1871 - Paris Commune

On the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune

With the dramatic events of the Paris Commune between March and June 1871 we have the first example in history of the working class taking political power into its own hands. The Commune meant the dismantling of the old bourgeois state and the formation of a power directly controlled from below: the delegates of the Commune, elected by popular assemblies in the neighbourhoods of Paris, were subject to immediate recall and were paid no more than the average worker’s wage.

1871: The first proletarian dictatorship

According to the popular misconception, which is systematically upheld and disseminated by all the mouthpieces of bourgeois ideology from the tabloid press to the professors of academe, communism means a society where everything is run by the state. The whole identification between communism and the Stalinist regimes in the East rested on this assumption.

And yet it is a total falsehood, reality turned on its head. For Marx, for Engels, for all the revolutionaries who followed in their footsteps, communism means a society without a state, a society where human beings run their affairs without a coercive power standing over them, without governments, armies, prisons or national frontiers.

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