Did Marx change his opinion about the Paris Commune?

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Did Marx change his opinion about the Paris Commune?
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Did Marx change his opinion about the Paris Commune?

Recently I saw a letter from Marx to Domela in which Marx's statement about the Paris Commune differs from his previous views (I've highlighted the sentence), see below:

”Perhaps you will point to the Paris Commune; but apart from the fact that this was merely the rising of a town under exceptional conditions, the majority of the Commune was in no sense socialist, nor could it be. With a small amount of sound common sense, however, they could have reached a compromise with Versailles useful to the whole mass of the people -- the only thing that could be reached at the time. ”

The letter can be read at the following link:

Marx to Domela Nieuwenhuis In The Hague

Did Marx change his mind, or did I misunderstand the letter?


I don't think so, as I recall

I don't think so, as I recall that just before the Paris Commune broke out he already was quite moderate/sceptical about what could be expected in the French situation.

By the way, there's the often-quoted rumor about Lenin "dancing" (a few steps) in the snow in Petrograd (in front of some surprised Commissars, in another variation of the story) when the revolution out-lasted the number of the days of the Paris Commune (~71 days?). It seems this rumor first can be found in a novel of André Malraux. Perhaps Trotsky told him that story in conversation, but I'm really doubtful about it. Like calculating, it would be just a few days after the shot fired on Lenin's car in January 1918.

But it needs to be said, that Lenin (many years before he wrote State&Revolution) taught about the Paris Commune, contrary to some modern revisionist historians who imply that the pre-1917 (or pre-1914) Lenin was ignorant of it.

Btw, on Lissagaray's history of the Commune and Marx's view there's a long article (in Spanish only for now). August Bebel reviewed the book in 1878 (here in German). Recently a collection (in French) about the Marx-aligned Communard Leó Frankel appeared (here's a review in English), a direct participant, who went on to help organise the launch of the Second Internationalin 1889  (so one can't simply portray the latter as somehow having forgotten about the Paris Commune).