Victor Serge

December 30, 1890 — November 17, 1947

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December 30, 1890 — November 17, 1947


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About Victor Serge

Victor Serge (French: [viktɔʁ sɛʁʒ]), born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich (Russian: Ви́ктор Льво́вич Киба́льчич; December 30, 1890 – November 17, 1947), was a Russian revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern as a journalist, editor and translator. He was critical of the Stalinist regime and remained a revolutionary Marxist until his death. He is best remembered for his Memoirs of a Revolutionary and series of seven "witness-novels" chronicling the lives of revolutionaries of the first half of the 20th century.

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This person has authored 64 documents, with 162,859 words or 1,026,676 characters.

For the hundred thousandth time the question has been posed to us, without any ambiguity, by policemen in search of conspiracies, by journalists in need of copy, by judges, by passersby who set themselves up as executioners. What should the attitude of anarchists be towards criminals? Reserved? Hostile? Sympathetic? We will attempt to answer. There are criminals and there are criminals. There are those who live on the margins of society’s laws because their nature is different from that of good citizens. And there are the others, those who didn’t become — or who didn’t remain — honest men, simply because they were weak or pursued by misfortune. The first are those who aren&rsq... (From :
Last week the dailies related in detail a tragic incident of the social struggle. In the suburbs of London (in Tottenham) two of our Russian comrades attacked the accountant of a factory and, pursued by the crowd and the police, held out in a desperate struggle, the mere recounting of which is enough to make one shiver... After almost two hours of resistance, having exhausted their munitions, and wounded 22 people, three of them mortally, they reserved for themselves their final bullets. One, our comrade Joseph Lapidus (the brother of the terrorist Stryge, killed in Paris in the Vincennes woods in 1906) killed himself; the other was taken seriously wounded. Words seem powerless to express admiration or condemnation before thei... (From :
M. Ernest La Jeunesse, a journalist whose usual specialty is the praising and interring of Academicians, has become alarmed at what he calls his red Christmas presents. In truth, we’ve had a not very happy end of year for the potbellied gentlemen who have money in their pockets and the bank. Barely had the deplorable story of the stolen postal trunk fallen into discreet oblivion, than the same day some wretches, some evil wretches, opened the tomb of Mlle Lantelme, while other wretches attacked a messenger boy carrying funds on the Rue Ordener. M. La Jeunesse is not completely wrong in being upset. These things have a meaning. That in order to rob it they should tip carrion into a burial ditch proves that there are living men w... (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 :
It constitutes the basis of every animal mentality. Being necessary, it is legitimate. “Legitimate” — such picturesque language. In truth, our language is poorly adapted to reality. I mean to say that, primordial and indisputable, it is beyond our good and evil; it is. We glimpse it in various forms that can be reduced to two essential forms, and this has allowed us to imagine a conflict between altruism and egoism: egoism of the weak, altruism of the strong. The weak man is greedy, self-interested, narrow spirited. What is a weak man? A being poor in strength. Can the poor man give? Offer himself the luxury of being generous, spendthrift, prodigal? No. He watches over his every penny, he watches out for every occas... (From :
A collaborator of the “Dépêche de Toulouse,” M. Eugène Fournière, recently commented on the prose of M. Ernest La Jeunesse and the article in response to it that appeared here. M. Eugene Fournière, analyzing my defense of the “bandits” writes that “the murder of a messenger carrying receipts or the violation of a grave” will not “put a stop to the culpable regime.” He adds that if, like me, his sympathies are for “those who fights” he distinguishes between those who fight to satisfy their hunger, like a wolf, and “capital’s oppressed and exploited, who are uniting and learning in order to attain to collective leadership.” T... (From :
I think that acts of brutal revolt strike their target, for they awaken the masses, shake them up with the lashing of a whip, and show the real face of the bourgeoisie, still trembling at the moment the rebel climbs the gallows. To those who say to you that hatred doesn’t engender love, answer that it is living love that often engenders hatred. First, a few words to the comrades. Let them not reproach me for glorifying a man, making him into a banner. We want neither tribunes nor martyrs nor prophets. But in order to be strong you have to know yourself, and in order to better support the struggles of today you have to know the joys and fears of past hours. And then it is so good, in this world governed by so many ... (From :
Tuesday May 30. The police arrested three illegals, notorious anarchists. Of these three comrades one was and was still at the time of his arrest a friend of “La Guerre Sociale,” well known in its offices. The proof? This comrade – André W. – during the recent railroad workers strike left his job so as to dedicate his time to “La Guerre Sociale.” We have no choice but to believe that he was somewhat known there... In truth, he was even very well known there, since I’ve seen a photo where he can be seen next to Almereyda and de Tissier. Nevertheless, from the day of his arrest M. Merle, interviewed by “La Presse” and “Excelsior,” declared that they didn&rs... (From :
Armand’s conviction in Paris for counterfeiting has brought back the old question of the Illegals. I don’t know Armand or the details of his affair. And so without showing any particular interest in his personality — towards which I only feel that sentiment of fraternity that binds all the militants of the idea — I will simply pose questions of principle. What should our attitude be towards Illegals (in the economic sense of the word, i.e., people living off illicit labor) and particularly towards the comrades in that category? The answer seems so clear to me that if I hadn’t heard numerous discussions on this subject — and even in our circle — the idea of writing this article w... (From :
The word society is synonymous with a group. Today most men constitute an immense grouping that, though subdivided into an infinite number of sub-groups (races, nationalities, social classes, ideological groups) can nevertheless be considered as a whole. It is this whole, this formidable collectivity that we designate with the word society. To consider society as an assemblage of individuals and to deny this any importance, as some do, is simplistic, too simplistic. It means failing to understand social psychology, the psychology of crowds and, what is most surprising, the results of the most elementary observations. In truth, observation shows us and study confirms that from the fact that they find themselves brought together throug... (From :
Today, in light of the upcoming anti-parliamentary campaign, the anarchists are divided into two apparently irreconcilable groups: the syndicalists and the anti-syndicalists. The comrades on the other side, in a brief declaration that it is only right to recognize has the dual merits of clarity and honesty, have said what they want and who they are. Their anti-parliamentary campaign will serve as the basis for syndicalist-revolutionary agitation. It is thus on this plane that we meet up with them. After Lorulot spelled out our anti-parliamentarism, I think it is right to spell out what our anti-syndicalism should be. This theme has already been discussed and re-discussed thousands of times among us, and we must recogniz... (From :
“Humanity marches enveloped in a veil of illusions,” a thinker — Marc Guyau — said. In fact, it seems that without this veil men aren’t capable of marching. Barely has reality torn a blindfold from them than they hasten to put on another, as if their too-weak eyes were afraid to see things as they are. Their intelligence requires the prism of falsehood. The scandals of Panama, Dreyfus, Syveton, Steinhell, etc; the turpitudes and incapacities of politicians, and the rifle blows of Narbonne, Draveil, and Villeneuve have, for a considerable minority, torn away the veil of the parliamentary illusion. We hoped for everything from the ballot. We had faith in the good faith and power of the nation’... (From :
The idea of war is on everybody’s mind nowadays. People are already calling up visions of battlefield horrors, towns on fire, corpses strewn along the roads, decimated regiments and famine and fear in the peaceful cities... Just imagining that a repetition of these sights is possible bewilders and stuns the population. War is beautiful in the stories of Ch. D’Esparbès and the novels of Captaine Danrit. War is glorious in the history books. In reality it is horrible and everyone knows it. The weak and spineless, just thinking about it, are quick to declare their love for peace... It is a universal song. Insurrectionaries, syndicalists, honest libertarians, radical bourgeois and nationalists all proclaim in uni... (From :
The Individual Against Society 1) It’s rather the contrary that should be said. 2) Society is the enemy of any individuality An association is not a simple adding up of individuals; it has its own psychology and vitality. It thus wants to last, to live. 3) In order to live a society necessarily conform itself to two laws A – Law of social preservation; society preserves what created it = traditional = enemy of movement B – law of social conformism. It wants all individuals to act in consideration of this goal – be in conformity with a type – which it forges by force. Ex. The subject of monarchies, the citizen of democracies thus=enemy of... (From :


An icon of a baby.
December 30, 1890
Birth Day.

An icon of a gravestone.
November 17, 1947
Death Day.

An icon of a news paper.
April 28, 2020; 10:00:26 AM (America/Los_Angeles)
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