Mitchell Abidor

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About Mitchell Abidor

Mitchell Abidor is a translator who has published over a dozen books on French radical history and a writer on history, ideas, and culture who has appeared in the New York Times, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, the New York Review of Books, andnbsp; Jacobin, among many others.

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This person has authored 36 documents, with 150,786 words or 973,768 characters.

We have the firm hope that the government issued from the barricades of 1848 will not, like its predecessor, want to put back in place, along with each paving stone, a law of repression. With this in mind, we offer our assistance to the Provisional Government in the realization of the (beautiful) motto: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. We that demand that the government (immediately) decree as a result of the popular victory: The complete and unlimited freedom of the press. The absolute and irrevocable suppression of security deposits and franking and postal rights [for the press]. The complete freedom of circulation for works of the intellect through all possible means: through posters, peddlers, public criers, witho... (From :
May 12, 1839 To arms, Citizens! The fatal hour has rung for the oppressors. The cowardly tyrant of the Tuileries laughs at the hunger that tears at the guts of the people. But the measure of his crimes is full. They are finally going to receive their punishment. Betrayed France, the blood of our murdered brothers cry out to you and demand vengeance. Let it be terrible, for it has delayed too long. Let exploitation perish, and may equality triumphantly assume its seat on the intermingled debris of royalty and aristocracy. The provisional government has chosen military chiefs for the guiding of the combat. These chiefs come from your ranks. Follow them! They will lead you to victory. Their names are: Auguste Blanqui, Commander-in-Chief... (From :
Following the hideous discoveries that are currently provoking public indignation, the guilty — supported by the usual traitors — have impudently taken the offensive and cry out with all their might: “All for the insulted army!” Which should be translated as: “All against the lack of respect for the big brass.” The army! For the last eight years these same traitors have constantly nailed it to the pillory. For the last eight years all Frenchmen have been voters, except prisoners and soldiers. This is the real insult to the army! The republic granted suffrage to those with no criminal record. Could it refuse it to the brave men who give the fatherland their blood and their freedom? As a reward for such ... (From :
It all began on December 21, 1911 – fully fourteen years ago, years filled with other killings. On the boulevards the newspapers flew from hand to hand, amid the paperboys’ shouts, “Read all about the crime on rue Ordener! Messenger boy killed in the middle of the day! The murderers fire into the crowd!” No one has forgotten how strong emotions were around this. The crime, carried out with consummate skill and unheard-of calm, conceived and planned to the least detail, was meant to provoke terror. We seemed to be in the presence of a well-organized gang, one that demonstrated horrific boldness, and whose abominable act went far beyond the most shocking crimes ever before seen. The same word was immediately on e... (From :
To the Provisional Government Citizens: The counter-revolution has just bathed itself in the blood of the people. Let the assassins be judged! For the past two months the royalist bourgeoisie of Rouen has plotted in the shadows a St Bartholomew’s massacre of the workers. It had stocked up on cartridges. The authorities knew of this. Calls for death had broken out here and there, the warning signs of the catastrophe. We must have done with these scoundrels! Scoundrels who in February, after three days of resistance, forced the bourgeois guard to submit to the Republic. Citizens of the Provisional Government, how is it that in two months the working class population of Rouen and the surrounding valleys were not organized into Nation... (From :
Members of the jury, I am accused of having told thirty million French people, proletarians like me, that they had the right to live. If that is a crime, then it seems to me at least that I should only respond to those who are not parties to the very question they are judging. Indeed, gentlemen, be sure to note that the public prosecutor did not appeal to your sense of equity and your reason, but to your passions and your interests. He is not calling for severity in response to a breach of morals and the laws; he seeks only to unleash vengeance against what he presents to you as a threat to your existence and your property. I am thus not standing before judges, but am in the presence of enemies. As a result, there would be no point in defe... (From :
Citizen: 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. Reestablish 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, ar... (From :
Introduction It is perhaps ironic that France, the country of great mass revolutions, of 1789, of 1830, of 1848, of the Commune of 1871, of the Popular Front strikes of 1936 and the uprising of May 1968, gave birth to the most diverse and influential group of anarchist individualist thinkers, writers, and militants. Or perhaps it is precisely because of France’s revolutionary history that individualism took such firm root. If we examine the country’s revolutions and mass movements, what is abundantly clear is that for all its revolutionary fervor, for all the bloodshed and sacrifice, in every case the revolution either served the interests of people other than the workers who made them, or were bloody failures that set th... (From :
The entire universe is composed of stellar systems. In order to create them nature has only one hundred simple bodies at its disposal. Despite the prodigious profit it knows how to make from its resources, and the incalculable number of combinations these allow its fecundity, the result is necessarily a finite number, like that of the elements themselves. And in order to fill the entire expanse nature must infinitely repeat each of its original or generic combinations. Every star, whatever it might be, thus exists in infinite number in time and space, not only in one of its aspects, but as it is found in every second of its duration, from birth until death. All the beings spread across its surface, big or little, animate or inanimate, shar... (From :
We are no longer in ’93! We are in 1848! The tricolor flag is no longer the flag of the Republic. It’s that of Louis-Philippe and of the monarchy. It’s the tricolor flag that presided over the massacres of the rue Transnonain, of faubourg de Vaise, of Saint-Etienne. It has been twenty times bathed in the blood of the workers. The people raised the red colors on the barricades of ’48, just as they raised them on those of June 1832, April 1834[1], and May 1839. They have received the double consecration of defeat and victory. From this day on, these colors are theirs. Just yesterday they gloriously floated from the fronts of our buildings. Today reaction ignominiously casts them in the mud and dares stain them wit... (From :
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, car... (From :
The Russian Revolution has just entered its thirteenth year, a lapse of time sufficient for a social upheaval, even one of this scale, to prove itself. What, then, is the current status of the country of “the most formidable” revolution? This question constantly occurs to a multitude of people, of all tendencies and social conditions who, drowning in the most varied and contradictory information end up by losing any hope of arriving at an exact notion of things there. Even our comrades are not always immune to fantastic rumors that they all too often don’t know how to reply to with rigorous and documented facts. In a series of more or less regular articles we will attempt to provide readers of “La Revue... (From :
In this anthology of proletarian literature that we will be attempting every month, it seemed to us that front stage should be occupied by the most difficult, the most dangerous, the least perfectly known of professions, despite books and films that strive to be as honest as possible. Of the works dedicated to the mines Zola’s Germinal and G.W. Pabst’s film Kameradschaft are probably the most remarkable among those given us by literature and cinema. But it must be said that as much as they differ from Malot’s stories and the trickery of the bourgeois cinema, these works bespeak more an effort to understand that subject than they are authentic expressions of it. A verbal or a visual symphony, these works describe the subjec... (From :
(Positive Philosophy, No 5, March-April 1869) article by Hippolyte Stupuy, a remark on Condorcet, pages 201 and following. A pile of nonsense and sillinesses concerning Christianity and the Middle Ages wrongly attacked by the Revolutionaries, according to the author. Claimed benefits of Catholicism and feudalism. Execrable doctrines of historical fatalism, fatalism in humanity. Everything that happens is for the good, for only what exists, is solely that which happens. Catholicism is irreproachable so long as it is the strongest. Its wrongs begin only with its weakness. Feudalism also is a good thing as long as it crushes. It becomes plague only by virtue of its decline. The most audacious misrepresentation of the facts just as inept for... (From :
Each fraction of the society is called a family. The family is made up of five initiated, who meet twice a month under the presidency of a chief named by the center. In order to be admitted one must be of age, have a good reputation and good conduct, justify one’s means of existence, and be gifted with great discretion. Proposals for membership are made within the family, which discusses the merits of the candidate and can refuse or accept him. The names, estate, and lodging of the candidate are immediately sent to the center so that scrupulous investigation can be made concerning the morality, sobriety, discretion and energy of the candidate. No opening should be made before this information is addressed to the chief of the fam... (From :
If there is still time, open your eyes at the polling booth to the peril that threatens you: Paris is condemned and its sentence is being carried out by the hands of a reaction that was able to everywhere recruit accomplices in and instruments of its vengeance. Under the pretext of disencumberment, of public order and even of humanity, every day the capital is being emptied of the working class. A fatal measure! A death measure! With the exception of a small handful of rich idlers the entire city only lives only thanks to the workers: without workers there is no more consumption, and thus no more business! The mass of retailers would fall into ruin, big business and industry would follow them into the abyss, and the faction that represen... (From :
Pogrom, noun, masculine. Word directly adopted with a precise and even a special meaning by other languages, and in particular French. Philologically the word pogrom is composed of the root “grom” and the prefix “po.” (Note in this respect that the word “progrom,” frequently employed by the French press in the place and with the meaning of pogrom is an error, a mutilation of the real term. The word “progrom” has no meaning, the prefix “pro” in Russian having a meaning that cannot be adapted to the root “grom.” The word “progrom” is thus non-existent.) Using the root “grom” the Russian language forms the verb “gromit” whi... (From :
Given the declaration by the Minister of War, dated [blank] December 1851, signed Leroy and Saint-Arnaud, which states: “All individuals taken arms in hand will be executed.” Given that following the criminal attack of December 2, 1851 [1] those prisoners who were defenders of the constitution were put to death during and after the combat; That in diverse places in the capitol a crowd of citizens, inoffensive and without arms; innocent bystanders, were killed at the hands of the Pretorian guards; That on the boulevard, a mass of peaceful spectators, men, women and children were suddenly and without provocation massacred by Bonaparte’s soldiery; That this same soldiery slaughtered, in their homes, without distinction o... (From :
Parisians: Sixteen years of gags! Sixteen years of outrages! France scoffed at, pillaged, trampled upon! Wasn’t that enough? No! Now hunger tears at the guts of the people! Bonaparte promised glory and prosperity. Prosperity! Yes, he alone devoured 400 million francs, 25 million a year, 70,000 francs a day. He gorged with gold his Mamelukes, speculators, camp followers, priests. All he left to you to satisfy your hunger, was the rubble of demolitions. Glory! We know it: Mexico, Mentana. And that’s only a beginning. From here on out all soldiers between 20 and 30 are soldiers...soldiers of the Pope. They’ll have the honor of dying for the Jesuits, and Father Hyacinthe promises to hear their confessions on the battlefiel... (From :
Art 1 – All citizens from 16 to 50 years of age are called upon for the defense of the fatherland and of freedom. Art 2 – Men between 16-30 tears of age, armed or unarmed, are to report to the Place de l'Hotel de Ville in order to be organized in battalions. Art 3 – Men between 30- 50 shall remain in their neighborhoods in order to prepare resistance there. Art 4 – Barricades shall be constructed every 50 meters on all streets. The stones should be removed and on the principal streets the stones should be taken to the upper floors in order to be thrown at the troops of Charles X. Art 5 – Former military men, officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers are called to the Hotel de Ville in order to form th... (From :
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 will happen in this place. The president poses the following questions. 1 – What do you think of royalty and 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... (From :
Response to Paul Nizan’s Crise Manifesto Source: La Littérature et le peuple. Edited by Jérôme Radwan. Les Amis d'Henry Poulalle & Plein Chant, 2003 ;Translated: for by Mitch Abidor 2017;CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2017. The manifesto referred to by Poulaille, apparently calling for writers to rally to the review Crise, sent by Communist writer Paul Nizan, has not been located. This response, apparently sent to other writers, was not published in Poulaille’s lifetime, but is a clear statement of his artistic and political beliefs – Tr.Paris, September 18, 1931 Comrade: You have perhaps received the manifesto of Crise, a group of intellect... (From :
Suddenly a strange piece has appeared in an unknown journal. It accuses the principal leader of the secret societies between 1834-39 of treason. Blanqui, the supposed author, did not write it, didn’t sign it. No sign reveals its origin or guarantees its authenticity. It’s a question here of killing a man who had become an obstacle and a danger. Using police and court clerk notes, perhaps even using personal memories, a history of the secret societies of the years 1835-39 was fabricated, and at the top was written: “Blanqui’s Declaration before the Minister of the Interior.” And so here I am garbed in the shirt of Nessus! What was the forger’s secret? The use of the first person. How can anyone resist... (From :
Source: Prolétariat, No. 1, July 1, 1933 in La littérature et le peuple, Les Amis d'Henry Poulaille & Plein Chant, 2003;Translated: by Mitch Abidor. Prolétariat, an experimental review, aspires only to be one of the centers for the elaboration of proletarian literature. It wants to be a tool in service to the proletariat. It doesn’t intend to sacrifice to the prejudices common to literary and artistic circles and will not enter into the quarrels among scholars that constitute the intellectual activity of the elite. Some time ago it was possible to still believe that only these elites had something to say and worth making known. They always think they represent something. On the left as well as the right peo... (From :
The fact shouldn’t be hidden that there is a war to the death between the classes that compose the nation. This truth recognized, the truly national party, the ones patriots should rally to, is the party of the masses. Until now there have been three interests in France: that of the so-called upper classes, that of the middle or bourgeois class, and finally that of the people. I place the people last because they were always the last and because I count on an imminent application of the Gospel maxim that “the last shall be first.” In 1814 and 1815 the bourgeois class, tired of Napoleon not because of despotism (it cares little for liberty, which in its eyes it isn’t worth a pound of good cinnamon or a nice fat bill... (From :
The Republic would be a lie if it were to be only the substitution of one form of government for another. It’s not enough to change words: things must be changed. The Republic means the emancipation of workers, it’s the end of the reign of exploitation, it’s the coming of a new order that will free labor from the tyranny of capital. Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité! This motto that shone from the front of our buildings should not be a vain opera decoration. No silly baubles! We are no longer children. There is no freedom where there is no bread. There is no equality when opulence scandalously exists alongside poverty. There is no brotherhood when the worker drags himself to the door of palaces wi... (From :
The Socialist Worker’s Banquet took place Sunday December 3, 1848 at exactly noon at the Association of Cooks, 36 Barrière du Maine. 1,000 guests and 300-400 of the curious – 1,500 in all, among them 400-500 women, participated. The name of the Chairman of the banquet, Citizen A. Blanqui, held in the dungeon of Vincennes, could be read on the tribune across from the name of the candidate of the republican socialists, F-V Raspail. There could also be read on signs the names of those outlawed by reaction who are the most beloved of the people: Louis Blanc, Barbès, Albert. Citizen Salières opened the session with these few words: Citizens: The Commission of the Socialist Worker’s banquet has chosen as... (From :
What shoals threaten the revolution of tomorrow? The shoals that shattered yesterday’s: the deplorable popularity of bourgeois disguised as tribunes. Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, Crémieux, Lamartine, Garnier-Pagé, Dupont de l'Eure, Flocon, Albert, Arago, Marrast! A dismal list! Sinister names written in blood letters on the paving stones of democratic Europe. It’s the provisional government that killed the Revolution. It is upon its head that the responsibility for all these disasters, for the blood of so many thousands of victims must fall. Reaction does nothing but its job in slitting democracy’s throat. The crime is that of the traitors the trusting people accepted as guides, but who instead delivered ... (From :
Wealth is born of intelligence and labor. But these two forces can only act with the aid of a passive element – the land, which they put to work by their combined efforts. It thus seems that this indispensable instrument should belong to all men. Such is not the case. Individuals have taken over common land by ruse or violence, declaring themselves its owners; they have established by law that it will always be theirs, and that the right to property will become the foundation of the social constitution; which is to say that it will come before and, if need be, absorb all human rights, even that to life, if it has the ill fortune to find itself in conflict with the privilege of a small number. The right to property has extended itsel... (From :
T...’s proposal to only admit workers to the International and the cooperatives is a reestablishing of the corporations of the ancient regime and compagnonnage.[1] This constitutes the abdication of any political and civic idea, the relegating of workers to an entirely private, purely material existence. It’s their intellectual and moral degradation, the proclaiming of their inferiority as a caste. It’s a veritable abdication. January 1868 [1] Societies of journeymen in craft trades, a movement of some strength in the mid-nineteenth century but which dated back to the eighteenth. (From :


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