Working Translations

Ernest Lesigne, “Socialist Letters” (1887)

I have already told you, my dear friend, that the socialization of the means of production is a dogma; that a dogma is proclaimed, taught, imposed; that it has its faithful, its apostles its sectarians, its priests, its martyrs, and its visionaries; but that it is not opened, justified, demonstrated.

The dogma is by nature mysterious and obscure, and you ask me to throw some light upon it, on the ground that I have taken as my motto, “Whatsoever is not clear is not true.” […]

Working Translations

Principal Tendencies of “l’Unique” (1956)

The sovereignty of the individual as fundamental principle every demand of the social order. – Denial of the utility of the intervention of the State or of the interference of any governmental institution in the relations or agreements between reasonable individuals. – Development of the critical spirit and of initiative in individual education. – Life as will and responsibility. – Violence (dominism, imposition, exploitation, etc.), brutality, use of physical force or of arms, etc. as source of the evils that overwhelm the individual. – Reciprocity as ethic of sociability. […]

Working Translations

Le Rétif (Victor Serge), “To Be and to Appear” (1909)

We do not live for ourselves—we live for others. We suffer, we struggle and we die for the gallery, to astonish others, to wrest from them a cry of admiration or praise. To appear is the great, the unique concern for the men of this century.

For the vain glory of appearing, they renounce really living. And this is true in all the domains of their activity. […]