Le Cercle Proudhon
Source: Cahiers du Cercle Proudhon, First Issue, January-February 1912;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2009.
The Frenchmen who have met to found the Cercle P-J Proudhon are all nationalists. The patron they chose for their assembly had them meet other Frenchmen who are not nationalists, who are not royalists, and who join them to participate in the life of the Cercle and the editing of the “Cahiers.” The initial group, of course, is made up of men of varied origins, of different conditions, who have no common political aspirations, and who will freely expose their views in the “Cahiers.” But federalist republicans, integral nationalists, and syndicalists, having resolved the political problem or cast it from their thoughts, all are equally interested in the organization of the French city in accordance with the principles taken from French tradition that they find in the Proudhonian oeuvre and in contemporary syndicalist movements, and all are in agreement on these points:
Democracy is the most serious error of the past century. If we want to live, if we want to work, if in public life we want to possess the highest human guarantees for production and culture; if we want to preserve and increase the moral, intellectual, and material capital of civilization, it is absolutely necessary to destroy democratic institutions.
Ideal democracy is the most foolish of dreams. Historic democracy, realized in the colors that the modern world knows it under, is a mortal illness for nations, for human societies, for families, for individuals. Brought among us to establish the rule of virtue, it tolerates and encourages all forms of license. Theoretically it is a regime of liberty; practically it hates concrete, real liberties and it has surrendered us to great companies of thieves and to politicians leagued with financiers or dominated by them, who live on the exploitation of the producers.
Finally, democracy has allowed, in the economy and in politics, the establishment of the capitalist regime, which destroys in the polis what democratic ideas dissolve in the spirit, that is, nations, the family, and morals, by substituting the law of gold for the laws of blood.
Democracy lives on gold and the perversion of the intelligence. It will die of the awakening of the spirit and the establishment of institutions that the French create or recreate for the defense of their freedoms and their spiritual and material interests. It is to favor this dual undertaking that we will work in the Cercle Proudhon. We will fight mercilessly against the false science that served to justify democratic ideas and against the economic systems that their inventors have destined to stupefy the working classes, and we will passionately support the movements that restore their freedoms to the French, in the forms appropriate to the modern world, and which allow them to live by working with the same satisfaction of their sense of honor as when they die in combat.
The Founders of the Cercle Proudhon and the Editors of the Cahiers:
Jean Darville, Henri Lagrange, Gilbert Maire, René de Marans, André Pascalaon, Marius Riquier, Georges Valois, Albert Vincent