SWP Tralee branch will hold an informal talk by member Kieran McNulty, on "The Paris Commune 1871"
Of the Paris Commune, Karl Marx commented that it was . . . “a revolution not against the legitimate or imperialist form of state power but a revolution against the state itself”. It was the earliest example of direct working class democracy, and a glimpse of how a genuinely socialist society could be organised...
Venue: Imperial Hotel bar, basement
Date: Wednesday 24th March 2010 @ 7.30
Worker’s democracy by James O'Toole (SWP):
"In Paris in 1871, Russia 1905 and again in 1917, Hungary and Germany in1918,Limerick in 1919, Italy in1920 Spain in 1936, Hungary in 1956, Chile in 73, Portugal in 1974, Iran in 79 and Poland in 1980 we saw a form of self organisation emerge amongst the working class in response to various crisis - the workers circle,called a ’soviet’ in Russia, or ’condone’ in Chile, a ’Shora’ in Iran, a form of organic direct democracy.
At a certain point in every severe crisis the coordination of working class strikes and protests and the absolute necessity of self regulation of working class communities sees these community and workplace circles emerge as a direct outgrowth and natural continuation of the struggle. These forms of self organisation weren’t the creation of any marxist brain but time and time again are formed by the working class’s instinctive need for unity and for organisation in a time of massive crisis.
For example -The Commune of Paris in 1871 was a response to the betrayal of the Parisian workers into the hands of the Prussian army under Bismarck by the cowardly French Ruling class under the infamous Theirs. If the french ruling classes weren’t prepared to defend the city the workers decided that they would. They elected delegates from each area of Paris instantly recallable and mandated to follow the instructions of their electors, placed on the average wage to prevent corruption, they seperated the church and state declaring religion to be a private matter, they elected their judges, armed the population for self defence, food distribution was organised. They eventually suffered defeat as they couldnt spread the revolt to other towns. But those 2 months demonstrated the capability of the working class to self organise and it was from this that Marx generalised and worked out the developed form of his theory of the state."