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Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 The first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

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Presentation on theme: "Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 The first time as tragedy, the second as farce."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels Sociology 100 The first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

2 The French 19 th Century 1789: French Revolution: First Republic : Emperor Napoleon 1815 : Restoration of the Monarchy : Revolution: July Monarchy : Revolution: Second Republic : Second Empire under Napoleon III 1879: Third Republic 2

3 Tragedy & Farce Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves. But under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. (595) 3

4 Tragedy & Farce In times of revolutionary crisis, people anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle slogans and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honored disguise and this borrowed language. (595) Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world- historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. (594) 4

5 Napoleon III Grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte Grew up in exile in Switzerland and Germany Attempted coup in 1836, fails, exiled to Switzerland Attempted coup 1840, fails, imprisoned, escapes in 1846, goes to England Returns in 1848, uses Napoleon name to get elected President of the Second Republic Secures allegiance of military, stages a coup December 2, 1851, declares self Emperor of the French 5

6 A Forerunner to Fascism? 18 th Brumaire, Year VIII – Revolutionary calendar: month of fog – December 9, 1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte overthrows the French Directorate, replacing it with the French Consulate Sets the stage for Napoleons dictatorship and Imperial France Similar political & class dynamic at the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Third Reich. 6

7 Past & Future The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot draw its poetry from the past, but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself, before it has stripped off all superstition in regard to the past. Earlier revolutions required world-historical recollections in order to drug themselves concerning their own content. In order to arrive at its content, the revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury their dead. There the phrase went beyond the content; here the content goes beyond the phrase. (597) – That was then, this is now 7

8 Politics, Law & Society The Democrats congratulated each other on the gracious consequences of the May 2, 1852 [presidential election]. In their minds, May 2, 1852, had become a fixed idea, a dogma, like the day on which Christ should reappear and the millennium begin, in the minds of the Chiliasts. (598) – Why were they wrong? Politics not a matter of laws and institutions, but of sociological forces 8

9 The Second Republic: first period Feb. 24May 4, 1848: Bourgeois and proletarian forces cooperate against the monarchy, and each interprets their success as they like. – But While the Paris proletariat still reveled in the vision of the wide prospects that had opened before them and indulged in seriously-meant discussions on social problems, the old powers had grouped themselves, assembled, and found an unexpected support in the mass of the nation, the peasants and petty bourgeois, who all at once had stormed onto the political stage (600) Misunderstanding material conditions Reactionaries 9

10 The Second Republic: second period May 4, 1848May, 1849: The framing of the constitution and foundation of the bourgeois republic. Socialist, proletarian forces marginalized. – If a limited section of the bourgeoisie formerly ruled in the name of the king, the whole of the bourgeoisie will now rule in the name of the people. (601) – With the bourgeoisie stand The aristocrats of finance, the army, the lumpenproletariat organized as the Mobile Guard, the intellectual lights, the clergy, and the rural population. On the side of the Paris proletariat stood none but itself. (601) – Paris proletarians rebel, 3,000 killed, 15,000 imprisoned & exiled w/o trial Lumpenproletariat: raggedy proletariat swindlers, confidence tricksters, brothel-keepers, rag-and-bone merchants, beggars, and other flotsam of society – Socially useless, unlikely to achieve class consciousness. Ignorant, desperate. 10

11 The Second Republic: second period May 29, 1849Dec. 2, 1851: Bourgeois republic signifies the unlimited despotism of one class over other classes. (602) All classes and parties had united in the Party of Order against the proletarian class as the party of anarchy, of socialism, of communism. They had saved society from the enemies of society. They had given out the watchwords of the old society, property, religion, family, order, to their army as passwords and had proclaimed to the counter-revolutionary crusaders: In this sign will you conquer! (602) – Every demand of the simplest bourgeois financial reform, of the most ordinary liberalism, of the most formal republicanism, of the most insipid democracy, is simultaneously castigated as an attempt on society and stigmatsed as socialism. (602) A climate of oppression and enforced discipline 11

12 The Second Republic: third period Through its reliance on the military [traditionally composed largely of peasants], the bourgeoisie has brought the lumpenproletariat to domination. [...] It apotheosised the sword; the sword rules it. It destroyed the revolutionary press, its own press has been destroyed. It placed public meetings under police supervision; its salons are under the supervision of the police. (603) 12

13 The Coup of December 2 The bourgeoisie kept France in breathless fear of the future terrors of red anarchy; Bonaparte discounted this future for it when, on December 4, he had the eminent bourgeois of the Boulevard Montmartre and the Boulevard des Italiens shot down at their windows by the army of order, whose enthusiasm was inspired by liquor. (603) – Parliamentarians summarily murdered – Absolute state power and military rule 13

14 Class Basis of the Coup Yet the state power is not suspended in midair. Bonaparte represents a class, and the most numerous class of French society at that, the small peasants. (607) – Mode of production primitive, with low levels of division of labor and performed in isolation. Almost no understanding of the world beyond the farm. Their representative must at the same time appear as their master, as an unlimited governmental power that protects them from the other classes... The political influence of the peasants, therefore, finds its final expression in the executive power subordinating society to itself. (608) 14

15 Unstable Foundations Revolution 1848 had broken up aristocratic lands into tiny free holdings owned by peasants – But this small holding could not be developed, and produce only a very limited amount, creating poverty The small holding is the actual problem, but peasants look for outside conspiracies (610) – Thus, the peasants become indebted to bankers via mortgage debt, enslaved to capital (611) – Thus, their interests are in conflict with those of the bourgeoisie, but they are reactionary, looking back to better times Small holdings create a vast, under-educated and homogenous mass. Hence it also permits of uniform action from a supreme centre on all points of this uniform mass. It annihilates the aristocratic intermediate grades between the mass of the people and state power. On all sides, therefore, it calls forth the direct interference of this state power and the intervention of its immediate organs. (612) 15

16 Unstable Foundations Thus, the Second Empire rests on an untenable social basis ( ) – Peasants look to it for support & protection But it needs to tax them heavily to maintain the size of the government and military, thus further eroding the small holding and with it the support of the peasants – The strength of civil order is the bourgeoisie, so Napoleon III must serve them But they are also rivals, with interests opposed to those of the peasants & lumpenproletariat, and thus to be undermined – To serve the peasants & lumpenproletariat, he must bribe them with government employment, forgiven loans, & advances on pay Bonaparte would like to appear as the patriarchal benefactor of all classes. But he cannot give to one class without taking from another. (616) 16

17 Unstable Foundations Driven by the contradictory demands of his situation, and, at the same time, like a conjurer under the necessity of keeping the public gaze fixed on himself, as Napoleons substitute, by constant surprises, hence of executing a coup détat en miniature every day, Bonaparte drives the entire bourgeois economy into confusion, lays hands on everything that seemed inviolable to the revolution of 1848, makes some tolerant of revolution, others desirous of revolution, and produces total anarchy in the name of order, while at the same time he divests the state machine of its halo, profanes it and makes it at once loathsome and ridiculous. (617) 17

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