The Tragic Bandits

La Société Nouvelle, 19th year, No. 2, August 1913. Translated by Mitch Abidor.

It would seem that it’s late in the day to still talk about it, but the subject nevertheless remains current, since we’re dealing with acts and discussions that have occurred over and again in the past and that, alas, will repeat themselves in the future as well. For as long as the determining causes have not disappeared.

A few individuals stole, and in order to steal, killed; they killed at random, without discernment anyone who stood between them and the money they were after. Killed men unknown to them, workers, victims like themselves and even more than themselves of a bad social organization.

At heart there was nothing in this but the ordinary: they were the bitter fruit that ripen on the tree of privilege in the normal course of events. When all of social life is stained with fraud and violence, and when he who is born poor is condemned to all kinds of sufferings and humiliations; when money is something indispensable for the satisfaction of our needs and respect for our personality, and when for so many people it is impossible to obtain through honest and dignified labor, there is no reason to be surprised if from time to time a few unfortunates burst forth who, tired of the yoke and taking inspiration from bourgeois morality, but not able to appropriate the labor of others under the protection of the gendarmes, illegally steal under the nose of the latter. Since in order to steal they can’t organize military expeditions or sell poison in the guise of food, they murder directly with revolvers or daggers. Continue reading “The Tragic Bandits”