FROM THE SCHOOLROOM TO THE TRENCHES: LAÏCITÉ AND ITS CRITICS
Paper given at the London Historical Materialism Conference November 2015
In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders, we heard a great deal about “republican values”. Indeed, some French people seem to have heard too much; in May this year one opinion poll claimed that 65% of French people thought such terms as “republican values” had been “used too much and had lost their force and meaning”.
And central among those republican values was laïcité. (The French term has so many connotations and interpretations that it is effectively untranslatable, though secularism is a reasonable approximation.) Today laïcité serves as a justification for a variety of things – from banning headscarf-wearing mothers from accompanying their primary school children on school outings to telling Muslim – and Jewish – schoolchildren that they must eat pork or go hungry.
Yet laïcité remains a value claimed by the left, and indeed the far left. Moreover, the significance of laïcité is that it is not just a “value” washing around inside people’s skulls; it has a very concrete material embodiment in the French educational system. And since in France today around a quarter of the population (24.7%) are involved in the education system, either as employees or as students, it is central to the social and economic structures of the French nation.
Laïcité has a long and tortuous history, but the crucial turning-point was undoubtedly the Ferry laws of 1881 and 1882, which established the principle that primary education in France would be free, compulsory and secular.
It is important to situate the Ferry laws in their historical context. Similar expansions of education were taking place elsewhere in Europe. France needed a literate and skilled labour force. Educational superiority was often cited as one of the reasons for the Prussian victory in the war of 1870.
But there were other factors. The politicians who now controlled the Third Republic had cut their teeth as members of the opposition under the Second Empire. The Catholic Church had played a significant role in establishing and supporting the rule of Napoleon III. A French garrison had protected the Vatican and it was only when it was withdrawn for the Franco‑Prussian War that the Vatican lost its status as an independent state and became part of Italy. So republican politicians tended to be anticlerical and distrustful of the Catholic Church – something which corresponded to quite a widespread popular mood in the French population.
There were some good reasons for distrust. The clergy obviously had a divided loyalty to the French state and to the Papacy; and the Papacy had its own foreign policy which did not necessarily coincide with that of the French state. There was a fear that Catholic teachers might have divided loyalties between Rome and Paris. For example, at the time of the Franco-Austrian war in 1859, the priest in one village had told his parishioners to pray for the Austrians because they were Catholics.
So Ferry and his supporters believed that such an important task as the education of the new generation could not be left to possibly unreliable allies in the Church, but that it should be taken over by direct agents and employees of the state. And crucially there was the question of national defence. France had suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, and had lost the territories of Alsace and Lorraine to the newly established German Empire. There was strong feeling in some quarters that France should recover its lost territories in the not too distant future.
Ferry himself did not favour war with Germany, and tried to improve relations with France’s neighbour. But of course he could not go too far in this direction for fear of offending public opinion, and in any case he had to be aware of the possibility of a fresh war against Germany.
Ferry’s preferred option was for the expansion of France’s colonial empire. It was during Ferry’s period in office that France took over Indochina. Ferry himself was a paternalist racist who argued that “superior races …. have the duty to civilise inferior races”.
All this made the question of the army central. France was still substantially a peasant country – in 1900 45% of the French working population were farmers and peasants. In 1848 and 1871 it was peasant soldiers who had restored “order” by suppressing risings by Paris workers. And in the succeeding decades the army would be used repeatedly against strikers.
But there was a problem with the peasantry. Any sense of national identity was decidedly weak. Peasants identified with their village or their province far more than they did with the French nation. From Brittany to Provence many peasants spoke languages or patois other than French; official figures from 1863 show that up to a quarter of the population spoke no French. In some areas there were reports that peasants did not know that they were French.
So a central theme of Ferry’s educational project was strengthening the sense of French identity. The “moral and civic” education which was to replace religious instruction gave considerable importance to instilling ideas of patriotism and national identity. And the basic syllabus that was imposed included military training for all boys. Meanwhile girls were to do needlework (perhaps sewing uniforms). And the military exercises acquired a quite considerable importance. As one historian has described:
“It was the time of the ‘school battalions’. A republican invention made by Paul Bert and launched in 1882. It meant taking advantage of the entry of pupils into primary schools in order to inculcate them with notions of ‘patriotic citizenship’ through military exercise. The children practised marching with a toy gun with a wooden bayonet, but they also practised with live ammunition, outside the school, in army rifle ranges.”
In the introduction to a colloquium on the Ferry laws, François Furet describes the establishment of laïcité in education as “the best symbol of the great and only victory of the left since the French Revolution” (namely the establishment of the Republic). It is therefore of some interest to see how the various currents of the French left at the time reacted to the Ferry laws and the establishment of laïcité.
For one wing of the Socialist Party, headed by the charismatic Jaurès, it is certainly true that the Ferry laws and the separation of Church and State were seen as a great step forward. As a young man Jaurès had been friendly with Ferry. Jaurès’s historical perspective, set out in his Histoire socialiste 1789-1900, (Socialist History) was that socialism flowed directly out of the Revolution, within which it was entirely contained; in effect socialism was simply the icing on the republican cake.
Jaurès’s sympathy with laïcité was part of a more general accommodation to republican politics. In 1904 Jaurès defended Socialist participation in a republican government, saying it had saved the republic, and merely alluded to the fact that the republican government also sent troops to shoot on striking workers. Jaurès was in favour of radical reforms to the army, but he supported national defence, in particular defence of the republic and the homeland of the Revolution. Though his efforts for peace in the summer of 1914 were undoubtedly sincere, his reputation was saved by the assassin’s bullet; had he survived he would almost certainly have joined a government of national unity to prosecute the war.
For the Marxist left things were somewhat different. In the summer of 1882, just after the Ferry law on laïcité had been passed, Karl Marx himself was in Paris for nearly three months, on his way home after a stay in Algeria. His correspondence from the time shows no mention of the event. It would seem strange that if Furet were correct in seeing this as the left’s greatest victory, the founding father of Marxism should not even have noticed it.
Laura and Paul Lafargue, Marx’s daughter and son-in-law, had moved to Paris at the beginning of April 1882, and for the next thirty years Paul would be the foremost French Marxist thinker and writer. He and Laura maintained a regular correspondence with Engels until the latter’s death, exchanging letters every few weeks. They commented on contemporary events of interest. There is, however, no reference to the Ferry laws anywhere in the Engels-Lafargue correspondence for 1882. Again they seem to have been oblivious to this great left victory. Both Marx and Engels had a low view of Ferry. Marx scorned his “maladministration” in the period before the Paris Commune, while Engels called him a “thief of the first water”.
It may, however, be noted that Karl Kautsky – the so-called “pope of Marxism” after Engels’ death -, who in 1905 published a short book on France, had a somewhat different perspective. Although he was generally critical of the Third Republic, and the illusions in it held by many in the French socialist movement, he noted without reservations that “in the area of education, the Third Republic has done great things”. He was distinctly sceptical about the separation of Church and State, arguing that “if there has now been a split between Church and State, then this can be ascribed to a Church provocation. Nevertheless, it can still be doubted whether this split will be a permanent one.” And later he commented: “today the bourgeois liberal politicians have every interest in the struggle against the Church, but by no means in triumphing over it. They can only count on the alliance of the proletariat as long as this struggle continues. If it comes to an end, their ally will be transformed into an enemy on the very day the Church goes down. Even in the time of their greatest revolutionary power, the bourgeoisie could not get by for long without the Church.” In other words he saw laïcité as a concession to the left rather than as an alternative ideological strategy.
Paul Lafargue had a rather more acute grasp of the issues. He was an atheist and materialist, and strongly opposed to church influence; his first act on being elected to parliament was to move, unsuccessfully, a resolution calling for the separation of Church and State. But he was also sceptical of those who gave great importance to anticlericalism. In the 1883 programme of the Parti Ouvrier, written by Lafargue and Guesde, there is a disdainful reference to bourgeois free-thinkers who want “the suppression of state subsidies to the churches and the separation of Church and State”. They point out that in the USA there is separation of Church and State (so that religions are a “private industry like a grocery or a pork butcher’s shop”), but that this “does not prevent religious leprosy eating away the great American republic more than any power on earth”.
In 1886 Lafargue published a satire entitled La Religion du capital (The Religion of Capital). He imagined a conference in London with economic and political representatives of European capitalism – Clemenceau, Rothschild, Gladstone, Herbert Spencer, von Moltke, etc. Among those attending were Ferry and Paul Bert, who as education minister had been one of Ferry’s main allies in establishing laïcité. Their concern was to enable the survival of capitalism. And for that a religion of some sort was required. As Bert noted, he was a non‑believer himself, but he was in favour of religion for the working class. “The workers must believe that poverty is the gold which buys heaven …. I am a very religious man … for other people.” The problem was that Christianity was no longer credible. In a passage of Voltairean mockery, he noted that it was no longer possible to get people to believe “that a pigeon slept with a virgin and that from this union, condemned by morality and physiology, was born a lamb.”
So, the delegates agreed, a new religion was required. It was based on the worship of Capital and a catechism imposing the duty of labour on workers. Here Lafargue seemed to be commenting satirically on the role of laïcité. It was a doctrine which could play a role which the obsolete teachings of Christianity could no longer fulfil.
It is sometimes claimed that laïcité continued the traditions of the Paris Commune. It is true that the Commune had separated religion from education. But, as Maurice Dommanget has argued, the communards did not much use the term laïcité, considering themselves as materialists rather than claiming neutrality in relation to religion. And, more important, as Kristin Ross has shown in her excellent recent study of the Commune, the Commune did not see itself as a state but rather as pursuing local autonomy with an international framework. It certainly did not see education as preparation for military service. The Commune represented a quite different internationalist tradition from that developed by the partisans of laïcité.
It is not surprising that some of the sharpest criticism of laïcité came from the anarchist and syndicalist currents. The anarchist position could be summed up as “neither the church nor the state”. As Sébastien Faure put it, the Christian school was “organised by the Church and for it, while the “école laïque” was “organised by the state and for it”. He counterposed the idea of “the school of the future …. organised for the child.” André Lorulot put it rather more crudely, calling state schoolteachers “intellectual cops of the capitalist class”. (The formulation reflected a certain reality, but was hardly tactful if one were attempting to unionise the teachers.)
Various attempts were made by anarchists to set up libertarian schools that would be independent of both church and state; one such venture received financial support from Emile Zola and other writers, though in the end it came to nothing for want of resources.
The anarchists had a low view of Ferry, and certainly did not see him as a hero of the left. Emile Pouget’s journal Le Père Peinard (Tired Old Man) combined radical opinions with very direct popular and often vulgar language. Pouget’s opinion of Ferry was, to say the least, aggressively hostile:
“If there’s one swine who revolts me, it Ferry. What a dirty brute this animal is, he’s the biggest scoundrel in France …. I’d like to see someone wring his neck; you could kill him with no more compunction than crushing a bug.”
Pouget had an interesting take on the current argument about whether priests should ever be allowed to work as teachers. He argued against a complete ban, but said that in order to protect pupils and to demonstrate their commitment to celibacy, they should be castrated.
A number of anarchist publications put the case against laïcité; I shall look at three typical examples.
The pamphlet L’École: Antichambre de caserne et de sacristie (The School: Antechamber of the Barracks and the Sacristy) bore no author’s name but seems to have been written by Émile Janvion, one of the founders of the CGT, who claimed to have been the initiator of the first “Libertarian school” in France. He cited Bakunin and Stirner with approval.
The main thrust of his argument was to claim that laïcité merely constituted an alternative dogma to that of the church. He cited republican politician Léon Gambetta’s claim “Clericalism is the enemy”, and responded “Religions (whether of state or church) are the enemy.” And he concluded “Our anticlericals have a priestlike spirit. Our atheists are pious people.”
Janvion pointed in particular to the way the secular school encouraged nationalist sentiments on the part of the pupils. The child would be “inculcated with blind imbecile hatred for people who live on the other side of such-and-such a little river, infatuation with their own race to the detriment of all others”.
He noted that it was the practice in secular schools for the teacher to write certain sentences on the blackboard; the pupils would recite them in chorus and they would then remain there for the rest of the day. Typical examples were:
- A good Frenchman must know how to die for the flag.
- You exist only for the native land, you live only for her.
- A good little Frenchman must prepare to become a good soldier.
And he quoted a volume of “moral and civic education” (which replaced religious instruction in the secular schools) which explained that “military service is the apprenticeship for war. It is necessary to form a solid army, capable of defending us against criminals within and enemies abroad”. The reference to “criminals within” clearly indicates the role of the army in the pre-1914 period being used regularly against strikers.
Antonin Franchet’s little book Le Bon Dieu laïque (The Secular Good Lord) focussed more specifically on the textbooks used in the secular schools. One chapter dealt in particular with the idea of the native land in schoolbooks, under the title “The School of Hatred”. (L’École de la haine).
Thus he quoted from a book by Charles Dupuy, a former education minister, which had sold well and was now in its twenty-fourth edition. This asked pupils:
“How shall we demonstrate our love to our native land? - By obeying its laws, even if they inconvenience us and by defending its territory and its independence against the foreigner, even at the cost of our own blood.”
The pupil was told what to think of France: “I love it as I love my father and mother. In order to prove my love, I shall now be a well-behaved and hard-working child so that, when I grow up, I shall be a good citizen and a good soldier.”
Internationalist ideals were mocked: “Perhaps you will hear around you idle and selfish people saying there’s no point in being a citizen of one’s country, that one should be a citizen of the world, what is called a cosmopolitan; that one’s native land is everywhere where one is at ease; that the native land is only a word, an abstraction which should not deceive positive and practical minds.”
He quotes maxims taught to the pupils:
- Anyone who doesn’t love the native land absolutely, blindly, will never be more than half a man.
- Military duty is the highest of our duties towards our native land.
And as he shows, textbooks supposedly devoted to teaching “morality” actually directly advocated hatred and lying.
“I know one can love one’s native land without thereby detesting other peoples and desiring or preparing their ruin. But for soldiers there are cases when it is necessary to be able to hate, to hate the envious pitiless enemy who, after having misused force, having robbed us of our brothers in Alsace-Lorraine, is ever on the look-out for an opportunity to strike the final blow.
“As long as hatred remains alive for the conqueror of our homeland, then the defeated one cannot forgive or forget.
“So hate past injustice, the injustice which still threatens. Yes, in order to avenge the one and to ward off the effects of the other, hatred is a force, Frenchmen, hatred is a duty!”
In a schoolbook by Émile Lavisse, aptly called Tu seras soldat, (You will be a soldier) the author urges his youthful readers to envisage a future as a spy. While not offering a James Bond lifestyle, he quite unambiguously tells the schoolchildren that the end justifies the means and that lying and dissimulation are entirely legitimate:
“The spy who serves his country in times of peace is a cunning, brave and bold man who goes to a foreign country to study its defences and war preparations in order to make them known to his homeland.
“All means are legitimate to achieve his end. He conceals his nationality and adopts a false name; he speaks the language of the country and hides his task by working in various professions.”
One of the most devastating attacks on laïcité came from the young Victor Serge in an article in l’anarchie. Serge was just nineteen years old and had never been to school (something that seems to have done him absolutely no harm at all). In an article called “The Religious or the Secular?” Serge set out a critique of laïcité which he had undoubtedly derived from the anarchist circles he frequented. As a hard-line anarchist individualist Serge saw socialism as just another variant of state authority.
“After the obscurantists of the church, here come the stupefying charlatans of the secular.
“What we see going on around kids is an ignoble dispute between parties and sects. They hold the future in their frail little hands, and people are afraid they don’t want to keep to the straight and narrow road and stay within the routine.
“And everyone attacks them in a dispute to see who will mould their nascent intelligence to his profit, so that tomorrow they’ll be the sustaining herd, the docile herd of slaves to be sheared and killed.
“In the end this is nothing but a fight to exploit this source of wealth. Who will these children be the slaves of? Which dogma, which party will exploit them? Who will they expend their strength and energy for, who will they spill their blood for in the impending slaughterhouses? This is the question ….
“The role of the secular or the religious school is to prepare children for social life, to adapt them to an unhealthy and irrational environment by annihilating their instinct for revolt and their faculties of logic and initiative. Society wants servile automata for its barracks and factories, and the mission of schools is to provide them. The secular school can be nothing but a factory for soldiers, good workers, and good bosses; a damper and a place of rot.
“If it’s republican, socialist, syndicalist or even anarchist (for those who, by anarchism, mean a body of established doctrines), any school in service to a party or a sect can only be a marvellous tool of enslavement. It will make believers in this or in that; it will engrave in minds new dogmas in place of the old and prepare people for new enslavements. It will kill the individual ….
“But as long as schooling is either secular or religious we cannot prevent the depressing effects of study in herds from occurring. In order to fully develop the child must take up the habit of thinking alone and for himself. This should be the sole concern of the educator. How far we are from this.
We are still far from this. But this isn’t a reason for us to take sides in the sad quarrel between secular and religious stupefiers. The difference between them is too small for us to have any preferences. And knowing that every transaction is a diminishment, we have no other way of comporting ourselves than as demolishers.
“If the handful of comrades who have been made dizzy by the rhetoric of secularist charlatans saw the horrifying labour of death daily carried out by secular and religious schools; if they took the trouble to observe in real life their pitiful products, the prodigious forces annihilated, the countless minds, innovations, and wills destroyed, they would quickly get a grip on themselves. And when in the morning light they’d see children joyfully bearing their energy to the damper, they too will want to shout at them: ‘Don’t go there …. Flee! …. Go play, go anywhere, but don’t go in there. People are perverted there, castrated, killed!’”
The anarchist critics are themselves open to criticism – Pouget and Janvion in particular were certainly guilty of anti-Semitism. Nonetheless their observations on laïcité help to place the phenomenon in perspective and to make clear that it was not as unambiguously progressive as is often claimed.
And in general, despite the opposing voices, laïcité achieved what it set out to do. One small interruption came in 1912, when the primary teachers’ union voted to support the sou du soldat, an anti-militarist fund. This produced a degree of panic – former war minister Adolphe Messimy declared, doubtless sincerely, that he was a supporter of laïcité, but that this was unacceptable. It looked as if the state’s agents were turning against it. But only five per cent of teachers were unionised, and in the end nothing came of it.
As historian Eugen Weber described, the education system had established a sense of national identity. “In August 1914 it was not surprising to hear a young peasant from the Var and his friends leaving for the front ‘happy (as he wrote to his parents) to go and defend our country, France’”.
The traditions of criticism of laïcité survived after the end of the war. The journal Clarté, close to but not entirely controlled by the Communist Party, reported on educational developments in post-revolutionary Russia which might offer an alternative to church or state education. It reported on an educational conference held in Moscow in 1919 which dismissed academic neutrality and laïcité as a “mug’s game” (attrape-nigaud) designed to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie.
And the early French Communist Party took a rather different attitude to laïcité to that of many on today’s left. Hadjali Abelkader, one of the founders of the Etoile Nord-Africaine, the first movement for Algerian independence, served on the Communist Party’s Central Committee though he was a practising Muslim.
But through the Popular Front and over the years laïcité gained its current status on the left. Islamophobia has found new ways of using laïcité, but an effective critique means understanding that it is not a noble ideal that has been misinterpreted and distorted, but something that was deeply flawed from the outset.
Except where otherwise stated all translations from the French are my own; French originals are given in the footnotes.
 See President François Hollande’s speech of 21 January 2015 – http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2015/01/22/francois-hollande-prone-l-autorite-a-l-ecole_4560936_823448.html – cited in Jim Wolfreys, “After the Paris attacks: An Islamophobic spiral”, International Socialism 146, 2015.
 http://www.atlantico.fr/decryptage/sondage-65-francais-ne-sont-plus-sensibles-aux-termes-republique-et-valeurs-republicaines-jerome-fourquet-vincent-tournier-2134825.html “trop utilisés et ont perdu leur force et leur sens”.
 See http://www.ajib.fr/2012/06/manuel-valls-hijab/ cited in Jim Wolfreys, “After the Paris attacks”.
 Angélique Chrisafis, “Pork or Nothing”, Guardian, 13 October 2015.
 See for example the letter from Lutte ouvrière presidential candidate Nathalie Arthaud at http://www.laicite.fr/pas-de-voile-a-lecole-lutte-ouvriere/ or the heated debate inside the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste about veiled election candidates http://www.npa2009.org/content/la%C3%AFcit%C3%A9-le-npa-ne-l%C3%A8ve-pas-tout-%C3%A0-fait-le-voile
 See statistics for 2014 at http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid57096/reperes-et-references-statistiques.html
 See for example J Baubérot, Laïcité 1905-2005: Entre passion et raison, Paris, 2004.
 R Magraw, “The Conflict in the Villages”, in T Zeldin (ed.), Conflicts in French Society, London, 1970, p. 177.
 J Keiger, France and the Origins of the First World War, London & Basingstoke, 1983, p. 10.
 Speech in the Chambre des députés 28 July 1885. “ les races supérieures …. ont le devoir de civiliser les races inférieures.”
 E Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen, London, 1979, p.8.
 E Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen, London, 1976, pp. 67-94.
 Cf. T Zeldin, Intellect and Pride, Oxford, 1980, p 3.
 Journal officiel, 29 March 1882, at http://www.senat.fr/evenement/archives/D42/1882.html
 Yves Gaulupeau in Le Monde de l’éducation, July August 2000, cited in Antoine Boulangé, Foulard, laïcité et racisme, Paris, n.d. (2004) at http://www.skolo.org/IMG/doc/FOULARD3_1_.doc .“C’était l’époque des « bataillons scolaires ». Une invention républicaine due à Paul Bert et lancée en 1882. Il s’agissait de profiter du passage des élèves à l’école primaire pour leur inculquer à coups d’exercices militaires des notions de « citoyenneté patriotique ». Les enfants s’exerçaient à défiler avec un faux fusil avec baïonnette en bois, mais ils faisaient aussi des exercices de tirs à balle réelle, hors de l’école, dans des stands de l’armée.”
 F Furet, “préface”, in F Furet (ed.), Jules Ferry fondateur de la République, Paris, 1985, p. 7.
 M Dommanget, Les grands socialistes et l’éducation de Platon à Lénine, Paris, 1970, p. 436.
 Paris, 1900-1908.
 J-P Hirou, Parti socialiste ou CGT? (1905-1914), Pantin, 1995, p. 11.
 K Marx & F Engels, Collected Works, London 1975-2004, XLVI 2275-309.
 F Engels, P & L Lafargue, Correspondance, Paris, 1956, tome I.
 Marx & Engels, Collected Works, XXII 438.
 Marx & Engels, Collected Works, XLVIII 113.
 Republik und Sozialdemokratie in Frankreich (https://www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/kautsky/1905/frankreich/index.html ). This is translated as “Republic and Social Democracy in France” as an appendix to Ben Lewis’s MA thesis on “Karl Kautsky’s Democratic Republicanism”. All quotations are taken from this translation. I am most grateful to Mr Lewis for drawing my attention to this and for allowing me to read his thesis.
 F Larue Langlois, Paul Lafargue, Paris, 2007, p. 102.
 J Guesde & P Lafargue, Le Programme du parti Ouvrier, Paris, 1883, p. 62. “la suppression du budget des cultes et …. la séparation de l’Église et de l’État. - une industrie privée, au même titre que l’épicerie ou la charcuterie - ce qui n’empêche pas la lèpre religieuse de ronger la grande république américaine plus qu’aucune puissance au monde. ”
 Republished in P Lafargue, Textes Choisis, Paris, 1970, pp. 192-238.
 Lafargue, Textes choisis, p. 196. “Il faut que les ouvriers croient que la misère est l’or qui achète le ciel - Je suis un homme très religieux …. pour les autres.”
 Lafargue, Textes choisis, p. 196. “Qu’un pigeon coucha avec une vierge et que de cette union, réprouvée par la morale et la physiologie, naquit un agneau. ”
 M Dommanget, L’Enseignement, l’enfance et la culture sous la Commune, Paris, 1964, p.‑50.
 K Ross, Communal Luxury : the political imaginary of the Paris Commune, London, 2015.
 Cited J. Maitron, Le Mouvement anarchiste en France, Paris, 1975, tome I, p. 359. “Organisée par l’Église et pour elle. - organisée par l’État et pour lui - l’école de l’avenir …. organisée pour l’enfant. ”
 Cited Maitron, Le Mouvement anarchiste, I 352. “flics intellectuels de la classe capitaliste”.
 See Maitron, Le Mouvement anarchiste, I 355-6.
 “Ferry-Charogne”, Le Père Peinard, 21 April 1889, in E Pouget, Le Père Peinard (ed. R Langlais), Paris, 1976, p. 181. “s’il y a un cochon qui me dégoûte, c’est bien Ferry! En voilà un sale type que cet animal, c’est la plus grande crapule qui existe en France …. C’en est un ….à qui je verrai tordre le cou avec plaisir : on peut l’escoffier sans plus de remords qu’on n’en a pour écrabouiller une punaise. ”
 Church schools continued to exist, but their teachers had to be qualified and they received no state finance.
 “Qu’on châtre la frocaille”, Le Père peinard, 19 February 1899, in Le Père peinard (ed.Langlais), p. 304.
 Aiglemont (Ardennes), 1907.
 L’École: Antichambre p. 4. “Le cléricalisme, voilà l’ennemi. – Les Religions (d’État ou d’Église), voilà l’ennemi!”
 L’École: Antichambre p. 27. “Nos anticléricaux ont l’esprit prêtre. Nos athées sont des gens pieux.”
 L’École: Antichambre p. 6. “On lui inculquera la haine aveugle et imbécile du peuple d’au‑delà tel ruisseau, l’infatuation de sa propre race au détriment de toutes les autres.”
 L’École: Antichambre p. 7. “Un bon Français doit savoir mourir pour le drapeau. Vous n’existez que pour la Patrie, ne vivez que pour elle. Un bon petit français doit se préparer à devenir un bon soldat. »
 L’École: Antichambre, p. 8. “Instruction morale et civique. – Le service militaire est l’apprentissage de la guerre. Il est nécessaire pour former une armée solide, capable de nous défendre contre les malfaiteurs du dedans et les ennemis du dehors”
 Paris, 1903.
 Dupuy was prime minister three times in the 1890s and tried to block the procedure that would have revised the sentence on Dreyfus.
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 54 “Comment témoignerons-nous notre amour à la Patrie. – En obéissant à ses lois, même quand elles nous gênent et en défendant son sol et son indépendance contre l’étranger, même au prix de notre sang. ”
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 55. “Je l’aime comme j’aime mon père et ma mère. Afin de lui prouver mon amour, je veux maintenant être un enfant laborieux et sage pour être, quand je serai grand, un bon citoyen et un brave soldat.”
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 55. “Vous entendrez peut-être dire autour de vous à des égoïstes et à des paresseux qu’il ne sert de rien d’être citoyen de son pays, qu’il faut être citoyen du monde, ce qu’on appelle cosmopolite; que la patrie se trouve partout où l’on est bien; que la patrie n’est qu’un mot, une abstraction, dont les esprits positifs et pratiques ne sauraient être dupes.”
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 56. “Celui qui n’aime pas la Patrie, absolument, aveuglément, ne sera jamais que la moitié d’un homme. – Le devoir militaire est le plus élevé de nos devoirs envers la patrie.”
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 59. “Je sais qu’on peut aimer sa patrie, sans pour cela détester les autres peuples, souhaiter ou préparer leur ruine. Mais, soldats, il est des cas où il faut savoir haïr, haïr l’ennemi envieux, impitoyable, qui, après avoir abusé de la force, nous avoir ravi les frères d’Alsace-Lorraine, est toujours à l’affût d’une occasion pour nous porter le dernier coup. Tant que la haine persiste vivace chez le vainqueur de la patrie, le vaincu ne saurait pardonner, ni oublier. Haïssez donc l’injustice passée, l’injustice qui menace encore. Si, pour venger l’une et prévenir les effets de l’autre, la haine est une force, Français, la haine est un devoir ! ”
 Le Bon Dieu laïque, p. 63. “L’espion qui sert son pays en temps de paix est l’homme rusé courageux, hardi, qui s’en va dans un pays étranger étudier les travaux de défense et les préparatifs de guerre pour les révéler à sa patrie. Tous les moyens lui sont bons pour arriver au but. Il dissimule sa nationalité et prend un faux nom ; il parle la langue du pays et cache son rôle en exerçant des professions variées. ”
 l’anarchie 20 January 1910. Quoted from the English translation by M Abidor, in V Serge, Anarchists Never Surrender, (ed. M Abidor), Oakland CA, 2015.
 For Janvion’s anti-Semitism see his La Franc-Maçonnerie et la classe ouvrière, 1912. Pouget describer Dreyfus as “One of their richest officers, an Alsatian Yid” (“Un de leurs plus rupins galonnés, un youtre alsacien”), Le Père Peinard, No. 4, November 1894, cited in Maitron, Le Mouvement anarchiste, I 331.
 See I Birchall, “Le Sou du soldat”, http://grimanddim.org/historical-writings/le-sou-de-soldat/
 J.-J. Becker, Le Carnet B, Paris, 1973, p. 34.
 PB Miller, From Revolutionaries to Citizens, Durham & London, 2002, p. 179.
 E Weber, “La formation de l’hexagone républicain”, in Furet (ed.), Jules Ferry, p. 237. “En août 1914 on n’est pas surprise d’entendre un jeune paysan du Var et ses camarades partir pour le front, ‘le coeur content (comme il l’écrit à ses parents) d’aller defender notre pays, la France.”
 A Cuenot, Clarté tome I (1919-1924), Paris, 2011, p. 110.
 B Stora, Dictionnaire biographique de militants nationalistes algériens, Paris, 1985, pp 51‑5.