Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Plebeian ExperienceA Discontinuous History of Political Freedom$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Martin Breaugh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156189

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156189.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Paris Commune of 1871 and the Communards

The Paris Commune of 1871 and the Communards

(p.173) 5 The Paris Commune of 1871 and the Communards
The Plebeian Experience

Martin Breaugh

, Lazer Lederhendler
Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes the political experience in Paris in 1871, focusing on a series of political forms that contributed to the advent or the historical deployment of the Commune. Through a host of political bodies, the Paris Commune of 1871 marked the establishment of a political form intended to put an end to state power, that is, power based on coercion, in order to institute a power constructed through the concerted action of the citizens. The Paris Commune stands as a refutation in practice of a certain line of thought whereby the state is considered desirable, or even indispensable, for the collective existence of modern individuals. However, the Communards' political action was not exempt from myth, particularly that of the Great Revolution of 1789, as evidenced by the creation of an ersatz Committee for Public Safety, which presaged the Commune's demise. The Paris Commune was a fragile undertaking; an experiment in freedom vulnerable to the desire for the One and, hence, in constant danger of turning into its opposite.

Keywords:   political experience, political form, Paris Commune, state power, Communards, political action

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .