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Sébastien Faure (born 6 January 1858) is a French politician who is currently serving as the Chairman (as well as leader of the Bourse Générale du Travail) of the Commune of France since 1926.


Early life

Sébastien Faure was born into a traditional and conservative family. His father, Auguste Faure, was a wealthy silk merchant, practicing Catholic, supporter of the French Empire, and decorated with the Legion of Honor.

After Sébastien Faure starting his studies as a seminarian, interrupted for family reasons, he became a free thinker.

The contact with daily life lead him to think politically, to read authors hitherto proscribed, and decided to break with the conservative environment from which he came. He enlisted in the infantry but the military life quickly disappointed him and he quit.

After a year's stay in Britain, he became an inspector in an insurance company, he married a young Protestant woman despite the opposition of his mother. They settled in Bordeaux.

Sébastien Faure then became interested in social issues and started his life as an activist, supporting Jules Guesde (a candidate of the French Workers Party) to the legislative elections of October 1885, he collected 600 votes and showed his talent as an orator. Faure and his wife split due to his activism growing more extreme.

Early Politics

After settling in Paris in 1888, he gradually detached himself from mainstream socialism and became more interested in the anarchist movement. He became an ardent propagandist for the libertarian ideal, traversing France in all directions to present conferences, soon obtaining great success. Its main targets were the state, capital and religion.

During the Trial of the Trent, August 6, 1894, before the Assize Court of the Seine, he is one of the accused but leaves acquitted.

In 1895, he cofounded "Le Libertaire" with Louise Michel, taking the name of the earlier journal by Joseph Déjacque.

In 1904, he created near Rambouillet a libertarian school, La Ruche.

The Weltkrieg and French Revolution

In France, Sébastien Faure is one of the first to take an open stance against the Weltkrieg by publishing a manifesto entitled "Vers la paix" (Towards peace), which earned him a convocation to the Ministry of the Interior during which he suffered police pressure directly threatening his relatives in uniform.

In February 1917, his libertarian school (La Ruche) was closed because of the restrictions imposed during the Weltkrieg.

During the outbreak, Faure initially called for peaceful demonstrations to be made, but was eventually persuaded to join the fighting once the army's support of the CGT and revolution.

Commune Politics

He continued to support Anarchism over Syndicalism during the CGT's establishment of governance, successfully attaining a large share over the parliament and significant party growth over the coming years, all culminating in him becoming the first anarchist Chairman as a comprimise between the Orthodox-Syndicalist Travailleurs and the Anarcho-Syndicalists.

Factionalism has grown considerably during Faure's time in office, and the apparatus of the state has been severely weakened, giving way to potentially radical parties of the Sorelians or Jacobins to gain power in the next election. Regardless of the 1936 election's outcome, Faure is likely to be ousted.

Personal Life

  • In 1894, he became the guardian of Sidonie Vaillant after the execution of his father, Auguste Vaillant.