire with bestial thirsts, who must always have gold or blood to suck... finally, the American Babel will tremble to its foundations. From the North to the South and from the East to the West will crash the thunder of the insurrections. The revolts of the proletarians and the revolt of the slaves will crack the States and the bones of the exploiters of these States. The flesh of the politicians and industrialists, of the bosses and masters, the shopkeepers and planters will smoke under the bloody feet of the proletarians and slaves. The monstrous American Union, the fossil Republic, will disappear in this cataclysm. Then the Social Republic of the United States of Europe span the Ocean and take possession of the new conquest. Blacks and whites, creoles and redskins will fraternize then and will found one single race. The killers of Negros and proletarians, the amphibians of liberalism and the carnivores of privilege will withdraw like the caymans and bears before the advance of social liberty. The gallows-birds, like the beasts of the forest dread the company of human beings. The libertarian fraternity will frighten the denizens of Civilization. They know that where human rights exist there is no place for exploitation. So they will flee to the most remote parts of the bayous, to the most unexplored caverns of the Cordilleras.
Thus socialism—first individual, then local, then national, then European, from ramification to ramification and from invasion to invasion—will become universal socialism. And one day there will no longer be a question of the little French Republic, nor of the little American Union, nor even of the little United States of Europe, but of the true, great and social Human Republic, single and indivisible, the Republic of human beings in the state of freedom, the Republic of the united individualities of the globe.
Appendix A: The Extremes
Under this title, “The Extremes,” here is a note on The Humanisphere, the true subject, ways and means of which are sketched rather than discussed. It is even an incomplete sketch. Nonetheless, I deliver it to the public as-is, unless I return to it later. More than one reader will believe themselves bound to condemn me for having published it. “We think these things, but we do not say them", they will add in a very low voice. All that we think should be said. Moreover, it is necessary that the revolutionaries as well as the reactionaries familiarize themselves with that idea. It is in the logic of things, and we try to avoid it in vain. I only work to uncover that which is, for many eyes, still hidden; to explain tomorrow by yesterday; to draw some rigorous conclusions. It is not my fault if the philosophy of contemporary history is a page that can only be written in blood. There are inevitable paths plotted by centuries of oppression and servitude. The desire to diverge from them on byways is impossible: all roads return there. We must follow the straight line, hasten our steps and go to the end. That is the shortest way out, and it is the sole means. The aristocracy of every shade needs a lesson; the proletariat of every country needs a stimulant. It is necessary to force the world, lost to overindulgence or hunger, to think, to shake it with an arm of iron, to wake it from its gloomy apathy. It is necessary that the Future and Past alike, standing at their full height, clash in the Present, and that one of these two colossi shatters the other. To the coalition authoritarian interests we must oppose the coalition of all the anarchic interests. We must rekindle the days of September and strike with terror those who oppress us with terror. We must have the audacity of solidarity with all the insurgents of the world, whatever they may be, to push temerity to the point of moral, if not physical complicity with all those who give back to civilization iron for iron and fire for fire. Ah! revolutionaries, if you have the Revolution in your heart as you have it on your lips; why recoil and cover your face before such means? What is the use of invoking the principles if you can only faint before the consequences? It is not by mystical sighs that you will ward off tyranny and exploitation, but by drawing the sword with the idea, by stabbing the Reaction in its flesh and in its spirit:
Note on The Humanisphere
I am far from wanting to say that the aristocracy of our times is a model of society for the world of the future; quite the contrary. What I wanted to make clear is that man, according to the diverse conditions in which he moves, is more or less worthy or unworthy. The more he has a sense of his liberty, the more he also has a feeling of his dignity; the more respect he has for himself, and also for his fellows. But the aristocrat is not free; he is master, and he is slave: master of those inferior, but slave of his superiors; he is free only with his equals. And still, that liberty is very limited, for the aristocrat is not even a man, he is half a man. (And I speak here of the most intelligent, of those who have intellectual learning, a reasoned consciousness of their own value, the lettered, the artists, the scientific, or at the very least those who have a feeling for letters, arts and sciences, the great crowd in its largest sense, the cream of the elegant and learned worlds.) The aristocracy, even in the best sense of the word, is a cripple that does not know how to use its arms, and in which, consequently, one of two senses is lacking. The proletarian, the white slave, is nearly as infirm as the aristocrat: he has arms and no brain, or a least a brain that he hardly knows how to use. As for the bourgeois, that thing that is not an aristocrat and is not a proletarian, that heap of flesh, — neither arm nor head, nor heart, but all belly, it is a being so deformed and vile that it can only serve as a foil to the extremists of the proletariat as to the extremists of the aristocracy. Sometimes the extremes meet, but it is on the condition of developing from the two ends, and by crushing in this double rapprochement everything that is between them. It is not a question of dethroning the aristocrat from his place of luxury, of making him descend from his artistic or scientific pedestal, but of making the proletarian rise, of enthroning him there; as it is also not a question of breaking in the hands of the proletarian the scepter of industrial or agricultural labor, but of arming the aristocrat with it. worker from above, worker from below, idle with the arm or idle with the head, both must be completed, not only by one another, but also the one and the other, in order to make both of them able-bodied men, instead of making both of them, as today, cripples. The good there is in one must be acquired b the other, and vice versa. The day cannot be far off with manual and intellectual labor le travail will be the prerogative of each. It is not as difficult to achieve this as we suppose. Except, "those who want the end must want the means.”
The proletarian is too worn out by poverty and forced labor; the excesses of fasting and of drink, of wakefulness and unemployment have unnerved him too much; they are too full of distressing and infamous prejudices; his brow has been for too long plunged like a sponge in swill, in the dregs of bourgeois education; too many chains and gates, too many heavy burdens and thick walls; too many obstacles, finally, still trouble him for him to be able to evolve daily and without bumps in the road of scientific and artistic progress. It is not by peaceful and proper means that he can complete himself as a social man, and revolutionize his brain. It is only with the aid of an anarchic commotion that will put all his fibers in motion, and will raise him, by the enthusiasm of all vibrating in each, and of each vibrant in all, to a level of lucidity that will be equal to the greatest intelligences and will allow him to accomplish the greatest things. Is there anything in the world more dishonest and more treacherous, viler and more base than the bourgeois? No, you think. Well, if he is free there, the worker who labors for himself, the shopkeeper in his own shop, misshapen species of the genus of drudges, still worker by the arm and already shopkeeper by the head. What is more hideous and more repulsive, more horrible to see and know than that sort of human spider crouched behind the panes of a window and weaving on his workbench and in his head the web of his exploitation, a net intended to take the little public, the public of gnats? It is not lies and vile tricks that this monster on two legs, half-proletarian and half-bourgeois, puts to work to trap you, you who are his brother in misery and in production, but are also, his spoils in your role as consumer. — Commerce is the most demoralizing, most withering thing that I know of, for a society or for an individual. A people, a caste or a man given over to mercantilism, is a man, a caste or a people lost; it is the gangrene in the side of Humanity. There is no arguing about such wounds, it is necessary to apply the hot iron.
The aristocrat is too full of vanity, too puffed-up with self-importance; he is too pampered in his listlessness, too titillated in his luxury, too well provided in his gastronomy; he is too certain of enjoying with impunity some easy pleasures procured by rank and wealth to not detest every movement of manual production, every physical labor. That inaction of the arms necessarily has an influence on his brain, by paralyzing its development. The aristocrat only considers the proletarian as an ass good above all to bear the pack-saddle; and he does not only realize that he is himself only a sort of calf stretched bound hand and feet, on the back of the other beast, and good, above all, to bleat, waiting for the abattoir.
The aristocrat, like the proletarian, can only be regenerated by a cataclysm. As long as there endures for the masses the spirit of lucre, the meager wage and the small trade, the day’s gain and the fear for the next day, the proletarian could never escape from his stupefaction, from his degradation. And yet he must escape. Too, as long as their indolent and insolent security endures, the aristocrat from birth, and still less the thinking bourgeois or the pot-bellied bourgeois, the upstart bourgeois, will never feel proud of giving himself up to manual and productive labor; they will never resolve themselves to it. and yet they must become men, physically and intellectually. They must, or they must disappear. But the means? The means are very simple. What is the cause of their inaction? The impunity in which they live. Well! Let us put the pleasures of their lives and their lives themselves in peril each day. Let us dare to assimilate ourselves to all those who attack the life and property of the rich. By assimilating ourselves to them, we take them in, and consequently we moralize them. So we become a menace, a formidable danger. The social war takes quotidian and universal proportions. There is not a hair that falls from a head, not the most minor theft of property that is not the work of the Revolution. We will complement ourselves, we, the plebs of the workshops, with a new element, the plebs of the penal colonies. All the convicts are made one then, all the arms are under the same cloak, all the heads under the same hat. Each of us could continue to make rebellion according to our aptitudes; and if the use of the jimmy and the knife is more repugnant to you than the use of the barricade and the gun, well! we will at least have in our ranks some specialists, some workers accustomed to these tools to accomplish the fierce and bloody task. Assassins and thieves, urban guerillas, solitary insurgents, each of them must be conscious that by attacking the legal society, they carry upheaval among the Civilized, they act in the name of “the most sacred rights and the most indispensable of duties.”—by raising all the daily attacks, the attacks on the life and property of the rich, to the height of a social insurrection, not only will the revolution rage permanently, but it will also become invincible. Nothing could resist it. The aristocrat put in danger this way will be forced to seek a heroic remedy to an imminent evil. The spirit of caste will disappear to give place to the spirit of individual conservation. Then, and only then, he might come to the idea of becoming a worker, as much to escape from that epidemic of ruin and death than to obey a new need for him, which could not fail to manifest itself among the most intelligent, the need to earn, by the sweat of his brown, his right of existence and the flourishing of that existence. From the aristocrat will be made a man. His intelligence will develop with his arm. And soon, instead of seeking to stifle the revolutionary and social ideal, he will be the first to activate it, he will march hand in hand even with the most socialist, the most revolutionary of the proletarians. The proletarian having taught him to work with his arms, will learn from him to work with his brain; the fraternal sentiment will replace in both of them fratricidal feelings. Here there will no longer be the man of the brow, crippled in the arms, and the man of the arms, crippled in the brow, there will be the man of brow and arms at once, the whole man. His heart will grow with all that will be acquired by his arms, with all that will be acquired by his brain. The human being will be formed, and Humanity will be near.
In individual medicine, as in social science, the palliatives, the old, routine procedures have never succeeded in restoring a sick person to health; drugs more harmful than useful, they have never produced anything but empiricism. The social body, like the human body, suffers from a malady that gets worse each day. There is only one means of saving them, which is to treat them with a new system, to employ homeopathy. Oppression is kept alive by theft and murder; it must be combated with theft and murder. We will cure the evil only with evil. — So let us provoke a terrible crisis, a renewed outbreak of the disease, so that tomorrow, at the end of that crisis, Humanity, taking possession of its senses and entering an era of convalescence, can nourish heart and mind on the juice of fraternal and social ideas, and so that, finally rendered healthy and strong in its movements, it testifies thus to the free and generous circulation of all its nutritious fluids, of all its productive forces, by a physiognomy radiant with happiness!
The Universal Circulus
The universal circulus is the destruction of every religion, of all arbitrariness, be it elysian or tartarean, heavenly or infernal. The movement in the infinite is infinite progress. This being the case, the world can no longer be a duality, mind and matter, body and soul. It cannot be a mutable thing and an immutable one, which involves contradiction—movement excluding immobility and vice versa—but must be, on the contrary, an infinite unity of always-mutable and always-mobile substance, which implies perfectibility. It is through eternal and infinite movement that the infinite and eternal substance is constantly and universally transformed. It is by a fermentation at all instants; it is by passing through the filtering sieve of successive metamorphoses, by the progressive emancipation of species, from mineral to vegetable, from vegetable to animal and from instinct to intelligence; it is by an ascending and continuous circulation that it is raised gradually and constantly from the near inertia of the solid to the subtile agility of the fluid, and that, from vaporization to vaporization, it constantly approaches ever purer affinities, always in the midst of a work of purification, in the great crucible of the universal laboratory of the worlds. Thus, movement is not separate from substance; it is identical to it. There is no substance without movement, as there is no movement without substance. What we call matter is raw mind or spirit; what we call mind or spirit is wrought matter.
As it is with the human being, summary of all the terrestrial beings, essence of all the inferior kingdoms, so it is with the universal being, encyclopedia of all the atomic and sidereal beings, infinite sphere of all the finite spheres—the universal being, like the human being, is perfectible. It has never been, is not, and will never be perfect. Perfectibility is the negation of perfection. To limit the infinite is impossible, as it would no longer be infinite. As far as thought can reach, it cannot discover its own limits. It is a sphere of extension which defies all calculations, where the generations of universes and of sidereal multiverses gravitate from evolution to evolution without ever being able to reach the end of the voyage, the ever more remote frontiers of the unknown. The absolute infinity in time and in space is eternal movement, eternal progress. Put a limit to that infinity without limits—a God, any heaven whatsoever—and immediately you limit movement, limit progress. It is like putting it on a chain like the pendulum of a clock, and to saying to it: “When you’re at the end of your swing, stop! You shall go no further.” It is placing the finite in the place of the infinite. Well! Don’t we realize that perfection is always relative, that absolute perfection is immobility, and that consequently immobilized perfection is something absurd and impossible? Only idiots could dream that up. There is and can be no absolute except perfectibility in the universal infinity. The more a being is perfected, the more it aspires to perfect itself further. Would nature, which has given us infinite aspirations, have lied to us, promising more than it could give? Where has she ever been seen to lie? One must be a Christian and a civilized person, which is to say a cretin and a eunuch, to imagine with delight a paradise in which old Jehovah is enthroned. Could you imagine anything more stupid and boring? Could you imagine these blessed ones, these saints cloistered in the clouds as in a convent, all their pleasure consisting of telling their rosaries and ruminating, like brutes, on praises to the reverend father God, that unchanging superior, that pope of popes, that king of kings, having the mother abbess Virgin Mary to his left, and to his right the child Jesus, the heir apparent, a great oaf who carries, with the air of a seminarian, his crown of thorns, and who,—in the representation of the mystery of the so-sacrosanct Trinity,—fills—with his immaculate mother cradling in her lap the peacock Holy Spirit, which spreads its tail,—the role of two thieves on the cross, nailed on each side of the greatest of criminals, the supreme and divine creator of all the oppressions and all the servitudes, of all the crimes and all the abjections, the Word and the incarnation of evil! In the earthly convents, at least, men and women can still console themselves for their imperfection, for their deadly tortures, by thinking of a future perfection, of another and immortal life, of celestial bliss. But in heaven every aspiration more elevated is forbidden them: are they not at the apogee of their being? The very high and all-powerful magistrate, the one who judges, in last resort and without appeal, the living and the dead, has given them the maximum of beatitude. From now on, they have taken on the cassock of the elect; they drag, in paradise, in forced idleness, the ball and chain of their days; and they are condemned for all time! There is no appeal for mercy possible; no hope of change, no glimmer of future movement can reach down to them. The hatch of progress is forever sealed above their heads; and, like the conscript-for-life in his hulk, immortal galley slaves, they are forever fastened to the chain of the centuries in the eternal heavenly stay!
The only diversions these poor souls enjoy consists of chanting hymns and prostrating themselves before the sovereign master, that cruel old man who, in the times of Moses, wore a blue robe and curly beard, and who according to the current fashion, must wear today a black coat and a stiff collar, mutton-chop sideburns or an imperial goatee, with spittle in place of his heart, and a rainbow of satin around the neck. The Empress Marie and her divine ladies-in-waiting most certainly have crinolines under their petticoats, and most certainly the saints, in the livery of court, are starched, cravated, pomaded and curled neither more nor less than the diplomats. Their blessed grandesses doubtless bang away at the piano for all of the holy eternity, and their blessed excellencies turn the hand of the organ-of-paradise... What fun they must have! That must be amusing! It is true that I am not rich, but I would certainly still give some few pennies to see such a spectacle—to watch for a moment, you understand, not to remain there; and only on the condition of paying on the way out, if I was pleased and satisfied. And yet, on reflection, I find it hard to believe that what goes on inside is worth even a trifling sum at the door. Is it not said: “Happy are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them”? That property will never delight me. Definitely, at times, the holy Gospels display a naïveté that is... amusing: bestow then some donkey’s ears on all the laureates of the faith! These first fathers of the Church must have been mischievous: might as well confess right off that paradise is not worth the four fetters of a... Christian. And to admit that women have been left to take the promises of these Lovelaces of superstition, that they have smiled at all these cretinous seductions, that they have given their love for this anti- and ultra-human paradise! To admit that the men have been taken in like the women, that they have believed all these ignoble ones—nonsense, that they have worshipped them!—Poor human nature!—However, one will admit that it would be difficult to invent anything more detrimental to the happiness of humans who do not already have the pleasure of being absolutely poor in spirit. In truth, I would reckon myself happier to be a convict in prison than one of the chosen in paradise. In prison, I would still live by my hopes. Every progress would not be completely closed to me, and my thoughts, like my physical strength, could attempt an escape from the galleys. And the eternity of the life of a man is not so long as the perpetuity of the life of a saint. The universal movement, by transforming me from life to death, will finally deliver me from my torture. I will be reborn free. While in the case of the heavenly imprisonment it is immobility without end, knees bent, hands clasped, head bowed, brow void of hope—an unprecedented torture, with body and soul, muscles and fibers put to the question under the inquisitorial eye of God...
When I think that, profiting from the deterioration of my faculties, brought on by age or illness, a priest could come at the hour of my death, and give me, one way or another, the absolution of my sins, of my heresies; that he could deliver to me, a subject suspected or convicted of lèse-divinité, a lettre de cachet for heaven, and send me to rot in that divine Bastille without a ray of hope of ever leaving it, brrrrrrr!... that gives me shivers. Happily, the expected paradises are like castles in Spain: they only exist in imaginations suffering from mental alienation; or, like houses of cards, the least breath of reason is enough to knock them down. However, I declare it here: On the day when death weighs down on me, let those who can surround me then, if they are my friends, if they respect the wishes of my reason, and not allow my agony to be soiled by a priest and my cadaver sullied by the church. A free thinker, I want to die as I have lived, in rebellion. Living and upright, I protest strongly and in advance against every such profanation of my remains. A particle of humanity, I want even after my death to serve the education and life of humanity; that is why I leave my body to the practitioner who wants to make an autopsy of it and study the organs of a man who did all that he could to be worthy of that name; and that I ask him, if it is possible, to inter the remains as fertilizer in a sown field.
But let us return to our subject, the universal circulus. The unlimited sphericity of the infinite and its absolute movement of rotation and gravitation,—its perfectibility, in short, is demonstrated by all that which strikes our view and our understanding. Everything turns, in us and around us, but never precisely in the same circle. Every rotation tends to raise itself, to approach a purer ideal, a remote utopia which will be realized one day in order to make place for another utopia, and thus progressively from ideal to ideal and from realization to realization.
On the earth, all beings, our subalterns, at whatever degree they are placed in the hierarchy of kingdoms or of species, minerals, vegetables or animals, tend towards the human ideal. As with the infinitely small, so with the infinitely large—our globe and the multitude of globes which follow it at a distance in one single whirl, tend equally, whatever their relative superiority or inferiority, towards their luminous ideal, the sun. And all approach it each day, however insensibly: the man, like the sun, tends in his turn towards some more utopian spheres, by an ascending and continuous gradation; and always thus until the end of ends, or rather without end or terminus.—The mineral pivots imperceptibly on itself and draws to itself all that it can appropriate of the lesser orders; it grows and extends itself, and then it entrusts to some conducting agents a few fragments of its exuberance and feeds the plant.—In its turn, the plant grows, rocking in the breeze and blossoming in the light. The insects gather pollen from it; it offers them its honey and its fibers, everything it has stolen from the bowels of the earth and that it has made to rise to the light of day through the filters of its tissues. The insects and worms then become the prey of the birds. The plant itself is feed for the large animals. Already the mineral has been transformed into flesh and bone, and the sap has become blood; instinct is more prompt, and movement more pronounced. The gravitation continues. Man assimilates the vegetable and the animal, the grass and the grain, the honey and the fruit, the flesh and the blood, the gas and the sap, the breezes and rays. Terrestrial star, he pumps through all his pores the emanations of his inferiors. He raises them drop by drop, bit by bit, to his level and returns to them to knead again that which is still too coarse for him to incarnate within himself. In just the same way, he exhales through thought the aromas too pure to be retained in his calyx, and he scatters them on humanity. Humanity, after having incorporated them, integrates everything that can sympathize with its degree of perfection, and returns for kneading to the instinctive species, to the inferior orders, that which is too coarse for it in these fluids, and exhales that which is too subtile towards the higher humanities of the outer spheres.
Thus it is with the planets moving around the sun, and with the sun moving in its turn with all its satellites around another more elevated center, star of that star.
Now, if everything turns first in a spiral, from its need for preservation, and if, turning on itself, everything reaches beneath itself, from its need for alimentation, and raises itself above itself, from its need for expression; if life is a perpetual revolution, a circle always in movement, each movement of which modifies its nature; if all movement is a progress, and if the more rapid the movement of rotation and gravitation is, the more it accelerates progress in us; can men and women, to whom analogy demonstrates all these things, do less than to bow to the evidence? Can we not desire to be revolutionaries, and, being revolutionaries, not desire to be more revolutionary still? For the human being, to live the life of the mineral, vegetable or animal, to live the life of stones or brutes, is not to live; and to live the life of the civilized persons is to live the life of stones and brutes. Humans, let us not stiffen against our destiny, but deliver ourselves with passion to its teachings; let us advance boldly to the discovery of the unknown; reach out to progress in order to accomplish with it humanitary evolution in the great circle of perfectible beings and societies; let us initiate ourselves fearlessly into the mysteries of the eternal and universal revolution in the infinite. The infinite alone is great, and the revolution only has malice for those who would remain outside its circle. Let us live by movement for movement, by progress and for progress, regardless of whether the grave is close and the cradle far. What is death to us, if it is still movement, and if movement is still progress? If that death is only a regeneration, the dissolution of our crumbling unity, an organism incapable for the moment of moving itself, perfectibly in its continuous disaggregation, and, moreover, the re-aggregation of the plurality of our being in younger and more perfectible organisms? If that death, finally, is only the passage from our state of senility to the embryonic state, the mold, the matrix of a more turbulent life, the crucible of a purer existence, a transmutation of our brass into gold and a transfiguration of that gold into a thousand coins, animated and diverse, and all stamped with the effigy of Progress? Death is only frightening for those who bask in their own muck and are transfixed in their porcine husks. For, at the hour of the decomposition of his organs, those will adhere, by their heaviness and vileness, as they adhered during their lives, to all that which is mud and stone, stench and torpor. But those who, instead of growing fat and sinking willingly into their ignominy, burned their fat to produce light; those who acted with their voice and strength, with heart and intelligence which will be invigorated by labor and love, by movement—those, at the hour when the last of their days are used up; when they has no more oil in their lamp nor elasticity in their works; when the largest part of their substance, long since volatilized, journeys already with the fluids; those, I tell you, will be themselves reborn, in conditions made more perfectible to the degree that they had labored at their own perfectibilization. Moreover, does not death have a place in all the instants of the lives of beings? Can the body of a man preserve for a single moment the same molecules? Does not every contact constantly modify it? Can it not breathe, drink, eat, digest, think, feel? Every modification is at once a new death and a new life, more painful and more inferior to the degree that the alimentation and the physical and moral digestion have been idler or more coarse; easier and superior to the degree that they have been more active or refined.
Just as the human digests the vegetable and animal, assimilates their juice or essence and discharges their skin and excremental detritus as the manure that will give birth to lesser beings; just so humans digest the hominal and the generations of hominals, their juice or essence and discharge their skin and excremental detritus as the manure on which will wallow and pasture the bestial and vegetative societies.
Like the works of a mill, the individual organism of the human being and the organism of humanity grind in their gears the fruit of good and evil, and separate the good from the bad, the bran from the flour. The bran is cast in the trough for the livestock, the flour is gathered by the human being and serves its nutrition. The good is destined to the highest classes of beings, the bad to the lowest. The one is transformed into white bread or into cake and is set on the table on trays of porcelain or silver at the feast of the intelligences; the other remains raw or is transformed into slops, and falls in the feed trough for the farm stock or beasts of burden. The good or bad grain, and each grain of that grain, is treated according to its value, punished or rewarded according to its merit. Each carries within itself its chastisement and its recompense, the human being as much as the grain; its purity or impurity makes its paradise or hell in the present, its hell or heaven in the future.
All labor is an instrument of progress, all idleness is a straw bed for decrepitude. Labor is the universal law; it is the organ of purification for all beings. No one can escape it without committing suicide, for we can be born and grow, form and develop only by labor. It is through labor that the grain sprouts in the furrow, put sup its stalk and is crowned with a rich fruit; it is also by labor that the human fetus closes off and encircles itself in the womb of the mother, and, obeying an imperious attraction, appears by escaping from the organ of generation; it is by labor that the child stands on its feet, grows, and that, become an adult, it is crowned with the double fruit of its manual and intellectual faculties; it is also by labor that the individual matures physically and morally before falling under the scythe of Time, that universal and eternal reaper, in order to begin again, in the eternal and universal life, a new work and new destinies.—Being, whatever they may be, are called to labor to the degree that their attractions are lofty; and their sensations are voluptuous to the degree that they are purified by labor.
Happy are those whose productive faculties are overexcited by the love of the good and the beautiful. They will be fruitful in goodness and in beauty, for no labor is fruitless. Unhappy are those whose productive faculties sleep, shrouded in the apathy that the dreadful and evil brings. They will not know the joys that hard-working and generous passions give. All inertia is infertile; all narcissism, every exclusive adoration of itself is doomed to sterility. Happiness is a fruit that can be picked only on the high summits, and it has a delicious flavor only after having been cultivated. For the idle, the inert, as for the merely cunning, it is too green a fruit: it ripens only for the agile, the laborers. It is not by sequestering it in our being, by isolating our hearts from the hearts of our fellows that we can obtain it; it does not belong to the fratricidal but to the fraternal. Those only can harvest it who do not fear to put arms and heart and head into it, and make a communion of individual efforts.
The human and humanity carry within them the seed of individual and social well-being; it is up to individual and social labor to cultivate it, if they want to savor its fruits.
It is for having tasted the fruit of the tree of science that, according to the Jewish and Christian mythologies, we have lost the terrestrial paradise. Ah! If instead of having only a taste, Humanity had tried to eat its fill of it, it would not be difficult to recover that Eden, so narrow and so little regrettable. Then, we could have had it, prodigiously, without limits and replete with felicities of a very different sort than those of the primitive ages. I do not say that with the aid of science we could, like the alleged gods, make something from nothing, but we could regenerate what exists, make the world a better world, transform our societies in the civilized state into a society in the harmonic state, and enter almost without transition from the life of present ages into that of the future.
The religions, as absurd as they are, nonetheless represent the need for an ideal innate in humanity. All the fables of the past and present represent future hopes, the sense of immortality in mortals. Ignorance and superstition have made shapeless monsters of these aspirations; it is up to science, to reason freed from its swaddling clothes, to give them humanitary forms. The human and humanity, as well-perfected as they will be one day, will nonetheless experience desires which will never find satisfaction in any present time. The future will always be a beacon towards which all their efforts will tend, the object of their constant longings. The call of progress will always resonate in their ears. Perception will always be superior and will always reach further than realization. Human beings sense clearly that all is not closed forever under the lid of the coffin. The idea of progress protests not only against all destruction, but also against all degeneration; and not only against all degeneration, but against all that which is not regeneration and perfectibilization. Ignorance and superstition have imagined the immortality of the soul and the heavenly resurrection. I believe I have demonstrated that there is no soul distinct from the body; and there would be an inadmissible duality unless that soul still obeyed the same laws of decomposition as the body. The absolute soul and absolute paradise would be the negation of progress; and we can no more deny progress than we can movement. God, in the religious as in the philosophical sense, can no longer exist with regard to us, as we ourselves cannot exist as God with regard to the myriads of atoms of which our body is the Great-All. It is not the human body, in its small totality, which creates and directs these myriads of atoms of which it is composed; it is these atoms, instead, that create it and direct it by moving according to their passional attractions. Far from being their God, the human being is hardly anything but their temple: it is the beehive or anthill animated by these innumerable multitudes of the imperceptible. The universal being would not, any more than the human being, be the creator or the director of the colossal multitudes of worlds of which it is made up; it is these worlds, instead, which create and direct it. Far from being their maker, their producer—their God, as the metaphysicians say—the universal being is hardly anything but the workshop or, at most, the product of the infinity of beings. How then would it be the motor of each, if it is only the machine of which each is the motor? God and the absolute is denied by everything in nature that has life. The progress which is movement and the movement which is progress issue them a certificate of non-existence, characterize them as imposters. If the absolute could exist above us, we would be the absolute for that which is below us, and movement and progress would not exist. Life would be nothingness, and nothingness cannot be conceived. All that we know is that life exists: thus movement exists, thus progress exists, and thus the absolute does not exist. All that we can conclude is that the circulus exists in universality as it exists in individuality. Like every individuality, the universality, however infinite it may be, is itself only a rotation and a spherical gravitation which, moving more and more from the darkness and chaos and approaching more and more light and harmony, perfects itself by working itself ceaselessly, by a mechanism or organism that is constantly more rectified... But all of that absolutely contradicts the idea of a God from which everything emanates and towards which everything returns, the idea that everything has been created, by God, from nothingness, in order to be annihilated in the bosom of the same God—which is to say, something starting from nothing in order to lead to nothing, going beyond the absurd in order to fall back into the absurd. God, source of all things, central point from which everything follows and towards which all returns, is one of these contradictory rationales that one can give to the children of men and to the humanities-in-infancy, because their still-sleeping intelligence cannot yet respond. But it is absolutely absurd. A river cannot flow back towards its source. The source is no more eternal than the river. They both exist only on the condition of movement, which is to say of progress, of birth and of death, of generation and regeneration. Like the river, the source has a cause. It is not everything, this small central point from which gushes the living water which produces the stream. The opening is only an effect, it is not a cause; and, by returning from the effect to the cause, we would find that the cause is still only the effect of another cause, and so forth. God explains nothing. It is a word to cross out of the vocabulary of men, since it serves to quibble with the difficulty without resolving it. God is only a mannequin, the breastplate (or shirtfront) of ignorance, a stick in the wheels of progress, a snuffer on the light, a... rag in a lantern! It is time to cleanse the universal language of it. Excrement of human cretinism, from now on it belongs to the Domange Academy and the consorts: let it reign in the pits of the Villette, and let it, reduced to powder and cast to the four winds, serve finally as fertilizer to movement, to the eternal and universal and perfectible creation, to the unlimited development of the infinite.
God!... In truth is it possible that two men agree on the meaning that they give to this word? I do not accept that for the needs of the dialectic it should be necessary to resort to it. Let a philosopher employ it in his writings, and, if it is a Catholic who reads them, he would only want to see,—despite whatever cautions the author has given,—the God of his own religion. If he is a Calvinist, a Lutheran, a Israelite, a Muslim, a Hindu, a believing philosopher or a philosophical believer, each would not want and would not be able to see anything but the God of his own imagination. In the end, these three cabalistic letters will represent as many different Gods as there are readers or listeners. I do not see what need the dialectic could have of the word, and I believe that it would do better and more wisely to do without it. New things require new words. I know that there are many other expressions which we use, myself as much as anyone, and which do not have the same meaning for everyone: it is an evil which it is necessary to try to remedy, otherwise we would discuss a long time without understanding each other. GOD being the first cause of all social falsities, the source of all human errors, the capital lie, GOD can no longer be employed in the discussion except as an abusive term, as a spatter spit from our lips or our pen. It is not enough to be an atheist, it is necessary to be a theocide. It is not enough to deny the Absolute; it is necessary to affirm Progress, and to affirm it in everything and everywhere.
Defects in logic are what mislead the greatest thinkers, what carry perturbation to the mass of intelligences. It is because we is not in agreement with ourselves that often we cannot come to agreement with others. All of us who affirm the movement in the infinite and consequently infinite progress, the single and solidary universality, affirm equally the movement in ourselves and consequently progress, the single and solidary individuality. Let is deny duality in the finite as we deny it in the infinite. Let us reject that absurd hypothesis of the immortality of the soul, of the absolute in the finite, when we have the proof in the body that every finite thing is perishable, divisible and multipliable, which is to say progressively perfectible. Matter is not one thing and spirit another, but one same and single thing which movement constantly diversifies. The spiritual is only the result of the corporeal; this is not a matter of spirituality but of spirituosity. The soul or, to put it better, thought is to the human being what alcohol is to wine. When we speak of the spirit of wine, we speak of an entirely material thing. Why should it be otherwise when it is a question of the spirit of a human being! Do you still believe then that the earth is flat, that the heavens are a cupola to serve it as a dome, and that the sun and stars are candles lit by the creator God in honor of Adam and Eve and their descendants? And if you no longer believe in these supposed revelations, in these charlatanries or in this aberration of the faith, and if you believe in what science and the genius of observation teaches you, in virtue of what reason would you want spirit to be distinct from matter? And, even being distinct, that the one be the movement and the other inertia, and that precisely the one to which you attribute movement was never-changing in its individuality? Inexplicable paradox! Well, observation tells you, through my testimony, that all that which has been vapor or dust and is grouped and has taken finished, definite form, will come away grain by grain, drop by drop, molecule by molecule and will scatter into the undefined, in order to assume, not another form, but a multiplicity of other forms, and will leave these multiple forms anew in order to divide again and multiply and progress eternally in the infinite. In order to be convinced of it, there is no need of having studied Greek or Latin; it is only necessary to examine the analogy, to infer and to deduce.
I have established that all that which is inferior to human beings tends to gravitate towards them. The human being is the summary of terrestrial creation. The Earth is a being, animated like all beings and endowed with various organs proper to life. Humanity is its brain, or rather it is that part of it which, in the human brain, we have called the gray matter, the eminently intelligent part; for the animal and the vegetal, and the mineral even—in a certain proportion—also live under the terrestrial skull and form the ensemble of its brain. Alone,—of all the atoms which live obscurely in the innards of the planetary body or rest, vegetate, crawl, walk or fly by the light between the soil and the atmosphere,—humans are a perfectible species. They possess some faculties which are unknown to other beings or which are hardly sensible among them: that of memory, for example, or calculation; that of the emission and transmission of idea. Unlike the mineral, vegetable and animal, the hominal generations succeed and do not resemble one another; they always progress and do not know the limit of their perfectibility. Eh! well, that which exists for the earth obviously exists for human beings. The human being is another globe, a small world which also has in it its privileged race, its humanity in miniature, the ideal of all the atomic species that people and form its body. That humanity is called the brain. It is towards it that gravitate all the kingdoms or all the molecular species of the human body. These molecules,—the most revolting as well as what we might call the most inert,—all tend to rise from their beds and their lower natures to that type of superiority which lives under the human skull. And, as humanity, the intelligent part of the brain of the terrestrial body, is perfectible, the cervellity, or intelligent part of the brain, which is the humanity of the human body, is also perfectible. While outside of the brain, the lower molecules only act mechanically, so to speak, and with more inertia the lower they are place on the scale of the progression of the kingdoms or species; in the brain, on the contrary, capstone of hominal creation, the movement is rapid and intelligent. The brain of the human being, like the brain of the planet, also has its three, or rather its four gradations which corresponds to the four kingdoms: the mineral, the vegetable, the animal and the hominal. The cretin, for example, who in the human race is the being most dispossessed of intelligence, has, in the brain, in the state of development, only matter recumbent and vegetative, that which corresponds to the mineral and vegetable, but where the mineral prevails in volume over the vegetable. The imbecile is the one in whose brain the vegetable prevails over the mineral, and where there can be found a little of the animal, which is to say of matter of a creeping and somewhat instinctive sort. In the civilized person, all three kingdoms are developed in the brain, but the animal kingdom prevails over the other two. That which corresponds to the hominal, which is to say to intelligent matter, is still in a state of infancy or savagery, and dispersed under the skull, amid the virgin forests of the vegetal system, between the blocks of rock of the mineral system and exposed in its weakness and nudity to the ferocity of the animal system.—It is then the industrial and scientific labors of these generations of perfectible atoms, moving between our two temples as between two poles; it is their joys and their pains, their science or their ignorance, their individual and social struggles which constitute our thought. Depending on whether these infinitesimals are more or less in the harmonic state; whether they obey among themselves the natural law of liberty—to anarchy, to autonomy—or the artificial law of authority—to monarchy, to tyranny; whether they are under the empire of superstition or they are freed from it; whether their populations are more or less given over to pauperism and aristocracy, or rich with equality and fraternity; whether these small diminutives of humans are more or less penned up between national barriers and the fences of private property, or circulate more or less easily from one passional height, home or homeland, to another, and from one craneological continent to another; finally, according to whether they are more or less free or more or less enslaved, and also whether we ourselves are more or less dignified or more or less close to slavery or liberty.—The cervelain being, like the human being, takes in as food everything that is below it, discharges from the lower organs that which is too coarse, assimilates that which is perfectible enough to become incarnate in it, and exhales outside, on the wings of human thought, that which is too subtile to remain captive in it. Thus we incorrectly classify mind and matter as being two distinct things, the one mobile and immutable, the other mutable and immobile, the one invisible and impalpable, the other palpable and visible. Everything that is mobile is mutable, and everything that is mutable is mobile. That which is palpable and visible for the human being, the infinitely large, is invisible and impalpable for the cervelain being, the infinitely small. That which is impalpable and invisible for the human being is visible and palpable for the being placed higher in the hierarchy of beings, the humanitary beings or the terrestrial being. For the beings infinitely more perfected than us,—the humanities of the astral spheres, I suppose,—what we will regard as a fluid, they will consider as solid; and what they will regard as fluid will be regarded as solid by the humanities still more elevated in superiority. The most subtile, here, for the one, is, there, for the other, what becomes the coarsest. Everything depends on the point of view and the condition in which the being is placed. The last word of the cervelain being is certainly not the skull, as the last word of the human being is certainly not the terrestrial skull. The human being is not the absolute of the one, and humanity is not the absolute of the other. Without doubt, the cervellity gives birth to generations which, like the human generations, produce and transmit ideas, and accumulate in the memory of the man of gigantic labors. Without doubt also, humanity piles generations on generations and progress on progress. The better, the good, and the best, all increase as a result of the efforts of each. But the planets, like human beings, are born, grow and die. At the death of humans or globes, the purified humanities or cervellities rise by whatever fluid character they have towards spheres in formation or in expansion and of a more perfectible nature. The progress is eternal and infinite, after one step another step, after one life another life, and still and always.
Any being whatsoever, a human being, or the superior or the inferior that being, is like a sack of grain or of molecules of all the sorts, which movement, that is to say life and death, fills and empties without ceasing. These grains, come from the field of production, returns to the field of production or, according to their degree of perfectibility, they produce rye or wheat. The content of the sack procreates a multitude of stalks, and on each stalk each of grains subdivides and multiplies in the ear. Nothing of that which is can preserve for one minute its full individuality. Life is a perpetual exchange to the profit of each. The richest in perfectibility are the most lavish, the ones who venture the most of their being in circulation: the more the laborer sows and harvests! The poorest are the stingiest, those who have their gaze turned inward, who stack molecule on molecule in the hollows of their being, who seal themselves in their innermost selves, and waste, in a stupid private contemplation, a capital of faculties, troves of sensations that external contact would have made bear fruit.
What I want to make well understood, and what I strive to generalize at the risk of repeating myself, is that the religions, the artificial or deceitful moralities have had their day, and that they are nothing more today than immorality or irreligion; it is that there is a morality, a natural religion to inaugurate on the rubble of the old superstitions, and that that morality or that religion can be found only in the science of man and of humanity, of humanity and of universality; it is that the human like the universe, is one and not double: not matter and spirit, nor body and soul (matter or inert body, spirit or immaterial soul), but animated and passional substance, susceptible of thousands and thousands of metamorphoses and constrained by its animation and its passionality, by its attractions, to a perpetual upward movement.—What it is important to note in order to destroy all of the secular theologies, and with them the authoritarian system which still serves as the basis of the organization of contemporary societies and postpones the fraternal communion of humans, is that with movement the absolute cannot exist; it is that the individuality of the human and of humanity, like the individuality of all the atomic and sidereal beings, cannot preserve for one single instant their absolute personality, it is that the movement revolutionizes them without ceasing and constantly adds something and takes away something from them; it is that we all, minerals, vegetables, animals, humans, and stars, would not know how to live in ourselves and by ourselves; that there is no life without movement, and that movement is an infinite transformation of the finite thing; it is that we live only on the condition of taking part in the lives of others, and that the life in us is more fruitful the more we sow it outside the plots, plots which returns to us in ripe and abundant crops; and more lively as we give it more external elements, as we put passions in combustion on its hearth. Finally, it is that the more we give off light and caloric, the more we expend intelligence and love, the more we raise ourselves with swiftness from apotheosis to apotheosis in regions more and more elevated, more and more ethereal.
Everything is solidary in universality. Everything is composed, decomposed and recomposed according to its reciprocal and progressive attractions, the atom like the human, the human like the stars, and the stars like the universes. The universes are atoms in universality, as the atom is itself a universe in its individuality. The infinite exists at the two antipodes of creation, for divisibility on a small scale as for multiplicity on a grand scale. The short view of the human, its weak understanding cannot sound its incommensurable depths. The finite cannot embrace the infinite, but can only sense it. But what the thinkers, supplied in the powerful instrument that we call analogy, can touch and make thought touch, what they must proclaim by strokes of logic on all the public places and in all the public papers, is that the individual being is not the consequence of the universal being, but that the being universal is the consequence of individual beings; it is the infinitely large group of which the infinitely small are the constitutive members. God, the soul, and the spirit are myths that Humanity, approaching the age of reason, must toss without regret into the rag basket like some dolls from our youth. Science, from now on, and no longer superstition, must occupy our thoughts. Let us not forget that humanity is a daughter and fiancée of progress. The polichinelles, the good gods and the devils, all the Guignols and the puppets armed with sticks, are of childishness unworthy of it, today, as its minority comes to its end. It is time, high time, that it thinks of its emancipation; that it girds its forehead with the intellectual banner; that it finally prepares itself for its social destinies, if it does not want to serve forever as laughingstock for the Humanities of other globes.
To sum up, I say:
Movement, which is to say progress, being proven, the absolute can no more exist in the finite than in the infinite, and thus the absolute does not exist.
As a consequence, God, universal or absolute soul of the infinite, does not exist.
And as a further consequence, the soul, the absolute of the human, individuality one and indivisible, eternally finished form, does not exist.
Matter is all. Movement is the attribute of matter, and progress the attribute of movement.
Like matter and movement, progress is eternal and infinite.
The universal circulus does not lead to absolute perfection. It conducts to infinite perfectibility, to unlimited progress, the consequence of eternal and universal movement.
Thus, absolute perfection does not exist, and cannot exist. If it existed, progress would not exist.
Absolute perfection is against all evidence, and absurd.
Movement is, obviously, truth.
No transaction is possible between these two terms: it is necessary either to believe in God and in his diminutives and deny movement, or to affirm movement and invalidate God.
—God is the negation of Progress.
—Progress is the negation of God.
[Working translations by Shawn P. Wilbur]