french revoltion

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

March 29th 1947: Malagasy revolt begins

On this day in 1947, Malagasy nationalists began an uprising against French colonial rule in Madagascar. The island became a French overseas territory the previous year, which prompted the establishment of the pro-independence political party Mouvement Democratique de la Renovation Malagache (MDRM). In March 1947, Malagasy (the primary ethnic group of Madagascar) nationalist tribesmen revolted in the eastern part of the island. The revolt rapidly spread across Madagascar, seizing one third of the island. However, once French soldiers received reinforcements, they were able to quicky quell the rebellion. The suppression was swift and bloody, with Malagasy people subject to torture, rape, and mass execution. By the time the rebellion ended, in December 1948, tens of thousands of Malagasy people (estimates range between 10,000 to 90,000), had lost their lives. While the poliitcal leaders of the MDRM denied responsibility for the revolt, the party was outlawed by the French. Twenty military officials were executed for their role in the uprising, followed by thousands of further convictions. While the uprising was officially suppressed, Malagasy nationalists continued to wage a guerilla war against the French. In 1958, France allowed the people of Madagascar to vote on their future, and they decided to become autonomous within the French community. The country became a republic in October 1958, and fully independent in 1960.