terrorism: salvational violence

…In the more extreme anarchist circles there gradually developed a sect of what might almost literally be called dynamite worshipers. A song once popular in the ill-lighted, absinthe reeking Montmartre cabarets patronized by Bohemian intellectuals and authentic working-class anarchists expresses this mystique of salvational violence:

Comrades, I am Father Purge,
Pharmacist to humanity,
My pills are sure to give the urge-
Prescribed by Doctor Equality

My shelves are stocked with fulminate;
Saltpetre too you’ll surely find,
Gunpowder, nitro, and picrate
Enough to clean the poisoned mind

click image for source...

click image for source…

Though the French anarchists, unlike the early Russian populists, were free to spread their ideas openly, they, too, often reacted to police violence. The first bomb outrage to rock the French capital was planned as a direct reprisal for the brutal repression of a May Day demonstration in 1891. It wrecked the private apartment of the presiding judge, who had imposed a heavy prison sentence on one of the demonstrators. Shortly afterward the flat occupied by the public prosecutor in the same trial was blown up.

The author of the bombings, an ex-bandit named Francois Ravachol, who had been converted by reading anarchist literature to what he considered a form of disinterested public service, was finally arrested and sentenced to prison; he was then tried again for the first of three purely mercenary murders committed before his conversion to the anarchist cause, and finally guillotined. Now the anarchists had a new martyr, and another wave of bombings struck the capital, leading frightened bourgeois to clamor for measures of still greater severity to be taken in repressing terrorism. ( to be continued)…

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>