The fare or death.
Confiscation of productivity gains
Around 1825, an industrialist who owned a spinning mill owned Model A spinning machines that produced 100 spindles per hour. Let us say that the employee who takes care of this machine is paid 10 francs an hour, or 10 cents per spindle.
Two years later, the technological evolution put on the market spinning machines that produce 200 spindles per hour. Productivity gains in technical capital are large, and those manufacturers who do not own these new jobs will inevitably be beaten by those who use them. The industrial sector must therefore be among the first to be able to buy these new machines if it is not able to manufacture innovative machines itself. In order to maintain this capacity to invest and keep up with technological progress, it will impose the following calculation:
The machine will produce 200 spindles but the employee has nothing to do with this technological progress, he will continue to be paid 10 F an hour but nothing will stop him from calculating his new parts tariff: this will be divided by two here, it will go to 5 cents per pin. This new tariff will be unfairly appreciated in view of the manipulations that will double and tire the employee all the more.
The canuts will revolt by launching this slogan that will be repeated throughout the nineteenth century: “the tariff or death.” “Live free while working or die while fighting.”
The Canuts Revolt of Lyon
The canuts quickly understood the logic of the industrial capitalist system and rejected it.
Canuts are silk craftsmen with a high professional qualification and whose trade is recognized by the aristocracy who carries the results of their work.
Ruined by the new industrial workshops installed in the suburbs of Lyon, which produced more and at lower cost and the economic crisis of 1830, these artisans had no choice but to hire themselves as workers in these new factories or stay at home to work 18 hours a day.
Becoming a wage earner and no longer being his own boss would still pass if they were associated with the development of their factories, but the application of these rules of calculating the piecework wage or the hourly rate will make them understand the exact nature of the rules of this new industrial system.
Sufficiently educated in management calculus, they refused to accept this system and rebelled as had happened a few decades earlier under the Revolution. The price, otherwise it is better to die than to accept this despoilment of work: the claim could not be more legitimate, justified as it was by the increase in rates.
History of the Canuts Revolt in Lyon:
22 November 1831, in Lyon. The workers take possession of the Good Shepherd’s barracks, plunder the armories. Several army or national guard forces were attacked and burned. The workers took control of the city, which was evacuated by the authorities. The battle is tough. Approximately 600 victims, including approximately 100 dead and 263 wounded on the military side, and 69 dead and 140 wounded on the civilian side.
23 November 1831, in Lyon. The workers occupy the Town Hall. An attempt at insurrectional government was made. However, either because of a lack of political project, or because of the cunning of the authorities, the latter took control of the city from 2 December 1831. An army of 26,000 men, 150 guns commanded by the king’s son and Marshal Soult, watched the rebellion. There are 600 dead and 10,000 people are evicted from the city.
9 April 1834, at Lyon, the second Canuts insurrection began. After the failure of the strikes in February and the passing of the law against the workers’ associations, the judgment of the leaders in February, on April 9, set the powder on fire. The army occupied the city and the bridges, but already the first shootings broke out with the troops, who fired on the unarmed crowd. Immediately, the streets are covered with barricades. The organized workers stormed the Good Shepherd barracks and barricaded themselves in the neighborhoods, making them real entrenched camps, as at the Croix Rousse. It’s the beginning of the “Bloody Week.”
10 April 1834, Further shootings took place with the troops. The insurgents seized the telegram, the Guillotière neighborhood, then Villeurbanne where the barracks were taken. The black flag flies on Fourvière, St Mizier and Antiquaille.
11 April 1834. Fighting continues. The Croix Rousse neighborhood is bombed by the troops who received reinforcements, killing all the inhabitants of the building on Rue Transnonain. Attempted insurrection in St. Stephen and Vienna.
12 April 1834. The troops attacked and took the insurgent district of Guillotière, after having destroyed many houses with artillery.
On 14 April 1834, the army gradually reconquered the city and attacked the Croix Rousse district for the third time, massacring many workers.
15 April 1834, in Lyon. End of the Bloody Week. The second great Canute insurrection is matured in the blood. More than 600 victims are again to be deplored. 10,000 captured insurgents were tried in a “monster trial” in Paris in April 1835, and sentenced to deportation or long prison terms.
The Monarchy’s Repression of the Canuts Revolt
The Revenge of the Monarchy on the Revolution of 1789
The monarchy will cruelly suppress this revolt. The brothers of Louis XVI and the nobles have an opportunity to take their revenge.
They will apply the right of individual property of 1789 and in this they will respect this fundamental right obtained by the French people but this right will now serve to base their monopoly on the ownership of the means of production and the profits derived from productivity gains. A royal army of 26,000 ended the first revolt in 1831. In 1834, during the second revolt, the army had to fire cannons to reduce the insurgents.
The fear of seeing a new people’s republic.
The 1831 test of strength carried out by the industrialists was successful only because of the Monarchy’s fear of reviewing the popular revolts instituted by a new republic capable of protecting the property of the citizens’ labor and reestablishing a collective property organized by the workers’ community.
The army thus became, better than the Catholic religion, the true defender of the system of power. By relying more on soldiers than on workers, the government also engaged in a criminal enterprise that would allow it to sacrifice more and more soldiers to strengthen its system. It will be, according to the famous expression: the sword and the butterfly at the service of the new business bourgeoisie which took power in France and in the other industrialized countries.
The revolution of 1848 established the National Workshops, a true return to collective ownership for the workers, but the economic laws and competition of the capitalist system, the lack of entrepreneurship among the population since the departure of the Protestants, will not allow this revolution to lead to real progress.
Rather than see the return of the Monarchy, the people and the army would prefer a return to Napoleonic power. The bourgeois republic of 1871 will continue this path and without scruple will massacre the Paris Commune and any discussion on its system of power at the service of the capitalists.
The peak of this system was reached in the years 1916-1917 with the massacre of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in a few weeks during the trench warfare during the First World War. It was not the romantics, writers, painters and musicians who, by celebrating the time of the cathedrals and the knights, the Celtic, Egyptian and other peoples, were able to reintroduce networks of resistance and solidarity protected by new knights in arms.
Freedom to set wages in the labor market
Capitalism will systematize this mode of calculation: wage-setting must be market-free in order to respect entrepreneurs’ individual property rights. As the rural exodus takes place for the benefit of the factories and the cities, those who refuse to lower the tariff must leave and give way to the peasants who come to the doors of the factories and who will be obliged to accept the new tariff, especially if they know nothing about the world of the factory.
We present some examples of these conflicts in which the slogan of workers remains the same: the rate or death. With paternalistic management and conservative Catholicism, there will no longer be a question of pushing workers to death, but simply of developing conformism to the need to submit to capitalism which brings material progress at the same time as social misery.
Strikes in the Bruche Valley 1870 – 1914
Strikes in the Bruche Valley 1870 – 1914
The Bruche valley is an Alsatian valley located between Strasbourg and Saint-Dié, the capital of the arrondissement: Molsheim
(on this website, some photos of this valley are presented to you in the animation: “the land forbidden ” by fairies to men )
document source: Season of Alsace, published by the Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace, edition of the Nuée-Bleue.
“…A survey by the Presidency of Basse-Alsace, carried out in 1887, covers working time and gives variable figures per company, which are between 14 hours and 12:30 a day. The latter figure is the most widespread. The work schedule common to most companies is that applied to the Scheidecker Factory in Labroque: 5:00 to 8:30, 9:00 to 1:00, 14:00 to 19:00.
Strikes at Scheidecker-de Regel in Schirmeck and Labroque in 1886 were triggered by the introduction of a new salary scale for coins which lowered the rate.
It shows the desire of employers to recover the productivity gains brought about by the introduction of more modern and faster machines.
This is naturally opposed by the workers.
Moreover, the strike is at the very end of the modernization process, which, and this is typical of the textile industry, is carried out gradually, workshop by workshop, machine by machine, without closing a company, to continue to execute orders, but without any compensation for the workers whose trades are stopped by the works…” François INGERSHEIM
The settlement of a Tourcoing factory in 1880.
The settlement of a Tourcoing factory in 1880.
Catholic culture fights the sin of being poor
These rules of procedure make use of Catholic culture and refuse its instructions in accordance with a desire to combat sins. Work here serves to put human beings back on the right path, who, according to Rousseau’s inspired doctrine, are corrupted by society, especially the new labor laws and socialist or communist utopias.
Management offers more charity, a way of redeeming poor fishermen than work that contributes to the political, economic and social development of a country.
The 1905 law establishing the separation of church and state attempted to put an end to this fundamentalist Catholic hold in the public and social sphere. Yet this Catholic and monarchist culture will develop against the utopian conditions imposed by labor law and social movements. The Catholic and conservative right radicalized against the development of communism and its ideology supported by the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy in order to divide the working-class world and foster social unrest if not war.
Paternalism and backwardness in French social relations
In 1880, the arrogance of this leadership, which displays these rules of procedure, characterizes the delay taken by French paternalism in the development of social relations in Europe.
We have presented the Protestant movement and in particular the development of the Mulhouse industrial society since 1820. In this Alsatian Manchester, the mutualization of fire insurance will allow the development of an insurance bank to finance industrial and social development without resorting to loans from commercial banks. In the 1880’s, Bismarck in Germany passed three laws to establish social security for workers and peasants, with the middle and wealthier classes able to protect themselves with their income.
This radicalization in the hostility of French Catholic employers towards “social utopias” has not disappeared and French paternalism is indeed the cause of our worst social relations among industrialized countries.
Since the liberation of the country in 1945, no purification has taken place in the French business community which collaborated with Nazism in order to fight against communism and it has not ceased to want to hinder and reduce the social security set up according to the program of the National Council of the Resistance by communist ministers and the government of General de Gaulle.
In 2022, the current government may stigmatize the inequities of the current pension system, but it knowingly fails to mention that these inequities were indeed intended and arranged by employers under the guise of conservative right-wing parties.
The solidarity of the social security system was initially to be based on direct taxes. Employers and the right have demanded a joint and corporatist management of Social Security in order to limit this financing to social contributions based solely on the work of employees as well as on the expenses, charges, of the company. Pension administration is riddled with unfair calculations to reduce pensions. Will those responsible ever be brought to justice?
On the contrary, the financiers and investment funds, the true masters of the Liberal economic system, are intended to take over from this outmoded employer and implement a system with calculations which are certainly fairer but whose average pensions will fall to develop the profits of the annuitants and financiers.
Alfred Sauvy: The French disease
In 1990, when Alfred Sauvy, in his chronicle of the economic journal Les Échos, came up with the archives of the 1880 rules of procedure of a textile factory in the North of France, with his customary sagacity, he put his finger on this French evil that has been gnawing the country for several centuries.
Did he think that to get rid of these old conservative and fundamentalist right-wing moons, it was enough to hand the country over to Anglo-Saxon neo-liberal management and submit us, like the other European countries already subject, to these masters of the world who are in reality only tyrants at the top of the hierarchy of their financial power system?
Could he publish in his chronicle the minutes of an assembly of a free city or commune before Friday, October 13, 1307? To show the difference in culture and management methods in our institutions responsible for organizing political, economic, social and cultural life? Did he know the solution or this reminder of the causes of the French disease, in 1990, shortly before his death, is it in some way part of his political, economic, social and cultural will?
Capitalism adapts to discard its oppositions
The Canute Revolt is the first bloody conflict to reject capitalism
The Canute Revolt is the first bloody conflict of the industrial society that takes place. The logic of the capitalist system is denounced by former artisans, highly skilled entrepreneurs who are condemned to engage as workers in new textile factories by technological progress.
Anyone who thinks understands that this logic is unbearable and deeply unjust and unlivable. A compromise, a solution must be put in place.
Solutions Rejected by Business and Political Leaders
The solution of a common management of enterprises is possible to satisfy the interests of all the stakeholders but it then removes the private ownership of the means of production to use again the common ownership and management of the common goods as in the medieval period, before October 13, 1307 and the establishment of royal absolutism.
The Jacobin revolutionaries of 1789, by ignorance once again, did not seek to use these rules of operation of an organization in networks of life, in direct local participatory democracy. The brothers of Louis XVI in 1830, probably less ignorant on this fundamental question as to their monarchical power, do not want at all a return to the Revolution of 1789. Crushing the revolts with the guns of the army, massacring, deporting is their only political response.
Yet it is not possible to continue industrial development on the basis of such a catastrophic and criminal social situation, to repress in blood any workers’ movement that refuses to submit to this logic of private ownership of the means of production.
The political power and the Anglo-Saxon business bankers must subject the people to this logic of the capitalist system. Means are known throughout the history of humanity.
Development’s Submission of Social Misery
First of all, leave the population in poverty.
“It is also in the interests of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they are so busy with their daily tasks that they have no time for rebellion ” Aristotle
They are busy trying to survive day to day, left in ignorance and without education, and they do not have the means to organize themselves to improve their political, economic and social situation, and just as this logic of private ownership of the means of production condemns the employees to poverty, if not misery, they might as well keep it. If you are not able to enrich yourself and you finally have to come and ask for work at the door of the factories, don’t come and argue! Obey and shut up!
When the level of poverty and misery causes people to revolt, the leaders of the capitalist system of power must above all avoid that these dissidents find the “right” solutions, in other words, the organization of the medieval period and its roots in the Greek, Egyptian and flourishing and humanist civilizations that have developed a real art of living. He who does not know history is condemned to relive it with its wars, its misery, its injustices…
Social Christians propose the solution of Social Rights
The failures of the revolutions of 1830 and especially of 1848 demonstrate the lack of progress in this respect compared to the failure of 1789. However, after 1850, social Christians like Pierre Leroux sought to learn the lessons of the riots of the canuts of Lyon as well as the failures of the revolutions of 1830 and 1848.
Pierre Leroux and the capitalization of social rights
They accepted the development of industrial society and supported the laws on the creation of joint stock companies passed in 1864, but Pierre Leroux asked Parliament to pass a law on the capitalization of social rights at the same time: after a number of years of seniority to be defined, employees get shares from their companies to participate in decisions, these are social rights.
Adolphe Thiers, who needed the Christian Social MPs to pass the law on joint stock companies, will betray them by refusing to introduce a law on social rights. From then on this betrayal of the Catholic and conservative right will trigger the radicalization of the left.
The leaders of the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy organized the communist movement
This first socialist movement, whose positions are clear and constructive in seeking to establish mutual societies, cooperatives led by employees and managers, will soon be overtaken by the communist movement and Marxist doctrine.
“The final battle of Christianity will be over the problem of money, and until this problem is solved, there can be no universal application of the Christianity” Honoré de Balzac.
The bankers who dominate monarchies and states are afraid of a Christian socialism that is capable of reestablishing the network organization of the medieval period and the time of cathedrals, without private banks and without centralization of political power in royal absolutism or representative democratic republics but with local assemblies practicing subsidiarity and managing the common goods.
The sect of Anglo-Saxon Puritans who distinguished themselves by these crimes during the Second Communal War in England in the 16th century before landing in North America, at the beginning of the industrial era, does not forget its past to deport Christians from Ireland and Scotland who fought to preserve the culture of social Christianity of origins developed by the monks and Druids. These puritans will choose the solution of developing their own opposition which must be non-Christian and which must use utopias to falsely promise the peoples the possibility of a better material life under the domination of a new form of tyranny, that of their communist political party.
Pierre Leroux and his social Christians were thus eliminated. Today still the great majority of communists, if not of all citizens, ignore the solution provided by common property with its mutual societies, its cooperatives. Today, the solidarity economy and its activists present themselves rather as a new version of capitalism without any political will to leave this system of power. In Moscow, on the monument that celebrates the Communist thinkers and leaders, there are some French like Proudhon but Pierre Leroux is not there and it is not forgotten, it is voluntary!
To mask this breakdown of trust between the citizens and their leaders, rather than supporting the ideas of Pierre Leroux, his movement and his friends including Victor Hugo, the Anglo-Saxon bankers will disseminate the ideas of Karl Marx and arrange them in an ideology of class struggle. The class struggle is perfect for dividing the people into classes that seek to develop social conflicts, civil wars, in short, quarreling between social classes without turning against the ruling elites of the capitalist system of power.
The bankers will teach the people about the communist ideology against which it will be easy to antagonize the Catholic right-wing parties and the moderate Republican left. Business bankers know that to get rich quickly and strongly, nothing beats organizing wars that they finance first and then they capture the wealth of the vanquished as winners since the belligerents will have become enormously indebted.
The Civil War of the Paris Commune
The consequence of this betrayal of the conservative Catholic right was to be found in the insurrection of the Paris Commune in the spring of 1871.
Following the defeat of 1870, the newly elected assembly was a Catholic monarchist and it chose to settle in Versailles. Thiers decided to recover the cannons installed in Paris during the siege of the city and his government made mistakes vis-à-vis the population and the 150,000 men of the National Guard who defended Paris.
Faced with the power vacuum in Paris, left-wing extremists took power and following elections that were not representative, the Paris Commune proclaimed, in confusion and with no government program other than insurrection. The mistakes of 1790 during the establishment of the Republic following the clumsiness of Louis XVI are repeated.
The Jacobin street takes power in ignorance of the political, economic and social solutions that have already allowed on the soil of France a long period of peace and prosperity when the citizens themselves managed their assemblies and the common goods, built free cities, abbeys in the countryside, cathedrals, ports, fortresses…to ensure their safety.
The tragic end of the Commune, whatever its political mistakes, will mark the political responsibility of the French monarchist right and if it considers itself to be the winner of this civil war, it has created a terrible mistrust of the people towards its leaders and the great bourgeoisie installed in power since 1789.
The financial oligarchy destroys the political empires that resist it
The bankers and their militias are then inevitably legitimized by this class struggle to defend their interests as well and they can manipulate and finance the communist movements, especially to carry out revolutions in empires whose Kaiser, Tzar refuse the establishment of a private central bank and the submission to power of this Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy led from London.
This financial oligarchy succeeded in expanding its power over the United States of North America, and more so once the Federal Reserve was established after 1911, it attacked the empires that refused to submit to its financial power.
Communist ideology will be targeted on the conquest of centralized power with the imposition of collectivist and dictatorial measures, under the pretext of arriving more quickly to a communist society. Anglo-Saxon high finance can then more easily set up, control and manipulate this minority of communist leaders to make them commit the most criminal political measures to subjugate the citizens. Economically, these communist leaders will have no choice but to submit to the manipulations decided by these Anglo-Saxon bankers to divide the citizens, to frighten them and to push them to demand autocratic right-wing governments.
Historical reality shows that this manipulation of the communists by Anglo-Saxon bankers and industrialists enabled the conquest of the Russian empire, the setting up of soviets and an economic policy favorable to American investments then the development of Nazism thanks also to American economic investments, in order to trigger a second world war between Germany and the Soviet Union to destroy the Soviet Union and ensure the domination of Europe through Nazism and fascism to the orders of the world’s high finance. It almost succeeded…
We return to fileane.com on this story that these masters of the world want to hide so that the people ignore their plots against the political, economic and social life of humanity. It is presented in part 5, our dear enemies.
Living free by working in 2022
In 2022, the slogan of the canuts of Lyon: “to live free by working or to die by fighting” is more relevant than ever.
Workers must, however, first free themselves from the ideologies that manipulate them and that were selected by the financial oligarchy to divide social movements, successfully until today in 2020.
They must then rediscover the right forbidden by these masters of the world, this forbidden right that Pierre Leroux had glimpsed through the social approach of Christianity but he had not returned to the functioning of France and Europe, before Friday, October 13, 1307. Leroux and Jaurès remain at the level of ideas without knowing the functioning of organizations in life networks, without knowing our history.
Marx will talk about the practice, the praxis from which knowledge comes… without knowing our history.
Philosophers and moralists pitifully cling to the Truth, their truths in a way. The poet who had the courage of cowardice and was studying the industry speaks of subsidiarity and of the optimal solution in the present state of our knowledge. A poet makes fun of the truth of others and of the great Truth of philosophers, a myth of absolute intellectualized with an afflicting candor.
The Anglo-Saxon high finance will develop to establish a world government through the submission of the peoples to its liberal ideology, submission which will result in the killing of hundreds of millions of human beings during two world wars followed by cold wars, regional conflicts for the domination of mineral and energy resources, agriculture, climate…and the concentration of global wealth in the hands of an increasingly small but powerful minority.
Live free or die fighting in the scrubland of Glières
During the reconstitution of the maquis des Glières and its battles of February-March 1944 against the militiamen and the German army, we were invited by our officers and the former resistance present among us, not to forget this oath “to live free or die fighting”.
In order not to have to endure the repression of the militias and soldiers, police officers who are voluntarily or unknowingly affiliated with these masters of the capitalist and liberal system of power, it is up to us to once again use this right that they forbid us to reestablish our free cities, regions, countries united in powerful confederations capable of putting our reasons for living at the heart of our institutions.
After too many massacres of workers in our cities, of workers and citizen soldiers on the battlefields, what come our victories!
Our victories over the masters of the world, who for centuries have pushed us to die in wars that are not ours, are driving us to riots in the face of so many injustices that they impose on us in order to become ever richer.
Our victories to live free, without them and their systems of power with which minorities dominate and oppress peoples to serve the interests of some at the expense of all others.
Neither Leroux, nor Marx and communist ideology, nor Jaurès and so many other revolutionary authors have shown us the way to these victories to drive the leaders from the systems of power.
A lawyer who knows positive law and forbidden law, without being a philosopher, sociologist, politician, economist specializing in the freedom of markets but perhaps a poet, initiated through the use of our first source of knowledge and able to use the complementarity between our two sources of knowledge, he knows how to leave these masters of the world and their systems of power, the inequalities of income and wealth, the economic and financial crises, the wars they continue to organize as long as the citizens do not learn to practice this right which they forbid us… to live free by working and share equitably the wealth produced by the work of all, throughout a human life.
Our first victory lies in putting subsidiarity back into practice in our citizens’ assemblies to manage our free cities and common goods with a full currency and social rights. We can and we are worth it where we live.
- 21 novembre 1831 : début de la révolte des canuts
- 1834 : La révolte des canuts est écrasée
- Pierre Leroux
- Le paternalisme source de la crise française du travail
- Le malaise politique économique et social en France
- Nos ennemis de la finance, qui sont-ils ?
- Les Villes libres
- La Déclaration des Droits à la Vie sociale