Paris Commune 1870

“The State ... is Abolished”

Source: Jean Maitron, Le Mouvement Anarchiste en France, Vol 1. Paris, Maspero, 1975;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2006.

Bakunin arrived in Lyon on September 14, 1870, and almost immediately attempted to unleash a revolution. On September 25 the following poster was posted around the city.

French Republic
Revolutionary Federation of Communes

The disastrous situation in which the country finds itself, the impotence of the official powers, and the indifference of the privileged classes have brought the country to the brink of the abyss.

If the organized people don’t hasten to act their future is lost, all is lost. Taking inspiration from the immensity of the danger, and considering that the desperate action of the people can’t be delayed a single second, the delegates of the Federated Committees for the Salvation of France, gathered in its Central Committee, propose the immediate adoption of the following resolutions:

Article One – The administrative and governmental machinery of the state having become powerless, it is abolished.

The French people remain in full possession of itself.

Article 2 – All criminal and civil tribunals are suspended and replaced by the people’s justice.

Article 3 – The payment of taxes and mortgages is suspended. Taxes are replaced by the contribution of federated communes raised from the rich classes proportional to the needs of the salvation of France.

Article 4 – The state, having been stripped of its power, can no longer intervene in the payment of private debts.

Article 5 – All municipal organizations are quashed and replaced in the federated communes by Committees for the Salvation of France, which will exercise all powers under the immediate control of the people.

Article 6 – Each committee in the capital of a department will send two delegates in order to form the Revolutionary Convention for the Salvation of France.

Article 7 – This Convention will immediately meet at the City Hall of Lyon, since it is the second city of France and that most capable of energetically defending the country.

This Convention, supported by the entire people, will save France.


E.B. Saignes, Rivière, Deville, Rajon (of Tarare), Francois Favre, Louis Palix, B. Placet, Blanc (G.), Ch. Beauvoir, Albert Richard, F. Bischoff, Doublé, H. Bourron, M. Bakounine, Parraton, A. Guillermet, Coignet the elder, PJ Pulliat, Latour, Guillo, Savigny, J. Germain, F. Charvet, A. Bastelica (of Marseilles), Dupin (of St. Etienne), Narcisse Barret,