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The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
(German: Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon) was an essay written by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
between December 1851 and March 1852, and originally published in 1852 in Die Revolution, a German monthly magazine published in New York City
New York City
and established by Joseph Weydemeyer. Later English editions, such as an 1869 Hamburg
Hamburg
edition, were entitled The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte. The essay discusses the French coup of 1851
French coup of 1851
in which Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte assumed dictatorial powers. It shows Marx in his form as a social and political historian, treating actual historical events from the viewpoint of his materialist conception of history. The title refers to the Coup of 18 Brumaire
Coup of 18 Brumaire
in which Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in revolutionary France (9 November 1799, or 18 Brumaire
Brumaire
Year VIII in the French Republican Calendar), in order to contrast it with the coup of 1851.

Contents

1 Contents of the book 2 Impact on the development of Marxism 3 "History repeats ... first as tragedy, then as farce" 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Contents of the book[edit] In the preface to the second edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx stated that the purpose of this essay was to "demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero's part."[1] This essay contains the most famous formulation of Marx's view of the role of the individual in history, often translated to something like: "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 Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
catalogs the mass of the bourgeoisie, which Marx says impounded the republic like its property, as composed of: the large landowners, the aristocrats of finance and big industrialists, the high dignitaries of the army, the university, the church, the bar, the academy, and the press.[2][3] It also shows more criticism of the proletariat than is typical of his other works, referring to the bureaucracy as a "giant parasitic body" and describing widespread perceptions of the proletariat as a "party of anarchy, socialism, and communism," a party paradoxically established on precepts of an oppositional "party of order." Impact on the development of Marxism[edit] Along with Marx's contemporary writings on English politics and The Civil War in France, the Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
is a principal source for understanding Marx's theory of the capitalist state.[4] Marx's interpretation of Louis Bonaparte's rise and rule is of interest to later scholars studying the nature and meaning of fascism. Many Marxist
Marxist
scholars regard the coup as a forerunner of the phenomenon of 20th-century fascism.[5] "History repeats ... first as tragedy, then as farce"[edit] This book is the source of one of Marx's most quoted[6] statements, that history repeats itself, "the first as tragedy, then as farce", referring respectively to Napoleon
Napoleon
I and to his nephew Louis Napoleon ( Napoleon
Napoleon
III):

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
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.[7]

Marx's sentiment echoed an observation made by Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
at exactly the same time Marx began work on this book. In a letter to Marx of 3 December 1851, Engels wrote from Manchester:

.... it really seems as though old Hegel, in the guise of the World Spirit, were directing history from the grave and, with the greatest conscientiousness, causing everything to be re-enacted twice over, once as grand tragedy and the second time as rotten farce, Caussidière for Danton, L. Blanc for Robespierre, Barthélemy for Saint-Just, Flocon for Carnot, and the moon-calf together with the first available dozen debt-encumbered lieutenants for the little corporal and his band of marshals. Thus the 18th Brumaire
Brumaire
would already be upon us.[8]

Yet this motif appeared even earlier, in Marx's 1837 unpublished novel Scorpion and Felix, this time with a comparison between the first Napoleon
Napoleon
and King Louis Philippe:

Every giant ... presupposes a dwarf, every genius a hidebound philistine.... The first are too great for this world, and so they are thrown out. But the latter strike root in it and remain.... Caesar the hero leaves behind him the play-acting Octavianus, Emperor Napoleon the bourgeois king Louis Philippe....[9]

See also[edit]

Marxist
Marxist
philosophy

References[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon

^ "The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon". Retrieved 2009-06-03.  ^ Ch. 3 ^ Parlato, Valentino (1970) Il complesso edilizio [1], il manifesto, n. 3-4 marzo-aprile 1970, p.29, republished in F. Indovina (1972) Lo spreco edilizio ^ Jon Elster, An Introduction to Karl Marx, Cambridge, England, 1990 (first pub. 1986), p 8. ^ Tucker, R.C. "The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd ed.," page 594. New York: Norton, 1978. ^ "The Dreyfusian Revolution by George Sorel 1908". Retrieved 2009-06-03.  ^ Karl Marx. The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte.  ^ Marx/Engels Collected Works. International Publishers.  ^ Quoted in Francis Wheen (July 2001). Karl Marx: A Life. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-32157-9. Retrieved 8 March 2011. , pages 25-26. Wheen points out the similarity between this passage and the one in Eighteenth Brumaire, but his quotation of the latter is a different translation or version than the one which appears above, or is perhaps a garbled combination of the Marx and Engels passages.

External links[edit]

The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
(Chapters 1 & 7 translated by Saul K. Padover from the German edition of 1869; Chapters 2 through 6 are based on the third edition, prepared by Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
(1885), as translated and published by Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1937.) Preface to the Second Edition (1869) The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte, Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, 1907. The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
Of Louis Bonaparte, International Publishers, New York City, 1963.

v t e

Works by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels

Marx

Capital

Capital, Volume I
Capital, Volume I
(1867) Capital, Volume II
Capital, Volume II
(1885, posthumous) Capital, Volume III
Capital, Volume III
(1894, posthumous)

Other works

Scorpion and Felix
Scorpion and Felix
(1837) Oulanem (1839) The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature (1841) "The Philosophical Manifesto of the Historical School of Law" (1842) Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
(1843) "On the Jewish Question" (1843) "Notes on James Mill" (1844) Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
(1844, published 1927) "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845, published 1888) The Poverty of Philosophy
The Poverty of Philosophy
(1847) "Wage Labour and Capital" (1847) The Class Struggles in France, 1848–1850 (1850) The Eighteenth Brumaire
Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon
Napoleon
(1852) Grundrisse
Grundrisse
(1857, published 1939) A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
(1859) Theories of Surplus Value
Theories of Surplus Value
(three volumes, 1862) "Value, Price and Profit" (1865) "The Belgian Massacres" (1869) "The Civil War in France" (1871) Critique of the Gotha Program (1875) Mathematical manuscripts of Karl Marx
Karl Marx
(1968)

Marx and Engels

The German Ideology
The German Ideology
(1845, published 1932) The Holy Family (1845) The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
(1848) The Civil War in the United States (1861) Marx/Engels Collected Works
Marx/Engels Collected Works
(1975 - 2004) Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe
Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe
(1975 - today)

Engels

The Condition of the Working Class in England
The Condition of the Working Class in England
(1845) Principles of Communism
Principles of Communism
(1847) The Peasant War in Germany (1850) "The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man" (1876) Anti-Dühring
Anti-Dühring
(1878) Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880) Dialectics of Nature
Dialectics of Nature
(1883) The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884) Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy
Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy
(1886) Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany
(1896, posthumous)

See also

Marx's notebooks on the history of technology Tendency of the rate of profit to fall

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 215082

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