8.  Dynamite Club: The Anarchists



I'm going to talk about anarchism today and especially I'm going to talk about the life and death of one guy somebody I don't admire I Amin only but in a way he represents some aspects of the origin of modern terrorism in in late 19th century Paris and I guess if you're going to write a book about somebody it's not a bad idea to pick someone who only live to be age 21 it makes for a shorter book because he was guillotined as you'll see I in 1894 so there we go first of all I know anarchists unlike socialists did not want to capture the state seize control of the state they wanted to destroy the state they wanted to abolish the state they viewed a political participation and in this way they're rather like the symbolist as for propping up capitalism and its army defending the interests of wealthy people the first anarchist was a man called poodle whose influence really is in the 1850s and 1860s and put on was from from the east of France he was from bezants Hall in the east and he once wrote a pamphlet called property as theft in 1841 he meant too much property your unearned property was theft but it was a provocative kind of title and he once wrote the following to be governed is to watch inspected to be watched inspected spied upon directed law driven numbered regulated enrolled indoctrinated preached at controlled checked estimated valued censored commanded by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so to be governed is to be at every operation at every transaction noted registered counted taxed stamped measured numbered assessed license authorized admonished prevented forbidden reformed corrected punished and on the pretext of public utility in the name of the general interest to be placed under contribution drilled fleeced exploited monopolized extorted from squeezed hoaxed robbed and then at the slightest resistance the first word of complaint to be repressed fired upon vilified harassed hunted down abused club disarmed bound check imprisoned imprisoned judged condemned shot deported sacrifice sold betrayed and to crown all mocked ridiculed derided outraged dishonoured that is government that is it's justice that is hits its morality now Putin was followed by two important Russian anarchist both of whom I won't talk about but who are extremely interesting and both of whom were Nobles one is a guy called Peter Kropotkin and the other the terrifying quite terrifying Mikhail Bakunin and they become quite important Kropotkin who was a gentleman geographer and once toasted by the by the the King of England and in the end was horrified by the Bolshevik a revolution he was among those who came up with the term propaganda by the deed that is the belief that that the masses were potentially revolutionary and it took a single spark a single assassination a single bomb to start revolution rolling anarchists assassinated depending on how you counted five or six or seven heads of state in the late decades of the 19th century including President McKinley of the United States who was shot or stabbed I can't remember which in in Buffalo New York in 1901 that number included as we'll see in a while a Saudi carnal cos e AR n ot who was the president of of France so I want to begin with with a bomb and I've had because of this bomb years and years afterward I've had the rather odd feeling of twice having eaten in the cafe restaurant that my book subject blew up the cafe terminus and it is a turning point in the origins of modern terrorism on February 12 1894 a pale thin young man called mu Olney prepared a bomb in his room in Paris he hid it in his clothing along with a loaded pistol and a knife and he headed toward the elegant boulevards near the Paris Opera which had been completed 20 years earlier he wanted to throw the bomb and kill as many people as possible already stopped before the Opera itself which as you can see resembles a giant gilded wedding cake there was a fancy ball going on and he knew he could not get past the guards to get close enough to claim any victims he then checked out the restaurant Buell followed by the Cafe America and then the most chic of them all the Cafe de la Paix in the Grand Hotel which is still there he was in some way a Flener an intellectual hood briefly in his life and something of a dandy but if so he was an impoverished Flener who lived on the margins of urban life and who now came to the Guan Bulevar not just to observe with detached distance as the flaner did but to hate and now to kill he moved on finding each place was not crowded crowded enough at 8 p.m. he reached the cafe termi news right next to the GOx and others are around the corner from the GAR salazar and as the cafe was slowly filling up he ordered a beer and soon another and then a cigar and in a rather under kiss like gesture he paid for them is the small orchestra played on about an hour later he walked to the doorway turned lit the fuse with a cigar he threw the bomb back into the cafe which was now very crowded already famous for its great expositions Paris more than ever identified with leisure and with consumerism had become a permanent exposition in itself its boulevards the staging ground as you shall see later in the course for the ballet book department stores welcome clients with dazzling electric lights in a range shop windows inspiring Zola to call them the cathedrals of modernity the aisles of the department stores were as has been argued a continuation of the great boulevards themselves in contrast the poor workers lived along the narrow grey streets of the Kelty a popular this is not a cow a poofy there this is the terminus that will be in neighborhoods of Eastern Paris where cholera had killed as late as 1884 the rebuilding of Paris BIOS Mon in the 50s and 60s had chased thousands of ordinary people by higher rents to the exterior neighborhoods of northern Paris northeastern Paris and to the working-class suburbs but the capital of the world that is Paris was no longer the capital of revolution soldiers in Paris seemed to be a police and soldiers seemed to be everywhere and they were indeed many more of them for that matter Osmonds boulevards were too wide for barricades to Auguste Renoir the impressionist painting the new boulevards that line that the buildings that line the boulevards were quote cold and lined up like soldiers at review a nice description of the consolidation of state power in 19th century France on May Day 1891 troops fired on demonstrators killing women and children in the small industrial town in the north of Fumi a woolens town france may not then have had strong executive authority because of the fear of Caesar ISM after two Napoleon's but no other state was so centralized and so in the early 1890s did anarchists begin to create small organizations along the move which is the room of TAF behind the pantheon where a guy called John gob published one of the anarchist newspapers at number 140 here and there in the Latin Quarter but above all in Mamata and in these northern industrial reach and beyond in suburbs now the 1880s and 90's will as you you may already know were will be remembered as a time of scandal the sleazy Panama Canal scandal and lots of other ones the president's son-in-law selling the legend owner etc and the memory of the Paris Commune loomed large for anarchists more than 25,000 people had been gunned down and now from the heights of mamako and from Belleville another peripheral neighborhood anarchists looked down on the flashing lights of the Capitol and they hated many admired the Russian anarchist Michel Bakunin the who for whom destruction was quote-unquote a creative passion that would bring about the end of the state capitalism and private property the modern state bakunin wrote with all its terrible means of action given to them by modern centralization was becoming an immense crushing threatening reality as those slaughtered coming out saw up close in May of 1871 and so a wave of anarchist bombing swept the capital between 1892 and 1894 they ended with the assassination of sati Connell in June of that year in lyon after two attempts on his life King Umberto the first of Italy noted that assassination was quote a professional risk and indeed he was later assassinated himself yet many of the anarchists were aware people of peace indeed and women were peace in the case of Louise Michel about whom you can can read for for Kropotkin and before her poodle the goal was the primitive the goal was sort of communities that would exist without the state a core Potkin had lived in the Frenchies joha mountains in the east and also in Switzerland and their watchmakers seem to get along fine without the intrusion of of the state but yet as I said before it was Kropotkin who accepted and may have created the phrase propaganda by the deed sometimes attributed to the Italian anarchist Malatesta who had lots of influence in in Spain in Italy and in Argentina who doesn't look like such a terrifying guy himself when you see him there but again the belief that a single act of violence would be the spark that would bring social revolution now Kropotkin later had doubts about this and he said personally I hate these explosions but I cannot stand as a judge to condemn those who are driven to despair and he had after all in 1880 described the importance of permanent revolt by oral and written propaganda by the knife the rifle and dynamite everything that is not legal is good for us now dynamite was invented by that man of the Peace Prize Alfred Nobel in 1868 and what it seemed to do was level the playing field it seemed to represent a modern revolutionary alchemy and as a compensation of for many evils for humiliation and weakness for discrimination and frustration anger at social exploitation and injustice the German anarchist Johann most who came to the United States Hira had written in his newspaper freedom that it was within the power of dynamite to destroy capitalism justá– had been within the power of gunpowder and the rifle too white feudalism from the face of the earth an American anarchist crowed before being hung in Chicago Haymarket 1886 in given dike given given dynamite to the downtrodden millions of the globe science has truly done its best work the famous ravashol Francoise Claudia hobbits all took this to heart he had been born in in non poverty near Santa Tien and 59 his father a Dutch mill hand who abandoned his wife and four children in primary school and at math he was embarrassed by having closed so shabby that they resembled those worn by beggars he worked here and there but periods of unemployment became longer he turned toward anarchism also to grave-robbing counterfeiting and finally murder strangling in a strange old hermit who had a lot of money stashed away in his house in the hills near Santa Tien he was arrested managed to escape the police wagon and went to Paris living under an assumed name in 1891 police fired on demonstrators on the Boulevard Clichy in Paris on the edge of Paris three were hauled to a police station and they were beaten up put on trial and two condemned to long prison sentences ravish oles to deeds followed he bombed the houses of two of the magistrates on the boulevards and Irma very elegant neighborhood and on the Rue de clichy voila on the way home he stopped in a restaurant called van he ve ry with an accent on the boulevard magenta a way to remember to scar he had on his left hand three days later he went back to the same place to eat because he'd eaten well it took ten policemen to subdue him see this hand he told judge and jurors it is killed as many bourgeois as it has fingers he was guillotined on the 11th of July 1892 in the LA in Mon brizel several days later a bomb destroyed the restaurant LaValle he killing the patron the owner leading to the ghoulish pond that served as an anarchist signature verification ravashol so terrified contemporaries that for a time his name became a French verb to revel shalese a Cal can somebody was to dynamite them and after his death the anarchists of Paris and their exiled friends in London from all over the continent debated long into the night the wisdom of such attacks a would print up here you can see it by the artist charlotte maja reproduced in a widely read anarchist newspaper portrayed ravashol as a martyr his defiant heroic face within the frame of a guillotine some sympathizers began to compare their martyr ravashol to sort of a violent Jesus Christ both Christ and ravashol were 33 when they were executed an anarchist song sang a song called la ravashol that is the song a ravashol to the tune of sahiba song from the French Revolution in the great city of Paris live the well-fed bourgeois and the destitute who have empty stomachs but they they have long teeth long live raava so let's dance the ravashol long live the sound of explosions so it will be so it will be say ha in his eulogy for a ravashol an anarchist critic art critic Paul Adan literary critic Paul Adam warned that the murder of ravashol will open an era and it did an anarchist writer outraged public opinion by provocatively stating what do the victims matter if the gesture is beautiful the bull jest a veritable psychosis took hold of Paris with people of means afraid to go to read good restaurants or the theater and in nice neighborhoods people fearing to rent to magistrates for fear of ley de namida the dynamiters near nearly 20 priests and dailies carried each installment of anarchist attacks this is a bomb this is a called a mop meet it's a it's a it's a pan it's a casserole but it's a bomb hundreds of scrolled and here's the first you know they invented at this time the the wagons that did come to – to detonate and to make safe as best they can these objects and they kept filing finding joke bombs and sardine cans and stuff like that and so here's some municipal chemists a guy called jaha who's checking this out a hundreds of scrawled threats of which I read them you know but they're in the archives there arrived to a property owners and the concierge people of means signed by the of ravashol or an anarchist from the neighborhood addressed to an exploiter of the proletarian finally the day when social justice will arrive next Sunday the 1st of May you will be blown up signed lagina meet and in Mamata a benefit dance for anarchist played the dynamite polka as one of the dances the well-known next act on the 9th of December 1893 Auguste a violent an unemployed worker distraught being unable to feed his family tossed a small bomb filled with tacks thumbtacks into the Chamber of Deputies his goal was not to kill there were several scratches on the deputies but to call attention to the plight of the poor whose situations seemed to be getting worse and worse he was captured on the spot the guillotine immediately instantaneously after a brief trial severed his head as he defiantly shouted the obligatory long live anarchy Emil anri's father a militant Republican who wrote poetry had been elected to the commune from the tenth or only small and was a member of the Central Committee of the federated National Guard in the Paris Commune he fled under the sentence of death to Spain and in Catalonia he worked in the mines turning from socialism to anarchism because the anarchists were terribly influential in Spain right through the Spanish Civil War particularly in Barcelona and also in Andalusia in the south amelia was born in 1872 in a suburb of of barcelona dominated by the textile factories he had two brothers fortunae who was older who had the same name as his father and jude who was fifteen in 1894 following his father's death in 1882 from what appeared to be mercury poisoning Madame Oh he returned to Paris with her children it's the region amel became a pupil of the city of Paris receiving the equivalent of a scholarship to a school side of Paris his mother bought we had a little bit of land that had been in the family and Found started up and auberge right down the street from this I was actually an end I was actually able to find it to go out to this place called Bravin which now you know so strangely enough is not all that far from Euro Disney but then was truly in in the countryside so I'm you'll only becomes a scholarship student uh he he's very smart he gets certificates of merits in all the schools he goes to and he gets his Bach his baccalaureate exam he passes at age 16 which was pretty tough to do he was examined in physics math and chemistry and he would put some of the later to use as we shall see the last report on his scholarship read he will begin studies next year at the Ecole Polytechnique which is one of the grounds they call the big you know military engineering school extraordinarily hard to get in he was classified as odd naseeb that is he could be admitted but after passing one part of the exam he failed the oral exam but he could have taken it again he claimed that one of his friends threw a stink bomb into the room when he was taking the exam and you know was said later that he vowed vengeance on bourgeois society bla bla bla that wasn't the case he took a position with an uncle and engineer working on a water project in Venice but he precipitously returned to France he dabbled in spiritism trying to contact the soul of his dead father and as we try to move tables around and and all of that his anarchist friend a shot a mono tool claimed that he lost his footing and fell into the abyss of spiritual spiritism even becoming a medium of incarnation and wasted his health in such exhausting experience experiments because he longed for knowledge but he left it all behind and in Paris he worked here and there while living on the margins of urban life his brother fortunae became an anarchist and was a prominent orator at the meetings and debate held in smoky smoky halls and Faye's on the edge of paris principally momot and the foe boo doo top and in the Latin Quarter and he went to jail in 1894 for things that he'd written he means now 20 years of old 20 years of age voila Vimala prom EMU he was called microbe by his classmates because it was relatively small a size he was pale deep set black eyes as you saw and sport the beginnings of a blond beard on his chin to go with chestnut hair he was devoted to his mother and would walk or take the train out to not a really nearby station to go and and visit her and there with a bar several tables with workers drinking wine the inevitable checkered tablecloths green shutters and a red brick roof and chickens a poking around and laundry hanging out to dry as I said it was a village and of the one hundred twenty francs that M you'll only earned a month he gave about a third of his mother to his to his mother here she is down below and there she is up above on the Left prematurely aged and that is one of the places that he that he lived that we'll see later where I Bend everywhere that he lived I've got managed to get into the buildings of everywhere he lived sort of you kind of walk around and follow him I don't admire him but it's interesting to try to try to see what he saw and that's what I really love about history anyway so he he began meeting with some of the anarchist groups he read Kropotkin is great book the conquest of bread as well as works by Malatesta and various French counterparts his two targets were private property and authority to vicious germs as he called them that formed the base of contemporary societies that he wrote have to be destroyed eradicated from social life he remained an intellectual somewhat detached arguably from those people who crowded into these anarchist meetings or who came to get for once a bite to eat in the various lectures where soup was served to the poor afterward in contrast to viola who love the people I own was the guy executed for throwing the TAC bomb a mulatto remembered amel only loved the idea he felt a marked estrangement from the ignorant and servile plebs plebeians a feeling distinctive also a number of literary and artistic anarchists by whom he met no less a painter than can be Camille Pissarro who was Pizarro who was an anarchist and and mohawk also was the center of the sort of literary and cultural anarchism the anarchism of this her intellectual elite who lived in MoMA her because it was cheaper and there they're the next generation removed down to Mopar nos and the MoMA had already become the sort of tourist trap it is now though it still has its its charms I mean all he was a loner he never spoke in public as far as we know though he did shout out some things at one meeting once he was described later after his death as the sounds used of Anarchy sound Ruth was one of them was a cold steely guy who had ripped off his mother's silver during the before the French Revolution who became a member of the Committee of Public Safety and he and Robespierre we're the sort of main men of the Committee of Public Safety so he didn't speak like fortunae who was a really gifted orator and in March 1890 three fortunae gave a speech at this one place where they met over and over again denouncing the government class and the bourgeoisie and he appeared to pull a dynamite cartridge from he said this is our arms these are arms any peer deployed pull a dynamite cartridge from his pocket it actually was nothing but a pen or a pen case but he was arrested and so was a mean and Emil lost his job at that point he were in in the garment industry I love this because here's the route isn't rude Santi a in the center of Paris and that's still you know that sign is so beautiful from the 1890s that they left it there that company hasn't been there since World War one but that's where Emile worked but he lost his job after he was arrested and then and then released he bounced between on between bad jobs once working as an apprentice and unpaid watchmaker in order to perhaps work on timing mechanisms for four bombs in 1892 and he always got very good that employers loved him he was very smart he with he served as a as an accountant he penned letters and and that kind of stuff but in 1892 he briefly served as the manager for the anarchist literary a newspaper in the meantime he was gathering materials to make bombs and learning how to prepare them that July he and his brother may have gone to sanity N and mum resumed with the intention of blowing up the house of the magistrate in robichaux's trial down there but and I went to sanity m to try to you know find if he actually went there and the police think he did but I have no positive proof of that anyway he the police informants and the police were everywhere if you want to see this is Joseph Conrad has a wonderful novel called the secret agent and GK Chesterton has another one called a man who would be Thursday in which all seven anarchists and this an Ursus anarchist group turned out to be police spies in London was just riddled with police spies you know watching the Dutch in Spanish and French and and Russian and Czech anarchists and all the others but anyway he was overheard telling somebody I didn't put enough nitroglycerin into this one and it didn't work but I'm gonna put a little more acid next time and we'll see what happens and the police report which I've seen assigned him the number three hundred eighteen thousand five hundred and thirty two and so he had a police existence which was good for for me the police as I said an infiltrate of these groups one of the the police spies who was known as X number four reported that old ways of the anarchists no longer seemed to be in play that where anarchists had used to go to these big halls where the police were scribbling notes and identifying everybody was there that the ones you had to worry about were not the ones who were in the hall giving speeches but it's the one who were lurking in the shadows looking for other people with you know with evil deeds as it were in mind they were the ones who would show up and then leave quickly these were the most violent ones the ones who were capable of carrying out propaganda by the deeds they were not the habla the posers or the boasters they were off by themselves and they reflected a debate within anarchist circles between the associational lists who would end up being syndicalists and those who believed in the individual autonomy in individual autonomy that the single anarchist making his decision to go out and and kill individual autonomy and thus you know I use the the description of this lecture for better for worse as dynamite club but dynamite Club was the perception of not the police because they knew better but of the public that imagined that that that behind every incident every sardine can was in the various plot to destroy organized society there was no club but there were some violent individuals capable of minorities within the anarchist movement of doing deeds on the 11th backing up one year for reasons we'll see the 11th of November 1892 an employee of this of the mine company of kalmo those mining strikes that had catapulted jarvez to fame found a suspicious-looking package on the floor outside the company door at 11:00 Avenue du Loup aha there Levin up on the left this is 1800 this picture I've gotten in that building to my son and I did it showed him whether he put the bomb is still a very elegant elegant building and they carried it downstairs rather stupidly placed it on the sidewalk at the back entrance and a policeman came along and said we better take it to the police station not noticing that there were little powder that seemed to be coming out of this this machine is they used to call them in those days it was a reversible bomb it was a bomb not made by a fuse but by chemicals when they came together would blow up and so these these poor policemen are carrying it to the nearest police station which is there no that's the building now you can get into it's on the first floor I love stuff like that I just love it that's the police station which is still there also and so they carry it into it the through the course first courtyard one guy says hurry up it's heavy I was a heavy thing they put it in put it on the table arms legs everywhere gone five people killed in the most horrible way the bomb had been wrapped in a newspaper the issue of luke tall from June 1st 1892 which related the story of the arrest of a meal he and his brother Amin are we left Paris the next day for London sending along his apologies he was a list on a list of 130 suspects he hangs around Fitzroy square which now is so expensive so the Charlotte Street just full of one fancy an affordable restaurant after another he hangs around with the anarchists there a friend of Oscar Wilde's remembered meeting him there he spoke some English but not terribly well once he told people today is the anniversary of the dancing lesson by which he meant bodies jumping up and down in their last final agony in in the police station he was proud he had exterminated six enemies mulatto said he grew in his own eyes he said to himself that his role as a destroying angel had just begun but why didn't they think he was a serious suspect well because of policemen that particular day that day in November 8 1892 he'd gone to work near the gaol dunno the station of the north he had two errands to do one was near the Church of the Madeleine the second was way up by near the Arc de Triomphe his boss gave him some money to do these errands and policemen tried to do the same thing and said that he could not have gone back to his house in mamasa to the fifth floor Ruvo doesn't matter I love this stuff and got the bomb gone all the way back down to the Avenue Lokoja and then finished his errands and got back in two hours and 15 minutes papa suit so I did it I replaced traum way and Omnibus with you know buses and metros and I replaced a carriage I never take cabs with a cab and my cab couldn't turn left on the Avenue moped ha so I subtracted 11 minutes I paused I couldn't get that day into the one of his houses where he put the bomb and I came back in about two hours and fifteen or sixteen minutes somebody did the same thing in 1894 and said he certainly could have done it anywhere anyway old emil is off in London now I'm just trying to now to imagine what he imagined what converts him to anarchism was the appalling gap between the wealthy and the poor in Paris and other places the heritage of his father of course was some had something to do with it never had people lived it up in such flamboyant one could even say egregious ways as in Paris in the belly poke the so-called gay 90's now that the nostalgia for that is is a creation really of how horrible things would be later with row or one but but still and the belly Pope was not Bell for very many people but what leads him to anarchism is is that everywhere he lived that was the only place the exception a minute ago which was near the bus T everywhere he lived was on the edge of Paris and everywhere he lived the facades of the buildings are still the same this is one is your mo mantra ah and they're building sacré-coeur this is from that same time the hadn't been completed yet but it's in its big Bell drowning out the whole city hadn't been put in there but this sacre coeur was built where where the commune had been stead started and it was a it was a scene as a monument of penance for the government of the moral order and so that they hated this neighbor for constantly to this they have fantasies Zola wrote a novel called Paris bahi in 1898 which is modeled after a Maloney and some of these other people and and the brother of this priest who likes it you know REM record is losing his religion he has these fantasies about blowing up sacre coeur and Emile Inari lived near there he lived on the roof at home which is now fairly chic he lived in the top floor up there that's where he went to get the bomb and then he moves in this place it says Villa full-share hasn't slept for sure and that's not fancy at all but and this is the same facade he lived on the inside there in 1894 and I went up there because I you know I got to see I got it I got a C and this is a pretty sketchy neighborhood there a lot of D there drug deals going on here and I don't want to look like a a sequence TV you know a plainclothes cop and I don't want it last I don't want look like I'm a wealthy tourist either and so you know I kind of hid behind the truck and took pictures and I walked in and said something like so salut Liga and you know every day I had to see but when you walk out of this that's how you got in that's 1894 when you walk out of this you turn right and there is the park of a bevy and down below the plaster Roccat we he would lose his head and he looked out he was lucky he couldn't see the tour Montparnasse I wish didn't then exist but he could see symbols that he hated there was a – he fell that had only been there for the Eiffel Tower been there for five years there was the Ponte on where that the state commemorated its heroes and there was no Kadam which he hated as well and so he once wrote that love can lead you to hate he wrote that before his gay team and he hated he loved humanity in the abstract he loved his mom too but he loved humanity and he hated the state and so he sent out he set out to kill so these are these are sort of visual signifiers I guess in the new cultural history they would call them these buildings upon which there are these monuments that he looked down and and hated if she read Balzac sold gokyo ever in your reading career there's at the very end of the story Rothstein AK is up at père Lachaise cemetery and he in the poor but père Lachaise is not poor but but the area around it is and he gestures down to Western Paris the fancy Paris and he says the equivalent of its war between you and me now baby but he wanted to make the big time he wanted to sleep with the right people he wanted to just do better and better for himself Emilio he says it points down in those neighborhoods he says this war between you and me now baby any minute and he built bombs and he went out to to kill at a time when anarchist deeds were being celebrated by some anarchists the explosive device that he threw into the cafe terming news February 1894 hit a chandelier then a marble table and fell to the ground exploding 20 people were wounded of whom one later died broken glass pieces of pieces of tables and chairs blood and injured people fear was everywhere an art an architect at five wounds a draftsman seventeen re had seen I had been seen he drawled sipped is his second beer first also and at one point not not so he wouldn't be caught let's so we can rule out indirect suicide which I'll talk about just briefly in a minute he said oh where's the scoundrel that did this and runs away and he's chased by policeman by an apprentice barber by controller from the from the trauma way and they finally Ketcham around the corner from from the GAR salazar and he fires point-blank with his pistol he also had his knife had that poison on it as well one policeman called fossil is was very lucky to have escaped with his life because his big wallet was was hit by by one of of these shots and so he's put in prison here in the kamacho of he and that cell no longer exists that he was in Danton and Robespierre and Marie Antoinette and and louis xvi we're also in this prison and one of the great sources about this guy's life was the prison guards because they're trying to get information out of him he tries to convert them to anarchism and and you know they have very interesting kind of relationship the first night he was in prison so as friends of his broke into his room and took out enough dynamite to make 14 or 15 other bombs and so paris is to say the least on high alert and so Amin only is was put on a trial and in a flourish he saluted anarchism and gave a declaration for anarchism that was read and is still read today where he says you have garrotted us in Spain you have hung us in in Germany you have shot us here and there you have you let you have a guillotine death in France but what you can never do is distinguish anarchy because it's I it's its roots are too deep not surprisingly he was condemned to to be executed and that he was on the 21st of May 1894 and it an early morning at 4:00 and 4:00 in the morning and the executioner's all come from the same family in this guy called D Blair was it was the execution I got to go back to that woman in a minute this is D Blair called mr. Fahey who was the chief executioner and for him one more execution was just you know just one more execution the last public execution in France was 1936 the last execution in France using a guillotine of course from W to D was 1972 or 1973 I can't remember what date and you know and the chill of that morning where people paid for paid for seats on the roof and there were their little children whose parents bought them seats as if they were you know on the roof as if you're outside Wrigley Field watching the Cubs from from a roof far away executions were festive events for those people also finishing their other nights and there was always sort of some speculation about when this is going to happen when is he finally going to be executed and the scene which I've tried to recreate in this book of deeb layout of the wagons with the wood of justice showing up and and with the apprentices doing their work and putting up this guillotine as if you're putting together this that's basically perfect toy that didn't need any nails because everything fit together so well I know they're really these guillotine scenes were so important for anarchists also because it's part of the idea of martyrdom a revolutionary immortality and now this comes from a Christian religion also doesn't it the execution scenes you know I got you you see what I'm saying in that but but that but the the scenes of the martyrdom and the use that anarchist put to this are still are still rather rather important now was this a form of indirect suicide he'd fall in love with the wife of an anarchist and her building is still there too ironically not far away from the place where he was executed and he hit on her and yeah they would go out with the husband to his obey and he would proclaim his love and she kind of blew him off was an indirect suicide no obviously not because he tries to escape at the end and then she tell you know in a real anticipation of the modern life she is out giving interviews to the journalists after his execution she's saying oh he loved me so and one can well understand why you know the whole thing was just just incredible though but it was not any kind of indirect suicide at all but what do I mean about the origins of modern terrorism what was new about it well a couple things rava Scholl viola were very poor rava Shaw was a Pullman a teep a sad-sack Leon was not he was very honorable person most of the people in Western Europe there's some exceptions in the Russian case but these were anarchists it's a group called neuro de novo people's will we're we're ordinary workers and meaner he was an intellectual he was an intellectual that's new but that's not as important as what else was new instead of targeting a head of state or a uniform person as other anarchists had done he just picked people who were having a beer petty bourgeois that he hated because they propped up capitalism and threw the bomb at them knowing he was gonna kill a lot of them he sat there and looked at them there's a very amazing scene in Battle of Algiers in the movie medal of Algiers where this woman's going to place a bomb and she's looking at people they're going to die because of what she is doing there and he looked at these people and he said I'm going to kill you I'm gonna kill you because I love I hate and that's really new about it is it worth at all musing about what just has to do with with modern terrorism I don't know just a few reflections there's no doubt about that that there are some connections if you take a sama bin Laden for example he announced whereas everybody knows and the late 90s it'll attack civilians American civilians just like American military people that's perfectly obvious that another another connection is within modern terrorism I mean you have the Serve alliance between intellectuals students and and and people who are simply down-and-out I mean there are big differences also I mean that suicide bombers is something it's very different but but still there are things that are worth thinking about third you know there's a whole idea of revolutionary immortality that you kill people you die and you have revolutionary immortality for many fundamentalist terrorists you pass into into this immediately into this Nirvana forth both set of terrorists target a powerful enemy a they set out to destroy tariffs and tried to kill one warn a thousand go as an old Chinese proverb and they want to attack the state and capitalism in the case of the anarchists and the targets are perfectly obvious in the case of of contemporary terrorists as well v dynamite like roadside bombs are seen as leveling the playing field you attack you can prove that you are strong when in reality you are weak they demonstrate that powerful states are vulnerable even to small groups of determined determined anarchists next also these groups as I said the tendency is always to try to find one person running the whole show that's absolutely not the case in the case of the anarchists as I already said nor is it the case now as well so the French government then and officials now have a tendency to look for centrally organized massive conspiracy instead of acknowledging this role of small groups or even isolated individuals undertaking locally organized or freelance operations anarchists to repeat always emphasize the full autonomy of the individual indeed the potentially murderous individual as the case as I've said and I obviously detest everything that the media stood for but I've tried to understand his his hatred yet there's one more other there's one more thing that could be added to is that when you think of the word terrorism the word terrorism was originally applied to actions taken by the state to terrorize the terror was terrorizing opponents in the French Revolution and has often forgotten that the vast majority of victims of terror are victims of state terrorism and the anarchist hated the state because they'd seen up close what state terrorism did in the wake of the commune and the beating up of the police a cliche the massacre of the innocence of these women young women gunned down during the strike in the north demonstration to the north in 1891 must be remembered during the 1890s anarchist attacks which were terrible killed a maximum of 60 people tragic wounding more than than 200 but if you look at none if you look at state terrorism the ratio somebody has figured out stands at approximately 260 to 1 260 victims of state terrorism as opposed to one victim of this horrible thing terrorism has become part of the political process what has been called a adults macabre or some macabre dance between states and their fiercest opponents the two interact dynamically and need each other the hatred of dissidents is only foot further stoked by the overreaction of authorities it simply encourages attacks and certainly this is not of course in political science but there over but the reaction of the United States government and other governments to the horrible horrible attacks on September 11th are a pretty good example of that when when states take tactics that swell the hatred of their opponents by by abusing prisoners by torturing prisoners and by that sort of thing that line between that goes all the way back to to Spain of the 1890s the first decade of the 20th century back to the Paris Commune before that and unfortunately to our very day that is the story of a meat only see you on Wednesday




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