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manufactured to catch a popular prepossession. The absurdity of the idea reveals itself the moment that the words used are subjected to definition. There is something very grand in the phrase "municipal liberties.' It rouses a crowd of inspiring associations connected with the struggles of mediæval burgesses against the tyranny of feudal barons, and it touches powerfully the parochial instincts which are keen in the breast of every Englishman. But municipal liberties, if you come to count them, are not the things for which people get themselves and their neighbours shot. They mean, with us, the power of looking to the drains, keeping the pavement in good order, regulating the dustman and the water-cart, fighting the gas and water companies, and, moreover, of exercising all these cherished_privileges without interference from the central government. To this list may be added the power of making such streets as Parliament allows to be made, levying such rates as are prescribed by law, choosing and paying the police who are to act under the orders of the executive. Men do not die upon the barricades for prerogatives of this sort. The authorities of St. Pancras, in our own metropolis, probably carry the enthusiasm of vestrydom as high as it has ever risen in the human heart, and they detest the central government with a hatred which will yield to no other upon earth. But their emotions have never reached even to the mildest tint of the heroic. Adequate objects are needed to excite these deadly resolves. The Commune was doing battle for something more attractive than any vestry or common council powers. The liberties it claimed, like many of the liberties for which men cry the loudest, meant the liberty of doing as it liked with the lives and property of other people.

If no other evidence were at hand, the composition of the Commune would sufficiently indicate that a complete social revolution in the supposed interest of the workmen was the main end of the movement, though a re-settlement of the form of Government on principles which should give or secure preponderance to the great cities, may have been part of the machinery by which that end was to be attained. Assi, who organised the strike at Creuzot, was one of the chief contrivers of the revolution of the 18th of March; and after it he was for some time president of the Comité Central, and Governor of the Hôtel de Ville. Theisz was the first Vice-President of the Comité Central, and was afterwards Directeur des Postes.* Both were prominent members of the Internationale. Varlin,

* M. Theisz entertains no doubt as to the real nature of the Communal move. ment. In a letter recently addressed to the Constitution,' to defend himself against the charge of having betrayed it, he says, “I remained faithful to the Commune and to the Socialistic ideas which it was its mission to represent and to realise.'


the chief of the Paris Section of the Association, was the first Finance Minister of the revolution. Avrial, an active member of the Association, was on the first executive Commission. Franckel, the German Socialist, was Minister of the department of Labour and Exchange, under the Commune. Cluseret, if not a member, acted as agent of the Internationale in America. Millière was appointed editor of the Marseillaise,' in 1869, when the Association succeeded in securing the services of that journal as its organ. Chalain, Duval, Johannard, Verdure, Pindy, Malon, Murat, Parent, Dupont, Clemence, Vesinier, were members of the Commune, and influential members of the Internationale.

Not less significant was the formal assistance and support which the revolution received from the Internationale five days after its occurrence.

On the 23rd of March the Internationale issued an address to the workmen, urging them to sustain it. We give one passage:

• The division (insolidarité) of interests has caused the general ruin and has engendered a social war: it is to liberty, equality, and community (solidarité) that you must look to secure order upon new bases, to reorganise labour which is its first condition. Workmen, the communal revolution affirms these principles, and arrests all cause of conflict in the future. Will you hesitate to give it your final sanction?'

What these principles are we shall shortly show more in detail; for the present our concern is to show that in the judgment of the Internationale, the Commune and itself were acting together in support of a common cause.

The revolutionary leaders on their side were not less explicit. Veiling their socialism under ambiguous phrases, in proclamations that were meant for the middle classes, their language addressed to the workmen was clear enough. Even in its address to the provinces (April 19), the Commune reserves to itself liberty 'to create institutions fitted to universalise property and power;' but to the workmen the Comité Central speaks more plainly:

* Workmen, do not deceive yourselves. It is the great struggle-it is parasitism and labour, exploitation and production that are wrestling together. If you are weary of vegetating in ignorance and crouching in destitution—if you wish your children to be men enjoying the profit of their labours, and not a sort of animals prepared for the workshop or the battlefield, enriching by their sweat some speculator's wealth, or shedding their blood for a despot. . . up, and let your sturdy hands cast this unclean reaction beneath your feet.'—Comité Central, April 5.

Again, in a skilful appeal to the peasantry, issued in the middle of May :

COMMUNE OF PARIS. • Brother, they deceive you. Our interests are the same. That

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* Andreoli, p. 216.

which Andreoli, p. 334.

With you


which I am asking for is also what you wish : the emancipation I am seeking, is yours as well. What matters it whether it is in town or country that food and clothing, shelter and succour, are lacking to him who produces all the riches of the world? What matters it whether the oppressor is called a capitalist or a landlord. as with us the working day is long and hard, and does not yield enough even to satisfy the necessities of the body. To you as to us, liberty, leisure, the life of the heart and the spirit, are wanting. You and we, now and ever, are still the vassals of misery.

• It is now near upon a century that you, poor day labourer, have been taught that property is the consecrated reward of labour, and you believe it. But open your eyes and look around you; look at yourself, and you will see that it is a lie. You are old : you have always laboured; you have passed every day, from dawn to nightfall, with the spade or the sickle in your hands: and yet you are not richyou have not even a bit of bread for old


All your earnings have been spent in rearing painfully those children whom the conscription will tear from you, or who, marrying in their turn, will live, as you

have lived, like beasts of burden, and will die, as you are about to die, miserably. ... No brother, labour does not lead to property. It is transmitted by chance or is gained by cunning. The rich are the sluggards, the workmen are the poor-and poor they will remain. That is the rule: anything that is otherwise is only an exception.

• This is not just. And therefore Paris, whom on the faith of men interested to deceive you, you are accusing, Paris moves, protests, revolts; and determines to change the laws which give the rich all power over the poor. . . . Paris demands that every man who is not a landowner, shall not pay a farthing of tax: that those who have only a house and garden shall be equally exempt; that small fortunes shall be taxed but lightly, and that all the burden of taxation shall fall upon the rich. ... Paris finally demands—listen to this, country workman, poor day labourer, farmer of every tenure, small freeholder eaten up by usury, all you who sow, reap, and sweat, that the best of your produce shall

go to some one who does nothing—that which Paris demands, to sum up, is the land for the peasants, the instruments of his labour to the workman, and work for all. Yes the fruits of the earth to those that cultivate it : his own to each man, and work for all.'*

It is needless to multiply proofs that the cause of the Internationale and the cause of the Commune were one. We abstain, therefore, from quoting the passionate address issued by the Internationale, shortly after the fall of the Commune, defending its most murderous excesses, and glorying in its Socialist aims. But the document is well worth studying by those who wish to know, from their own mouth, the views of the associated workmen.

The Internationale, whose first appearance this is upon the

volutionary stage, will probably henceforth receive more attention, both from practical statesmen and from political writers, than has hitherto been accorded to it. It has already received tokens of that increased notoriety, more agreeable to the vanity probably than to the comfort of its members. It has been placed under the ban of the State both in France and Spain; and even in republican Switzerland its foreign members have been excluded from one of the cantons. In England we take no legal notice of such societies. The work which is elsewhere undertaken by the law, is done among us by opinion. Shortly after the bloody close of the insurrection, the Executive of the Association issued the address mentioned above, which contained, among other sentiments of the kind, an infamous defence of the murder of the prisoners of La Roquette. This was signed by all the members of the General Council. Most of them were persons wholly unknown; but two of them, Mr. Odger and Mr. Lucraft, have occasionally solicited the suffrages of English constituencies. It is a gratifying proof, both of the power and the actual soundness of English opinion, that these two men were compelled, after a short delay, to set themselves right, by an explanation, somewhat lame in its details, of the mode in which their signatures had been obtained, and by the more practical step of a withdrawal from the General Council. No other withdrawals have appeared, though there were other English signatures. It is not satisfactory to think that an organisation exists which should be able to persuade any Englishman, however obscure, to the sanction of sentiments so revolting. Whether the Internationale is a great political power or not remains to be seen; but that it is a great moral power is certain, for it is able to efface the natural instincts of Englishmen upon the subject of assassination.


Whatever the political station of this Association may be, it has certainly reached that position very rapidly. Its history is a brief

It is supposed to be one of the benefits we owe to the International Exhibition of 1862. The defeat of the Paris workmen by Cavaignac in June, 1848, had disposed of many of their most dangerous leaders, and had driven out of their heads for a period the wild ideas of the Socialist school. But as time went on the severity of the punishment was forgotten. The architectural extravagances of which the Emperor was guilty in the vain hope of conciliating them, had drawn large numbers of their class to Paris, who more than filled up the gaps that had been made in their ranks in 1848. Returning prosperity re-awakened the old ambitions. New visions of revenge upon the middle classes began to float before their minds, and some of them, excited by the spectacle of what great combinations for the purpose of raising wages had been able to effect in England, conceived the idea of founding a vast organisation which should embrace the workmen of all countries in its scope. Brought over to England



by the Exhibition of 1862, they met a number of the more disaffected artisans of London, and projects of combination on a large scale were freely discussed. No actual step was, however, taken until the autumn of 1864. Much by that time had happened to encourage the agitators among the artisans. The victory of the North in the American struggle inspired them with the confident but not very logical hope that all democracies, in all causes, would be able to conquer as completely. It was the culminating point of the financial mania ; capital was bidding high for labour, and the moment seemed to have come for labour to make its own terms. And, above all, Mr. Gladstone (then Lord Palmerston's Chancellor of the Exchequer) had just placed himself at the head of the workmen's movement, by confiding to Mr. Odger's deputation his hitherto unsuspected indignation at Lord Palmerston's postponement of a Reform Bill. Acting under the influence of these inspiriting circumstances, Mr. Odger and some of his friends proceeded upon the ideas of 1862 to found an International Association for the Emancipation of the Working Class,' of which he himself was the first President-a post which he appears to have retained till recently.

At first the progress of the Association was not very rapid, nor did its doctrines reach their full development. At the outset its object seems to bave been merely to remove one of the main difficulties which hindered the success of strikes. It is the practice of the employers, when they cannot come to terms with their workmen, to import foreign workmen in their place. The Internationale was set on foot to parry this manœuvre, by picketing' foreign labour markets, as well as English. This duty it appears to have performed down to the present time—as we have seen in the case of the Newcastle struggle—with considerable, though incomplete, success. So practical a conception did not satisfy the seething imaginations of the foreign conspirators; but the English workmen were at the time too intent upon the Reform agitation to give their attention to broader schemes. But after this movement had triumphed, the doctrines of the Association became more pronounced and its extension more rapid. It spread rapidly through all the manufacturing works of Belgium and French Switzerland; and, as the vigour of the Imperial police began to decline, branches were established in the principal towns in France. The Trades' Unions of England and Germany have maintained friendly relations with it, and, no doubt, for the purpose of strikes, the various organisations work heartily together. How far in either country its more extravagant doctrines receive support from the working men is very doubtful. It is said that the large number of Gerinan names which

appear among the lists of its most active members are derived mainly from the


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