Source: Alexandre Zévaès, Histoire de la IIIème République. Éditions Georges Anquetil Paris, 1926;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2009.
Voters of the Seine:
The parliamentarians who did all they could to make me unelectable are today frightened at the idea of seeing me elected. My sword worried them. They took it from me. And now here they are more worried than during the period when I still wore it!
In reality, it’s not me they’re afraid of, it’s universal suffrage, whose repeated judgments testify to the disgust inspired in the country by the state of degradation their incapacity, their base intrigues, and their pointless discussions have reduced the republic.
In fact, it is more convenient for them to hold me responsible for the discredit they’ve fallen into than to attribute it to their indifference to the interests and sufferings of the people.
So as not to be forced to accuse themselves, they accuse me by attributing to me the most unbelievable dictatorial plans. For I was overthrown as minister on the pretext that I meant war, and they fight me as a candidate on the pretext that I mean dictatorship.
Dictatorship! Is it not we who suffered it in all its forms? Don’t they propose every day laws of exception for our voters and myself? If the thought of playing dictator had come to me it would seem to me that it would have been when as Minister of War I had the whole army in hand. Was there anything at that time in my attitude that could have justified this insulting suspicion? No! I accepted the sympathy of all without thinking of stealing anyone’s popularity. What of dictatorial is there in a program that calls for a constitutional revision by the most democratic of systems, that is, by means of a constituent assembly, where every deputy would be able to defend and make his opinions prevail?
The leaders of the republican party had based themselves on my republicanism in order to open the doors to the ministry for me. What have I done since then to no longer be worthy of the republic? Let them tell me of one sole act, one sole profession of faith where I didn’t clearly affirm this!
But along with all of France, I want a republic composed of something other than an assembly of ambitions and greed.
What can we hope for from people who, after having been fooled for 15 years as they themselves admit, dare to present themselves again, asking for your trust?
Voters of the Seine,
France today is thirsty for justice, uprightness and selflessness. To try along with you to wrest it from the waste that exhausts it and competitions that lower it, for me means still serving it. The fatherland is our common patrimony. You will prevent it from becoming the prey of some.
Vive la France!
Vice la République!