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These journals are now available online at Gallica.
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From Alfred Darimon, A Travers une Révolution (1884)
ON THE JOURNALS OF PROUDHON
I. — le Représentant du Peuple.
The true founder of the Représentant du Peuple was Mr. Jules Viard, a humorous writer who died very young. Mr. Jules Viard published under this title, in 1847, a financial and two sample issues, one dated October 4, 1847, and the second dated November 13, 1847.
It was also M. Jules Viard who began, after the revolution of February, the publication of the Représentant du Peuple.
The first issue appeared on February 27, 1848; but after the third issue, bearing the date of February 29, le journal was subjected to an interruption which lasted until the month of April.
Starting on the 1st of April, the Représentant du Peuple resumed publication under this title, which became permanent:
le Représentant du Peuple.
Journal des Travailleurs.
On each side of the title, the following mottos were featured:
What is the producer? Nothing. What should he be? All.
What is the capitalist? All. What should he be? Nothing.
A decree of General Cavaignac, rendered because of the state of siege, suspended the Représentant du Peuple on July 10, 1848.
The suspension was raised on August 9; but the journal was suspended anew by a decree dated August 21, 1848.
It endured in its new form three months and twenty-one days.
The issue of the Représentant du Peuple published on April 1 carried the number 1.
The last issue, published August 21, was number 108.
But there were some errors in the numbering of the journal that it is important to remember:
1° The journal did not appear on the 26th or 27th of June. The issues of June 28, 29, and 30, and July 1 are numbered 88, 89, 88, 89. The issue for June 25 being numbered 85, we must obvious substitute for those numbers the following: 86, 87, 88, 89.
2° The issue for July 9 is numbered 97. However the number for August 9, the date of the reappearance of the journal, after its suspension, bears the number 96. That is an obvious error. All the numbering up to August 21, the date of the final suppression of the journal, should be modified. The last issue should bear the number 110.
P.-J. Proudhon did not begin to collaborate with the Représentant du Peuple until April 19.
The following articles were published in this journal: How Revolutions are Lost, What the Revolution Owes to Literature, The Revolutionary Program and the famous pamphlet: The Malthusians.
It is also in the Représentant du Peuple that Proudhon outlined the principles underlying the Bank of the People. That series of articles was later gathered in a volume under the title: Résumé De La Question Sociale. — Banque D’échange, with a preface by Mr. Alfred Darimon.
The political direction of the journal was in the hands of Mr. Charles Fauvety.
The managing editor was a former typographer, M. L. Vasbenter.
Among the usual writers of the journal were: Jules Viard, Amédée de Césena, Philippe Faure, A. Etex, Gabriel Mortillet, G. Duchêne.
Towards the middle of the month of June, le journal appointed Alfred Darimon and J.-A. Langlois as associates.
II. — le Peuple.
The Peuple was the continuation of an enterprise formed in the month of May, 1847, that the revolution of February had prevented from being carried out.
Mr. Victor Pilhes had planned to revive Dupoty’s Journal du Peuple. The new organ would carry the title: le Peuple, journal hebdomadaire de la Démocratie française.
M. Victor Pilhes was assured of the collaboration of. P.-J. Proudhon, Dupoty, Félix Pyat, T. Thoré, A. Luchet and Lucien de la Hodde.
The prospectus of the journal appeared by itself in October 1847.
The Peuple of 1848 took the following title:
Journal de la République démocratique et sociale.
The following epigraphs were placed in banner headlines on each side of the title:
What is the producer? Nothing. What should he be? All.
What is the capitalist? All. What should he be? Nothing.
(Le Représentant du Peuple de 1848)
No more taxes; no more usury, no more poverty.
Labor for all, property for all.
division of functions. — indivisibility of power.
The sample issue appeared September 2 with this indication: Editor in chief, P.-J. Proudhon.
The first issue, bearing the number 2, was published November 1, 1848, with this indication: Director: P.-J. Proudhon. Administrator: Charles Fauvety.
The Peuple was weekly until November 23, 1848. From that date, it became a daily.
From issue number 8 to number 23, the journal bore this indication: Director: P.-J. Proudhon. Managing Editor: G. Duchène. It disappeared with number 24 (December 11, 1848).
The Peuple, as a daily, published a weekly edition containing a four-page supplement.
The last number of the Peuple, appearing June 13, 1849, bore the number 205.
It had been suspended by a decree on June 13 and suppressed following a military occupation and the ransacking of its offices.
Proudhon had engaged in a most active collaboration with the Peuple. Among the articles that he published in that journal, we must cite: the Toast to the Revolution, the Pamphlet on the Presidency, the Argument à la Montagne, the Responsibility of the President, the Demonstration of Socialism, the Legal Resistance, the Protocole à la Montagne, etc., etc.
The duration of the Peuple had been five months and thirteen days (from November 1, 1848 to June 13, 1849).
The list of the usual contributors to the Peuple, in November 1848, is found at the bottom of the electoral manifesto of the journal. According to that list, the original editorial staff was made up of P.-J. Proudhon, Alfred Darimon, J.-A. Langlois, Ph. Faure, L. Vasbenter, Charles Fauvety and G. Duchêne.
In the month of March 1849, the staff was subjected to some modifications. The list places at the bottom of the article: Violation de la constitution, résistance légale (March 22, 1849), caries the following name: P.-J. Proudhon, Alfred Darimon, J.-A. Langlois, Ph. Faure, G. Duchêne, L. Vasbenter, Louis Ménard, A. Crétin, C.-F. Chevé, T. Delord, A. Fremy, A. Madier de Montjau, Sr., lawyer for the Peuple.
In the weekly supplement, in addition to the usual contributors to the journal, we find the names of. J.-B. Bocquet, J. Benoît, Charles Sellier, Pierre Dupont, Ernest Lebloys, Luc Desages, Delbrouck, Benjamin Gastineau. Goupy, Gautier, Pierre Lefranc, Pierre Lachambaudie, Alexis Lagarde, Savinien Lapointe, Th. Morisset, Gabriel Morlillet, Pauline Roland, Ramon de la Sagra, A. Salières, Tournoux.
III. — la Voix du peuple.
The Voix du Peuple had neither subtitle nor epigraph.
The journal was daily; but like the Peuple, it had a weekly edition composed of a double issue.
The sample issue appeared September 25, 1849.
The first issue was published on October 1, 1849.
The last issue, bearing the number 223, appeared on May 14, 1850.
The Voix du Peuple lasted for five months and fourteen days (from October 1, 1849 to May 14, 1850).
The first issue contained a letter from Proudhon in which one read:
“My position as a condemned prisoner, the conventions of every sort which it requires me to respect, in these difficult times, my forced distance from you, the impossibility which results for me to direct, from dusk until dawn, a process of composition whose consequences could become, at any given moment, excessively serious, I am obliged to remind your readers and whomever it may concern, that, whatever influence I exert, by my communications and advice, on the composition of the Voix du Peuple, I cannot and must not accept any other responsibility than that of the articles signed by me, all other participation in your work being forbidden me on political grounds.”
The collaboration of Proudhon with the Voix du Peuple had above all an economic and philosophical character. It was in the Voix du Peuple that were published that remarkable series of articles on Socialism and Taxation, on The Present Utility and Future Possibility of the State, on Communism, etc. It is in the columns of that journal that the brilliant tournament between Proudhon and Bastiat on the legitimacy of interest took place.
The usual contributors to the Voix du Peuple were Alfred Darimon, Charles Edmond, G. Duchêne, A. Herzen, Ch.-F. Chevé, Philippe Faure, François Favre, A. Crétin, L. Vasbenter.
The managing editor was M. P. Laugrand.
The supplement counted among its collaborators, apart from the usual contributions: Victor Avril, d’Alton-Shée, P. Bizet, J.-Ph. Berjeau, Colfavru, G. Duchêne, J. Dessirier, A. Etex, Benjamin Gastineau, Edouard Hervé, Charles de Janzé, Alexis Lagarde, Louis-Arsène Meunier, Edouard Pompéry, Pauline Roland, A. Rousselle, Charles Robin, Paul Robert, J. Tournoux, M.-L. Boutteville.
The Voix du Peuple ceased to appear following the withdrawal of the license of its printer.
le Peuple de 1850.
The Peuple de 1850 appeared three times per week. The sample issue was published on June 15, 1850. The last issue, bearing number 33, appeared October 13, 1850.
The journal lasted two months and thirteen days.
The involvement of Proudhon in the Peuple de 1850 appears to have been almost nothing.
The principal contributors to the journal were Alfred Darimon, Marc Dufraisse, Massol, Ch.-F. Chevé, Boutteville, Ph. Faure, Gallot, Villegardelle.
The managing editor was M. L. Vasbenter, former managing editor of the Représentant du Peuple.
The Peuple de 1850 was forced to disappear because of an infraction of the law on securities.
The articles published by Proudhon in the four journals with which he cooperated have been gathered by M.-L. Boutteville, under the title: Mélanges. — Articles De Journaux. — 1848-1852. Paris, librairie internationale, 3 volumes in-18, 1868, 1869, 1871.
The public should treat this collection cautiously: we observe in it some unfortunate suppressions and omissions.
Thus the admirable pamphlet, The Presidency, which appeared in the Peuple in November 1848, has been subjected to an entirely inexplicable mutilation; more than a hundred lines have been suppressed, which removed a great deal of its literary flavor and its political significance.
The article, First Campaign of Louis Bonaparte, published in the Peuple on January 30, 1849, has been replaced by some lines of periods.
The article Sainte-Pélagie to l’Élysée, Greetings!, which appeared in the Voix du Peuple on November 8, 1849, was equally mutilated.
In March, 1850 there was a polemic between Proudhon and E. de Girardin under the heading The Question of Tomorrow, of which we do not find the least trace in the collection of Mr. M.-L. Boutteville. While the articles of Proudhon were not signed, they were easy to find, with the aid of the correspondence maintained with his collaborators.
Mr. M.-L. Boutteville has doubtless had to submit to certain exigencies, and that is his excuse. But what are we to say of the qualifications he has made on the subject of the legitimacy of interest and the rent of capital in a note placed t the head of the discussion between Proudhon and Bastiat? On the part of a former contributor to the Voix du Peuple and the Peuple de 1850, these qualifications must appear curious at the very least.
[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]