I liked this article, and think its useful when engaging people about prefiguration, resentment, and state-mediated revolutions generally.
Logic of Capitalist Medicine: Presently, around 123,000 children die per day from completely treatable illnesses (mostly cough). The governments and pharmaceutical companies simply won't share the technology to save them. This adds up to about 68.3 total Reigns of Terror per Day. Who are the real slaughterers? Ordinary businessmen, politicians and scientists. With no love for death or bloodthirst, the beheaded king remains as a powerful image.
This crimethinc article seems pretty heavy on moralism while ignoring the brutality of Louis, who ordered his troops to fire on unarmed civilians. Thus, was Lafayette guillotined. Louis had enriched himself and his family while the rest of France starved. This was the source for the IRA in Ireland as well, which began at the time of the Great Famine in 1856. The Republican Army was formed because the king of England was having farmers brutally removed from formerly common lands, now the king's. Ironically, they got arms from France.
Let's put it this way, when you are a soldier for the powers that be, you take the risk of death at every turn. If you are killed, that's part of your job as a soldier. Have a flag and flowers, but u won't get much pity from me. Same for pharma. The Jacobins won that public battle, against the king and his collaborators, that's all. Of course they made mistakes.
You've forgotten our contemporary context of slaughter-become-commonplace. Your anti-guillotine rhetoric comes at the time of Saudis bombing schoolbuses. There can be no prison sentence for that. The guillotine was actually an improvement over hanging which could take 13-15mins. for the hanged to die. The guillotine was instantaneous.
The objection of the Commune was the refusal of anything from the state. They killed the mostly working class and peasant gendarmes with their rifles. But the gendarmes were soldiers for the Thiers govt. I would have been with the Commune. Once you become a soldier, you give up your life. This was Nietzsche's objection to revenge: it eats you. But if you're already half-eaten... the French (and Irish) peasants had little to lose...
A second perspective from Gelderloos might be: the reign of terror was a purely middle class revolt, first against the king and then against each other. Pure middle-class hysteria, which is why we should be wary of middle-class guys. Perhaps the real lesson is we're all soldiers, either for the poor, in which the powers will try to kick our asses, imprison and even kill us, or for the rich. In that case, as Gelderloos might say, this writer is a soldier for the rich. (Pacifism serves the state).
I wish you'd have included our present context instead of writing this from a secuded room. The moralism seems over-stated.
More conversation on this for posterity