Fernand Pelloutier: A biographical sketch - Victor Dave

A brief biographical sketch of the life of Fernand Pelloutier by his contemporary, the Belgian anarchist Victor Dave, featuring the text of Pelloutier’s Les deux tâches du syndicalisme. Appel de la Fédération nationale des Bourses du travail pour le 1er mai 1896 (The Two Tasks of Syndicalism. Manifesto of the National Federation of the Bourses du Travail for the First of May 1896) as well as an excerpt from L’Organisation corporative et L’anarchie.

Submitted by Alias Recluse on November 22, 2011

Fernand Pelloutier: A Biographical Sketch – Victor Dave

Fernand-Léonce-Emile Pelloutier was born in Paris on October 1, 1867, and died in the same city on March 13, 1901, at the age of thirty-three.

Unlike those who emerged from the ranks of the common people and joined the bourgeoisie, Pelloutier abandoned the bourgeoisie to live the life of the people. He was a descendant of Simon Pelloutier, who was forced to leave France when the Edict of Nantes was revoked.1 Born in Leipzig on October 29, 1694, Simon was successively tutor of the children of the Duke of Württemberg, prince of Montbéliard, pastor of the French church in Berlin, Ecclesiastical Councilor and Advisor of the High Consistory, superintendent of the College Française, and librarian and member of the Prussian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He authored numerous works, among which a notable Histoire des Celtes, published in 1733 in eight volumes, stands out.

The work of Léonce Pelloutier, Fernand’s paternal grandfather, exercised a perhaps decisive influence on Fernand’s ideas. Léonce was a lawyer in Nantes and was actively involved in politics and journalism. Although a scion of a legitimist and ultra-religious family, he rapidly embraced liberal ideas, and collaborated for many years on the Phare de la Loire, joined the Carbonarios secret society and other clandestine organizations, was a member, with Godefray, Cavaignac, Félix Avril, and Astruc, of the Société des Droits des Hommes, and in 1835 was the editor in chief of Blanqui’s Alliance Libérale, a journal that would never be printed. He was offered the latter position by Philippon, who published Le Réformateur, and by Françoise-Vincent Raspail, both of whom were friends of Léonce Pelloutier. In 1870, always in the thick of things, he founded Progrès de Deux-Sèvres et de la Vendée in Niort, where, curiously enough, one could read articles signed by Jules Guesde. The old liberal democrat died in 1879 and was buried with secular rights, much to the indignation of the very religious population of Nantes.

One of Léonce’s brothers, Ulrich Pelloutier, on the other hand, was an ardent and militant royalist. A staunch supporter of Charles X, the latter named Ulrich Baron of Boisrichard. He took an active part in the insurrection of 1832 and was imprisoned as an agent of the duchesse de Berry in the Castle of Lanau, not far from Chateaubriand, together with a co-religionist named Clemenceau, a relative, if I am not mistaken, of the famous politician. Curious letters from the Prefect of the Lower Loire and the central police commissioner of Nantes as well as from Montalivet, Peer of France and Minister of the Interior, exist regarding Ulrich’s imprisonment.

Under the influence of his grandfather, Fernand Pelloutier broke with his family’s traditions and embarked upon the path his grandfather had followed, despite the religious education his parents forced him to undergo. He began his elementary studies in Paris with the Frères de la doctrine Chrétienne. Later, when his parents left Paris in 1879 upon the death of his grandfather and moved, first to Nantes and then to Saint-Nazaire, Fernand was sent in 1880 with his brother Maurice to the small seminary of Guerande. They stayed there for three years. There, Fernand, who always had a weak and frail constitution, contracted the disease that would lead to his death. The food was mediocre and insufficient, the medical care deficient, and the hygiene deplorable. The punishments inflicted by the teachers for the slightest mistakes degenerated into authentic abuse. The young Pelloutier twice attempted to escape from that sad place, without success. One day, in his roommate’s trunk, the teachers discovered a violent pamphlet against the men of the cloth, to which he had made extensive contributions. This manifesto saved him from the claws of the friars: the ringleader was expelled and Pelloutier’s parents were advised to withdraw their son, a disobedient student, from the seminary, as he had already absorbed “subversive” ideas. He was therefore freed to pursue his classical studies at the college of Saint-Nazaire from 1883 to 1886.

In 1885, when he was only 18 years old and still taking courses at college, Pelloutier contributed his first article to La Démocratie de l’Ouest, a journal founded by a typographer, Eugene Courronné. He also wrote for various literary journals that opened their columns to him, although the next few years were mostly characterized by hope and preparation. His ideas matured, he read a great deal, on a vast scale, day and night, not only to swell his erudition, which had indeed become impressive, but above all to seek a palliative for the harsh and increasingly visible illness which afflicted him and which the medical doctor Poisson of Nanterre diagnosed in 1880 as tuberculosis. Poisson would also say, a few months later, that it was likely that the patient would not live more than two years, and if this gloomy prediction was not to be punctually fulfilled, it nonetheless made it clear that the illness would lead to a premature and fatal outcome.

From then on, foreseeing that his career would not be a long one, Pelloutier expended his vital powers in every direction and his activity knew no limits. During the legislative elections of 1889 he founded the Ouest Républicain, an ephemeral broadsheet in which he unsuccessfully promoted the radical candidate Aristide Briand. In 1891 he assumed the post of editor-in-chief of La Démocratie de l’Ouest. In his efforts to keep the newspaper in business he solicited articles from well-known writers who were members of various political parties: Caumeau, at that time a socialist municipal council member in Paris, who has since died; Brunellière, a socialist municipal council member in Nantes; Vaillant, Landrin, Guesde, and others. Pelloutier was responsible for all the editorial tasks of the newspaper, as editor-in-chief of a publication that had only one editor. He had to do everything: the local and regional news, domestic politics and foreign affairs, the commerce and shipping news, and, ultimately, everything, even the least important details, including the few advertisements and occasional publicity.

His incisive and scathing style occasionally led him to attack authority, which from then on became his bête noire. His eagerness for confrontation was redoubled when, with a few friends, he founded L’Emancipation, section of the French Workers Party in Saint-Nazaire. The bourgeoisie warned him that his reign was almost at an end, demonstrating its cruelty towards everything foreign to it and above all its cold-hearted and insensitive treatment of those of its own children who, understanding that its empire was henceforth impossible, have embraced the cause of the social revolution. Those who were born to the bourgeoisie, and abandoned their class due to its odious nature, are destined to receive its blows. Persecutions of their families and the families of those who were thought to be their friends oppressed them; they were threatened by poverty, besieged by hunger, surrounded on all sides by illness, the sinister messenger of the outcasts, and premature death dealt the pitiless coup de grâce. It was above all in the provincial cities that a large number of people were thus punished by the bourgeoisie for their sincerity and independent spirit. The constant dishonor they suffered at the hands of their persecutors would be recalled at the time of their deaths so that they finally achieved the victory that evaded their grasp during their lives. From the very day he joined the French Workers Party, and especially after September 3, 1892, when, as a delegate of the Nantes and Saint-Nazaire Bourses du Travail at the Congress of Tours, organized by the Fédération des Travailleurs socialistes de l’Ouest (the “Broussist” Party),2 he called for a vote on the general strike, which the party rejected and would reject again in 1901,3 Pelloutier was to be exposed to every kind of intrigue, persecution and misfortune.4 As a result, he moved from Saint-Nazaire to Paris in early 1896. He soon broke with the Marxist party, as he became imbued with the libertarian ideas concerning which he was almost completely unaware when he was interred in the provinces and which he embraced under the influence of anarchist comrades and writers whom he often met after his arrival in the capital, at the very heart of the movement. Within a year, however, Pelloutier would go his own way, contributing to Dijon’s L’Avenir social and Gabriel De LaSalle’s L’Art Social: as a delegate of the Paris federation of Bourses du Travail, which he joined in early 1894, to the national workers congress held in Nantes in September 1894, Pelloutier once again voiced his support for the theory of the general strike. The passion with which he advocated his ideas attracted attention. The press not only did not relent in its attacks on him, but its attacks became more violent the more trenchantly he asserted his scorn for political formulas and advocated struggle on the economic terrain. The rage of the press was unable to divert him from the life he had chosen. He replied to its attacks with a pamphlet: Qu’est-ce que la grève générale? (“What is the General Strike?”),5 which concludes as follows: “If the general strike is impossible, then it is folly to combat it, since a conspiracy of silence destroys it, while political attacks strengthen it. Opposing a flood with levees means increasing its destructive power; widening its banks means making it inoffensive and reducing it to the proportions of a creek. This applies to the general strike as well. If it really is possible, then whoever combats it is a criminal, because he is bringing on the ruin of the authoritarian system.”

In 1895 Fernand Pelloutier, a member of the French Knights of Labor, contributor to the Paris Revue socialiste, the Brussels Société Nouvelle, Les Temps Nouveaux with Grave and De LaSalle, and the L’Enclos with Lumet, was named Secretary of the Federation of Bourses du Travail. His nomination to this important post inaugurated a particularly active stage of his life. It seems that, knowing he had only a few more years to live, he wanted to concentrate the maximum amount of work a man can possibly accomplish in as short a time as possible. He conducted all the business of the Federal Committee, prepared the Congress, organized the principal sectors of the Federation, acted as secretary for the Action Committee of the glassworkers, and wrote the Méthode pour la création et le fonctionnement des Bourses du Travail. In short, he worked tirelessly, on a thousand projects.

This is how his friend, Paul De LaSalle, remembered him in a moving article published in Les Temps Nouveaux the day after he died: “To oppose to political action, a powerful, strong economic action, such was the dream he had conceived and which was taking shape and becoming a reality. He knew and liked to repeat, that the capitalist bourgeoisie concedes to the workers only what the workers can demand, and he saw in the organizations and the power of the labor unions a means to compel society to capitulate.”6

“In his Letter to the Anarchists, he perfectly defines his thought, and ours as well, in just a few lines: in favor of the abolition of individual property, we are, furthermore, what they (the politicians) are not, rebels in every circumstance, men who are truly without God, without master and without a country, redoubtable enemies of all despotism, in labor and collective life, that is, of laws and dictatorships (including that of the proletariat) and passionate lovers of culture for its own sake.”

“A libertarian in the best sense of the word, he declared in that same letter to those anarchists who did not acknowledge the effectiveness of trade union action, that ‘they should respect those who believe in the revolutionary mission of the proletariat and who actively, methodically and more obstinately than ever pursue the work of moral, technical and administrative education necessary to make a society of free men possible’.”

“The Federation of Bourses du Travail, which has rendered and is still called upon to render very important services for the working class, constitutes his master work as an organizer, a work for which he lived and for which, partly due to the excessive labors which he imposed upon himself, he gave his life. While some individuals used the Albi glassworks as a springboard for their petty personal ambitions, Pelloutier, in his modest duties as its secretary, thanks to his administrative skills, managed to create a worker-owned factory. And in that dung-heap called the glassworks’ action committee, where so many exploiters of socialism irremediably compromised themselves, he knew how to stay clean and the mud with which his dishonest adversaries wanted to smear him only ended up besmirching them even more. He was one of the few who came out of the test with clean hands and head held high.”7

In July of 1895 Pelloutier served as a delegate to the Congress of Nîmes, where he delivered two reports on the Federation of the Bourses du Travail that stimulated a great deal of discussion, especially the report in which he advocated the view that, in order to facilitate the victory of the revolution, it was necessary for the workers forces to be organized in a compact and disciplined mass. Despite his advocacy of this perhaps somewhat authoritarian concentration of forces, Pelloutier always maintained his support for libertarian theories with the same resolve as ever. We find this same idea in the manifesto he published on May 1, 1896, in the name of the 41 Bourses du Travail, in which he maintained:

“Having voluntarily restricted themselves until now to the role of organizers of the proletariat, the Bourses du Travail of France will now take the lead in the economic struggle, and on the occasion of this celebration of the First of May, which has been observed for several years by international socialism in order to consolidate the will of the working class, we shall explain what we believe and reveal the goal we pursue.”

“Convinced, with regard to social evils, that institutions bear a greater responsibility for them than men, because institutions, by preserving and accumulating the errors of previous generations make the living into prisoners of the errors of their predecessors, the Bourses du Travail declare war on everything that constitutes, upholds and fortifies the social organism. Conscious of the sufferings and lamentations of the proletariat, we know that the worker does not aspire to take the place of the bourgeoisie, to create a ‘workers’ state, but to equalize the conditions of life and to procure for all the satisfaction of what their needs require. In agreement with the goal of the socialists, the goal of the Bourses du Travail is to replace private property and its sad entourage of miseries and infamies, with a free life on earth.”

“Therefore, in cognizance of the fact that man’s energy is proportionate to the sum of his well-being, the Bourses du Travail concur with all demands that would allow for even the gradual improvement of the immediate condition of the proletariat, for freeing the proletariat from the degrading anxieties of getting its daily bread and consequently increasing its solidarity in the common labor of emancipation.”

“We demand the reduction of the working day, the establishment of a minimum wage, respect for the right of resistance against exploitation, and the free supply of the indispensable elements of existence: bread, shelter, education, clean water. We shall energetically attempt to bring about a situation where the members of the Bourses will no longer know the anxiety of unemployment and the worries of old age, by seizing from Capital the evil tithe it has seized from Labor.”

“We understand, of course, that none of these measures can resolve the social problem; the proletariat will never be victorious if the formidable power of money is opposed only by the passivity instilled by centuries of suffering and privation. This is why we recommend to those workers who have until now remained isolated, that they should join the Bourses du Travail and that they should contribute the aid of their numbers and their power. The day, which is not so distant, when the proletariat succeeds in creating a gigantic association that is conscious of its interests and of the means to secure victory, on that day there will no longer be capital, or poverty, or classes, or hatred. The social revolution will have been achieved.”

In 1896 L’Art Social published an interesting piece by Pelloutier on L’Organisation corporative et L’anarchie. Here, Pelloutier establishes the concordance between the corporative association he was building and the libertarian and communist society during its initial period. “We want,” he said, “all social functions to be reduced to the satisfaction of our needs, and the corporative organization proclaims the necessity of freeing itself from the belief in the need for a government; we want free agreement among men; the corporative association (and we see this more clearly with each passing day) cannot exist without expelling from its midst all authority and all constraints; we want the emancipation of the people to be the work of the people themselves and the corporative organization wants this, too; it warns ever more forcefully of the necessity, and it experiences ever more acutely the desire, that we should manage our affairs ourselves; the taste for independence and the impulse towards revolt makes it fruitful; it dreams of free workshops where authority gives way to the personal sense of duty. This is expressed in the role played by the workers in a harmonious society, whose foundations will be surprisingly free and will be created by the workers themselves. In short, the workers, after having believed for so long that they were condemned to play the role of mere tools, want to become intelligent factors, so as to be both the inventors and creators of their own labor. That they should then ceaselessly extend the range of possibilities open to them. That, conscious of having the entirety of social life in their hands, they should become accustomed to accept no other compulsions than their own conscience, and that they should detest and reject any authority external to them. The final task of the workers is to bring about anarchy.”

In L’Art et la Révolte, also published in 1896, Pelloutier describes the bourgeoisie, which is slowly disappearing as a turbulent reality sweeps it away in a chaotic hodgepodge of prejudices, beliefs and moral principles. “In the tropics, there are unwholesome fruits which quickly ripen and rot just as fast; plants of matchless beauty whose lives are nothing but a headlong rush towards death and which are all the more beautiful the more ephemeral their existence. These plants, these fruits, are our bourgeoisie. Only just born, it is already rich and powerful. At an age when races and castes were still generally trying to protect themselves from the ups and downs of fortune and dynastic instability, the French bourgeoisie had already established itself in full possession of its power. It has thrived for fifty years and now it is dying. It is a tremendous lesson! We would search in vain for the reason for its agony outside of the bourgeoisie itself. One hundred years ago, the people had the same respect for children, for religion, for family and for homeland that they had three thousand years ago. They have overthrown dynasties, chopped off crowned heads, destroyed altars and invaded territories, but they are still bowing their heads before authority. The master is dead, and they shout: ‘Long live the master!’ One God disappeared and they went down on their knees before other gods, and the homeland became the motive for the satisfaction of their blood-lust and their passionate desires. After one hundred years all of this has disappeared. They still accept governments, but they detest authority and spit in the faces of their bosses. Religions survive, but God has died and the atheist has replaced the skeptic. The family subsists; authority has been forbidden and a man says: ‘I will love whoever loves me, regardless of who it is, even if a relative, even if they demand my affection without deserving it.’ Nations still exist, and might still foment hatred between races; but patriotism has died and ‘the little finger that flicks the ashes from your cigar’ ultimately seems more precious than the conquest of an empire.”

In 1897 Fernand Pelloutier founded L’Ouvrier des Deux-Mondes, a monthly journal of social economy, which featured numerous studies of real value which he authored. The miserable conditions under which he was frequently obliged to work on this journal only served to predispose him in favor of this spiritual labor. When the printer’s bills rose to fantastic heights beyond the capacity of a proletarian’s wallet, Pelloutier made a heroic decision: he would himself compose the entire journal, and dedicated up to ten hours per day to this exhausting labor, after which, as a diversion, he felt obliged to devote a few more hours to the endless correspondence of the Federation. Meanwhile, he still found time to contribute to various French and foreign publications. It was during this period that he wrote, with his brother Maurice, his Vie Ouvrière,8 which would be published in 1900, a few months before his death.

It was impossible for his constitution, undermined by tuberculosis, to hold up much longer under the strain of these multiple labors. Upon his return from the Congress of Rennes he suffered his first hemorrhagic fit, which left him completely exhausted. He recovered, however, and since he found himself in a difficult financial situation he was compelled to try to get work as a calligrapher. I recall that—while he was supposed to be recuperating—he devoted the month of November, on Deux-Ponts Street, while wrapped up in a blanket, to copying a manual on political economy, and then immediately began translating an English work on mechanics. On the advice of his doctors, however, he agreed to move to the country; in April of 1899, he took up residence in Bruyères-de-Sèvres in a cottage with two rooms, in one of which he installed his select library, to which he had devoted so much attention and which he had managed to collect together at the cost of great sacrifices. There, in charming surroundings, a stone’s throw from the Meudon forest, his health seemed to improve somewhat. But no one noticed, because no one ever heard him complain. Pelloutier never allowed anyone to spot the least weakness in him, and, in fact, not even the most atrocious sufferings ever moved him to complain. Only during the last days of his life, crushed by his illness, depressed by the effects of morphine, did he on occasion shed tears, tears of regret for so much left uncompleted, above all the Federation, which was his creation and which he loved so much that he sacrificed his own life for it.

In August of 1899 a second hemorrhagic fit, much more serious than the first, brought him to the brink of death. It was thought that he would not recover. But the loving ministrations of his family and, above all, his truly astonishing powers of resistance, overcame the disease once again. A short time later, a good friend of his helped him obtain a modest job as an inspector in the “Labor Office” (Ministry of Commerce), which saved him from poverty, but which would later lead to his being subjected to unjust and bitter accusations. At the Eighth Congress of the Bourses du Travail held in Lyon in 1900, a Guesdist raised the issue of Pelloutier’s presence in the Ministry. The question backfired on the angry delegate. The Congress had not forgotten that at its meeting of March 25, 1900, the Federal Committee had to address the issue of the regulations concerning strikes and compulsory arbitration and that Pelloutier, as a delegate from Nevers and as Secretary of the Committee, had violently opposed the proposal and was largely responsible for it being rejected by a clear majority. Nor had the Congress forgotten that the Ministerial proposal on job placement and unemployment also suffered the same fate, as always thanks to the dogged perseverance of Pelloutier. While performing the functions of inspector in the “Labor Office”, he was contributing to the defeat of the hybrid proposals of the pseudo-socialist Minister Millerand.

The winter of 1899 passed relatively without incident for the patient, although he was stricken with an incessant cough, which may have been the result of the laryngitis caused by tuberculosis, or from too much work, or speaking too much in public forums, or even from tobacco abuse, but due above all to the progression of the disease, which had spread to his larynx. But he continued to work on his projects. Throughout 1900 he was absorbed in the creation of the “Viaticum” or travel allowance, in the creation of the “National Labor Office on Statistics and Job Placement”, in the preparations for that year’s Congress and in the publication of his excellent book, La Vie Ouvrière en France. One can hardly imagine what he had to suffer during this period: prolonged asthma attacks, exasperating bouts of coughing, and constant sweating continuously weakened him. Leaning on his cane, he stopped to breathe at every step. One would have taken him for an old man. His life force seemed, however, to take refuge in his head, which had taken on an exaggerated aspect, and he even managed, by the force of his will, to attend the Congress where, over the course of four days, he actively participated in the debates on every issue on the agenda, and where he still had to defend himself against the attacks of enemies who were always defeated, but always attacked again.

This was his final effort, as on the day after the Congress was adjourned he took to his bed, and would never rise up from it again. Over the course of six months he underwent an authentic martyrdom, spitting blood almost without interruption. His breathing almost completely failed and he obtained a few moments of tranquility and relief only by means of repeated injections of morphine. Not until his last hours, however, did he ever cease to express interest in the affairs of the Federation, and kept in touch with his brother, who took over the correspondence and replaced Fernand for all intents and purposes as Secretary of the Federation. A few weeks before his death, he asked to be moved to his study, where, together with his beloved library a bed had been installed and where he experienced his final joy, a truly childlike joy, at finding himself once again amidst his books. On March 13, at 11:00 a.m., he died after slipping into a coma during the night.

At this point all that remains is to reaffirm the perfect concordance of ideas and the indestructible solidarity which unites our valiant comrade with the Party of the Social Revolution and the International Libertarian Movement. We take responsibility for the great laws of progress and do not have the right to doubt. In agreement with August Comte we believe that humanity demonstrates a greater attachment to its dead than to the living and that, whenever labor, poverty or disease thins our ranks, we shall return to do our duty, stronger and more capable, because the spirit of our fallen comrades accompanies us.

At the heart of the old society that was being dissolved more each day by so many gangrenous elements, only one class was pure and worthy of interest in the eyes of Pelloutier: the popular class; according to him, the society in which we live, which exhibits its nauseating sores with such proud cynicism to the light of day, will be saved and regenerated only through the energy and the courage of the working class. That is why our friend dedicated all his spirit, and all his heart, to the disinherited. He only had faith and hope in the struggles of the popular classes, and the people, whom he profoundly respected, will never forget his name.

By rigorously adopting all the deductions derived from experience and observation, Pelloutier did not allow his imagination to be abandoned to the disordered dreams of the supra-sensory world. His spirit was too positivist to feel attracted to the miracles of metaphysics. So he died as he had lived, without master and without God, a true libertarian.

Victor Dave

Originally published as an introductory essay in the first French edition of Fernand Pelloutier’s Histoire des Bourses du travail (1902).

Translated from the Spanish edition, Historia de las Bolsas del Trabajo. Orígenes del sindicalismo revolucionario (Zero-Zyx, Madrid, 1978).

  • 1The Edict of Nantes, proclaimed in 1598 by Henry IV, marked the end of the wars of religion and conceded a limited freedom to the Huguenot and Calvinist sects (freedom of belief, freedom to practice their own religion, although this latter freedom was restricted to non-episcopal centers, political equality). It was revoked by Louis XIV with his Edict of Fontainebleau (1685); this led to the emigration of approximately 500,000 Huguenots; the mercantilist economy suffered and the first critiques of absolutism (Fenelon) began to circulate in France. The fugitives found refuge, for the most part, in Holland, “the leading center of the enlightenment” (P. Bayle) and in Brandenburg (Translator’s note from the Italian edition).
  • 2La Fédération des Travailleurs de l’Ouest was also known as the “Broussist Party” because of its leader, the doctor and journalist Paul Brousse. In regards to which, Pelloutier would later write: “as for the enemies of Brousse, who at first accepted the general strike at the Congress held under his auspices in Tours in 1892, they slowly retreated and strove to destroy the weapon which he had popularized, and finally refused to join the organizing committee for May 1, 1895, because the committee had propagated the idea of the general strike, the most basic element of its propaganda.” (F. Pelloutier, La situation actuelle du socialisme in Les Temps Nouveaux, No. 6, July 21, 1895.) (Translator’s note from the Italian edition).
  • 3On May 27, 1869, the journal L’Internationale, the official publication of the Belgian sections of the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA), advocated the idea of the general strike in the following terms: “due to the fact that strikes are spreading and are being progressively advocated, one may expect that they will soon issue in a general strike, and that this strike, in conjunction with the ideas of freedom which are prevalent today, cannot but result in a great cataclysm which will have to change the whole society.”
  • 4A bitter controversy was waged over this issue in the pages of Démocratie, between Jules Guesde and Fernand Pelloutier, a controversy which Guesde tried to resurrect on the day following the death of his adversary, which led Eugène Guérand to remind the “red Jesuit”, in the Voix du Peuple, that Pelloutier was no longer in a position to respond to his arguments.
  • 5Written in collaboration with Henri Girad.
  • 6Les Temps Nouveaux, March 23, 1901: Fernand Pelloutier, by Paul De LaSalle.
  • 7It is not idle to recall how hard Pelloutier worked, as secretary of the action committee of the workers glassworks, and how energetically he took up the cause of defending four workers who had been fired for having demonstrated against the draconian regulations of the factory.
  • 8Fernand and Maurice Pelloutier, La Vie Ouvrière en France, 344 pages, Schleicher, Paris, 1900. (Translator’s note from the Italian edition.)