Title: Capital and the Capitalists
Date: November 25 1883
Source: Retrieved on October 20, 2012 from michaelshreve.wordpress.com
Notes: From Le Drapeau Noir, no. 16, November 25 1883. Translated from the French by Michael Shreve
Capital and the Capitalists
What is capital? The harvest of the rich by the sweat of the people.
Yes, we workers created capital. By our work we increase it every day. And far from profiting from what we have created, we become slaves to it and by making the capitalists richer to our own detriment, we become insufferable. Many workers look to suicide to end this order of things. I think there is a better way.
What, the capitalist wallows in pleasure and the worker cannot live off the product of his labor. While the former is dancing and feasting, the latter is starving.
O worker, my brother, you are suffering and the capitalist is laughing at your pains. You die and he insults your corpse. Faced with these blatant facts, you find nothing better than to end your life without caring that on the day of action your brothers in slavery will be missing your support.
No, you have not thought of that and that is your excuse, but from now on chase these thoughts from your head and feel something different.
Yes, there is a better way than dying. You have to live in order to prepare the great era of the future. You have to live to see your efforts crowned with success. You have to live to be present at the resurrection of the worker and the death of the capitalist.
To get there what do we need: Audacity — we have it. Finances — we’ll find it. Sacrifices — we are all ready to give what is dearest to us for the triumph of our ideals.
Therefore, let’s get to work. Let’s group together — there is strength in union. No half-measures. Think of those who are suffering, whose children demand vengeance. Encourage the weak. Finally, let’s get ready because the hour approaches when we will have to call upon different arguments than those of our corrupt representatives.
And on that day, no mercy to the masters, like they have shown none to us. Let our battle cry be:
Down with capital.
Crush the capitalists.
Death to traitors and scoundrels.
Long live the Revolution!
— Letter from a worker exploited by capital.