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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/198

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148
Studies in Socialism

employed by the working class in all the crises of democratic and bourgeois society. Marx had taken up the idea of the French Revolution and Babeuf. After 1830 the labour agitations of Paris and Lyons prolonged the middle-class revolution by a sort of confused proletarian affirmation. In 1848 the proletariat of Paris, Berlin, and Vienna tried, for a few audacious days, to divert the Revolution in the direction of Socialism. The famous saying of Blanqui, "We do not create a movement, we divert it," is the very expression of this policy. It is the working formula of Marx's Communist Manifesto, the watchword of a class that knows itself to be still in the minority, but feels that it is called to play a great part in the future. When, in 1870, the 4th of September was followed by the 31st of October,[1] we have another example of the method of Marx and Blanqui. And the Commune itself, where the Socialist proletariat took such an increasingly active part that it tended to overshadow the lower middle-class democracy, was again an application of the tactics of the Manifesto—to graft the proletarian revolution on to the democratic and bourgeois revolution.

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  1. The Republic of Gambetta was proclaimed on the 4th of September, the day after the news of the Emperor's defeat at Sedan reached Paris. On the 31st of October an attempt at proletarian revolution was made, but the insurrectionists had control of the Hôtel de Ville for a few hours only.