Works of Auguste Blanqui 1830
Source: Auguste Blanqui, Textes Choisis, avec preface at notes par V.P. Volguine, Editions Sociales, Paris 1971;
Translated: by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.
The newly-elected member is brought in blindfolded.
The president to the presenter: What is the name of the new brother you bring us...
To the newly-elected member: Citizen (...) What is your age? Your profession? Your birthplace? Your home? How do you earn a living?
Have you thought through the step you take at this time, the engagement to which you commit yourself? Do you know that traitors are struck down dead?
Swear, Citizen, to reveal to no one what happens in this place.
The president poses the following questions.
– 1 What do you think of royalty and of kings?
That they are as dangerous to humanity as the tiger is to other animals.
– 2 What are aristocrats now?
Aristocracy by birth was abolished in July 1830. It was replaced by the aristocracy of money, which is every bit as voracious as the preceding one.
– 3 Should we be satisfied with overthrowing royalty?
All aristocrats must be overthrown, all privileges must be abolished
– 4 What must we put in its place?
The government of the people by the people, which is to say, the republic.
– 5 Those who have rights without fulfilling obligations, as is the case with aristocrats, are they part of the people?
They ought not to be part of the people; they are to the social what a cancer is to the human body: the first condition for the return of the social body to a just state is the wiping out of aristocracy.
– 6 Can the people immediately govern themselves immediately after the revolution?
The social state being gangrened, heroic remedies are required to pass to a healthy state; the people will need, for a certain period of time, a revolutionary power.
– 7 In summary, what are your principles?
Royalty and all aristocracies must be exterminated; to substitute in their place the republic, which is to say the government of equality; but, to pass to this government, to employ a revolutionary power, which sets the people to exercise its rights.
Citizen, the principles which you have just expressed are the only correct ones, the only ones that can make humanity march towards the goal which is fixed for it; but their realization isn’t easy. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; they have at their disposition all of society’s forces: we republicans have only our courage and our conviction. You still have time, think of all the dangers to which you expose yourself in entering our ranks: the sacrifice of fortune, the loss of freedom, perhaps death. Are you determined to brave these dangers?
Your response is the proof of your energy. Rise, Citizen, and take the following vow:
“In the name of the republic, I swear eternal hatred to all kings, all aristocrats, to all of humanity’s oppressors. I swear absolute devotion to the people, fraternity to all men, aside from aristocrats; I swear to punish traitors; I promise to give my life, to go to the scaffold, if this sacrifice is necessary to bring about the reign of popular sovereignty and equality.”
The president puts a dagger in his hand.
“Let me be punished with the death of traitors, let me be stabbed with this dagger if I violate this vow. I agree to be treated as a traitor if I reveal the least thing to anyone at all, even my closest relative, if he is not member of the association.”
The president: Citizen, be seated; the Society receives your vow; you are now part of the association; work with others to free the people.
Citizen, your name will not be pronounced among us; here is your registration number in the workshop. You must procure arms, ammunition. The Committee which the society directs will remain unknown until the moment we take up arms. Citizen, one of your obligations is to spread the principles of the association. If you know any devoted and discreet citizens, you should present them to us.
The newly elected member is returned to the light.