- L: “Good Sextidi everyone and welcome to part four (4) of Goth Angel Sinners, the only podcast about anarchy, anarchists, and anarchism (and not about Lil Peep). I’m ‘Leland’.”
- C: “I’m Χλόη (Chloe).”
- T: “and I’m @trewbot.”
- L: “Today we’re continuing the tradition of not being a history podcast by talking about the Paris Commune in 1871.”
We’ll have a discussion with Nathan (who is in France and is French) about the current happenings in France (the Yellow Vest stuff), so that’ll be partway through the episode between some other sections.
Yandex (Яндекс) is now the official search engine and browser of Goth Angel Sinners (Yandex please sponsor us).
Why did it happen? (Events leading up to the Paris Commune)
- French Revolution of 1848 (February Revolution), ended in the establishment
of the Second Republic, whose first president was Napoleon III who in 1851
conducted a self coup which resulted in the establishing of the Second
- One of the reforms Napoleon III wanted to establish through his extended rule was “universal male suffrage” which is on the one hand pretty good but also did he have to become an emperor to do that?
- Marx apparently wrote “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon” which is neat because Marxists love this shit and also because Brumaire is the month I was born in lol I’m so quirky.
- Napoleon III, military and political genius, declared war on Prussia and promptly lost, which caused the collapse of the Second French Empire and the establishment of the Third French Republic
- Prussia held Paris under seige for 4 months so the government moved the capital to Tours and moved the army out, leaving the National Guard, who were becoming increasingly anti-government and pro-worker, to defend the city
- President Adolphe Thiers signs a armistice that disarms the army but not the National Guard (*looks at camera* uh oh)
- The French (Parisian National Guard1) left some cannons in Paris and the people got ahold of them before the French government could take control of them2.
- The army attempted to take control of the cannons, but the horses didn’t arrive on time (L M A O)
- A crowd of people (mostly women) gathered and threw rocks and sticks at the army and then the army refused to follow orders and some of them joined the crowd, so the people and the national guard and army defectors took control of the cannons
- So now there’s no central government and workers and radicalized soldiers are in charge of the city
- French Revolution of 1848 (February Revolution), ended in the establishment of the Second Republic, whose first president was Napoleon III who in 1851 conducted a self coup which resulted in the establishing of the Second French Empire.
What was the Paris Commune?
- Paris Commune of 1790s (revolution) vs 1871
- Neo-Jacobins as re-living height of revolution & basking in 1790s revisionism and repetition without critical evaluation of current situation vs Blanquists.
- Committee of public safety being established vs the input of the international agitating against it.
- On 12 May 1839, the Society of Seasons and its approximately nine hundred members felt strong enough to attempt a coup d’état in Paris. Four hundred insurgents managed to seize the National Assembly, the city hall, and the Palace of Justice, but they were unable to maintain their grip for more than a few hours because of a lack of numbers and weapons. Following the failure of this insurrection, Barbès was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to ‘life imprisonment’ largely due to the intervention of Victor Hugo. Also, these events led to a divorce between Barbès and Blanqui, which became a severe impediment to the extreme left during the revolution of 1848 and also later in the century. (wiki)3
- Marx later suggests that part of the failure of the commune was the lack of a principled leader in Blanqui as the bitch is jailed through all this shit.
- We should probably talk about The Bloody Week but i (Leland) never got around to focusing on that beyond the French troops, having been boosted in numbers by the return of POW’s, stomping in and wrecking everyone. Just shooting everyone on sight, freaked out about women who may have been carrying petrol to raise the city and shooting them, shooting through children to kill suspects etc. Extreme & savage retribution.
- Decentralised community organisation
- “All rent for housing was cancelled4”
- “The Victory Column, a monument to France’s chauvinist wars of aggression, was torn down.5”
- Also the banned (outlawed??) night shifts? When the fuck are normal people like us supposed to work then?
- The commune still relied on representative democracy and so retained a fundamental separation between the people and the councils.
- There was no women’s suffrage in the Paris Commune… even tho there was a
lot of involvement of women in the committees and such.
- Low levels of women’s representation and no suffrage
- France had no women’s bank accounts until the 20th century
- Higher representation on the barricades during the commune, increasing participation away from committee.
- Contrast from french attitude to women more broadly in surrounding agricultural area
Election poster translation (by Nathan), probably shit, also a bit of context provided for a couple things or whatever:
- Citizens, You are called to elect your Communal Assembly (the municipal council of Paris). For the first time, since September 4th [1870, the proclamation of the Third Republic], the Republic is freed from the government of its enemies.
- In accordance to republican law, you will convene in your committee6 to give to the people you will elect a mandate you will define.
- Your sovereignty is returned to you entirely, you belong to yourself, make the most of this precious and perhaps unique time, to take back the communal freedoms that elsewhere the humblest villages possess, and of which you have been for so long deprived.
- By giving your town a strong communal organization, you are building the foundations of your right, indestructible base of your republican institutions.
- The law of the city is as imprescriptible as that of the nation, the city must have, like the nation, its Assembly, which is called without distinction municipal, communal, or common Assembly.
- It is this Assembly from which national defense could have drawn its strength and success, and, today, from which the Republic can draw strength and by which it can be saved.
- This Assembly underpins a genuine order, the only lasting one, by basing it on the often renewed consent of the frequently consulted majority, and removes all cause of conflict, civil war or revolution, by removing all antagonism against the public opinion of Paris and the central executive power.
- James Guillaume says the Paris Commune was a federalist revolution so that’s cool
- Other communes - Marsaille & Lyon 1870 (which Bakunin took part in.)
- Bakunin described it as a “clearly formulated negation of the state.”
- Marseille & Lyon also experienced reconstruction under Napoleon III’s 2nd french empire.
- Is there a link between Napoleon 3’s rebuild of metropolitan areas, the radical populace, and the formation of the commune?
- “In fact, where is the mind, brilliant as it may be, or — if we speak of a collective dictatorship, even if it were formed of several hundred individuals endowed with superior mentalities — where are the intellects powerful enough to embrace the infinite multiplicity and diversity of real interests, aspirations, wishes, and needs which sum up the collective will of the people?” -Bakunin I guess
- Louise Michel being good: early-adopter anarchists who don’t necessarily embrace the ideology until after the fact/deportation, like Louise Michel. Commune as moment of radicalisation vs much more frequent exile as radicalisation. Political exiles such as Michel exported together and radicalised by good comrades etc.
- Paris Commune of 1790s (revolution) vs 1871
What’s the deal with the ~ M a r x i s t s ~?
- They view the Paris Commune as a working example of the Dictatorship of the
- DotP is my favorite vocaloid producer (this is a funny joke).
- I’m going to complain about that article I read here and nobody can stop
- What the fuck does Хрущёв have to do with the Paris Commune? And Mao??? And why quote Lenin instead of just quoting the bits of Marx that Lenin was quoting???
- Marx & Engels view this as a failure of dictatorship of the workers over the exploiters, however a number of the more notable theorists arising from active participation in the commune move to anarchist principles? Is there something to be said about their experiences impacting their ideological positions on this topic, or is this too “big man of history” in that the paris commune anarchists have outside historical influence? Or were they just really excited to have an experimental situation occur, and this was later talked up by M&E but also….
- Lenin boosting the paris commune all the time as a model for the
revolution, to highlight the need for armed struggle as a necessary tool of
- Particularly into the idea of the commune as dictatorship of the workers but deployed as a canard in practice later on.
- They view the Paris Commune as a working example of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (DotP).
What that calendar do tho?
- It was developed during the original French Revolution but they used it during the Paris Commune because it’s lit af and also secular or whatever.
- Decimalization: everything based on 10s.
- Secularization: removal of religious referencing;
- Each date in the calendar was named after a saint or something, replaced with the names of plants and farm equipment.
- Issues with the calendar? Fucking none.
- Some people complain about like the whole “ooh but if there’s ten days then we’ll have 8 days of work before our two days off” to which I say “fuck off kiddo, we get 10 days off a week now.”
- The way for handling leap years is a bit odd, like the whole thing is
based off the equinox at the Paris Observatory or some shit, but there
are proposed changes to that… not to mention we can predict the movements
of the planets much better theses days due to the whole actually knowing
science and shit.
- More on that last bit: I saw someone going on about how the calendar is meant to be empiricist and scientific even tho they didn’t know that much about science at the time; to which I say, yeah whatever it really isn’t that big of a deal.
- All calendars have problems, like our current ones is extremely bad, but all the issues have been fleshed out over time.
- Also, the Republic calendar had 30 day months split into three “decades” which were each like 10 days long, but then at the end of the year they would have a 5 day “Sansculotides” which were each a festival of some virtue or something, then on leap years they would have a Day of Revolution. Epic.
- Issues with our current calendar?
- Who the fuck is Frige? The fucking person our sixth day is named after, “Friday,” consider that SEXTIDI is a much better day. The weekdays are all named after the Germanic version of the gods after whom the heavenly bodies are named.
- Sun day, Moon day, Tyr (Mars) day, Woden (Mercury) day, Thor (Jupiter) day, Frige (Venus), Saturn (Saturn) day…. These aren’t even in the right order. It goes: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars, Jupiter??. Saturn?? You get my point…
Communard regret at not seizing and raising the banks recognised by Marx after the fact.
Predictions for 2050:
- More domesticated raccoons
- Evidence: raccoon emoji
- No fall damage (just like cats)
- Soft, cute, tiny hands
- Illegalist allies
- China invades Tibet (also probably Taiwan let’s be real)
- “Audiophile” is a slur
- Worship of Trewbot idols is widespread, they rub dicks on them.
- Turkey joins the EU and leaves NATO.
- More domesticated raccoons
PNG, not to be confused with “Portable Network Graphic.” ↩︎
“The Paris Commune: First Proletarian Dictatorship,” Revolution 3: 6 (March 1976). ↩︎
^ This article sucks ass and has nothing to do with the original topic i STG ↩︎
I’m pretty sure the committee they’re talking about is the committees of national defense formed by the red republicans in january 1871, here’s a long thing on the Commune, i’ll try to listen to it all and summarize it, it’s basically the great leftist account of the Commune but you gotta take some things with a grain of salt because Guillemin had some problematic analyses and was also extremely partisan so it’s not exactly “history”, so to speak ↩︎