Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Nightmare on the Brain of the Living

My colleague Jacob Levy:
I still get a little shudder of sadness thinking about the failure of the July Monarchy.
I can't say I share Jacob's sadness on this one. Not because I'm particularly thrilled by the Revolutions of 1848, but because my emotional investments are elsewhere in history. Different moments weigh on my brain.

I'm going to be teaching Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire starting on Thursday. Obviously, Marx has little sympathy for the Orleanists. Basically, he thinks they made their bed, both with regards to the February Revolution of 1848, and with regards to Bonaparte's coup in 1851. His comments about "the party of order" are among the best polemics he ever penned (here's the text, if you're curious).

All I will note is that there is no Black Book of Capitalism, but not because the bourgeoisie has no blood on its hands.