Iconoclast : from the Anarchist Encyclopedia

By Sébastien Faure

Entry 7509


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


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(1858 - 1942)

French Freethinker, Secularist, and Proponent of Synthesis Anarchism

: In 1927 he led a secession from the national Union Anarchiste, and in 1928 he helped to found the Association des Federalistes Anarchistes and to begin its paper, La Voix Libertaire (Libertarian Voice), which lasted from 1928 until 1939. He was reconciled with the national organization and Le Libertaire in 1934. (From: "Raven," Freedom Press.)
• "Love is, by its very nature subject to whims; it's capricious, electric. It is madness to want to submit it to fixed rules applicable to all. Philosophically, liberty is the sole regime to which it can adapt itself." (From: "Libertarian Communism," by Sebastien Faure, 1903.)
• "In practice marriage gives deplorable results. Far from being a guarantee of concord and happiness, it gives birth to the worst forms of hypocrisy and the most sorrowful situations." (From: "Libertarian Communism," by Sebastien Faure, 1903.)
• "God is error, and I no longer believe in him; God is a lie and hypocrisy, and I combat him; God is religion, and not only does this not console me, but it is an affliction; not only does it not bring humanity tranquility and joy, but it has written the most painful and bloody pages of history, and this is why I fight against religion." (From: "Libertarian Communism," by Sebastien Faure, 1903.)

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Iconoclast: Means breaker of images (the name image in antiquity applied to all figures, either painted or sculpted). It particularly designates those persons or sects opposed to the adoration of images and pursuing their destruction. Due to this iconoclasm belongs to the history of those religions which admitted and practiced the cult of images.

Around the first quarter of the 8th Century a religious sect was founded which had as its objective the smashing of all the images of saints and the banning of the their cult, This sect of “iconoclasts” was at first approved by the Council of Constantinople in 754.

Approving these acts meant making in large part impossible the task of the Roman church, which has a whole army of more or less miraculous saints to propose to the veneration of the faithful. So the Council of Trent (787) and those that followed pitilessly condemned the sect, which disappeared at the beginning of the following century. Later the Albigensians, the Hussites, the Vaudois and the Calvinists took up the practices of the iconoclasts, for they didn’t recognize the “sanctity” of the apostles.

Extending the meaning of the word, giving it a fuller meaning, the anarchists call themselves iconoclasts. The Compagnon Percheron, in the song La Ronde des briseurs d’images, very precisely explained the why of such an affirmation. Wanting to destroy not only the images of saints, but those of all false gods, of all idols, of all prejudices; bowing before no moral or material authority, the anarchists want to destroy from top to bottom the old society that rules over us. This is why with all their disrespect for established things they are so attached to smashing all images (state, religion, politics, property, bosses, fatherlands, etc) with which the people are still today fooled, and which make slavery last.

Recognizing the high moral import, the great beneficial value of the lives of certain men devoted to science, philosophy, the Revolution, the anarchists sometimes cite as an example and a teaching the works of these precursors. But not wanting to see any kind of predestination in any man, they rise up against any attempt, from wherever it comes, to make legendary personalities of some of them. And they smash all the images of all the secular or revolutionary gods that some- yearning for adoration, and for not very reputable ends- propose to the veneration of the crowd.

From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org


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