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To Die For Books

By Punkerslut

By Lars Plougmann, CC BY-SA 2.0 License
Image: By Lars Plougmann, CC BY-SA 2.0 License

Start Date: December 24, 2015
Finish Date: January 2, 2016

"They were madmen; but they had in them that little flame which never dies."

--Pierre-Auguste Renoir, ~1871 [*1]
          There are almost always exhaustive lists of people who have died for particular ideas, or people who have sacrificed themselves towards some cause for the greater good in society. There are endless martyrs to every type of ideal, from democracy to liberty to freedom to socialism to civil rights to equality, sometimes the more vague the idea the more easily it is to take claim for it victims and fallen fighters. And the movements for these ideals each have their own way of celebrating those who fought and died on behalf of what they believe in. Memorials, holidays, public artwork and sculptures, there is an endless array of events one can find going on with each revolution as it remembers those who have died for it. One good thing civilization is capable of doing is remembering, despite its seemingly perpetual imperfections in this one task.

          It is noble and admirable to suffer and give for an ideal of a better world. But to die for books, to die not for one idea, but for the idea of ideas -- to die for all thoughts and emotions that could have ever been permanently recorded with devices of human invention -- that is a type of death which differs from and can exceed the meaning of the idealist's death. To die for democracy means dying with the thoughts of the masses and the common people in mind, with the image of public participation across your eyes and the unity of their will through your heart. But to die for books is not seen as much, because it means to die for an assorted collection of thick-bound, paperback, hardcover, illustrated, diagrammed, edited, revised, translated, and republished written materials. Such a cause is the idealless ideal, but also the thought in defense of all thoughts.

          To prove that the defense of books is idealless, you only need to take note that every ideal has been expressed in the book form, whether you are talking about something cruel and diabolical as Fascism or something as plain and unoffensive as meditation for spiritual practice. And to prove that it is also an ideal, there is only one other thing which we need to take note of, and that is that there are many who die for it. Such martyrs have died for the idea of books, the belief in their inherent goodness and amiable generosity, the theory that their honesty and sincerity are deeps wells of society's culture and thick roots for civilization's flowers. It must seem almost impossible that a tradition of ideas would leave behind no history.

Alexandre Flan, Image from Lekti-Ecriture.com
Image: Alexandre Flan, Image from Lekti-Ecriture.com

                    Paris, September 1870
"It is very difficult in France to make reforms; we make revolutions in France, not reforms."

--Napoleon the Third, ~1870 [*2]
          ­In 1870, the emperor of France, Napoleon the Third, hastily and carelessly declared war against Germany, rode off on his imperial cavalry at the head of his army, and was quickly captured by German forces without much resistance, surrendering to the famous master of politics, Otto von Bismarck. Having once declared that "the Empire means peace," [*3] in the period of a few weeks, Napoleon let the seat of his imperial power fall into the hands of his neighbor, after having launched wars of colonial conquest in so many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. [*4] This meant for him the embarrassing humiliation of having to hand over his sword to Bismarck as a symbolic gesture of submission, while the people of Paris experienced something that Europe had never before seen: concentration camps on a massive scale as a means of repressing resistance to the invading army. [*5]

          It would be almost impossible to tell the entire story of the Commune inside of a few sentences. After Napoleon's unceremonious defeat, and before the enemy could force all of Paris into camps and prisons, there was a hasty defense effort by Louis Trochu, a conservative who took over on behalf of the captured Monarchy for the defense of the city. [*6] Before long, he was ousted by a group of Revolutionaries, many of them Jacobins with traditions of the original French Revolution, but there was a small yet influential group of Socialists and Anarchists from Karl Marx's First International of Workingmen's Associations. [*7] This small niche of rebels pushed through many acts of social change against the resistance of the Authoritarian Jacobins, from abolishing night-work and sixteen-hour days for bakers to restoring tools to workers who had them confiscated to suspending rents and lease payments to authorizing the seizure and occupation of factories by the workers themselves. [*8] This was the famous Paris Commune.

          But all of that Revolution and Revolt was still in the distant and imperceptive future for Monsignor Alexandre Flan on September 14, 1870. [*9] The well-known Commune was not yet in power, and a relatively confident and boisterous clique surrounded its temporary leader, the loud and ineffective Trochu. Flan was not sophisticated in politics, he was a singer and a performer, much better at sounding beautiful than sounding convincing. He was loved and admired by the people of Paris for his writing, regarded as "a sprightly composer...noted among his intimates for his exuberant wit and high spirits." [*10] In Neuilly, the Northwest of his city, he had built a tremendous library, spending more that half of his life's fortune in acquiring a sanctuary for the books and manuscripts he collected through his lifetime. A Great Library, in the backyard of Paris, maintained by singer and composer of the new and innovative styles of music considered vulgar by the traditional elite.

          On September 14, 1870, there was a knock on Alexandre Flan's door. "You must get out of this place," a military engineer from Trochu's detachments stood there informing him, "The Prussians are coming, and, if the engineers do not pull down your house, the Prussians will sack it!" [*11] He protested bitterly, "But it will take at least a week to move my library!" To which, the aristocrat of the French military had replied, "So much the worse for your library!" [*12] Shocked and in disbelief, he took a few things that he thought he needed, left his home, wandered aimlessly through the streets, and at the sight of the first hotel, he checked himself in. In the morning, he was dead. There are many reports, particularly those more classified as "official," that state dispassionately that he had committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart. But there are too many reports, from well-established historians and trustworthy journalists, that he had died from something else: he "was found dead of a broken heart in the morning." [*13] To quote Dinah Craik writing in Harper's Magazine only a few years after the event...
When, the next morning, they went to call him, he was found dead in his bed. He had not committed suicide. Death came naturally, for his laughter-loving heart was broken. [*14]
          Alistair Horne, the established historian publicly praised by the New York Times [*15] and regarded by the Economist as "a wise old bird," [*16] is sternly committed to the view that death was caused "by a broken heart." [*17] But it is almost pointless to make an argument about that now. Just like it was pointless to tear down Alexander Flan's house -- the possibility never arose that the Prussian armies would ever touch and despoil Flan's library. At Point du Jour, just South East of Paris and leading into the city, the French military would not defend the gates; an opponent of the Paris Commune, Ducatel, became an informant and gave this knowledge to the French Imperialists, after which "troops began to pour into Paris through the undefended gate." [*18] The number of radicals and resistance fighters executed is in the tens of thousands. But Alexandre Flan was not among them, he died much earlier than the rest and his fight and struggle was also much more personal than the rest. If the Commune's soldiers died for Paris, Alexandre Flan died for books.

Benedetto Croce, Image from Wikipedia.org
Image: Benedetto Croce, Image from Wikipedia.org

                    Italy, October 1926
"We, the 'buried,' find that all this is prehistory, that it was buried ever before we were. Formerly... we were alive."

--Filippo Turati, 1919,
"Useless Warnings" [*19]
*19. "Neither Liberty Nor Bread: The Meaning and Tragedy of Fascism," edited by Frances Keene, Kennikat Press, Port Washington, New York, London, 1940, Section I: The Rise of Fascism, Chapter 2: Useless Warnings, by F. Turati, Page 8.

          What was happening in Paris in 1871 could rightfully be called the Revolution. What happened during the suppression of the workers, the slaughter, the summary executions, the concentration camps, the reprisals upon reprisals and vengeance upon vengeance, this could all be called the Reaction. Like when the tides reach so high that it feels like their own weight is pushing down against them, like the seasonal swelling and shrinking of cactus plants or the annual vegetation and bloom of flowers, society revolves between the two extremes of the modern society and the traditional life. The internationalist, feminist, anti-racists, and militant Atheists standing on the horizon of the future against the nationalist, sexist, racist, and devoted religionists sitting on the eclipse of the past. One of the low points in this lunar cycle of civilization can be found in the development of Fascism in Italy around the 1920's.

          On June 10, 1924, Giacomo Matteotti wrote and published The Fascists Exposed: A Year of Fascist Domination, in which he had "attempted to draw to the attention of the general public the grim reality of Mussolini's methods." [*19] Shortly afterward, he was secretly kidnapped and executed by Mussolini. After confidently taking credit for the murder, Mussolini had nothing to fear. King Victor Emmanuel, who was overseeing Italy's "democratic experiment," responded to calls to remove Mussolini by stating that he feared the possibility of "a potentially weak, divided, non-Fascist government." [*20] Religion would play no role in saving Italy from the Fascist hounds: the Pope told all Catholics "to obey their government" and not to risk "a leap in the dark." [*21] In an address to his executioners, Matteotti is reported to have said, "The workers will bless my corpse... Long live socialism!" [*22] Like in most European countries, resistance to Fascism in Italy was principally among people with a mind drawn towards the Left.

          The night of October 30, 1926. It has been more than two years since Matteotti was executed by Fascists and Mussolini's conspirators, by orders of the dictator, under the pardon of the king, and with the blessings of the Catholic Church. It was not yet a period when the Fascist dictatorship had consolidated its powers, so it responded to political opponents by threatening them, breaking into their homes, and attacking them, before the much more methodical and certain procedure of sending them off to concentration tramps. On that day in October, there would be another series of violent acts by Fascists against political opponents. Among those whose homes were invaded were: Arturo Labriola, the Revolutionary Unionist, Syndicalist, and briefly Minister of Labor of Italy before Mussolini; [*23] Roberto Bracco, Nobel-Prize-winning writer and "perhaps the most-widely and most-favorably known dramatist in Italy;" [*24] and Benedetto Croce, a Liberal with Socialist leanings and author of the May, 1925 work, Manifesto of the Anti-Fascist Intellectuals. [*25]

          The Fascist, hate-filled criminals broke into Benedetto Croce's house, not entirely an unusual event at that period of time, and not likely one to draw the attention of the local police, except where they were participating in the event. In typical Fascist style, they bullied him, threatened him, pushed him around, and exposed him to what Matteotti had received so thoroughly before his death. At that moment, he noticed that some of the Fascists in his home had begun to remove and gather up books his book, a rather ominous sign. Rushing past his interrogators, he shouted out to the crowd of "blackshirts," the gangsters and thugs of Fascism: "Don't you touch those books! I have it arranged in my will that upon my death, those books are to go to the city of Naples! Anyone harming those books will be reported for destroying city property!" [*26] They did not set his books on fire, leaving them undamaged. Bracco and Labriola, though, had to watch the destruction of their books.

          Benedetto Croce did not die that night. He was elected president of PEN International from 1949 until 1952, an organization of writers devoted to the Free Speech movement, who today provide this short summary of him: "Civilization is the 'continual vigilance' against barbarism." [*27] While he escaped the worst abuses of the Fascist system, he was willing to make himself a victim to them if it meant that he could defend his manuscripts and novels. After the fall of Fascism, Croce would establish the Italian Institute for Historical Studies, accumulating and building one of the most vast collections of written material in all of Europe. [*28] One deep lifetime and one devoted philosophy to accompany it. One thoughtful intellectual and one ideal worth defending. The philosophy and the ideal of books. When asked about his health shortly before his death at age 86, he responded, "I am dying at my work." [*29]

Ba Jin, Image from LibCom.org
Image: Ba Jin, Image from LibCom.org

                    China, 1966
"...only those who do not forget the past will be masters of the future."

--Ba Jin, 1986,
"A Museum of the 'Cultural Revolution'"
          At about the same that Benedetto Croce was wrangling with Fascists and Nazis in his Italian home, just around the 1920's, there was a glimmering spark of freedom that was becoming brighter and brighter on the other side of the planet. On the Right, there was Chiang Kai-shek, a Capitalist and Nationalist general, and on the Left, there were various left-wing groups all trying to speak out on behalf of the miserably exploited working classes. Stalin, believing that Communist Revolution would be impossible, supported Chiang Kai-Shek, arguing in that old Marxist tone that "Capitalist production must precede Socialist production." In setting up the government of his Chinese allies with Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, and Nationalists, he made it clear that their task was "not to advance the interests of workers, but to welcome Chiang Kai-shek and his troops." [*30] The working class and the peasantry, who had organized into tough and organized cadres in unions throughout the city and countryside, was mercilessly betrayed. Citing the Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations...
April 1927: Chinese communists were massacred by the Guomindang [Kuomintang] in several Chinese cities, starting in Shanghai, where "Green Gang" underworld thugs and businessmen organized goon squads to join in the killing of workers and trade unionists. The purge came after Chiang Kai-shek's victory over the northern warlords, and was followed by a virtual reign of white terror in the cities. [*31]
          The struggle between Chiang Kai-Shek and the Communists never ended during Kai-shek's lifetime, who survived on aid from the US government, but was eventually defeated because "he generally refused to use his U.S.-equipped armies to actively resist China's Japanese occupiers...He chose rather to preserve his military machine until the time came to unleash it on the communists..." [*32] The Communists would eventually defeat the Nationalists, Chiang Kai-Shek fleeing to the island of Taiwan. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to understand the reign of terror that Mao Tsetung unleashed during the Communist Revolution without knowing about the great brutality that preceded it. In a callback to the events surrounding Alexandre Flan in Paris, Mao would eventually justify his authoritarian and totalitarian rule of China because of such US-supported Capitalist groups: "Communes of the Paris type are too weak when it comes to suppressing counterrevolutionaries." [*33]

          On October 1st, 1949, Communist China was formally declared under the banner of the "People's Republic of China" by Mao Tsetung. [*34] Before the Communist terror had established itself firmly, there were some brief, good years, where one could believe, at least briefly, that maybe something like Socialism was being established. Citing John Keay, a reliable and moderate historian of China, "'Ah, in the beginning [of the communes] we were all so fat!' recalled one Guangdong peasant, 'We could eat anytime we liked in the canteens [public, communal kitchens].' And it was all free." [*35] But the state became overcentralized and overbureaucratic, without ideals and without hopes, much like the transition the Bolshevik Communist Party made just a year after its own revolution. [*36] From 1959-1961, during these three years, a combination of severe weather and land mismanagement by the Communist Party led to perhaps 45 million people starving to death or dying from related causes. It is known as the Great Chinese Famine. [*37]

          It was not merely its mismanagement of the economy that led to the indiscriminate killing of millions. "In mass trials, the death penalty was carried out immediately or the next day. As a rule, executions were public. The convicts were forced to kneel and then shot behind with a single bullet," reports Klaus Mühlhahn, [*38] history professor of the University of Berlin, suggesting that the total casualty count of the mass trials reached the hundreds of thousands. By the middle 1960's, the endless millions of starving and those dying in the countryside, along with the the mass trials and mass executions, represented the principle victims of the Communist Party in China. The period known as the Chinese Cultural Revolution would open up an entirely new dimension of oppression and persecution of the common people. During this "phase of the revolution," public officials were removed by mobs, books were burned in masses, intellectuals were forced into being worked to death in the fields, and every type of human rights violation was practiced by the gangs that Mao Tsetung had so violently urged to "purify" both "nation and party," resulting in about 1.5 million people killed. [*39]

          From 1966 to 1967, the amount of damage done to culture by the Communist "Red Guard" following Mao's demands for riots amounted to "2.3 million books and 3.3 million paintings, art objects, and pieces of furniture," with burning as a method of preference. [*40] Many teachers, though, could not tolerate the situation, and it is among this class that we find so many suicides. In several incidents, teachers who were confined to rooms in tall buildings would commit suicide by jumping, and "the Red Guards would often write slogans on the ground where the teachers fell: 'Good riddance, traitor! Even death cannot pay for your sin.'" [*41] One Chinese poet, Yan Li, who had grown up as a teenager during the period and witnessed the suicide of his grandfather, wrote of his experiences, "That was a man-made catastrophe worse than a natural disaster. Everyone was drawn in...." [*42] Lin Shua, Shen Xianzhe, Zheng Shiwan, Cheng Xiance, Shen Naizhang -- there are so many teachers who sacrificed life rather than sacrifice living with books. [*43] Unlike those who prepared to die for the ideal of Communism, like the Red Guard, these people prepared themselves to die for the ideal of ideas, for the written word.

Aaron Swartz, Image from the New Yorker
Image: Aaron Swartz, Image from the New Yorker

                    USA, January 2013
"Ultimately, knowledge belongs to all the people of the world.... Aaron understood that."

--Darrell Issa, 2013,
US House Oversight Committee Chairman [*44]
          Before World War 2 began, there raged the Spanish Civil War in the Iberian Peninsula, a fight between Fascists, Catholics, and Monarchists on the one side, and Liberals, Communists, and Anarchists on the other side. People from every country in Europe and North America traveled abroad and volunteered to fight against the Fascist monster. The American volunteers organized by the US Communist Party were known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. One such volunteer tells his story about how he manipulated communications of the Fascists: "Dr. Strauss, a commander of the Brigade Medical Staff, saw the blinking lights of a plane on the fourth night and blinked back with his flashlight. He was immediately 'bombed' with a large burlap sack containing mail, ham, bread, and letters of instruction from the [Nazi] Insurgent command." [*45] The American, Anti-Fascist volunteer had manipulated the signaling system of the Nazis in order to get access to material and information. It was a good trick.

          Not many people understand exactly what computer hacking is, except that it is some type of mischief caused by someone very good with computers. With the story above, it might be easiest to understand it as manipulating communications signals between computers to achieve a result that was unintended by those using the computers. To quote one writer on the subject writing in 2003, "The essence of hacking is finding unintended or overlooked uses for the laws and properties of a given situation and then applying them in new and inventive ways to solve a problem -- whatever it may be." [*46] A much more establishment-based voice describes hacking as "the manipulation of a computer program, device, or system in a way unintended by its creator or owner." [*47] While hacking is simply viewed almost as the destructive side of the new technology, one cannot be good at it without knowing programming, which is the creative side. It is difficult to find a master of the former who is not also a master of the latter.

          On January 11, 2013, Aaron Swartz committed suicide while under federal investigation for wire fraud and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. [*48] Only 26 six years old at the time, he has been regarded by many as a genius, creating the RSS specification used by millions of people, [*49] co-founding the massively popular, geek entertainment site RedDit, [*50] and creator of the first Wiki called "Info Net" before Wikipedia existed, which he ran from his bedroom while a teenager. [*51] He also helped write the specifications for Creative Commons, an open-source licensing system used by hundreds of millions of people, and it is surprising to see photographs of his participation at the conventions for Creative Commons. Aaron appears as a middle-schooler or high-schooler among so many gray-haired professionals and experts, all of whom sat quietly and intently listened to him as he took center stage. [*52]

          In having a profound effect on the lives of hundreds of millions of people, perhaps even billions people, Aaron Swartz clearly demonstrated the creative energies he was willing to devote to positive change. But there were also many old, archaic traditions of the world that he saw as cruel, destructive, and unjust. In 2008, Swartz downloaded 2.7 million federal court documents from PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), and released them to the public. [*53] Up until this point, if any American citizen wanted to know how the US government was interpreting the law, they would be required to pay as much as $40 to see the documents for a single court case. In 2012, Swartz designed and coded software that allowed people to anonymously and securely submit classified documents over the Internet, called DeadDrop, with the New Yorker's implementation being called StrongBox, providing "a slightly safer way for journalists and their anonymous sources to communicate." [*54]

          Being such an ambitious and prolific creator, it would be impossible to find one project of his that fully summed up Aaron Swartz. In 2010, he co-founded Demand Progress, to advocate "for civil liberties, civil rights, and other progressive causes," reaching a membership of half a million. [*55] He was fundamental in crushing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), [*56] he designed a decentralized web proxy that provides greater security on the web called Tor2Web, [*57] he acquired and publicly released the US Library of Congress's otherwise unavailable bibliographic dataset, [*58] and filed a Freedom of Information Act request on behalf of Chelsea Manning's treatment by authorities after the Wikileaks release of diplomatic cables in 2010. [*59] In 2011, Aaron downloaded approximately 80% of the JSTOR database, nearly 4.8 million articles, which holds more than a century of humanity's scientific and social knowledge. [*60] It was unclear what he was going to do with it, although given his past, federal prosecutors assumed he was going to release it to the public. After surviving intense interrogations by the US Department of Justice, facing threats of 35 years imprisonment and more than a million dollars in fines, and losing millions of dollars in defense costs, he committed suicide. If he died for anything, Aaron Swartz died for books and the power they hold.

By Carl Parkes, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Image: By Carl Parkes, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

"If I were a bookmaker, simply calculating the probabilities and leaving my own wishes out of account, I would give odds against the survival of civilization within the next few hundred years."

--George Orwell, 1947,
"Toward European Unity"
          What is the common strand that can be traced through these histories? What is there that we can find in the French Monarchy of Alexandre Flan, or the Fascist Italy of Benedetto Croce, or the Maoist China of Yan Li, or the Capitalist America of Aaron Swartz? 1870, 1926, 1967, 2013 -- what meaning can we really make out of what happened in those years? What understanding can we pull out of the struggle between honest students of truth and the governments of the world, whether those governments are of Monarchist, Nazi, Communist, or Liberal ideology? How different was the prosecution of Aaron Swartz from the brutal investigations by Communist Party cadres that resulted in teachers committing suicide? Did the prosecution's disregard for the rules of evidence really differ much from the hooligans unleashed by the Fascists into the Italian countryside to burn books and break into the homes of intellectuals? Was the demolishing of libraries at the orders of a French king much different than demolishing an electronic library at the orders of a government US Attorney?

          Perhaps there is some difference: the Communist Party of China publicly recognizes that the Cultural Revolution was a mistake, the executions and suicides and terror throughout the countryside caused by Red Guards was a tragedy that should be lamented. [*61] On July 25, 1943, after the meeting of the Grand Council of Fascism, Victor Emmanuel the Third dismissed Mussolini from the government, after having supported him for nearly two decades, admitting, "we can't continue like that." [*62] In 1880, nearly a decade after the Fall of the Paris Commune, the French government issued a general amnesty for all those who had been convicted of political crimes during the Franco-Prussian War, the total number of prisoners having reached 38,578. [*63] Everywhere in the world where someone has fought book-burning and censorship, only to die for the struggle, everywhere, the governments have admitted their failures, they have issued public apologies and general amnesties.

          Everywhere, except in the USA. There is no sorrow or remorse in the US government's treatment of Aaron Swartz -- he is somewhat different than the other victims, in that the state still regards him as a criminal. In January, 2015, when the Obama administration was presented with a petition for the removal of Carmen Ortiz for her mishandling of the prosecution, the response was clear: "We will not address agency personnel matters in a petition response. We do not believe this is the appropriate forum in which to do so." [*64] History will not be ignored forever. And society will not be quiet forever. How people are defended, when they are accused of using books to commit a crime, is a general reflection of the level of sophistication that civilization has reached. And right now, that reflection is dark and murky. It doesn't mean that it will always be that way.
"...the heights and depths of hope; this is what kills you. One believes oneself saved. Then one realizes one is lost..."

--Edmond de Goncourt, 1870,
Paris [*65]


*1. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 27: Aftermath, Page 432.
*2. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 2: Empire in Decline, Page 24.
*3. "Speech at Bordeaux," J.H. Robinson, Readings in European History, Vol II, New York: Ginn and Company, 1906, pp. 563-564, http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs28c.htm .
*4. "Napoleon III: Emperor of France," by Heinrich Gustav Euler, last updated April 21, 2014, from Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Napoleon-III-emperor-of-France .
*5. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 26: 'Let us kill no more', Page 416.
*6. "Louis-Jules Trochu, Président du Gouvernement de la défense nationale," from Archontology.org, last updated 15 Nov 2015, http://www.archontology.org/nations/france/france_state3/trochu.php
*7. "Karl Marx and the Paris Commune," by ALB, published by the Socialist Party of Great Britain, http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970s/1971/no-799-march-1971/karl-marx-and-paris-commune
*8. "Remembering the Paris Commune: When Workers and Women Rose Up Against the Oligarchy," by John Merriman, 29 January 2015, Basic Books, http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/28799-remembering-the-paris-commune-when-workers-and-women-rose-up-against-the-oligarchy
*9. "Alexandre Flan (1827-1870)," from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (French National Library), last updated 09/10/2015, http://data.bnf.fr/10351694/alexandre_flan/
*10. "Miscellany," by Inter Arma, Litera published by Appletons' Journal: A Magazine of General Literature, Volume 5, page 689, https://books.google.com/books?id=XDU-AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA689&lpg=PA689&dq=alexandre+flan++1870+obituary&source=bl&ots=9LT3DkCB8g&sig=yVVfF5odrkkTB9BeOaiyHZuuWVU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHtcXv-v_JAhUEyGMKHSrzB48Q6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&q=alexandre%20flan%20%201870%20obituary&f=false .
*11. Ibidum.
*12. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 4: Paris Prepares, Page 64. "There was the sad story of M. Flan, a famous vaudeville artist of the Second Empire, who had retired with his magnificent library to Neuilly. Now the engineers came to tell him that his house was to be demolished that same evening; 'But it will take at least a week to shift my library' -- 'So much the worse for your bibliothèque!' That night the poor man took a room in a neighboring hotel and was found dead of a broken heart in the morning."
*13. Ibidum.
*14. "The Laurel Bush: The Old-Fashioned Love Story," by Dinah Craik, Page 107, "Love's Service," Harper's Magazine, Volume 53, https://books.google.com/books?id=DnsCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=alexandre+flan+suicide&source=bl&ots=PiIO34_K3V&sig=jM1Z73f74-bFpX2KuriCZnuvFnA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTpfOFgPbJAhVP02MKHalyA2QQ6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=alexandre%20flan%20suicide&f=false
*15. "‘Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century,’ by Alistair Horne," by Max Boot, Dec. 9, 2015, published by the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/books/review/hubris-the-tragedy-of-war-in-the-twentieth-century-by-alistair-horne.html?_r=0
*16. "Military hubris: Their own worst enemy - A study of military arrogance and its terrible consequences," published by the Economist, Nov 5th 2015, http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21677604-study-military-arrogance-and-its-terrible-consequences-their-own-worst-enemy
*17. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 4: Paris Prepares, Page 64.
*18. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 23: 'Floreal 79', Pages 363-4. "On Sunday, May 21st, a civil engineer named Ducatel, an overseer in the Department of Roads and Bridges who felt no love for the Commune, happened to stroll near the battlements on his afternoon walk. He was astonished to perceive that near the Point-du-Jour there was not a defender in sight. After a brief reconnaissance, he discovered that no one was holding the gate there... Ducatel now mounted the ramparts, waving a white flag. A Versailles major came forward; Ducatel told his story; this was verified; and Douay's troops began to pour into Paris through the undefended gate."
*19. "Mussolini's Italy: Teach Yourself Ebook," by David Evans, https://books.google.com/books?id=ntc0AgAAQBAJ&pg=PT56&lpg=PT56&dq=matteotti+fascists+exposed&source=bl&ots=Fm_SZBzZVM&sig=GQyjYERL2w7ptZ_V_ID7y-KnlOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXtv2csoLKAhVN4mMKHQzKAMEQ6AEIPzAH#v=onepage&q=matteotti%20fascists%20exposed&f=false
*20. "A History of Fascism: 1914-1945," by Stanley G. Payne, https://books.google.com/books?id=x_MeR06xqXAC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=matteotti+king+victor+emmanuel&source=bl&ots=3YYGW8PXNX&sig=uW_RWrJV-FQrf_QuGo6IDIX7E5A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB7ObHsYLKAhVP02MKHalyA2Q4ChDoAQgnMAM#v=onepage&q=matteotti%20king%20victor%20emmanuel&f=false .
*21. "Mussolini and the pope: keeping enemies close," by Tim Boss, February 2, 2014, published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/reviews/mussolini-and-the-pope-keeping-enemies-close/article_d9d63642-e522-570f-8bf2-2db86b70cbdb.html
*22. "Open Doors," by Leonardo Sciascia, http://italian.uga.edu/cinema/SCIA.htm
*23. "Labriòla, Arturo," by Treccani, la cultura italiana, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/arturo-labriola/
*24. "Roberto Bracco," by Lander MacClintock, The North American Review, Vol. 210, No. 768 (Nov., 1919), pp. 691-705, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25120386?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
*25. "Manifesto degli intellettuali antifascisti," republished by Italian Wikipedia, last updated June 12, 2012, https://it.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manifesto_degli_intellettuali_antifascisti&oldid=50258028
*26. "Neither Liberty Nor Bread: The Meaning and Tragedy of Fascism," edited by Frances Keene, Kennikat Press, Port Washington, New York, London, 1940, Section IV: Aspects of Life Under Fascism, Chapter 23: Such Things Happen, by G. Salvemini, Page 131. "When Signor Marinetti contradicted M. Piérard's statement, he ignored that in the city of Naples alone, on the one night of October 30-31, 1926, the houses of Benedetto Croce, Arturo Labriola, and Roberto Bracco were invaded by Fascists. Croce's books were not seriously damaged, because Croce explained to the invaders that he had already arranged for his library to pass at his death to the city of Naples and that therefare anyone who harmed it would be destroying city property. But Labriola's and Bracco's books were thrown out of the windows."
*27. "PEN Presidents," PEN International website, http://www.pen-international.org/who-we-are/pen-presidents/
*28. "Benedetto Croce: Italian Philosopher," by A. Robert Caponigri, published by Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Benedetto-Croce
*29. "Benedetto Croce (1866-1952)," published by authorscalendar.info, http://authorscalendar.info/croce.htm
*30. "The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution," by John Chan, Part 2, 6 January 2009, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/01/lec2-j06.html .
*31. "The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations: S-Z," by Cathal J. Nolan, Page 1509. https://books.google.com/books?id=FMJ8KP8i3v0C&pg=PA1509&dq=shanghai+massacre&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjymNHJ-ITKAhUC6mMKHTYNAV4Q6AEILjAE#v=onepage&q=shanghai%20massacre&f=false
*32. "Chiang Kai-shek: Chinese statesman," by the Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Last Updated 6-1-2014, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Chiang-Kai-shek
*33. "The Shanghai Commune and the rightist reaction," by Sam Marcy, Part IV: The suppression of the Left in China, January 10, 1977, http://www.workers.org/marcy/cd/samsupp/suppress/suppr04.htm
*34. "The People's Republic of China: 1949-," by BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/special_report/1999/09/99/china_50/
*35. "China: A History," by John Keay, published by Basic Books, New York, 2009, Part 16: Republicans and Nationalists, 1880-1950, Epilogue, Pages 522-523.
*36. "The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within," by Geoffrey Hosking, Chapter 2: The October Revolution, pages 58-9, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985.
*37. "Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years'," by Arifa Akbar, Friday, 17 September 2010, published by the Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html
*38. "Rethinking China in the 1950s," edited by Mechthild Leutner, section by Klaus Mühlhahn, page 39, https://books.google.com/books?id=9QyHAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=chinese+communist+revolution+mass+trial+executed&source=bl&ots=4JWWnHObYw&sig=EDwRMiu796m4NcdZD6d_hWMa9q0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ7qyvgIXKAhUW9GMKHV84DTQQ6AEIUDAH#v=onepage&q=chinese%20communist%20revolution%20mass%20trial%20executed&f=false
*39. "Cultural Revolution," published by History.com, http://www.history.com/topics/cultural-revolution
*40. "Chronology of Mass Killings during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)," by Song Yongyi, 16 June 2015, published by the Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence (MassViolence.org), http://www.massviolence.org/chronology-of-mass-killings-during-the-chinese-cultural
*41. David Lester (2005) Suicide and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Archives of
Suicide Research, 9:1, 99-104, DOI: 10.1080/13811110590512994
*42. "The Cultural Revolution and My Coming of Age: In Memory of My Grandfather Yan Cangshan," by Yan Li, December 30, 2013, by Human Rights in China, http://www.hrichina.org/en/china-rights-forum/cultural-revolution-and-my-coming-age-memory-my-grandfather-yan-cangshan
*43. "Washington Post: Human Fire Ignites Chinese Mystery Motive for Public Burning Intensifies Fight Over Falun Gong," by Philip P. Pan, February 5, 2001, published by Minghui.org, http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2001/2/5/4783.html
*44. "Darrell Issa Praises Aaron Swartz, Internet Freedom At Memorial," by Will Wrigley, 02/07/2013, published by the Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/darrell-issa-internet-freedom_n_2633197.html
*45. "The Abraham Lincoln Brigade," by Arthur H. Landis, Citadel Press, New York, 1967, Chapter 5, Section 3: Belchite, Page 298.
*46. "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation," by Jon "Smibbs" Erickson.
*47. "Hacking," from World Book Online, http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar755426&st=hacking
*48. "Internet prodigy, activist Aaron Swartz commits suicide," by Michael Martinez, last updated Thu March 7, 2013, published by CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/12/us/new-york-reddit-founder-suicide/
*49. "RSS Creator Aaron Swartz Dead at 26," published by Harvard Magazine, 1.14.13, http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/rss-creator-aaron-swartz-dead-at-26
*50. "Requiem for a Dream: Aaron Swartz was brilliant and beloved. But the people who knew him best saw a darker side," by Larissa Macfarquhar, March 11, 2013, published by the New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/11/requiem-for-a-dream
*51. "'Internet's Own Boy': The Life & Legacy of Aaron Swartz," interview with Brian Knappenberger, by Leanne French, June 27, 2014, published by Biography.pm, http://www.biography.com/news/aaron-swartz-internets-own-boy-interview
*52. "Internet Hall of Fame Innovator: Aaron Swartz, Posthumous Recipient," by published by the Internet Hall of Fame, http://internethalloffame.org/inductees/aaron-swartz
*53. "The inside story of Aaron Swartz’s campaign to liberate court filings: And how his allies are trying to finish the job by tearing down a big paywall," by Tim B. Lee, Feb 8, 2013, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/02/the-inside-story-of-aaron-swartzs-campaign-to-liberate-court-filings/
*54. "Strongbox and Aaron Swartz," by Kevin Poulsen, May 14, 2013, published by the New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/strongbox-and-aaron-swartz
*55. "Who is Aaron Swartz, the JSTOR MIT Hacker?" by Laura Matthews, 07/19/11, published by International Business Times, http://www.ibtimes.com/who-aaron-swartz-jstor-mit-hacker-full-text-300177
*56. "Swartz' death fuels debate over computer crime," by Daniel Wagner and Verena Dobnik, Jan. 14, 2013, published by the Associated Press: Big Story, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/swartz-death-fuels-debate-over-computer-crime
*57. "In Defense of Anonymity," by Aaron Swartz, October 24, 2008, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/tor2web
*58. "Remembering Aaron Swartz," by G.F., published by the Economist, Jan 13th 2013, http://www.economist.com/node/21569550/
*59. "Aaron Swartz's FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle," by Truthout, published by the Public Record, Jan. 18th, 2013, http://pubrecord.org/nation/10676/aaron-swartzs-requests-light-struggle/
*60. "JSTOR Evidence in United States vs. Aaron Swartz," published by JSTOR, July 30, 2013, http://docs.jstor.org/
*61. "The Saturday Profile: A Leader in Mao's Cultural Revolution Faces His Past," by Jane Perlez, Dec. 6, 2013, published by the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/07/world/asia/a-student-leader-in-maos-cultural-revolution.html
*62. "A King at a pinch – the stolen coin collection of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy," by Ursula Kampmann, published by CoinsWeekly.com, http://www.coinsweekly.com/en/Archive/8?&id=64&type=a
*63. "A History of the Paris Commune of 1871," by George B. Benham, page 230,
*64. "Obama won’t fire Aaron Swartz’s federal prosecutors: White House 'We the People' petitions demanding their removal lingered for two years," by David Kravetz, January 8, 2015, published by ARS Technica, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/obama-wont-fire-aaron-swartzs-federal-prosecutors/
*65. "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-1," by Alistair Horne, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1965, Chapter 10: The Great Sortie, Page 160.

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