Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Paris Commune

Paris Commune, the 150th Anniversary.

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MR Online | The Cry of the People: The Commune in Image [Le cri du peuple: la commune en image]

Le Cri du peuple. Jacques Tardi.

2001, the graphic adaptation of the libertarian novel  about the Commune of Paris by Jean VautrinThe Cry of the People.*  The project was to be completed in three volumes, but Tardi eventually decided to devote the fourth and last volume, which just appeared, to the unbearable repression by the Versailles troops during the bloody week (la semaine sanglante).

The Cry of the People: The Commune in Images [Le cri du peuple: la commune en image]

This Blog highly recommends all of Tardi’s bandes dessinées. This series (having seen the first three)  is very memorable.

Paris Perspective #3: ‘Parisian Exceptionalism’ 150 years after the Commune

Radio France International.


2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. Some look upon the Commune as a great leap forward for democratic rights, to others it’s a failed anarchist experiment that proves that “mob rule can’t rule”. And to others still, just an unfortunate oil-stain on the fabric of France’s recent history. In this edition of Paris Perspective, we try to better understand the events that took place in the French capital from March to June 1871 in a modern context.

From the declaration of war on Prussia in July 1870 up to the brutal repression of the Communards in June 1871, the events of what Victor Hugo called “The Terrible Year” resonate to this day in the French capital’s on-going story, and are among the most tragic in the history of France in the nineteenth century……


Faisons Vivre La Commune!


“Vive la Commune!”: Belgian exhibition celebrating the 150th birthday of the Paris Commune


This exhibition, “Vive la Commune!” will take place in Brussels and Liège in Belgium during the 72 days of the Commune, from March 18 to May 28 2021. It will be composed of photographic images taken by Karim Brikci-Nigassa of places important to the history of the Paris Commune. Manu Scordia and Thibaut Dramaix will interpret these images by trying to reconstruct the historical events through drawings in the photographs. Historical, social and political explanations will be written by Sixtine van Outryve. This combination aims to put visitors into the atmosphere of the Paris Commune and make them discover or rediscover an important episode in the working class and social history of our region.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 1, 2021 at 12:41 pm

The Paris Commune is not Dead.

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There is a very well expressed article by Nick Rogers in the latest Weekly Worker on the 140th Anniversary of the Paris Commune – Here.

He concludes,

The historical experience of the Paris Commune teaches us a threefold lesson.

First, the key role of political leadership and programme. The Commune clearly lacked coherent political leadership. It did not even have a clear idea of what it sought to achieve. This was partly a question of political ideology, but it was also an expression of the lack of any working class party to speak of. In Paris (and in the other cities of France, where during this period several communes of only a few days’ duration were declared) there were political traditions, clubs and conspiratorial groupings. Lacking from the political firmament was any party seeking to democratically represent the interests of the whole class.

The International came closest and was subsequently blamed by the French government for the uprising. It banned the International in France and wrote to governments around Europe urging them to take the same action. But the Proudhonist majority in the French section held to a theoretical position that rejected political action (and trade unionism, for that matter). It was not ready to lead a workers’ revolution.

Second, the spontaneity of the working class is capable of great feats. What was achieved in Paris during April and May 1871 by the citizens of the city retains the capacity to inspire. Local initiatives proliferated. Right up to the last week a mood of festival prevailed. It is not the role of a political party to subsume or subdue such initiative, but to provide a focal point for directing the working class’s capacity for political and organisational creativity in an agreed direction.

Third, a workers’ revolution transforms the political and constitutional landscape or it is not a revolution. That is why communists raise democratic and republican demands. It is a lesson most of the present-day ‘revolutionary’ left has forgotten. The rediscovery of Kautsky “when he was a Marxist” can help hammer home that lesson.

This is a crystal-clear summary of the Commune’s enduring political meaning.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 27, 2011 at 11:50 am