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First Edition 1978

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (January 1998)


    The present English edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte substantially follows previous English translations. Certain adjustments of wording and style based on a check with the original have been made.

        The footnotes and the notes at the end of the book are based on those in the Chinese and previous English editions.


    Written between December 1851
    and March 1852
    Published as the first issue of the
    magazine  Die Revolution, New
    York, 1852

    Original in German


        My friend Joseph Weydemeyer,[*] whose death was so untimely, intended to publish a political weekly in New York starting from January 1, 1852. He invited me to provide this magazine with a history of the coup d'etat. So, until the middle of February, I wrote him weekly articles under the title: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Meanwhile Weydemeyer's original plan had fallen through. Instead, in the spring of 1852 he began to publish a monthly, Die Revolution, the first number of which consists of my Eighteenth Brumaire. A few hundred copies of this found their way into Germany at that time, without, however, getting into the actual book trade. A German bookseller of extremely radical pretensions whom I approached for sales was filled with righteous horror at such an "ill-timed proposition."

        From the above facts it will be seen that the present work took shape under the immediate pressure of events and its historical material does not extend beyond the month of <"fnp3">

        * Military commandant of the St. Louis district during the American Civil War. [Note by Marx.]

    February (1852). Its re-publication now is due partly to the demand of the book trade, and partly to the urgent requests of my friends in Germany.

        Among the writings dealing with the same subject at approximately the same time as mine, there are only two which deserve notice: Victor Hugo's Napoléon le Petit [Napoleon the Little ] and Proudhon's Coup d'Etat.

        Victor Hugo confines himself to bitter and witty invective against the man who was responsible for the coup d'etat. The event itself appears in his work like a bolt from the blue. He sees in it only the violent act of a single individual. He does not notice that he makes this individual great instead of little by ascribing to him a personal power of initiative, which would be unparalleled in world history. Proudhon, for his part, seeks to represent the coup d'etat as the result of the preceding historical development. Unnoticeably, however, his historical construction of the coup d'etat becomes a historical apologia for its hero. Thus he falls into the error of our so-called objective historians. I, on the contrary, demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque and mediocre personality to play a hero's part.

        A revision of the present work would have robbed it of its peculiar colouring. I have therefore confined myself to the mere correction of printer's errors and to striking out allusions now no longer intelligible.

        The concluding words of my work: "But when the imperial mantle finally falls on the shoulders of Louis Bonaparte, the bronze statue of Napoleon will crash from the top of the Vendome Column," have already been fulfilled. <"p4">

        Colonel Charras opened the attack on the Napoleon cult in his work on the campaign of 1815.[2] Subsequently, particu-

    page 5

    larly in the last few years, French literature has put an end to the Napoleon legend with the weapons of historical research, criticism, satire and wit. Outside France this violent breach with traditional popular belief, this tremendous mental revolution, has hardly been noticed and still less understood.

        Lastly, I hope that my work will contribute towards eliminating the school-taught phrase now current, particularly in Germany, of so-called Caesarism. In this superficial historical analogy the main point is forgotten, namely, that in ancient Rome the class struggle took place only within a privilegged minority, between the free rich and the free poor, while the great productive mass of the population, the slaves, was merely the passive pedistal for these combatants. People forget Sismondi 's significant saying: The Roman proletariat lived at the expense of society,<"p5"> while modern society lives at the expense of the proletariat.[3] The difference between the material, economic conditions of the ancient and the modern class struggles is so complete that the political figures produced by them can likewise have no more in common with one another that the Archbishop of Canterbury has with the High Priest Samuel.

    Karl Marx  

    London, June 23, 1869

    Published in the second edition
    of Marx's The Eighteenth Bru-
    maire of Louis Bonaparte
    , Ham-
    burg, July 1869

    Original in German




        The fact that a new edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire has become necessary, 33 years after its first appearance, proves that even today this little book has lost none of its value.

        It was in truth a work of genius. Immediately after the event that struck the whole political world like a thunderbolt from the blue, that was condemned by some with loud cries of moral indignation and accepted by others as salvation from the revolution and as punishment for its errors, but was only wondered at by all and understood by none -- immediately after this event, Marx came out with a concise,<"p6"> epigrammatic exposition that laid bare the whole course of French history since the February days in its inner connection, reduced the miracle of December 2[4] to a natural necessary result of this connection and in so doing did not even need to treat the hero of the coup d'etat with anything other than the contempt he so well deserved. And the picture was drawn with such a masterly hand that every fresh disclosure since made has only provided fresh proofs

    page 7

    of how faithfully it reflected reality. This eminent understanding of the living history of the day, this clear-sighted appraisal of events at the moment of happening, is indeed without parallel.

        But to achieve this, Marx's thorough knowledge of French history was needed. France is the country where, more than anywhere else, the historical class struggles were fought out to a decisive conclusion every time, and where, consequently, the changing political forms within which they move and in which their results are summarized have been stamped in the sharpest outlines. The centre of feudalism in the Middle Ages, the model of a unified monarchy based on social estates since the Renaissance, France demolished feudalism in the Great Revolution and established the rule of the bourgeoisie in a classical purity unequalled by any other European land. And the struggle of the aspiring proletariat against the ruling bourgeoisie appeared here in an acute form unknown elsewhere. This was the reason why Marx not only studied the past history of France with particular predilection, but also followed her current history in every detail, stored up the material for future use and, consequently, events never took him by surprise.

        In addition to this, however, there was yet another factor. It was precisely Marx who had first discovered the great law of the motion of history, the law according to which all historical struggles, whether they occur in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of the struggles of social classes, and that the existence of, and thereby the collisions, too, between these classes are in turn conditioned by the degree of development of their economic position, by the mode of their production and exchange determined by it. This law, which has the same significance for history as the law of the transformation of energy has for natural science -- this law gave him here, too, the key to an understanding of the history of the Second French Republic. He put his law to the test on these historical events, and even after 33 years we must still say that it has stood the test brilliantly.

    Frederick Engels  

    Written in 1885
    Published in the third edition of
    Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire
    of Louis Bonaparte
    ,  Hamburg,

    Translated from the German



        Hegel remarks somewhere that all the events and personalities of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848-51 for the Montagne of 1793-95, the Nephew for the Uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances attending the second edition of the eighteenth Brumaire!

        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 given circumstances directly encountered and inherited from the past. The tradition of all the generations of the dead weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem involved in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never before existed, it is precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis that they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow names, battle cries and costumes from them in order to act out the new scene of world history in this time-honoured disguise and this borrowed language. Thus Luther donned the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789-1814 draped itself alternately as the Roman republic and the Roman empire, and the Revolution of 1848 could do nothing better than parody 1789 one minute, and the revolutionary tradition of 1793-95 the next. In a similar way a beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he has assimilated the spirit of the new language and can freely express himself in it only when he can use it without recalling the old and forgets his native tongue in the use of the new.

        If we consider this conjuring up of the dead of world history, a salient difference is revealed immediately. Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just, Napoleon, the heroes as well as the parties and the masses of the old French Revolution, performed the task of their time in Roman costume and with Roman phrases, the task of unchaining and setting up modern bourgeois society. The first ones smashed the feudal basis to pieces and mowed down the feudal heads which had grown on it. The other created inside France the only conditions under which free competition could be developed, parcelled landed property exploited and the unchained industrial productive power of the nation employed; and everywhere beyond the French borders he swept the feudal institutions away, to the extent necessary to provide bourgeois society in France with a suitable up-to-date environment on the European Continent. Once the new social formation was established, the antediluvian Colossi disappeared and with them resurrected Romanity -- the Brutuses,

    page 11

    Gracchi, Publicolas, the tribunes, the senators, and Caesar himself. Bourgeois society in its sober reality had begotten its true interpreters and mouthpieces in the Says, Cousins, Royer-Collards, Benjamin Constants and Guizots; its real military leaders sat behind the office desks, and the hog-headed Louis XVIII was its political chief. Wholly absorbed in the production of wealth and in the peaceful struggle of competition, it no longer comprehended that the ghosts of Roman times had watched over its cradle. But unheroic as bourgeois society is, it nevertheless took heroism, sacrifice, terror, civil war and the battles of nations to bring it into being. And in the classically austere traditions of the Roman republic its gladiators found the ideals and the art forms, the self-deceptions that they needed in order to conceal from themselves the bourgeois limitations of the content of their struggles and to keep their zeal on the high plane of the great historical tragedy. Similarly, at another stage of development, a century earlier, Cromwell and the English people had borrowed speech, passions and illusions from the Old Testament for their bourgeois revolution. When the real aim had been achieved, when the bourgeois transformation of English society had been accomplished, Locke supplanted Habakkuk.

        Thus the awakening of the dead in those revolutions served the purpose of glorifying the new struggles, not of parodying the old; of magnifying the given task in the imagination, not of fleeing from its solution in reality; of finding the spirit of revolution once more, not of making its ghost walk about again.

        From 1848 to 1851 only the ghost of the old revolution walked about, from Marrast, the républicain en gants jaunes,[*] who disguised himself as the old Bailly, down to the adventurer, who hides his commonplace repulsive features under the iron death mask of Napoleon. An entire people, which had imagined that by means of a revolution it had imparted to itself an accelerated power of motion, suddenly finds itself set back into a defunct epoch and, in order that no doubt as to the relapse may be possible, the old dates arise again, the old chronology, the old names, the old edicts, which had long become a subject of antiquarian erudition, and the old minions of the law, who had seemed long decayed. The nation feels like that mad Englishman in Bedlam, who fancies that he lives in the times of the ancient Pharaohs and daily bemoans the hard labour that he must perform in the Ethiopian mines as a gold digger, immured in this subterranean prison, a dimly burning lamp fastened to his head, the overseer of the slaves behind him with a long whip, and at the exits a confused welter of barbarian mercenaries, who understand neither the forced labourers in the mines nor one another, since they speak no common language. "And all this is expected of me," sighs the mad Englishman, "of me, a free-born Briton, in order to make gold for the old Pharaohs." "In order to pay the debts of the Bonaparte family," sighs the French nation. The Englishman, so long as he was in his right mind, could not get rid of his fixation on making gold. The French, so long as they were engaged in revolution,could not get rid of the memory of Napoleon, as the election of December 10[5] proved They hankered to return from the perils of revolution to the fleshpots of Egypt,[6] and December 2, 1851 was the answer. They have not only a caricature of the old Napoleon, they <"fnp12">

        * Republican in kid gloves. --Ed.

    page 13

    have caricatured the old Napoleon himself as he must appear in the middle of the 19th century.

        The social revolution of the 19th 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 with regard to the past. Earlier revolutions required recollections of past world history in order to drug themselves against their own content. In order to arrive at its own content, the revolution of the 19th century must let the dead bury their dead. Then the words went beyond the content; now the content goes beyond the words.

        The February Revolution was a surprise attack, a taking of the old society unawares, and the people proclaimed this unexpected stroke as a deed of world importance, ushering in a new epoch. On December 2 the February Revolution is conjured away by a cardsharper's trick, and what seems overthrown is no longer the monarchy but the liberal concessions that were wrung from it by a century of struggle. Instead of society having conquered a new content for itself, it seems that the state only returned to its oldest form, to the shamelessly simple domination of the sabre and the cowl. Such is the reply of the coup de tête < FONT SIZE=-2>[*] of December 1851 to the coup de main [**] of February 1848. Easy come, easy go. Meanwhile time has not been entirely wasted. During the years 1848-51 French society has made up for the studies and experiences -- albeit by a method which is condensed because it is revolutionary -- which, in a regular, so to speak, textbook course of development should have preceded the February Revolution, if it was to be more than a ruffling of the surface. Society

        * Rash act. --Ed.
        ** Unexpected stroke. --Ed.
    how seems to have fallen back behind its point of departure; it has in truth first to create for itself the revolutionary point of departure, the situation, the relations, the conditions under which alone modern revolution becomes serious.

        Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the 18th century, storm swiftly from success to success; their dramatic effects outdo each other; men and things seem set in sparkling brilliants; ecstasy is the everyday spirit; but they are short-lived; soon they have attained their zenith, and a long crapulent depression lays hold of society before it learns soberly to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions, like those of the 19th century, criticize themselves constantly, interrupt themselves continually in their own course, come back to the apparently accomplished in order to begin it afresh, deride with unmerciful thoroughness the inadequacies, weaknesses and paltrinesses of their first attempts, seem to throw down their adversary only in order that he may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again even more gigantic, recoil ever and anon from the indefinite prodigiousness of their own aims, until a situation has been created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves cry out: <"p14">

    Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
    Here is the rose, here dance!

        For the rest, every fairly competent observer, even if he had not followed the course of French developments step by step, must have had a presentiment that an unheard-of fiasco was in store for the revolution. It was enough to hear the self-complacent howl of victory with which Messieurs the Democrats congratulated each other on the expected favour- <"p15">

    page 15

    able consequences of the second Sunday in May 1852.[8] In their minds, the second Sunday in May 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. As ever, weakness had taken refuge in a belief in miracles, fancied the enemy overcome when he was only conjured away in the imagination, and it lost all understanding of the present in a passive glorification of the future that was in store and of the deeds it had in petto but which it merely did not want to carry out as yet. Those heroes who seek to disprove their demonstrated incompetence by offering each other their sympathy and by ganging together had tied up their bundles,<"p15a"> collected their laurel wreaths in advance and were just then engaged on the exchange market in discounting the republics in partibus [9] for which they had already providently organized the government personnel with all the calm of their unassuming disposition. December 2 struck them like a thunderbolt from the blue, and the peoples, who in periods of pusillanimous depression gladly let their inward apprehension be drowned by the loudest bawlers,<"p15b"> will perchance have convinced themselves that the times are past when the cackle of geese could save the Capitol.[10] <"p15c">

        The Constitution, the National Assembly, the dynastic parties, the blue and the red republicans, the heroes of Africa,[11] the thunder from the platform, the sheet lightning of the daily press, the entire literature, the political names and the intellectual reputations, the civil law and the penal code, the liberté, égalité, fraternité and the second Sunday in May 1852 -- all has vanished like a phantasmagoria before the spell of a man whom even his enemies do not make out to be a sorcerer. Universal suffrage seems to have survived only for a moment, in order that with its own hand it may make its <"p16"> last will and testament for all the world to see and declare in the name of the people itself: All that exists deserves to perish.[12]

        It is not enough to say, as the French do, that their nation was taken unawares. A nation and a woman are not forgiven the unguarded hour in which the first adventurer that came along could violate them. The riddle is not solved by such turns of speech, but merely formulated differently. It remains to be explained how a nation of 36 millions can be surprised and delivered unresisting into captivity by three swindlers.

        Let us briefly retrace the phases that the French Revolution went through from February 24, 1848 to December 1851.

        Three main periods are unmistakable: the February period ; May 4, 1848 to May 28, 1849: the period of the constitution of the republic, or of the Constituent National Assembly ; May 28, 1849 to December 2, 1851: the period of the constitutional republic or of the Legislative National Assembly.

        The first period, from February 24, or the overthrow of Louis Philippe, to May 4, 1848, the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, the February period proper, may be described as the prologue to the revolution. Its character was officially expressed in the fact that the government improvised by it itself declared that it was provisional and, like the government, everything that was mooted, attempted or enunciated during this period proclaimed itself to be only provisional. Nothing and nobody ventured to lay claim to the right of existence and of concrete action.<"p16a"> All the elements that had prepared or determined the revolution, the dynastic opposition,[13] the republican bourgeoisie, the democratic-republican petty bourgeoisie and the social-democratic workers, provisionally found their place in the February government.

    page 17

        It could not be otherwise. The February days originally intended an electoral reform, by which the circle of the politically privileged among the propertied class itself was to be widened and the exclusive domination of the financial aristocracy overthrown. When it came to the actual conflict, however, when the people mounted the barricades, the National Guard remained passive, the army offered no serious resistance and the monarchy ran away, the republic appeared to be a matter of course. Every party construed it in its own way. Having secured it arms in hand, the proletariat impressed its stamp upon it and proclaimed it to be a social republic. In this way the general content of the modern revolution was indicated, a content which was in the strangest contradiction to everything that, with the material available, with the degree of education attained by the masses, under the given circumstances and relations, could be immediately realized in practice. On the other hand, the claims of all the remaining elements that had collaborated in the February Revolution were recognized by the lion's share that they obtained in the government. In no period do we, therefore, find a more confused mixture of high-flown phrases and actual uncertainty and clumsiness, of more enthusiastic striving for innovation and more deeply rooted domination of the old routine, of more apparent harmony of the whole of society and more profound alienation of its elements. While the Paris proletariat still revelled in the vision of the wide vistas that had opened before it and indulged in earnest discussions on social problems, the old powers of society had grouped themselves, assembled, reflected and found unexpected support in the mass of the nation, the peasants and petty bourgeois, who all at once stormed on to the political stage, after the barriers of the July Monarchy had fallen.

        The second period, from May 4, 1848 to the end of May 1849, is the period of the constitution, the foundation, of the bourgeois republic. Immediately after the February days not only had the dynastic opposition been surprised by the republicans and the republicans by the Socialists, but all France by Paris. The National Assembly, which met on May 4, 1848, had emerged from the national elections and represented the nation. It was a living protest against the pretensions of the February days and was to reduce the results of the revolution to the bourgeois scale. In vain the Paris proletariat, which immediately grasped the character of this National Assembly, attempted on May 15, a few days after it met, to forcibly negate its existence, to dissolve it, to disintegrate again into its constituent parts the organic form in which the proletariat was threatened by the reacting spirit of the nation. As everybody knows, the only result of May 15 was the removal of Blanqui and his comrades, that is, of the real leaders of the proletarian party,<"p18"> from the public stage for the entire duration of the cycle we are considering.[14]

        The bourgeois monarchy of Louis Philippe can be followed only by a bourgeois republic, that is to say, whereas a limited section of the bourgeoisie ruled in the name of the king, the whole of the bourgeoisie will now rule in the name of the people. The demands of the Paris proletariat are utopian nonsense, to which an end must be put. The Paris proletariat replied to this declaration of the Constituent National Assembly with the June Insurrection, the most colossal event in the history of European civil wars. The bourgeois republic triumphed. On its side stood the financial aristocracy, the industrial bourgeoisie, the middle class, the petty bourgeois, the army, the lumpenproletariat organized as the Mobile Guard, the intellectual lights, the clergy and the ru-

    page 19

    ral population. On the side of the Paris proletariat stood none but itself. More than 3,000 insurgents were butchered after the victory, and 15,000 were transported without trial. With this defeat the proletariat passes into the background of the revolutionary stage. It attempts to press forward again on every occasion, as soon as the movement appears to make a fresh start, but with ever decreased expenditure of strength and always slighter results. As soon as one of the social strata situated above it gets into revolutionary ferment, the proletariat enters into an alliance with it and so shares all the defeats that the different parties suffer, one after another. But these subsequent blows become the weaker, the greater the surface of society over which they are distributed. The more important leaders of the proletariat in the Assembly and in the press successively fall victims to the courts, and ever more equivocal figures come to head it. Part of the proletariat throws itself into doctrinaire experiments, exchange banks and workers' associations, hence into a movement in which it renounces the revolutionizing of the old world by means of the latter's own great, combined resources, and seeks, rather, to achieve its salvation behind society's back, in private fashion, within its limited conditions of existence, and hence necessarily suffers shipwreck. It seems unable either to rediscover revolutionary greatness in itself or to gain renewed energy from recently formed alliance, until all classes with which it contended in June themselves lie prostrate beside it. But at least it succumbs with the honours of the great, world-historic struggle; not only France, but all Europe trembles at the June earthquake, while the ensuing defeats of the upper classes are so cheaply bought that they require bare-faced exaggeration by the victorious party to be able to pass for events at all, and become the more ignom-


    inious the further the defeated party is removed from the proletariat.

        The defeat of the June insurgents, to be sure, had now prepared and levelled the ground on which the bourgeois republic could be founded and built up, but it had shown at the same time that in Europe the questions at issue are other than that of "republic or monarchy." It had revealed that here bourgeois republic signifies the unlimited despotism of one class over other classes. It had proved that in countries with an old civilization, with a developed formation of classes, with modern conditions of production and with an intellectual consciousness in which all traditional ideas have been dissolved by the work of centuries, the republic signifies in general only the political form of revolution of bourgeois society and not its conservative form of life, as, for example, in the United States of North America, where, though classes already exist, they have not yet become fixed, but continually change and interchange their elements in constant flux, where the modern means of production, instead of coinciding with a stagnant surplus population, rather compensate for the relative deficiency of heads and hands, and where, finally, the feverish, youthful movement of material production, which has to make a new world its own, has left neither time nor opportunity for abolishing the old spirit world.

        During the June days 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, family, religion, order," to their army as passwords and had proclaimed to the counter-revolutionary crusaders: "In this sign thou shalt con-


    quer!" From that moment, as soon as one of the numerous parties which had gathered under this sign against the June insurgents seeks to hold the revolutionary battlefield in its own class interest, it goes down before the cry: "Property, family, religion, order." Society is saved just as often as the circle of its rulers contracts, as a more exclusive interest is maintained against a wider one. Every demand of the simplest bourgeois financial reform, of the most ordinary liberalism, of the most formal republicanism, of the most shallow democracy, is simultaneously castigated as an "attempt on society" and branded as "socialism." And, finally, the high priests of "religion and order" themselves are driven with kicks from their Pythian tripods, hauled out of their beds in the darkness of night, bundled into prison vans, thrown into dungeons or sent into exile; their temple is razed to the ground, their mouths are sealed, their pens broken, their law torn to pieces in the name of religion, of property, of the family, of order. Bourgeois fanatics for order are shot down on their balconies by mobs of drunken soldiers, their domestic sanctuaries profaned, their houses bombarded for amusement -- in the name of property, of the family, of religion and of order. Finally, the scum of bourgeois society forms the holy phalanx of order and the hero Crapulinski installs himself in the Tuileries as the "saviour of society ."


        Let us pick up the threads of the development once more. The history of the Constituent National Assembly since the June days is the history of the domination and the dis-


    integration of the republican faction of the bourgeoisie, of that faction which is known by the names of tricolour republicans, pure republicans, political republicans, formalist republicans, etc.

        Under the bourgeois monarchy of Louis Philippe it had formed the official republican opposition and consequently a recognized component part of the political world of the day.<"p22"> It had its representatives in the Chambers and a considerable sphere of influence in the press. Its Paris organ, the National,[15] was considered just as respcctable in its way as the Journal des Débats. [16] Its character corresponded to this position under the constitutional monarchy. It was not a faction of the bourgeoisie held together by great common interests and marked off by specific conditions of production. It was a clique of republican-minded members of the bourgeoisie, writers, lawyers, officers and officials that owed its influence to the personal antipathies of the country against Louis Philippe, to memories of the old republic, to the republican faith of a number of enthusiasts,<"p22a"> above all, however, to French nationalism, whose hatred of the Vienna treaties[17] and of the alliance with England it stirred up perpetually. A large part of the following that the National had under Louis Philippe was due to this concealed imperialism, which could consequently confront it later, under the republic, as a deadly rival in the person of Louis Bonaparte. It fought the financial aristocracy, as did all the rest of the bourgeois opposition. Polemics against the budget, which were closely connected in France with fighting the financial aristocracy, procured popularity too cheaply and material for puritanical leading articles too plentifully not to be exploited. The industrial bourgeoisie was grateful to it for its slavish defence of the French protectionist system, which it accepted, however, more on na-


    tional grounds than on grounds of national economy; the bourgeoisie as a whole, for the paper's vicious denunciation of communism and socialism. For the rest, the party of the National was purely republican, that is, it demanded a republican instead of a monarchist form of bourgeois rule and, above all, the lion's share of this rule. It was by no means clear in its own mind about the conditions of this transformation. On the other hand, what was clear as daylight to it and was publicly acknowledged at the reform banquets in the last days of Louis Philippe, was its unpopularity with the democratic petty bourgeois and, in particular, with the revolutionary proletariat. These pure republicans, as is, indeed, the way with pure republicans, were already on the point of contenting themselves in the first instance with a regency of the Duchess of Orleans, when the February Revolution broke out and assigned their best-known representatives a place in the Provisional Government. From the start, they naturally had the confidence of the bourgeoisie and a majority in the Constituent National Assembly.<"p23"> The socialist elements of the Provisional Government were excluded forthwith from the Executive Commission[18] which the National Assembly formed when it met, and the party of the National took advantage of the outbreak of the June Insurrection to discharge the Executive Commission also, and thereby to get rid of its closest rivals, the petty-bourgeois, or democratic, republicans (Ledru-Rollin, etc.). Cavaignac, the general of the bourgeois republican party who commanded the June massacre, took the place of the Executive Commission with a sort of dictatorial power. Marrast, former editor-in-chief of the National, became president in perpetuity of the Constituent National Assembly, and the ministries, as well as all other important posts, went to the pure republicans.


        The republican bourgeois faction, which had long regarded itself as the legitimate heir of the July Monarchy, thus found its fondest hopes exceeded; it attained power, however, not as it had dreamed under Louis Philippe, through a liberal revolt of the bourgeoisie against the throne, but through a rising of the proletariat against capital, a rising laid low with grape-shot. What it had conceived as the most revolutionary event turned out in reality to be the most counter-revolutionary. The fruit fell into its lap, but it fell from the tree of knowledge, not from the tree of life.

        The exclusive rule of the bourgeois republicans lasted only from June 24 to December 10, 1848. It is summed up in the drafting of a republican constitution and in the state of siege of Paris. <"p24">

        The new Constitution was basically only the republicanized edition of the constitutional Charter of 1830.[19] The narrow electoral qualification of the July Monarchy, which excluded even a large part of the bourgeoisie from political rule, was incompatible with the existence of the bourgeois republic. The February Revolution had at once proclaimed direct universal suffrage in place of this qualification. The bourgeois republicans could not undo this event. They had to content themselves with adding the limiting proviso of a six months' residence in the constituency. The old organization of the administration, of the municipal system, of the judicial system, of the army, etc., remained intact, or, where the Constitution changed them, the change concerned the table of contents, not the contents; the name, not the subject matter.

        The inevitable general staff of the liberties of 1848, personal liberty, liberty of the press, of speech, of association, of assembly, of education and religion, etc., received a constitutional uniform, which made them invulnerable. For each of


    these liberties is proclaimed as the absolute right of the French citoyen, but always with the marginal note that it is unlimited so far as it is not limited by the "equal rights of others and the public safety " or by "laws" which are intended to mediate just this harmony of the individual liberties with one another and with the public safety. For example: "The citizens have the right of association, of peaceful and unarmed assembly, of petition and of expressing their opinions, whether in the press or in any other way. The enjoyment of these rights has no limit save the equal rights of others and the public safety." (Chapter II of the French Constitution, §8.) -- "Education is free. Freedom of education shall be enjoyed under the conditions fixed by law and under the supreme control of the state." (Ibid., §9.) -- "The home of every citizen is inviolable except in the forms prescribed by law." (Chapter II, §3.) Etc., etc. -- The Constitution, therefore, constantly refers to future organic laws, which are to put into effect those marginal notes and regulate the enjoyment of these unrestricted liberties in such a manner that they will conflict neither with one another nor with the public safety. And later, these organic laws were brought into being by the friends of order and all those liberties regulated in such a manner that the bourgeoisie finds itself unhampered in its enjoyment of them by the equal rights of the other classes. Where it forbids these liberties entirely to "others" or permits enjoyment of them under conditions that are just so many police traps, this always happens solely in the interest of "public safety," that is, the safety of the bourgeoisie, as the Constitution prescribes. Consequently, both sides appeal with complete justice to the Constitution: the friends of order, who abrogated all these liberties, as well as the democrats, who demanded all of them. For each paragraph of the Con-


    stitution contains its own antithesis, its own Upper and Lower House, namely, liberty in the general text, abrogation of liberty in the marginal note. Thus, so long as the name of freedom was respected and only its actual realization prevented, in a legal way of course, the constitutional existence of liberty remained intact, inviolate, however mortal the blows dealt to its existence in actual life.

        This Constitution, made inviolable in so ingenious a manner, was nevertheless, like Achilles, vulnerable in one point, not in the heel, but in the head, or rather in the two heads where it ended up -- the Legislative Assembly, on the one hand, the President, on the other. Glance through the Constitution and you will find that only the paragraphs in which the relationship of the President to the Legislative Assembly is defined are absolute, positive, non-contradictory, and can not be distorted. For here it was a question of the bourgeois republicans safeguarding themselves. §§45-70 of the Constitution are so worded that the National Assembly can remove the President constitutionally, whereas the President can only remove the National Assembly unconstitutionally by setting aside the Constitution itself. Here, therefore, it provokes its forcible destruction. It not only sanctifies the division of powers, like the Charter of 1830, it widens it into an intolerable contradiction. The game of the constitutional powers, as Guizot called the parliamentary squabble between the legislative and executive power, is continually played va-banque * in the Constitution of 1848. On one side are 750 representatives of the people, elected by universal suffrage and eligible for re-election; they form an uncontrollable indissoluble, indivisible National Assembly, a National Assembly that enjoys legislative omnipotence, decides in the

        * Staking one's all. --Ed.


    last instance on war, peace and commercial treaties, that alone possesses the right of amnesty and, by its permanence, perpetually holds the front of the stage. On the other side is the President, with all the attributes of royal power, with authority to appoint and dismiss his ministers independently of the National Assembly, with all the resources of executive power in his hands, bestowing all posts and deciding thereby on the livelihood of at least 1.5 million people in France, for that is how many depend on the 500,000 officials and officers of every rank. He has the whole of the armed forces behind him. He enjoys the privilege of pardoning individual criminals, of suspending National Guards, of discharging, with the concurrence of the Council of State, general, cantonal and municipal councils elected by the citizens themselves. Initiative and direction are reserved to him in all treaties with foreign countries. While the Assembly constantly performs on the boards and is exposed to daily public criticism, he leads a secluded life in the Elysian Fields,<"p27"> and that with Article 45 of the Constitution before his eyes and in his heart, crying to him daily: "Frère, il faut mourir! "[20] Your power ceases on the second Sunday of the lovely month of May in the fourth year after your election! Then your glory is at an end, there won't be a repeat performance and if you have debts, look to it in the meantime that you pay them off with the 600,000<"p27a"> francs granted you by the Constitution, unless, perchance, you should prefer to go to Clichy[21] on the second Monday of the lovely month of May! -- Thus, whereas the Constitution assigns actual power to the President, it seeks to secure moral power for the National Assembly. Apart from the fact that it is impossible to create a moral power by paragraphs of law, the Constitution here abrogates itself once more by having the President elected by all Frenchmen through direct suf-


    frage. While the votes of France are split up among the 750 members of the National Assembly, they are here, on the contrary, concentrated on a single individual. While each separate representative of the people represents only this or that party, this or that town, this or that bridgehead, or even only the mere necessity of electing some one as the 750th without examining too closely either the cause or the man, he is the nation's choice and the act of his election is the trump that the sovereign people plays once every four years. The elected National Assembly stands in a metaphysical relation, but the elected President in a personal relation, to the nation. The National Assembly, indeed, exhibits in its individual representatives the manifold aspects of the national spirit, but in the President this national spirit finds its incarnation. In contrast with the Assembly, he possesses a sort of divine right; he is President by the grace of the people.

        Thetis, the sea goddess, had prophesied to Achilles that he would die in the bloom of youth. The Constitution, which like Achilles, had its weak spot, had also, like Achilles, its presentiment that it must go to an early death. It was sufficient for the constitution-making pure republicans to cast a glance from the lofty heaven of their ideal republic at the profane world to perceive how the arrogance of the royalists the Bonapartists, the Democrats, the Communists as well as their own discredit grew daily in proportion as they approached the completion of their great legislative work of art, without Thetis having to leave the sea and communicate the secret to them. They sought to cheat destiny by a catch in the Constitution, through §111 of it, according to which every motion for a revision of the Constitution must be supported by at least three-quarters of the votes, cast in three successive debates at intervals of an entire month, with the added pro-


    viso that not less than 500 members of the National Assembly must vote. Thereby they merely made the impotent attempt still to exercise a power -- when only a parliamentary minority, as which in their mind's eye they already saw themselves prophetically -- a power which at the time, when they commanded a parliamentary majority and all the resources of governmental authority, was slipping daily more and more from their feeble hands.

        Finally the Constitution, in a melodramatic paragraph, entrusts itself "to the vigilance and the patriotism of the whole French people and every single Frenchman," after it had previously entrusted in another paragraph the "vigilant" and "patriotic" to the tender, most painstaking care of the High Court of Justice, the "haute cour," invented by it for the purpose.

        Such was the Constitution of 1848, which on December 2, 1851, was not overthrown by a head, but fell at the touch of a mere hat; this hat, to be sure, was a three-cornered Napoleonic hat.

        While the bourgeois republicans in the Assembly were busy devising, discussing and voting this Constitution, outside the Assembly Cavaignac maintained the state of siege of Paris. The state of siege of Paris was the midwife of the Constituent Assembly in its labour of republican creation. If the Constitution is subsequently put out of existence by bayonets, it must not be forgotten that it was likewise by bayonets, turned against the people, that it had to be protected in its mother's womb and by bayonets that it had to be brought into existence. The forefathers of the "respectable republicans" had sent their symbol, the tricolour, on a tour of Europe. They in turn produced an invention that of itself made its way over the whole Continent, but returned to France with ever renewed love until it has now become naturalized in half her departments -- the state of siege. A splendid invention periodically employed in every ensuing crisis in the course of the French Revolution. But barrack and bivouac, which were thus periodically laid on French society's head to squeeze its brain and quieten it; sabre and musket, which were periodically allowed to act as judges and administrators, as guardians and censors, to play policeman and do night watchman's duty; moustache and uniform, which were periodically trumpeted forth as the highest wisdom of society and as its rector -- were not barrack and bivouac, sabre and musket, moustache and uniform finally bound to hit upon the idea of rather saving society once and for all by proclaiming their own regime as the highest, and freeing civil society completely from the trouble of governing itself? Barrack and bivouac, sabre and musket, moustache and uniform were bound to hit upon this idea all the more as they might then also expect better cash payment for their higher services, whereas little of substance was gleaned from the merely periodical state of siege and the temporary reprieves of society at the bidding of this or that bourgeois faction, save some killed and wounded and some friendly bourgeois leers. Should not the military at last one day play state of siege in their own interest and for their own benefit, and at the same time besiege the citizens' purses? Moreover, we should not forget in passing that Colonel Bernard, the same military commission president who under Cavaignac had 15,000 insurgents deported without trial, is at this moment again at the head of the military commissions active in Paris. <"p30">

        Whereas, with the state of siege in Paris, the respectable, the pure republicans[22] planted the nursery in which the praetorians of December 2, 1851 were to grow, they on the other

    page 31

    hand deserve praise because, instead of exaggerating the national sentiment as under Louis Philippe, with the national power at their command, they now crawled before foreign countries, and, instead of setting Italy free,<"p31"> let her be reconquered by Austrians and Neapolitans.[23] Louis Bonaparte's election as President on December 10, 1848 put an end to the dictatorship of Cavaignac and to the Constituent Assembly.

        In §44 of the Constitution it is stated: "The President of the French republic must never have lost his status of a French citizen." The first President of the French republic, L. N. Bonaparte, had not merely lost his status of a French citizen,<"p31a"> had not only been an English special constable, he was even a naturalized Swiss.[24]

        I have worked out elsewhere the significance of the election of December 10.[25] I will not revert to it here. Suffice it to remark here that it was a reaction of the peasants, who had had to pay the costs of the February Revolution, against the remaining classes of the nation, a reaction of the country against the town. It met with great approval in the army, for which the republicans of the National had provided neither glory nor additional pay, among the big bourgeoisie, which hailed Bonaparte as a bridge to monarchy, among the proletarians and petty bourgeois, who hailed him as a scourge for Cavaignac. I shall have an opportunity later of going more closely into the relationship of the peasants to the French Revolution.

        The period from December 20, 1848 until the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, in May 1849, comprises the history of the downfall of the bourgeois republicans. After having founded a republic for the bourgeoisie, driven the revolutionary proletariat out of the field and reduced the democratic petty bourgeoisie to silence for the time being, they are them- selves thrust aside by the mass of the bourgeoisie, which justly impounds this republic as its property. This bourgeois mass was, however, royalist. One section of it,<"p32"> the large landowners, had ruled during the Restoration and was therefore Legitimist. [26] The other, the aristocrats of finance and big industrialists, had ruled during the July Monarchy and was consequently Orleanist. [27] The high dignitaries of the army, the university, the church, the bar, the academy and of the press were to be found on either side, though in various proportions. Here, in the bourgeois republic, which bore neither the name Bourbon nor the name Orleans, but the name Capital, they had found the form of state<"p32a"> in which they could rule conjointly. The June Insurrection had already united them in the "party of Order."[28] Now it was necessary, in the first place, to remove the coterie of bourgeois republicans who still occupied the seats of the National Assembly. Now, when it was a question of maintaining their republicanism and their legislative rights against the executive power and the royalists, these pure republicans were as cowardly, meek, broken spirited and incapable of fighting in beating a retreat, as they had been brutal in their misuse of physical force against the people. I need not relate here the ignominious history of their dissolution. They did not succumb; they faded out of existence. Their history has come to an end forever, and, both inside and outside the Assembly, they figure in the following period only as memories, memories that seem to come back to life whenever the mere name of Republic is once more the issue and as often as the revolutionary conflict threatens to sink down to the lowest level. I may remark in passing that the journal which gave its name to this party, the National, was converted to socialism in the following period.

    page 33

        Before we finish with this period we must still cast a retrospective glance at the two powers, one of which annihilated the other on December 2,1851, although from December 20, 1848 until the exit of the Constituent Assembly they had lived in conjugal relations. We mean Louis Bonaparte, on the one hand, and the party of the royalist coalition, the party of Order, of the big bourgeoisie, on the other. On acceding to the presidency, Bonaparte at once formed a ministry of the party of Order, and put Odilon Barrot at its head, the old leader, nota bene, of the most liberal faction of the parliamentary bourgeoisie. M. Barrot had at last secured the ministerial portfolio, the spectre of which had haunted him since 1830, and, what is more, the premiership in the ministry, but not, as he had imagined under Louis Philippe, as the most advanced leader of the parliamentary opposition, but with the task of putting a parliament to death, and as the confederate of all his arch-enemies, Jesuits and Legitimists. He brought the bride home at last, but only after she had been prostituted. Bonaparte seemed to efface himself completely. This party acted for him.

        The very first meeting of the council of ministers resolved on the expedition to Rome, which, it was agreed, should be undertaken behind the back of the National Assembly and the means for which were to be wrested from it by false pretences. Thus they began by swindling the National Assembly and secretly conspiring with the absolutist powers abroad against the revolutionary Roman republic. In the same manner and with the same manoeuvres Bonaparte prepared his coup of December 2 against the royalist Legislative Assembly and its constitutional republic. Let us not forget that the same party which formed Bonaparte's ministry on December 20, 1848 formed the majority of the Legislative National Assembly on December 2, 1851.

        In August the Constituent Assembly had decided to dissolve only after it had worked out and promulgated a whole series of organic laws that were to supplement the Constitution. On January 6, 1849, the party of Order had a deputy named Rateau move that the Assembly should disregard the organic laws and rather decide on its own dissolution. Not only the ministry, with Odilon Barrot at its head, but all the royalist members of the National Assembly told it in bullying accents that its dissolution was necessary for the restoration of credit, for the consolidation of order, to put an end to the indefinite provisional arrangements and to establish a definitive state of affairs; that it hampered the productivity of the new government and sought to prolong its existence merely out of malice; that the country was tired of it. Bonaparte took note of all this invective against the legislative power, learned it by heart and proved to the parliamentary royalists, on December 2, 1851, that he had learned from them. He reiterated their own catchwords against them.

        The Barrot ministry and the party of Order went further. They called for petitions to the National Assembly to be made throughout France, in which this body was most politely requested to decamp. They thus led the unorganized popular masses into the fire of battle against the National Assembly, the constitutionally organized expression of the people. They taught Bonaparte to appeal against the parliamentary assemblies to the people. At last, on January 29, 1849, the day had come on which the Constituent Assembly was to decide on its own dissolution. The National Assembly found the building where its sessions were held occupied by the military; Changarnier, the general of the party of Order, in

    page 35

    whose hands the supreme command of the National Guard and front-line troops had been united, held a great military review in Paris, as if a battle were impending, and the royalist coalition threateningly declared to the Constituent Assembly that force would be employed if it should prove unwilling. It was willing, and only bargained for a very short extra term of life. What else was January 29 but the coup d'etat of December 2, 1851, only carried out by the royalists with Bonaparte against the republican National Assembly? The gentlemen did not observe, or did not wish to observe, that Bonaparte availed himself of January 29, 1849 to have a portion of the troops march past him in front of the Tuileries, and eagerly seized on just this first public summoning of the military power against the parliamentary power to foreshadow Caligula. They, to be sure, saw only their Changarnier.

        A motive that particularly induced the party of Order to forcibly cut short the duration of the Constituent Assembly's life was the organic laws supplementing the Constitution, such as the education law, the law on religious worship, etc. To the royalist coalition it was most important that they themselves should make these laws and not let them be made by the republicans, who had grown mistrustful. Among these organic laws, however, was also a law on the accountability of the President of the republic. In 1851 the Legislative Assembly was occupied with the drafting of just such a law, when Bonaparte anticipated this coup with the coup of December 2. The royalist coalition would have given anything to have found the Law of Accountability ready to hand in its parliamentary winter campaign of 1851, and drawn up, at that, by a mistrustful, hostile, republican Assembly!

        After the Constituent Assembly had itself shattered its last weapon on January 29,1849, the Barrot ministry and the friends of order hounded it to death, left nothing undone that could humiliate it and wrested from the impotent, self-despairing Assembly laws that cost it the last remnant of respect in the eyes of the public. Bonaparte, occupied with his fixed Napoleonic idea, was brazen enough to exploit publicly this degradation of the parliamentary power. For when, on May 8, 1849, the National Assembly passed a vote of censure of the ministry because of the occupation of Civitavecchia by Oudinot,<"p36"> and ordered it to bring the Roman expedition back to its alleged purpose,[29] the same evening Bonaparte published in the Moniteur [30] a letter to Oudinot, in which he congratulated him on his heroic exploits and, in contrast to the ink-slinging parliamentarians, already posed as the generous protector of the army. The royalists smiled at this. They regarded him simply as their dupe. Finally, when Marrast, the President of the Constituent Assembly, believed for a moment that the safety of the National Assembly was endangered and, relying on the Constitution, requisitioned a colonel and his regiment, the colonel declined, cited discipline in his support and referred Marrast to Changarnier, who scornfully refused him with the remark that he did not like baionnettes intelligentes.* In November 1851, when the royalist coalition wanted to begin the decisive struggle with Bonaparte,<"p36a"> they sought to put through in their notorious Quaestors' Bill [31] the principle of the direct requisition of troops by the President of the National Assembly. One of their generals, Le Flo, had signed the bill. In vain did Changarnier vote for it and Thiers pay homage to the far-sighted wisdom of the former Constituent Assembly. The War Minister, Saint-Arnaud, answered him as Changarnier

        * Intellectual bayonets. --Ed.

    page 37

    had answered Marrast -- and to the acclamation of the Montagne!

        Thus the party of Order, when it was not yet the National Assembly, when it was still only the ministry, had itself branded the parliamentary regime. And it makes an outcry when December 2, 1851 banished this regime from France!

        We wish it a happy journey.



        On May 28, 1849, the Legislative National Assembly met. On December 2, 1851, it was dispersed. This period covers the life span of the constitutional, or parliamentary, republic. <"p37">

        In the first French Revolution the rule of the Constitutionalists is followed by the rule of the Girondists [32] and the rule of the Girondists by the rule of the Jacobins.[33] Each of these parties relies on the more progressive party for support. As soon as it has brought the revolution to the stage where it can no longer keep up with it and, still less, overtake it, it is thrust aside by the bolder ally that stands behind it and is sent to the guillotine. The revolution thus moves along an ascending line. <"p37a">

        It is the reverse with the Revolution of 1848. The proletarian party appears as an appendage of the petty-bourgeois democratic party. It is betrayed and dropped by the latter on April 16, May 15,[34] and in the June days. The democratic party, in its turn, leans on the shoulders of the bourgeois republican party. The bourgeois republicans no sooner believe themselves well established than they shake off the trouble some comrade and support themselves on the shoulders of the party of Order. The party of Order hunches its shoulders, lets the bourgeois republicans tumble and throws itself on the shoulders of armed force. It fancies it is still sitting on its shoulders when, one fine morning, it perceives that the shoulders have transformed themselves into bayonets. Each party kicks from behind at the one driving forward and in front leans in the direction of the party which is backing away. No wonder that in this ridiculous posture it loses its balance and, having made the inevitable grimaces, collapses with curious capers. The revolution thus moves in a descending line. It finds itself in this state of retrogressive motion before the last February barricade has been cleared away and the first revolutionary authority constituted.

        The period that we have before us comprises a motley array of glaring contradictions: constitutionalists who conspire openly against the Constitution; revolutionaries who are avowed constitutionalists; a National Assembly that wants to be omnipotent but remains parliamentary; a Montagne that finds its vocation in patience and counters its present defeats by prophesying future victories; royalists who form the patres con scripti * of the republic and are forced by the situation to keep the hostile royal houses, which they support, abroad, and the republic, which they hate, in France; an executive power that finds its strength in its very weakness and its respectability in the contempt that it calls forth; a republic that is nothing but the combined infamy of two monarchies, the Restoration and the July Monarchy, with an imperial label -- alliances whose first proviso is separation; struggles whose first law is indecision; wild, inane agitation in the name of tranquillity, most solemn preaching of tranquillity in the name of revolution;

        * "Elected fathers," honorific of the ancient Roman senators. --Ed. passions without truth, truths without passion; heroes without heroic deeds, history without events; development, whose sole driving force seems to be the calendar, wearying with the constant repetition of the same tensions and relaxations; antagonisms that periodically seem to work themselves up to a climax only to lose their edge and fall away without being able to resolve themselves; pretentiously paraded exertions and bourgeois fears of the danger of the world coming to an end, and at the same time the pettiest intrigues and court comedies played by the saviours of the world,<"p39"> who in their laisser eller [*] remind us less of the Day of Judgement than of the times of the Fronde[35] -- the official collective genius of France brought to naught by the artful stupidity of a single individual; the collective will of the nation, as often as it speaks through universal suffrage, seeking its appropriate expression through the inveterate enemies of the interests of the masses, until, at length, it finds it in the wilfulness of a filibuster. If any section of history has been painted grey on grey,<"p39a"> it is this. Men and events appear as inverted Schlemihls,[36] as shadows that have lost their bodies. The revolution itself paralyses its own activists and endows only its adversaries with passionate forcefulness. When the "red spectre," which is continually conjured up and exorcised by the counter-revolutionaries, finally appears, it appears not with the Phrygian cap of anarchy on its head, but in the uniform of order, in red breeches.

        We have seen that the ministry which Bonaparte installed on December 20, 1848, on his Ascension Day, was a ministry of the party of Order, of the Legitimist and Orleanist coalition. This Barrot-Falloux ministry had outlived the republican <"fnp39">

        * Letting things take their course. --Ed.


    Constituent Assembly, whose term of life it had more or less violently cut short, and found itself still at the helm. Changarnier, the general of the royalist alliance, continued to unite in his person the general command of the First Army Division and of the National Guard of Paris. Finally, the general elections had secured the party of Order a large majority in the National Assembly. Here the deputies and peers of Louis Philippe encountered a hallowed host of Legitimists, for whom many of the nation's ballots had become transformed into admission cards to the political stage. The Bonapartist representatives of the people were too few to form an independent parliamentary party. They appeared merely as the mauvaise queue [*] of the party of Order. Thus the party of Order was in possession of the governmental power, the army and the legislative body, in short, of the whole of the state power; it had been morally strengthened by the general elections, which made its rule appear as the will of the people, and by the simultaneous triumph of the counter-revolution on the whole continent of Europe.

        Never did a party open its campaign with greater resources or under more favourable auspices.

        The shipwrecked pure republicans found that they had dwindled to a clique of about 50 men in the Legislative National Assembly, the African generals Cavaignac, Lamoriciere and Bedeau at their head. The great opposition party, however, was formed by the Montagne, as the parliamentary social-democratic party had christened itself. It commanded more than 200 of the 750 votes of the National Assembly and was consequently at least as powerful as any one of the three factions of the party of Order taken by itself. Its numerical <"fnp40">

        * Evil appendage. --Ed.


    inferiority in comparison with the entire royalist coalition seemed compensated by special circumstances. Not only did the elections in the departments show that it had gained a considerable following among the rural population. It counted in its ranks almost all the deputies from Paris; the army had made a confession of democratic faith by the election of three non-commissioned officers, and the leader of the Montagne, Ledru-Rollin, in contrast with all the representatives of the party of Order, had been raised to the parliamentary peerage by five departments, which had pooled their votes for him. In view of the inevitable clashes of the royalists among themselves and of the whole party of Order with Bonaparte, the Montagne thus seemed to have all the elements of success before it on May 28, 1849. A fortnight later it had lost everything, including its honour.

        Before we pursue parliamentary history further, some remarks are necessary to avoid common misconceptions regarding the whole character of the epoch that lies before us. Looked at through the eyes of democrats, the period of the Legislative National Assembly and the period of the Constituent Assembly are concerned with the same problem: the simple struggle between republicans and royalists. The movement itself, however, they sum up in the one shibboleth: "reaction " -- night, when all cats are grey and which permits them to reel off their night watchman's commonplaces. And, to be sure, at first sight the party of Order reveals a maze of different royalist factions, which not only intrigue against each other -- each seeking to elevate its own pretender to the throne and exclude the pretender of the opposing faction -- but also all unite in common hatred of, and common onslaughts on, the "republic." In opposition to this royalist conspiracy the Montagne, for its part, appears as the representa-


    tive of the "republic." The party of Order appears to be perpetually engaged in a "reaction," directed against press, association and the like, to the same extent as in Prussia, and which, as in Prussia, is carried out in the form of brutal police intervention by the bureaucracy, the gendarmerie and the law courts. The "Montagne," for its part, is just as continually occupied in warding off these attacks and thus defending the "eternal rights of man" as every so-called people's party has done, more or less, for a century and a half. If one looks at the situation and the parties more closely, however, this superficial appearance, which veils the class struggle and the peculiar physiognomy of this period, disappears.

        Legitimists and Orleanists, as we have said, formed the two great factions of the party of Order. Was it nothing but lily and tricolour, House of Bourbon and House of Orleans, different shades of royalism which held these factions fast to their pretenders and kept them apart from one another, was it at all the confession of faith of royalism? Under the Bourbons, big landed property had governed, with its priests and lackeys; under the Orleans, high finance, large-scale industry, large-scale trade, that is, capital, with its retinue of lawyers, professors and smooth-tongued orators. The Legitimate Monarchy was merely the political expression of the hereditary rule of the lords of the soil, as the July Monarchy was only the political expression of the usurped rule of the bourgeois parvenus. What kept the two factions apart, therefore, was not any so-called principles, it was their material conditions of existence, two different kinds of property, it was the old contrast between town and country, the rivalry between capital and landed property. Who can deny that at the same time old memories, personal enmities, fears and hopes, prejudices and illusions, sympathies and antipathies, convictions,


    articles of faith and principles bound them to one or the other royal house? An entire superstructure of distinct and uniquely formed sentiments, illusions, modes of thought and views of life rises on the different forms of property, on the social conditions of existence. The entire class creates and forms them out of its material foundations and out of the corresponding social relations. The single individual, who derives them through tradition and upbringing, may imagine that they form the real motives and the starting point of his activity. While each faction of Orleanists and Legitimists sought to make itself and the other believe that it was loyalty to their two royal houses which separated them, facts later proved that it was rather their divided interests which forbade the uniting of the two royal houses. And as in private life one differentiates between what a man thinks and says of himself and what he really is and does, so in historical struggles one must distinguish still more the phrases and fancies of parties from their real organism and their real in terests, their conception of themselves, from their reality. Orleanists and Legitimists found themselves side by side in the republic, with equal claims. If each side wished to effect the restoration of its own royal house against the other, that merely signified that each of the two great interests into which the bourgeoisie is split -- landed property and capital -- sought to restore its own supremacy and the subordination of the other. We speak of two interests of the bourgeoisie, for large landed property, despite its feudal coquetry and pride of race, has been rendered thoroughly bourgeois by the development of modern society. Thus for a long time the Tories in England imagined that they were enthusiastic about monarchy, the church and the beauties of the old English Constitution, until the day of reckoning wrung the confes-


    sion from them that they are enthusiastic only about ground rent. <"p44">

        The royalist coalition carried on its internal intrigues in the press, in Ems, in Claremont,[37] outside parliament. Behind the scenes the royalists donned their old Orleanist and Legitimist liveries again and once more engaged in their old tourneys. But on the public stage, in their grand performances of state, as a great parliamentary party, they put off their respective royal houses with mere obeisances and adjourn the restoration of the monarchy in infinitum.[*] They do their real business as the party of Order, that is, under a social, not under a political title; as representatives of the bourgeois world-order, not as knights of errant princesses; as the bourgeois class against other classes, not as royalists against the republicans. And as the party of Order they exercised more unrestricted and sterner domination over the other classes of society than ever before under the Restoration or under the July Monarchy, a domination which, in general, was only possible under the form of the parliamentary republic, for only under this form could the two great divisions of the French bourgeoisie unite, and make the rule of their class, instead of the regime of a privileged faction of it, the order of the day. If, nevertheless, they, as the party of Order, also insulted the republic and expressed their repugnance to it, this was not merely as a result of royalist memories. Instinct taught them that the republic, true enough, makes their political rule complete, but at the same time undermines its social foundation, since they must now confront the subjugated classes and contend against them without mediation, without the concealment afforded by the crown, without being <"fnp44">

        * To infinity. --Ed.


    able to divert the national interest by their subordinate struggles among themselves and with the monarchy. It was a feeling of weakness that caused them to recoil from the pure conditions of their own class rule and to yearn for the former more incomplete, more undeveloped and, precisely on that account, less dangerous forms of this rule. On the other hand, every time the royalist coalition comes into conflict with the pretender who confronts it, Bonaparte, every time it believes its parliamentary omnipotence to be endangered by the executive power, every time, therefore, it must produce a political title to its rule, it comes forward as republican and not royalist, from the Orleanist Thiers, who warns the National Assembly that the republic divides them least, to the Legitimist Berryer, who, on December 2, 1851, as a tribune swathed in a tricoloured sash, harangues the people assembled before the town hall of the tenth arrondissement in the name of the republic. To be sure, a mocking echo calls back to him: Henry V! Henry V!

        In contrast to the bourgeois coalition, a coalition between petty bourgeois and workers had been formed, the so-called social-democratic party. The petty bourgeois saw that they were badly rewarded after the June days of 1848, that their material interests were imperilled and that the democratic guarantees which were to ensure the realization of these interests were called into question by the counter-revolution, and so they came closer to the workers. On the other hand, their parliamentary representation, the Montagne, thrust aside during the dictatorship of the bourgeois republicans, had in the last half of the life of the Constituent Assembly reconquered its lost popularity through the struggle with Bonaparte and the royalist ministers. It had concluded an alliance with the socialist leaders. In February 1849, banquets


    celebrated the reconciliation. A joint programme was drafted, joint election committees were set up and joint candidates put forward. From the social demands of the proletariat the revolutionary point was broken off and a democratic turn given to them; from the democratic claims of the petty bourgeoisie the purely political form was stripped off and their socialist point thrust forward. From this grew Social-Democracy. The new Montagne, the result of this combination, contained, apart from some supernumeraries from the working class and some socialist sectarians, the same elements as the old Montagne, only in greater numbers. However, in the course of development, it had changed along with the class that it represented. The fact that democratic-republican institutions are required as a means, not of doing away with two extremes, capital and wage labour, but of weakening their antagonism and transforming it into harmony, epitomizes the peculiar character of Social-Democracy. However different the means proposed to achieve this end may be, however much it may be trimmed with more or less revolutionary notions, the content remains the same. This content is the transformation of society in a democratic way, but a transformation within the bounds of the petty bourgeoisie. Only one must not form the narrow-minded notion that the petty bourgeoisie, on principle, wishes to enforce an egoistic class interest. It believes, rather, that the special conditions of its emancipation are the general conditions within the frame of which alone modern society can be saved and the class struggle avoided. Nor should one imagine that the democratic representatives are all shopkeepers or enthusiastic champions of shopkeepers. According to their education and their individual position they may be as far apart as heaven and earth. What makes them representatives of the petty bourgeoisie is


    the fact that in their minds they do not get beyond the limits which the latter do not get beyond in life, that they are consequently driven, theoretically, to the same problems and solutions to which material interest and social position drive the latter in practice. This is, in general, the relationship between the political and literary representatives of a class and the class they represent.

        It is obvious from the above analysis that if the Montagne continually contends with the party of Order for the republic and the so-called rights of man, neither the republic nor the rights of man are its final end, any more than an army, which one wants to deprive of its weapons and which resists, has taken to the field in order to remain in possession of its own weapons.

        As soon as the National Assembly met, the party of Order provoked the Montagne. The bourgeoisie now felt it was necessary to make an end of the democratic petty bourgeois, just as a year before it had realized the necessity of settling with the revolutionary proletariat. Only the adversary's situation was different. The strength of the proletarian party lay in the streets, that of the petty bourgeois in the National Assembly itself. It was therefore a question of decoying them out of the National Assembly into the streets and causing them to smash their parliamentary power themselves, before time and circumstances could consolidate it. The Montagne rushed headlong into the trap.

        The bombardment of Rome by the French troops was the bait that was thrown to it. It violated Article V of the Constitution which forbids the French republic to employ its military forces against the freedom of another people. In addition to this, Article 54 prohibited any declaration of war on the part of the executive power without the assent of the


    National Assembly, and in its resolution of May 8, the Constituent Assembly had disapproved of the Roman expedition. On these grounds Ledru-Rollin brought in a bill of impeachment against Bonaparte and his ministers on June 11, 1849. Exasperated by the stinging gibes of Thiers, he actually let himself be carried away to the point of threatening that he would use every means -- even armed force -- to defend the Constitution. The Montagne rose to a man and repeated this call to arms. On June 12, the National Assembly rejected the bill of impeachment, and the Montagne left the parliament. The events of June 13 are well known: the proclamation issued by a section of the Montagne, declaring Bonaparte and his ministers "outside the Constitution"; the street procession of the democratic National Guards, who, unarmed as they were, dispersed on encountering the troops of Changarnier, etc., etc. One section of the Montagne fled abroad; another was arraigned before the High Court at Bourges, and a parliamentary regulation subjected the remainder to the schoolmasterly surveillance of the President of the National Assembly. Paris was again declared in a state of siege and the democratic section of its National Guard dissolved. Thus the influence of the Montagne in parliament and the power of the petty bourgeois in Paris were broken.

        Lyons, where June 13 had been the signal for a bloody insurrection of the workers, was, along with the five surrounding departments, also declared in a state of siege, a condition that has continued up to the present moment.

        The bulk of the Montagne had left its vanguard in the lurch, having refused to subscribe to its proclamation. The press had deserted, only two journals having dared to publish the pronunciamento. The petty bourgeois betrayed their representatives, in that the National Guards either stayed


    away or, where they appeared, hindered the erection of barricades. The representatives had duped the petty bourgeois, in that the alleged allies from the army were nowhere to be seen. Finally, instead of gaining an accession of strength from it, the democratic party had infected the proletariat with its own weakness and, as is usual with the great deeds of democrats, the leaders had the satisfaction of being able to charge their "people" with desertion, and the people the satisfaction of being able to charge its leaders with deceiving it.

        Seldom had an action been announced with more noise than the impending campaign of the Montagne, seldom had an event been trumpeted with greater certainty or longer in advance than the inevitable victory of democracy. The democrats certainly believe in the trumpets whose blasts blew the walls of Jericho down. And as often as they stand before the ramparts of despotism, they seek to imitate the miracle. If the Montagne wished to triumph in parliament, it should not have called to arms. If it called to arms in parliament, it should not have acted in parliamentary fashion in the streets. If the peaceful demonstration was meant seriously, then it was folly not to foresee that it would be given a warlike reception. If a real struggle was intended, then it was a queer idea to lay down the weapons with which it would have to be waged. But the revolutionary threats of the petty bourgeois and their democratic representatives are mere attempts to intimidate the antagonist. And when they have run into a blind alley, when they have compromised themselves to such an extent that they are forced to carry out their threats, then this is done in an ambiguous fashion that avoids nothing so much as the means to the end and tries to find excuses for giving in. The blaring overture that announced the contest dies away in a pusillanimous snarl as soon as the struggle has to begin, the actors cease to take themselves au sérieux, and the action collapses completely, like a pricked bubble.

        No party exaggerates its resources or deludes itself more light-headedly over the situation than the democratic party. Since a section of the army had voted for it, the Montagne was now convinced that the army would revolt for it. And on what occasion? On an occasion which, from the point of view of the troops, meant only that the revolutionaries sided with the Roman soldiers against the French soldiers. On the other hand, memories of June 1848 were still too fresh for anything to exist but a profound aversion on the part of the proletariat towatds the National Guard and a thorough-going mistrust of the democratic chiefs on the part of the chiefs of the secret societies. To iron out these differences, it was necessary for great, common interests to be at stake. The violation of an abstract paragraph of the Constitution could not provide these interests. Had not the Constitution been repeatedly violated, according to the assurance of the democrats themselves? Had not the most popular journals branded it as counter-revolutionary botch-work? But the democrat, because he represents the petty bourgeoisie, that is, a transition class, in which the interests of two classes simultaneously mutually blunt each other, imagines himself elevated above class antagonism generally. The democrats concede that a privileged class confronts them, but they, along with all the rest of the nation, form the people. What they represent is the people's rights ; what interests them is the people's interests. Accordingly, when a struggle is impending, they do not need to examine the interests and positions of the different classes. They do not need to weigh their own resources too critically. They have merely to give the signal and the peo-

    page 51

    ple, with all its inexhaustible resources, will fall upon the oppressors. Now, if, when it comes to the actual performance, their interests prove to be uninteresting and their potency impotence, then either the fault lies with pernicious sophists, who split the indivisible people into different hostile camps, or the army was too brutalized and blinded to comprehend that the pure aims of democracy are the best thing for it itself, or the whole thing has been wrecked by a detail in its execution, or else an unforeseen accident has this time spoilt the game. In any case, the democrat comes out of the most disgraceful defeat just as immaculate as he was innocent when he went into it, with the newly won conviction that he is bound to win, not that he himself and his party have to give up the old standpoint, but, on the contrary, that conditions have to ripen to suit him.

        One must not, therefore, imagine the Montagne, decimated and broken though it was, and humiliated by the new parliamentary regulation, as being particularly miserable. If June 13 had removed its chiefs, it made room, on the other hand, for men of lesser calibre, whom this new position flattered. If their impotence in parliament could no longer be doubted, they were entitled now to confine their actions to outbursts of moral indignation and blustering declamation. If the party of Order affected to see embodied in them, as the last official representatives of the revolution, all the terrors of anarchy, they could in reality be all the more insipid and modest. They consoled themselves, however, for June 13 with the profound utterance: But if they dare to attack universal suffrage, well then -- then we'll show them what we are made of! Nous verrons! *

        * We shall see! --Ed.

        So far as the Montagnards who fled abroad are concerned, it is sufficient to remark here that Ledru-Rollin, because, in barely a fortnight, he had succeeded in ruining irretrievably the powerful party which he led, now found himself called upon to form a French government in partibus ; that the lower the level of the revolution sank and the more dwarf-like the official bigwigs of official France became, the bigger his figure seemed to grow in the distance, removed from the scene of action; that he could figure as the republican pretender for 1852, and that he issued periodical circulars to the Wallachians and other peoples, in which the despots of the Continent are threatened with his own and his confederates' actions. Was Proudhon altogether wrong when he cried to these gentlemen: "Vous n'étes que des blagueurs "?[*]

        On June 13, the party of Order had not only broken the Montagne, it had effected the subordination of the Constitution to the majority decisions of the National Assembly. And it understood the republic like this: that the bourgeoisie rules here in parliamentary forms, without, as in a monarchy, any restrictions such as the veto power of the executive or the right to dissolve parliament. This was a parliamentary republic, as Thiers termed it. But whereas on June 13 the bourgeoisie secured its omnipotence within the house of parliament, did it not afflict parliament itself, as against the executive authority and the people, with incurable weakness by expelling its most popular part? By surrendering numerous deputies without further ado on the demand of the courts, it abolished its own parliamentary immunity. The humiliating regulations to which it subjected the Montagne exalted the President of the republic in the same measure as it degraded <"fnp52">

        * "You are nothing but windbags." --Ed.

    page 53

    the individual representatives of the people. By branding an insurrection for the protection of the constitutional charter an anarchic act aimed at the subversion of society, it precluded the possibility of an appeal to insurrection, should the executive authority violate the Constitution in relation to it. It is one of the ironies of history that the general who bombarded Rome on Bonaparte's instructions and thus provided the immediate occasion for the constitutional revolt of June 13, that Oudinot had to be the man offered by the party of Order imploringly and in vain to the people as the general of the Constitution against Bonaparte on December 2, 1851. Another hero of June 13, Vieyra, who was lauded from the tribune of the National Assembly for the brutalities that he had committed in the democratic newspaper offices at the head of a gang of National Guards belonging to high finance circles -- this same Vieyra had been initiated into Bonaparte's conspiracy and he essentially contributed to depriving the National Assembly in the hour of its death of any protection by the National Guard.

        June 13 had still another meaning. The Montagne had wanted to force the impeachment of Bonaparte. Its defeat was, therefore, a direct victory for Bonaparte, his personal triumph over his democratic enemies. The party of Order gained the victory; Bonaparte had only to cash in on it. He did so. On June 14 a proclamation could be read on the walls of Paris in which the President, reluctantly, against his will, as it were, compelled by the sheer force of events, comes forth from his cloistered seclusion and, posing as misunderstood virtue, complains of the calumnies of his opponents and, while he seems to identify his person with the cause of order, rather identifies the cause of order with his person. Moreover, the National Assembly had, it is true, subsequently approved the expedition against Rome, but Bonaparte had taken the initiative in the matter. After having re-installed the High Priest Samuel<"p54"> in the Vatican, he could hope to enter the Tuileries as King David.[38] He had won the priests over to his side.

        The revolt of June 13 was confined, as we have seen, to a peaceful street procession. No war laurels were, therefore, to be won against it. Nevertheless, at a time as poor as this in heroes and events,<"p54a"> the party of Order transformed this bloodless battle into a second Austerlitz.[39] Platform and press praised the army as the power of order, in contrast to the popular masses who represented the impotence of anarchy, and extolled Changarnier as the "mainstay of society," a deception in which he himself finally came to believe. Surrepticiously, however, the corps that seemed doubtful were transferred from Paris, the regiments which had shown the most democratic sentiments at the elections were banished from France to Algiers, the disruptive spirits among the troops were relegated to penal detachments, and the systematic isolation of the press from the barracks and of the barracks from bourgeois society was finally carried out.

        Here we have reached the decisive turning point in the history of the French National Guard. In 1830 it was decisive in the overthrow of the Restoration. Under Louis Philippe every rebellion miscarried in which the National Guard stood on the side of the troops. When in the February days of 1848 it displayed a passive attitude towards the insurrection and an equivocal one towards Louis Philippe, he gave himself up for lost -- which indeed he was. Thus the conviction took root that the revolution could not be victorious without the National Guard, nor the army against it. This was the superstition of the army in regard to civilian

    page 55

    omnipotence. The June days of 1848, when the entire National Guard, with the front-line troops, put down the insurrection, had strengthened the superstition. After Bonaparte's assumption of office, the position of the National Guard was to some extent weakened by the unconstitutional union, in the person of Changarnier, of the command of its forces with the command of the First Army Division.

        Just as the command of the National Guard appeared here as an attribute of the military commander-in-chief, so the National Guard itself appeared as only an appendage of the front-line troops. Finally, on June 13 its power was broken, and not only by its partial disbandment, which from this time on was periodically repeated all over France, until mere fragments of it were left behind. The demonstration of June was, above all, a demonstration of the democratic National Guards. They had not, to be sure, carried arms, but worn their uniforms against the army; precisely in this uniform, however, lay the talisman. The army convinced itself that this uniform was a piece of woollen cloth like any other. The spell was broken. In the June days of 1848, bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie had united as the National Guard with the army against the proletariat; on June 13, 1849, the bourgeoisie let the petty-bourgeois National Guard be dispersed by the army; on December 2, 1851, the National Guard of the bourgeoisie itself had vanished, and Bonaparte merely registered this fact when he subsequently signed the decree for its disbandment. Thus the bourgeoisie had itself smashed its last weapon against the army, it had to smash it the moment the petty bourgeoisie no longer stood behind it as a vassal, but before it as a rebel, as, in general, it was bound to destroy all its means of defence against absolutism with its own hand as soon as it had itself become absolute.

        Meanwhile, the party of Order celebrated the reconquest of a power that seemed lost in 1848 only to be found again, freed from its restraints, in 1849, celebrated with invectives against the republic and the Constitution, with curses on all future, present and past revolutions, including that which its own leaders had made, and with laws which muzzled the press, destroyed association and regulated the state of siege as an organic institution. The National Assembly then adjourned from the middle of August to the middle of October, after having appointed a permanent commission for the period of its absence. During this recess the Legitimists intrigued with Ems, the Orleanists with Claremont, Bonaparte by means of princely tours, and the Departmental Councils in deliberations on a revision of the Constitution: incidents which regularly recur in the periodic recesses of the National Assembly and which I propose to discuss only when they become events. Here we shall just add that it was impolitic for the National Assembly to disappear for considerable intervals from the stage and leave only a single, albeit a sorry, figure to be seen at the head of the republic, that of Louis Bonaparte, while to the scandal of the public the party of Order fell asunder into its royalist component parts and followed its conflicting desires for Restoration. As often as the confused noise of parliament grew silent during these recesses and its body dissolved into the nation, it became unmistakably clear that only one thing was still wanting to complete the true form of this republic: to make the former's recess permanent and replace the latter's inscription: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité by the unambiguous words: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery!

    page 57



        In the middle of October 1849, the National Assembly met again. On November 1, Bonaparte surprised it with a message in which he announced the dismissal of the Barrot Falloux ministry and the formation of a new ministry. No one has ever sacked lackeys with less ceremony than Bonaparte did his ministers. The kicks that were intended for the National Assembly were given in the meantime to Barrot & Co.

        The Barrot ministry, as we have seen, had been composed of Legitimists and Orleanists, a ministry of the party of Order. Bonaparte had needed it to dissolve the republican Constituent Assembly, to bring about the expedition against Rome and to break the democratic party. He had seemingly effaced himself behind this ministry, surrendered governmental power into the hands of the party of Order and donned the modest character mask that the responsible editor of a newspaper wore under Louis Philippe, the mask of the homme de paille.* He now threw off the mask which was no longer a light veil behind which he could hide his physiognomy, but an iron mask which prevented him from displaying a physiognomy of his own. He had appointed the Barrot ministry in order to blast the republican National Assembly in the name of the party of Order, he dismissed it in order to declare his own name independent of the National Assembly of the party of Order.

        There was no lack of plausible pretexts for this dismissal. The Barrot ministry ignored even the conventions that would <"fnp">

        * Man of straw. --Ed. have let the President of the republic appear as a power side by side with the National Assembly. During the recess of the National Assembly Bonaparte published a letter to Edgar Ney in which he seemed to disapprove of the Pope's[*] illiberal attitude, just as in opposition to the Constituent Assembly he had published a letter in which he commended Oudinot for the attack on the Roman republic. So when the National Assembly voted the budget for the Roman expedition, Victor Hugo, out of alleged liberalism, brought up this letter for discussion. The party of Order poured scorn on the suggestion, with exclamations of disbelief, that Bonaparte's ideas could have any political importance. Not one of the ministers took up the gauntlet for him. On another occasion Barrot, with his well-known hollow rhetoric, let fall from the platform words of indignation concerning the "abominable intrigues" that, he asserted, went on in the immediate entourage of the President. Finally, while the ministry obtained from the National Assembly a widow's pension for the Duchess of Orleans it rejected any proposal to increase the Civil List of the President. And in Bonaparte the imperial pretender was so intimately bound up with the adventurer down on his luck that the one great idea, that he was called to restore the empire, was always supplemented by the other, that it was the mission of the French people to pay his debts.

        The Barrot-Falloux ministry was the first and last parliamentary ministry that Bonaparte brought into being. Its dismissal, therefore, forms a decisive turning point. With it the party of Order lost, never to reconquer it, an indispensable post for the maintenance of the parliamentary régime, the lever of executive power. It is immediately obvious that <"fnp58">

        * Pius IX. --Ed.

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    in a country like France, where the executive power commands an army of officials numbering more than half a million individuals and, therefore, constantly maintains an immense mass of interests and livelihoods in total dependence; where the state enmeshes, controls, regulates, superintends and tutors civil society from its most comprehensive manifestations of life down to its most insignificant stirrings, from its most general modes of being to the private existence of individuals; where through the most extraordinary centralization this parasitic body acquires a ubiquity, an omniscience, a capacity for accelerated mobility and an elasticity which finds a counterpart only in the helpless dependence, in the loose shapelessness of the actual body politic -- it is obvious that in a country like this the National Assembly forfeits all real influence when it loses command of the ministerial posts, if it does not at the same time simplify the administration of the state, reduce the army of officials as far as possible and, finally, let civil society and public opinion create organs of their own, independent of the governmental power. But it is precisely with the maintenance of that extensive state machine in its numerous ramifications that the material interests of the French bourgeoisie are interwoven in the closest fashion. Here it finds posts for its surplus population and makes up in the form of state salaries for what it cannot pocket in the form of profit, interest, rents and honorariums. On the other hand, its political interests compelled it to increase daily the repressive measures and, therefore, the resources and the personnel of the state power, while at the same time it had to wage an uninterrupted war against public opinion and mistrustfully mutilate and cripple the independent organs of the social movement, where it did not succeed in amputating them entirely. Thus the French bourgeoisie was compelled by its class position to annihilate, on the one hand, the vital conditions of all parliamentary power, including its own, and to render irresistible, on the other hand, the executive power hostile to it.

        The new ministry was called the d'Hautpoul ministry. Not in the sense that General d'Hautpoul had received the rank of Prime Minister. Rather, Bonaparte abolished this office along with Barrot's dismissal, for true enough, it condemned the President of the republic to the status of the legal nonentity of a constitutional monarch, but of a constitutional monarch without throne or crown, without sceptre or sword, without unaccountability, without the inalienable possession of the highest office of state, and, worst of all, without a Civil List. The d'Hautpoul ministry contained only one man of parliamentary standing, the Jewish moneylender Fould, one of the most notorious of the high financiers. The ministry of finance fell to his lot. Look up the quotations on the Paris bourse and you will find that from November 1, 1849 onwards the French fonds * rise and fall with the rise and fall of Bonapartist stocks. While Bonaparte had thus found his ally in the bourse, he at the same time took possession of the police by appointing Carlier Police Prefect of Paris.

        However, the consequences of the ministerial reshuffle could only come to light in the course of development. In the first place, Bonaparte had taken a step forward only to be rebuffed all the more conspicuously. His brusque message was followed by the most servile declaration of allegiance to the National Assembly. Every time the ministers dared to make a diffident attempt to introduce his personal fads as legislative proposals, they seemed to be performing, reluctantly <"fnp">

        * Government securities. --Ed.

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    and compelled by their position, comical tasks of whose fruitlessness they were persuaded in advance.<"p61"> Every time Bonaparte blurted out his intentions behind the ministers' backs and played with his "idées napoléoniennes,"[40] his own ministers disavowed him from the tribune of the National Assembly. His usurpatory ambitions seemed to make themselves heard only in order that the malicious laughter of his opponents might not be drowned. He behaved like an unrecognized genius, whom all the world takes for a simpleton. Never did he enjoy the contempt of all classes in fuller measure than during this period. Never did the bourgeoisie rule more absolutely, never did it display more ostentatiously the insignia of domination.

        It's not for me to write the history of its legislative activity here, which is summarized during this period in two laws: in the law re-establishing the wine tax and the education law abolishing religious unbelief. If wine drinking was made harder for the French, they were presented all the more plentifully with the water of true life. If with the law on the wine tax the bourgeoisie declared the old, hateful French tax system to be inviolable, it sought through the education law to ensure among the masses the old state of mind that put up with the tax system. One is astonished to see the Orleanists, the liberal bourgeois, these old apostles of Voltairianism and eclectic philosophy, entrust their hereditary enemies, the Jesuits, with the supervision of the French mind. However the Orleanists and Legitimists could part company over the pretender to the throne, they understood that to secure their united rule they needed to combine the means of repression of two epochs, that the methods of subjugation of the July Monarchy had to be supplemented and strengthened by the methods of subjugation of the Restoration.

        The peasants, all their hopes disappointed, crushed more than ever by the low level of grain prices on the one hand, and by the growing burden of taxes and mortgage debts on the other, began to rouse themselves in the departments. The response to this was a drive against the schoolmasters, who were made subject to the clergy, a drive against the maires,[*] who were made subject to the prefects, and a system of espionage, to which all were subjected. In Paris and the large towns reaction itself has the physiognomy of its epoch and challenges more than it smashes. In the countryside it becomes dull, coarse, petty, tiresome and vexatious, in a word, the gendarme. One can understand how three years of the regime of the gendarme, consecrated by the regime of the priest, were bound to demoralize the immature masses.

        However much the party of Order might declaim passionately against the minority from the tribune of the National Assembly, its speech remained as monosyllabic as that of the Christians, whose words were to be: Yea, or nay! As monosyllabic on the platform as in the press. Flat as a riddle whose answer is known in advance. Whether it was a question of the right of petition or the tax on wine, freedom of the press or free trade, the clubs or the municipal charter, protection of personal liberty or regulation of the state budget, the watchword constantly recurs, the theme remains always the same, the verdict is ever ready and invariably reads: "Socialism! " Even bourgeois liberalism is declared socialistic, bourgeois enlightenment socialistic, bourgeois financial reform socialistic. It was socialistic to build a railway where a canal already existed, and it was socialistic to defend oneself with a cane when one was attacked with a rapier. <"fnp62">

        * Mayors. --Ed.

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        This was not merely a figure of speech, fashion or party tactics. The bourgeoisie had a true insight into the fact that all the weapons which it had forged against feudalism were turned against itself, that all the means of education which it had produced rebelled against its own civilization, that all the gods which it had created had deserted it. It understood that all the so-called bourgeois liberties and organs of progress were attacking and menacing its class rule at its social foundation and its political summit simultaneously, and had, therefore, become "socialistic." In this menace and this attack it rightly disccrned the secret of socialism, whose import and tendency it judges more correctly than so-called socialism knows how to judge itself; the latter cannot, therefore, comprehend why the bourgeoisie callously hardens its heart against it, whether it sentimentally bewails the sufferings of mankind, or in Christian spirit prophesies the millennium and universal brotherly love, or in humanistic style prattles about mind, education and freedom, or in doctrinaire fashion hatches a system for the conciliation and welfare of all classes. What the bourgeoisie did not grasp, however, was the logical conclusion that its own parliamentary régime, its political rule in general, was now also bound to meet with the general verdict of condemnation as being socialistic. As long as the rule of the bourgeois class had not been organized completely, as long as it had not acquired its pure political expression, the antagonism of the other classes, likewise, could not appear in its pure form, and where it did appear could not take the dangerous turn that transforms every struggle against the state power into a struggle against capital. If it saw "tranquillity" imperilled by every sign of life in society, how could it want to maintain at the head of society a régime of unrest, its own régime, the parliamentary régime, this régime that,

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    in the words of one of its spokesmen, lives in struggle and by struggle? The parliamentary régime lives by discussion; how can it forbid discussion? Every interest, every social institution, is here transformed into general ideas, debated as ideas; how can any interest, any institution, maintain itself above thought and impose itself as an article of faith? The controversies on the platform provoke the controversies among the press hacks; the debating club in parliament is necessarily annexed by debating clubs in the salons and alehouses; the representatives, who constantly appeal to public opinion, give public opinion the right to speak its real mind in petitions. The parliamentary regime leaves everything to the decision of majorities; aren't the great majorities outside parliament bound to want to decide? When you play the fiddle at the top of the state, aren't the lower orders bound to dance?

        Thus, by now branding as "socialistic " what it had previously extolled as "liberal," the bourgeoisie confesses that its own interests dictate that it should be delivered from the danger of its own rule ; that, in order to restore tranquillity to the country, its bourgeois parliament must, first of all, be silenced; that in order to preserve its social power intact, its political power must be broken; that the individual bourgeois can continue to exploit the other classes and to enjoy undisturbed property, family, religion and order only on condition that their class be condemned along with the other classes to a similar position of political insignificance; that in order to save its purse, it must forfeit the crown, and the sword that is to safeguard it must at the same time be hung over its own head as a sword of Damocles.

        In the domain of the interests of the general citizenry, the National Assembly proved to be so unproductive that, for example, the discussions on the Paris-Avignon railway, which

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    began in the winter of 1850, were still not ripe for conclusion on December 2, 1851. Where it did not repress or pursue a reactionary course it was stricken with incurable barrenness.

        While Bonaparte's ministry partly took the initiative in framing laws in the spirit of the party of Order, and partly even outdid that party's harshness in their execution and administration, he, on the other hand, sought to win popularity by childishly silly proposals, to manifest his opposition to the National Assembly, and to hint at a secret reserve that was only temporarily prevented by conditions from making its hidden treasures available to the French people. The proposal to decree an increase in pay of four sous a day to the non-commissioned officers was in this spirit, as was the proposal of an honour system loan bank for the workers. Money as a gift and money as a loan, it was with prospects such as these that he hoped to allure the masses. Donations and loans -- the financial science of the lumpenproletariat, of high degree or low, is restricted to this. These were the only strings which Bonaparte knew how to pull. Never has a pretender speculated more stupidly on the stupidity of the masses.

        The National Assembly flared up repeatedly over these unmistakable attempts to gain popularity at its expense, over the growing danger that this adventurer, spurred on by his debts and unrestrained by an established reputation, would attempt a desperate coup. The discord between the party of Order and the President had taken on a threatening character when an unexpected event threw him back repentant into its arms. We mean the by-elections of March 10, 1850. These elections were held for the purpose of filling the Representatives' seats that had been left vacant by imprisonment or exile after June 13. Paris elected only social-democratic candidates. It even concentrated most of the votes on an in-

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    surgent of June 1848, on Deflotte. The Parisian petty bourgeoisie, in alliance with the proletariat, revenged itself for its defeat on June 13, 1849. It seemed to have disappeared from the battlefield at the crucial moment only to reappear there on a more propitious occasion with reinforcements and a bolder battle cry. One circumstance seemed to heighten the peril of this election victory. The army voted in Paris for the June insurgent against La Hitte, a minister of Bonaparte's, and in the departments largely for the Montagnards, who here, too, though indeed not so decisively as in Paris, maintained the ascendancy over their adversaries.

        Bonaparte saw himself suddenly confronted with revolution once more. As he had done on January 29, 1849, and on June 13, 1849, so on March 10, 1850, he disappeared behind the party of Order. He made obeisance, he pusillanimously begged pardon, he offered to appoint any ministry it pleased at the behest of the parliamentary majority, he even implored the Orleanist and Legitimist party leaders, the Thiers,<"p66"> the Berryers, the Broglies, the Moles, in brief, the so-called burgraves,[41] to take the helm of state themselves. The party of Order proved unable to take advantage of this opportunity that would never return. Instead of boldly taking possession of the power offered, it did not even compel Bonaparte to reinstate the ministry dismissed on November 1; it contented itself with humiliating him by its forgiveness and attaching M. Baroche to the d'Hautpoul ministry. As public prosecutor this Baroche had stormed and raged before the High Court at Bourges, the first time against the revolutionists of May 15, the second time against the democrats of June 13, both times because of an attempt on the life of the National Assembly. None of Bonaparte's ministers subsequently contributed more to the degradation of the National Assembly, and after De-

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    cember 2, 1851, we meet him once more as the comfortably installed and highly paid Vice-President of the Senate. He had spat in the revolutionists' soup so that Bonaparte might eat it up.

        The social-democratic party, for its part, seemed only to be casting around for excuses for putting its own victory in question again and for taking the edge off it. Vidal, one of the newly elected Representatives of Paris, had been elected at the same time in Strasbourg. He was induced to decline the election in Paris and accept it in Strasbourg. And so, instead of making its victory at the polls conclusive and compelling the party of Order at once to contest it in parliament, instead of forcing the adversary to fight at the moment of popular enthusiasm and favourable mood in the army, the democratic party wearied Paris during the months of March and April with a new election campaign, let the aroused popular passions wear themselves out in this repeated provisional election game, let the revolutionary energy satiate itself with constitutional successes, dissipate itself in petty intrigues, hollow declamations and sham movements, let the bourgeoisie rally and make its preparations, and, lastly, weakened the significance of the March elections by a sentimental comment in the April by-election, the election of Eugene Sue. In a word, it made an April Fool of March 10.

        The parliamentary majority understood the weakness of its antagonist. Its 17 burgraves -- for Bonaparte had left the direction of and responsibility for the attack to it -- drew up a new electoral law, the introduction of which was entrusted to M. Faucher, who solicited this honour for himself. On May 8 he introduced the law by which universal suffrage was to be abolished, a residence qualification of three years in the locality of the election to be imposed on the electors and,

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    finally, the proof of this residence was to depend in the case of workers on a certificate from their employers.

        Just as the democrats had, in revolutionary fashion, agitated and raged during the constitutional election contest, so now, when it was imperative to prove the serious nature of that victory with armed force, did they in constitutional fashion preach order, majestic calm (calme majestueux ), lawful action, that is to say, blind subjection to the will of the counter-revolution, which imposed itself as the law. During the debate the Mountain put the party of Order to shame by asserting, against the latter's revolutionary passion, the dispassionate attitude of the philistine who keeps within the law, and by crushing that party with the fearful reproach that it acted in a revolutionary manner. Even the newly elected deputies were at pains to prove by their decorous and discreet actions what a misconception it was to decry them as anarchists and construe their election as a victory for revolution. On May 31, the new electoral law went through. The Montagne contented itself with smuggling a protest into the pocket of the President.<"p68"> The electoral law was followed by a new press law, which suppressed[42] the revolutionary newspaper press entirely. It had deserved its fate. The National and La Presse,[43] two bourgeois organs, were left behind after this deluge as the most advanced outposts of the revolution.

        We have seen how during March and April the democratic leaders had done everything to embroil the people of Paris in a sham fight, how after May 8 they did everything to restrain them from a real fight. In addition to this, we must not forget that the year 1850 was one of the most splendid years of industrial and commercial prosperity, and the Paris proletariat was therefore fully employed. But the election law of May 31, 1850 excluded it from any participation in po-

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    litical power. It cut it off from the very arena of the struggle. It threw the workers back into the position of pariahs which they had occupied before the February Revolution. By letting themselves be led by the democrats in the face of such an event and forgetting the revolutionary interests of their class for momentary ease and comfort, they renounced the honour of being a conquering power, surrendered to their fate, proved that the defeat of June 1848 had put them out of the fight for years and that the historical process would for the present again have to go on over their heads. So far as the petty-bourgeois democracy is concerned, which on June 13 had cried: "But if universal suffrage is attacked, we'll show them!", it now consoled itself with the contention that the counter-revolutionary blow which had struck it was no blow and the law of May 31 no law. On the second Sunday in May 1852, every Frenchman would appear at the polling place with ballot in one hand and sword in the other. It was content with this prophecy. Lastly, the army was disciplined by its superior officers for the elections of March and April 1850, just as it had been disciplined for those of May 28, 1849. This time, however, it resolved: "The revolution shall not dupe us a third time."

        The law of May 31, 1850 was the coup d'etat of the bourgeoisie. All its conquests over the revolution until now had had only a provisional character. They were endangered as soon as the existing National Assembly retired from the stage. They depended on the hazards of a new general election, and the history of elections since 1848 irrefutably proved that the bourgeoisie lost moral sway over the mass of the people in the same measure as its actual domination developed. On March 10, universal suffrage declared itself directly against the domination of the bourgeoisie; the bourgeoisie answered by outlawing universal suffrage. The law of May 31 was, therefore, one of the necessities of the class struggle. On the other hand, the Constitution required a minimum of two million votes to make an election of the President of the republic valid. If none of the candidates for the presidency received this minimum, the National Assembly was to choose the President from among the three candidates with the largest number of votes. At the time when the Constituent Assembly made this law, ten million electors were registered on the rolls of voters. In its view, therefore, a fifth of the people entitled to vote was sufficient to make the presidential election valid. The law of May 31 struck at least three million votes off the electoral rolls, reduced the number of people entitled to vote to seven million and, nevertheless, retained the legal minimum of two million for the presidential election. It, therefore, raised the legal minimum from a fifth to nearly a third of the effective votes, that is, it did everything to smuggle the election of the President out of the hands of the people and into the hands of the National Assembly. Thus through the electoral law of May 31 the party of Order seemed to have made its rule doubly secure, by surrendering the election of the National Assembly and that of the President of the republic to the stationary section of society.



        As soon as the revolutionary crisis had been weathered and universal suffrage abolished, the struggle between the National Assembly and Bonaparte broke out again.

        The Constitution had fixed Bonaparte's salary at 600,000 francs. Barely six months after his installation he succeeded

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    in increasing this sum to twice as much, for Odilon Barrot wrung from the Constituent National Assembly an extra. allowance of 600,000 francs a year for so-called representation moneys. After June 13, Bonaparte had had similar requests voiced, this this time without eliciting any response from Barrot. Now, after May 31, he immediately availed himself of the favourable moment and had his ministers propose a Civil List of three millions in the National Assembly. A long life of adventurous vagabondage had endowed him with highly developed antennae for sensing the weak moments when he might squeeze money from his bourgeois. He practised regular chantage.[*] The National Assembly had violated the sovereignty of the people with his assistance and his cognizance. He threatened to denounce its crime to the tribunal of the people unless it loosened its purse strings and purchased his silence with three million a year. It had robbed three million Frenchmen of their franchise. He demanded, for every Frenchman out of circulation, a franc in circulation, precisely three million francs. He, the elect of six millions, claimed damages for the votes out of which he said he had retrospectively been cheated. The Commission of the National Assembly refused the importunate man. The Bonapartist press threatened. Could the National Assembly break with the President of the republic at a moment when in principle it had made a definitive break with the mass of the nation? It rejected the annual Civil List, it is true, but it granted, for this once, an extra allowance of 2.16 million francs. It was thus guilty of the double weakness of granting the money and of showing at the same time by its vexation that it granted it unwillingly. We shall see later why Bona- <"fnp71">

        * Blackmail. --Ed. parte needed the money. After this vexatious sequel, which followed on the heels of the abolition of universal suffrage and in which Bonaparte exchanged his humble attitude during the crisis of March and April for challenging impudence towards the usurpatory parliament, the National Assembly adjourned for three months, from August 11 to November 11 it left a Permanent Commission of 28 members in its place, which contained no Bonapartists, but did contain some moderate republicans. The Permanent Commission of 1849 had included only Order men and Bonapartists. But at that time the party of Order declared itself permanently against the revolution. This time the parliamentary republic declared itself permanently against the President. After the law of May 31, this was the only rival that still confronted the party of Order.

        When the National Assembly met once more in November 1850, it seemed that, instead of the petty skirmishes it had hitherto had with the President, a great and ruthless struggle, a life-and-death struggle between the two powers, had become inevitable.

        The party of Order had broken up into its separate factions during this year's parliamentary recess, as it had done in 1849, each occupied with its own Restoration intrigues, which had been refuelled by the death of Louis Philippe. The Legitimist king, Henry V, had even nominated a formal ministry which resided in Paris and in which members of the Permanent Commission held seats. Bonaparte, in his turn, was, therefore, entitled to make tours of the French departments, and, according to the disposition of the town that he favoured with his presence, now more or less covertly, now more or less overtly, to divulge his own restoration plans and canvass votes for himself. He was constantly accompanied on these

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    processions, which the great official Moniteur and the lesser private Moniteurs of Bonaparte naturally had to celebrate as triumphal processions, by people affiliated with the December 10 Society. This society dates from the year 1849. On the pretext of founding a benevolent society, the lumpenproletariat of Paris had been organized into secret sections, each section being led by Bonapartist agents, with a Bonapartist general at the head of the whole organization. Decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgcoisie, rubbed shoulders with vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mounte-banks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, maquereaux,[*] brothel keepers, portes, literati, organ-grinders, ragpickers, knige grinders, tinkers, beggars -- in short, the whole of the nebulous, disintegrated mass, scattered hither and thither, which the French call la bohème ; from this kindred element Bonaparte formed the core of the December 10 Society. A "benevolent society" -- in so far as, like Bonaparte, all its members felt the need to benefit themselves at the expense of the labouring nation. This Bonaparte, who constitutes himself chief of the lumpenproletariat, who here alone rediscovers in mass form the interests which he personally pursues, who recognizes in the scum, offal and refuse of all classes the only class upon which he can base himself unconditionally, is the real Bonaparte, the Bonaparte sans phrase. An old crafty roué, he conceives the historical life of the nations and their performances of state as comedy in the most vulgar sense, as a masquerade where the grand costumes, words and postures merely serve to mask the pettiest knavery. <"fnp73">

        * Procurers. --Ed.

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    This was the case on his expedition to Strasbourg, where a trained Swiss vulture had played the part of the Napoleonic eagle. For his irruption into Boulogne he puts some London lackeys into French uniforms.<"p74"> They represent the army.[44] In his December 10 Society, he assembles 10,000 rascally fellows, who are to play the part of the people, as Nick Bottom played the lion. At a moment when the bourgeoisie itself was acting out a perfect comedy, but in the most serious manner in the world, without infringing any of the pedantic conditions of French dramatic etiquette, and was itself half deceived, half convinced of the solemnity of its own performance of state, the adventurer, who took the comedy as plain comedy, was bound to win. Only when he has eliminated his solemn opponent, when he himself takes his imperial role seriously and under the Napoleonic mask imagines he is the real Napoleon, does he become the victim of his own conception of the world, the serious buffoon who no longer takes world history for a comedy but his comedy for world history. What the national ateliers were for the socialist workers, what the Gardes mobiles were for the bourgeois republicans, the December 10 Society was for Bonaparte, his very own party fighting force. On his journeys the detachments of this society packing the railways had to improvise a public for him, put on a show of public enthusiasm, roar vive l'Empereur, insult and thrash republicans, of course, under the protection of the police. On his return journeys to Paris they had to form the advance guard, forestall counter-demonstrations or disperse them. The December 10 Society belonged to him, it was his work, his very own idea. Whatever else he appropriates is put into his hands by the force of circumstances, whatever else he does, the circumstances do for him or he is content to copy from the deeds of others. But Bonaparte with his official

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    maxims about order, religion, family and property in public, before the citizens, and with the secret<"p75"> society of the Schufterles and Spiegelbergs,[45] the society of disorder, prostitution and theft, behind him -- that is Bonaparte himself as original author, and the history of the December 10 Society is his own history. Now it had happened by way of exception that People's Representatives belonging to the party of Order came under the cudgels of the Decembrists. And there was more. Yon, the Police Commissioner assigned to the National Assembly and with the task of watching over its safety, acting on the allegations of a certain Alais, advised the Permanent Commission that a section of the Decembrists had decided to assassinate General Changarnier and Dupin, the President of the National Assembly, and had already designated the individuals who were to perpetrate the deed. One understands M. Dupin's terror. A parliamentary inquiry into the December 10 Society, that is, the profanation of the Bonapartist secret world, seemed inevitable. Just before the meeting of the National Assembly Bonaparte providently disbanded his society, naturally only on paper, for in a detailed memoir at the end of 1851 the Police Prefect Carlier still sought in vain to persuade him to really disband the Decembrists.

        The December 10 Society was to remain Bonaparte's private army until he succeeded in transforming the public army into a December 10 Society. Bonaparte made the first attempt at this shortly after the adjournment of the National Assembly, and with the money just wrested from it. As a fatalist, he lives by the conviction that there are certain higher powers which man, and the soldier in particular, cannot withstand. Among these powers he counts, first and foremost, cigars and champagne, cold poultry and garlic sausage. With this in mind, to begin with, he treats officers and non-commissioned

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    officers in his Elysée apartments to cigars and champagne, to cold poultry and garlic sausage. On October 3 he repeats this manoeuvre with the assembled troops at the St. Maur review, and on October 10 the same manoeuvre on a still larger scale at the Satory army parade. The Uncle remembered the campaigns of Alexander in Asia, the Nephew the triumphal marches of Bacchus in the same land. Alexander was a demigod, to be sure, but Bacchus was a god and moreover the tutelary deity of the December 10 Society.

        After the review of October 3, the Permanent Commission summoned the Minister of War d'Hautpoul. He promised that these breaches of discipline would not recur. We know how Bonaparte kept d'Hautpoul's word on October 10. As Commander-in-Chief of the Paris army, Changarnier had been in command at both reviews. He, at the same time a member of the Permanent Commission, chief of the National Guard, the "saviour" of January 29 and June 13, the "mainstay of society,"<"p76"> the party of Order's candidate for the presidential honours, the expected Monk[46] of two monarchies, had hitherto never thought of himself as the War Minister's subordinate, had always openly derided the republican Constitution and had pursued Bonaparte with an ambiguous lordly protection. Now he was consumed with zeal for discipline against the Minister of War and for the Constitution against Bonaparte. While on October 10 a section of the cavalry raised the cry: "Vive Napoléon! Vivent les saucissons! "* Changarnier arranged that at least the infantry marching past under the command of his friend Neumayer should preserve an icy silence. As a punishment, the Minister of War relieved General Neumayer of his post in Paris at Bonaparte's

        * "Hurrah for Napoleon! Hurrah for the sausages!" --Ed.

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    instigation, on the pretext of appointing him commanding general of the 14th and 15th military divisions. Neumayer refused this exchange of posts and so had to resign. Changarnier, for his part, published an order of the day on November 2, in which he forbade the troops to indulge in political declarations or demonstrations<"p77"> of any kind while under arms. The Elysée newspapers[47] attacked Changarnier; the papers of the party of Order attacked Bonaparte; the Permanent Commission held repeated secret sessions in which it was repeatedly proposed to declare the country in danger; the army seemed divided into two hostile camps, with two hostile general staffs, one in the Elysée, where Bonaparte resided, the other in the Tuileries, Changarnier's quarters. It seemed that only the meeting of the National Assembly was needed to give the signal for battle. The French public judged this friction between Bonaparte and Changarnier like that English journalist who characterized it in the following words:

        "The political housemaids of France are sweeping away the glowing lava of the revolution with old brooms and bickering with one another while they do their work."

        Meanwhile, Bonaparte hastened to remove the Minister of War, d'Hautpoul, to pack him off in all haste to Algiers and to appoint General Schramm Minister of War in his place. On November 12, he sent to the National Assembly a message of American prolixity, overladen with detail, redolent of order, desirous of reconciliation, in accordance with the Constitution, dealing with all and sundry, except the questions brûlantes * of the moment. As if in passing, he made the remark that according to the express provisions of the Constitution <"fnp77">

        * Burning questions. --Ed.

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    the President alone could dispose of the army. The message closed with the following words of great solemnity:

        "Above all, France needs tranquillity. . . . But bound by oath, I shall keep within the narrow limits that it has set for me. . . . As far as I am concerned, elected by the people and owing my power to it alone, I shall always bow to its lawfully expressed will. Should you resolve at this session on a revision of the Constitution, a Constituent Assembly will regulate the position of the executive power. If not, then the people will solemnly pronounce its decision in 1852. But whatever the solutions of the future may be, let us come to an understanding, so that passion, surprise or violence may never decide the destiny of a great nation. . . . Above all, my main concern is not who will rule France in 1852, but how to employ the time which remains at my disposal so that the intervening period may pass by without agitation or disturbance. I have opened my heart to you with sincerity; you will answer my frankness with your trust, my good endeavours with your co-operation, and God will do the rest."

        The respectable, hypocritically moderate, virtuously commonplace language of the bourgeoisie reveals its deepest meaning in the mouth of the autocrat of the December 10 Society and the picnic hero of St. Maur and Satory.

        The burgraves of the party of Order did not delude themselves for a moment concerning the trust that this opening of the heart deserved. They had long been blasé about oaths; they numbered in their midst veterans and virtuosos of political perjury. Nor had they missed the passage about the army. They observed with annoyance that in its lengthy enumeration of recently enacted laws the message passed over the most important law, the electoral law, in studied silence, and, moreover, in the event of there being no revision of the Constitution, left the election of the President in 1852 to the people. The electoral law was the leaden ball chained to the feet of the party of Order, which prevented it from walking and so much the more from charging forward! Moreover, by the official disbandment of the December 10

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    Society and the dismissal of the Minister of War d'Hautpoul, Bonaparte had with his own hand sacrificed the scapegoats on the altar of the country. He had taken the edge off the expected collision. Finally, the party of Order itself anxiously sought to avoid, to mitigate, to gloss over any decisive conflict with the executive power. For fear of losing their conquests over the revolution, they allowed their rival to carry off the fruits thereof. "Above all, France needs tranquillity" This was what the party of Order had cried to the revolution since February,[*] this was what Bonaparte's message cried to the party of Order. "Above all, France needs tranquillity." Bonaparte committed acts that aimed at usurpation, but the party of Order committed "a breach of the peace" if it made a fuss about these acts and misconstrued them like hypochondriacs. The sausages of Satory were quiet as mice when no one spoke of them. "Above all, France needs tranquillity." Bonaparte demanded, therefore, that he be left in peace to do as he liked and the parliamentary party was paralysed by a double fear, by the fear of again provoking revolutionary unrest and by the fear of itself appearing as the troublemaker in the eyes of its own class, in the eyes of the bourgeoisie. Consequently, since France demanded tranquillity above all things, the party of Order dared not answer "war" after Bonaparte had talked "peace" in his message. The public, which had anticipated scenes of great scandal at the opening of the National Assembly, was cheated of its expectations. The opposition deputies, who demanded the submission of the Permanent Commission's minutes on the October events, were outvoted by the majority. On principle, all debates that might cause excitement were eschewed. The proceedings of the <"fnp79">

        * 1848. --Ed.

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    National Assembly during November and December 1850 were devoid of interest.

        At last, towards the end of December, guerrilla warfare began over a number of parliamentary prerogatives. The movement got bogged down in petty squabbles regarding the prerogatives of the two powers, since the bourgeoisie had done away with the class struggle for the moment by abolishing universal suffrage.

        A judgement of debt had been obtained from the court against Mauguin, one of the People's Representatives. In answer to the President of the Court's inquiry, the Minister of Justice, Rouher, declared that a capias should be issued against the debtor without further ado. Mauguin was thus thrown into the debtors' jail. The National Assembly flared up when it learned of the assault. Not only did it order his immediate release, but it even had him fetched forcibly from Clichy the same evening, by its greffier.* In order, how ever, to confirm its faith in the sanctity of private property and with the idea at the back of its mind of opening, in case of need, an asylum for Montagnards who had become troublesome, it declared imprisonment of People's Representatives for debt permissible after previously obtaining its consent. It forgot to decree that the President might also be locked up for debt. It destroyed the last semblance of the immunity that enveloped the members of its own body.

        It will be remembered that, acting on the information given by a certain Alais, Police Commissioner Yon had denounced a section of the Decembrists for planning the murder of Dupin and Changarnier. At the very first sitting the quaestors made the proposal in reference to this that parliament should

        * Clerk. --Ed.

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    form a police force of its own, paid out of the private budget of the National Assembly and absolutely independent of the police prefect. The Minister of the Interior, Baroche, protested against this invasion of his domain. Eventually, they came to a miserable compromise on this matter, by which the police commissioner of the Assembly was to be paid out of its private budget and to be appointed and dismissed by its quaestors, but only after previous agreement with the Minister of the Interior. Meanwhile criminal proceedings had been taken by the government against Alais, and here it was easy to represent his information as a hoax and using the public prosecutor as a mouthpiece to cast ridicule upon Dupin, Changarnier, Yon and the whole National Assembly. On December 29, Minister Baroche writes a letter to Dupin in which he demands Yon's dismissal. The Bureau of the National Assembly decides to retain Yon in his position, but the National Assembly, alarmed by its violence in the Mauguin affair and accustomed when it has ventured a blow at the executive power to receive two blows from it in return, does not sanction this decision. It dismisses Yon as a reward for his official zeal and robs itself of a parliamentary prerogative indispensable against a man who does not decide by night in order to act by day, but who decides by day and acts by night.

        We have seen how on certain notable occasions during the months of November and December the National Assembly avoided or quashed the struggle with the executive power. Now we see it compelled to take it up on the pettiest occasions. In the Mauguin affair it confirms the principle of imprisoning People's Representatives for debt, but reserves the right to have it applied only to Representatives out of favour with it and wrangles over this infamous privilege with the

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    Minister of Justice. Instead of availing itself of the alleged murder plot to decree an inquiry into the December 10 Society and irredeemably unmasking Bonaparte before France and Europe in his true character of chief of the Paris lumpenproletariat, it lets the conflict sink to a point where the only issue between it and the Minister of the Interior is which of them has the authority to appoint and dismiss a police commissioner. Thus, during the whole of this period, we see the party of Order compelled by its equivocal position to dissipate and disintegrate its struggle with the executive power in petty jurisdictional squabbles, petty-foggery, legalistic hairsplitting, and delimitation disputes, and to make the most ridiculous matters of form the substance of its activity. It does not dare to take up the conflict at the moment when it becomes a question of principle, when the executive power has really exposed itself and the cause of the National Assembly would be the cause of the nation. By so doing it would give the nation its marching orders, and it fears nothing more than that the nation should be roused. On such occasions it accordingly rejects the motions of the Montagne and proceeds to the order of the day. The wider implications of the question at issue having thus been dropped, the executive power calmly bides its time until it can again take up the same question on petty and insignificant occasions, when it is, so to speak, of only local parliamentary interest. Then the repressed rage of the party of Order breaks out, then it tears away the curtain from the wings, then it denounces the President, then it declares the republic in danger, but then, also, its fervour appears absurd and the occasion for the struggle seems a hypocritical pretext or altogether not worth fighting about. The parliamentary storm becomes a storm in a teacup, the fight becomes an intrigue, the conflict a scandal.

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    While the revolutionary classes gloat with malicious joy over the humiliation of the National Assembly, for they are just as enthusiastic about the parliamentary prerogatives of this Assembly as the latter is about public liberties, the bourgeoisie outside parliament does not understand how the bourgeoisie inside parliament can waste time over such petty squabbles and imperil tranquillity by such pitiful rivalries with the President. It becomes confused by a strategy that makes peace at the moment when all the world is expecting battles, and attacks at the moment when all the world believes peace has been made. <"p83">

        On December 20, Pascal Duprat interpellated the Minister of the Interior concerning the Gold Bars Lottery. This lottery was a "daughter of Elysium."[48] Bonaparte and his faithful followers had brought her into the world and Police Prefect Carlier had placed her under his official protection, although French law forbids all lotteries with the exception of raffles for charitable purposes. Seven million lottery tickets at a franc apiece, the profits ostensibly to go to shipping Parisian vagabonds to California. On the one hand, golden dreams were to supplant the socialist dreams of the Paris proletariat; the seductive prospect of the first prize, the doctrinaire right to work. Naturally, the Paris workers did not notice in the glitter of the California gold bars the francs that were enticed inconspicuously out of their pockets. However, the matter was essentially nothing short of a downright swindle. The vagabonds who wanted to open California gold mines without bothering to leave Paris were Bonaparte himself and his debt ridden Round Table. The three millions voted by the National Assembly had been squandered in riotous living; in one way or another the coffers had to be replenished. Bonaparte had opened a national subscription for the building of

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    so-called cités ouvrières,[*] and figured at the head of the list himself with a considerable sum. In vain. The hard-hearted bourgeois waited mistrustfully for him to pay up his share and since this, naturally, did not ensue, the speculation in socialist castles in the air fell straightway to the ground. The gold bars proved a better draw. Bonaparte & Co. were not content to pocket part of the excess of the seven millions over the bars to be allotted in prizes; they manufactured false lottery tickets; they issued 10, 15 and even 20 tickets with the same number -- a financial operation in the spirit of the December 10 Society! Here the National Assembly was confronted not with the fictitious President of the republic, but with Bonaparte in the flesh. Here it could catch him in the act, in conflict not with the Constitution but with the Code pénal. If on Duprat's interpellation it proceeded to the order of the day, this did not happen merely because Girardin's motion that it should declare itself "satisfait " reminded the party of Order of its own systematic corruption. The bourgeois and, above all, the bourgeois inflated into a statesman, supplements his practical meanness by theoretical extravagance. As a statesman he becomes, like the state power that confronts him, a higher being that can only be fought in a higher, consecrated fashion.

        Bonaparte, who precisely because he was a Bohemian, a princely lumpenproletarian, had the advantage over a rascally bourgeois in that he could conduct the struggle meanly, now saw, after the Assembly had itself guided him with its own hand across the slippery ground of the military banquets, the reviews, the December 10 Society, and, finally, the Code pénal, that the moment had come when he could pass from an <"fnp84">

        * Workers' settlements. --Ed.

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    apparent defensive to the offensive. The minor defeats meanwhile sustained by the Minister of Justice, the Minister of War, the Minister of the Navy and the Minister of Finance, through which the National Assembly signified its snarling displeasure, troubled him little. He not only prevented the ministers from resigning and thus recognizing the sovereignty of parliament over the executive power, but could now consummate what he had begun during the recess of the National Assembly: the severance of the military power from parliament, the removal of Changarnier.

        An Elysée paper published an order of the day alleged to have been addressed during the month of May to the First Military Division, and therefore proceeding from Changarnier, in which the officers were recommended, in the event of an insurrection, to give no quarter to the traitors in their own ranks, but to shoot them immediately and refuse the National Assembly the troops, should it requisition them. On January 3, 1851, the Cabinet was interpellated concerning this order of the day. For the investigation of this matter it requests a breathing space, first of three months, then of a week, finally of only 24 hours. The Assembly insists on an immediate explanation. Changarnier rises and declares that there never was such an order of the day. He adds that he will always hasten to comply with the demands of the National Assembly and that in case of a clash it can count on him. It receives his declaration with tumultuous applause and passes a vote of confidence in him. It abdicates, it decrees its own impotence and the omnipotence of the army by placing itself under the private protection of a general; but the general deceives himself when he puts at its command against Bonaparte a power that he only holds as a fief from the same Bonaparte and when, in his turn, he expects to be protected

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    by this parliament, by his own protégé in need of protection. Changarnier, however, believes in the mysterious power with which the bourgeoisie has endowed him since January 29, 1849. He considers himself the third power, existing side by side with both the other state powers. He shares the fate of the rest of this epoch's heroes, or rather saints, whose greatness consists precisely in the biassed great opinion of them that their party creates in its own interests and who shrink to everyday figures as soon as circumstances call on them to perform miracles. Scepticism is, in general, the mortal enemy of these reputed heroes and real saints. Hence their majestically moral indignation at the dearth of enthusiasm displayed by wits and scoffers.

        The same evening, the ministers were summoned to the Elysée; Bonaparte insists on the dismissal of Changarnier; five ministers refuse to sign it; the Moniteur announces a ministerial crisis, and the press of the party of Order threatens to form a parliamentary army under Changarnier's command. The party of Order had constitutional authority to take this step. It merely had to appoint Changarnier President of the National Assembly and requisition any number of troops it pleased for its protection. It could do so all the more safely as Changarnier still actually stood at the head of the army and the Paris National Guard and was only waiting to be requisitioned together with the army. The Bonapartist press did not as yet even dare to question the right of the National Assembly to requisition troops directly, a legal scruple that under the circumstances did not promise any success. It is probable that the army would have obeyed the orders of the National Assembly when one bears in mind that Bonaparte had to scarch all Paris for eight days in order, finally, to find two generals -- Baraguay d'Hilliers and Saint-

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    Jean d'Angély -- who declared themselves ready to counter-sign Changarnier's dismissal. It is more than doubtful that the party of Order, however, would have found in its own ranks and in parliament the necessary number of votes for such a resolution, when one considers that eight days later 286 votes detached themselves from the party and that in December 1851, in the final hour of decision, the Montagne still rejected a similar proposal. Nevertheless, the burgraves might, perhaps, still have succeeded in spurring the mass of their party to a heroism that consisted in feeling secure behind a forest of bayonets and accepting the services of an army that had deserted to their camp. Instead of this, on the evening of January 6, Messrs. the Burgraves betook themselves to the Elysée in order to make Bonaparte desist from dismissing Changarnier by using statesmanlike phrases and urging considerations of state. Whomever one seeks to persuade, one acknowledges as master of the situation. On January 12, Bonaparte, reassured by this step, appoints a new ministry which retains the leaders of the old ministry, Fould and Baroche. Saint-Jean d'Angély becomes Minister of War, the Moniteur publishes the decree dismissing Changarnier, and his command is divided between Baraguay d'Hilliers, who receives the First Army Division, and Perrot, who receives the National Guard. The mainstay of society has been discharged, and while this does not cause any tiles to fall from the roofs, quotations on the bourse are, on the other hand, going up.

        The party of Order declares that the bourgeoisie has forfeited its vocation to rule by rejecting the army, which places itself in the person of Changarnier at its disposal, and surrendering it irrevocably to the President. A parliamentary ministry no longer existed. Having now indeed lost its grip

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    on the army and National Guard, what forcible means remained to it with which simultaneously to maintain the usurped authority of parliament over the people and its constitutional authority against the President? None. It only had recourse to powerless principles now to principles that it had itself always interpreted merely as general rules, which one prescribes for others in order to be able to move all the more freely oneself. The dismissal of Changarnier and the falling of the military power into Bonaparte's hands closes the first part of the period we are considering, the period of struggle between the party of Order and the executive power. War between the two powers has now been openly declared, is openly waged, but only after the party of Order has lost both arms and soldiers. Without the ministry, without the army, without the people, without public opinion, after its Electoral Law of May 31 no longer the representative of the sovereign nation, sans eyes, sans ears, sans teeth, sans everything,<"p88"> the National Assembly had undergone a gradual transformation into an ancient French Parliament[49] that has to leave action to the government and content itself with grumbled protests post festum.*

        The party of Order receives the new ministry with a storm of indignation. General Bedeau recalls to mind the mildness of the Permanent Commission during the recess, and the excessive consideration it had shown by waiving the publication of its minutes. The Minister of the Interior himself now insists on the publication of these minutes, which by this time have naturally become as dull as ditch-water, disclose no fresh facts and have not the slightest effect on the blase public. On Remusat's proposal the National Assembly retires into its

        * After the feast, that is, belatedly. --Ed.

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    bureaux and appoints a "Committee for Extraordinary Measures." Paris departs even less from the rut of its every day routine, since at this moment trade is prosperous, manufactories are busy, corn prices low, foodstuffs overflowing and the savings banks receive fresh deposits daily. The "extraordinary measures" that parliament has announced with so much noise fizzle out on January 18 in a no-confidence vote against the ministry without General Changarnier even being mentioned. The party of Order had been forced to frame its motion in this way in order to secure the votes of the republicans, as, of all the ministry's measures, Changarnier's dismissal is precisely the only one which the republicans approve of, while the party of Order is in fact not in a position to censure the other ministerial acts, which it had itself dictated.

        The no-confidence vote of January 18 was passed by 415 votes to 286. Thus, it was carried only by a coalition of the extreme Legitimists and Orleanists with the pure republicans and the Montagne. Thus it proved that the party of Order had lost not only the ministry and the army in its conflicts with Bonaparte, but also its independent parliamentary majority, that a squad of Representatives had deserted from its camp, out of fanaticism for conciliation, out of fear of the struggle, out of lassitude, out of considerations of kin for the state salaries so near and dear to them, out of speculation on ministerial posts becoming vacant (Odilon Barrot), out of sheer egoism, which makes the ordinary bourgeois always inclined to sacrifice the general interest of his class for this or that private motive. From the first, the Bonapartist Representatives adhered to the party of Order only in the struggle against revolution. The leader of the Catholic party, Montalembert, had already at that time thrown his influence into the Bonapartist scale, since he despaired of the parlia-

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    mentary party's prospects of life. Lastly, the leaders of this party, Thiers and Berryer, the Orleanist and the Legitimist, were compelled to proclaim themselves republicans openly, to confess that their hearts were royalist but their heads republican, that the parliamentary republic was the sole possible form for the rule of the bourgeoisie as a whole. Thus they were compelled, before the eyes of the bourgeois class itself, to stigmatize the Restoration plans, which they continued indefatigably to pursue behind parliament's back, as an intrigue as dangerous as it was brainless.

        The no-confidence vote of January 18 affected the ministers and not the President. But it was not the ministry, it was the President who had dismissed Changarnier. Should the party of Order impeach Bonaparte himself? On account of his restoration ambitions? The latter merely complemented their own. On account of his conspiracy in connection with the military reviews and the December 10 Society? They had buried these themes long since under simple orders of the day. On account of the dismissal of the hero of January 29 and June 13, the man who in May 1850 threatened to set fire to all four corners of Paris in the event of a rising? Their allies of the Montagne and Cavaignac did not even allow them to raise the fallen mainstay of society by means of an official attestation of sympathy. They themselves could not deny the President the constitutional authority to dismiss a general. They only raged because he made an unparliamentary use of his constitutional right. Had they not continually made an unconstitutional use of their parliamentary prerogative, particularly in regard to the abolition of universal suffrage? They were therefore reduced to moving within strictly parliamentary limits. And it took that peculiar malady which since 1848 has raged all over the Continent, parliamentary cretinism,

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    which holds those infected by it fast in an imaginary world and robs them of all sense, all memory, all understanding of the rude external world -- it took this parliamentary cretinism for those who had destroyed all the conditions of parliamentary power with their own hands, and were bound to destroy them in their struggle with the other classes, still to regard their parliamentary victories as victories and to believe they hit the President by striking at his ministers. They merely gave him the opportunity to humiliate the National Assembly afresh in the eyes of the nation. On January 20 the Moniteur announced that the resignation of the entire ministry had been accepted. On the pretext that no parliamentary party any longer had a majority, as the vote of January 18, this fruit of the coalition between Montagne and royalists, proved, and pending the formation of a new majority, Bonaparte appointed a so-called transition ministry, not one member of which was a member of parliament, all being absolutely unknown and insignificant individuals, a ministry of mere clerks and copyists. The party of Order could now wear itself out playing with these puppets; the executive power no longer thought it worth while to be seriously represented in the National Assembly. The more his ministers were pure dummies, the more openly Bonaparte concentrated the whole executive power in his own person and the more scope he had to exploit it for his own ends.

        The party of Order, in coalition with the Montagne, revenged itself by rejecting the grant to the President of 1.8 million francs, which the chief of the December 10 Society had compelled his ministerial clerks to propose. This time a majority of only 102 votes decided the matter; thus 27 fresh votes had fallen away since January 18; the dissolution of the party of Order was making progress. At the same time, in

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    order that there might not for a moment be any mistake about the meaning of its coalition with the Montagne, it scorned even to consider a proposal signed by 189 members of the Montagne calling for a general amnesty of political offenders. It sufficed for the Minister of the Interior, a certain Vaïsse, to declare that the tranquillity was only apparent, that in secret great unrest prevailed, that in secret ubiquitous societies were being organized, the democratic papers were preparing to come out again, the reports from the departments were unfavourable, the Geneva refugees were directing a conspiracy spreading by way of Lyons over all the south of France, France was on the verge of an industrial and commercial crisis,<"p92"> the manufacturers of Roubaix had reduced working hours, that the prisoners of Belle Isle[50] were in revolt -- it sufficed for even a mere Vaïsse to conjure up the red spectre and the party of Order rejected without discussion a motion that would certainly have won the National Assembly immense popularity and thrown Bonaparte back into its arms. Instead of letting itself be intimidated by the executive power with the prospect of fresh disturbances, it ought rather to have allowed the class struggle a little elbowroom, so as to keep the executive power dependent on itself. But it did not feel equal to the task of playing with fire.

        Meanwhile, the so-called transition ministry continued to vegetate until the middle of April. Bonaparte wearied and teased the National Assembly with continual new ministerial combinations. One minute he seemed to want to form a republican ministry with Lamartine and Billault, the next a parliamentary one with the inevitable Odilon Barrot, whose name may never be missing when a dupe is necessary, then a Legitimist ministry with Vatimesnil and Benoist d'Azy, and then again an Orleanist one with Maleville. While he thus

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    kept the different factions of the party of Order in a state of mutual tension and alarmed them as a whole with the prospect of a republican ministry and the consequent inevitable restoration of universal suffrage, he at the same time engendered in the bourgeoisie the conviction that his honest efforts to form a parliamentary ministry were being frustrated by the irreconcilability of the royalist factions. The bourgeoisie, however, cried out all the louder for a "strong government," it found it all the more unpardonable to leave France "with out administration," the more a general commercial crisis seemed now to be approaching and won recruits for socialism in the towns just as the ruinously low price of corn did in the countryside. Trade became slacker daily, the unemployed hands increased perceptibly, 10,000 workers, at least, were without their daily bread in Paris, innumerable factories stood idle in Rouen, Mulhouse, Lyons, Roubaix, Tourcoing, St. Etienne, Elbeuf, etc. Under these circumstances Bonaparte could venture, on April 11, to restore the ministry of January 18: Messrs. Rouher, Fould, Baroche, etc., reinforced by M. Leon Faucher, whom the Constituent Assembly during its last days had, with the exception of five votes cast by ministers, unanimously stigmatized by a vote of no-confidence for sending out false telegrams. The National Assembly had, therefore, gained a victory over the ministry on January 18, had struggled with Bonaparte for three months, only to have Fould and Baroche on April 11 admit the puritan Faucher as a third party into their ministerial alliance.

        In November 1849, Bonaparte had contented himself with an unparliamentary ministry, in January 1851 with an extra-parliamentary one, and on April 11 he felt strong enough to form an anti-parliamentary ministry, which harmoniously combined in itself the no-confidence votes of both Assemblies,

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    the Constituent and the Legislative, the republican and the royalist. This gradation of ministries was the thermometer with which parliament could measure the decrease of its own vital heat. By the end of April the latter had fallen so low that Persigny, in a personal interview, could urge Changarnier to go over to the camp of the President. Bonaparte, he assured him, regarded the influence of the National Assembly as completely destroyed, and the proclamation was already prepared that was to be published after the coup d'etat, which was kept steadily in view but was by chance again postponed. Changarnier informed the leaders of the party of Order of the obituary notice, but who believes that bedbug bites are fatal? And parliament, stricken, disintegrated and tainted with death as it was, could not prevail upon itself to see in its duel with the grotesque chief of the December 10 Society anything but a duel with a bedbug.<"p94"> But Bonaparte answered the party of Order as Agesilaus did King Agis:

        "I seem to thee an ant, but one day I shall be a lion. "[51]



        The coalition with the Montagne and the pure republicans, to which the party of Order saw itself condemned in its unavailing efforts to maintain possession of the military power and to reconquer supreme control of the executive power, proved incontrovertibly that it had forfeited its independent parliamentary majority. On May 28, the mere power of the calendar, of the hour hand of the clock, gave the signal for its complete disintegration. With May 28, the last year of the life of the National Assembly began. It now had to decide whether to continue with the Constitution as it was or to

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    revise it. But revision of the Constitution did not only imply rule of the bourgeoisie or of the petty-bourgeois democracy, democracy or proletarian anarchy, parliamentary republic or Bonaparte, it implied at the same time Orleans or Bourbon! So the apple of discord fell in the midst of parliament, which was bound to inflame openly the conflict of interests which split the party of Order into hostile factions. The party of Order was a combination of heterogeneous social substances. The question of revision generated a political temperature at which the product again decomposed into its original constituents.

        The interest of the Bonapartists in a revision was simple. For them it was above all a question of abolishing Article 45, which forbade Bonaparte's re-election and the prolongation of his authority. The position of the republicans seemed no less simple. They unconditionally rejected any revision; they saw in it a universal conspiracy against the republic. Since they commanded more than a quarter of the votes in the National Assembly and, according to the Constitution, three quarters of the votes were required for a resolution for revision to be legally valid and for the convocation of a revising Assembly, they only needed to count their votes to be sure of victory. And they were sure of victory.

        As against these clear positions, the party of Order found itself caught in inextricable contradictions. If it rejected revision, it would imperil the status quo, since it would leave Bonaparte only one way out, that of force, and since on the second Sunday in May 1852, at the decisive moment, it would be surrendering France to revolutionary anarchy, with a President who had lost his authority, with a parliament which for a long time had not possessed it and with a people that meant to reconquer it. If it voted for constitutional revision, it knew

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    that it voted in vain and would be bound to fail constitution ally because of the veto of the republicans. If it unconstitutionally declared a simple majority vote to be binding, then it could hope to dominate the revolution only if it subordinated itself unconditionally to the sovereignty of the executive power, then it would make Bonaparte master of the Constitution, of its revision and of itself. Only a partial revision which prolonged the authority of the President would pave the way for imperial usurpation. A general revision which shortened the existence of the republic would bring the dynastic claims into unavoidable conflict, for the conditions of a Bourbon and the conditions of an Orleanist Restoration were not only different, they were mutually exclusive.

        The parliamentary republic was more than the neutral territory on which the two factions of the French bourgeoisie, Legitimists and Orleanists, large landed property and industry, could dwell side by side with equal rights. It was the unavoidable condition of their common rule, the sole form of state in which their general class interest subjected to itself at the same time both the claims of their particular factions and all the remaining classes of society. As royalists they fell back into their old antagonism, into the struggle for the supremacy of landed property or of money, and the highest expression of this antagonism, its personihcation, was their kings themselves, their dynasties. Hence the resistance of the party of Order to the recall of the Bourbons.

        The Orleanist and People's Representative Creton had in 1849,1850 and 1851 periodically introduced a motion to revoke the decree exiling the royal families. Just as regularly parliament presented the spectacle of an Assembly of royalists that obdurately barred the gates through which their exiled kings might return home. Richard III had murdered Henry VI,

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    with the remark that he was too good for this world and belonged in heaven. They declared France too bad to possess her kings again. Constrained by force of circumstances, they had become republicans and repeatedly sanctioned the popular decision that banished their kings from France.

        A revision of the Constitution -- and circumstances compelled taking it into consideration -- called into question, along with the republic, the joint rule of the two bourgeois factions, and revived, with the possibility of a monarchy, the rivalry of interests which it had predominantly represented by turns, the struggle for the supremacy of one faction over the other. The diplomats of the party of Order believed they could settle the struggle by an amalgamation of the two dynasties, by a so-called fusion of the royalist parties and their royal houses. The real fusion of the Restoration and the July Monarchy was the parliamentary republic, in which Orleanist and Legitimist colours were obliterated and the various species of bourgeois disappeared in the bourgeois as such, in the bourgeois genus. Now, however, Orleanist was to become Legitimist and Legitimist Orleanist. Royalty, in which their antagonism was personified, was to embody their unity; the expression of their exclusive factional interests was to become the expression of their common class interest; the monarchy was to do that which only the abolition of two monarchies, the republic, could do and had done. This was the philosopher's stone, which the doctors of the party of Order racked their brains to produce. As if the Legitimist Monarchy could ever become the monarchy of the industrial bourgeois or the bourgeois monarchy ever become the monarchy of the hereditary landed aristocracy. As if landed property and industry could fraternize under one crown, when the crown could only descend to one head, the head of the elder brother or of the

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    younger. As if industry could in any way come to terms with landed property, so long as landed property itself does not decide to become industrial. If Henry V died tomorrow, the Count of Paris would not become the king of the Legitimists unless he ceased to be the king of the Orleanists. The philosophers of fusion, however, who became more vociferous the more the question of revision came to the fore,<"p98"> who had provided themselves with an official daily organ in the Assemblée Nationale [52] and who are again at work even at this very moment (February 1852), considered the main difficulty to be due to the opposition and rivalry of the two dynasties. The attempts to reconcile the Orleans family with Henry V, begun since the death of Louis Philippe, but, like the dynastic intrigues generally, played at only while the National Assembly was in recess, during the entr'actes, behind the scenes, sentimental coquetry with the old superstition rather than seriously meant business, now became grand performances of state, enacted by the party of Order on the public stage, instead of in amateur theatricals,<"p98a"> as hitherto. The couriers sped from Paris to Venice,[53] from Venice to Claremont, from Claremont to Paris. The Count of Chambord issues a manifesto in which "with the help of all the members of his family" he announces not his, but the "national" Restoration. The Orleanist Salvandy throws himself at the feet of Henry V. The Legitimist chiefs, Berryer, Benoist d'Azy, Saint-Priest, travel to Claremont to persuade the Orleans faction, but in vain. The fusionists realize too late that the interests of the two bourgeois factions neither lose exclusiveness nor gain pliancy when they become accentuated in the form of family interests, the interests of two royal houses. If Henry V were to recognize the Count of Paris as his succcssor -- at best the sole success that the fusion could

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    achieve -- the House of Orleans would not win any claim that the childlessness of Henry V had not already secured it, but it would lose all claims that it had gained through the July Revolution. It would waive its original claims, all the titles that it had wrested from the older branch of the Bourbons in almost 100 years of struggle; it would barter away its historical prerogative, the prerogative of the modern kingdom, for the prerogative of its genealogical tree. The fusion, therefore, would be nothing but a voluntary abdication of the House of Orleans, its resignation to Legitimacy, repentant withdrawal from the Protestant state church into the Catholic. A withdrawal, moreover, that would not even bring it to the throne which it had lost, but to the throne's steps, on which it had been born. The old Orleanist ministers, Guizot, Duchatel, etc., who likewise hastened to Claremont to advocate the fusion, in fact represented merely the Kalzenjammer [*] of the July Revolution, the despair felt in regard to the bourgeois kingdom and the kingliness of the bourgeois, the superstitious belief in Legitimacy as the last charm against anarchy. Imagining themselves mediators between Orleans and Bourbons, they were in reality merely Orleanist renegades, and the prince of Joinville received them as such. On the other hand, the viable, bellicose section of the Orleanists, Thiers, Baze, etc., convinced Louis Philippe's family all the more easily that if any directly monarchist restoration presupposed the fusion of the two dynasties and if any such fusion, however, presupposed abdication of the House of Orleans, it was, on the contrary, wholly in accord with the tradition of their forefathers to recognize the republic for the moment and wait until events permitted the con- <"fnp99">

        * The "morning-after" feeling. --Ed.

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    version of the presidential chair into a throne. Rumours of Joinville's candidature were circulated, public curiosity was kept in suspense and, a few months later, in September, after the rejection of revision, his candidature was publicly proclaimed.

        The attempt at a royalist fusion of Orleanists with Legitimists had thus not only failed; it had destroyed their parliamentary fusion, their common republican form, and had broken up the party of Order into its original component parts; but the more the estrangement between Claremont and Venice grew, the more their settlement broke down and the Joinville agitation gained ground, the more eager and earnest became the negotiations between Bonaparte's minister Faucher and the Legitimists.

        The disintegration of the party of Order did not stop at its original elements. Each of the two great factions, in its turn, underwent a further stage of decomposition. It was as if all the old nuances that had formerly fought and jostled one another within each of the two circles, whether Legitimist or Orleanist, had thawed-out again like dry infusoria on contact with water, as if they had reacquired sufficient vital energy to form groups of their own and independent antagonisms.<"p100"> The Legitimists dreamed that they were back among the controversies between the Tuileries and the Pavillon Marsan, between Villele and Polignac.[54] The Orleanists relived the golden days of the tourneys between Guizot, Molé, Broglie, Thiers and Odilon Barrot.

        That section of the party of Order which was eager for revision, although it was divided again on the limits to revision, and which was composed of the Legitimists led by Berryer and Falloux, on the one hand, and by La Rochejaquelein, on the other, and of the battle-weary Orleanists led

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    by Molé, Broglie, Montalembert and Odilon Barrot, agreed with the Bonapartist Representatives on the following vague and broadly framed motion:

        "The undersigned Representatives move that, with the object of restoring to the nation the full exercise of its sovereignty, the Constitution be revised."

        At the same time, however, they unanimously declared through their reporter Tocqueville that the National Assembly had not the right to move the abolition of the republic, that this right was vested solely in the Revising Chamber. For the rest, the Constitution might be revised only in a "legal" manner, that is, only if the constitutionally prescribed three-quarters of the number of votes were cast in favour of revision. On July 19, after six days of stormy debate, revision was rejected, as was to be anticipated. Four hundred and forty-six votes were cast for it, but 278 against. The extreme Orleanists, Thiers, Changarnier, etc., voted with the republicans and the Montagne.

        Thus the majority of parliament declared against the Constitution, but this Constitution itself declared for the minority and that its vote was binding. But had not the party of Order subordinated the Constitution to the parliamentary majority on May 31, 1850, and on June 13, 1849? Up to now, had not its whole policy been based on the subordination of the paragraphs of the Constitution to the decisions of the parliamentary majority? Had it not left to the democrats the antediluvian superstitious belief in the letter of the law, and castigated the democrats for it? At the present moment, however, revision of the Constitution meant nothing but continuation of the presidential authority, just as continuation of the Constitution meant nothing but Bonaparte's deposition. Parliament had declared for him, but the Constitution declared

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    against parliament. He, therefore, acted in the sense of par iament when he tore up the Constitution and he acted in the sense of the Constitution when he dispersed parliament.

        Parliament had declared the Constitution and, with the Iatter, its own rule to be "beyond the majority"; by its vote it had abolished the Constitution and prolonged the term of presidential power, while declaring at the same time that neither can the one die nor the other live so long as it itself continues to exist. Those who were to bury it were standing at the door. While it debated about revision, Bonaparte removed General Baraguay d'Hilliers, who had proved irresolute, from the command of the First Army Division and appointed in his place General Magnan, the victor of Lyons, the hero of the December days, one of his creatures, who under Louis Philippe had already compromised himself more or less in Bonaparte's favour on the occasion of the Boulogne expedition.

        The party of Order proved by its decision on revision that it knew neither how to rule nor how to serve; neither how to live nor how to die; neither how to suffer the republic nor how to overthrow it; neither how to uphold the Constitution nor how to throw it overboard; neither how to co-operate with the President nor how to break with him. Who, then, did it look to for the solution of all the contradictions? To the calendar, to the course of events. It ceased to presume it had sway over events. It, therefore, challenged the events to assume sway over it, and thereby challenged the power to which in the struggle against the people it had surrendered one attribute after another until it itself stood impotent before this power. In order that the head of the executive power might be able to draw up his plan of campaign against it in relative peace, strengthen his means of attack, select his

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    tools and fortify his positions, it resolved precisely at this critical moment to retire from the stage and adjourn for three months, from August 10 to November 4.

        The parliamentary party was not only dissolved into its two great factions, each of these factions was not only split up within itself, but the party of Order in parliament had fallen out with the party of Order outside parliament. The spokesmen and scribes of the bourgeoisie, its platform and its press, in short, the ideologists of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie itself, the representatives and the represented, faced one another estranged and no longer understood one another.

        The Legitimists in the provinces, with their limited horizon and their unlimited enthusiasm, accused their parliamentary leaders, Berryer and Falloux, of deserting to the Bonapartist camp and of defection from Henry V. Their fleur-de-lis minds believed in the fall of man, but not in diplomacy.

        Far more fateful and decisive was the breach of the commercial bourgeoisie with its politicians. It reproached them, not as the Legitimists reproached theirs, with having abandoned their principles, but, on the contrary, with clinging to principles that had become useless.

        I have already indicated above that since Fould's entry into the ministry the section of the commercial bourgeoisie which had held the lion's share of power under Louis Philippe, namely, the financial aristocracy, had become Bonapartist. Fould represented not only Bonaparte's interests in the bourse, he represented at the same time the interests of the bourse before Bonaparte.<"p103"> The position of the financial aristocracy is most strikingly depicted in a passage from its European organ, the London Economist. [55] In its number of February 1, 1851, its Paris correspondent writes:

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        "Now we have it stated from numerous quarters that above all things France demands tranquillity. The President declares it in his message to the Legislative Assembly; it is echoed from the tribune, it is asserted in the journals; it is announced from the pulpit; it is demonstrated by the sensitiveness of the public funds at the least prospect of disturbance, and their firmness the instant it is made manifest that the executive is victorious."

        In its issue of November 29, 1851, The Economist declares in its own name:

        "The President is the guardian of order, and is now recognized as such on every Stock exchange of Europe."

        The financial aristocracy, therefore, condemned the parliamentary struggle of the party of Order with the executive power as a disturbance of order, and celebrated every victory of the President over its ostensible representatives as a victory of order. By the financial aristocracy here we do not only mean the great loan promoters and speculators in public funds, whose interests, it is immediately obvious, coincide with the interests of the state power. All modern finance, the whole of the banking business, is interwoven in the closest fashion with public credit. A part of their business capital is necessarily invested and put out at interest in quickly convertible public funds. Their deposits, the capital placed at their disposal and distributed by them among merchants and industrialists, are partly derived from the dividends of holders of government securities. If in every epoch the stability of the state power signified Moses and the prophets to the entire money market and to the priests of this money market why not all the more so today, when every deluge threatens to sweep away the old states, and the old state debts with them?

        The industrial bourgeoisie, too, in its fanaticism for order was angered by the squabbles of the parliamentary party of

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    Order with the executive power. After their vote of January 8 on the occasion of Changarnier's dismissal, Thiers, Angles, Sainte-Beuve, etc., received from their constituents, in the industrial districts themselves, public reproofs in which particularly their coalition with the Montagne was scourged as high treason against order. If, as we have seen, the boastful taunts, the petty intrigues which marked the struggle of the party of Order with the President merited no better reception, then, on the other hand, this bourgeois party, which required its representatives to allow the military power to pass from its own parliament to an adventurous pretender without offering resistance, was not even worth the intrigues that were squandered in its interests. It proved that the struggle to maintain its public interests, its own class interests, its political power, only troubled and upset it, as it was a disturbance of private business.

        Almost without exception, the bourgeois dignitaries of the departmental towns, the municipal authorities, the judges of the Commercial Courts, etc., everywhere received Bonaparte on his tours in the most servile manner, even when, as in Dijon, he made an unrestrained attack on the National Assembly, and especially on the party of Order.

        When trade was good, as it still was at the beginning of 1851, the commercial bourgeoisie raged against any parliamentary struggle, in case it put trade out of humour. When trade was bad, as it continually was from the end of Febru ary 1851, the commercial bourgeoisie accused the parliamentary struggles of being the cause of stagnation and cried out for them to stop so that trade could start again. The revision debates came on just in this bad period. Since the question here was whether the existing form of state was to be or not to be, the bourgeoisie felt itself all the more justified in de-

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    manding from its representatives the ending of this torturous provisional arrangement and at the same time the maintenance of the status quo. There was no contradiction in this. By the end of the provisional arrangement it understood precisely what its continuation meant, the postponement to the distant future of the moment when a decision had to be reached. The status quo could be maintained in only two ways: prolongation of Bonaparte's authority or his constitutional retirement and the election of Cavaignac. A section of the bourgeoisie desired the latter solution and could give its representatives no better advice than to keep silent and leave the burning question untouched. They were of the opinion that if their representatives did not speak, Bonaparte would not act. They wanted an ostrich parliament that would hide its head in order to remain unseen. Another section of the bourgeoisie wished to leave Bonaparte in the presidential chair because he was already sitting in it, so that everything might remain in the same old rut. They were indignant because their parliament did not openly infringe the Constitution and abdicate without ceremony.

        The General Councils of the Departments, those provincial representative bodies of the big bourgeoisie, which met from August 25 on during the recess of the National Assembly declared almost unanimously for revision, and thus against parliament and in favour of Bonaparte.

        The bourgeoisie displayed its wrath against its literary representatives, its own press even more unequivocally than in its falling out with its parliamentary representatives. The sentences to ruinous fines and shameless terms of imprisonment, on the verdicts of bourgeois juries, for every attack of bourgeois journalists on Bonaparte's usurpationist intentions, for every attempt of the press to defend the political

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    rights of the bourgeoisie against the executive power, not only astonished France, but all Europe.

        While the parliamentary party of Order, by its clamour for tranquillity, as I have shown, committed itself to quies cence, while it declared the political rule of the bourgeoisie to be incompatible with the safety and existence of the bourgeoisie, by destroying with its own hands in the struggle against the other classes of society all the conditions for its own regime, the parliamentary regime, the extra-parliamentary mass of the bourgeoisie, on the other hand, by its servility towards the President, by its vilification of parliament, by its brutal maltreatment of its own press, invited Bonaparte to suppress and annihilate its speaking and writing section, its politicians and its literati, its platform and its press, in order that it might then be able to pursue its private affairs with full confidence in the protection of a strong and unrestricted government. It declared unequivocally that it longed to get rid of its own political rule in order to get rid of the troubles and dangers of ruling.

        And this extra-parliamentary bourgeoisie, which had already rebelled against the purely parliamentary and literary struggle for the rule of its own class and betrayed the leaders of this struggle, now dares after the event to indict the proletariat for not having risen in a bloody struggle, a life-and-death struggle on its behalf! This bourgeoisie, which every moment sacrificed its general class interests, that is, its political interests, to the narrowest and most sordid private interests, and demanded a similar sacrifice from its representatives, now moans that the proletariat has sacrificed its [the bourgeoisie's] ideal political interests to its [the proletariat's] material interests. It poses as a lovely being that has been misunderstood and deserted in the decisive hour by

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    the proletariat, which has been led astray by Socialists. And it finds an echo in the bourgeois world. Naturally, I do not speak here of German shyster politicians and riffraff of the same persuasion. I refer, for example, to the already quoted Economist, which as late as November 29, 1851, that is, four days prior to the coup d'etat, had declared Bonaparte to be the "guardian of order," but the Thiers and Berryers to be "anarchists," and on December 27, 1851, after Bonaparte had appeased these anarchists, is already vociferous concerning the treason against "the skill, knowledge, discipline, mental influence, intellectual resources and moral weight of the middle and upper ranks" committed by the masses of "ignorant, untrained, and stupid proletarians." The stupid, ignorant and vulgar mass was none other than the bourgeoisie itself.

        In the year 1851, France, to be sure, had passed through a kind of minor trade crisis. The end of February showed a decline in exports compared with 1850, in March trade suffered and factories closed down; in April the position of the industrial departments appeared as desperate as after the February days; in May business had still not revived; as late as June 28 the holdings of the Bank of France showed, by the enormous growth of deposits and the equally great decrease in advances on bills of exchange, that production was at a standstill, and it was not until the middle of October that a progressive improvement of business again set in. The French bourgeoisie attributed this trade stagnation to purely political causes, to the struggle between parliament and the executive power, to the precariousness of a merely provisional form of state, to the terrifying prospect of the second Sunday in May 1852. I will not deny that all these circumstances had a depressing effect on some branches of industry in Paris

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    and the departments. But in any case this influence of the political conditions was only local and inconsiderable. Does this require further proof than the fact that the improvement of trade set in towards the middle of October, at the very moment when the political situation grew worse, the political horizon darkened and a thunderbolt from Elysium was expected at any moment? For the rest, the French bourgeois, whose "skill, knowledge, spiritual insight and intellectual resources" reach no further than his nose,<"p109"> could throughout the period of the Industrial Exhibition in London[56] have found the cause of his commercial misery right under his nose. While factories were closed down in France, in England commercial bankruptcies broke out. While in April and May the industrial panic reached a climax in France, in April and May the commercial panic reached a climax in England. As the French woollen industry suffered, so did the English woollen industry, and as French silk manufacture suffered, so did English silk manufacture. True, the English cotton mills continued working, but no longer at the same profits as in 1849 and 1850. The only difference was that the crisis in France was industrial, in England commercial; that while in France the factories stood idle, in England they extended operations, but under less favourable conditions than in preceding years; that in France it was exports which were hardest hit, in England imports. The common cause, which is naturally not to be found within the bounds of the French political horizon, was obvious. The years 1849 and 1850 were years of the greatest material prosperity and of an over-production that appeared as such only in 1851. At the beginning of this year it was given a further special impetus by the prospect of the Industrial Exhibition. In addition there were the following special circumstances: first, the partial failure of

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    the cotton crop in 1850 and 1851, then the certainty of a bigger cotton crop than had been expected; first the rise, then the suddcn fall, in short, the fluctuations in the price of cotton. The crop of raw silk, in France at least, had turned out to be even below the average yield. Woollen manufacture, finally, had expanded so much since 1848 that the production of wool could not keep pace with it and the price of raw wool rose out of all proportion to the price of woollen manufactures. Here, then, in the raw material of three industries for the world market, we have already threefold material for a stagnation in trade. Apart from these special circumstances, the apparent crisis of 1851 was nothing else but the halt which over-production and over-speculation invariably make in describing the industrial cycle, before they summon all their strength in order to rush feverishly through the final phase of this cycle and arrive once more at their starting-point, the general trade crisis. During such intervals in the history of trade, commercial bankruptcies break out in England, while in France industry itself is reduced to idleness, being partly forced into retreat by the competition, which is just becoming intolerable, of the English in all markets, and being partly singled out for attack as a luxury industry by every business standstill. Thus, besides the general crisis, France goes through national trade crises of her own, which are nevertheless determined and conditioned far more by the general state of the world market than by French local influences. It will not be without interest to contrast the judgement of the English bourgeois with the prejudice of the French bourgeois. In its annual trade report for 1851, one of the largest Liverpool houses writes:

        "Few years have more thoroughly belied the anticipations formed at their commencement than the one just closed; instead of the great

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    prosperity which was almost unanimously looked for it has proved one of the most discouraging that has been seen for the last quarter of a ccntury -- this, of course, refers to the mercantile, not to the manufacturing classes. And yet there certainly were grounds for anticipating the reverse at the beginning of the year -- stocks of produce were moderate, money was abundant, and food was cheap, a plentiful harvest well secured, unbroken peace on the Continent, and no political or fiscal disturbances at home; indeed, the wings of commerce were never more unfettered. . . .<"p111"> To what source, then, is this disastrous result to be attributed? We believe to over-trading both in imports and exports. Unless our merchants will put more stringent limits to their freedom of action, nothing but a triennial panic can keep us in check."[57]

        Now picture to yourself the French bourgeois, how in the throes of this business panic his trade-crazy brain is tortured, set in a whirl and stunned by rumours of coups d'etat and the restoration of universal suffrage, by the struggle between parliament and the executive power, by the Fronde war between Orleanists and Legitimists, by the communist conspiracies in the south of France, by alleged Jacqueries in the Departments of Nievre and Cher, by the publicity of the different candidates for the presidency, by the cheapjack solutions offered by the journals, by the threats of the republicans to uphold the Constitution and universal suffrage by force of arms, by the gospel-preaching émigré heroes in partibus, who announced that the world would come to an end on the second Sunday in May 1852 -- think of all this and you will comprehend why in this unspeakable, deafening chaos of fusion, revision, prorogation, constitution, conspiration, coalition, emigration, usurpation and revolution, the bourgeois madly snorts at his parliamentary republic: "Rather an end with terror than terror without end! "

        Bonaparte understood this cry. His power of comprehension was sharpened by the growing turbulence of creditors who, with each sunset which brought the day of reckon-

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    ing, the second Sunday in May 1852, nearer, saw a movement of the stars protesting their earthly bills of exchange. They had become veritable astrologers. The National Assembly had blighted Bonaparte's hopes of a constitutional prolongation of his authority; the candidature of the Prince of Joinville forbade further vacillation.

        If ever an event has cast its shadow well in advance of its coming, it was Bonaparte's coup d'etat. As early as January 29, 1849, barely a month after his election, he had made a proposal about it to Changarnier. In the summer of 1849 his own Prime Minister, Odilon Barrot, had covertly denounced the policy of coups d'etat ; in the winter of 1850 Thiers had openly done so. In May 1851,<"p112"> Persigny had sought once more to win Changarnier for the coup ; the Messager de l'Assemblée [58] had published an account of these negotiations. During every parliamentary row, the Bonapartist journals threatened a coup d'etat, and the nearer the crisis drew, the louder grew their tone. In the orgies that Bonaparte kept up every night with men and women of the "swell mob," as soon as the hour of midnight approached and copious potations had loosened tongues and fired imaginations, the coup d'etat was fixed for the following morning. Swords were drawn, glasses clinked, the Representatives were thrown out of the window, the imperial mantle fell upon Bonaparte's shoulders, until the following morning banished the spook once more and astonished Paris learned, from vestals of little reticence and from indiscreet paladins, of the danger it had once again escaped. During the months of September and October rumours of a coup d'etat followed fast one on another. Simultaneously, the shadow took on colour, like a variegated daguerreotype. Look up the September and October copies of the organs of the European daily press and you will find, word for word,

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    intimations like the following: "Paris is full of rumours of a coup d'etat. The capital is to be filled with troops during the night, and the next morning is to bring decrees which will dissolve the National Assembly, declare the Department of the Seine in a state of siege, restore universal suffrage and appeal to the people. Bonaparte is said to be seeking ministers for the execution of these illegal decrees." The correspondence that brings these tidings always ends with the fateful word "postponed." The coup d'etat was ever Bonaparte's idée fixe. With this idea he had again set foot on French soil. He was so obsessed by it that he continually betrayed it and blurted it out. He was so weak that, just as continually, he gave it up again. The shadow of the coup d'etat had become so familiar to the Parisians as a spectre that they were not willing to believe in it when it finally appeared in the flesh. What allowed the coup d'etat to succeed was, therefore, neither the reticent reserve of the chief of the December 10 Society nor the fact that the National Assembly was caught unawares. If it succeeded, it succeeded despite his indiscretion and with its fore-knowledge, a necessary, inevitable result of antecedent developments.

        On October 10, Bonaparte announced to his ministers his decision to restore universal suffrage; on the 16th, they handed in their resignations; on the 26th, Paris learned of the for mation of the Thorigny ministry. Police Prefect Carlier was simultaneously replaced by Maupas; the head of the First Military Division, Magnan, concentrated the most reliable regiments in the capital. On November 4, the National Assembly resumed its sittings. It had nothing better to do than to recapitulate in a short, succinct form the course it had gone through and to prove that it was buried only after it had died.

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        The first post that it forfeited in the struggle with the executive power was the ministry. It had to admit this loss solemnly by accepting at full value the Thorigny ministry, a mere shadow cabinet. The Permanent Commission had received M. Giraud with laughter when he presented himself in the name of the new ministers. Such a weak ministry for such strong measures as the restoration of universal suffrage! Yet the object was precisely to get nothing through in parliament, but everything against parliament.

        On the very first day of its re-opening, the National Assembly received the message from Bonaparte in which he demanded the restoration of universal suffrage and the abolition of the law of May 31, 1850. The same day his ministers introduced a decree to this effect. The National Assembly at once rejected the ministry's motion of urgency and rejected the law itself on November 13 by 355 votes to 348. Thus, it tore up its mandate once more; it once more confirmed the fact that it had transformed itself from the freely elected representatives of the people into the usurpatory parliament of a class; it acknowledged once more that it had itself cut in two the muscles which connected the parliamentary head with the body of the nation.

        If by its motion to restore universal suffrage the executive power appealed from the National Assembly to the people, the legislative power appealed by its Quaestors' Bill from the people to the army. This Quaestors' Bill was to establish its right of directly requisitioning troops, of forming a parliamentary army. While it thus designated the army as the arbitrator between itself and the people, between itself and Bonaparte, while it recognized the army as the decisive state power, it had to confirm, on the other hand, the fact that it had long given up its claim to dominate this power. By de-

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    bating its right to requisition troops, instead of requisitioning them at once, it betrayed its doubts about its own powers. By rejecting the Quaestors' Bill, it made public confession of its impotence. This bill was defeated, gathering only a minority of 108 votes. The Montagne thus decided the issue. It found itself in the position of Buridan's ass, not, indeed, between two bundles of hay with the problem of deciding which was the more attractive, but between two showers of blows with the problem of deciding which was the harder. On the one hand, there was the fear of Changarnier; on the other, the fear of Bonaparte. It must be confessed that the position was no heroic one.

        On November 18, an amendment was moved to the law on municipal elections introduced by the party of Order, to the effect that instead of three years', one year's domicile should suffice for municipal electors. The amendment was lost by a single vote, but this one vote immediately proved to be a mistake. By splitting up into its hostile factions, the party of Order had long ago forfeited its independent parliamentary majority. It showed now that there was no longer any majority at all in parliament. The National Assembly had become incapable of transacting business. Its atomic constituents were no longer held together by any force of cohesion; it had drawn its last breath; it was dead.

        Finally, a few days before the catastrophe, the extra-parliamentary mass of the bourgeoisie was solemnly to confirm once more its breach with the bourgeoisie in parliament. Thiers, as a parliamentary hero infected more than the rest with the incurable disease of parliamentary cretinism, had, after the death of parliament, hatched out, together with the Council of State, a new parliamentary intrigue, a Law of Accountability by which the President was to be firmly held

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    within the limits of the Constitution. Just as, on laying the foundation stone of the new market halls in Paris on September 15, Bonaparte, like a second Masaniello, had enchanted the dames des balles, the fishwives -- to be sure, one fishwife outweighed 17 burgraves in real power; just as after the introduction of the Quaestors' Bill he enraptured the lieutenants he regaled in the Elysée, so now, on November 25, he swept off their feet the industrial bourgeoisie, who had gathered at the circus to receive from his hands prize medals for the London Industrial Exhibition. I shall give the significant portion of his speech as reported in the Journal des Débats :

        "With such unhoped-for successes, I am justified in reiterating how great the French republic would be if it were permitted to pursue its real interests and reform its institutions, instead of being constantly disturbed by demagogues, on the one hand, and by monarchist hallucinations, on the other. (Loud, stormy and repeated applause from every part of the amphitheatre.) The monarchist hallucinatiolls hinder all progress and all important branches of industry. In place of progress nothing but struggle. One sees men who were formerly the most zealous supporters of the royal authority and prerogative become partisans of a Convention merely in order to weaken the authority that has sprung from universal suffrage. (Loud and repeated applause.) We see men who have suffered most from the Revolution, and have deplored it most, provoke a new one, and merely in order to fetter the nation's will. . . . I promise you tranquillity for the future, etc., etc. (Bravo, bravo, a storm of bravos.) "

        Thus the industrial bourgeoisie applauds with servile bravos the coup d'etat of December 2, the annihilation of parliament, the downfall of its own rule, the dictatorship of Bonaparte. The thunder of applause on November 25 had its answer in the thunder of the cannon on December 4, and it was on the house of M. Sallandrouze, who had clapped most, that they clapped most of the bombs.

        Cromwell, when he dissolved the Long Parliament, went alone into its midst, drew out his watch in order that it should

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    not continue to exist a minute after the time limit fixed by him, and drove out each one of the members of parliament with hilariously humorous taunts. Napoleon, smaller than his prototype, at least betook himself on the eighteenth Brumaire to the legislative body and read out to it, though in a faltering voice, its sentence of death. The second Bonaparte, who, moreover, found himself in possession of an executive power very different from that of Cromwell or Napoleon, did not seek his model in the annals of world history, but in the annals of the December 10 Society, in the annals of the criminal courts. He robs the Bank of France of 25 million francs, buys General Magnan with a million, the soldiers with 15 francs apiece and liquor, secretly meets his accomplices like a thief in the night, has the houses of the most dangerous parliamentary leaders broken into and Cavaignac, Lamoricière, Le Flô, Changarnier, Charras, Thiers, Baze, etc., dragged from their beds and put in prison, the chief squares of Paris and the parliamentary building occupied by troops, and cheapjack placards posted early in the morning on all the walls, proclaiming the dissolution of the National Assembly and the Council of State, the restoration of universal suffrage and the placing of the Seine Department in a state of siege. In like manner, he inserted a little later in the Moniteur a false document which asserted that influential parliamentarians had grouped themselves round him and formed a state consulta.

        The rump parliament, assembled in the mairie building of the 10th arrondissement and consisting mainly of Legitimists and Orleanists, votes the deposition of Bonaparte amid repeated cries of "Long live the Republic," unavailingly harangues the gaping crowds before the building and is finally led off in the custody of African sharpshooters, first to the

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    d'Orsay barracks, and later packed into prison vans and transported to the prisons of Mazas, Ham and Vincennes. Thus ended the party of Order, the Legislative Assembly and the February Revolution. Before hastening to a close, let us briefly summarize the latter's history:

        I. First period. From February 24 to May 4, 1848. February period. Prologue. Universal brotherhood swindle.

        II. Second period. Period of constituting the republic and of the Constituent National Assembly.

        1. May 4 to June 25, 1848. Struggle of all classes against the proletariat. Defeat of the proletariat in the June days.

        2. June 25 to December 10, 1848. Dictatorship of the pure bourgeois republicans. Drafting of the Constitution. Proclamation of a state of siege in Paris. The bourgeois dictatorship set aside on December 10 by the election of Bonaparte as President.

        3. December 20, 1848 to May 28, 1849. Struggle of the Constituent Assembly with Bonaparte and with the party of Order in alliance with him. Passing of the Constituent Assembly. Fall of the republican bourgeoisie.

        III. Third period. Period of the constitutional republic and of the Legislative National Assembly.

        I. May 28,1849 to June 13, 1849. Struggle of the petty bourgeoisie with the bourgeoisie and with Bonaparte. Defeat of the petty-bourgeois democracy.

        2. June 13, 1849 to May 31, 1850. Parliamentary dictatorship of the party of Order. It completes its rule by abolishing universal suffrage, but loses the parliamentary ministry.

        3. May 31, 1850 to December 2, 1851. Struggle between the parliamentary bourgeoisie and Bonaparte.

        (a) May 31, 1850 to January 12, 1851. Parliament loses the supreme command of the army.

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        (b) January 12 to April 11, 1851. It is worsted in its attempts to regain the administrative power. The party of Order loses its independent parliamentary majority. Its coalition with the republicans and the Montagne.

        (c) April 11, 1851 to October 9, 1851. Attempts at revision, fusion, prorogation. The party of Order decomposes into its separate constituents. The breach between the bourgeois parliament and press and the mass of the bourgeoisie becomes definite.

        (d) October 9 to December 2, 1851. Open breach between parliament and the executive power. Parliament performs its dying act and succumbs, left in the lurch by its own class, by the army and by all the remaining classes. Passing of the parliamentary regime and of bourgeois rule. Victory of Bonaparte. Parody of restoration of empire.



        The social republic appeared as a phrase, as a prophecy on the threshold of the February Revolution. In the June days of 1848, it was drowned in the blood of the Paris proletariat, but it haunts the subsequent acts of the drama like a ghost. The democratic republic announces its arrival. On June 13, 1849, it fizzles out together with its petty bourgeois, who have taken to their heels, but in its flight it blows its own trumpet with redoubled boastfulness. The parliamentary republic, together with the bourgeoisie, takes possession of the entire stage; it enjoys its existence to the full, but December 2, 1851 buries it to the accompaniment of the anguished cry of the royalist coalition: "Long live the Republic!"

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        The French bourgeoisie balked at the domination of the working proletariat; it has brought the lumpenproletariat to domination, with the chief of the December 10 Society at the head. 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 liquor-inspired army of order. It apotheosized the sword; the sword rules it. It destroyed the revolutionary press; its own press has been destroyed. It placed popular meetings under police supervision; its salons are under the supervision of the police. It disbanded the democratic National Guards, its own National Guard is disbanded. It imposed a state of siege; a state of siege is imposed upon it. It supplanted the juries by military commissions; its juries are supplanted by military commissions. It subjected public education to the sway of the priests; the priests subject it to their own education. It transported people without trial; it is being transported without trial. It repressed every stirring in society by means of the state power; every stirring in its society is suppressed by means of the state power. Out of enthusiasm for its purse, it rebelled against its own politicians and men of letters; its politicians and men of letters are swept aside, but its purse is being plundered now that its mouth has been gagged and its pen broken. The bourgeoisie never wearied of crying out to the revolution what Saint Arsenius cried out to the Christians "Fuge, tace, quiesce! Flee, be silent, keep still!" Bonaparte cries to the bourgeoisie: "Fuge, tace, quiesce! Flee, be silent, keep still!"

        The French bourgeoisie had long ago found the solution to Napoleon's dilemma: "Dans cinquante ans l'Europe sera

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    républicaine ou cosaque."[*] It had found the solution to it in the "république cosaque."[**] No Circe has used black magic to distort that work of art, the bourgeois republic, into a monstrous shape. That republic has lost nothing but the semblance of respectability. Present-day France[***] was contained in a finished state within the parliamentary republic. It only required a bayonet thrust for the bubble to burst and the monster to spring forth before our eyes.

        Why did the Paris proletariat not rise in revolt after December 2?

        The overthrow of the bourgeoisie had as yet been only decreed; the decree had not been carried out. Any serious insurrection of the proletariat would at once have put fresh life into the bourgeoisie, would have reconciled it with the army and ensured a second June defeat for the workers.

        On December 4 the proletariat was incited by bourgeois and épicier to fight. On the evening of that day several legions of the National Guard promised to appear, armed and uniformed, on the scene of battle. For the bourgeois and the épicier had got wind of the fact that in one of his decrees of December 2 Bonaparte abolished the secret ballot and enjoined them to record their "yes" or "no" in the official registers after their names. The resistance of December 4 intimidated Bonaparte. During the night he had placards posted on all the street corners of Paris, announcing the restoration of the secret ballot. The bourgeois and the épicier believed that they had achieved their end. Those who failed to appear next morning were the bourgeois and the épicier. <"fnp121">

        * "In 50 years Europe will be republican or Cossack." --Ed.
        ** "Cossack republic." --Ed.
        *** I.e., France after the coup d'etat of December 2, 1851. --Ed.

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        By a coup de main during the night of December 1 to 2, Bonaparte had robbed the Paris proletariat of its leaders, the barricade commanders. An army without officers, averse to fighting under the banner of the Montagnards because of the memories of June 1848 and 1849 and May 1850, it left to its vanguard, the secret societies, the task of saving the insurrectionary honour of Paris, which the bourgeoisie had so unresistingly surrendered to the soldiery that, later on, Bonaparte could sneeringly give as his motive for disarming the National Guard -- his fear that its arms would be turned against it itself by the anarchists!

        "C'est le triomphe complet et définitif du socialisme! "[*] Thus Guizot characterized December 2. But if the overthrow of the parliamentary republic contains within itself the germ of the triumph of the proletarian revolution, its immediate and palpable result was the victory of Bonaparte over parliament, of the executive power over the legislative power, of force without words over the force of words. In parliament the nation made its general will the law, that is, it made the law of the ruling class its general will. Before the executive power it renounces all will of its own and submits to the superior command of an alien will, to authority. The executive power, in contrast to the legislative power, expresses the heteronomy of a nation, in contrast to its autonomy. France, therefore, seems to have escaped the despotism of a class only to fall back beneath the despotism of an individual, and, what is more, beneath the authority of an individual without authority. The struggle seems to be settled in such a way that all classes, equally impotent and equally mute, fall on their knees before the rifle butt. <"fnp122">

        * "This is the complete and final triumph of socialism!" --Ed.

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        But the revolution is thorough-going. It is still journeying through purgatory. It does its work methodically. By December 2, 1851, it had completed one half of its preparatory work. It is now completing the other half. First it perfected the parliamentary power, in order to be able to overthrow it. Now that it has attained this, it is perfecting the executive power, reducing it to its purest expression, isolating it, setting it up against itself as the sole reproach, in order to concentrate all its forces of destruction against it. And when it has done this second half of its preliminary work,<"p123"> Europe will leap from its seat and exultantly exclaim: Well grubbed, old mole![59]

        This executive power with its enormous bureaucratic and military organization, with its vast and ingenious state machinery, with a host of officials numbering half a million, besides an army of another half million, this appalling parasitic body, which enmeshes the body of French society and chokes all its pores, sprang up in the days of the absolute monarchy, with the decay of the feudal system, which it helped to accelerate. The lordly privileges of the landowners and towns became transformed into so many attributes of the state power, the feudal dignitaries into paid officials and the motley pattern of conflicting mediaeval plenary powers into the regulated plan of a state authority whose work is divided and centralized as in a factory. The first French Revolution, with its task of breaking all separate local, territorial, urban and provincial powers in order to create the civil unity of the nation, was bound to develop what the absolute monarchy had begun: centralization, but at the same time the extent, the attributes and the number of agents of governmental power. Napoleon completed this state machinery. The Legitimist Monarchy and the July Monarchy added nothing

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    but a greater division of labour growing in the same measure as the division of labour within bourgeois society created new groups of interests, and, therefore, new material for state administration. Every common interest was straightway severed from society, counterposed to it as a higher, general interest, snatched from the activity of society's members themselves and made an object of government activity, from a bridge, a schoolhouse and the communal property of a village community to the railways, the national wealth and the national university of France. Finally, in its struggle against the revolution, the parliamentary republic found itself compelled to strengthen, with repressive measures, the resources and centralization of governmental power. All revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it. The parties that contended in turn for domination regarded the possession of this huge state edifice as the principal spoils of the victor.

        But under the absolute monarchy, during the first Revolution, under Napoleon, bureaucracy was only the means of preparing the class rule of the bourgeoisie. Under the Restoration, under Louis Philippe, under the parliamentary republic, it was the instrument of the ruling class, however much it strove for power of its own.

        Only under the second Bonaparte does the state seem to have made itself completely independent. As against civil society, the state machine has consolidated its position so thoroughly that the chief of the December 10 Society suffices for its head, an adventurer blown in from abroad, raised on the shield by a drunken soldiery, which he has bought with liquor and sausages, and which he must keep plying with sausages. Hence the downcast despair, the feeling of most dreadful humiliation and degradation that oppresses the

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    breast of France and makes her catch her breath. She feels dishonoured.

        And 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-holding [Parzellen] peasants.

        Just as the Bourbons were the dynasty of big landed property and just as the Orleans were the dynasty of money, so the Bonapartes are the dynasty of the peasants, that is, the mass of the French people. Not the Bonaparte who submitted to the bourgeois parliament, but the Bonaparte who dispersed the bourgeois parliament is the chosen of the peasantry. For three years the towns had succeeded in falsifying the meaning of the election of December 10 and in cheating the peasants out of the restoration of the empire. The election of December 10,1848 has been consummated only by the coup d'etat of December 2, 1851.

        The small-holding peasants form a vast mass, the members of which live in similar conditions but without entering into manifold relations with one another. Their mode of production isolates them from one another instead of bringing them into mutual intercourse. The isolation is increased by France's poor means of communication and by the poverty of the peasants. Their field of production, the small holding, admits of no division of labour in its cultivation, no application of science and, therefore, no diversity of development, no variety of talent, no wealth of social relationships. Each individual peasant family is almost self-sufficient; it itself directly produces the major part of its consumption and thus acquires its means of life more through exchange with nature than in intercourse with society. A small holding, a peasant and his family; alongside them another small holding, another peasant and another family. A few score of these make up a village,

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    and a few score of villages make up a department. In this way, the great mass of the French nation is formed by simple addition of homologous magnitudes, much as potatoes in a sack form a sack of potatoes. In so far as millions of families live under economic conditions of existence that separate their mode of life, their interests and their culture from those of the other classes, and put them in hostile opposition to the latter, they form a class. In so far as there is merely a local interconnection among these small-holding peasants, and the identity of their interests begets no community, no national bond and no political organization among them, they do not form a class. They are consequently incapable of enforcing their class interest in their own name,<"p126"> whether through a parliament or through a convention.[60] They cannot represent themselves, they must be represented. Their representative must at the same time appear as their master, as an authority over them, as an unlimited governmental power that protects them against the other classes and sends them rain and sunshine from above. The political influence of the small-holding peasants, therefore, finds its final expression in the executive power subordinating society to itself.

        Historical tradition gave rise to the belief of the French peasants in the miracle that a man named Napoleon would bring all the glory back to them.<"p126a"> And an individual turned up who passes himself off as the man because he bears the name of Napoleon, in consequence of the Code Napoléon,[61] which lays down that la recherche de la paternité est interdite.* After 20 years of vagabondage and after a series of grotesque adventures, the legend is fulfilled and the man be-

        * Enquiry into paternity is forbidden. --Ed.

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    comes Emperor of the French. The fixed idea of the Nephew was realized, because it coincided with the fixed idea of the most numerous class of the French people.

        But, you may object, what about the peasant risings in half of France, the raids on the peasants by the army, the mass incarceration and transportation of peasants?

        Since Louis XIV, France has not experienced a similar persecution of the peasants "in the name of demagogic practices."

        But let there be no misunderstanding. The Bonaparte dynasty represents not the revolutionary, but the conservative peasant; not the peasant that strikes out beyond the condition of his social existence, the small holding, but rather the peasant who wants to consolidate this holding, not the country folk who, linked up with the towns, want to overthrow the old order through their own energies, but on the contrary those who, in stupefied seclusion within this old order, want to see themselves and their small holdings saved and favoured by the ghost of the empire. It represents not the enlightenment, but the superstition of the peasant; not his judgement, but his prejudice; not his future, but his past;<"p127"> not his modern Cevennes, but his modern Vendée.[62]

        The three years' rigorous rule of the parliamentary republic had freed a part of the French peasants from the Napoleonic illusion and had revolutionized them, even if only superficially, but the bourgeoisie violently repressed them, every time they went into action. Under the parliamentary republic the modern and the traditional consciousness of the French peasant contended for mastery. This process took the form of an incessant struggle between the schoolmasters and the priests. The bourgeoisie struck down the schoolmasters. For the first time the peasants made efforts to behave independ-

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    ently in the face of the activity of the government. This was shown in the continual conflict between the maires and the prefects. The bourgeoisie deposed the maires. Finally, during the period of the parliamentary republic, the peasants of different localities rose against their own offspring, the army. The bourgeoisie punished them with states of siege and executions. And this same bourgeoisie now decries the stupidity of the masses, the vile multitude, that has betrayed it to Bonaparte. It has itself forcibly strengthened the empire sentiments [Imperialismus ] of the peasant class, it conserved the conditions that form the birthplace of this peasant religion. The bourgeoisie, to be sure, is bound to fear the stupidity of the masses as long as they remain conservative, and the in sight of the masses as soon as they become revolutionary.

        In the risings after the coup d'etat, a part of the French peasants protested, by force of arms, against their own vote of December 10, 1848. The schooling they had gone through since 1848 had sharpened their wits. But they had made themselves over to thc underworld of history; history held them to their word, and the majority was still so prejudiced that it was in the reddest departments that the peasant population voted openly for Bonaparte. In its view, the National Assembly had hindered his progress. He had now merely broken the fetters that the towns had imposed on the will of the countryside. In some parts the peasants even entertained the grotesque notion of a convention side by side with Napoleon.

        After the first Revolution had transformed the peasants from semi-villeins into freeholders, Napoleon fixed and regulated the conditions on which they could exploit undisturbed the soil of France which had only just fallen to their lot and slake their youthful passion for property. But what is

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    now causing the ruin of the French peasant is his small holding itself, the division of the land, the form of property which Napoleon consolidated in France. It is precisely the material conditions which made the feudal peasant a small-holding peasant and Napoleon an emperor. Two generations have sufficed to produce the inevitable result: progressive deterioration of agriculture, progressive indebtedness of the agriculturist. The "Napoleonic" form of property, which at the beginning of the 19th century was the condition for the liberation and enrichment of the French country folk, has developed in the course of this century into the law of their enslavement and pauperization. And this law is the first of the "idées napoléoniennes" which the second Bonaparte has to uphold. If he still shares with the peasants the illusion that the cause of their ruin is to be sought, not in this small-holding property itself, but outside it, in the influence of secondary circumstances, his experiments will burst like soap bubbles when they come in contact with the relations of production.

        The economic development of small-holding property has radically changed the relation of the peasants to the other classes of society. Under Napoleon, the fragmentation of the land in the countryside supplemented free competition and the beginning of big industry in the towns. The peasant class was the ubiquitous protest against the landed aristocracy which had just been overthrown. The roots that small-holding property struck in French soil deprived feudalism of all nutriment. Its landmarks formed the natural fortifications of the bourgeoisie against any surprise attack on the part of its old overlords. But in the course of the 19th century the feudal lords were replaced by urban usurers; the feudal obligation that went with the land was replaced by the mortgage; aristocratic

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    landed property was replaced by bourgeois capital. The small holding of the peasant is now only the pretext that allows the capitalist to draw profits, interest and rent from the soil, while leaving it to the tiller of the soil himself to see how he can extract his wages. The mortgage debt burdening the soil of France imposes on the French peasantry payment of an amount of interest equal to the annual interest on the entire British national debt. Small-holding property, in this enslavement by capital to which its development inevitably pushes forward, has transformed the mass of the French nation into troglodytes. Sixteen million peasants (including women and children) dwell in hovels, a large number of which have but one opening, others only two and the most favoured only three. And windows are to a house what the five senses are to the head. The bourgeois order, which at the beginning of the century set the state to stand guard over the newly arisen small holding and manured it with laurels, has become a vampire that sucks out its blood and brains and throws it into the alchemistic cauldron of capital. The Code Napoléon is now nothing but a codex of distraints, forced sales and compulsory auctions. To the four million (including children, etc.) officially recognized paupers, vagabonds, criminals and prostitutes in France must be added five million who hover on the margin of existence and either have their haunts in the countryside itself or, with their rags and their children, continually desert the countryside for the towns and the towns for the countryside. The interests of the peasants, therefore, are no longer, as under Napoleon, in accord with, but in opposition to the interests of the bourgeoisie, to capital. Hence the peasants find their natural ally and leader in the urban proletariat, whose task is the overthrow of the bour-

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    geois order. But strong and unlimited government -- and this is the second "idée napoléonienne," which the second Napoleon has to carry out -- is called upon to defend this "material" order by force. This "ordre materiel " also serves as the catchword in all of Bonaparte's proclamations against the rebellious peasants.

        Besides the mortgage which capital imposes on it, the small holding is burdened by taxes. Taxes are the source of life for the bureaucracy, the army, the priests and the court, in short, for the whole apparatus of the executive power. Strong government and heavy taxes are identical. By its very nature, small-holding property forms a suitable basis for an all powerful and innumerable bureaucracy. It creates a uniform level of relationships and persons over the whole surface of the land. 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 the state power. On all sides, therefore, it calls forth the direct interference of this state power and the interposition of its immediate organs. Finally, it produces an unemployed surplus population for which there is no place either on the land or in the towns, and which accordingly reaches out for state offices as a sort of respectable alms, and provokes the creation of state posts. By the new markets which he opened at the point of the bayonet, by the plundering of the Continent, Napoleon repaid the compulsory taxes with interest. These taxes were a spur to the industry of the peasant, whereas now they rob his industry of its last resources and complete his inability to resist pauperism. And an enormous bureaucracy, well-gallooned and well-fed, is the "idée napoléonienne " which is most congenial of all to the

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    second Bonaparte. How could it be otherwise, seeing that alongside the actual classes of society he is forced to create an artificial caste, for which the maintenance of his regime becomes a bread-and-butter question? Accordingly, one of his first financial operations was the raising of officials' salaries to their old level and the creation of new sinecures.

        Another "idée napoléonienne " is the domination of the priests as an instrument of government. But while in its accord with society, in its dependence on natural forces and its submission to the authority which protected it from above, the small holding that had newly come into being was naturally religious, the small holding that is ruined by debts, at odds with society and authority, and driven beyond its own limitations naturally becomes irreligious. Heaven was quite a pleasing accession to the narrow strip of land just won, the more so as it makes the weather; it becomes an insult as soon as it is thrust forward as substitute for the small holding. The priest then appears as only the anointed bloodhound of the earthly police -- another "idée napoléonienne." On the next occasion, the expedition against Rome will take place in France itself, but in quite a different sense to that of M. de Montalembert.

        Lastly, the culminating point of the "idées napoléoniennes " is the preponderance of the army. The army was the point d'honneur* of the small-holding peasants, it was they themselves transformed into heroes, defending their new possessions against the outer world, glorifying their recently won nationhood, plundering and revolutionizing the world. The

        * Matter of honour, a point of special touch. --Ed.

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    uniform was their own state dress; war was their poetry; the small holding, extended and rounded off in imagination, was their fatherland, and patriotism the ideal form of the sense of property. But the enemies against whom the French peasant has now to defend his property are not the Cossacks; they are the buissiers [*] and the tax collectors. The small holding lies no longer in the so-called fatherland, but in the register of mortgages. The army itself is no longer the flower of the peasant youth; it is the swamp-flower of the peasant lumpenproletariat. It consists in large measure of remplaçants, of substitutes, just as the second Bonaparte is himself only a remplaçant, the substitute for Napoleon. It now performs its deeds of valour by hounding the peasants in masses like chamois, by doing gendarme duty, and if the internal contradictions of his system chase the chief of the December 10 Society over the French border, his army, after some acts of brigandage, will reap, not laurels, but thrashings.

        One sees: all "idées napoléoniennes" are ideas of the undeveloped small holding in the freshness of its youth ; for the small holding that has outlived its day they are an absurdity. They are only the hallucinations of its death struggle, words that are transformed into phrases, spirits transformed into ghosts. But the parody of the empire [des Imperialismus ] was necessary to free the mass of the French nation from the weight of tradition and to work out in pure form the opposition between the state power and society. With the progressive undermining of small-holding property, the state structure erected upon it collapses. The centralization of the state that modern society requires arises only on the ruins of the mili- <"fnp133">

        * Bailiffs. --Ed.

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    tary-bureaucratic government machinery which was forged in opposition to feudalism.[*]

        The condition of the French peasants provides us with the answer to the riddle of the general elections of December 20 and 21, which bore the second Bonaparte up Mount Sinai, not to receive laws, but to give them. <"p134">

        Manifestly, the bourgeoisie had now no choice but to elect Bonaparte. When the puritans at the Council of Constance[63] complained of the dissolute lives of the popes and wailed about the necessity of moral reform, Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly thundered at them: "Only the devil in person can still save the Catholic Church, and you ask for angels." In like manner, after the coup d'etat, the French bourgeoisie cried: Only the chief of the December 10 Society can still save bourgeois society! Only theft can still save property; only perjury, religion; bastardy, the family; disorder, order!

        As the executive authority which has made itself an independent power, Bonaparte feels it is his mission to safeguard "bourgeois order." But the strength of this bourgeois order lies in the middle class. He looks on himself, therefore, as the representative of the middle class and issues decrees in this sense. Nevertheless, he is somebody solely due to the fact that he has broken the political power of this middle class and daily breaks it anew. Consequently, he looks on <"fnp134">

        * In place of the last two sentences of this paragraph the following lines were printed in the 1852 edition: "The demolition of the state machine will not endanger centralization. Bureaucracy is only the low and brutal form of a centralization that is still afflicted with its opposite, with feudalism. When he is disappointed in the Napoleonic Restoration the French peasant will part with his belief in his small holding, the entire state edifice erected on this small holding will fall to the ground and the proletarian revolution will obtain that chorus without which its solo song becomes the swan song in all peasant countries." --Ed.

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    himself as the adversary of the political and literary power of the middle class. But by protecting its material power, he regenerates its political power. The cause must accordingly be kept alive; but the effect, where it manifests itself, must be done away with. However this cannot pass off without slight confusions of cause and effect, since in their interaction both lose their distinguishing features. New decrees that obliterate the border line. As against the bourgeoisie, Bonaparte looks on himself, at the same time, as the representative of the peasants and of the people in general,<"p135"> who wants to make the lower classes of the people happy within the frame of bourgeois society. New decrees that cheat the "True Socialists"[64] of their statecraft in advance. But, above all, Bonaparte looks on himself as the chief of the December 10 Society, as the representative of the lumpenproletariat to which he himself, his entourage, his government and his army belong, and whose prime consideration is to benefit itself and draw California lottery prizes from the state treasury. And he vindicates his position as chief of the December 10 Society with decrees, without decrees and despite decrees.

        This contradictory task of the man explains the contradictions of his government which, by confused groping, seeks now to win, now to humiliate first one class and then another and arrays all of them uniformly against itself, a government whose uncertainty in practice presents a highly comical contrast to the imperious, categorical style of its decrees, a style which is faithfully copied from the Uncle.

        Industry and trade, hence the business affairs of the middle class, are to prosper in hothouse fashion under the strong government. The grant of innumerable railway concessions. But the Bonapartist lumpenproletariat is to enrich itself. The

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    initiated play tripotage [*] on the bourse with the railway concessions. But no capital is forthcoming for the railways. Obligation of the Bank to make advances on railway shares. But, at the same time, the Bank is to be exploited for personal ends and, therefore, must be cajoled. Release of the Bank from the obligation to publish its report weekly. Leonine agreement of the Bank with the government. The people are to be given employment. Initiation of public works. But the public works increase the obligations of the people in respect of taxes. Hence reduction of the taxes by an onslaught on the rentiers, by conversion of the 5 per cent bonds to 4.5 per cent. But, once more, the middle class must receive a douceur.[*] Therefore doubling of the wine tax for the people, who buy it en détail,*** and halving of the wine tax for the middle class, who drink it en gros.**** Dissolution of the actual workers' associations, but promises of miracles of association in the future. The peasants are to be helped. Mortgage banks that hasten their getting into debt and the concentration of property. But these banks are to be used to make money out of the confiscated estates of the House of Orleans. No capitalist wants to agree to this condition, which is not in the decree, and the mortgage bank remains a mere decree, etc., etc.

        Bonaparte would like to appear as the patriarchal benefactor of all classes. But he cannot give to one class without taking from another. Just as at the time of the Fronde it was said of the Duke of Guise that he was the most obligeant <"fnp136">

        * Hanky-panky. --Ed.
        ** Sop. --Ed.
        *** By retail. --Ed.
        **** Wholesale. --Ed.

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    man in France because he had turned all his estates into his partisans' obligations to him, so Bonaparte would fain be the most obligeant man in France and turn all the property, all the labour of France into a personal obligation to himself. He would like to steal the whole of France in order to be able to make a present of her to France or, rather, in order to be able to buy France anew with French money, for as the chief of the December 10 Society he must needs buy what ought to belong to him. And all the state institutions, the Senate, the Council of State, the legislative body, the Legion of Honour, the soldiers' medals, the washhouses, the public works, the railways, the état major [*] of the National Guard to the exclusion of privates, and the confiscated estates of the House of Orleans -- all become parts of the institution of purchase. Every place in the army and in the government machine becomes a means of purchase. But the most important feature of this process, whereby France is taken in order to give to her, is the percentages that find their way into the pockets of the head and the members of the December 10 Society during the turnover. The witticism with which Countess L., the mistress of M. de Morny, characterized the con fiscation of the Orleans estates: "C'est le premier vol** de l'aigle"*** is applicable to every flight of this eagle, which is more like a raven. He himself and his adherents call out to one another daily like that Italian Carthusian admonishing the miser who, with boastful display, counted up the goods on which he could yet live for years to come: "Tu fai conto <"fnp137">

        * General Staff. --Ed.
        ** Vol means flight and theft. [Note by Marx.]
        *** "It is the first flight (theft) of the eagle." --Ed.

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    sopra i beni, bisogna prima far il conto sopra gli anni."[*] Lest they make a mistake in the years, they count the minutes. A bunch of ruffians push their way forward to the court, into the ministries, to the head of the administration and the army, a crowd of the best of whom it must be said that no one knows whence he comes, a noisy, disreputable, rapacious boheme that crawls into gallooned coats with the same grotesque dignity as the high dignitaries of Soulouque. One can visualize clearly this upper stratum of the December 10 Society, if one reflects that Veron-Crevel[**] is its preacher of morals and Granier de Cassagnac its thinker. When Guizot, at the time of his ministry, utilized this Granier on a hole-and-corner newspaper against the dynastic opposition, he used to boast of him with the quip: "C'est le roi des drôles,<"p138">" "He is the king of buffoons." One would do wrong to recall the Regency[65] or Louis XV in connection with Louis Bonaparte's court and clique. For "often already, France has experienced a government of mistresses, but never before a government of hommes entretenus."***

        Driven by the contradictory demands of his situation and needing at the same time, like a conjurer, to keep the public gaze fixed on himself, as Napoleon's substitute, by springing constant surprises, that is to say, needing to execute a coup d'etat en miniature every day, Bonaparte throws the entire <"fnp138">

        * "Thou countest thy goods, thou shouldst first count thy years." [Note by Marx.]
        ** In his work, Cousine Bette, Balzac delineates the thoroughly dissolute Parisian philistine in Crevel, a character which he draws after the model of Dr. Veron, the proprietor of the Constitutionnel. [Note by Marx.]
        *** The words quoted are those of Madame Girardin. [Note by Marx.] Hommes entretenus : Kept men. --Ed.

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    bourgeois economy into confusion, violates everything that seemed inviolable to the Revolution of 1848, makes some tolerant of revolution, others desirous of revolution, and produces actual anarchy in the name of order, while at the same time stripping its halo from the entire state machine, profanes it and makes it at once loathsome and ridiculous.<"p139"> In Paris he duplicates the cult of the Holy Tunic of Treves[66] in the cult of the Napoleonic imperial mantle. But when the imperial mantle finally falls on the shoulders of Louis Bonaparte, the bronze statue of Napoleon will crash from the top of the Vendome Column.

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      <"en1">[1] The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte is one of the masterpieces of Marxism. In this important work Marx analysed the events of the Revolution of 1848-51 in France, and on that basis, elaborated further the fundamental tenets of historical materialism, the theory of the class struggle and the proletarian revolution, and the theory of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Here, for the first time, Marx advanced the proposition that the victorious proletariat must necessarily smash the bourgeois state machine.
        Marx wrote this book between December 1851 and March 1852, hot on the heels of the events described. While working on The Eighteenth Brurnaire Marx maintained a constant exchange of opinion with Engels on the French events. In addition to the press and official documents, he used private reports from Paris as his sources. At first it was intended to print the work as a series of articles in the journal Die Revolution, a weekly which J. Weydemeyer‹a friend of Marx and Engels and a member of the Communist League‹planned to publish in the USA. Weydemeyer, however, was able to put out only two issues (in January 1852) before financial difficulties forced him to discontinue. Marx's articles arrived too late to appear in this periodical. In May 1852, at Marx's suggestion, Weydemeyer had them printed as a separate book forming the first (and only) issue of the non-periodical journal Die Revolution. He changed the title of the book to The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (instead of Louis Bonaparte). Weydemeyer, then in straitened circumstances, was unable to buy from the printing-house the greater part of this first edition and only very few copies reached Europe. Efforts to reprint the book in Germany

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    or England (in an English translation) did not succeed. The second edition came out only in 1869 and Marx again went over the text to prepare for it. In his preface to this edition Marx wrote, "A revision of the present work would have robbed it of its peculiar colouring. I have therefore confined myself to the mere correction of printer's errors and to striking out allusions now no longer intelligible." The third edition of the book, edited by Engels, was published in 1885 in accordance with the text of the 1869 edition.    [p.1]

      <"en2">[2] J. B. A. Charras, Histoire de la campagne de 1815. Waterloo, Brussels, 1857.    [p.4]

      <"en3">[3] J. C. L. Simonde de Sismondi, Etudes sur l'économie politique, T. I, Paris, 1837, p. 35.    [p.5]

      <"en4">[4] December 2, 1851 -- the day of the counter-revolutionary coup d'etat in France by Louis Bonaparte and his supporters.    [p.6]

      <"en5">[5] On December 10, 1848, Louis Bonaparte was elected president of the French Republic by universal ballot.    [p.12]

      <"en6">[6] During the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as mythically described in the Bible, the hardships and hunger of the journey caused the faint-hearted to think back longingly to the days of their Egyptian captivity, when at least they had enough to eat. The phrase "to long for the fleshpots of Egypt" has become a proverb.    [p.12]

      <"en7">[7] Hic Rhodus, hic salta! (Here is Rhodes, leap herel) -- in Aesop's fable, "The Swaggerer," these words were addressed to a boaster who claimed that he had made a remarkable leap in Rhodes. The meaning is, "Show right here what you can do!"
        Here is the rose, here dance! -- this paraphrase of the preceding quotation is used by Hegel in the preface to his work Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (Principles of the Philosophy of Right ). Rhodes, the name of the island is also the Greek word for "rose."    [p.14]

      <"en8">[8] In May 1852 Louis Bonaparte's presidential term was to end. According to the French Constitution of 1848, presidential elections were to be held every four years on the second Sunday in May.    [p.15]

      <"en9">[9] In partibus infidelium -- literally "in parts inhabited by unbelievers." The phrase is added to the title of Roman Catholic bishops appointed to purely nominal dioceses in non-Christian countries. Marx and Engels frequently used it to describe émigré governments formed abroad in disregard of the actual situation in their own countries.    [p.15]

      <"en10">[10] Capitol -- a hill in Rome, a fortified citadel where the temples of Jupiter, Juno and other gods were built. According to a legend Rome

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    was saved from an invasion of the Gauls in 390 B.C., thanks to the cackling of geese from the temple of Juno which awakened the sleeping guards of the Capitol.    [p.15]

      <"en11">[11] The republican generals, Cavaignac, Lamorièiere and Bedeau, who had commanded the French troops in colonial wars in Algeria in the 1830s and 40s.    [p.15]

      <"en12">[12] Goethe, Faust, Part One, Lines 1339-40.    [p.16]

      <"en13">[13] Dynastic opposition -- a group, led by Odilon Barrot, in the French Chamber of Deputies during the July Monarchy. Its representatives, voicing the sentiments of the liberal circles of the industrial and commercial bourgeoisie, advocated a moderate electoral reform as a means of averting revolution and preserving the Orleans dynasty.    [p.16]

      <"en14">[14] The revolutionary attempt of the people of Paris on May 15, 1848 was made under the slogans of further advancing the revolution and supporting the revolutionary movements in Italy, Germany and Poland. The workers, headed by Auguste Blanqui, played the leading role in this movement. The demonstrators burst into the hall of the Constituent Assembly, then in session, demanding that it keep its promise to give bread and work to the workers and establish a Ministry of Labour; they declared the Assembly dissolved and formed a revolutionary government. But the movement was suppressed and its leaders Blanqui, Barbès, Albert, Raspail and others were arrested. The Provisional Government then took a series of measures to abolish the "national workshops," enforced a law banning street meetings and closed many democratic clubs.    [p.18]

      <"en15">[15] The National -- a French daily, organ of the moderate bourgeois republicans, published in Paris from 1830 to 1851.    [p.22]

      <"en16">[16] Journal des Débats -- abbreviated form of the French bourgeois daily Journal des Débats politiques et littéraires, founded in Paris in 1789. During the July Monarchy it was a government paper, the organ of the pro-Orleans bourgeoisie. During the Revolution of 1848 the newspaper expressed the views of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, the so called party of Order.    [p.22]

      <"en17">[17] At the Congress of Vienna held in 1814-15, Austria, England and tsarist Russia, the powers which headed the reaction in Europe, re-carved the map of that continent with the aim of restoring legitimist monarchies in disregard of the interests of the national unification and independence of the peoples.    [p.22]

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      <"en18">[18] The Executive Committee (the Commission of the Executive Government) -- the Government of the French Republic set up by the Constituent Assembly on May 10, 1848 to replace the Provisional Government which had resigned. It survived until June 24, 1848 when Cavaignac's dictatorship was established.    [p.23]

      <"en19">[19] The constitutional Charter of 1830, adopted after the bourgeois Revolution of 1830 in France, was the basic law of the July Monarchy. Nominally the Charter proclaimed the sovereign rights of the nation and somewhat restricted the king's power. At the same time, however, it left untouched the police and bureaucratic machinery and the severe laws against the labour and democratic movements.    [p.24]

      <"en20">[20] "Frère, il faut mourir! " ("Brother, death is near!") -- the words with which members of the Roman Catholic monastic Order of Trappists greet each other. The Trappist Order, which originated in 1664, is distinguished by the strictness of its rules and the ascetic life prescribed for its members.    [p.27]

      <"en21">[21] Clichy -- a debtors' prison in Paris from 1826 to 1867.    [p.27]

      <"en22">[22] The pure republicans (the tricolour republicans or the National ) -- a bourgeois party whose organ was the National. During the Revolution of 1848 its leaders joined the Provisional Government and later, with Cavaignac's help, hatched the June massacre to put down the Paris proletariat.    [p.30]

      <"en23">[23] From May to July 1849 the Kingdom of Naples took part in the intervention against the Republic of Rome.
        The Constituent Assembly of Rome, elected on the basis of universal suffrage, abolished the secular power of the Pope and proclaimed the republic on February 9, 1849. The executive power was concentrated in the hands of a triumvirate headed by Mazzini. During the Republic, a number of bourgeois-democratic reforms were carried out. However, the limited class character of the Republic affected its agrarian policy -- the refusal to hand over the landlords' estates to the peasants as their property deprived the Republic of valuable allies in its fight against the counter-revolution. Intervention by France, Austria and Naples led to the fall of the Republic on July 3, 1849.    [p.31]

      <"en24">[24] Marx alludes to the following events in Louis Bonaparte's life: in 1832 Louis Bonaparte became a Swiss citizen in the canton of Thurgau; in 1848 during his stay in Britain he voluntarily joined the special constabulary who together with the police attacked the workers' demonstration organized by the Chartists on April 10, 1848.    [p.31]

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      <"en25">[25] This refers to the analysis of the, election of December 10, 1848 given by Marx in his work Die Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich, 1848 bis 1850 (The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to l850 ).    [p.31]

      <"en26">[26] The Legitimists -- supporters of the elder line of the Bourbon dynasty of France which represented the interests of the big landowning aristocracy and was overthrown in 1792. They formed the Legitimist Party in 1830, after the second overthrow of the Bourbons. When struggling against the reigning Orleans dynasty (1830-48), which relied on the financial aristocracy and the big bourgeoisie, a section of the Legitimists resorted to social demagogy and presented themselves as defenders of the working people against bourgeois exploitation.    [p.32]

      <"en27">[27] The Orleanists -- supporters of the House of Orleans that came to power during the July Revolution of 1830 and was overthrown by the Revolution of 1848.    [p.32]

      <"en28">[28] The party of Order, founded in 1848, was the party of the conservative big bourgeoisie in France. It was a coalition of two monarchist factions, the Legitimists and the Orleanists. It played the leading role in the Legislative Assembly of the Second Republic from 1849 up to the coup d'etat of December 2, 1851. The bankruptcy of its anti-popular policy was utilized by Louis Bonaparte's clique in building the regime of the Second Empire.    [p.32]

      <"en29">[29] The French Government obtained an appropriation from the Constituent Assembly for sending an expeditionary corps to Italy in April 1849, on the pretext of giving support to Piedmont in its fight against Austria and protecting the Roman Republic. The true purpose of the expedition, however, was intervention against the Roman Republic and restoration of the secular power of the Pope.    [p.36]

      <"en30">[30] Moniteur -- short for Le Moniteur universel, French daily, official organ of the government, published under this name in Paris from 1789 to 1869.    [p.36]

      <"en31">[31] This refers to the bill tabled on November 6, 1851 by the royalists Le Flô, Baze and Panat, the quaestors of the Legislative Assembly (charged by the Assembly with handling economic and financial matters and safeguarding its security) which was rejected after a heated debate on November 17. During the ballot the Montagne supported the Bonapartists, as it saw the royalists as the main danger.    [p.36]

      <"en32">[32] The Girondists or Girondins were supporters of the Party of the Gironde which was formed in the French bourgeois revolution. They represented the interests of the big commercial and industrial bour-

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    geoisie and of the landlord-bourgeoisie which emerged during the period of the revolution. They were so named because many of their leaders represented the province of Gironde in the Legislative Assembly and the National Convention. Under the flag of protecting the right of the provinces to autonomy and federation, the Girondists opposed the Jacobin government and the revolutionary masses supporting it.    [p.37]

      <"en33">[33] The Jacobins -- members of the Jacobin Club which represented the interests of the lower bourgeoisie in the period of the French bourgeois revolution towards the end of the 18th century. During the Jacobin dictatorship between 1793 and 1794 a series of decrees were promulgated to abolish feudal ownership, suppress counter-revolution and strike back at armed intervention from abroad.    [p.37]

      <"en34">[34] On April 16, 1848, the workers of Paris demonstrated peacefully to present a petition on "labour organization" and "abolition of exploitation of man by man" to the Provisional Government of France. The demonstration was dispersed by the bourgeois National Guard mobilized purely for that purpose.

        For the event of May 15, 1848, see note 14.    [p.37]

      <"en35">[35] The Fronde -- a movement against absolutism among the French nobility and bourgeoisie, active between 1648 and 1653. Its leaders from among the aristocracy relied on the support of their vassals and of foreign troops, and made use of peasant revolts and the democratic movement in the cities to further their own objectives.    [p.39]

      <"en36">[36] Peter Schlemihl -- the hero of Chamisso's fairy-tale Peter Schlemihl, who exchanged his shadow for a magic purse.    [p.39]

      <"en37">[37] Ems -- a spa in Germany. In August 1849 a Legitimist conference held here was attended by the Count of Chambord, the pretender to the French throne who called himself Henry V.

        Claremont -- a castle near London, Louis Philippe's residence after his escape from France.    [p.44]

      <"en38">[38] An allusion to the plans of Louis Bonaparte, who expected that Pope Pius IX would place the French crown on his head. According to biblical tradition David, the King of Israel, was anointed king by the prophet Samuel.    [p.54]

      <"en39">[39] The battle of Austerlitz on December 2, 1805 ended in a victory of Napoleon I over the Russo-Austrian troops.    [p.54]

      <"en40">[40] An allusion to Louis Bonaparte's book Des idées napoléoniennes, published in Paris in 1839.    [p.61]

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      <"en41">[41] Burgraves was the name given to the 17 leading Orleanists and Legitimists, who were members of the Legislative Assembly's committee for drafting a new electoral law, for their unwarranted claim to power and their reactionary aspirations. The name has been taken from the title of Victor Hugo's historical drama. Its action is set in mediaeval Germany where a Burg-Graf was the ruler of a "Burg" -- a fortified town or castle -- appointed by the emperor.    [p.66]

      <"en42">[42] The press law passed by the Legislative Assembly in July 1850 considerably increased the deposits which the publishers of newspapers had to pay, and introduced a stamp duty which applied to pamphlets as well. The new law continued the reactionary measures which meant, in practice, the abolition of freedom of the press in France.    [p.68]

      <"en43">[43] La Presse --a bourgeois daily published in Paris from 1836; in 1848-49 it was the organ of the bourgeois republicans, afterwards a Bonapartist paper.    [p.68]

      <"en44">[44] This passage refers to the efforts of Louis Bonaparte during the July Monarchy to stage a coup d'etat by means of a military insurrection. On September 30, 1836, he succeeded in rousing two artillery regiments of the Strasbourg garrison with the aid of a few pro-Bonapartist officers. Within a few hours, however, the insurgents were disarmed. Louis Bonaparte was arrested and deported to America. Taking advantage of a certain revival of Bonapartist feelings in France, he landed in Boulogne with a handful of conspirators on August 6, 1840, and attempted to instigate a rebellion among the local garrison. But this attempt too proved to be an utter failure. Bonaparte was sentenced to life imprisonment, but in 1846 he escaped to England.    [p.74]

      <"en45">[45] Schufterle and Spiegelberg -- two characters from Schiller's drama Die Raüber (The Robbers), who were portrayed as complete rogues, lacking all moral principles.    [p.75]

      <"en46">[46] Changarnier had been expected both by the Legitimists and the Orleanists to invite their king back to the throne, as General Monk had invited Charles II back to England in 1660.    [p.76]

      <"en47">[47] Elysée newspapers -- those of a Bonapartist trend; the name is taken from the Elysée Palace, the Paris residence of Louis Bonaparte while president.    [p.77]

      <"en48">[48] For his play on words Marx utilizes here a line from Schiller's Lied an die Freude (Ode to Joy ), in which the poet sings of joy as the "daughter of Elysium." In classical mythology Elysium or Elysian

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    fields was equivalent to paradise. Champs Elysée (Elysian Fields) was the name of an avenue in Paris, where Louis Bonaparte had his residence.    [p.83]

      <"en49">[49] In France before the Bourgeois Revolution of 1789 the parliaments were the supreme judicial bodies. They existed in a number of towns throughout the country. The most important was the Paris Parliament, which registered the royal decrees and possessed the right of remonstrance as it was called, i.e., the right to protest against decrees which infringed upon the customs and the legislation of the country. However, the parliamentary opposition was in fact powerless, since the personal appearance of the king at the session made registration of the decrees obligatory.    [p.88]

      <"en50">[50] Belle Isle -- an island in the Bay of Biscay; from 1849 to 1857 it served as a place of detention for political prisoners; in particular the workers who took part in the Paris uprising of June 1848 were imprisoned there.    [p.92]

      <"en51">[51] Marx paraphrases here a story told by the Greek writer Athenaeus (2nd-3rd century A.D.) in his book Deipnosophistae (Dinner-Table Philosophers ). The Egyptian Pharaoh Tachos, alluding to the small stature of the Spartan King Agesilaus who had come with his troops to the Pharaoh's assistance, said: "The mountain was in labour. Zeus was scared. But the mountain has brought forth a mouse." Agesilaus replied: "I seem to thee a mouse, but the time will come when I will appear to thee as a lion."    [p.94]

      <"en52">[52] L'Assemblée Nationale -- A French daily of a monarchist Legitimist trend; it appeared in Paris from 1848 to 1857 Between 1848 and 1851 it supported the fusion of the two dynastic parties--the Legitimists and the Orleanists.    [p.98]

      <"en53">[53] In the fifties of the 19th century the Count of Chambord, the Legitimist pretender to the French throne, lived in Venice.    [p.98]

      <"en54">[54] This refers to tactical disagreements in the Legitimist camp during the Restoration period. Louis XVIII and Villèle favoured a more cautious introduction of reactionary measures, while the Count d'Artois (who in 1824 became King Charles X) and Polignac completely ignored conditions in France and advocated the unqualificd restoration of the pre-revolutionary regime.
        During the Restoration period the Palace of the Tuileries was the residence of Louis XVIII; the Count d'Artois lived in the Pavillon Marsan, one of the Palace's wings.    [p.100]

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      <"en55">[55] The Economist -- an English economic and political weekly journal, organ of the big industrial bourgeoisie, published in London ever since 1843.    [p.103]

      <"en56">[56] The first international trade and industrial exhibition was held in London from May to October 1851.    [p.109]

      <"en57">[57] The Economist, January 10, 1852, pp. 29-30.    [p.111]

      <"en58">[58] Le Messager de l'Assemblée -- French anti-Bonapartist daily published in Paris from February 16 to December 2, 1851.    [p.112]

      <"en59">[59] A paraphrase from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5.    [p.123]

      <"en60">[60] Short for National Convention, the supreme legislative body created by the French bourgeois revolution, which existed from September 1792 to October 1795. During the rule of the Girondists, the National Convention failed to abolish feudalism and firmly resist foreign intervention. Under the Jacobin dictatorship, it became the highest organ of state power and promulgated a series of decrees to abolish feudal ownership and establish a democratic republic. Carrying out the will of the big bourgeoisie during the subsequent Thermidorian regime, the National Convention liquidated the chief revolutionary measures of the Jacobins.    [p.126]

      <"en61">[61] The Code Napoléon in its broad sense includes the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Commercial Code, the Criminal Code, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, all of which were adopted in 1804-10. These codes were also introduced in the western and south western parts of Germany seized by Napoleonic France and continued to operate in the Rhine Province even after it was ceded to Prussia in 1815. In the narrow sense the Code Napoléon is the Civil Code adopted in 1804, which Engels called "so classic a legal code. . . for bourgeois society." (Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy, FLP, Peking, 1976, p. 53.)    [p.126]

      <"en62">[62] Cevennes -- a mountainous region in the Languedoc in southeastern France, where an uprising of peasants (the so-called Camisards) took place from 1702 to 1705. The revolt, starting as a protest against the persecution of Protestants, became strongly anti-feudal in character. Sporadic outbreaks of the uprising continued to occur till 1715.
        Vendée -- a western department of France. During the French bourgeois revolution at the end of the 18th century, it was the scene of a counter-revolutionary peasant revolt led by the nobility and clergy.    [p.127]

      <"en63">[63] The Council of Constance (1414-18) was convened for the purpose of strengthening the position of thc Roman Catholic Church which had been weakened by the rising Reformation movement. The Council condemned the teachings of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, leaders of the Reformation. It healed the schism in the Catholic Church by electing a new Pope in place of the three pretenders who had been contending with each other for the papal crown.    [p.134]

      <"en64">[64] A reference to German "True Socialism," a reactionary trend which in the 1840s was spreading primarily among German petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Its representatives were Karl Grün, Moses Hess, Hermann Kriege and others who substituted sentimental preaching of love and brotherhood for socialist ideas and denied the necessity of a bourgeois-democratic revolution in Germany. Marx and Engels criticized this ideological trend in their works: "The German Ideology" (1845-46) "Circular Against Kriege" (1846), "German Socialism in Verse and Prose" (1846-47) and "Manifesto of the Communist Party" (1847-48).    [p.135]

      <"en65">[65] A reference to Philippe d'Orleans' regency during the infancy of Louis XV from 1715 to 1723.    [p.138]

      <"en66">[66] The Holy Tunic of Treves -- a Catholic relic preserved in the Treves Cathedral, alleged to be a holy vestment taken from Christ while he was suffering death. It was regarded by pilgrims as an object of veneration.    [p.139]