[Marxism] Has anyone [re-]read "The Class Struggles in France" lately?

Bhaskar Sunkara bhaskar.sunkara at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 01:22:41 MDT 2009


I'm sure this has been noticed by tens of thousands of others, but I'll jump
on the bandwagon:

I could practically quote the whole thing:

"Since the finance aristocracy made the laws, was at the head of the
administration of the state, had command of all the organized public
authorities, dominated public opinion through the actual state of affairs
and through the press, the same prostitution, the same shameless cheating,
the same mania to get rich was repeated in every sphere, from the court to
the Café Borgne[2]<http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1850/class-struggles-france/ch01.htm#n2>to
get rich not by production, but by pocketing the already available
wealth
of others, Clashing every moment with the bourgeois laws themselves, an
unbridled assertion of unhealthy and dissolute appetites manifested itself,
particularly at the top of bourgeois society – lusts wherein wealth derived
from gambling naturally seeks its satisfaction, where pleasure becomes *
crapuleux* [debauched], where money, filth, and blood commingle. The finance
aristocracy, in its mode of acquisition as well as in its pleasures, is
nothing but the *rebirth of the lumpen proletariat on the heights of
bourgeois society*.

And the nonruling factions of the French bourgeoisie cried: *
Corruption!*The people cried:
*À bas les grands voleurs! À bas les assassins*! [Down with the big thieves!
Down with the assassins!] when in 1847, on the most prominent stages of
bourgeois society, the same scenes were publicly enacted that regularly lead
the *lumpenproletariat* to brothels, to workhouses and lunatic asylums, to
the bar of justice, to the dungeon, and to the scaffold. The industrial
bourgeoisie saw its interests endangered, the petty bourgeoisie was filled
with moral indignation, the imagination of the people was offended, Paris
was flooded with pamphlets – “The Rothschild Dynasty”, “Usurers Kings of the
Epoch”, etc. – in which the rule of the finance aristocracy was denounced
and stigmatized with greater or less wit."

*
Sound familiar? *



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