ACG discussion of the importance of the idea of the Commune – commemorating the Paris Commune and showing how it is still relevant today
Thursday 15 April, 7pm – 9pm
“Paris is a true paradise! No police, no nonsense, no exaction of any kind, no arguments! Everything in Paris rolls along like clockwork. If only it could stay like this forever. In short, it is a beautiful dream. All social groups are organised federally and are masters of their own fate”.
Gustav Courbet- artist and revolutionary, April the 30th, 1871.
Anarchist communists see in the commune a sketch of how society could be organised. The commune model provides an organisational basis for creating self-directing, integrated units which when federated with similar bodies could have a national and even international character. The Paris and Kronstadt Communes were both brought about under extremely difficult circumstances and lasted only for a matter of weeks. Despite their preoccupation of survival, they demonstrated the practicability of the commune as an organisational form which generated the maximum level of freedom, solidarity and equality. The commune as a geographical entity can accommodate both community and workplace anarchy.
This meeting will start with the Paris Commune, commemorating its 150 anniversary. The grass roots clubs and associations that sprung up in the neighbourhoods show the perennial capacity of the working class to create its own organisations.
Then we will consider how the idea of the commune could inspire our activities today as we struggle to create resilient working class communities in localities which have been torn apart by divisions created by capitalism and racism: between work and home, waged and unwaged, old and young.