The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon by Karl Marx

I have been trying to get a better understanding of Marxism and class conflict, and to this end I have been reading less trafficked Marxist literature, and the one that has struck me is Marx analysis of the 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, which has it all. This details Marx’s theory in real time analysis of the events of the coup by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, laying out his materialist conception of society and making some interesting observations. It is unfortunately completely wrong, but wrong in ways that are just plausible enough to be convincing.

Marxist class based theory requires some very odd application of agency to classes which is not there. He calls it class consciousness, but this make no sense, as a body of people cannot have a consciousness, a person can, an amalgamation of people can’t. So from this point it is nonsense of the type that has been carted out by all and sundry since The Enlightenment.

The second major error made by Marx is he appears to consider leaders as nothing but dupes and agents of their class, as evidenced by his bile against Louis Bonaparte. De Jouvenel is superior by orders of magnitude here, and the evidence is supplied by merely taking into account all the circumstances in which Marxist class analysis fails miserably. But this is to be expected, because despite the squeals and squirms of liberals, libertarians and the like, Marx was cooking with the same ingredients as they, this being the concept of society being built from the ground up from material conditions (think spontaneous order.) He was basically libertarian as well anyway, and championed anarchism. This essay is also extra interesting in that he breaks the left right spectrum down as follows:

“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”

Marx was pretty much anti-state and anti-governance, that Marxism broke/ breaks down to obscene levels of governance is not due to this being its overall goal despite the miss-information provided by American and liberal propaganda, but due to the goal being absurd. There is no fundamental difference between the goals of Marxism and the goals of Americanism A.K.A liberalism A.K.A anarchism. They are all absurd and all reducible to the same childishness.

The failure of Marxism can be seen quite clearly in the heaving mess it has become, and the bizarre contraptions devised to try to retain class analysis in the face of the developments since (which vindicate De Jouvenel, not Marx.) It is wrong, and it provides no insight whatsoever. Society forms from the top down, not the bottom up. The form of governance is key, and what Marx observed was nothing more than the chaos created by divided governance creating various power centres which then promoted equality against each other. He even notes this process in the action of Louis Bonaparte in the creation of the December society:

“This society dates from the year 1849. On the pretext of founding a benevolent society, the lumpen proletariat of Paris had been organized into secret sections, each section led by Bonapartist agents, with a Bonapartist general at the head of the whole. Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni,[105] pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers,maquereaux [pimps], brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars — in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French call la bohème; from this kindred element Bonaparte formed the core of the Society of December 10. A “benevolent society” – insofar as, like Bonaparte, all its members felt the need of benefiting themselves at the expense of the laboring 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 this scum, offal, refuse of all classes the only class upon which he can base himself unconditionally, is the real Bonaparte, the Bonaparte sans phrase.”

Marx even champions the usage of indirect pressure on other power centers to achieve goals, again vindicating De Jouvenel:

“It sufficed for the Minister of the Interior, a certain Vaisse, to declare that the tranquillity was only apparent, that in secret great agitation prevailed, that in secret ubiquitous societies were being organized, the democratic papers were preparing to come out again, the reports from the departments were unfavorable, the Geneva refugees were directing a conspiracy spreading by way of Lyon all over the South of France, France was on the verge of an industrial and commercial crisis, the manufacturers of Roubaix had reduced working hours, the prisoners of Belle Isle[110] were in revolt — it sufficed for even a mere Vaisse to conjure up the red specter 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 elbow room, so as to keep the executive power dependent on it. But it did not feel equal to the task of playing with fire.”

Bonaparte was an amateur compared to those parties of anarchy. We have had centuries of the lumpenproletariat being used as shocktroopers in the social revolutions, or “playing with fire” as Marx put it – especially the black population, and now any and all “scum, offal, refuse” that can be imported from anywhere. It’s become the go to form of governance, and will continue to be so until governance is undivided.