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Was the French Revolution a bourgeois revolution?

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Post 30 Jul 2014, 01:54
Well then change the label "The proletariat was betrayed" into "The petit burgeoise was betrayed". Ohhhh ! The world is back in orbit again ! Thats nitpicking to avoid the concept exposed in the original thread (And one were i never said that the french revolution was not a burgeoise affair if you want to use that label, but that could very well be understood as a proto-proletariat revolution).
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 30 Jul 2014, 01:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 01:54
AldoBrasil wrote:
Well then change the label "The proletariat was betrayed" into "The petit burgeoise was betrayed". Ohhhh ! The world is back in orbit again ! Thats nitpicking to avoid the concept exposed in the original thread.

No, that's Marxism. If you have the classes wrong, then HistoMat gets all screwy.

Quote:
(And one were i never said that the french revolution was not a burgeoise affair if you want to use that label,

Actually you did at a few points in the thread. You've said, at various times, that it isn't a bourgeois revolution (that it's a "popular" one instead) and that it can be described as a bourgeois revolution if you want to interpret it that way. I can provide quotes of both.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 30 Jul 2014, 01:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 01:57
Nope, thats nitpicking. Marxism needs labels to communicate. But it does not replace analisis of the forces at struggle with simple labels. Its stalinism who does that in order to oversimplificate. You did not challenge any single point of what was said, only nitpicked into the label "burgeoise".

So to avoid further endless debate, i declare that i think that the french revolution is a burgeoise revolution. So what ? The rest of the text is still standing.

Quote:
Actually you did at a few points in the thread. You've said, at various times, that it isn't a bourgeois revolution (that it's a "popular" one instead) and that it can be described as a bourgeois revolution if you want to interpret it that way. I can provide quotes of both.


But if you do so, pls provide quotes where i left open if it was a burgeoise revolution or where i outright said it was a burgeoise revolution. Dont only show where i said it was a popular revolution. Becuase i believe it was both a burgeoise revolution and a popular one, depending from which force you look at it.
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 30 Jul 2014, 02:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 01:59
AldoBrasil wrote:
Nope, thats nitpicking. Marxism needs labels to communicate. But it does not replace analisis of the forces at struggle with simple labels.

Those are historical classes, not "labels."

Quote:
You did not challenge any single point of what was said, only nitpicked into the label "burgeoise".

Your whole interpretation of historical materialism is off, which is why. The bourgeoisie is a historical class, and if you're interpreting some as "proletarian" something is wrong. In other threads you've indicated that you consider poor shop-owners "proletarian" because they're poor (viewtopic.php?p=913828#p913828), this seems to tie into that.

Quote:
So to avoid further endless debate, i declare that i think that the french revolution is a burgeoise revolution. So what ? The rest of the text is still standing.

Congratulations, that's the thread.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 30 Jul 2014, 02:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:06
Quote:
Your whole interpretation of historical materialism is off, which is why. The bourgeoisie is a historical class, and if you're interpreting some as "proletarian" something is wrong. In other threads you've indicated that you consider poor shop-owners "proletarian" because they're poor, this seems to tie into that.


Nope, in other threads i left open if you can interpret them as burgeoise or not, depending from which point of view you come. You are simply creating a strawman, resuming the whole thread into a single phrase that is easier to dismiss.

Its worse, and can be viewed in the thead you cite (The one about cops), because i initially said that cops cannot be proletariat because they are not productive. You said that they are proletariat because the state is their "means of production" (How i dont know). Them i later amended my position saying that depends on wich level you read. They can be considered to be proletariat if instead of spliting it as productive or not (surplus value at production), it could be done done on work versus incomme (surplus value at distribution). Then you subtly changed sides and declared cops to not be proletariat.

So now in this thread you declare the sans cullote as not being proletariat. I must agree they arent (But they are the proto-proletariat class, and i showed why). So i must say that your whole concept is around labels as a way to oversimplificate. Of course we need to resort to labels, because we cannot argue while having to redefine each word we use. But those labels are not used to constrain the debate but just to facilitate it.

Quoting myself.
Quote:
I must say that in that time we had not exacly a haute-burgeoise in the sense of later haute industrial burgeoise, they were mercantilists,...


From there on i show that the sans-cullote are the proto-proletariat (and so were the popular masses in the city). So we are basically debating if we can use the word "popular" to the revolution itself, not its outcome. So this depends on how you define popular.

From the thread you cite : http://www.soviet-empire.com/ussr/report.php?f=123&p=913736

Citing from your own text :

Quote:
The usual Marxist definition of "proletarian" is whether or not someone is dependent on wage labor, whether they own the means of their production or not. Police officers are dependent on wages and don't own the state, which is their means of production. They're pretty indisputably proletarian in my opinion..


Wage labour here is not what defines the proletariat as proletariat, both surplus value and wage labour are intermingled to define that. How so ? Because the proletariat works for a fixed wage, he ends up by producing more commodity than the value of his wage. Thats the correct definition of surplus value and consequently of proletariat. But to someone to produce more value in comodities than he receives as wage, he must first produce anything at all, the said commodities is what he produces. In that definition he (te cop used as example) must not be a proletariat. Like i said, he isnt if you use the wage in comparision to comodity produced (source of surplus value) to define proletariat in the momment of production of value (it, in production time). But you can very well do so in the moment of distribution of the values created in the factory, in other words, in the market. Why ? Because we can only detect if the wage received by the proletariat is less than what he buys as commodity if there is a market where he uses his wage to buy said comodities. So we can very well, here, in distribution, divide proletariat and burgeoise between those who work (not necessarely produce) more than they receive as comodity. Thats why Marx says that capitalism is very advanced in the production of values, but not in their distribution. Capitalism is very efficient in forcing the worker class to produce as much as they can. The injustice here is not by doing so - if you work all day long in order to create a bigger value for yourself, is this injustice ? But as the proletariat goes to the market, using their wage, to buy comodity, they are unable to receive an ammount of commodities equal to the large work they've done, because part of the commodities produced is retained by the capitalist as profit. The exploitation at production (surplus value at production) is what makes capitalism what it is, its it fundamental aspect. But does this means that we cannot include services at the market ? Of course we can. In the distribution we cannot make that arbitrary choice of only considering productive work as exploitative. All work is them, consequently - be it productive or not, exploited by the economic advantage that surplus value at production gives to the burgeoise class, and so the burgeoise can extract more value from the services industry (something that is not productive under the definition used earlier - producer of comodity) than he gives as work. In that sense even the services market is put at the service of the burgeoise. Using the cops as example, you might very well say that they will police more and better the burgeoise neighborhoods than the proletariat ones. Thats how the burgeoise extracts "surplus value" from cops.

Quote:
With police officers things like those are less stark, but the police also serve more productive functions (enforcing traffic laws, laws against theft of personal property, laws against assault, murder, domestic abuse, things that would be illegal in a socialist state too) than the military does at least in modern America.


So you are not using productive in the correct marxist (TM) sense of the work. Because enforcing laws etc does not produce any single commodity

But returning from the previous topic. In the light of what was exposed about surplus-value at the market, can we say that the sans-cullote were exploited (because they had no access to the means of distribution - colonies, harbours and ships) in a similar fashion as the proletariat is explored today ? Well, if you work with the definition of exploitation as not being the owner of the means of production (surplus value at production), then yes, they are not 'exploited', they are the 'petit-burgeoise' of the time. But if you expand that definition to a wider definition, as i've done earlier, then yes, they were the exploited class of the time. Thats why i said it was a popular revolution at the same time that it was a burgeoise revolution. Because both popular (petit-burgeoise) and haute-burgeoise forces where fighting for the outcomes of the revolution. The petit-burgeoise was suposed to try to avoid being proletarized, they lost, they were misguided, and so they were proletarized in the end.
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 30 Jul 2014, 02:39, edited 4 times in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:12
AldoBrasil wrote:
Nope, in other threads i left open if you can interpret them as burgeoise or not, depending from which point of view you come. You are simply creating a strawman, resuming the whole thread into a single phrase that is easier to dismiss.

Strawman apparently doesn't mean what you think it means. Shopowners are not proletarian in any sense of the word; you'd have to actively redefine what the word means to come to that conclusion. Marx coined the categories he used, and under those, shopowners are petit-bourgeois.

Quote:
Its worse, and can be viewed in the thead you cite (The one about cops), because i initially said that cops cannot be proletariat because they are not productive. You said that they are proletariat because the state is their "means of production" (How i dont know). Them i later amended my position saying that depends on wich level you read. They can be considered to be proletariat if instead of spliting it as productive or not (surplus value at production), it could be done done on work versus incomme (surplus value at distribution). Then you subtly changed sides and declared cops to not be proletariat.

Actually that's complete bullshit, and I have to kindly ask you don't misrepresent everything I fragging say. You can look at the thread and see I never changed my definition of what a proletarian is. I simply don't accept your class definitions, which seem to come from nowhere. You define cops and shopkeepers as proletarian in the same sense, which I see as very weird and a pretty un-Marxist class analysis. I did and do consider police officers to be proletarian, since they sell their labor for a wage. Shopowners don't.

Marxist classes are based around relationship to the means of production. A cop sells their labor and do not own their means of production. In the same sense as a doctor or a lawyer, who Marx described as proletarian, though "ideological representatives of the bourgeoisie" in an early description of labor aristocracy. A shopowner owns their own labor; they own their means of production. One is proletarian, the other petit-bourgeois, their class interests differ.

Quote:
So i must say that your whole concept is around labels as a way to oversimplificate.

The whole concept is around classes. Newsflash: that's what Marxism is built around. A historical analysis of classes is at the very foundation of it.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 30 Jul 2014, 02:39, edited 4 times in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:15
The class nature of the sans cullote can't be defined, simply because "Sans-Cullote" wasn't a class designation. It was a designation of the popular democratic political ideology of the foot-soldiers of the revolution. They were urban laborers (who Marx might have called "proletarain") as well as small property owners (who Marx would call bourgeois) and even those who might have been called lumpenproletariat. Because of that, their class nature isn't really all that important.

AldoBrasil wrote:
Well, so do you believe that all people that happened to revolt in such revolutions where thinking "Hey, lets depose aristocracy and place the haute-burgeoise in power !" ? In other words, do you think that everybody where working from a haute-burgeoise class program point of view ? Or do you accept that most where simply fighting against what they perceived as immediate injustices of the ancien regime ?


At the very least, the leaders of the revolution had exactly that in mind, even if not in those exact words. The whole idea was to establish a government based on "citizenship" rather than hereditary rights, and citizenship was based upon property ownership, higher education, and a certain bourgeois liberal ethos. From their point of view, the injustice of the ancien regime was not solely about the marginalization of the commons, but the inability for those who lacked the necessary bloodline to rise to a position of superiority that they felt their education and wealth afforded them. Regardless of how their immediate aims matched up to the popular masses, this was their ultimate intention.

AldoBrasil wrote:
You are making it look like the people of the era where all well versed into politics as if people could endeavour in a revolt fully knowing the outcome. Truth is far from this. Simple people with simple demands, sometimes raw demands like food or shelter.


Again, this is the difference between the popular masses and the leaders of the revolution, who were indeed well versed in politics. The revolution was not a spontaneous explosion of popular outrage at the ancien regime; at least not entirely. It was a calculated movement organized around several highly educated political "parties" (for lack of a better word). They were no more a mob than the Patriot soldiers were in America. For good or ill, the idea of an anarchic mob dismantling the old society with sweeping revolutionary sentiment is just a popular mythos surrounding the events of history, perpetuated by supporters of the old regime to paint the Revolution as the natural precursor to political chaos and ochlocracy

AldoBrasil wrote:
But a revolted mob is not a machine that you can simply press buttoms to govern, and so they could not sometimes be controlled. They even sometimes controlled themselves.


But ultimately, the masses were controlled. They were controlled by the institutions that did away with the monarchy. The representative goverment was limited to those parties that had been established beforehand and could only be chosen by men who owned property. Criticism of the government was controled by the Committee for Public Safety under the pretense of defending the revolution from the aristocracy. In fact, you might say that the government was designed from the ground up to control the masses, because of the recognition that their interests diverged beyond the removal of the old system.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:32
Please reread my post because i added a lot to it.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:33
Indigo wrote:
At the very least, the leaders of the revolution had exactly that in mind, even if not in those exact words. The whole idea was to establish a government based on "citizenship" rather than hereditary rights, and citizenship was based upon property ownership, higher education, and a certain bourgeois liberal ethos. From their point of view, the injustice of the ancien regime was not solely about the marginalization of the commons, but the inability for those who lacked the necessary bloodline to rise to a position of superiority that they felt their education and wealth afforded them. Regardless of how their immediate aims matched up to the popular masses, this was their ultimate intention.

If there were a clap emoticon, I'd flood the page with it right now.


That's really the whole point here. The drivers of the revolution were also the chief beneficiaries of it. They sought explicitly to replace one class (the aristocracy) with another (themselves), because the rule of the aristocracy presented a barrier to their own authority. Based, as Indigo said, around reasons like heredity which the bourgeoisie simply didn't see as relevant to what should constitute success. Enlightenment values and all that.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:40
AldoBrasil wrote:
Please reread my post because i added a lot to it.


I realize that, but I've covered the bases.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:42
See how my points of contention are ignored ? She smiles with an air of victory and talks as if this could bury the whole history. And no one touches what i exposed in the whole topic. But ok, i will reread my text and produce a single summary of it.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:49
AldoBrasil wrote:
See how my points of contention are ignored ?

We actually addressed them, in a more succinct way. It helps that you like to repeat yourself.

Quote:
She smiles with an air of victory and talks as if this could bury the whole history.

No, just bury your misconceptions. Because what you've said absolutely is not "the whole history."

Quote:
And no one touches what i exposed in the whole topic.

What did you "expose" again?
We're not bound in any way to agree with you or take your conclusions for granted, you know.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:54
You are not bound to agree. But to read the whole text before rising petty complaints.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:55
I found this very surprising:

Quote:
So we can very well, here, in distribution, divide proletariat and burgeoise between those who work (not necessarely produce) more than they receive as comodity.


By this logic cashiers, maintenance workers, and CEOs aren't proles (though the latter being a very well off one) along with doctors, lawyers, etc. and those on welfare and the disabled are bourgeoisie.

The fact is a prole is defined not by income but how they get it, selling their labor-power for a living. You may have trouble identifying what the cop 'produces' (I don't understand why, bodyguards, PMCs, and even say, Kolomoisky's private army are all in the same vein), it doesn't mean they aren't workers. A lot of work isn't necessarily 'productive' but is required in some way. Compare a waiter and a cook.

Then compare that to the property owner and investor who derive their livelihood off the exploitation of the labor them, who own the property and appropriate the surplus value.

Marx even suggested taking some surplus value in socialism/communism to afford maintenance and expansion. I guess the laborers involved aren't workers in the Marxist sense


It's funny, because you sound like a Maoist-Third Worldist
Last edited by Conscript on 30 Jul 2014, 02:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:55
AldoBrasil wrote:
You are not bound to agree. But to read the whole text before rising petty complaints.

I did read the whole text, that you assume I didn't says more about yourself than anything. So does describing our counterarguments as "petty."
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 02:57
Conscript last post is a perfect example of what i am saying.

He says i am wrong, proceeds to extract a single quote of my text, and then goes on to conclude the exact same thing i said.

But i dont care, any sane person who happens to read everything (instead of the single quote) will see. This tells that the your motivation is pure petty dispute, not a serious debate of the topic. (The proof of this is to simple read my post and them read conscript post - whats conscript is complaining about ?).

Part of my post :

Quote:
Thats how the burgeoise extracts "surplus value" from cops.


Conscript objection :

Quote:
By this logic cashiers, maintenance workers, and CEOs aren't proles (though the latter being a very well off one) along with doctors, lawyers, etc. and those on welfare and the disabled are bourgeoisie.


What the f... did i say ?
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 30 Jul 2014, 03:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 03:00
AldoBrasil wrote:
Conscript last post is a perfect example of what i am saying.

He says i am wrong, proceeds to extract a single quote of my text, and then goes on to conclude the exact same thing i said.

But i dont care, any sane person who happens to read everything (instead of the single quote) will see.

Actually, Conscript's saying that police officers are proletarian in at least the same sense as a doctor or a lawyer because they sell themselves as labor, and thus are groups traditionally (e.g. by Marx) grouped under the proletarian (labor-aristocrat) heading.

Which is very different from saying it's in the same sense as a shopkeeper, the very definition of the petit-bourgeois class. Lumping them together as "proletarian" in the same sense belies an understanding of class that isn't based around relationship to the means of production, simple as that.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 03:04
Dude I outright said being a prole has nothing to do with producing more surplus value than you are paid, it is the relationship to the means of production. You're talking some irrelevant concepts about distribution and receiving more than you produce.

So when you say this:

Quote:
Wage labour here is not what defines the proletariat as proletariat, both surplus value and wage labour are intermingled to define that.


You are just wrong. There's nothing more to it.

Stolen from marxists.org:

Quote:
The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labour power and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death,whose sole existence depends on the demand for labour...


Quote:
The proletariat is not a sociological category of people in such-and-such income group and such-and-such occupations, etc., but rather a real, historically developed entity, with its own self-consciousness and means of collective action. The relation between an individual proletarian and the class is not that of non-dialectical sociology, in which an individual with this or that attribute is or is not a member of the class. Rather, individuals are connected to a class by a million threads through which they participate in the general social division of labour and the struggle over the distribution of surplus value.
Last edited by Conscript on 30 Jul 2014, 03:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 03:05
Quote:
Which is very different from saying it's in the same sense as a shopkeeper, the very definition of the petit-bourgeois class. Lumping them together as "proletarian" in the same sense belies an understanding of class that isn't based around relationship to the means of production, simple as that.


Ah, so having your income controled by another class is not being proletariat ? So what happens when the petit-burgeoise of shop owners have their income controled by the haute-bugeoise who owns the means of distribution ? What happens when those shop owners are under control from a guild who controls the prices, ammount and quality of comodity produced ? The simple "formal" ownership of the means of production protects them from having value exploited from them ? So we can invert everything to say that they are not exploited because they are the owners of their means of production ? So if they have a subordinate relationship with the haute-burgeoise they are free, right ? Why this sounds like neo-liberal logic ? The proletariat is not exploited because they are not by feudal obligations, ohhh, for me this sounds quite similar and is the similar set of objections that Marx raises against indutrial burgeoise of his time !

So can we say that the subordinate economic relationship between a class and another, where the higher class reserves (any way or other) to himself the ownership of a vital part of the chain of production, is the root of all exploitation ?

And so is this the link between french revolution time sans-cullote and current day proletariat ?
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 30 Jul 2014, 03:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Post 30 Jul 2014, 03:10
Quote:
Dude I outright said being a prole has nothing to do with producing more surplus value than you are paid, it is the relationship to the means of production. You're talking some irrelevant concepts about distribution and receiving more than you produce


You cannot produce more surplus value than you are paid. You can produce more VALUE than you are paid. Thats the exactly definition of surplus value, give more than you receive. You need surplus value to have a proletariat. What happens when you receive the same value as you work, but you are still not the owner of the means of production ? Where is the capitalist going to get a profit ? And if he doesnt get a profit, how does he becomes the owner of the means of production ? How capitalism then reproduces itself ?

You need both ! Surplus value and wage ! Because they are parts of the same relationship you said was in the base of capitalism, and nowhere did i say anything against this !
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