People’s History: Vive La Commune!

Paris Commune

On this day in 1871, the workers and the dispossessed of Paris, France took fate into their own hands and liberated themselves from wage slavery by establishing the Paris Commune. For 72 days they worked cooperatively to provide a glimpse of what society could look like if organized in a radically democratic way. The project ended when thousands of Communards were massacred by the #French Armed Forces. The #Commune is remembered as the seminal moment in #anticapitalist struggle and has been an inspiration to countless millions throughout the ages yearning to be truly free.

Facts about the Paris Commune:

  • Women sparked the foundation of the Paris Commune when they scolded (and fed) the advancing French National Guard that came to take the cannons of Paris. Before long, the troops shot their commanders and quit the French military.
  • The Commune instituted a delegate system where elected delegates were instantly recallable if they didn’t perform to the satisfaction of their district
  • At least 43 workplaces were turned into cooperatives
  • Estates owned by the bourgeoisie¬†and ritzy hotels were now held by refugees and the poor
  • Free canteens were organized to feed people
  • Necessities like wood and coal were given away to the dispossessed and workers
  • A decree was passed to establish a minimum wage for all workers (though implementation was varied)
  • An Artists Federation was formed to take art out of the confines of private and elite hands

Read more via Jacobin Magazine here:

Read a short summary here: