Memorable Quotation from Esprit


But it was necessary that, from the core of abstraction to which it had led human elites, intelligence drew the conclusion of its own limit. There is its perfect triumph. There is the lesson of Marx and of Lenin:

By systematically giving power to the workers and peasants, one eliminates little by little the middle-class intellectual, that king of the artificial and abstract world in the midst of which we live — we, the civilized. In reserving to them, in preference over all others, the rights to education, social welfare, and then management of the community, one yields to them, little by little, science and civilization.

That inevitably from this, a period of stoppage, of backwardness and regression follows, is in our view of no importance.

The goal is achieved; the heritage of humanity passes into other hands.

— Jean Sylveire, writing in “Communisme devant l’Occident — Contre ?”  (Communism confronting the West — Opposed?) in the the first issue of the French crypto-communist review ESPRIT, published in France in October 1932.



Esprit was a pro-Communist review, published in France and other countries at the start of the 1930’s.  At the beginning of the 1950s, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Gérard Pelletier launched their own review entitled Cité Libre (“Free City”), which they happily called “the little sister of Esprit“.  Two future leaders of an FLQ terrorist cell worked for Trudeau and Pelletier at Cité Libre:  Pierre Vallières and Charles Gagnon.  In fact, the two terrorist leaders met at Cité Libre and they “quit” Cité Libre directly to lead the terrorist cell.