Apr 15, 2022
Charlie and Rudy join Carolyn Eichner, author of The Paris Commune: A Brief History and Surmounting the Barricades: Women in the Paris Commune for a discussion on the Paris Commune, its origins, its place as a transitional state in a civil war, its tragic end as well as its legacies. We talk about the situation of Paris in 1871, the forming of the Commune, the meaning of "social republic" and how women had to fight for a place in it, the political tendencies in the Commune, the cooperatives and their contradictions, and the grassroots movements in the form of political clubs. We discuss the Union des Femmes (Women's Union), the struggle against patriarchy and the Catholic church, how public space was reclaimed and how education and culture were re-imagined. We continue with the end of the commune in the Bloody Week, how women were particularly demonized through the myth of the pétroleuses, and the mass executions. We end by discussing the legacies of the Commune in feminisms and political thought, as well as the more negative episodes with the deportation of communards to New Caledonia and their role in upholding settler-colonialism.