To the Resigned

I hate the resigned!

I hate the resigned like I hate the filthy, like I hate idlers.

I hate resignation! I hate filth, I hate inaction.

I feel sympathy for the sick man, brought down by some malignant fever; I hate the one who imagines he's sick, whom a bit of willpower would put back on his feet.

I feel sympathy for the man in chains, surrounded by guards, crushed by the weight of iron and numbers.

I hate the soldier bent under the weight of the chevron or three stars; the worker bent under the weight of capital.

I love the man who says what he thinks wherever he finds himself. I hate the candidate perpetually out to conquer a majority.

I love the scholar overwhelmed by the weight of scientific research. I hate the individual who hunches his body under the weight of an unknown power, of some X, of a God.

I hate all those who through fear, through resignation, surrender a part of their human potency to others, and thus crush not only themselves, but me and those I love as well, with the weight of their awful competition and their idiotic inertia.

I hate them, yes, I hate them, because I feel it. I don't abase myself before the officer's chevron, below the mayor's sash, under capital's gold, under any morality or religion. For a long time, I have known that all this is merely a gewgaw that shatters like glass... I'm bent under the weight of other people's resignation. I hate resignation!

I love life.

I want to live, not wretchedly like those who limit themselves to only satisfying a portion of their muscles, of their nerves, but broadly satisfying both my facial muscles and calf muscles, the mass of my kidneys as well as my brain.

I don't want to trade any portion of today for a fictitious bit of tomorrow; I don't want to surrender anything of the present for the wind of the future.

I don't want to bend the least part of me under the word Fatherland—God—Honor. I know the emptiness of these words much too well: religious and secular specters.

I make fun of pensions and of paradises, in hope of which people are kept resigned by religion and capital.

I laugh at all those who save up for their old age and deprive themselves of their youth, those who go hungry at twenty so that they'll eat when they're seventy.

I want to eat when I have strong teeth to rip out and crush large pieces of meat and succulent fruits. I want to do it when the juices of my stomach digest without any problem. I want to satisfy my thirst with refreshing tonic liquids.

I want to love women, or a woman, insofar as it fits with out common desires, and I don't want to resign myself to the family, to laws, to regulations. No one has rights over my body. You desire, I desire. Let's laugh at the family, the law, ancient forms of resignation.

But that's not all: Since I have eyes and ears, along with eating drinking and making love, I want other forms of enjoyment. I want to see beautiful sculptures and pictures, to admire Rodin and Manet. I want to hear the best works of Beethoven and Wagner. I want to know the classics of comedy, to peruse the literary and artistic knowledge that human beings of the past have bequeathed to human beings of the present or better, to browse through the ever-evolving works of humanity.

I want joy for myself, my chosen companion, my children, my friends. I want a house where I can rest my eyes pleasantly when work is done.

So I also want the joy of work, this healthy joy, this strong joy. I want my arms to use the plane, the hammer, the spade or the scythe. So that the muscles grow and the chest broadens in powerful, useful and reasonable movements.

I want to be useful; I want us all to be useful. I want to be useful to my neighbor and I want my neighbor to be useful to me. I want us all to work a lot because I am insatiable in enjoyment. And because I want to enjoy, I am not resigned.

Yes, yes, I want to produce, but I want to enjoy. I want to knead dough, but so that I can eat the finest bread; harvest grapes, but so that I can drink the finest wine; build a house, but so that I can live in the finest rooms; make furniture, but so that I can possess something useful, indeed even beautiful; I want to make theaters, but large enough to accommodate me and mine. I want to take part in productions, but so that I can take part in consumption.

Let some dream of producing for others to whom, ironically, they will leave their best efforts; as for me, I want to produce in free association with others, but to consume.

Look out, resigned ones, I spit on your idols. I spit on God. I spit on fatherland. I spit on Christ. I spit on flags. I spit on capital and its golden fleece. I spit on religion. They are baubles; I mock them; I laugh at them. They are nothing without you, abandon them and they fall to pieces.

So, resigned ones, you are a force, one of those forces that don't know it, but that is no less a force, and I cannot spit on you, I can only hate you... or love you.

Of all my desires, the greatest is to see you shaking off your resignation in a terrible awakening to life.

We're alive! Let's live! Resignation is death. Revolt is life.


from L'anarchie, April 13, 1905

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