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Il 18 brumaio di Luigi Bonaparte (1852)

di Karl Marx

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

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An acclaimed translation of one of Marx's most important texts, along with essays discussing its contemporary relevance.
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Idiosyncratic and often tough to follow but ultimately valuable as an example of Marx's historical method. Sometimes loses focus or doesn't really make itself clear - there were quite a few sentences that seemed to be missing a clause, a few times he describes a class acting against its class interest as if it's normal, some other stuff I should have noted down. The last couple sections are the best, I think, although I might just have been in a better mood reading them. He often assumes knowledge of events which is a bit annoying.

At the same time, it does give an interesting perspective, gives a useful idea of class analysis and does provide a decent amount of information on the era. It contains a few bits of brilliance too.

It's quite possible that my reading of this was terrible, I'll admit I didn't read it under the best of circumstances. I recommend reading if you're a Marxist, anyway. I'll end with one of my favourite Marx quotes which are the opening words.

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire.

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.

2 years later: I really really want to read this again sometime. The first chapter has made a massive impact on me and I think of some of the quotes over and over. It's massively influenced how I view a lot of politics and it's inspiring and good. I dunno. I think I underrated it last time ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Sardonic wit mixed with acute analysis of class interests, throw in a bevy of literary allusions and you get Marx at his best writing.

It is important to remind oneself that this analysis is only relevant to the circumstances that arose in France at this time. It would be tragic for Leftists to assume these class interests and conflicts could be arranged for our benefit in every situation and at any time. One only has to look at the Russian civil war between the Green and Red armies(the urban proletariat and the peasantry) which promulgated the Soviet ideological retreat away from socialism back into state capitalism. If in France the urban proletariat and the small holding peasants had the same oppressor in the bourgeoisie, it does not follow they would pursue the same ends as Marx succinctly portrays with the schism within and humiliation of the Party of Order through the socio-political maneuvering of Napoleon.

In both cases the tyrant of the State imposed itself against the civil society in the name of civil society. In other words, one could rewrite Msrx's last sentence as "As soon as Stalin assumed the mantle of General Secretary, the bronze statute of Marx will crash down from atop the Kremlin." ( )
  galuf84 | Jul 27, 2022 |
  Murtra | Jun 23, 2021 |
  Murtra | Oct 17, 2020 |
The course of events in France after the fall of Louis Philippe seemed to confirm the truth of the Communist Manifesto’s definition of the “executive of the modern state” as a “committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” Though the Bonapartlst dictatorship after 1851 based itself directly on the army, and indirectly on the peasants, its principal social function plainly was the defense of property against the have-nots. The plaudits showered upon the regime throughout Europe left no doubt that it was precisely this feature which rendered it acceptable even to liberals, despite its militarism and the dubious character of its leading figures.

Marx formulated his doctrine of class conflict in four decisive texts: The Communist Manifesto (1847-8), the Class Struggles in France (1850), the Eighteenth Brumaire (1852), and the Civil War in France (1871). All four are based on French experience and French political thinking, yet they aim at something like a general theory of the state.

Basically, Marx regarded the bureaucracy as an artificial “caste” lacking a dynamic of its own -- apart from a tendency to swell in numbers -- and incapable of playing an independent and socially significant role (as would a class). If the state now and then appeared on the scene in the guise of mediator -- e.g., under Bonapartism, that was a temporary anomaly which could not long survive the contest of interests and ideas between the “true” classes of society. Marx’s contemptuous attitude towards the bureaucracy seems to have stemmed from his Rhineland background. Like other radical thinkers of his time he was more profoundly affected than he knew by the outlook of the liberal era, which is no longer very helpful in a post-bourgeois age. [1961]
1 vota GLArnold | Aug 27, 2020 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Karl Marxautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Engels, FriedrichIntroduzioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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