France 1848

Society of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2006.

The Society has as its goal:

1. Defending the rights of the people, which the February Revolution restored to them.

2. Drawing from that revolution all its social consequences.

As point of departure it poses THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN formulated in 1793 by Robespierre.

It follows from this that from the political point of view this means the Republic ONE and INDIVISIBLE and the INALIENABLE rights of the sovereign people.

In keeping with this, from the social point of view the former constitution is smashed and that which is being called upon to replace it must rest on EQUALITY, SOLIDARITY, and FRATERNITY as fundamental principles of the social pact.

As a consequence, in the social revolution that is beginning “The Society of the Rights of Man” places itself between the PARIAHS and the PRIVILEGED of the old society. It says to the first: Remain united but calm: in this lies your strength. Your numbers are such that it suffices for you to manifest your will to obtain what you desire. It is also the case that you can only desire that which is just. Your voice and your will are the voice and will of God!

To the others it says: The ancient social form has disappeared. The reign of privilege and exploitation has passed. If from the point of view of the former social form the privileges with which you were invested were acquired legally, don’ t presume them, for these laws were your work. The immense majority of your brothers remained foreign to them and consequently aren’t obliged to respect them. Rally then, for you have need of the pardon of those you sacrificed for too long. If now, despite that promise of pardon your persist in isolating yourselves in order to defend the former form of society, on the day of the struggle you will find in the vanguard our organized sections, and it will no longer be of PARDON that your brothers will speak, but of JUSTICE!

The MEMBERS of the Central Committee,

L-J Villain, Napoléon Lebon, A. Huber, V. Chipron, A. Barbès.