Marx thought that the Paris Commune made a lot of mistakes. They don’t appear in his classic work on the Commune. He said the contribution of the Commune is its own living existence. In private correspondence he wrote that they should have nationalised the bank, or should have done this or that. It is always easy to find out why the workers did not make a revolution. It is all around you. But the business of a revolutionist is to find out why they will. One of the characteristics of the dialectic view of the world-in fact, any view of the world-is that people tend to find what they look for. Those who are interested in finding out why the French revolt of ‘68 was a failure will have no trouble finding reasons. But I am interested in finding out why it was a success, why it happened. What everybody in the world around me tells me is that it can’t happen. And I say it can-and there’s the proof, it did happen. Was the Paris Commune a failure? Lenin celebrated when the Russian Revolution outlived the Commune by one day. That is a revolutionary attitude. The weaknesses of the working class are all around. The press, radio, television, the schools, everyone is insisting how backward people are, how incapable people are of transforming society. And when people attempt it that is what a Marxist bases his revolutionary theory on. That is what we are living for, so to speak. We are living for the peak, and not the valley.
— Martin Glaberman