‘These Parisians, Storming Heaven’: Marx and the Paris Commune

Jason Dawsey

Abstract


One hundred and fifty years ago, the working people of Paris undertook an astonishing and shortlived socialist experiment: the Paris Commune. For seventy-two days, the commune exemplified what Karl Marx termed ‘the Republic of Labour’. Mere days after this experiment was drowned in blood in late May 1871 by the butchers Thiers and Gallifet, Marx proffered his address, ‘The Civil War in France’, the last of a series given to the International Workingmen’s Association, explaining and defending the importance of the commune. ‘The Civil War in France’ has lost none of its importance for Marxist thought and politics.

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