In her new book Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune, Kristin Ross argues that a rich legacy of ideas and practices developed during the Commune – the workers’ democracy
Demolition of the Colonne Vendôme by Paris Communards, 16 May 1871. The 44-metre-high column, which had a statue of Napoléon in Roman dress at the top, was rebuilt under the Third Republic. (Contemporary drawing, reproduced on UC Press site.)
that ruled Paris for two-and-a-half months in 1871 before being violently suppressed –needs to be recovered for the twenty-first century. Here she discusses the book with Gabriel Levy.
Gabriel Levy: You urge the readers of Communal Luxury to look at the Paris Commune not as a precursor to the Soviet Union, and not as a precursor to the Third Republic in France. If it was not those things, what was it?
Kristin Ross: Extricating the Commune from…
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