The Great French Revolution 1789-1793 Volume 2
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Kropotkin's second volume continues his interpretation of this historic event by concentrating on the clash between the Jacobins and their opponents - the Hebertistes, Enrages and Anarchists. In this clash between authoritarians and anti-authoritarians, Kropotkin draws out the origins of Marxism and Leninism within the Jacobins. Although the French Revolution was a popular, mass event it was directed and disciplined by a minority of professional revolutionaries, and those who continue to exalt the Jacobins of 1793 for their organization of a post-revolutionary State, and their creation of new structures of power, fail to see that the interests followed were exactly those of the bourgeoisie.
town and country. It is more than a simple struggle between parties, however sanguinary; more than mere street-fighting, and much more than a mere change of government, such as was made in France in 1830 and 1848. A revolution is a swift overthrow, in a few years, of institutions which have takencenturies to root in the soil, and seem so fixed and immovable that even the most ardent reformers hardly dare to attack them in their writings. It is the fall, the crumbling away in a brief period, of
and some of them perhaps might have tried to raise the provinces; but without a people ready to rise, without a preliminary revolutionary work accomplished among the masses, without an appeal to the people for revolt made direct from man to man and not by manifestoes, a representative Assembly can do little when it has to face an established government backed by its legions of functionaries and its army. Fortunately Paris was awake. Whilst the National Assembly slumbered in fancied security, and
middle classes the ideas of emancipation had taken the form of a complete programme for political and economic organisation, these ideas were presented to the people only in the form of vague aspirations. Often they were mere negations. Those who addressed the people did not try to embody the concrete form in which their desiderata could be realised. It is even probable that they avoided being precise. Consciously or not, they seemed to say: "What good is there in speaking to the people of the
they may be. To an army must be opposed an army, and, failing an army-the people, the whole people, the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children of a city. They alone can be victorious, they alone have conquered armies by demoralising them, by paralysing their brute force. On October 5 the insurrection broke out in Paris to the cry of "Bread! Bread!" The sound of the drum beaten by a young girl served to rally the women. Soon a troop of women was formed; it marched to the Hôtel de Ville,
agreement in encouraging the invasion of France. Under such conditions war was inevitable. It blazed out, and it raged for twenty-three years with all its fatal consequences, fatal to the Revolution and to European progress. "You do not want to appeal to the people; you do not want the popular revolution-very well, you shall have war, and perhaps the general break-up!" How many times has this truth been verified since. The spectre of the people, armed and insurgent, demanding from the middle