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Sunday, December 21 2014 @ 02:11 PM CST

Frédéric Tufferd, "Unity in Socialism" (1887)

Anarchist Opinion

It's always fun to be able to add a new name to the list of historical mutualists, and particularly so when the new name comes with articulate writings. Frédéric Tufferd (or Teufferd) is one of those names I have encountered in the lists of French political exiles in the U. S., and as one of the editors of the Bulletin de l’Union républicaine de langue française and Le Socialiste (organs of the French internationalists in the the U. S.), and an associate of Claude Pelletier, Jules Leroux, etc.

Frédéric Tufferd, "Unity in Socialism" (1887)

Two-Gun Mutualism & the Golden Rule (blog)

We begin to talk of union, to understand that the ridiculous disputes which have divided the socialists thus far, to the great joy of the bourgeois, should come to an end, if we want socialism to become something more than a powerless dream. But how will we bring about union among the different socialist schools? Obviously, by establishing socialism on a demonstrable basis, and no longer on a few unproven principles, about which we can dispute endlessly without ever agreeing. Ask the astronomers if the earth is round and if it orbits around the sun, and all will be in agreement; ask them if there are inhabitants in the moon, and their opinions will be divided. In the first case, the astronomers known; in the second, they can only rely on analogies of which nothing proves the reality.

If I say that a man who lets himself fall from the sixth floor will be killed when he hits the pavement, everyone, materialists or spiritualists, atheists or deists, anarchists or collectivists, will agree with me, for they all recognize that this is a necessary consequence of the law of gravity. But if I add that this man, after his death, will begin again a new existence here or elsewhere, some will say yes, other no, and those you have the largest dose of good sense will say to me: you know nothing of it, any more than I do.

When I say that as long as there are men who, without producing, take for themselves the lions share, the workers will be reduced to the bare minimum, I do not have to debate about God and the state, socialism or anarchy; it is enough to prove that all wealth comes from labor, and that the sum of social wealth equals that of labor accomplished; because any deduction which is not represented by any labor diminishes proportionally the portion of the laborer.

If we only mean by the word God the angry, vengeful and jealous Jehovah of Moses, heaven’s despot, symbol and support of the despots of the earth, every sensible man needs no reasoning to be convinced that such a God is impossible. But the word God also means the directing force of the universe, the principle of movement and life. What is this principle? We know nothing about it. it is the great unknown, and that is all. Will we then take the unknown for the basis of socialism?

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