Written: February 1906;
Source: Le Culte de la charogne et autres texts. Paris, Editions Galilée, 1976;
Translated: by Mitchell Abidor for marxists.org;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2006.
Under the impetus of interested individuals the political committees are opening the awaited era of electoral quarrels.
As usual, they will insult each other, slander each other, fight each other. Blows will be exchanged for the benefit of third thieves, always ready to profit from the stupidity of the crowd.
Why will you go for this?
You live with your kids in unhealthy lodgings. You eat – when you can – food adulterated by the greed of traffickers. Exposed to the ravages of alcoholism and tuberculosis, you wear yourself out from morning to night at a job that is always imbecilic and useless and that you don’t even profit from. The next day you start over again, and so it goes till you die.
Is it then a question of changing all this?
Are they going to give you the means of realizing a flourishing existence, you and your comrades? Are you going to be able to come and go, eat, drink, breathe without constraint, love with joy, rest, enjoy scientific discoveries and their application, decreasing your efforts, increasing your well-being. Are you finally going to live without disgust or care the large life, the intense life?
No, say the politicians proposed for your suffrage. This is only a distant ideal...You must be patient...You are many, but you should also become conscious of your might so as to abandon it into the hands of your ‘saviors’ once every four years.
But what will they do in their turn?
Laws! What is the law? The oppression of the greater number by a coterie claiming to represent the majority.
In any event, error proclaimed by the majority doesn’t become true, and only the unthinking bow before a legal lie.
The truth cannot be determined by vote.
He who votes accepts to be beaten.
So why then are there laws? Because there is property.
So it is from the prejudice of property that all our miseries, all our pain flow.
So those who suffer from it have an interest in destroying property, and so the law.
The only logical means of suppressing laws is not to make them.
Who makes laws? Parliamentary arrivistes.
On closer analysis, it is thus not a handful of rulers who crush us, but the thoughtlessness, the stupidity of the herd of those sheep of Panurge who constitute the electoral cattle.
We will fight without cease for the conquest of “immediate happiness” by remaining partisans of the only scientific method and by proclaiming together with our abstentionist comrades:
The voter – that is the enemy!
And now, to the voting urns, cattle.