Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hiroshima, August 1945 (1985)

From the Winter 1985-6 issue of the World Socialist

Forty years ago the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Japan. The following poem was written by a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain shortly after he heard the news of the bombing.
Like a blast from hell the atom bomb came,
And a city in ruins was hurled;
On wings of fear, it thundered its name,
Through a shocked and war torn world;
This atomic force with transmutable breath,
Its first warning sign we see,
Garden of plenty, or desert of death;
What is this world to be?
The challenge is vital, and urgent the hour;
When this Capitalist era must pass,
And workers control this atomic power,
So misused by the ruling class;
This nuclear power from the atom was wrought,
It evolved in the womb of time,
Born of the labour of man's social thought,
Its baptism, Fire, blood and crime;
Dark is the future if our governments command
This scientific genie of might,
Secret diplomacy knows no remand,
From chaos and abysmal night;
The Capitalist powers are still planning our fate,
And with their lies seek to stifle our fears,
Turning worker against worker, in blind bonds of hate,
For their new orgy of blood sweat and tears;
A Socialist world, no other solution,
Presents itself to mankind;
The workers must strive for a world revolution,
And cast off those fetters that bind;
This atomic force with transmutable breath,
For good or for ill must abide,
Garden of plenty or desert of death?
The workers themselves must decide.

Walter Atkinson


Bellamy, socialism and utopia

From the Winter 1987-88 issue of the World Socialist

For as long as there has been human oppression there have been dreams of the oppressed. Oppressed people have not usually had access to the means of recording their dreams, so too many of them have been lost. Nor have they had the power to communicate their dreams as widely as the powerful have been free to spread theirs, so all too often such visions of what could be have been relegated to an area outside of "serious politics", derided as the literary yearnings of unimportant masses, or neatly filed away under the heading of "impossibility" — a heading which is made to measure the needs of the ruling class of the day, as Mannheim clearly showed in his book, Ideology and Utopia.

The politics of Utopia begins with the visions of those who see beyond the way life is. Utopia — which derives from the Greek words for good place and no place — is never compatible with the mistaken certainties about how society must always be which all ruling classes in the history of class society have sought to perpetuate. Utopias smash through the barriers of "reality" (our rulers' reality) and project a new form of existence.

Early Utopias reflected naive and physically unrealisable wishes of the oppressed majority. For example, the 14th century poem, The Land of Cockaygne, depicts a world where geese fly around ready-roasted calling out to be eaten. This was no realisable scheme of how society could one day be, but it did reflect the impotent desires of hungry serfs, just as the American folk song. The Big Rock Candy Mountains (originally a Norwegian Utopian song, according to the folk music historian, A.L. Lloyd) tells us something about the dreams of the American hobo when it depicts its land of soda water fountains, lemonade springs, streams of alcohol trickling down the rocks, and lakes of stew and whiskey too which you can paddle all around in your own canoe.

Not all Utopias have been fantasies. Many have constituted genuine critiques of the existing social order. In The Politics of Utopia by Goodwin and Taylor it is contended that we should take what have been labelled as Utopian ideas seriously; instead of pushing them aside to a discarded limbo between political science and mere literary criticism, those interested in politics should find time to recognise the important contribution of "utopian" thought:
Consciousness of the difference between existing reality and a non-existent, but potentially existent, future — a morally desirable future — was one of the most important ingredients of this quest (for the good life). Unless we feel absolutely confident that we have now reached the limits of our capabilities and creativity, that we have advanced to perfection already, to dispense with utopianism would be to renounce a large part of what it is to be a political animal.
Our present rulers, be they avowedly conservative or allegedly radical, do feel confident that with the present social system we have reached our human destination: reform it, perhaps, but scrap it: impossible, it's utopian.

Capitalism, with its big promises of liberty and rewards for hard work and freedom, and the mean reality of what the system has been in experience, has given rise to utopian thought. Never was such thought more expressive than in the decades of disappointment which followed capitalism's hour of glory, the French Revolution. Schemes were drawn up by men who believed that they alone had the blueprint for The New Social Order. These men — Fourier, Owen, St Simon, Babeuf, Weitling — were "utopian socialists". Much of what they dreamed about would not be dismissed by socialists today, either in terms of their political ends, such as the abolition of government and money or their poetical impulse to destroy the pompous claims of property-based civilisation. To be sure, much of what they envisaged seems crazy now — some of it must have done then — but that is the price to be paid for the idealistic act of constructing a blueprint for the future.

MARXISM AND UTOPIA
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels began to construct their theory of revolutionary socialism at a time when to be socialist was regarded as an act of futuristic utopianism. Most socialists in the 1840s were followers of one blueprint or another; in America the Utopias had become more than blueprints and embryonic Utopian socialist communities had sprung up in their thousands.

Marxism (that rather inadequate term which we use to sum up the essential theories of Marx and Engels and those who think in their tradition today) is a materialist theory of history. Its starting point is not based upon the moral imperative of what should be or the ideals of blueprints which start and finish in the realm of human consciousness, but upon the material recognition that in order to transform society we must revolutionise its material (productive) base. We should not be surprised, then, that the advocates of such an outlook would find themselves at odds with the utopians of their day.

The main criticism levelled against utopians by Marx (and, with greater force than in any other work, by Engels in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific) was their lack of a theory of history: Who was going to construct their Utopia? The answer of the Utopians was, We are — we who have had the unique foresight of seeing life as it could be. For Marx and Engels that was the arrogant nonsense of philosophical idealists who imagined that Ideas make History. The working class, which constitutes the majority of humankind, must be the creators of the new social system. If the workers are to create socialism (or communism; Marx and Engels used the words interchangeably) they must want it and desire it. The utopians had no time to wait for the workers to be brought in on the act of their own emancipation. This was a crucial reason for hostility between Marxism and utopianism, just as it is for the battle between modern socialists and the Leninists and other vanguardists who like the Utopians believe that they, as exclusive possessors of the revolutionary ideal, must lead the witless masses to the New Jerusalem — which all too often comes to look something like East Berlin or Gdansk.

Marx and Engels refused to prepare recipes for the cook-shops of the future. The only statements which they could make about what socialism would be like were made upon the materialist basis of what was then possible. Of course, time has rendered some of these projections obsolete, and, as good materialists, Marx and Engels would be the first to admit the outdated nature of some of their comments about socialism which came out of 19th century conditions, but are still advocated religiously and unhistorically by 20th century utopian leftists. For example, the view of Marx that labour vouchers could play a role in the distribution of goods in the early days of socialist society before enough for all could be produced, has been superseded by developments in technology which make the move to a moneyless world society an immediate result of the socialist revolution to come.

So, we can see that the utopian outlook, which we began by praising as the innocent child of oppressed desire, met the wrath of science and became perceived as a hindrance to revolutionary change. In short, it is precisely when "Utopia" becomes practical that Utopians become obstacles to the achievement of the new way of living. We need to dream when we are unfree to act.

BELLAMY'S UTOPIA
Marxism left the task of transforming society to the workers. For historical reasons too complex to enter into here, the workers did not jump to the task. On the contrary, capitalism survived the scientific theory of its destruction, just as it had outlived the utopian desire for the same end. Socialism and Marxism came to be dirty words and those seeking change began to look in new directions.

Edward Bellamy, the son of a strict Baptist Minister and a frighteningly puritanical mother, a journalist of some ability, born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts on 26 March, 1850, set himself the task of writing a utopian novel which would show the world how different society could be from the rottenness of American capitalism. That he did well depict the absurdity of the capitalist way of organising society is demonstrated by the passage from Looking Backward which we re-publish at the end of this article. That his novel did have an impact is clear from the fact that approximately half a million copies of it were sold in the few years after its publication in 1888. It was, according to Goodwin and Taylor, "probably the most widely read fictional utopia ever written". In addition to being read it was acted upon: the novel gave rise to a Nationalist movement, seeking to put into practice the vision of Bellamy's novel. According to Cyrus F Willard (who was one of the movement's leading figures), the Nationalist Clubs had over 6,000 members and 500,000 "believers''. He wrote that:
We have fifty or more papers and magazines unreservedly advocating Nationalism. (The Nationalist, II, No. 1, December 1889)
The Nationalist movement's principles were based upon those in Bellamy's book and the book was a bestseller, so the obvious question remains, what did it say? The novel tells the story of Julian West, a prosperous resident of Boston, who, unable to fall asleep, has his butler hypnotise him and . . . then, one hundred and thirteen years later when he wakes up, he finds himself in a fundamentally transformed Boston, the social details of which are explained to him by the rather tedious Dr Leete and his daughter, Edith — with whom, of course, Julian falls in love during his trip to utopia. What is Bellamy's utopia like? The following features, supported by some quotations from Bellamy's own summary of the novel in the Dawn of 15 September, 1889, define the new system:
1. The entire nation of the USA has become "a general business partnership, in which every man and woman is an equal partner".
2. All people in the new society are part of the "army of industry" which they must serve in some form between the ages of 21 and 45. The argument is that just as capitalism conscripts labour for destructive purposes in times of war, the new system conscripts labour for peaceful, productive ends. There is, incidentally, a special corps of the "army" for professional people and even one for the disabled.
3. No wages are paid for working, but people receive vouchers (in fact, an elaborate credit card system operates) which allow them to have what they need from the common store. If some fields of work are less attractive than others, then the hours of work are shortened.
4. The feminine corps of the army is "devoted to the lighter classes of occupations".
5. At the age of 45 all people are discharged from the army of labour and are "free to occupy themselves as they will for the remainder of their lives".
6. There is no money (in the old sense) and credit cannot be stored by individuals, so creating economic inequality.
7. There is virtually no crime: "Robbery, theft and fraud of every sort are without a motive in a society where all have abundance, where covetousness is not stimulated by different degrees of luxury, and where equality of resources is annually renewed".
8. Much more wealth is produced than under capitalism because waste is avoided and science is properly used for peace and not war.
These features provide only a rough summary. For example, Bellamy devised an elaborate scheme for electing officers for the national army, giving the vote only to those over the age of 45! We shall not bother ourselves here with the more obviously outlandish features of Bellamy's vision. Its most important contribution to the thinking of the time was its vision of a moneyless, wageless, classless society — although, as will become clear, those conditions were somewhat equivocal in Bellamy's scheme of things. His utopia showed workers a society where life could be different — better, happier. That is what socialists must be doing. The influence of Bellamy upon the American working-class movement was considerable. The foremost Marxian thinker of early 20th century America, Daniel DeLeon, was quite evidently influenced by Bellamy. (Indeed, DeLeon maintained some of Bellamy's non-socialist utopian features within his own vision of socialism even after he ceased to be a Nationalist.)

UNSATISFACTORY DEPICTION OF SOCIALISM
Like all Utopians, Bellamy lacked an historical theory of social transformation. By far the weakest part of his book is that which describes the coming of the new order: it came because people saw that it was a good idea, so they let it be, capitalists collaborating with workers, without any violent resistance, without any political action. Indeed, Bellamy goes out of his way to state that socialists were a counter-productive influence upon the great utopian change. But history does not change like that. The class struggle will not collapse into a utopian act of national goodwill. And Bellamy's utopia was an historical non-starter. The Nationalist movement, which sought to bring about the utopian change simply by the moral preaching of educated persons of goodwill did not take long to fall to pieces, now utterly forgotten except by historians. 

So, the first criticism which socialists must make about Bellamy is that he was utopian, not in the sense of being a visionary (which all revolutionaries are), but in the sense of rejecting a scientific or materialistic idea of change. But it was not only the lack of a means of achieving socialism (and Bellamy refused to call his utopia that in case it might offend Americans) for which socialists criticise Looking Backward. The very depiction of socialism presented is unsatisfactory. The idea of such a change occurring in one country is an impossibility, given the global interdependence of the capitalist system. The state-capitalist sense of the nation being organised as a huge business corporation, with all the people as its conscript employees, does not inspire those of us seeking a truly liberated society. The abolition of the wages system (a quiet common socialist demand in American history) is spoilt by the picture of everyone having to live in a society of credit cards. The sexism of the role of women is unattractive to socialists, as indeed is the potentially eugenicist notion of creating a perfect human race which follows from Bellamy's ideas on marriage. The new social order (and you will need to read the book to get the sense of this) is over-concerned with consumerism, technology and the pleasures of living an ordered existence. That crucial element of socialist vision which is about the unity of work and art, values beyond immediate consumption, and life being more than a process of individual satisfaction, is too often missing from Bellamy's outlook. No wonder that it was William Morris, a socialist who embodied all of those broader notions of what it is to be a revolutionary socialist, who was amongst the first to attack Bellamy's novel. Indeed, it was Morris's disgust at reading Looking Backward which led him to write his infinitely better novel about what socialism might be like: News From Nowhere.

Looking Backward, published a century ago, is a novel worth reading, if only for the kind of penetrating critique of capitalism typified by the extract which follows. His rather less interesting book. Equality, written in 1890 and lacking the literary quality of Bellamy's magnum opus, pursues the same corporatist vision, showing clearly the link (one which is often a source of embarrassment to the state-loving Left) between state-capitalism and fascism as corporatist ideals of economic organisation.

A century after Looking Backward came off the press the oppressed are still entertaining visions of what could be. Those of us who seek to pull from the roots the rottenness of what our rulers say must always be are still derided as utopians. But then, as Thomas Muntzer, the anabaptist revolutionary of the Sixteenth Century, pointed out, history belongs to those of us who "possess the strength to realise the impossible".
Steve Coleman


Edward Bellamy on how people live under capitalism


By way of attempting to give the reader some general impression of the way people lived together in those days, and especially of the relations of the rich and poor to one another, I cannot do better than compare society as it then was to a prodigious coach to which the masses of humanity were harnessed and dragged toilsomely along a very hilly and sandy road. The driver was Hunger, and permitted no lagging, though the pace was necessarily very slow. Despite the difficulty of drawing the coach at all along so hard a road, the top was covered with passengers who never got down, even at the steepest ascents. The seats on top were very breezy and comfortable. Well up out of the dust, their occupants could enjoy the scenery at their leisure, or critically discuss the merit of the straining team.

Naturally such places were in great demand and the competition for them was keen, every one seeking as the first end in life to secure a seat on the coach for himself and to leave it to his child after him. By the rule of the coach a man could leave his seat to whom he wished, but on the other hand there were many accidents by which it might at any time be wholly lost. For all that they were so easy, the seats were very insecure, and at every sudden jolt of the coach persons were slipping out of them and falling to the ground, where they were instantly compelled to take hold of the rope and help to drag the coach, on which they had before ridden so pleasantly. It was naturally regarded as a terrible misfortune to lose one's seat, and the apprehension that this might happen to them or their friends was a constant cloud upon the happiness of those who rode.

But did they think only of themselves? you ask. Was not their very luxury rendered intolerable to them by comparison with the lot of their brothers and sisters in the harness, and the knowledge that their own weight added to their toil. Had they no compassion for fellow beings from whom fortune only distinguished them? Oh, yes; commiseration was frequently expressed by those who rode for those who had to pull the coach, especially when the vehicle came to a bad place in the road, as it was constantly doing, or to a particularly steep hill. At such times, the desperate straining of the team, their agonized leaping and plunging under the pitiless lashing of Hunger, the many who fainted at the rope and were trampled in the mire, made a very distressing spectacle, which often called forth highly creditable displays of feeling on the top of the coach.

At such times the passengers would call down encouragingly to the toilers of the rope, exhorting them to patience, and holding out hopes of possible compensation in another world for the hardness of their lot, while others contributed to buy salves and liniments for the crippled and injured. It was agreed that it was a great pity that the coach should be so hard to pull, and there was a sense of general relief when the specially bad piece of road was over. This relief was not, indeed, wholly on account of the team, for there was always some danger at these bad places of a general overturn in which all would lose their seats.

It must in truth be admitted that the main effect of the spectacle of the misery of the toilers at the rope was to enhance the passengers' sense of the value of their seats upon the coach, and to cause them to hold on to them more desperately than before.

If the passengers could only have felt assured that neither they nor their friends would ever fall from the top, it is probable that, beyond contributing to the funds for liniments and bandages, they would have troubled themselves extremely little about those who dragged the coach.

I am well aware that this will appear to the men and women of the twentieth century an incredible inhumanity, but there are two facts, both very curious, which partly explain it. In the first place, it was firmly and sincerely believed that there was no other way in which Society could get along, except the many pulled at the rope and the few rode, and not only this, but that no very radical improvement even was possible, either in the harness, the coach, the roadway, or the distribution of the toil. It had always been as it was, and it would always be so. It was a pity, but it could not be helped, and philosophy forbade wasting compassion on what was beyond remedy.

The other fact is yet more curious, consisting in a singular hallucination which those on the top of the coach generally shared, that they were not exactly like their brothers and sisters who pulled at the rope, but of finer clay, in some way belonging to a higher order of beings who might justly expect to be drawn. This seems unaccountable, but, as I once rode on this very coach and shared that very hallucination, I ought to be believed. The strangest thing about the hallucination was that those who had but just climbed up from the ground, before they had outgrown the marks of the rope upon their hands, began to fall under its influence. As for those whose parents and grandfathers before them had been so fortunate as to keep their seats on the top, the conviction they cherished of the essential difference between their sort of humanity and the common article, was absolute. The effect of such a delusion in moderating fellow feeling for the sufferings of the mass of men into a distant and philosophical compassion, is obvious. To it I refer as the only extenuation I can offer for the indifference which, at this period, marked my own attitude toward the misery of my brothers.

Backwaters of History - 7 (1954)

From the April 1954 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Paris Commune

Whilst crowds lined the streets of London to watch Queen Victoria pass on her way to open the Albert Hall, on Tuesday, March 28th, 1871, the streets of Paris were lined with denser and more exuberant crowds. Around Paris was camped the German army of Prince von Bismarck with a young lieutenant Hindenburg amongst his officers. On the previous Sunday Paris had been to the polls and on this Tuesday the results had been declared. Now, with a predominantly working-class Commune, the Parisians were jubilant and staged a monster procession.

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of the great Napoleon I, who had made himself Napoleon III of France, had embarked on a war with Prussia, mainly in an endeavour to revive his failing prestige. His war had been unsuccessful and after defeats at Saarbrucken, Weissenberg and Metz, Louis Napoleon surrendered to the Prussians at Sedan on September 2nd, 1870. The French armies were held prisoners in Germany and at Metz. On the 4th of September Paris rebelled and proclaimed a republic. A collection of lawyers, professional politicians, careerists and job hunters constituted themselves a Government of National Defence and, although the Prussians were at the gates of Paris, this government proposed to offer resistance. Behind the scenes it prepared to capitulate.

On the 28th Juanuary, 1871, Paris, starved out, capitulated, its fortifications were disarmed and the weapons of the regular troops were handed over to the enemy. But, within Paris there was a military organisation known as the National Guard, a voluntary defence organisation composed mainly of members of the working class. This National Guard retained its weapons and cannons and entered into a truce with the Prussians. The troops of Bismarck who had besieged Paris for 131 days and were now prepared to occupy it, found that the workers of Paris would only allow them to occupy certain small sections of the city and, in those section, they were virtually prisoners.

The Government of National Defence resigned and on February 8th a National Assembly was elected at Bordeaux. This assembly almost unanimously elected a M. Thiers as head of the executive power. Theirs saw the danger that an armed working-class presented to French capitalism and made plans to disarm the Parisian National Guard.

He sent General Lecompte with troops to sneak away the cannons that the National Guard had purchased with its own subscriptions, claiming that these cannons were state property. The plan was to get the guns away before the people of Paris realised what was happening, but the scheme went awry. The people came out of their houses and surrounded the troops, offering them coffee and breakfast until finally the troops fraternised with the workers handing their rifles into the crowd in exchange for glasses of wine. In all parts of Paris the attempt to steal the guns had failed. Paris was now up in arms against the Thiers government seated at Versailles.

A Central Committee of the National Guard, elected without distinction of rank, from the various companies, took over the control of affairs in Paris and set about the job of maintaining distribution of what food and supplies were available and seeing to the general running of the city. This committee firmly met the opposition of the city mayors and other pro-government elements until it stood down in favour of the newly elected Commune.

The Commune got straight to work. On March 30th, it decreed the abolition of the standing army and conscription and declared that only the National Guard, to which all citizens should belong, might bear arms. The rents of all dwellings were remitted from October 1870 to April 1871 and if rent for that period had been paid it was to be deducted from future payments. Pawnshops were stopped from selling pledges. All foreigners elected to the Commune were confirmed in their jobs, it being claimed that "the flag of the Commune is that of the Universal Republic."

On April 1st it was decided that no member of the Commune, nor any of its functionaries, should receive a wage or salary higher than 6,000 francs a year—a workman's wage. On the following day the Commune disestablished the church, stopped payments from public funds for church purposes and decided to confiscate all ecclesiastical property on behalf of the people.

During the next few weeks Judges and other judicial functionaries were brought under the control of the Commune, so was the police force; the guillotine was publicly burnt; night work for bakers was abolished; Pawn shops were closed; Napoleon Bonaparte's triumphal column at Place Vendome, which was "a symbol of chauvinism and mutual hatred amongst nations," was overthrown and a chapel, built in expiation of the execution of Louis XVI, was destroyed.

Plans were prepared to organise a federation of co-operative societies into which working men were to be enrolled with a view to taking over and managing those factories and workshops that had been closed by the employers. Educational facilities were made available to all and many outstanding grievances were remedied.

The Commune was composed mainly of working men who made of it a working, and not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time. With only workmen's wages to be earned all the political sharks and job seeking racketeers who had previously occupied the administrative posts, faded from the picture and working men took their places.

Whilst the Commune was passing its various enactments the Thiers government at Versailles was preparing to suppress the rebellious city. Attacks had been made since the early days of April, in fact the city was under shell fire whilst the Commune was sitting. Thiers persuaded Bismarck to release French troops taken prisoner during the war so that an army could be built to march on Paris. During April and early May thousands of the Parisians were taken prisoner by the Versaillese and subjected to revolting atrocities. Thousands more were killed.

On Sunday, May 21st, the newly formed Versaillese army marched into Paris through five breaches in the defences. The workers of Paris threw up barricades and fought like tigers.
"Let good citizens arise! To the barricades! The enemy is within our walls. No hesitation. Forward, for the Commune and for liberty. To arms!"
"Let Paris bristle with barricades, and from behind these improved ramparts still hurl at her enemies her cry of war, of pride, of defiance, but also of victory; for Paris with her barricades is inexpungable."
(Two proclamations of May 22nd, quoted by Lissagaray in his "History of the Commune of 1871.")
The government troops fought their way through the city inflicting great slaughter and destroying buildings. By the following Sunday, May 28th, the Parisians were defeated, the Commune was gone and most of its members were dead. When the city was subdued the Thiers government took its revenge.
"And now the murder of defenceless men, women and children, which had raged the whole week through in ever-increasing proportions, reached its highest point. The breechloader no longer killed fast enough; the conquered were slaughtered in hundreds with the mitrailleuses; the 'Wall of the Federals' in the Pere la Chaise cemetery, where the last massacres took place, remains to-day a dumb but eloquent witness to the frenzy of the crime of which the governing classes are capable as soon as the proletariat dares to stand up for its rights. Then, as the slaughter of all were seen to be impossible, came the arrests en masse, the shooting down of arbitrarily selected prisoners as victims for sacrifice, and the transference of the remainder into great camps, where they awaited the mercy of the courts-martial."
(F. Engels' introduction to "The Civil War in France," by Karl Marx.)
The "Wall of the Federals" was the wall against which one hundred and forty seven of the Communards were lined up and shot in cold blood on May 28th, 1871. Every Whit Sunday workers of Paris march and lay wreaths against this wall.
"Twenty-five thousand men, women and children killed during the battle or after; three thousand at least dead in the prisons, the pontoons, the forts, or in consequence of maladies contracted during their captivity, thirteen thousand seven hundred condemned, most of them for life; seventy thousand women, children and old men deprived of their natural supporters or thrown out of France; one hundred and eleven thousand victims at least. This is the balance-sheet of the bourgeois vengeance for the solitary insurrection of the eighteenth of March.
"What a lesson of revolutionary vigour given to the working men. The governing classes shoot in a lump without taking the trouble to select hostages. The vengeance lasts not an hour; neither years nor victims appease it; they make of it an administrative function, methodical and continuous."
(Lissagaray's "History of the Commune of 1871.")
It is easy, today, to see the faults of the Communards but we must not lose sight of the fact that they were not Socialists. Very few of them had more than a feeling of working-class solidarity, with an urgent desire to do something to remedy the evils of their day. If all their reforms had been fully operated capitalism would still have held sway, although with a different complexion.

Nevertheless, the Paris Commune stands as an heroic landmark in the history of the working-class and gives us an indication how workers can act when called upon to re-organise society.

Books to read:-
"Civil War in France," by Karl Marx.
"History of the Commune of 1871," by Lissagaray.
"The Paris Commune of 1871," by Frank Jellinek.
"The Paris Commune," by V. I. Lenin.
"The Paris Commune," by E. S. Mason.
Selected Chapters in:
"The State and Revolution," by V. I. Lenin.
"Terrorism and Communism," by K. Kautsky.
"Defence of Terrorism," by L. Trotsky.
"Vital Problems in Social Evolution," by A. M. Lewis.
W. Waters