Archive for February 20th, 2010

Though I have no wish to contribute to the vastly over-inflated role which the Tea Parties occupy in the current liberal imagination, I can’t help but repost this passage from The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, where Marx describes the bourgeoisie’s retreat, in the face of proletarian insurrection, from its own previously held ideals.  This narrative of bourgeois ideology would go on to play an important role in Georg Lukács’ theory of the novel, of which more will be said in an upcoming post.  For now, here is Marx.

As monosyllabic on the platform as in the press. Flat as a riddle whose answer is known in advance. Whether it was a question of the right of petition or the tax on wine, freedom of the press or free trade, the clubs or the municipal charter, protection of personal liberty or regulation of the state budget, the watchword constantly recurs, the theme remains always the same, the verdict is ever ready and invariably reads: “Socialism!” Even bourgeois liberalism is declared socialistic, bourgeois enlightenment socialistic, bourgeois financial reform socialistic. It was socialistic to build a railway where a canal already existed, and it was socialistic to defend oneself with a cane when one was attacked with a rapier.

Sound familiar?

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