Louis Auguste Blanqui
French socialist and political activist
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- Humanity ... is never stationary. Its progressive march leads it to equality. Its regressive march goes back through every stage of privilege to human slavery, the final word of the right to property.
- in "August Blanqui, Heretical Communist," Radical Philosophy 185 (2014)
- He who has iron, has bread. People bow down before bayonets; a disarmed crowd is swept aside. But a France bristling with workers in arms means the advent of socialism. In the presence of armed proletarians, all obstacles, resistances and impossibilities will disappear.
- "Warning to the People" (1851)
- Students, young people, have the right to join together in order to guide their efforts towards a common goal, and they will use this right. As for their goal, it is simple: for them it is a matter of ensuring that the July revolution is not a lie; every edifice built by the Empire and the Restoration must be overthrown, and since not one single stone of this edifice is yet to fall, they will work indefatigably to demolish and destroy it. We call for the destruction of the university. We call for the destruction of the country’s most odious and harmful monopoly, of that which stifles civilization at its source and which is the cruellest insult inflicted on human intelligence.
- "Declaration of the Provisional Committee for Schools" (1831)
- A revolution determines, within the social body, an instantaneous process of reorganisation akin to the tumultuous combinations of the elements of a dissolved body that then tend to recompose themselves in a new form. This process cannot begin as long as a breath of life animates the old aggregation. As a result, the ideas that would reconstitute society will never take shape so long as a cataclysm, by dealing the old, decrepit society a mortal blow, has not freed the captive elements whose spontaneous and rapid fermentation will organise the new world. All the powers of thought, all the greatest efforts of intelligence are unable to anticipate this creative phenomenon that can break out at any given moment. One can prepare the cradle, but not bring to life the long-awaited being. Right up until the moment of death and rebirth, the doctrines [that will serve as the] bases of the future society remain vague aspirations, distant and hazy glimpses. They are like a blurred and floating silhouette on the horizon, the contours of which cannot be determined or grasped by human efforts.
- On Revolution (1850)
- For in the end what is at issue in this idea of the cooperative is as clear as day. It is a means of preparing the daily bourgeois stew [pot-au-feu bourgeois] at all costs, divorced from any political thought, from any revolutionary struggle. It is the political and social abdication of the proletariat under the pretext of socialism; indeed it is not even that! Everyone is careful to insist and to prove that socialism has nothing to do with it, which is the truth.
- "Letter to Blanqui’s Supporters in Paris" (18 April 1866)
- I am accused of having told thirty million French people, proletarians like me, that they had the right to live.
- "Auguste Blanqui’s Defence Speech at the ‘Trial of the Fifteen’" (12 January 1832)
- 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, 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 with its calumnies.It is said it is a flag of blood. It is only red with the blood of the martyrs who made it the standard of the republic.Its fall is an insult to the people, a profanation of the dead. The flag of the National Guard will shade their graves.Reaction has already been unleashed. It can be recognized by its violence. The men of the royalist faction roam the streets, insults and threats in their mouths, tearing the red colors from the boutonnieres of citizens.Workers! It’s your flag that is falling. Heed well! The Republic will not delay in following it.
- "The Red Flag"