Communist Insurgent: Blanqui's Politics of Revolution

 

Communist Insurgent

DOUG ENAA GREENE, Communist Insurgent: Blanqui's Politics of Revolution, Chicago: Haymarket, 2017[1]

Reviewed by Ian Birchall

If the name Blanqui is still quite widely known, the man behind the name remains obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that “Blanquism” is “the doctrine that socialist revolution must be initiated by a small conspiratorial group, advocated by the French revolutionary communist Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881)”.[2] Lenin's phrase “we are not Blanquists” is often quoted out of context – he was advocating a “revolutionary government, which directly expresses the mind and will of the majority of the workers and peasants”[3] - by people who may well not be Blanquists but are certainly not Leninists in any sense of that term. So, those interested in the history of the socialist movement should welcome this new book by Doug Enaa Greene. Brief and accessibly written, it presents the main elements of Blanqui's life in a perspective which is sympathetic to his revolutionary goals while being rigorously critical in its approach.

French, and indeed European, socialism emerged from the French Revolution. “Equality”, the second term of the revolutionary slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, became a contested concept; equality before the law or economic equality? There were many variants and Babeuf and his followers pursued the idea to its logical conclusion. For a few brief years, mass popular democracy flowered; as an article probably by Babeuf related, common people would flock round the National Assembly debating with their representatives.[4] Napoleon, and after him the restored monarchy, drove this democracy back underground. Babeuf's organisation, which had sought to campaign openly, was labelled and condemned as a “conspiracy”. But, for the following generations, conspiracy was all that remained; Babeuf's comrade Buonarotti, who had survived the trial at which Babeuf was executed, spent the next four decades trying to regroup the believers in “true equality”;[5] the secret societies known as the carbonari strove to keep the principles of 1789 alive.

It was in this environment that the young Blanqui grew up. Born in 1805 to a middle-class family, he became radicalised as a student and soon showed his capacity for leadership and revolutionary activism. In 1830, the reactionary Bourbon monarchy was overthrown by the “Three Glorious Days” of insurrection in Paris, when Blanqui played a part in the street-fighting. It was replaced by king Louis-Philippe, whose reign Greene describes as “the rule of the bankers”. [p. 25]

During the 1830s, Blanqui began to build up an organisation. This was essentially based on a top‑down cell structure, in which each recruit knew only a few other members. In 1836, he was arrested and jailed, but freed the following year after an amnesty. He immediately set about building a new organisation, the Society of Seasons, bringing together some nine hundred armed men.

At the time, there was a ban on bearing arms, so Blanqui's organisation had to be illegal; wealthier supporters gave money to the working-class activists to purchase gunpowder. The demand for the right of all citizens to bear arms was once a radical and popular demand; now it has been taken over by Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, and one wonders if even Blanqui would have welcomed universal ownership of bump stocks.

In 1839 Blanqui made his most monumental error. Objective conditions seemed to favour a rising. There was economic crisis and rising unemployment; the king could not form a stable cabinet. Blanqui had several hundred armed men who met regularly for review. One Sunday when they assembled he told them that this time it was for real, that they were to seize the town hall. Despite Blanqui's careful military planning, the whole thing was a débâcle. As Greene explains:

Blanqui had expected that a single heroic strike would awaken the revolutionary élan of the workers. Instead, the Parisian population watched in confusion on May 12, as the Seasons launched their insurrection, and they took no part in it. This was the fatal flaw in Blanqui's conception of revolution; the masses played no role in liberating themselves. [p. 55]

As subsequent history was to show, the combination of objective and subjective factors is a much more complex matter.

It was back to jail, this time for much longer. Greene describes vividly the squalid conditions of imprisonment, and especially the harsh punishment cells, where Blanqui spent a considerable amount of time, and where it was impossible to sit or stand properly; an attempt to escape failed. His personal life was torn apart - his beloved wife Amélie-Suzanne died and his wife's parents raised his only surviving son as a monarchist so that he became totally estranged from his father. But nothing could undermine his commitment to the revolutionary cause.

He was out of jail again by the time of the 1848 Revolution. This time, the Republic was proclaimed and a provisional government was established in Paris. Elections were announced. Blanqui very lucidly saw the dangers inherent in the situation. The weight of established ideas was such that they could not be dispersed within a few weeks. He urged that the elections be postponed for a year, with a temporary dictatorship which would carry out the necessary task of political education, especially among France's large rural population. He was proved right, when elections installed a right-wing government and later in the year made Louis-Napoléon president; within five years the left had been crushed and the Republic overthrown.

Yet Blanqui's position was a problematic one. By advocating a temporary dictatorship, he was clearly rejecting democracy; the idea that the oppressed and exploited should be the agents of their own emancipation was still not a central part of his thinking. In 1839, he had imagined that the mass of the population would immediately respond to action by a revolutionary minority. In 1848, he still had not resolved the question of the relationship between the revolutionary minority and the mass of the population.

Blanqui himself was swept aside by the events of 1848. Caught up in a premature insurrectionary movement in May, he was again sent back to jail, and when the real crunch came in June, with the working-class revolt in defence of the National Workshops (what Marx called the “ugly” revolution as opposed to the “nice” revolution of February)[6] he was unable to contribute his organisational skills. He later wrote an acute critique of the workers' tactics, stressing the importance of organisation[7] - “Organisation is victory, dispersion is death” but, while being right in retrospect may have some educational value, it did not help to prevent a massive working-class defeat.

More years in jail, with another failed escape, did not break Blanqui's spirit; he read, wrote and thought, and in 1859 he was back at liberty. Based in Belgium, he rebuilt his organisation, with a hard core of up to 2,500 professional revolutionaries and a periphery of sympathisers (who included the future prime minister and strike-breaker Georges Clemenceau!). As war with Prussia loomed, he saw the situation as a rerun of the revolutionary wars of the 1790s and called for the defence of France as the native land of revolution, launching a paper called La Patrie en danger (the homeland in danger). It was a position which would be echoed in 1914, with much more catastrophic results, when almost the whole of the French left urged the population into the trenches. But I think Greene is mistaken when he claims that Blanqui's chauvinist positions “were shared across the far left”. [p. 117] The communard Jules Vallès has left a vivid description in his autobiographical novel of an anti-war demonstration that went ahead despite massive popular hostility.[8]

Now it was Blanqui against Blanquism. In August 1870, as the Empire crumbled, his comrades called for an insurrection. Blanqui regarded this as dangerously premature but was outvoted, and as a disciplined revolutionary he went along with the decision which led to another débâcle. [p. 112] After one more failed rising in October, Blanqui went into hiding and was eventually arrested the day before the founding of the Paris Commune. As Greene notes, “in a cruel twist of fate, Blanqui missed the revolution that he had struggled for decades to achieve”. [p. 124] Attempts to negotiate his release by the communards failed; the forces of reaction clearly feared his abilities all too much.

Maurice Dommanget has argued that Blanqui would have organised a march on Versailles and that this might have forced the Thiers government to flee and be discredited.[9] Perhaps. But socialism in one city (none of the provincial communes lasted more than a few days) was never viable; if Blanqui had been freed, his almost certain fate would have been death or exile.

Jailed in particularly miserable conditions, enduring cold and allowed no visitors, and learning the terrible news of the crushing of the Commune, Blanqui tried to console himself by some cosmological speculation. He wrote and published a short pamphlet called Eternity by the Stars. It was a strange little essay, in some ways anticipating multiverse theory. Blanqui argued that in a universe that was infinite in space and time, all possible worlds had already existed an infinite number of times. Though, for obvious reasons, he did not make the point explicitly, the implication was that there were worlds on which the Commune had triumphed.

For Blanqui, it was a brief diversion at a difficult time, and he soon reverted to his more earthbound political preoccupations. Wisely, Greene only devotes a couple of paragraphs to the episode. Unfortunately, the often idolised Walter Benjamin, perhaps projecting his own pessimism, picked up on the pamphlet in his Arcades project and claimed, quite contrary to all easily available evidence, that this work marked the end of Blanqui's life and showed a final abandonment of his revolutionary aspirations. Even more culpably, many so-called “scholars” have, out of ignorance or negligence, echoed Benjamin's claims.[10]

For Blanqui, however, the struggle was not over. As the demand for an amnesty for the communards was intensified, Blanqui made his contribution to the movement. While still in jail, he contested various elections, raising his political profile and increasing pressure for his release. In 1879, he was at last freed and he flung himself into frenetic activity. He travelled around France speaking at meetings, visited Italy and met Garibaldi, wrote a pamphlet arguing for the replacement of the standing army by a popular militia, and launched a short-lived daily newspaper for which he wrote frequently. He also gave support to the movement for women's rights, a clear break with the Jacobin tradition which, based on the artisan class where the family was a unit of production, had always opposed women's involvement in politics. (This deplorable abdication by the Jacobin left continued well into the twentieth century – it was Vichy which gave French women the right to vote.)

Finally, one night in December 1880, aged seventy-five, he returned home after midnight from a meeting, still arguing passionately; then he keeled over and died a few days later. If ever the phrase “fighting to the last breath” was appropriate, it was for Blanqui.

It is an exciting and inspiring story, and Greene has told it economically and effectively, in a book that deserves a wide audience. One hopes it will contribute to a revival of interest in Blanqui. For those who wish to pursue the subject further, the excellent website based at Kingston University provides a wide range of material dealing with Blanqui and his context and there is also a recently published selection by Verso Books.[11] All those interested in enriching the study of the history of socialism should give their support and encouragement to such initiatives.

But what, it might be asked, is the value of studying a socialist like Blanqui who obviously belonged to times very different to our own? Greene's work raises a number of interesting questions about approaches to the study of the history of socialism.

In 1971, in the aftermath of the great general strike in France, and inspired by the writings of Che Guevara and Régis Debray, New Left Review published Blanqui's “Instructions for an Uprising” with an unsigned presentation, apparently drafted by editor Perry Anderson. While this made a fairly orthodox critique of Blanqui's limitations (especially the “absence of a dialectic” in his thought), it noted among his “strengths” the detailed knowledge of “the tactical use of balconies”.[12] Entertaining as it is to imagine the erudite members of the NLR board leaving their libraries to hurl missiles from balconies, it is scarcely plausible to think that Blanqui's detailed recommendations could be of relevance in a different context. Because Blanqui recognised that insurrection was an art,[13] and precisely because he gave great attention to detail, his work was very much rooted in its time. Perhaps Eric Hazan was a little premature in writing the obituary of the barricade,[14] but street‑fighting in the twentieth or twenty-first century is necessarily very different to what it was in the nineteenth.

At the other extreme, Blanqui can be seen simply as a moral example, someone who showed great commitment and self-sacrifice. The problem with this is that it loses all the specificity of Blanqui, his role in a particular place and time. There is no direct link between abnegation and political goals; people have shown great dedication to many different causes. Certainly, advocates of religion or charity have sometimes shown as much self-sacrifice as believers in socialism.

And stress on revolutionary self-sacrifice can lead to a cult of asceticism. It is said that, when at liberty, Blanqui would sleep in mid-winter without blankets and with the window wide open to prepare himself for his next spell in jail (he spent over half his adult life in prison). But revolutionary organisations which stress abnegation – large financial contributions, hyperactivity – often condemn themselves to small memberships. One organisation in the tradition of Blanquist moralism, the Lutte Ouvrière tendency in France, which stresses a high level of personal commitment – for example discouraging members from having children – has been described by some critics as an organisation of “soldier-monks”.[15]

Another reason often given for studying figures like Blanqui is that they are said to be “precursors” of modern socialism, in particular of Marx and Lenin. Now the relation between Blanqui and Marx and Lenin is a topic of considerable interest, which Greene discusses at some length in his book [pp. 147-53,155-8] and on which he has published various articles.[16]

Nonetheless, it is a problematic topic. In the Stalinist period, the discussion of “precursors” was strongly discouraged.[17] The work of Marx, Lenin … and Stalin was presented as revealed truth, or, in more sophisticated accounts, as an “epistemological break” which led to the foundation of a new science. To show them developing slowly and messily, by trial and error, would undermine their authority.

Alternatively, looking at thinkers like Blanqui as precursors could become a form of what E.P. Thompson famously described as “the condescension of posterity”.[18] In this view, they were merely stages on the way to a subsequently established definitive truth. Thus, the writings of Marx and Lenin came to be seen as scripture, so that, for example, the question of political organisation was said to be resolved by something known as “the Leninist party”, when in fact Lenin was constantly changing his mind about organisational questions,[19] and in his final speech to the Communist International urged his followers to think for themselves[20] (something his followers like Zinoviev and Stalin were very reluctant to advise).

Peter Sedgwick made a sharp critique of such a view of history, comparing it to the religious notion of the “Apostolic Succession”:

The task of socialist theory has too often been conceived as one of establishing an Apostolic Succession from the ideas of certain revered forerunners to those of their (usually self‑enthroned) successors in the present day. Part of this task naturally consists of casting documentary doubt upon the validity of rival ideological orders. To those confirmed in any of the various true faiths, it may be intolerable to confront a historical record which shows the saints as heretics, and the heretics as at least part-time saints.[21]

In such an approach, “precursors” like Blanqui would be measured against the “great teachers” and, in effect, given scores out of ten for how closely they approximated to the established truth. Greene leaves us in no doubt that he aligns himself with Marx and Lenin, yet he is always anxious to draw out the positive value of Blanqui's thinking rather than to simply dismiss him as an inferior competitor.[22]

Tony Cliff used a rather different metaphor:

Another point about ideas is that you cannot patent them. You cannot say who was the first one, the originator of a great idea, because ideas are like a river and a river is formed from lots of streams. Engels is one of the streams contributing to Marxism. Therefore I don’t like the idea of speaking of him as secondary to Marx, because then he is not seen as an independent stream contributing to the overall Marxist movement.[23]

On this basis, the socialist movement would be a river that continued to absorb new tributaries, and sometimes to encounter obstacles or to be divided, without any definitive concluding state in sight. Blanqui would thus be a particular tributary, with its origins in a specific terrain and which helped to transform the dimensions and velocity of the river it entered.

Greene, in general, seems to take a rather similar approach in the way that he describes how Blanqui viewed the history of the movement he saw himself as a part of:

The revolutionary effort, the will to fight and to win against insurmountable odds, can unveil unseen roads to communism. And these roads are not given to anyone in advance but are revealed in the course of struggle. [p. 109]

And perhaps it would be fair to see this also as a description of the way Greene regards his own work. He has written elsewhere that the history of Marxism has no final conclusion, but is a constant process of renewal:

Previous forms of Marxism, even when a revolutionary rupture with revisionism, can turn into new orthodoxies and dogmas, which show their exhaustion by adopting, in either theory or practice, the politics of revisionism. The Marxist struggle against revisionism in fact is never finished, since Marxism needs to be continually renewed through ruptures not only with revisionism and orthodoxy, but by remaining true to its revolutionary soul.[24]

On such a view, neither the past nor the future is static. The past has been a constant process of evolution, and there is no single defined goal. Sartre argued a rather similar position in a discussion of ends and means:

If the end is still to be made, if it is a choice and a risk for man, then it can be corrupted by the means, for it is what we make it and it is transformed at the same time as man transforms himself by the use he makes of the means. But if the end is to be reached, if in a sense it has a sufficiency of being, then it is independent of the means. In that case one can choose any means to achieve it.[25]

Blanqui himself said something analogous in his critique of the Utopians:

Communism and Proudhonism argue vigorously on the bank of a river over whether there is a field of corn or wheat on the other side. Let us cross first, we will see when we get there. [p. 21][26]

Thus, Blanqui's development was a process of trial and error. However absurd the 1839 insurrection might look in retrospect, it was not wholly implausible that the Parisian masses, who were obviously oppressed and ground down, would flock to the banners of their liberators. Blanqui had to go through the experience, which made him aware of new problems in 1848. As Greene concludes, “he asked the right questions, even if he provided the wrong answers, about how to make a revolution.” [p. 141]

Many of the arguments Blanqui took up may seem very remote, yet they sometimes have modern parallels. This he noted with irritation the widespread argument against socialism - “Who will empty the chamber pot?” [p. 21] Technology has solved that particular problem, but the argument about who will do the dirty and unpleasant jobs in a socialist society is still a recurring question.

Blanqui was constantly attempting to understand himself historically. In particular, this meant reference back to the French Revolution. Marxists today constantly refer to 1917 (despite George Galloway's admonition that we should stop talking about “dead Russians”[27]), not because anybody seriously expects to re-enact it, but because it is the only experience of proletarian revolution that we have. Likewise, in 1848 and 1871, there was constant reference back to 1789.

It is interesting to see that Blanqui did not have a fixed relationship to the French Revolution. To begin with, he identified, as most of the radical left did, with Robespierre and the Jacobin tradition, but later he came to be more sympathetic to Hébert. admiring his revolutionary virtue, his atheism and his faith in the people. [pp. 100-1] Now, Hébert was not a particularly significant revolutionary thinker; he was noted for his vigorous vocabulary rather than for any profound grasp of philosophy or strategy. But it is interesting to note that Blanqui was looking for an alternative to Jacobinism, the influence of which has for two centuries weighed heavily on the French left, and of which there have been some important critiques, notably that by Daniel Guérin.[28] Inasmuch as the Jacobin tradition is a powerful contributory factor to laïcité, which remains a political question of great relevance in modern France, Blanqui's thought is part of a process we are still living with.[29]

Blanqui also remains relevant to an understanding of ultra-leftism, which remains a significant problem for left-wing tactics, especially at times of upturn in the movement. One of the questions with which Blanqui was grappling throughout his life was the relation between the revolutionary minority and the mass movement of the oppressed classes. It is a question which has come up again and again, in different forms, in the history of the revolutionary left. In the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, some tendencies on the Latin American left used to talk about the “small motor”, meaning the activity of a guerrilla foco, which would at some point detonate action by the mass movement.[30]

Likewise, there has been a recent renewal of interest in Paul Levi and his critique of the German Communist Party's “March Action” in 1921. There are clearly parallels between Blanqui's 1839 attempted insurrection and the March Action, though the latter was far more costly and its initiators far more irresponsible.[31]

Another topic which Greene touches on in his concluding section, though unfortunately all too briefly, is that of Blanquism after Blanqui. Blanqui's remarkable character, his dedication and shrewd political intelligence, drew followers around him and enabled him to hold his organisation together. After his death, the organisation disintegrated; it suffered splits and some of its members supported the incompetent charlatan Boulanger in his brief bid for power. There are obvious parallels with Leninism after Lenin, Trotskyism after Trotsky, and perhaps some more recent figures…

Yet all was not wasted. A new period was opening up, in which the conspiratorial organisations of Blanqui were giving way to mass working-class organisations. Many of Blanqui's followers went on to join the Socialist Party (SFIO), the majority of which, in 1920, formed the French Communist Party. Paul Lafargue, the first great French Marxist, admired Blanqui, writing “Blanqui transformed us, corrupted us all. … To Blanqui falls the honour of having made the revolutionary education of a part of the youth of our generation”. [p. 92] Just after Blanqui's final release from jail, Lafargue wrote to him, urging him to become part of a new socialist party that Lafargue was organising with Jules Guesde. (Blanqui does not seem to have responded to the invitation.) [pp. 138-9]

In short, Greene's book does not close the argument but opens it up. One hopes that it will be widely read and discussed.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson, Perry 1971, “Presentation of Blanqui”, New Left Review, I/65, January-February

Babeuf, Gracchus 1796, article in L’Éclaireur du peuple, No 6, pp 9 - 27 germinal IV.

Benjamin, Walter 1999, The Arcades Project, Cambridge Mass. & London: Belknap Press.

Birchall, Ian 2016a: “Upturned carts, cobblestones, pieces of furniture...”, Review 31 at http://review31.co.uk/article/view/373/upturned-carts-cobblestones-pieces-of-furniture

Birchall, Ian 2016b, “Why did Walter Benjamin misrepresent Blanqui?” at http://grimanddim.org/historical-writings/2016-why-did-walter-benjamin-misrepresent-blanqui/

The Blanqui Archive at https://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/

Blanqui, Auguste 1926, “Les enseignements militaires de la guerre de rues en 1848”, Le Militant rouge, no. 11, November (revised version of an article written in 1849).

Blanqui, Louis Auguste 2018, The Blanqui Reader: Political Writings, 1830–1880, Edited by Peter Hallward and Philippe Le Goff, Translated by Mitchell Abidor, Peter Hallward, and Philippe Le Goff, London and New York: Verso Books.

Bourseiller, Christophe 1989, Les ennemis du système, Paris: Robert Laffont.

Brown, Lesley (editor) 1993, The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Claudon, Jean-Jacques & Présumey, Vincent 2017, Paul Levi: L'Occasion manquée, Rochefort en Terre: Éditions de Matignon.

Cliff, Tony 1985-86, Lenin (three volumes), London: Bookmarks.

Cliff, Tony 1996, Engels (lecture given at Marxism 1996 conference) at https://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1996/07/engels.htm

Conrad, Jack 2009, “Dead Russians”, Weekly Worker, 12 March.

Cushion, Steve 2016, A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrilla Victory, New York: Monthly Review Press.

Cyr, Frédéric 2013, Paul Levi, rebelle devant les extrêmes, Quebec: Presses de l’Université Laval.

Debray, Régis 1967, Revolution in the Revolution? Armed Struggle and Political Struggle in Latin America, New York & London: MR Press.

Dommanget, Maurice 1947, Blanqui, la guerre de 1870-71 et la Commune, Paris: Domat.

Fernbach, David (ed.) 2011, In the Steps of Rosa Luxemburg: Selected Writings of Paul Levi, Leiden: Brill.

Greene, Doug Enaa 2016a, “The Rise of Marxism in France” at http://links.org.au/node/4684

Greene, Doug Enaa 2016b, “At the Crossroads of Blanquism and Leninism”, at http://links.org.au/node/4708

Greene, Doug Enaa 2016c, “The final aim is nothing: the politics of revisionism and anti‑revisionism” at http://links.org.au/node/4677.

Guérin, Daniel 1957, “La révolution déjacobinisée”, Les Temps modernes, April at https://bataillesocialiste.wordpress.com/documents-historiques/1957-04-la-revolution-dejacobinisee-guerin/

Hallward, Peter 2017, “Blanqui and Marx: A Reply to William Roberts”, Jacobin, June 28, at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/06/blanqui-marx-french-revolution-paris-commune-jacobins

Hazan, Eric 2015: A History of the Barricade, London: Verso.

Johnstone, Monty 1983, “Marx, Blanqui and Majority Rule”, Socialist Register at https://www.marxists.org/archive/johnstone/1983/xx/majority.htm

Lenin, Vladimir 1917, “The Dual Power”, Pravda No. 28, April 9, 1917 at https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/apr/09.htm

Lenin, Vladimir 1922, “Five Years of the Russian Revolution” at https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/nov/04b.htm

Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich 1977, Collected Works Volume 7, London: Lawrence & Wishart.

Rouch, Jean-Louis 1984, Prolétaire en veston: une approche de Maurice Dommanget, Treignac: Les Monédières.

Sartre, Jean-Paul 1983, Les Cahiers pour une morale, Paris: Gallimard.

Schiappa, Jean Marc 2008, Buonarroti (1761-1837): L’Inoxydable, St-Georges d’Oléron: Les Éditions Libertaires.

Sedgwick, Peter 1960, “The Fight for Workers’ Control”, International Socialism (1st series), No. 3, Winter 1960-61, at https://www.marxists.org/archive/sedgwick/1960/xx/workerscontrol.htm

Thompson, Edward 1980, The Making of the English Working Class, Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Trotsky, Leon 1930, “The Art of Insurrection” from The History of the Russian Revolution at http://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/critical-assessments/leon-trotsky/#chapter-43-the-art-of-insurrection

Vallès, Jules 1964, L’Insurgé, Paris: Livre de poche.

Wolfreys, Jim 2015, “After the Paris Attacks: An Islamophobic Spiral”, International Socialism, No. 146, at http://isj.org.uk/after-the-paris-attacks/

 

 

 


[1] Page references given in brackets in the text. Translations from French, other than those directly quoted from Greene, are my own.

[2] Brown 1993, Volume I p. 239.

[3] Lenin 1917.

[4] Babeuf 1796.

[5] See Schiappa 2008.

[6] Marx & Engels 1977, p. 147.

[7] Blanqui 1926.

[8] Vallès 1964, pp 200-01.

[9] Dommanget 1947, p. 128.

[10] Benjamin 1999, pp. 15, 25-6, 111; Birchall 2016b.

[11] The Blanqui Archive; Blanqui 2018.

[12]Anderson 1971. (For the attribution to Anderson see http://blanqui.kingston.ac.uk/critical-assessments/new-left-review/ )

[13] See Trotsky 1930.

[14] See Hazan 2015; for a critique of his “premature burial” of the barricade, see Birchall 2016a.

[15] “Moines-soldats”: the term was coined by Olivier Biffaud in Le Monde, 14 August 1987. See Bourseiller 1989, p. 46.

[16] See Greene 2016a, Greene 2016b.

[17] See Rouch 1984, pp. 85-6.

[18] Thompson 1980, p. 12.

[19] Cliff 1985-86.

[20] Lenin 1922.

[21] Sedgwick 1960.

[22] For a (Eurocommunist) comparison of Marx and Blanqui entirely in Marx's favour, see Johnstone 1983.

[23] Cliff 1996.

[24] Greene 2016 c.

[25] Sartre 1983, p. 191.

[26] For more on Blanqui's view of history and social change see Hallward 2017.

[27] Conrad 2009.

[28] Guérin 1957.

[29] See for example Wolfreys 2015.

[30] See Debray 1967 passim. For a rather different perspective on the Cuban Revolution see Cushion 2016.

[31] See Fernbach 2011, Cyr 2013, Claudon & Présumey 2017.

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Communist Insurgent