Commune – What it is, definition and concept

A commune is a territorially small political, social and economic organization that seeks self-management and self-sufficiency inspired by Marxist ideology.

A commune is a concept created and developed by Marxist theory. It is a small political, social and economic organization. Whose purpose is self-management through the elimination of social classes and the communal distribution of work.

That is to say, in the commune there are no hierarchical capitalist and market structures that operate in any capitalist country. Rather, a socialist system is established in which power is held by the workers. As there are no figures of power and class subjugation, everyone has the ability to integrate any body and job.

It is the smallest unit of territorial division, that is, a state inspired by Marxist ideology would be divided into numerous communes. And together they make up regions and states. Although for classical Marxism the workers have no homeland or borders, therefore, the commune would be the only territorial unit in which the workers of that area would organize.

Characteristics of a commune

From the previous definition and its operation we can extract the following characteristics:

  • It is a territorial and economic political unit.
  • It is a small territorial unit.
  • Total separation of Church and State.
  • Its economic system is socialism.
  • Self-management and self-sufficiency.
  • There are no social classes.
  • The companies become the workers’, they work in the form of a cooperative.
  • The workers control and integrate all the institutions.
  • Banks and credit companies start to operate in favor of citizens.
  • The bourgeoisie and the owners are rejected and eliminated.
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The Paris Commune

The Paris Commune was a historical episode characterized by the implementation of the socialist model inspired by Marx and Engels in the French city of Paris. The movement developed in the spring of 1871 and lasted just over two months. It came to an end after a strong repression by the French Government that ended with thousands of deaths.

It was the first practical government inspired by Marxism. As such, he made a big impact on critics and supporters alike. These were some of its most relevant measures, collected in the decrees of the time:

  • Abolition of compulsory military service. The only valid military force in Paris is the National Guard, a body made up of all valid citizens.
  • Secular, free and compulsory education.
  • Prohibition of prostitutes from circulating on public roads. The National Guard will arrest women who violate it.
  • Church – State Separation. Public funding of religions is abolished. Expropriation of movable and immovable property belonging to religious congregations.
  • Condonation of the payment of the rent and its control by the commune.
  • Maximum salary of officials equivalent to that of workers.
  • Occupation of abandoned factories. They are replaced by cooperatives.

Hippie commune

Another very popular meaning of commune is the communities that certain people such as hippies form. They are quite isolated communities, but open to anyone being part of them.

These communes are frequent in all countries and have a series of very basic rules and regulations to preserve the spirit of the commune and that coexistence is peaceful and inspired by this way of life. Some of its characteristics are the following:

  • Communal distribution of work: Each of the members contributes to the community what they know how to do and in the terms they establish. There are no bosses, no salaries, no schedules.
  • Rejection of traditional values: The rules that prevail in conventional societies are rejected. People live without social ties.
  • Technological restriction: In the communes there is no hypertechnologization that prevails in developed societies.
  • Basic rules of coexistence: The only rules that prevail are those agreed in common, made to facilitate the peaceful coexistence of its members.
  • Pacifist ideology: One of the few ideological traits that inspire these communities is pacifism and antiwarism.
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