Auguste Blanqui 1834
Source: Oeuvres, texts rassemblés et presentés par Dominique de Luz. Nancy, Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1993;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor
Of all the exclusions that weigh on the citizen without a fortune, the most painful and the one most bitterly felt is that which prohibits him from publishing his thoughts. One can be consoled for not participating in the election of a deputy or a municipal functionary. But we are profoundly wounded by the evil designs of a legislation that restricts thought when that thought doesn’t have the insolent pass handed out by wealth. Those men devoted to defending the principle of equality will never forgive the ministers whose popular names served as a cloak for that law of security deposits and franking that makes the press a slave to the opulent classes, for it is they who bear the responsibility for that irreparable fault. And when, carried away by the boiling up of indignation against triumphant iniquity they raise their voices, an iron glove smashes the words on their lips. They are forbidden to take in hand the interests of the oppressed: they don’t have the right to that. It’s a right that only belongs to the rich; one must be rich in order to better identify with the poor, and riches alone gives the guts to feel and express their sufferings.
This newspaper is a protest against force’s insulting derision. A lone citizen, without money, without a sou put away, undertakes to brave the prohibition imposed by the aristocracy of the ecu against the poor man who dares to think. With his health destroyed, barely out of the prison where a verdict had him expiate the cries he raised up in favor of exploited workers, his hands still marked by the imprint of handcuffs, he today again takes up arms. And he will write, having ceaselessly before his eyes the unfortunate brothers that he left behind in those sad tombs. He is not one of those men who, in the midst of a society torn apart by passions, claims to feel no passion; who in order not to displease selfish dominators protects himself against all convictions as if they were evil things, and affects to maintain a cowardly impartiality between those who suffer and those who cause suffering. The only role appropriate for an honest man is that of loudly avowing his affections and his hatreds. One should feel sorry for those who boast of the fact that they neither love nor hate anyone, for if they are telling the truth they have nothing in their breasts. And if they lie, what authority remains to their words?
Those of Le Liberateur will be frank, with neither reticence nor hesitations. On one hand it will make an effort to expose in simple, clear, and precise terms why the people are unhappy and how they can cease to be so. It will explain the nature of the relationships that exist today between the master and the worker, the social question that virtually on its own constitutes all of political economy, and about which professors say barely a word. And at the same time, addressing itself to men whose profound meditations turn them from the hustle and bustle of the moment in order to embrace from on high all of humanity in its past and its future, it will submit to them its critical views on the current organization, or rather, disorganization, as well as ideas on the principles that should preside over the re-composition of the social order.