August 17, 2021
From Legal Form
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In what sense is it possible to speak of a revolutionary tradition? And from where do such traditions derive, since revolution is – at least by certain lights – quintessentially a moment of rupture? The apparent novelty of revolution is, of course, belied by the word’s etymology, which should put one in mind of the turning of history’s (or fortune’s) wheel, “a revolving movement in space or time”.[1] Any such circular movement of this sort will, after a certain period of time, revert to a (spatial) point of origination, and this logic, were it to be accepted as a way of conceptualising political struggle, would inscribe an inherently conservative impetus into the very process of revolution: no matter how much force is exerted, the revolution will always end where it began.

But one can also conceive revolution differently as the unprecedented emergence of a political force that aims to establish a wholly new social order, heretofore unknown and unseen – not so much the turning of a wheel, but the discovery of something new under the sun (contra the wisdom of Ecclesiastes), or the inauguration of a new mode of measuring time’s passage in world-historical terms. It is no coincidence, then, that the modern concept of revolution, most often derived from the French Revolution of the 1790s, goes together with the appearance of a new “lexical couple” (revolution and reaction), which emerged in response to the revolutionary “polarization of the political field”.[2] As Jean Starobinski has shown, reaction, in this context, delimits a term designating “action that goes against [the] progress [of revolution] […] above and beyond the simpler opposition between progression and retrogression”.[3] He adds that, “to the extent that the partisans of the Revolution conceived of it as a founding effort that should not let up, they placed their opponents in the position of having only defensive or vengeful intentions, and thus reactions”.[4] So much for the reactionaries, but for how long should this revolutionary effort “not let up” before a new “founding effort” becomes necessary (or, at least, politically compelling)? At what point does the emergent become residual? Or, to put it another way, what is the temporal horizon for a revolution’s claim to novelty? And how might the post-revolutionary generation(s) negotiate these questions, if only to disclaim the mantle of the epigone?

Jean-Baptiste Clément, the Communard militant and popular songwriter, or parolier, is best-known for his 1866 song “Le temps des cerises,” which was set to music by Antoine Renard. When the score circulated during the late 1860s, it was described as a “pastorale” song, though Clément’s repertoire during this period also included more explicitly political lyrics, such as “Quatre-vingt-neuf,” which called on the French people of Napoleon III’s Second Empire to reinvigorate the tradition of 1789.[5] The lyrics were incendiary enough that Clément fled France for Belgium after the song appeared in print. “Le temps de cerises,” meanwhile, was widely sung during the Paris Commune of 1871 and formed part of a broader song culture associated with the insurrection. In the years after the Commune, Clément famously dedicated the song to a Communard ambulance nurse called Louise: “une vaillante fille qui, elle aussi, a couru les rues à une époque où il fallait un grand dévouement et un fier courage” [a brave woman who also ran the streets at a time when it required great dedication and fierce courage].[6] Such songs, as Pierre Aubéry writes, were part of “un solide tradition de solidarité et de fraternité parmi certains éléments de la classes ouvrière” [a strong tradition of solidarity and brotherhood among certain elements of the working classes], which found notable expression in “le goût des réunions amicales, des goguettes, où l’on chantait en chœur tout un répertoire populaire” [the penchant for social gatherings – goguettes – where a whole popular repertoire was sung in chorus] during the years preceding the Commune.[7]

This “autonomous cultural movement of the masses” found its most organised expression in the Parisian goguettes, which, according to Adrian Rifkin, “were clearly capable of operating as effective vehicles of political protest and secret organisation” during the repressive climate of the Second Empire (haunted as it was by memories of the revolutionary upheaval of 1848).[8] The goguettes are, in this sense, just one part of the Commune’s pre-history. Another Communard songwriter, Eugène Pottier, wrote a set of lyrics titled “L’Internationale” in June 1871 during the immediate aftermath of the Commune’s defeat; the song went on to become an anthem of the international workers’ movement after the Belgian socialist composer Pierre De Geyter set the lyrics to music in 1888, borrowing and modifying the melody of the 1794 “Chant de départ,” the national anthem of the First French Empire. Taken together, these two songs, a popular ballad and a militant song of revolutionary struggle, constitute a musical prelude and coda to the Commune. They also exemplify two different ways of thinking about the revolutionary temporality of the Commune and the Commune’s relationship to revolutionary tradition. 

During the Second Empire, Clément’s invocation of the cherry season – a moment of ripeness and a scene of lovers with sun in their hearts – allowed him to introduce a veiled reference to the hope of revolution in what might appear, on the surface, to be little more than a sentimental ballad. Peter Starr writes that, after the repression of the Commune, “Clément’s ballad of lost love took on a new and richer resonance as a ballad of lost dreams,” pointing to the images of trauma in the song’s final verse: “C’est de ce temps là que je garde au cœur/Une plaie ouverte” [This is the time that I keep in my heart/An open wound].[9] As the cherry season took on a new meaning during and after the Commune, it cannot have escaped notice that the time of cherries, like the time of the Commune, is brief to the point of sorrow: “il est bien court, le temps des cerises” [it is so very short the time of cherries].[10] The Commune was similarly untimely, both in its historically unprecedented character as the “political form at last discovered under which to work out the economical emancipation of Labour,” as Marx would put it, and in the ostensible brevity of its duration.[11] The Commune lasted from 18 March to the end of May, from spring to early summer, and, as the British artist and poet Walter Crane wrote on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, it was “short-lived to act and teach”.[12] 

This retrospective knowledge of the Commune’s short duration was, of course, tragically unapparent to its partisans and militants, some of whom imagined themselves to be present at the birth of a new world, when the conjuncture remained open. On 5 April, for example, the Central Committee of the National Guard released a statement declaring that “the heroic population of Paris is going to win immortal fame and regenerate the world,” claiming to draw inspiration from the “eternal spirit of the nation”.[13] In a rather different context, Grigory Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg invoke this misplaced sense of confidence in their 1929 Soviet film about the Commune, New Babylon. After the dramatic defence of the National Guard cannon on 18 March, the Commune’s elected representatives begin to discuss the best of course of action, and an unnamed Communard journalist confidently proclaims in a committee meeting that “We have plenty of time! We can solve everything!”.[14] Intercut with scenes of seamstresses and cobblers finding newfound pleasure in their work for the Commune, the committee’s deliberations appear glaringly detached from the revolution unfolding in the city around them.

In the early years of Stalin’s counter-revolution, Kozintsev and Trauberg here reformulate a familiar critique of the Commune’s leaders. In his History of the Commune, for example, Lissagaray records that, at the last meeting of the Council of the Commune, after the Versailles soldiers had entered Paris, “time was wasted in small-talk; there were neither motion nor debate,” and he regrets that “[t]hus the Council of the Commune disappeared from history”.[15] Lenin would later write that “the chief thing which the Commune lacked was the time – an opportunity to take stock of the situation and to embark upon the fulfilment of its programme”; the Communards, according to Lenin, “scarcely had time to start work, when the government entrenched in Versailles and supported by the entire bourgeoisie began hostilities against Paris”.[16] Marx wrote in similar terms: “time was not allowed to the Commune,” which meant that “mere bawlers” were able to assert an undue influence, and “in some cases [they] contrived to play pre-eminent parts”; given enough time, Marx added, such figures would be “shaken off” by the revolution.[17]  Marx, Lenin and Lissagaray each differently complain about lost time – either time wasted or not given – and the implication is that time regained or better spent would have allowed the Communards to bring their political project fully to completion, figuring the time of the Commune as a moment not properly seized or an opportunity squandered.

In a recent discussion of Lissagaray’s account of the Commune, William Clare Roberts writes that “Lissagaray identifies in both the [Council of the Commune’s] majority and the minority a common error, a faith in the longevity of the Commune, and hence in the possibility of revisiting matters tomorrow”.[18] Lissagaray’s view of the Communards’ miscalculation, as Roberts reconstructs it, was that they saw the Commune as a nascent governmental institution that could be “homeostatic and [aspire] to permanence”.[19] Lissagaray instead urged a view of the Commune as a barricade (in the figurative sense), something that “is for now and just a little while longer,” but which is “necessarily temporary and temporizing” inasmuch as it “staves off finality, one minute at a time,” like the nights of Scheherazade.[20] It is not so much that the Communards did not have enough time, but, rather, they wrongly apprehended the time that they had in thinking that they had enough of it, which, in turn, doubtless produced some of the ‘errors’ or miscalculations for which Lissagaray and others would later rebuke them.

Clément’s “Le temps des cerises” imagines the temporality of revolution in a similar fashion to Lissagaray, insofar as it acknowledges that the cherry season is necessarily short: “il est bien court, le temps des cerises”. Clément’s lyrics evoke a transient moment of painful but shared joy, allegorising the experience of revolution as a form of Benjaminian now-time, ripe with the possibility of transfiguration. Walter Benjamin’s concept of Jetztzeit, as he elaborates it in “On the Concept of History,” envisions a moment of rupture through which “time filled full by now-time” becomes detached from the continuum of “homogeneous, empty time”.[21] Benjamin’s revolutionary conceptualisation of temporality blends a messianic (but not teleological) structure with a materialist historiography aimed at blasting open the historical continuum of the ruling class. Also positioning himself in opposition to social democratic conceptions of history as a passage of linear progress towards liberation – in which progress figures as something boundless and automatic – Benjamin writes that, at the moment of their action, “revolutionary classes” are aware that “they are about to make the continuum of history explode”.[22] Jetztzeit does not proffer a discrete interval in an extended sequence, but a moment of luminescent fulfilment, “a revolutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past”.[23] “Le temps de cerises” apprehends the time of that chance, which remains open here and now, even as the singer is aware that “Je ne vivrai pas sans souffrir un jour” [I will not live without suffering some day hence].[24] 

By contrast, Eugène Pottier’s song of the Commune invokes a temporal sequence into which “L’Internationale” inserts itself at a moment of imagined and desired completion: “C’est l’éruption de la fin/Du passé faisons table rase” [This is the eruption of the end/Let’s wipe the past’s slate clean].[25] Pottier’s lyrics summon those who sing them to look forward to “la lutte finale/[…] et demain/L’internationale/Sera le genre human” [the final struggle/[…] and tomorrow/The international/Will be the human race].[26] Writing in the wake of the Commune’s defeat, Pottier memorialises a struggle that failed to materialise the projected moment of revolutionary finality, at the same time as the song anticipates the advent of classless society, transposed into a future that is yet to come. It can be added that Pottier’s song is likely to have attained its popularity within the orbit of the Second International partly because it affirms the very social democratic conception of progress that Benjamin critiqued when he disclaimed the idea that progress should be “considered inevitable – something that automatically pursued a straight or spiral course”.[27]

When Pierre De Geyter set Pottier’s lyrics to a melody associated with the revolutionary wars of the 1790s, he merely complemented the logic already at work in the text, which looks forward to the final battle as the completion of a struggle properly begun almost a century before the song’s composition. This allusive rhetorical tactic, as applied to the historical experience of proletarian struggle, lays itself open to a certain historiographical vulnerability. If one summons a group of militants to the final battle, what happens if the final battle is lost? Can one retroactively declare the lost battle to be penultimate, while proclaiming the next one to be the last? More to the point, how many times can one pull this trick before the prospect of victory begins to seem remote, and the paradigm exhausted? Revisionist historians poured into this breach. Explicitly countering the “Marxist analysis of the event as a landmark in the class struggle,” the historian David Thomson argued in the middle of the twentieth century that the Commune “can be regarded more accurately as the last dying flicker of an old tradition, the tradition of the barricades of 1789 and 1848, rather than as the beginning of a new”.[28] At the end of the short twentieth century, the revisionists’ revisionist, François Furet, wrote in similar terms, retroactively identifying the Commune as the French Revolution’s “farewell to history” at a moment when the very idea of social revolution appeared, to some, to have definitively and finally run out of time – much like the goguettes ran out of time after the invention and popularisation of the gramophone.[29] 

Some Communards, particularly those in the neo-Jacobin faction associated with Charles Delescluze and Félix Pyat, certainly played upon the connection between the Commune and the French Revolution. With the fall of the Second Empire in September 1870, various radicals and activists opposed to Napoleonic imperialism found the political space to commence new publishing ventures, and some chose titles that alluded to the heroic period of the French Revolution. On 4 September, the renowned barricade chief Louis Auguste Blanqui established La patrie en danger, a title that alludes to a declaration by the French Assembly on 11 July 1792 in response to the news that Prussia had joined Austria in the war against revolutionary France. Blanqui hoped to invoke a tradition of popular mobilisation and patriotic national defence after French forces had suffered heavy defeats during the Franco-Prussian war. Likewise, during the Commune, Eugène Vermersch and Maxime Vuillaume collaborated to produce Le Fils du Père Duchêne, allusively claiming the mantle of Jacques Hébert’s Le Père Duchesne, a radical left daily broadsheet founded in 1790.

If, as Benjamin writes (in a deliberate echo of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire), the “French Revolution viewed itself as Rome reincarnate,” then some Communards evidently saw themselves as the French Revolution reincarnate.[30] This tendency reached its apogee on 1 May when a majority of the Council of the Commune voted to resurrect the Committee of Public Safety, evoking the Revolutionary Terror of the 1790s. Survivors of the Commune remained keen to assert such parallels even after its defeat. For example, Gustave Paul Cluseret, the Commune’s first Delegate of War, argued in 1873 that the Communards’ chief aim was to “finish what had been left incomplete in 1793”.[31] 

Other Communards were less keen to invoke such associations, and some actively disclaimed them. Lissagaray records that Gustave Tridon, a delegate of the 5th arrondissement, registered his vote against the establishment of the Committee by professing his dislike for “useless and ridiculous cast-off old clothes”.[32] The artist Gustave Courbet, who helped to establish the Commune’s Federation of Artists and was a representative of the 6th arrondissement, stated that

Je désire que tous titres ou mots appartenant à la Révolution de 89 et 93 ne soient appliqués qu’à cette époque. Aujourd’hui, ils n’ont plus la même signification et ne peuvent plus être employés avec la même justesse et dans les même acceptions. […] Cela me parait d’autant plus évident que nous ressemblons a des plagiaires, et nous rétablissons a notre détriment une terreur qui n’est pas de notre temps. Employons les termes que nous suggèrent notre révolution.[33]   

[I desire that all titles or words belonging to the Revolution of 89 and 93 remain confined to that époque. Today they no longer have the same meaning and can no longer be used or received with the same efficacy or justification. […] This appears all the more obvious to me since we look like a group of plagiarists who, to our detriment, are re-establishing a terror that is not of our period. Let us use terms suggested to us by our revolution.]

It is important, in the theatre of revolution, to suit the action to the word, and the word to the action, as Courbet argues, not least because revolutionary plagiarism is a contradiction in terms, and there is always a fine line between fashionable pastiche and epigonic bathos.

The novelist Jules Vallès, whose Parisian newspaper during the Commune was titled Le Cri du Peuple, published an autobiographical novel of the Commune, L’Insurgé (1883), whose irascible protagonist, Jacques Vingtras, shares Courbet’s view of the Commune’s relationship to the revolutionary tradition of the 1790s. Vingtras professes at one point “to have grown contemptuous of Jacobin hand-me-downs. All that shit about the legend of ’93 affects me just like the faded, filthy tatters offered by old Gros, the ragman, in his shop on rue Mouffetard which the wind whistles through all day.”[34] He expands on this reasoning elsewhere: “Often I even sluff off ’89 and ’93 to be face-to-face with myself so I can follow my thought”.[35] In an echo of The Civil War in France, Vallès asserts the world-historical novelty of the Commune, at the same time as his sartorial metaphor recalls the familiar opening of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. There, Marx wrote that the “heroes of the old French Revolution” (Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just and Napoleon) “accomplished the task of their epoch, which was the emancipation and establishment of modern bourgeois society, in Roman costume and with Roman slogans”.[36] The Communards, meanwhile, set out to accomplish the task of their epoch (in Marx’s view) by ushering in a post-revolutionary, classless society. Eleanor Marx characterised the Commune as the “first attempt of the proletariat to govern itself,” echoing her father’s words in the first draft of The Civil War in France, where Marx described the Commune as “the initiation of the social revolution of the nineteenth century” – definitively not a “revolution to transfer [state power] from one fraction of the ruling class to the other, but a revolution to break down this horrid machinery of class domination itself”.[37] In this sense, Tridon’s and Vingtras’s wariness about what Marx dubbed “world-historical necromancy,” as manifest in their reluctance to don the old clothes of an outmoded epoch, was, in fact, a reluctance to imitate imitators who themselves sought to “borrow their names, slogans and costumes so as to stage the new world-historical scene in this venerable disguise and borrowed language”.[38] Part of Marx’s achievement, in this respect, was to invent a language in which the Communards’ struggle could be made comprehensible and legible both to its partisans and its opponents.

Benjamin was similarly attuned to the way in which “[f]ashion has a nose for the topical, no matter where it stirs in the thickets of long ago,” even as he recognised that any such “tiger’s leap into the past […] takes place in an arena where the ruling class gives the commands”.[39] For the Jacobins, according to Marx, “the resurrection of the dead served to exalt the new struggles, rather than to parody the old”.[40] This might suggest that some pasts are, indeed, usable, albeit that Marx added a caveat that this backward-looking exaltation of the Roman republic also enabled the Jacobins “to hide from themselves the limited bourgeois content of their struggles”.[41] The social revolution of the nineteenth century, by contrast, could not “begin its work until it [had] sloughed off all its superstitious regard for the past”.[42] This is not to suggest that all regard for the past is necessarily superstitious. Nevertheless, one might think that some Communards acted superstitiously in looking to a revived Committee of Public Safety in order to hide from themselves the reality of their impending defeat at the hands of the Versaillais. But it is questionable as to whether any degree of revolutionary realism, or strategic recalibration, would have radically changed the balance of forces, or altered the outcome of the civil war.

In later years, Marx would clarify, in a letter to the Dutch socialist Ferdinand Domela-Nieuwenhuis, dated 22 February 1881, that he regarded the Commune as “merely the rising of a city under exceptional circumstances,” suggesting that a “modicum of common sense” might have enabled the Communards to “[reach] a compromise with Versailles useful to the whole mass of people”.[43] Almost a decade had passed since the emergence of the Commune, and Marx again emphasises time, more prominently here, as the “first desideratum” in passing this stern judgement: “a socialist government does not come into power in a country unless conditions are so developed that it can immediately take the necessary measures for intimidating the mass of the bourgeoisie sufficiently to gain time […] for permanent action” (by which one can assume he meant action with permanent and durable results).[44] This is not to preach economic fatalism, or to justify absenteeism, and nor is it chiefly a warning against revolutionary adventurism. It is, on the contrary, a timely reminder about the untimely nature of revolution: le temps de cerises can be painfully brief, or it can unfold across decades, according to a logic of protraction that exceeds the scope of any single human span of life. This is always a matter for the revolutionary actors of a given moment, whose performance is always staged at the juncture of structure and agency. The song may be an old one, but the melody still catches the wind.

Owen Holland teaches literature in the English Department at University College London. His first book, William Morris’s Utopianism: Propaganda, Politics and Prefiguration, was published with Palgrave in 2017, and he has also edited a selection of Morris’s political writings for Verso. His second book, Literature and Revolution: British Responses to the Paris Commune of 1871, is due to be published with Rutgers University Press in spring 2022.

[1] Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (London: Fontana/Croom Helm, 1976), p. 226.

[2] Jean Starobinski, Action and Reaction: The Life and Adventures of a Couple, trans. Sophie Hawkes (New York: Zone Books, 2003), p. 322.

[3] Ibid., p. 323.

[4] Ibid.

[5] J.B. Clément and Antoine Renard, Le Temps de Cerises ([Paris]: [Charles Egrot], [1869]), p. [2], available online: <https://bibliotheques-specialisees.paris.fr/ark:/73873/pf0001493056&gt; [accessed 4 May 2021]; J.B. Clément and Joseph Darcier, 89: Romance (Toulouse: Casimir Bessière, 1868), available online: <https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k318286p?rk=278971;2&gt; [accessed 4 May 2021].

[6] J.B. Clément, Chansons, cinquième edn (Paris: C. Marpon et E. Flammarion, [1887]), p. 244, available online: <https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k113341x/f244.item&gt; [accessed 4 May 2021].

[7] Pierre Aubéry, “Poésies et chansons populaires de la Commune,” in Images of the Commune/Images de la Commune, ed. James A. Leith (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1978), pp. 47–67 (47). Adrian Rifkin, in dialogue with T.J. Clark, points out that the Second Empire’s active censorship of popular entertainment created new spaces of political dissent during the period immediately before and after the Commune: the “last two years of the Empire and the period of the Commune had shown that alternative use could be made of these social spaces for the directly political purposes of meetings and clubs, and it is fear of the songs as a sign of this process that now colours police attitudes to the use of cafés, inflecting it considerably from its routine conformity to the norms of censorship during the earlier 1860s.” Adrian Rifkin, “Marx’s Clarkism,” in Communards and Other Cultural Histories: Essays by Adrian Rifkin, ed. Steve Edwards (Leiden: Brill, 2016), pp. 69–83 (78).

[8] Adrian Rifkin, “Cultural Movement and the Paris Commune,” in Communards and Other Cultural Histories, pp. 169–193 (172).

[9] Peter Starr, Commemorating Trauma: The Paris Commune and its Cultural Aftermath (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006), p. 173; Clément, Le Temps de Cerises, p.[ 3].

[10] Clément, Le Temps de Cerises, p. [3].

[11] [Karl Marx], The Civil War in France: Address of the General Council of the International Working-Men’s Association, 3rd edn (High Holborn: Edward Truelove, 1871), p. 20.

[12] Walter Crane, “In Memory of the Commune of Paris: Born March 18, 1871, Died in June the Same Year,” Black and White 1.9 (4 April 1891): 274.

[13] “Statement by the Central Committee of the Republican Federation of the National Guard,” 5 April 1871, in The Paris Commune of 1871: The View from the Left, ed. Eugene Schulkind (London: Jonathan Cape, 1972), pp. 119–20.

[14] Novyi Vavilon [New Bablyon], dir. Grigory Kozintsez Leonid Trauberg (Factory of the Eccentric Actor, 1929), available online: <https://youtu.be/cyOhcTuFYe0?t=2955&gt; [accessed 18 March 2021].

[15] Lissagaray, History of the Commune of 1871, trans. Eleanor Marx (London: Reeves and Turner, 1886), p. 309.

[16] V.I. Lenin, “In Memory of the Commune [28 April 1911],” in Collected Works, 45 vols (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977), vol. 17, p. 141.

[17] Marx, Civil War in France, p. 24.

[18] William Clare Roberts, “« Une barricade, non un gouvernement » : Contrasting Views of Association in the Paris Commune,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 49.3–4 (Spring-Summer 2021): 173–88 (180).

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid., pp. 180–81. 

[21] Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” in Selected Writings, vol. 4, 1938–1940, trans. Edmund Jephcott and others, eds, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2003), pp. 389–400 (395). 

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid., p. 396.

[24] Clément, Le Temps de Cerises, p. [3].

[25] Eugène Pottier and Pierre Degeyter, L’Internationale (Paris: Bibliothèque du Parti Ouvrier Français, [n.d.]), p. [1], available online: <https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1352591.r=pottier%20internationale?rk=21459;2&gt; [accessed 4 May 2021].

[26] Ibid.

[27] Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” p. 394.

[28] David Thomson, Europe Since Napoleon, 2nd edn (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970), p. 396.

[29] François Furet, Revolutionary France, 1770–1880 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 506. Discussing the “supervised freedom” of the goguettes and the café-concerts – legalised in November 1849, but subject to state supervision and censorship – Jacques Rancière observes that “the gramophone, even if its importance as entertainment was less great than that of the cinema, perhaps better introduced what would be the great twentieth-century revolution in the industry – and politics – of leisure: the master’s voice at home”. Jacques Rancière, Staging the People: The Proletarian and his Double, trans. David Fernbach (London: Verso, 2011), pp. 176, 225. 

[30] Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” p. 395.

[31] General Cluseret, “The Paris Commune of 1871: Its Origin, Legitimacy, Tendency, and Aim,” Fraser’s Magazine 7.39 (March 1873): 360–61.

[32] Lissagaray, History of the Commune of 1871, p. 242.

[33] Journal Officiel de la République Française 124 (4 May 1871): 280, available online: <https://archivesautonomies.org/IMG/pdf/commune/communedeparis/JOmatin/0504.pdf&gt; [accessed 4 May 2021].

[34] Jules Vallès, Jacques Vingtras: L’Insurgé, 1871 (Paris: G. Charpentier, 1886), p. 100. For the translation, see Jules Vallès, The Insurrectionist, trans. Sandy Petrey (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1971), p. 61.

[35] Ibid., pp. 54–55.

[36] Karl Marx, “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” in Surveys from Exile: Political Writings, Volume 2, ed. David Fernbach (Harmondsworth: Penguin in association with New Left Review, 1973), p. 147.

[37] Eleanor Marx, “Introduction,” in Lissagaray, History of the Commune of 1871, p. vii; Karl Marx, “First Draft of ‘The Civil War in France’ [Extract],” in The First International and After: Political Writings, Volume 3, ed. David Fernbach (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992), p. 249.

[38] Marx, “Eighteenth Brumaire,” p. 146.

[39] Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” p. 395.

[40] Marx, “Eighteenth Brumaire,” p. 148.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid., p. 149.

[43] “Letter of K. Marx to F. Domela-Nieuwenhuis in the Hague, Holland,” in The Paris Commune of 1871: The View from the Left, pp. 244–45.

[44] Ibid.




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