Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What the #Occupy Movement Could Learn From the Paris Commune of 1871

From the New Criterion:
Commune plus one
On Occupy Wall Street & the legacy of the Paris Commune.
,,,As the Republican government fled, the city created its own communal government. Rather than merely reestablish municipal services, the Commune attempted to inaugurate a “new political era, experimental, positive, scientific,” declared by manifesto: “It is the end of the old government and clerical world, of militarism, of monopolists, of privileges to which the proletariat owes its servitude, the Nation its miseries and disasters.”

The barricades went up, and the Commune set about becoming an idealistic autonomous body inside the French state with much to hope for and little that could actually be done. Among its few lackluster achievements was the suppression of pawnshops and the prohibition of night-baking, reducing “all Paris to stale bread.” As Lord Elton writes in The Revolutionary Idea in France: 1789–1871: “Upon one thing they were in substantial agreement—the principle of the Commune. The principle of the Commune was the indispensable preliminary to the new Revolution. . . . The Commune was revolutionary not because of what it did but because of what it claimed.”...MUCH MORE
including the Museum of Modern Arts' "OccupyMOMA" moment which I somehow missed and which is suspiciously similar to the proto-movement "#OccupyMom'sBasement" which name I believed I had come up with all on my own: