Monday, April 8, 2013

100 years of the Paris Commune

"Working men's Paris, with its Commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society" -Karl Marx

The Paris Commune or Fourth French Revolution was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 (more formally, from March 28) to May 28, 1871. In a formal sense, it acted as the local authority, the city council (in French, the "commune"), which exercised power in Paris for two months in the spring of 1871 The Commune was the result of an uprising in Paris after France was defeated in the war. This uprising was chiefly caused by the disaster in the war and the growing discontent among French workers. 
However, the conditions in which it formed, its controversial decrees, and the indiscriminate violence with which it was brutally suppressed make its brief tenure one of the more important political episodes in the history of working class revolutions. The Paris Commune existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists, and is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution. Debates over the policies and outcome of the Commune contributed to the break between those two political groups.
Marco sent me this FDC dated 9.3.1971 postmarked in Berlin.

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