“It was an unquestioned assumption of middle-class opinion throughout the period that those most likely to participate in revolution were also those most likely to indulge in crime, for crime and revolution were symptoms of the same disease. The repression of the Paris Commune of 1871, which is the main subject of this chapter, affords an example of how deeply this idea influenced understanding of and reaction to political disorder, not least on the part of the army, the principal instrument of that repression (2). But did criminals and other outsiders participate significantly in popular political disorders? Marx argued the contrary, associating the lumpenproletariat with the forces of reaction, and most modern historians have denied the link between crime, social instability and revolutionary activity (3). Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in ‘marginals’ and their possible political importance – no doubt reflection certain political and economic preoccupation of the last few years – and it will be suggested in what follows that our understanding of this complex question is far from complete” [Robert Tombs ‘Crime and the Security of the State: The ‘Dangerous Classes’ and Insurrection in Nineteenth-Century Paris’] [(in) Crime and the Law. The Social History of Crime in Western Europe since 1500′, a cura di V.A.C. Gatrell Bruce Benman e Geoffrey Parker, London, 1980] [(2) While none of the many books devoted to the Commune pays serious attention to the repression, with the exception of Camille Pelletan’s ‘La Semaine de Mai’, Paris, 1880), to recent articles have studied the conservative ‘myth’ of the insurrection: J.M. Roberts, ‘The Paris Commune from the Right’, ‘English Historical Review’, supplement 6, 1973, and Robert Price, ‘Conservative reactions to social disorder, the Paris Commune of 1871’, ‘Journal of European Studies, I, 1971, pp. 341-52. Jacques Rougerie, ‘Procès des Communards’, Paris, 1964, also approaches the subject obliquely; (3) Especially George Rudé and Charles Tilly, to whose work reference is made below]