Auguste Blanqui 1833

Democratic Propaganda

Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2004.


The sympathies of the masses, tempered anew by a system of terror, are reawakening more lively than ever. They are a spring that compression has made more energetic and that only asks to be released. It is up to us to favor this movement of expansion. If the doctrinaires were able to flatter themselves that they had crushed democracy with no chance of return it’s because the late catastrophe permitted them to put a halt to propaganda.

Re-establish it and we will move forward.

For the aristocracy is powerless to fight against republicans on the field of ideas. If the press is still an arm in its hands it’s because it uses it to spread slander while we, with the sole force of our doctrines of equality and fraternity, are sure to carry the masses along.

But it’s necessary that our voice reach them.

Let us then unite our efforts, citizen, in order to destroy the most odious of monopolies, the monopoly on enlightenment. Let us prove to the proletarians that that they have the right to ease with freedom; to free, common and equal education; to intervene in the government, all of which are forbidden them.

As you see, citizen, we have less a political change in mind than a social re-foundation. The extension of political rights, electoral reform, and universal suffrage can be excellent things, but only as means, not as goals. What our goal is is the equal sharing of the charges and benefits of society, is the total establishment of the reign of equality. Without this radical reorganization all formal modifications in government will be nothing but lies, all revolutions nothing but comedies performed for the benefit of the ambitious.

But it isn’t enough to vaguely declare that all men are equal; it’s not enough to combat the slanders of the evil, to destroy prejudices, and the habits of servility carefully maintained among the people. Through principles it’s necessary to replace the prejudices in their hearts. It’s necessary to convince the proletarians that equality is possible, that it is necessary. They must be penetrated with the sentiment of their dignity and clearly shown their rights and duties.

This must be the direction of our efforts. They will only be effective with the cooperation of all republicans: we appeal to their devotion and ask for their active and disinterested cooperation.

It is evident that new writings with the goal we have just indicated from a republican pen would be the object of perpetual harassment, whatever their moderation. We have resolved to foil the zeal of the police. What is important to us above all is to enlighten the masses. Trials, imprisonments and fines would quickly smash our efforts, despite all of our patriotically inspired perseverance.

We will limit ourselves to propagandizing by reprinting fragments of the best works published in the interests of the people, works that have freely circulated for some time.

We will select those that most clearly deal with the great questions of EQUALITY AND LIBERTY.

Those that tend to establish as the sole basis for social institutions the principle of the BROTHERHOOD of man and as sole guarantee of their lasting quality the responsibility of power.

If the ideas developed by these diverse writings are not always as up to date as those most advanced in their interest in the future might hope, it should be remembered that public instruction is in such a sad state that those truths that are old for the enlightened are new to the proletarian.

The writings we will publish will have four in-12 pages and will appear irregularly in such a way as to form a brochure of ninety-six pages at the end of the year.

For 1 fr. 25 c. 100 copies will be received at home.

It is possible to subscribe for a smaller number.

Those citizens in Paris and the departments who want to second us in these efforts are requested to send their exact names and addresses to Rouanet’s bookstore, Rue Verdelet, no. 6

L-Auguste Blanqui, Hadot-Desages

Our publications will appear irregularly, twice a month.

Since most writings cannot reach the people, who don’t have the means to pay for them, the particular goal that we have proposed is to remedy this situation by a free distribution to proletarians. Those citizens who want to second us in our work should spread among the people the copies they have received buy giving them out.

In order to receive the publications at home it is necessary to subscribe for twenty copies of each publication, postage costs not permitting us to send fewer than this. Subscribers for fewer than twenty copies must get them at the office, Rouanet’s , Rue Verdelet, No 6.