paris commune may be revered for many diff reasons.. for its intoxicating sense of libidinal release.. for its radical populism.. for its deeply revolutionary impact on the oppressed or for its defiant heroism in defeat.. but the commune itself.. viewed as a structural entity was little more than a popular municipal council.. more democratic and plebeian than other such bodies the council was nevertheless structured along parliamentary lines.. it was elected by ‘citizens’ grouped according to geo constituencies.. in combining legislation w admin.. the commune was hardly more advance than the municipal bodies in the us today..
it does not malign the paris commune to divest it of ‘historical’ burdens it never actually carried.. the commune was a festival of the streets.. largely a city council.. established to coord municipal admin under conditions of rev unrest..
here we encounter a basic contradiction in class concepts of rev power: proletarian socialism, precisely because it emphasizes that power must be based exclusively on the factory, creates the conditions for centralized, hierarchical political structure..
the fact remains that council modes of org are not immune to centralization, manip and perversions.. at best they can be the stepping stones to a decentralized society.. at worst they can easily be integrated int hierarchical forms of social org
yeah.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s).. any form of democratic admin.. of people telling other people what to do (maté trump law et al).. isn’t enough.. and cancerous from the get go (like 10-day-care-center\ness ness).. good news is.. today we can let go of meeting/councils ness..
it does not minimize their (popular assembly) limitations to say that they developed methods of functioning so successfully libertarian in character that even the most imaginative utopias have failed to match in speculation what they achieved in practice..
oi.. we have no idea what legit free people are like.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s)
in the paris commune of 1871, we have the expression not merely of social interest but of social libido.. it is hard to believe that the repression following the fall of the commune.. the mass shootings, the ruthless trials, the exile of 1000s of penal colonies.. owed its savagery strictly to class vengeance.. the bourgeois directed his vengeance against his own subterranean humanity.. in the spontaneous outburst of social libido which we call the paris commune the bourgeois saw the breakdown of the repressive mechs that maintain hierarchical society.. he recoiled w the horror and ferocity of a man who suddenly comes face to face w his unconscious drives..
The Paris Commune (French: Commune de Paris, pronounced [kɔ.myn də pa.ʁi]) was a revolutionary government that seized power in Paris, the capital of France, from 18 March to 28 May 1871.
from emma goldman’s anarchism and other essays:
On the other hand, it was absolutely proven that the anti-military uprising was not at all organized; that it came as a surprise to the people themselves, like a great many revolutionary waves on previous occasions. The people of Barcelona, for instance, had the city in their control for four days, and, according to the statement of tourists, greater order and peace never prevailed. Of course, the people were so little prepared that when the time came, they did not know what to do. In this regard they were like the people of Paris during the Commune of 1871. They, too, were unprepared. While they were starving, they protected the warehouses filled to the brim with provisions. They placed sentinels to guard the Bank of France, where the bourgeoisie kept the stolen money. The workers of Barcelona, too, watched over the spoils of their masters.