General Boulanger 1888
First published: as broadsheet, April 1888;
Translated: from the original broadsheet by Mitchell Abidor.
The hypocritical tremblers who have oppressed us for too long try their best to claim that General Boulanger has no program, that they don’t know what he wants, what he thinks, what he can do.
We will answer these people; You want to know what Boulanger is?
Boulanger is WORK!
Boulanger is FREEDOM!
Boulanger is HONESTY!
Boulanger is the RIGHT!
Boulanger is the PEOPLE!
Boulanger is PEACE!
BOULANGER IS WORK
What do you workers want?
What do you lack?
Work and bread!
To whom do you owe unemployment, ruin, and poverty?
To those who pass their needs, their appetites, and their unhealthy ambition before your need, which they should be defending, and who see dry-eyed and with a light heart the worker suffer and die of hunger.
For them positions, honors, luxury, power.
For you poverty!
It is time that this end!
Make way for the Avenger!
Make way for he who will rid you of this herd of parasites, living off your sufferings, betraying your trust, and who have done nothing for you, except for sending your children to die far away without any profit for France, which they left disarmed!
Make Way for He Who Will Rebuild National Labor!
Make way for the general who, in giving us strength will give us security, without which there is no possible enterprise!
Make way for the Reformer who, protecting industry, commerce and agriculture will give you the possibility to feed your children, to raise them, and to make of them good and solid workers.!
Boulanger will defend you against foreign competition.
Boulanger, whose hands are clean of any shameful traffic, will be inspired only by your interests.
It is because he is above all honest that those who have sold you out for so long tried to kill him and continue to rabidly fight him.
But you will support him, all of you who know nothing but bread honestly earned!
You will defend him, workers scorned by those who exploit you.
You will fight for him with your votes, workers in all crafts who want to live from your labor and who are tired of languishing unoccupied!
Close your ranks en masse around Boulanger!
Supported by you he will drive the merchants from the temple and henceforth, having a man at your head who will defend your legitimate demands you will be able – protected from internal and external enemies – to put in practice the motto dear to all honest workers, the one for which your fathers fought:
Live while working!
BOULANGER IS FREEDOM!
Along with work, what do you want?
To be free!
Are you now?
Bound by laws made against you by leaders who are afraid of you, you are held on a leash, and you are barely allowed to breathe your complaints.
You are no more free individually than collectively.
Everywhere the barriers are raised up anew that you once reversed at the price of your blood!
Everywhere you meet laws restrictive of any initiative.
Why these barriers?
Why these laws?
Because they are afraid of you!
Why are afraid?
Because those who oppress you, those who maintain you in a yoke, know full well that the day you’ll be free, truly free, they will be lost.
Boulanger for his part is not afraid of you!
We fear nothing when, like him, we are frank, honest, and loyal; when we want the good of all without concern for ourselves.
He doesn’t fear your being free because he has nothing to hide, nothing else to defend than you, your rights, your interests, and you goods. Thus:
Boulanger is freedom!
BOULANGER IS HONESTY!
Honesty! This is what is lacking in those who have misled you up till now.
Recently you saw if it was with the red of shame in their faces that you witnessed the collapse of those who your trust had placed so highly.
Probity! Honesty! You saw these two so French virtues for an instant descending into the mire into which they were plunged by shameless men who tried in vain to save from your contempt those who should be the strict guardians of this national good.
Frenchmen! Will you allow corruption to cynically and insolently spread?
No! You have already said so by voting in five departments for General Boulanger.
You are attacked for wanting a master.
But the rule you want, which you call for with all your heart, is the rule of honesty. And who more than Boulanger possesses this proud virtue?
Who more than this honest soldier, belonging to our army, so pure, so worthy in his poverty, can finally bring about an era of probity?
Who better than he rewarded true merit without allowing himself to be taken in by interested recommendations?
Honesty: this is the motto that is dear to him.
Those of you who are honest!
Those of you who blushed at the shameful traffics recently revealed;
Those o f you who want favor to give way to merit, support Boulanger, for Boulanger is honesty.
BOULANGER IS THE RIGHT!
Yes he is the right, for he respects all that you want, all you need.
Standard bearer of your just demands he represents the inalienable right that resides in you, the right to be governed as you should be, the right to replace those who lost your trust, the inalienable right to impose your will.
Thus, Boulanger is the right.
BOULANGER IS THE PEOPLE!
The people, that is, the French!
The people who suffer!
The people who are hungry!
He suffers to see the fatherland ceaselessly debased and humiliated; he suffers to see our beautiful country hindered in its march towards progress!
He is hungry for justice, hungry for work, hungry for honor and consideration!
The people want everyone to again be able to say with pride: I am French!
It no longer wants to bow its head!
And Boulanger had the great honor of being the first one to proudly raise up his head. Summing up all the angers of the past few years he didn’t want to forever and ceaselessly bow.
If he wants to live while working, Frenchmen, he prefers to die alongside you as you fight to the shame of a cowardly submission.
For living without honor can no longer suit the people!
It lived virtually without bread.
It doesn’t want to live without dignity.
It is Boulanger who was the first want to be able to make the voice of France heard in foreign lands.
It was he who as the representative of the people protested against the policy of degradation.
Frenchmen of all parties, it was he who valiantly expressed the opinion that unites you all in a common idea, the same devotion, in the same aspiration. He identified himself with you, and that’s why Boulanger is the People!
BOULANGER IS PEACE!
Yes peace, but an honorable peace!
This is the one we want!
This is the one he will give us!
It is in vain that his disloyal adversaries don’t hesitate about writing that his name is synonymous with imminent war.
It is in vain that pushing imprudence to its limits these German of the interior affirm that in order to sustain himself the general will be carried away towards combat by an irresistible current.
Patriotic Frenchmen, tired of bowing your heads,
If you want to maintain the peace,
Support General Boulanger!
He alone will allow you to no longer submit to the insolent injunctions from without for, as insolent as they are with the weak, with the timid, with the humble, that is how respectful they are towards the strong; towards those who., without any arrogance, are conscious of being in the right. And the right is on our side!
All of you, workers crushed by the disastrous consequences of an evil policy that reduces national labor!
All of you peasants, who want to keep your fathers’ fields and don’t want to eat a bread shamefully preserved!
You, bourgeois and bosses, touched in your interests by the chaos in whose bowels swarms discredited parliamentarianism!
You too, intellectual elite of the nation, humiliated by the insolent fortune of shameless mediocrities!
Support General Boulanger!
His hand on the guard of France’s sword, the general will know how to make those who threaten us understand that the time of fearful submission has passed, and that in the balance of Europe’s destiny that sword, reforged by him, bears great weight.
And then confident in its mission of progress and civilization, seeing open before it an era of justice, of calm, of order and liberty, France, rid of those who enslave it will, impassive and serene, expect that the Law, once unknown and violated, take a shining revenge on France!
This is the program of General Boulanger.
Frenchmen, it is up to you to allow him to accomplish it!
VIVE LA FRANCE!
VIVE LA RÉPUBLIQUE!