- Date: Saturday 30th October
- Time: 15:15 - 17:00
- Speaker: Josh Holroyd
The Paris Commune is one of the most inspiring episodes in the entire history of the working class. In just a few weeks in 1871, surrounded by enemies, the working men and women of Paris demonstrated with brilliance and heroism that it is possible for the workers to run society democratically, without capitalists, bankers or even a standing army.
For the first time, albeit confined to a single city, we see the proletariat consciously organised as the ruling class. Isolated and overpowered, the Commune was defeated, and drowned in blood. But the spirit of the Commune lives on. As Marx put it, “Working men’s Paris, with its Commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society.” It was to the Commune that the Bolsheviks looked when they led the workers to power in 1917, and it still provides a model for workers’ power today.
Recommended reading: The Paris Commune at 150
Recommended watching: The Paris commune at 150: Marx's Civil War in France