Paris Commune

Burn Down the Tuileries

Source: Père Duchêne, #65, 30 Floréal, 79 (April 30, 1871);
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2012.

Père Duchêne was fucking happy to see that Badinguet I[1] was torn down.

But dammit, that’s not all.

It’s only the beginning.

There’s more work to be done.

And it’s not work we're lacking.

Fuck no!

And first

What has to be done

Is to tear down the pigpen called the Tuileries.

In all the city there is no filthier monument, one that recalls more horrors and infamies than that one.

It must disappear!

What are places like that one?

And other boutiques like it where people did nothing but feast on the people’s money?


Père Duchêne has no pity for the evil buggers and doesn’t want anyone to mock the nation.

And no one mocked it more than Badinguet.

And this is why anything that reminds me of this family of rogues must be wiped out.

Père Duchêne has often thought of just this.

And has often said to himself:


When the people are masters over themselves

What will we do with that?

There were patriots who said to him:

“We have to turn it into a library for the people

So that it’s education that emanates from a place where they sought to make the people stupid.

That would be a good measure!

And it would please the patriots

To see books where there used to be beer mugs and drunken workers.

Others said to Père Duchêne


It’s not a library we need there!

It’s a restaurant

That’s where all the fucking decrees came from that authorized the monopolists to carry out their traffic and that helped them to starve the people.

Now we should be able to eat,

And eat well

And cheaply

So that everyone can go there

And we can enjoy ourselves with the citizeness and the kids.”

That’s what people said to Père Duchêne.

But Père Duchêne said,

“Fuck no!

It’s not a restaurant or a library

That should be there.

A restaurant or a library needs walls,

And as long as there are walls there is a monument

And we've had enough of that filth.

The monument has to be torn down.

That’s the surest way of ending any hope for the return of the dynasty.

Let’s turn it into a garden,”

Said Père Duchêne

And the old man was right.

Because as long as the nest is still there

The bird expects to return.

And the best thing to do is to destroy the nest.

Who can possibly dispute that?

No one, eh?

Don’t the Tuileries belong to the city

And the nation?

And what would the nation have to complain of if we act in its interest?

Because doing this is acting in its fucking interest.

And only imbeciles could complain if we remove the means of their return from the good-for-nothings and emperors.

Don’t you see patriots? It’s the worm removed from the fishing hook.

And once there is nothing to do

The monarchic rogues are no longer tempted to “devote themselves” as they say, to the salvation of the people.

When there is a long civil list

And pensions for princes

And salaries for courtiers

And tips for squealers

All is well. And there is a way to sacrifice yourself for the nation

And so France is never lacking in pretenders

Because in France the people are generous and especially so with their money.

And what is more, since they are never given an accounting, things are arranged in whatever way and the people are told 2+2=17.

But when the title of kings brings in nothing

And when like the king of Yvetot you wear a cotton cap instead of a crown


Then you have to pay attention

And be devoted proportionately to the monies received.

That’s what the good-for-nothing kings and emperors say.

And that’s why Père Duchêne says:

Fuck! Demolish the Tuileries!

And with no delay!

When the good-for-nothings will no longer have a home,

And when they know that if they return they'll have to rent a furnished room,

Perhaps they'll remain among themselves and not with the people.

This is Père Duchêne’s opinion

And he’s not hiding it in a bag.

Let that house of pigs be demolished, dammit.

And right away.

And let us put a nice garden on the spot so that patriots can stroll there with the wife and kids.

It would give a damn sight more pleasure to see trees rather than that big heap of stones That never did anything but conceal the orgies of the men of December.

Let’s go!

To the shovels!

In place of boudoirs, hills!

In place of the Empires’s bacchanal

The revolutionary caramagnole.

1. Badinguet I is Napoleon I; Badinguet III Napoleon III