Skip to Content

Pierre Joseph Proudhon

The Paris Commune

We cannot let March pass away without a reference to an event of great significance in the history of the Working Class Movement. We refer to the Paris Commune of 1871.

Although nearly sixty years have passed away since the Commune, yet it still has a message for us, a message of hope and a message of warning. Then for the first time a section of the French working class, owing to a set of favourable circumstances, obtained control of supreme power and held it for a period of three months. Their defeat was due to many causes, chief of which were the unity of the International capitalists against them and the as yet unreadiness of the French working class for a social change in their interests.

The story of the Commune is told by Karl Marx in his little book, “The Civil War in France," and also by Lissagary (himself a fighter in the Commune) in his “Paris Commune of 1871.”

Of the objects of the Commune Marx speaks as follows:

Book Review: 'Karl Marx and the Anarchists'

Marx and the Anarchists 

'Karl Marx and the Anarchists', by Paul Thomas (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980) £15.00.

This excellent book is a running commentary on Marx's fierce battles with crackpots he regarded as disasters to the socialist movement: the anarchists Max Stirner, P. J. Proudhon and Michael Bakunin. One of its principal merits is that it debunks, with the support of voluminous and correctly interpreted quotations, the idea that Marx was a dogmatic old bully, hopelessly impatient and irritable with anyone who dared to dissent from his views.

Syndicate content