Title: Anarchy and the Anarchists
Author: Claude Journet
Date: September 12, 1924
Source: https://www.libertarian-labyrinth.org/working-translations/claude-journet-anarchy-and-the-anarchists-1924/
Notes: Claude Journet, “L’Anarchie et les Anarchistes,” L’idée anarchiste No. 12 (September 12, 1924): 5. [Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

The anarchist ideal is certainly not new, but how many individuals would dare to align themselves with it? It has always been dangerous to use that label. The pioneers, by example, and then the propagandists, through speech and writing, would try to spread the noble truths of that genuinely human philosophy: anarchy.

But they were never appreciated at their true value; they were, like all sincere individuals, victims of the blind hatred of the crowd. But despite the aspersions and persecutions, the Idea would survive, ever more enduring in its constant struggle against authority.

At a certain stage—which we call the heroic period—anarchists would dare to bravely assert themselves, without pointless talk, but only through vigorous action.

But today anarchism passes through a chaotic period of deviation when we witness the sad spectacle of men claiming to be anarchists and demanding complete liberty, but incapable of respecting the liberty of other and tending only, though their schemes, to set themselves up as masters, as rulers of their fellows. They seem to forget, these proud tribunes, that anarchy only grows among sincere, fraternal individuals and that an anarchist worthy of the name could not support a political dictatorship, any more than a system of trade union functionaries—for the two are identical.

To struggle against all authority, to seek the truth, that is the aim of the anarchist, but for that, they cannot take any notice of the flatters or associate with them; nor can they flatter the base instincts of the crowd, but they must stand mercilessly against all the masters and their supporters.

They must not seek the flattery and respect of the ignorant, but struggle against everything that opposes the triumph of reason and liberty!

Only such men, modest and sincere, will prepare the advent of anarchism!