Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


What About the Workers? Part 2: "Neutrality, Out!"

Author: David Poulson
Published on: November 27, 1998

Eugene Adam was born in a small French village but at an early age displayed signs of a precocious intelligence. He very soon rejected the idea of spending the rest of his life as an over-worked and under-paid farm labourer and made strenuous efforts to acquire the skills of, first a carpenter and then a cabinet maker. He left the country and spent most of his life in Paris.

While still in his teens, Adam heard a speech given by Sebastien Faure, a fiery French anarchist, and he began to read as much anarchist literature as he could get hold of. After the outbreak of world War One, however, he was disappointed that famous anarchists like Peter Kopotkin and Jean Grave expressed the view that German militarism had to be crushed at all costs.

Although most anarchists did not share this view, the lack of consistency in people he had up till now admired caused Lanti to withdraw his support for anarchism. He remained, however, committed to the ideas of revolutionary socialism and, after 1917 and the overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Russia, he decided that Marx's communism, not Bakunin's anarchism, was the best philosophy for a socialist to adopt. (He soon learned the error of his ways, of course).

During the war, Lanti was conscripted but did not fight in the trenches. For four years he was part of the crew of an ambulance. Other members of the group were Catholic priests and one of them introduced Lanti to Esperanto. He learned it quickly and well and after the war he began to edit an Esperanto journal, intended to promote socialist ideas among working men, He also founded the organisation known as S.A.T. (Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda).

I can't think of a better way to introduce this stormy petrel of Esperanto-land than by quoting the words of his friend and collaborator Gaston Waringhien, some photographs of whom can be seen here: http://www-city.europeonline.com/home/zsiko/bildoj4/warkvar.jpg

"When Diogenes was asked what his native land was, he replied: "I am a citizen of the world."

That old story defines the new idea which the famous cynic, Diogenes, the boldest of the Greek philosophers, conceived to describe the true condition of the wise man in - or, more accurately, outside of - the State. It was the first time in the history of the human race that any thinker had dared to raise his head against that frightening monster, the Nation State which, under various more-or less perfect forms, from clans to enormous oriental empires, or the small Greek cities, has obstinately suffocated every kind of individuality.

And Diogenes could only express that idea because of the fact that Greek had become a common language in the whole of Eastern Europe and had, by degrees, permitted people to think in a manner which became more and more free of the chains of nationalistic ideology.

After the long, chaotic centuries of the Feudal period the ancient tyranny, in its new guise of Nationalism, once again suppressed freedom of thought. And it is a striking fact that the world had to wait for the spread of another common language, Esperanto, before it became possible for another daring thinker to confront the same problem and to provide a solution in that Manifesto de la Sennaciistoj which future generations may regard as the most meaningful work in our present literature.

The new Diogenes was not unlike the old. It was not just his beard but his stern irony, his rough sincerity, and his absolute rejection of all forms of polite hypocrisy that qualified him as a member of the school of Cynics. And one could easily imagine him, dressed as an old philosopher, walking the streets of the city in broad daylight with a lantern in his hand, searching like Diogenes for one honest man.

The first time I met him was in Grosjean-Maupin's study where we had met to discuss Lanti's projected new dictionary - La Plena Vortaro. I was not so much impressed by his bony head and compact body, his large nose and thin lips, his bushy eyebrows, than by his direct, confident manner of confronting whichever person he was speaking to, and by the profound and unshakeable convictions which you could see in his pale blue eyes..."

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Eugene Adam killed himself twice, once metaphorically and once in the true sense of the word. He took his own life when he was already dying of an incurable disease. But thirty years before that event, the Frenchman Eugene Adam became the intransigent, Esperanto-speaking citizen of the world, "Eugeno Lanti." The pseudonym was derived from the French "L'anti" and pointed to the fact that, from now on, Lanti would be opposed to all dogmas, myths and falsehoods.

In later articles I will examine more closely the two major contributions which this unusual person made to Esperanto: the first, to the language and the second, to the movement. I will also be supplying links to the many WWW resources related to S.A.T., translations of statements of the organisations aims and objectives, and of selected quotations from Lanti himself.

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PRI TUTKOMUNA LINGVO
PRI RUSA LINGVO
PRI ANGLA LINGVO
PRI ALIAJ NACIAJ LINGVOJ
BATALO DE LINGVOJ
ARTIKOLOJ PRI ESPERANTO
"" PRI "KONKURENTOJ" DE ESPERANTO
LECIONOJ DE ESPERANTO
.KONSULTOJ DE E-INSTRUISTOJ
ESPERANTOLOGIO KAJ INTERLINGVISTIKO
TRADUKO DE MALSIMPLAJ FRAZOJ
TRADUKOJ DE DIVERSAJ VERKOJ
FRAZEOLOGIO DE ESPERANTO
, . VERKOJ DE ZAMENHOF KAJ PRI LI
, PROKSIMAJ MOVADOJ
ELSTARAJ PERSONOJ KAJ ESPERANTO
PRI ELSTARAJ ESPERANTISTOJ
. EL HISTORIO DE RUSIA E-MOVADO
KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
. KIAL E-MOVADO NE PROGRESAS
HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
- ESPERANTO POR INFANOJ
DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
/ DEMANDARO / RESPONDARO
UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
NIA BIBLIOTEKO


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