Most of the revolutionaries who turned toward anarchism as a consequence of 1848 did so by virtue of hindsight, but one man at least, independently of Proudhon, made his defense of the libertarian attitude during the Year of Revolutions itself. “Anarchy is order; government is civil war.” It was under this slogan, as willfully paradoxical as any of Proudhon’s, that Anselme Bellegarrigue made his brief, obscure appearance in anarchist history. Bellegarrigue appears to have been a man of some education, but little is known of his life before the very eve of 1848; he arrived back in Paris on February 23 from a journey in the United States, where he had met President Polk on a Mississippi steamer and had developed an admiration for the more individualistic aspects of American democracy. According to his own account, he was as little impressed as Proudhon by the revolution that broke out on his first morning back in Paris. A young National Guardsman outside the Hôtel de Ville boasted to him that this time the workers would not be robbed of their victory. “They have robbed you already of your victory,” replied Bellegarrigue. “Have you not named a government?”.
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