Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 5 The Foundation of La Guerre Sociale: Activist Journalism or Revolutionary Theater?
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The idea of creating a weekly antimilitarist newspaper to be sponsored by the A.I.A. actually antedated L’Affiche Rouge Affair. Just after the Saint-Étienne Congress of the A.I.A. in July 1905, Miguel Almereyda presided over a meeting which discussed the need to have a publication that could provoke articles in the bourgeois press and debates in the French Chamber concerning the topic of antimilitarism. According to Almereyda even the avant-garde press did not report fully on the ideas and activities of the A.I.A.1 Victor Méric claimed that the idea of a newspaper was a longstanding A.I.A. goal.2 However, just before L’Affiche Rouge was produced, the decision to create a weekly antimilitarist newspaper became an incendiary subject even within the A.I.A. when Almereyda and Émile Janvion violently argued over the priorities of a poster versus a newspaper. Despite Janvion’s brandishing of a pistol in support of an antimilitarist newspaper, Almereyda got his poster, which he thought would have more immediate impact.3 There is little documentation in French archives regarding Hervé’s efforts to set up La Guerre Sociale. According to most witnesses La Guerre Sociale was the product of prison discussions at La Santé and Clairvaux during the incarcerations for L’Affiche Rouge. Other sources credit militants of the A.I.A., both in and out of prison, especially Henri Fabre, Merle, Almereyda, and Méric, with the genesis of the newspaper. In 1912 Hervé took most of the credit for the idea of launching La ← 185 | 186 → Guerre Sociale...
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