To the Democratic Clubs of Paris (22 March 1848)

The Republic would be a lie if it were to be nothing more than the substitution of one form of government for another.1 Changing words is not enough, we must change things.

The Republic means the emancipation of the workers; it means the end of the reign of exploitation; it means the advent of a new order that will free labour from the tyranny of capital.

Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! This motto that adorns the pediments of our buildings must not become a hollow architectural embellishment.

No infantile illusions! We are no longer children. There is no freedom where there is a shortage of bread. There is no equality where opulence causes outrage in the midst of poverty. There is no fraternity where workers and their famished children grovel at palace gates.

Work and bread! The life of the people cannot remain at the mercy of the fears and rancour of capital.

Those popular societies that share our principles are invited to select three delegates to meet at the central electoral committee on Sunday 26 March, eleven o’clock in the morning, in the Salle des Conférences, rue des Poiriers, near the Sorbonne. Only club delegates will be admitted and they must bear authorization from their respective societies.

  1. Source: TC, 116, following the text in MSS 9580, f. 29, §112, and in MSS 9581, ff. 116-117. It was the Club de la Révolution, led by Armand Barbès, that put forward the idea of forming a central organisation of clubs. Blanqui’s Société Républicaine Centrale supported the project and sent this text to the democratic clubs of Paris, signed by Blanqui and representatives of the other clubs, including Feuillâtre, Mouton, Séguin, Dézarny and Villain (cf. TC, 116n.1).