The Hidden Story of the Paris Commune


“The Paris Commune of 1871 remained a potent force in Europe for several generations afterwards. The reprisals following the fall of the Commune anticipated the great massacres of the twentieth century. While the brief reign of the communards witnessed serious adversity in the form of food shortages and disease, it also presided over many progressive social measures, such as the relative emancipation of women. The brutality of the army’s actions against the communards would cast a pallor over leftist politics in Europe for decades to come.”

This description of the above video lecture by Yale academic John Merriman leaves out one important dimension which is missing from his account, that of the role of the Grand Orient freemasonic lodges in the events of the Commune. The Marxist historian E. Belfort Bax in his celebrated 1894 series, The Paris Commune discusses their essential contribution to this back story. Every year on May 1 the Grand Orient of France still stages a processional in homage to their martyred brethren slain during the siege of the Commune. The choice by the Grand Orient of this particular day is no accident. May 1, 1776 was the day that former Professor of Canon Law at the University of Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Adam Weishaupt, founded the Order of the Illuminati, which later infiltrated and captured the elite hierarchy of the Grand Orient of France, playing a central role in precipitating the French Revolution of 1789, and subsequent revolutions through Europe and the wider world. May 1 remains the international day of solidarity for communists, socialists, freemasons, and left anarchists.

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11:19 pm on December 29, 2014