Parisian Sections of the International Workers’ Association

La Marseillaise, 27 January 1870

Twelve thousand workers from Creuzot are on strike. They demand the management of their mutual aid society, the reinstatement in the workshop of their comrades dismissed without reasons and the removal of a works supervisor, the main cause of the conflict.

As always in such cases, the manager requested and obtained the assistance of military force. So as at Lepine, as at Dour, as at Seraing, as at Frameries, as at La Ricamarie, as at Aubin, as at Carmaux, the army faces workers whom its presence troubles and exasperates.

What will the consequences be? Will it be a new massacre of proletarians?

We cannot protest too strongly against the very peculiar claim of those people who, not content with having all the economic forces, still want to have, and actually have, all the social forces (army, police, courts, etc.), for the preservation of their unjust privileges.

Such are the consequences of the selfish and bourgeois doctrine of political economy.

Economists, in fact, disregarding the complexity of social phenomena, and neglecting the intellectual aspect and above all the moral aspect, have reduced social science to purely market considerations. From this resulted industrialism. On this slippery slope, the deterioration of social sentiment has already reached a point that the industrialists, while advocating unbridled laissez faire, laissez passer ignore, in reality, the right of the worker, in the current state, to refuse to co-operate when a job is too oppressive and too poorly paid.

All powerful in the face of an isolated worker, they oppress him in the name of so-called economic liberty, but as soon as they face a collective labour force, they demand repression in the name of order. Does their narrowness of vision make them believe that true order is nothing other than the crushing of the producers and the smothering of all legitimate aspirations?

Moreover, in the presence of this commonplace event, in our state of political oppression and industrial lawlessness, in this state which delivers to misery those who have produced the immense accumulation of capital sufficient to create physical and moral well-being [for all] if a just distribution of products exists, we thought it necessary to raise our voice:

After having once more noted the iniquity of our economic system and its deplorable results, we have to congratulate our Creuzot brothers for their calm demands and the dignity of their attitude.

B. MALON, correspondent of Workers-United (surburbs of Paris), headquarters rue de Nanterre, 24, à Puteaux.

G. MOLLIN, correspondent for France of the Paris Circle of Positivist Proletarians, impasse Saint-Sébastien, 8.

MURAT, Mutualist Circle, authorised by the General Council of the club of the International Association, 200, rue Saint-Maur.

E. VARLIN, secretary-correspondent of the section of the book-binding workers of Paris.

A. COMBAULT, correspondent of the Vaugirard section.

A. HARLÉ, Corresponding Secretary of the Circle of Social Studies.