The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Project Gutenberg ebook by Karl Marx (2023)

The Project Gutenberg eBook of the 18th Brumaire by Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx

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Title: The 18th Brumaire by Louis Bonaparte

Author: Carlos Marx

Translator: Daniel de Leon

Release Date: June 1998 [eBook #1346]
[Last updated: April 19, 2021]

English language

Character set encoding: UTF-8

Produced by: An anonymous volunteer and David Widger


by Karl Marx


Foreword by the translator

Foreword by the translator

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Luis Bonaparte is one of Karl Marx's most profound and brilliant monographs. It can be considered the best existing work on the philosophy of history, especially when one considers the history of the proletarian movement together with the bourgeois and other manifestations that accompanied it and the tactics that dictated such conditions.

The recent populist uprising; the more recent "debs movement"; the thousand and one utopian and imaginative ideas that explode; capitalist maneuvers; the desperate and impotent search for straws that characterize the behavior of the mass working class; All of this, together with the sinister figures and airheads that have been gaining prominence and obsolescence for some time, marks the current phase of the labor movement in the country as critical. The best information gathered, the best mental training we have received, are prerequisites for navigating the existing chaos that the current death-infested social system creates around us. To support this necessary information and mental training, this textbook is now available to readers in English and is recommended for the serious study of the serious.

The teachings contained in this work are based on an episode of recent French history. For some, this fact may diminish its value. There is a widespread, pedantic and arrogant notion among us that we are an “Anglo-Saxon” nation; and an equally pedantic and arrogant habit leads many to look to England as the birthplace of the breed. However, for better or for worse, there is no such thing as “Anglo-Saxons” – of all things, the so-called “Anglo-Saxons”, at least in the United States. What we still have of England, although it seems to point in a different direction, is not of our marrow, so to speak, but has something of the nature of "imports". We are no more English than Chinese because we all drink tea.

Of all European nations, France is closest to us. Apart from its republican form of government, the frankness of its history, the unity of its action, the sharpness that marks its internal development are qualities that find their best parallel, and vice versa. In essence, the study of modern French history, especially when sketched by a master hand like Marx, is most valuable for acquiring that historical, social and biological vision that our country so desperately needs and that in the critical days in which where they are will be invaluable to come

To help those who are unfamiliar with the history of France and who may be confused by some of the terms used by Marx, the following explanations may be helpful:

On 18 Brumaire (9 November), post-revolutionary developments in France enabled the first Napoleon to take a step which, with inescapable certainty, brought him to the imperial throne. The fact that similar events around fifty years later helped his nephew Louis Bonaparte to take a similar step with a similar result gives this work its name - "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte".

As for the other terms and allusions, the following outline will suffice:

After the fall of the first Napoleon, the Bourbon throne was restored (Louis XVIII followed by Carlos X). In July 1830 a revolt by the upper echelons of the Bourbonie or capitalist class, the financial aristocracy, overthrew the throne of the Bourbon or landed aristocracy and established the throne of Orleans, a younger branch of the House of Bourbon, under Louis Philippe. questions. Since the month this revolution took place, the monarchy of Louis-Philippe has been referred to as the "July Monarchy". In February 1848, a revolt by a lower layer of the capitalist class, the industrial bourgeoisie, against the financial aristocracy dethroned Louis Philippe. The case, also named for the month in which it took place, is that of the "February Revolution". The Eighteenth Brumaire begins with this event.

Notwithstanding the inapplicability of the political names and political leaders described here to our business, both names and leaders are products of economic and social development to such an extent that here, too, they have been more prominent and here have had their present counterparts, or have been threatened. . so complete that, in the light of this work by Marx, we can better understand our own history, where we come from, where we are going and how we should behave.

D.D.L. New York, 12. September 1897



Hegel says somewhere that the great events and historical figures are repeated twice. He forgot to add: "One time a tragedy and another time a farce." ” from 1793-05, nephew of uncle. The identical caricature also marks the terms under which the second edition of the eighteenth Brumary appears.

Man makes his own history, but he doesn't make it out of nothing; He doesn't do it on terms of his own choosing, but on those he finds within his reach. The tradition of all past generations weighs like an Alpu on the brains of the living. Just when people seem determined to revolutionize things and themselves, to realize what never existed, in such times of revolutionary crisis, they eagerly invoke the ghosts of the past at their service, taking their names, their war cries , their costumes on. to stage a new historical scene with such a sacred costume and with such a borrowed language. Thus Luther disguised himself as the apostle Paul; not even the revolution of 1818 could do better than parody the year 1789 and the revolutionary traditions of 1793-95. Thus the beginner who has learned a new language continues to translate it into his own mother tongue; only then has he grasped the spirit of the new language and can express himself freely in it when he moves in it without remembering the old one, and in using it has forgotten his own inherited language.

If you look closely at these historical sites of the dead past, you immediately notice a clear difference. Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, St. A group destroyed the old feudal base and cut off the feudal heads growing on it; Napoleon created within France the conditions under which free competition could develop, exploit divided lands, use the nation's free power for industrial production; while beyond the French frontier it flooded the feudal institutions far and wide to the extent necessary to provide the French bourgeois social order with an environment appropriate and contemporary to the European continent. Once the new social establishment was established, the antediluvian giants disappeared and with them the resurrected Roman world: the Brutus, Gracchi, Publicicolas, the tribunes, the senators and Caesar himself. In its sober reality, bourgeois society has its own true interpretation in the Says, Cousins, Royer-Collards, Benjamin Constants and Guizots spawned; his royal generals sat behind desks; and the ram's head of Louis XVIII. was his political leadership. Completely immersed in the production of wealth and peaceful competition, this society could no longer comprehend that the spirits of Roman times were watching over its cradle. And yet, since bourgeois society lacks heroism, it took heroism, self-sacrifice, terror, civil war, and bloody battlefields to bring them into the world. Its gladiators found in the strict classical traditions of the Roman Republic the ideals and the form, the self-deceptions they needed to conceal the narrow civic substance of their own struggles and to keep their passion at the level of a great historical event. Tragedy. Thus, at another stage of development, a century earlier, Cromwell and the English people drew from the Old Testament the language, passions, and illusions for their own bourgeois revolution. When the real goal was reached, when the reorganization of English society was complete, Lockes supplanted Habakkuk.

Thus the resurrection of the dead in these revolutions served to glorify the new struggles, not to parody the old ones; it served to exaggerate the task set to imagination, not to shy away from its practical solution; it served to revive the revolutionary spirit, not to expose its ghost.

In 1848-51 only the specter of the old revolution hung about, from Marrast, the 'Republicain en gaunts jaunes', who masqueraded as old Bailly, to the adventurer who hid his repulsively trivial features under the mask of Napoleon's iron mortuary. A whole people, imagining that they have powers of accelerated movement through a revolution, suddenly find themselves transported into a dead age, and, lest there be any error, the old dates reappear; old calendars; the old names; the old edicts, long degraded to the level of antiquarian scholarship; even the old bailiffs who seemed rotten a long time ago. The nation takes the shape of that mad Englishman, Bedlam, who imagines he is living in the days of the pharaohs, and daily laments the hard work he has to do in the Ethiopian mines prospecting for gold, imprisoned in an underground prison, with a lamp fastened to his head, behind him the slave foreman with a long whip and at the mouth of the pit a crowd of barbaric field hands who do not understand each other because they do not speak a common language. "And all this," shouts the mad Englishman, "is required of me, the freeborn Englishman, to make gold for the old pharaoh." "To pay off the debts of the Bonaparte family," the French nation sobbed. The Englishman in his right mind could not shake the ingrained idea of ​​making gold. The French, engaged in a revolution, could not shake off the Napoleonic memory, as the December 10 elections showed. They longed to escape the dangers of revolution back into the meatpots of Egypt; December 2, 1851 was the answer. You not only have the character of old Napoleon, but the same old Napoleon - the caricature you need should appear in the mid-19th century.

The social revolution of the 19th century cannot draw its poetry from the past, but only from the future. You cannot begin your work until you have eliminated all superstitions associated with the past. Past revolutions need historical reminiscences in order to get drunk on their own questions. The 19th century revolution must have the dead bury their dead to achieve its outcome. In the former, phrase triumphs over substance; substance is the trump card.

The February Revolution was a surprise; the old society was surprised; and the people proclaimed this political coup as a great historical act that ushered in the new era. On December 2nd, the February Revolution is manipulated by the wiles of a fake player, and what appears to have been overthrown is no longer the monarchy, but the liberal concessions wrested from it through centuries of struggle. Rather than society itself having reached a new point, only the state seems to have returned to its former form, the simply shameless rule of sword and club. Thus the "coup d'etat" of February 1848 was followed by the "coup d'etat" of December 1851. So won, so lost. However, the break did not go unnoticed. In the years 1848-1851, French society found again an abbreviated because revolutionary method of doctrines and doctrines which, if it had been more than a superficial disturbance, should have preceded the February Revolution, if it had developed in a proper order . Ruler. , so to speak. Now French society seems to have withdrawn from its point of departure; but in fact he was compelled first to establish his own revolutionary point of departure, the situation, the circumstances, the conditions, the only ones under which the modern revolution is serious.

Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the eighteenth century, run fast from success to success, their stage effects are outnumbered, men and things seem set in flaming diamonds, ecstasy is the prevailing spirit; but they are short-lived and reach their climax quickly, then society lapses into a long bout of nervous reaction before it learns to appropriate the fruits of its feverish excitement. In contrast, proletarian revolutions, like those of the 19th century, constantly criticize each other; they are constantly interrupted in their own course; return to what seems done, start over; despises with cruel meticulousness the half-measures, weaknesses and malice of his first attempts; they seem to knock down their opponent only to allow him to draw new strength from the earth and rise again against them in a more gigantic form; they continually shrink from the vague monstrosity of their own objects, until finally that situation arises which makes retreat impossible, and the circumstances themselves cry out:

"Here is Rhodes Leap!"
[#2 This is Rhodes, jump here! An allusion to Aesop's Fables.]

Any observer of average intelligence; even if he did not follow the course of French development step by step, he had to foresee that the revolution was facing an unprecedented fiasco. It was enough to hear the contented howls of victory as the Democrats congratulated each other on the May 2, 1852, pardons. In fact, May 2nd had become a craze in their heads; it had become dogma for them, something like the day of Christ's return and the beginning of the millennium had formed in the minds of the Chiliasts. Weakness, as always, took refuge in the wondrous; he thought he had conquered the enemy when he cornered him in his imagination; and he lost all sense of the present in the imaginary apotheosis of the future that was within reach and of the facts he had "up his sleeve" but was not yet ready to spell out to the letter. Always trying to refute their established incompetence, sympathetic and huddled together, the heroes packed their bags, took credit as an advance and devoted themselves only to the work of raking in partibus discounts on the stock market. , the republics for which, in the silence of their modest provisions, they carefully organized the government staff. December 2nd hit her like a bolt from the blue; and those who, in times of timid despondency, let the loudest screams drown out their hidden fears may have persuaded themselves that the days of cackling gooses could save the Capitol are long gone.

The Constitution, the National Assembly, the dynastic parties, the Blue and Red Republicans, the heroes of Africa, the thunder from the podium, the flashes of the daily press, all literature, political names and intellectual celebrities, civil and criminal authorities . the law, the 'liberté', égalite', fraternité', together with May 2nd, 1852 - disappeared like a phantasmagoria before the ban of a man whom his own enemies declared not gifted in sorcery. Universal suffrage seems to have survived for just a moment to do its own will with its own hands before the eyes of the whole world, declaring on behalf of the people: “Everything that exists deserves to perish. "

It is not enough to say, like the French, that their nation was taken by surprise. A nation, no more than a woman, apologizes for the carefree hour when the first adventurer to appear could hurt her. The riddle is not solved by such changes, but only formulated differently. It remains to be explained how a nation of thirty-six million can be caught off guard by three imposters and thrown into prison without opposition.

Let us recap, in general terms, the phases that the French Revolution passed from February 24, 1848 to December 1851.

Three main periods are unmistakable:

First - the February period;

Second—The period of the Constitution of the Republic or National Constituent Assembly (May 4, 1848 to May 29, 1849);

Third - The period of the Constitutional Republic or National Legislative Assembly (May 29, 1849 to December 2, 1851).

The first period, from February 24, or the fall of Louis Philippe, to May 4, 1848, the date of the session of the Constituent Assembly - the February period itself - can be described as the prologue of the revolution. He officially expressed his own character by declaring that the government he had improvised was "provisional"; and, like the government, everything addressed, attempted, or said was declared provisional. Nobody and nothing dared to accept the right to permanent existence and a real fact. All the elements preparing or determining the revolution—the dynastic opposition, the republican bourgeoisie, the small business class democratic-republican, the social-democratic working class—had “provisionally” found their place in the February government.

It couldn't be otherwise. In the February days, a reform of the electoral law was originally considered, which should expand the leeway of the politically privileged under the money class and at the same time overthrow the exclusive domain of the financial aristocracy. But when real conflict ensued, when the people erected the barricades, when the National Guard remained passive, when the army offered no serious resistance and the kingdom fled, the republic seemed to understand itself. Each part interpreted it in its own sense. Won at gunpoint by the proletariat, they imposed it with their own class and proclaimed the social republic. This indicated the general purpose of the modern revolutions, a purpose which, however, could be achieved with everything that was available, with the available material, with the degree of enlightenment achieved among the masses, with the conditions and existing conditions in the most peculiar contradiction. used immediately. . On the other hand, the claims of all other elements who had collaborated in the February revolution were recognized by the lion's share they received in government. At no point do we find a more heterogeneous mixture of tonal phrases alongside genuine doubt and helplessness; of more enthusiastic reformist aspirations combined with a more obsequious adherence to old routine; a more apparent harmony permeating all of society, together with a deeper alienation of its various elements. While the Parisian proletariat was still rejoicing in the vision of the great prospect opening before their eyes and indulging in serious discussions about social problems, the old forces of society were preparing, meeting, conferring and finding unexpected support. in the mass of the nation the peasants and petty merchants, all of whom suddenly stormed onto 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 founding of the bourgeois republic, shortly after the February days were surprised not only by the Republicans, and the Republicans for the Socialists, but all the dynastic opposition France was surprised by Paris. The National Assembly, which met on May 4, 1848, to formulate a constitution, was the result of national elections; represented the nation. It was a lively protest against the acceptance of the February days and intended to bring the results of the revolution back into the bourgeois dimension. The proletariat of Paris, who immediately understood the character of this National Assembly, tried in vain a few days after its meeting; on May 15, to forcibly deny its existence, to dissolve it, to disperse the organic appearance in which the nation's reactive spirit threatened it, and thus to reduce it to its component parts. As is well known, the only result of May 15 was to remove Blanqui and his comrades, that is, the true leaders of the proletarian party, from the public stage for the entire duration of the cycle we are considering.

After the bourgeois monarchy of Louis-Philippe only the bourgeois republic could follow; That is, having ruled a limited section of the bourgeoisie in the name of the king, the entire bourgeoisie must now rule in the name of the people. The demands of the Parisian proletariat are utopian nonsense that must be eliminated. To this declaration of the National Constituent Assembly, the Parisian proletariat responded with the June uprising, the most colossal event in the history of European civil wars. The bourgeois republic won. On their side were the financial aristocracy, the industrial bourgeoisie; middle class; the small merchant class; The army; the favelas, organized as Mobile Guard; Intellectual personalities, pastors and the rural population. On the side of the Parisian proletariat there was no one but him. More than 3,000 insurgents were massacred, after the victory 15,000 were taken away without trial. With this defeat, the proletariat receded into the background of the revolutionary scene. He always tries to advance as soon as the movement seems to gain new impetus, but with ever weaker efforts and ever smaller results; As soon as one of the upper strata of society gets into a revolutionary ferment, it forms an alliance with it and thus participates in all the successive defeats suffered by the various parties. But these successive blows become weaker as they become more widespread throughout society. The most important leaders of the proletariat in their councils and in the press fall victim to the courts one by one, and more and more questionable figures advance. It starts partly with teaching experiments, "cooperative banks" and "job banks" models; that is, movements in which it bumps into movements in which it renounces the task of revolutionizing the old world with its own great collective weapons and, on the contrary, seeks to achieve its emancipation behind society's back in private, narrowed in it they push the boundaries of their own class relations and consequently fail inevitably. The proletariat seems unable to rediscover revolutionary greatness in itself, nor to draw new energy from newly formed alliances, until all the classes with which it struggled in June prostrate themselves with it. But in all these defeats the proletariat succumbs at least with the honor it gives to the great historical struggles; Not only France, but all Europe trembles before the earthquake of June, while the successive defeats inflicted on the upper classes are so easily bought that they need the shameless exaggeration of the victorious party itself to count as an event; and these defeats become all the more ignominious the further the defeated party moves away from the proletariat.

It is true that the defeat of the insurgents in June prepared the ground on which the bourgeois republic could be founded and built up; but at the same time it became clear that there are other themes in Europe besides “republic or monarchy”. It revealed that the bourgeois republic here meant the unbridled despotism of one class over the other. He showed that in nations enjoying an older civilization, which have developed class differences, modern conditions of production, and an intellectual consciousness in which all ancient traditions have been dissolved by the labor of centuries, that for such countries a republic means only a political revolution . Form of bourgeois society, not its conservative mode of existence, as is the case in the United States of America, where classes already exist but have not yet assumed a permanent character, they are in a constant ebb and flow of ebb and flow, constantly ebbing its elements changed and left to another in which the modern means of production, rather than coinciding with a stagnant population, tends to compensate for the relative lack of heads and hands; and finally, where the feverish youthful life has left neither time nor opportunity for material production, which must appropriate a new world, to abolish old illusions. [#3 This was written in early 1852.]

All classes and parties united in the June days in a "party of order" against the proletarian class, which called itself the "party of anarchy", of socialism, of communism. They claimed to have "saved" society from "enemies of society." Crusader: "You'll win with this poster!" From that moment on, whenever one of the numerous parties organized under this sign against the June insurgents, in turn, tried to seize the revolutionary camp in the interest of its own class, it in turn fell under the cry: "Property, family, religion , Order". It is thus that society is "saved" as the circle of its ruling class narrows whenever a more exclusive interest is imposed on the general. Any demand for the simplest bourgeois financial reform, for the most ordinary liberalism, for the most banal republicanism, for the most shallow democracy is immediately punished as an "attack on society" and branded as "socialism". Finally, the high priests of "Religion and Order" are thrown from their tripods; they are dragged from their beds in the dark; herded into patrol cars, imprisoned or exiled; Their temple will be leveled, their mouths sealed, their penises broken, their law shattered in the name of religion, family, property and order. Bourgeois, fanatics about order, are shot by drunken soldiers from their balconies, their family property is confiscated, and their homes are bombed for fun, all in the name of property, family, religion, and order. Finally, the outcasts of bourgeois society form the "holy phalanx of order" and the hero Crapulinsky moves into the Tuileries as the "savior of society".


Let's pick up the thread of events again.

The history of the National Constituent Assembly since the June Days is the history of the supremacy and dissolution of the bourgeois Republican Party, a party known by various names such as Tricolor Republican, True Republican, Political Republican. , "Republican formal". “. Republicans”, etc. etc. Under the bourgeois monarchy of Luis Felipe, this party formed the official republican opposition and was consequently a recognized element in the political world of the time. It had its representatives in the chambers and exercised considerable influence over the press. His organ in Paris, the National, got its way through such a respectable newspaper as the Journal des Debats. This position in the constitutional monarchy corresponded to his character. The party was not a faction of the bourgeoisie, united by broad common interests and shaped by particular commercial demands. It was a circle of bourgeois with republican ideas—writers, lawyers, civil servants, and civil servants—whose influence resided in the country's personal antipathies for Luis Felipe, in the reminiscences of the old republic, in the republican beliefs of various enthusiasts and, above all, in the spirit of French patriotism, whose hatred of the Treaty of Vienna and the alliance with England kept her constantly busy. Under Louis Philippe, the “Nacional” owed a large part of its followers to this covert imperialism, which later under the Republic in the person of Louis Bonaparte was able to confront as a deadly competitor. The newspaper fought the financial aristocracy as well as the rest of the bourgeois opposition. The anti-budget polemics, which in France was closely associated with opposition to the financial aristocracy, gave the main Puritan articles too cheap popularity and too rich material not to be exploited. The industrial bourgeoisie thanked him for his slavish defense of the French tariff system, which the paper had adopted more for patriotic than economic reasons; the entire bourgeois class was grateful to him for his cruel denunciations of communism and socialism. For the rest, the "Nacional" party was purely republican, that is, it demanded a republican form of government, more bourgeois than monarchical; Above all, he called for a government majority for the bourgeoisie. The party was far from clear about how this transformation would take place. What was crystal clear to him, however, and which he openly declared at reformist banquets in the final days of Louis Philippe's government, was his unpopularity with the democratic bourgeoisie, particularly the revolutionary proletariat. These pure republicans, like pure republicans, were at first on the verge of contenting themselves with the regency of the Duchess of Orléans when the February Revolution broke out and produced their most prominent representatives in the Provisional Government. From the start, of course, they enjoyed the confidence of the bourgeoisie and the majority of the National Constituent Assembly. The Socialist elements of the Provisional Government were promptly expelled from the Executive Committee, which the assembly had elected when it convened, and the Nacional party later took advantage of the outbreak of the June uprising to dismiss that Executive Committee as well, getting rid of its closest competitors . — the small business class or the Democratic Republican class (Ledru-Rollin, etc.). Cavaignac, the general of the bourgeois Republican party who commanded the June battle, took over the Executive Committee with a sort of dictatorial power. Marrast, former editor-in-chief of the National, became permanent president of the National Constituent Assembly, and secretary of state, along with all other important offices, passed into the hands of pure Republicans.

The bourgeois republican party, which had long regarded itself as the legitimate heir to the July monarchy, saw its own ideal surpassed in this; but he came to power not, as he had dreamed under Louis Philippe, by a liberal revolt of the bourgeoisie against the throne, but by a mutiny of the proletariat against machine-gun capital. What they imagined to be the most revolutionary turned out to be the most counter-revolutionary event. The fruit fell into his lap, but it fell from the tree of knowledge, not from the tree of life.

The exclusive power of the bourgeois republic lasted only from June 24 to December 10, 1848. It was reduced to the drafting of a republican constitution and the state of siege in Paris.

The new constitution was essentially just a republican edition of the 1830 charter. The limited suffrage of the July Monarchy, which excluded even a large section of the bourgeoisie from political power, was incompatible with the existence of the republic. The February Revolution had immediately proclaimed direct and universal suffrage in place of the old law. The bourgeois republic could not annul this act. They had to be content with adding the six-month residency restriction. The old organization of administrative law, city government, army judicial procedures, etc., remained intact, or when the Constitution changed them, the change affected their content, not their subject; its name, not its substance.

The inevitable "General Staff" of "liberties" of 1848—personal liberty, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, association, and assembly, freedom of education, freedom of religion, etc.—were given a constitutional uniform that rendered them invulnerable. Each of these liberties is proclaimed as an absolute right of the French citizen, but always with the glamor that it is unlimited only insofar as it is not limited by the "equal rights of others" and by "public security" or by "the laws". which should bring about this harmony. For example:

“Citizens have the right to unite, to assemble peacefully and unarmed, to petition and to express their opinions through the press. The enjoyment of these rights is not subject to any restrictions other than the equality of others and public safety. (Chapter II of the French Constitution, Section 8.)

“Education is free. Freedom of education is enjoyed under the conditions provided by law and under state supervision” (Article 9).

"The citizen's residence is inviolable except in the manner provided by law." (Chap. I., Section 3) etc. etc.

It should be noted that the Constitution constantly alludes to future organic laws, equivalent to the glosses, designed to regulate the enjoyment of these unlimited freedoms, lest they interfere with each other or with public safety. Organic laws are then created by the "friends of order" and all the above freedoms are regulated in such a way that the bourgeoisie does not fight the same rights as the other classes in enjoying them. Whenever the bourgeoisie denied “others” these rights outright, or allowed them to be exercised under police-trap-like conditions, it always did so only in the interest of “public security,” i. H. the bourgeoisie as required by the constitution.

It follows that both sides - the "friends of order" who abolished all these freedoms, as well as the Democrats who demanded them all - invoke the Constitution wholeheartedly: every paragraph of the Constitution contains its own antithesis, its own House of Lords and House of Commons: freedom as generalization, abolition of freedom as specification. So, so long as the name of liberty was respected and only its effective use was legally prevented, it is clear that liberty's constitutional existence remained intact, intact as much as their common existence could be snuffed out.

(Video) Inaugural Lecture: Professor Paul J. du Plessis

This constitution, so adeptly rendered invulnerable, was, however, vulnerable, like Achilles, at one point: not at its heel, but at its head, or rather at the two heads into which it emptied: the Legislative Assembly, on the one hand. , and the president of the other. Go through the Constitution and you will find that only the paragraphs defining the President's relationship with the Legislative Assembly are absolute, positive, contradictory and unbiased.

Here the bourgeois Republicans were concerned with securing their own position. Articles 45 through 70 of the Constitution are worded in such a way that the National Assembly can constitutionally remove the President, but the President can only unconstitutionally annul the National Assembly, he can only annul it by annulling the Constitution itself. Thus, with these provisions, the National Assembly is provoking its own violent destruction. The character of 1830 not only sanctifies the separation of powers, but extends this trait to an unbearably contradictory extreme. The "game of the constitutional powers", as Guizot called the tables between the legislative and the executive, plays a permanent "vabanque" in the constitution of 1848. On the one hand, 750 people's representatives are elected and re-elected universal suffrage, that an uncontrollable, indissoluble, indivisible National Assembly, a National Assembly that enjoys legislative omnipotence, which ultimately decides on war, peace and trade treaties, that it alone has the power to grant amnesties and so on, due to its eternity, retains foreground on stage; on the other hand, a President endowed with all the attributes of royalty, with the power of appointing and dismissing his ministers independently of the National Assembly, having in his hands all the means of executive power, issuing all taxes, and therefore the arbiters of at least one and a half million shares in France, as many dependent on the 500,000 civil servants and civil servants of all grades. He has all the armed might behind him. It has the privilege of pardoning individual criminals; suspension of the National Guard; With the consent of the Council of State, the General, Cantonal and Municipal Councils, elected by the citizens themselves, are dismissed. He is responsible for initiating and managing all transactions with foreign countries. With the assembly itself constantly on stage and exposed to the critically vulgar light of day, he leads a hidden life on the Champs Elysées, with only Article 45 of the Constitution in view and in his heart that cries out for it daily: " Frere il faut mourir! [Brother #1, you must die!] Your power expires on the second Sunday of the beautiful month of May, the fourth year after your election! The glory then comes to an end; the play is not performed twice; and if you have any debts, unless you may prefer to travel to Clichy [#2 The Debt Prison], try to pay them with the 600,000 francs the Constitution has reserved for you. second Monday of the beautiful month of May.

While the Constitution grants real power to the President, it seeks to ensure the moral power of the National Assembly. Aside from the fact that it is impossible to create moral power through legislation, the constitution neutralizes itself by allowing the president to be directly elected by all French people. While in France the votes are distributed among the 750 members of the National Assembly, here they are concentrated on a single person. Although each individual representative represents only this or that party, this or that city, this or that dunghill, or possibly only the need to elect a hundred and fifty or other, with which neither the issue nor the man, that, the President, on the contrary, he is the nation's chosen one, and the act of his election is the trump card played once every four years by the sovereign people. The elected National Assembly has a metaphysical relationship, but the President-elect has a personal relationship with the nation. It is true that the National Assembly presents the different faces of the national spirit in its various deputies, but that spirit is embodied in the President. The President has a kind of divine right over the National Assembly, he is at the mercy of the people.

Thetis, goddess of the sea, had prophesied to Achilles that he would die in the prime of his youth. The Constitution, which like Achilles had its vulnerability, also like Achilles had the premonition of dying prematurely. the heights of his ideal republic above the profane world, seeing the arrogance of the monarchists, Bonapartists, democrats, communists increasing day by day, along with their own discrediting, and in proportion as they approach the culmination of their legislative work approached . Art without Thetis having to come out of the sea and tell them the secret. They had to trick fate through constitutional fraud, through Section 111 of the Constitution, which required each constitutional amendment to be deliberated three times in succession, with a full month between each and requiring a majority of at least three. - every four months, with the additional condition that at least 500 members of the National Assembly cast their votes. So they only made the impotent attempt, as a parliamentary minority to which they saw themselves prophetically reduced in their imagination, to still exercise a power that they were able to exercise at that very moment when they were still in control of the parliamentary majority and the entire government machines that slipped daily from their weak hands.

Finally, in a melodramatic paragraph, the Constitution entrusts itself to “the vigilance and patriotism of the entire French people and of each Frenchman in particular”, after having entrusted a little earlier in another paragraph to the “guardians” “themselves” and “patriots” to the competition , inquisitorial attention of the Superior Court of Justice, which he installed himself.

The Constitution of 1848 was such that on December 2, 1851, it was not struck down by a head, but fell at the touch of a plain hat; however, this hat was a triangular Napoleon hat.

While the bourgeois republicans occupied, debated and voted on the reform work of this constitution in the assembly, Cavaignac maintained the state of siege of Paris from outside. The besieged state of Paris was the midwife of the Constituent Assembly during its republican birth pangs. If the Constitution is later swept off the ground by the bayonet, we must not forget that it also had to be protected by the bayonet - and the bayonet, by the way, directed against the people - in the womb, and so on. The bayonet had to be planted in the ground . The ancestors of these "honest republicans" made their symbol, the tricolor, all over Europe. These, in turn, also made a discovery that itself traveled throughout the continent, but with ever renewed love, he returned to France, to the point that by then he had acquired citizenship in half of its departments site status. This was a marvelous discovery, regularly applied to each successive crisis in the course of the French Revolution. But the barracks and bivouac so regularly placed over the head of French society to compress and silence their brains; the saber and musket, regularly made to perform the functions of judge and administrator, guard and censor, constable and warden; the military mustache and soldier's greatcoat, regularly proclaimed as the supreme wisdom and guiding stars of society; - Aren't they all, the barracks and the bivouac, the saber and the musket, the mustache and the soldier's coat, ultimately destined to realize the idea of ​​being able to save society once and for all by making their own regime supreme exclaim? and to rid bourgeois society entirely of the worry of governing itself? The barracks and the camp, the saber and the musket, the soldier's mustache and the jacket were even more likely to have this idea, since they too could expect better cash payment for their increasing merits, while in the host states only newspapers. in the fleeting economies of society at the behest of this or that bourgeois faction, very little solid matter fell upon them, save a few dead and wounded, plus a few friendly bourgeois grimaces. Shouldn't the military finally play the game of "siege" in its own interest and at the same time besiege bourgeois stock exchanges? Furthermore, it should not be forgotten, and it should be noted in passing, that Colonel Bernard, the same President of the Military Committee who helped to deport 15,000 insurgents without trial during the Cavaignac administration, is again at the helm this time who is now in Paris active military committee.

Though the honest and pure Republicans established the nursery in which the Praetorian Guard was to rise with the state of siege on December 2, 1851, they on the other hand deserve praise for not exaggerating the sense of patriotism, as under Luis Philip , now; they themselves rule the national power, they humble themselves before foreign powers; Instead of liberating Italy, they let the Austrians and Neapolitans retake it. The election of Luis Bonaparte as President on December 10, 1848 put an end to the Cavaignac dictatorship and the Constituent Assembly.

Article 44 of the Constitution states: "The President of the French Republic shall never have lost his status as a French citizen." Not only had the first President of the French Republic, L. N. Bonaparte lost his status as a French citizen, he was not only an English special policeman, he was also a naturalized Swiss citizen.

In the previous chapter I explained the significance of the December 10 elections. I won't come back to that here. Suffice it to say that it was a reaction of the peasant class, bearing the expense of the February revolution, against the other classes of the nation: it was a reaction of the country against the city. He found wide acceptance among the soldiers, to whom the National Republicans brought neither fame nor money; the big bourgeoisie, who celebrated Bonaparte as a bridge to the monarchy; and among the proletarians and petty merchants who hailed him as a scourge for Cavaignac. Later I shall have occasion to delve more deeply into the peasants' relationship to the French Revolution.

The period between December 20, 1848 and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May 1849 comprises the history of the downfall of the bourgeois Republicans. Having set up a republic for the bourgeoisie, driven the revolutionary proletariat out of the field, and since silenced the democratic bourgeoisie, they themselves are pushed aside by the mass of the bourgeoisie, which rightly appropriates this republic as their property. However, this bourgeois crowd was realistic. A part of them, the landowners, had ruled at the Restoration, so they were Legitimists; the other part, the financial aristocrats and the great industrial capitalists, ruled under the July Monarchy and were therefore Orleanists. The high offices of the army, the university, the church, the civil service, the academy, and the press were divided between the two sides, albeit in unequal parts. Here, in the bourgeois republic, which bore the name not of Bourbon or Orleans but of capital, they found the form of government under which all could govern together. The June uprising had already united them all in a "Party of Order". Next, the middle-class Republicans who still held seats in the National Assembly had to be removed. As brutally as these pure Republicans had abused their own physical power against the people, so cowardly, discouraged, disheartened, broken, impotent, they gave up now that it was up to the maintenance of their own republicanism and their own legislative rights against the executive branch. and the royalists need not here tell the shameful tale of their dissolution. It wasn't a fall, it was extinction. His story ends forever. In the period that follows, they figure inside or outside the assembly only as memories, memories that seem to come alive again as soon as the subject is again just the word "republic" and when the revolutionary conflict threatens to become related. down to the lowest level. Incidentally, I must point out that the newspaper that gave its name to this party, the Nacional, later went over to socialism.

Before we close this period, we must look back at the two powers, one destroying the other on December 2, 1851, while they lived in conjugal relations from December 20, 1848, until the departure of the Constituent Assembly. We refer to Louis Bonaparte on the one hand, and to the party of the royal allies on the other; of the order and the bourgeoisie.

In possession of his presidency, Bonaparte immediately set up a ministry outside the party of Order, at the head of which, it should be noted, he placed Odillon Barrot, the former leader of the liberal wing of the parliamentary bourgeoisie. The gentleman. Barroth eventually got a seat in the Cabinet, the ghost of which had haunted him since the 1830s; and moreover he held the presidency of that ministry, though not as he had imagined under Louis Philippe, the rising leader of the parliamentary opposition, but with orders to kill a parliament, and moreover as an ally of all his arch-arches Enemies, the Jesuits and the Legitimists. Eventually he brings the bride home, but only after prostituting her. As for Bonaparte, he seemed to outshine himself completely. The Party of Order acted for him.

At the very first meeting of the ministry, it was decided to carry out the expedition to Rome that had been agreed upon there behind the back of the National Assembly and to take the funds that had also been agreed upon from the assembly under false pretenses. Thus began a fraud in the National Assembly, combined with a secret conspiracy with the absolute foreign powers against the Roman revolutionary republic. In the same way, and with a similar maneuver, Bonaparte prepared his coup d'etat on December 2 against the monarchist legislature and its constitutional republic. , December 2, 1851, the legislative majority of the National Assembly.

In August, the Constituent Assembly decided not to dissolve until it had drafted and promulgated a set of organic laws that would supplement the constitution. The Party of Order, through Deputy Rateau, proposed on January 6, 1849, that the Assembly repeal the Organic Laws and order their own dissolution. Not only the ministry headed by Mr. Odillón Barrot, but also all the royalist members of the National Assembly were thinking at that moment that their dissolution was necessary to restore public credit, consolidate order and put an end to the precarious and temporary existence and establish a specific fact; They claimed that their existence was hampering the new government's effectiveness, that it intended to prolong its life out of sheer malice, and that the country was fed up with it. Bonaparte took note of all these insults to the legislature, memorized them, and on December 21, 1851, he demonstrated to the monarchist parliamentarians that he had learned from them. They repeated their own slogans against themselves.

The Barrot Ministry and the Order Party went even further. They called for petitions to the National Assembly across France, politely demanding the disappearance of that body. Thus they led the inorganic masses of the people to struggle against the National Assembly, that is, the constitutionally organized expression of the people. They taught Bonaparte to appeal to the people from the parliamentary body. Finally, on January 29, 1849, the day came when the Constituent Assembly had to decide on its own dissolution. That day the corpse found her building occupied by the military; Changarnier, the General of the Order party, in whose hands was assembled the supreme command of both the National Guard and the Regulars, made a great military review that day, as if a battle were imminent; and the Royalist coalition threatened the Constituent Assembly that it would use force if it did not act voluntarily. He was ready, only joking about a short break. What was January 29, 1849 but the "coup d'état" of December 2, 1851, carried out only by the monarchists, with the help of Napoleon, against the republican National Assembly? These gentlemen did not notice or did not want to notice that Napoleon took advantage of January 29, 1849, to see part of the troops before him in front of the Tuileries, and that he greedily exploited this first open exercise of the army. against the parliamentary power to subordinate Caligula. The allied royalists only saw their own Changarnier.

Another reason that led the Party of Order in particular to shorten the mandate of the Constituent Assembly were the Organic Laws, the laws intended to supplement the Constitution, such as interested in making those laws themselves, and not allowing the already wary Republicans to make them. However, among these organic laws there was one under the responsibility of the President of the Republic. In 1851, the legislature was busy formulating such a law when Bonaparte single-handedly prevented such a political coup on December 2nd. , and framed therein by suspicion the vicious Republican Convention!

After the Constituent Assembly itself broke its last weapon on January 29, 1849, the Barrot Ministry and the "Friends of the Order" harassed them to death, leaving nothing to do to humiliate them and desperately tearing themselves out of their weakness . , laws that have cost him the last remnant of respect in public. Bonaparte, preoccupied with his own Napoleonic obsession, was bold enough to openly exploit this degradation of parliamentary power: Oudinot and the order to restore the Roman expedition to its alleged purpose published a letter to Bonaparte that same night in the Moniteur Oudinot, in which he congratulates him on his heroic deeds and pretends to be the generous protector of the army even before the parliamentarians who press the punishment. The royalists smiled at that. They just took it for their naivety. Finally, when Marrast, the President of the Constituent Assembly, once believed the safety of the Corps was in danger and, citing the Constitution, requested a colonel and his regiment, the colonel refused to obey, resorting to "discipline" and Marrast referred to Changarnier, who rebuffed him with the remark that he didn't like "clever bayonets". [#1Intelligent bayonets] When the royalist coalition wanted to start the decisive fight with Bonaparte in November 1851, they tried to enforce the principle of the right of the President of the National Assembly to issue directives with their infamous "Questor's Law". Direct troop requests. One of his generals, Leflo, supported the motion. In vain Changarnier voted in favour, or Thiers paid homage to the wise wisdom of the last Constituent Assembly. The Minister of War, St. Arnaud, answered him as Changarnier had answered Marrast, and he did so to the applause of the Montagne.

Thus the Party of Order itself, when it was not yet a national assembly, when it was only a ministry, stigmatized the parliamentary regime.

We wish you a good trip.


On May 29, 1849, the National Legislative Assembly met. On December 2, 1851, it was dismembered. This period includes the mandate of the constitutional or parliamentary public.

In the first French Revolution, the rule of the constitutionalists was replaced by that of the Girondins; and the rule of the Girondins succeeds that of the Jacobins. Each of these parts is supported in turn by its most advanced element. Once he has carried the revolution so far that he can no longer follow it, let alone march in front of it, his bolder allies behind him push him aside and send him to the guillotine. The revolution is thus moving along an ascending line.

1848 just the opposite. The proletarian party appears as an appendage of the petty mercantile or democratic party; He is betrayed by the latter and dropped on April 16th, May 15th and June. The Democratic Party, for its part, rests on the shoulders of the bourgeois Republicans; Once the bourgeois Republicans have firmly believed in power, they get rid of these troublesome comrades to stand on the shoulders of the Party of Order. The Party of Order shrugs, dumping the bourgeois Republicans and standing on the shoulders of armed might. Finally, still thinking that they are resting on the shoulders of armed might, one fine morning the party of the Order notices that those shoulders have been turned into bayonets. Each group kicks those who advance and bows to those who retreat; it's not surprising that everyone loses their balance in this ridiculous position and, without the inevitable grimaces, falls apart into separate pirouettes. Consequently, the revolution is moving along a downward trajectory. In this retreat, the barricade of last February is removed and the first governing body of the revolution is formed.

The period ahead now includes the most motley jumble of blatant contradictions: the constitutionalists openly conspiring against the Constitution; revolutionaries who are certainly constitutional; a National Assembly that aspires to be omnipotent but remains parliamentary; a mountain that finds its occupation in submission, compensating for its present defeats with prophecies of future victories; the monarchists, who form the "patres conscripti" of the republic and are forced by the situation to defend the hostile monarchical houses abroad of which they are supporters, while in France they support the republic they hate; an executive that finds its strength in its own weakness and its dignity in the contempt it inspires; a republic that is nothing but the combined disgrace of two monarchies - the Restoration and the July Monarchy - with an imperial label; unions whose first clause is disagreement; the struggles, the first law of which is the decision; sterile and empty agitation in the name of peace; solemn peace sermons in the name of the revolution; passions without truth; truths without passion; heroes without heroism; history without events; Development whose only engine seems to be the calendar, and tiring by the constant repetition of the same strains and tensions; Contrasts that periodically seem to intensify, only to wear down and collapse unresolved; pretentious efforts are made to show the danger of the end of the world and to frighten the citizens, simultaneously with the performance of the most insignificant intrigues and the performance of courtly comedies by the saviors of the world, which in their " laisser aller" is less reminiscent of the youngest day than the days of the Fronde; the official collective genius of France shamed by the cunning stupidity of a single individual; the collective will of the nation seeks its true expression in the prescriptive enemies of the public interest each time it speaks for universal suffrage, until finally it finds it in the arbitrariness of an obstructionist. If ever a piece of history was drawn in black on black, this is it. People and events appear as "Schlemihls" inverted, [#1 The hero in Chamisso, "Peter Schiemihi", losing his own shadow.] as shadows whose bodies are lost. The revolution itself paralyzes its own apostles and only arms its opponents with passionate violence. the uniform of the Order with the red trousers of the French soldier.

We have seen that the ministry set up by Bonaparte on December 20, 1849, the day of his "ascension," was a ministry of the party of Order, the Legitimist and Orleanist coalition. The Barrot-Falloux Ministry had withstood and was still ruling the founding Republican Convention, whose life had been more or less forcibly shortened. the First Military Division and the National Guard of Paris. Eventually, the party's parliamentary elections secured a large majority in the National Assembly. Here Louis Phillipe's MPs and colleagues met a saintly band of loyalists in whose favor countless ballots of the nation had been converted into tickets to the political arena. Bonapartist representatives were too few to build an independent parliamentary party. They appeared only when "fila mauvaise" [joke #2] was being preached to the party of the Order. Thus the Party of Order was in possession of the government, the army and the legislature, in short the entire power of the state, morally strengthened by the general elections, which made its sovereignty appear as the will of the people. , and for the simultaneous victory of the counter-revolution throughout the European continent.

The party has never opened its election campaign with more resources and under more favorable circumstances.

The purely Republican castaways found themselves in the National Legislative Assembly, fused into a cabal of fifty men led by African generals Cavaignac, Lamorcière and Bedeau. However, the major opposition party was formed by the mountain. The Social Democratic Party has given itself this parliamentary baptismal name. It had more than two hundred out of seven hundred and fifty votes in the National Assembly, at least as powerful as any of the three factions of the Order party. Their relative minority in the monarchist coalition as a whole seemed balanced by special circumstances. The results of the departmental elections showed that he had not only won a considerable following among the peasantry, but also that he had almost all the deputies of Paris in his camp; the army had made a commitment to the democratic faith by electing three non-commissioned officers; and the leader of the mountain, Ledru-Rollinha, was elevated to the rank of "parliamentary nobility" in contrast to all the representatives of the party of five departments, who added up their votes over him. Faced with the inevitable clashes among the royalists on the one hand, and the whole party of the order with Bonaparte on the other, the mountain on May 29, 1849 seemed to have all the elements of success. before. . A fortnight later he had lost everything, including his honor.

Before proceeding with this parliamentary history, a few remarks are necessary in order to avoid certain common misunderstandings about the general character of the era before us. In the opinion of the Democrats, the period of the National Legislative Assembly, like the period of the Constituent Assembly, was all about the struggle between republicans and monarchists; the movement itself was summarized by them under the keyword reaction: night, in which all cats are gray and allows them to prolong their sleepy everyday life. Indeed, the party of the Order presents itself at first glance as a tangle of monarchist factions not only intrigued with one another, each with the aim of elevating its own claimant to the throne and excluding the opposing party's claimant, but they are all united in a common hatred and attacks against the "republic". The mountain, for its part, acts against the monarchical conspiracy as a representative of the "republic". The party of order seems constantly engaged in a "reaction" directed no more and no less than in Prussia against the press, the right of association and the like, and reinforced by brutal police interventions by the bureaucracy. , police and public prosecutor's office - as in Prussia; The Mountain, on the other hand, is just as zealous in stopping these attacks and thereby defending the "eternal rights of man" as all the so-called mainstream parties have been for the last 150 years or so. However, if one takes a closer look at the situation and the parties, this superficial appearance that veils the class struggle completely disappears, together with the peculiar physiognomy of that time.

As has already been said, the Legitimists and the Orléanists formed the two major factions of the Party of Order. What held these two factions together with their respective pretenders and vice versa, what was it but the lily and the tricolor, the House of Bourbon and the House of Orleans, different shades of royalty? Under the Bourbons, the Great State ruled jointly with its vicars and lackeys; among the Orleanists it was high finance, big industry, wholesale, that is, capital with its retinue of lawyers, professors, and orators. The legitimate kingdom was no more than the political expression of the hereditary rule of the landlords, as was the July Monarchy, but the political expression of the usurped rule of the upstarts. they were their material conditions of life - two different kinds of property -; it was the old antagonism between town and country, the rivalry between capital and landed property. that at the same time old memories; personal animosities, fears and hopes; prejudices and illusions; Preferences and dislikes; Beliefs, beliefs and principles bind these factions to one chamber or another, who denies it? Through the various forms of property, through the social conditions of existence, a whole superstructure of feelings, illusions, habits of thought and views of life arises, manifold and in a peculiar way. The whole class produces and molds them from its material base and from the corresponding social conditions. The individual entity to which they flow through tradition and education may fancy that they represent the real reasons and premises of their behavior. Though Orleanist and Loyalist, each of these factions tried to make themselves and the other believe that what separated them was their ties to their respective royal houses; However, later events proved that it was shared interests that prevented the two royal houses from uniting. Just as in private life a distinction is made between what a person thinks and says about himself and what he really is and does, so the phrases and ideas of parties in historical struggles of the real organism and its interests must be distinguished even more. real, their imaginations and their reality. Orleanists and Legitimists found themselves side by side in the Republic with the same demands. Wanting each side to carry out the restoration of its own royalty as opposed to the other meant nothing other than that each of the two great interests into which the bourgeoisie is divided - land and capital - wanted to restore its own supremacy and the subordination of the other . We speak of two bourgeois interests because large property, despite its feudal flirtation and racial pride, has become fully bourgeois with the development of modern society. Thus the Tories of England long thought they were enthusiastic about the kingdom, the church, and the beauties of the old English constitution, until the day of peril forced them to admit that their enthusiasm was for the tenure of the land.

The royalists of the coalition continued their intrigues against each other in the press, in Ems, in Clarmont, in front of Parliament. Behind the scenes they don their old Orléanist and Loyalist liveries and play their old tournaments; In public, however, in their public appearances, as a large parliamentary party, they dispose of their respective royal houses with mere courtesies, they postpone the restoration of the monarchy "indefinitely". Its real affairs are treated as a party of order, that is, under a social rather than a political title; as a representative of the bourgeois social order; not overnight as traveling princesses, but as a bourgeois class against the other classes; not like monarchists versus republicans. In fact, as a party of order, they exercised a more unrestricted and harsher rule than ever over the other classes of society, be it under the Restoration or under the July Monarchy, which is only possible in the form of a parliamentary republic. , for only in this way could the two great divisions of the French bourgeoisie be united; In other words, it was the only way they could put sovereignty of their class on the agenda, rather than the rule of a privileged segment of their class. However, if they are taken as a party of order to insult the Republic and express their dislike for it, it is not just because of royalist traditions: instinct has taught them that although the Republic actually completes their authority, at the same time their social Base undermined to such an extent that without intermediaries, without the mask of the crown, without being able to divert the national interest through subordinate struggles between its own conflicting parties and with the crown, the republic is forced to embitterly oppose and fight with the subjugated classes . It was a sense of weakness that led them to withdraw from the rampant demands of their own class rule and into forms that were less complete, less developed, and therefore less dangerous. How often, on the other hand, do the allied monarchists come into conflict with the pretender before them - with Bonaparte - how often do they believe that their parliamentary omnipotence is threatened by the executive, ie how often do they have to show them the political title of their authority? , position themselves as republicans, not monarchists – and they do so, from the Orleanist Thiers, who warns the National Assembly that the republic is less dividing them, to the legitimist Berryer, who, on 2nd 1851, wearing the tricolor handkerchief around him, addressed the the people gathered in front of the Mayor's Office of the Tenth District, as the People's Tribune on behalf of the Republic; However, the echo reacted mockingly: "Henrique V.! Henry V! [#3 The Bourbon or Loyalist candidates for the throne.]

Against the allied bourgeoisie, however, a coalition of small business owners and workers formed, the so-called Social Democratic Party. Small merchants found themselves badly rewarded after the June days of 1848; They saw their material interests threatened and the democratic guarantees that were supposed to defend their interests called into question. So they turned to the workers. On the other hand, by the last half of the founding convention, their parliamentary representatives – the Berg – after being sacked during the bourgeois Republican dictatorship, had regained the popularity lost through the struggle with Bonaparte and the Royalist ministers. They had allied themselves with the socialist leaders. In February 1849, reconciliation banquets were held. A joint program was drawn up, joint electoral committees formed and merger candidates put forward. This broke the revolutionary point with the social demands of the proletariat and gave them a democratic twist; while from the democratic claims of the petty merchant class the mere political form was eliminated and the socialist point continued. This is how social democracy came into being. The new mountain that emerged from this combination, with the exception of a few working-class figures and a few socialist sectarians, contained elements identical to the old mountain only in greater numbers. However, as events unfolded, he had changed, as had the class he represented. The special character of social democracy means that republican-democratic institutions are needed as a means not to eliminate the two extremes of capital and wage slavery, but to weaken their antagonism and convert them into a harmonious whole. However different the methods proposed to achieve this goal may be, however much the object itself is adorned with more or less revolutionary fantasies, the substance remains the same. This substance is the transformation of society along democratic lines, but a transformation within the confines of the small business class. No one should get away with the narrow notion that the small business class fundamentally intends to advance a self-interested class interest. Rather, he believes that the particular conditions for his own emancipation are the only general conditions under which modern society can be saved and class struggle avoided. Likewise, we must avoid running away from the notion that Democratic congressmen are all "dealers" or enthusiasts for them. They may be as far removed from them by upbringing and individual position as heaven is from earth. What makes them representatives of the small business class is that intellectually they do not transcend the boundaries which the class itself does not transcend in practical life; that they are consequently led theoretically to the same problems and solutions to which they are led practically to material interests and social position. Indeed, this is always the relation of the "political" and "literary" representatives of a class to the class they represent.

From the above explanations, it is evident that while the Berg constantly fights for the Republic and so-called “human rights,” neither the Republic nor “human rights” are his true goal, let alone any of the army whose arms they strip and defend, enters the battlefield only to seize the instruments of war.

The party of order provoked the mountain immediately after convening the meeting. The bourgeoisie now felt the need to get rid of the democratic petty merchant class, just as it had felt the need a year earlier to get rid of the revolutionary proletariat.

But the enemy's position had changed. The strength of the proletarian party was in the streets; that of the small business class was in the National Assembly itself. The aim, therefore, was to drive them out of the National Assembly into the streets and break their parliamentary power itself before time and opportunity could consolidate it. The mountain jumped rampant into the trap.

The bombardment of Rome by French troops was the bait thrown on the mountain. It violated Article V of the Constitution, which prohibited the French Republic from using its armed forces against the liberties of other nations; In addition, Article IV. prohibited any declaration of war by the Executive without the consent of the National Assembly; In addition, the Constituent Assembly had reprimanded the Roman expedition for its decision of May 8th. On this basis, on June 11, 1849, Ledru-Rollin submitted a motion to remove Bonaparte and his ministers from office. Spurred on by Thiers' wasp stings, he allowed himself to be threatened with defending the constitution by any means, including weapons. The mountain rose as one man and repeated the challenge. On June 12, the National Assembly rejected the idea of ​​impeachment and Montanha left Parliament. The events of June 13 are well known: the Proclamation of the Mountain, which declared Napoleon and his ministers “outside the purview of the Constitution”; the street parades of the Democratic National Guard fleeing unarmed contact with Changarnier's troops; etc. etc. Part of the mountain fled abroad, another part was assigned to the Supreme Court of Bourges and the rest was placed under the supervision of the schoolteacher of the President of the National Assembly by a parliamentary decree. Paris was again besieged; and the Democratic section of the National Guard was disbanded. Thus the hold of Mount in Parliament was broken along with the power; of the small merchant class of Paris.

Lyon, where the signal for a bloody workers' uprising had been given on June 13, was declared a state of siege, along with the five neighboring departments, and this has continued to this day. [4. January 1852]

Most of the mountain had deserted their vanguard and refused to sign the proclamation; the press had deserted: only two newspapers dared to publish the statement; the small merchants had betrayed their representatives: the National Guard fell back or, when they appeared, prevented the erection of barricades; the deputies had deceived the petty merchants: the alleged army militants were nowhere to be seen; after all, instead of being strengthened by them, the democratic party had infected the proletariat with its own weakness, and, as always in democratic exploits, the leaders had the satisfaction of accusing "their people" of desertion, and the people had the satisfaction of theirs to accuse leaders of fraud.

Few times has an act been announced with so much noise as the campaign contemplating the mountain; Few times has an event been heralded with greater certainty and foresight than the "inevitable victory of democracy." That goes without saying: Democrats believe in the trumpets blowing down the walls of Jericho; Every time they stand before the walls of despotism, they try to imitate the miracle. If the mountain wanted to win in Parliament, he must not take up arms; if you have called to arms in Parliament, you should not behave in a parliamentary manner on the street; if the friendly demonstration was seriously planned, it was foolish not to expect a martial reception; if it was intended for war proper, it was quite original to put aside the weapons with which war was to be waged. But the revolutionary threats of the middle class and their democratic representatives are mere attempts to intimidate an opponent; when they reach an impasse, when they have to compromise enough and carry out their threats, they do so in a hesitant manner, avoiding nothing but the means to an end and seizing the pretexts to bend. The opening call that heralds battle fades to a shy growl as it begins; the actors stop taking themselves seriously and the performance falls like an inflated balloon pricked with a needle.

No party exaggerates the means at its disposal more than the democratic party, no one deceives itself by neglecting the situation more. La Montaña not only voted for the army, but also believes the army would rebel in his favor. And for what occasion? From the point of view of the troops, this meant nothing other than that the revolutionary soldiers should side with the Roman soldiers against the French soldiers. On the other hand, the memory of June 1848 was still too fresh not to evoke a deep dislike of the proletariat for the National Guard and a strong distrust of the leaders of the secret societies towards the democratic regime. Leaders To reconcile these differences, great common interests had to be at stake. Violating an abstract constitutional paragraph cannot satisfy such interests. Hasn't the constitution been repeatedly violated, say the Democrats themselves? Hadn't the most popular newspapers dismissed it as a counter-revolutionary ploy? But the democrat—because he represents the middle class, that is, a transitional class in which the interests of two other classes obscure each other—believes himself to be above every class antagonism. The Democrats admit they are being opposed by a privileged class, but they form the "People" along with the entire remaining mass of the nation. What they represent are the "rights of the people"; Their interests are the “interests of the people”. Therefore, they do not deem it necessary to examine the interests and attitudes of the various classes in an upcoming struggle. You don't need to weigh your own resources seriously. It is enough that they give the signal to the "people" to attack the "oppressors" with all their inexhaustible resources. Thus, if in execution its interests prove disinterested and its powerlessness, this is attributed to corrupt sophists who split the "indivisible people" into various hostile camps; or the army is being brutalized and is too blind to recognize the pure aims of democracy at its best; or to a detail in execution that ruins the whole plan; or finally to an unforeseen event that spoiled the game this time. In any case, the Democrat emerges from the shameful defeat as spotless as he entered it innocently, and with a renewed conviction that he must win; not that he himself and his party have to give up their old position, but on the contrary, conditions must come to their aid.

You shouldn't imagine the mountain decimated, broken and humiliated by the new parliamentary regulation and very unhappy. When it removed its leaders on June 13, it made room for new ones of lesser ability who are flattered by the new position. Even if their parliamentary impotence could no longer be doubted, they could now justifiably limit their activities to outbursts of moral indignation. If the Party of Order wanted them to embody all the horrors of anarchy as the last official representatives of the revolution, they were free to appear even more superficial and humble in reality. On June 13 they consoled themselves with the profound expression: “If they dared attack universal suffrage . . . then . . . then we'll show who we are!” Nous verrons. [#5 We'll see.]

As for the "climbers" who fled abroad, it suffices to say that Ledru-Rollin, after having achieved the feat of irretrievably ruining in barely a fortnight the powerful party which he was at the head of, felt compelled to a country to build french. government "in partibus"; that his figure in the distance, removed from the field of action, seemed to increase in size as the level of revolution declined and the official projections of official France were more and more overshadowed; that he might present himself as a Republican candidate by 1852, and he regularly sent circulars to the Vlachs and other peoples threatening the "continental despot" with the exploits he and his allies had in mind. Was Proudhon wrong when he called out to these gentlemen: "Vous n'êtes que des blaqueurs"? [#6 You are nothing but fakirs.]

On June 13, the religious party not only dissolved the Serra, but also established the subordination of the constitution to the majority decisions of the National Assembly. This is how the republic actually understood it, namely that the bourgeoisie ruled here in parliament, without, as in the monarchy, finding a brake on the veto of the executive or subjecting the parliament to dissolution. It was a "parliamentary republic," as Thiers called it. But when the bourgeoisie asserted its omnipotence in Parliament on June 13, did it not also strike Parliament itself with an incurable weakness against the executive and the people, eliminating its most popular part? By handing over numerous MPs to the arbitrariness of the state administration without further ado, it abolishes its own parliamentary inviolability. The humiliating regulation to which Serra was subjected elevated the President of the Republic as much as it humiliated the individual representatives of the people. He described an insurrection in defense of the constitution as anarchy and an act aimed at subverting society, and forbade himself to invoke insurrection when the executive branch violated the constitution against him. And indeed, the irony of history, the same general who bombed Rome on behalf of Bonaparte and thus gave the immediate cause for the constitutional uproar of June 13, wants Oudinot on December 22, 1851 the only begging is in vain is the people of the party of order offered as General of the Constitution. Another hero of June 13, Vieyra, who received the praise of the National Assembly Forum for the brutalities he committed in the editorial offices of Democratic newspapers at the head of a gang of National Guards in the service of high finance - this identical Vieyra He was initiated in the Bonaparte Conspiracy and contributed materially to cutting off any protection that the National Assembly might have at the moment of its death throes from the National Guard.

June 13 had a different meaning. The mountain wanted to accuse Bonaparte. His defeat was therefore a direct victory for Bonaparte; it was his personal triumph over his democratic enemies. The party of order fought for victory; Bonaparte only had to bag it. He did. On June 14, on the walls of Paris, a proclamation would be read in which the President would leave his house as a bad judge, without his consent, so to speak, against his will, moved by the sheer force of circumstances. Virtue he denounces the slanders of his opponents, and though he seems to identify his own person with the cause of order, he does identify the cause of order with himself. In addition, the National Assembly later approved the campaign against Rome; Bonaparte, however, had taken the initiative in this case. After leading the high priest Samuel back to the Vatican, he could hope, like King David, to occupy the Tuileries. He had earned the pastor's interest.

The riot of June 13, as we have seen, was limited to a peaceful street procession. Therefore, there were no laurels to be won. But in these heroic and eventless days, the party of order made a second Austerlitz out of this bloodless battle. Tribune and press praised the army as a force of order against the crowd and the impotence of anarchy; and Changarnier as "the bulwark of society," a mystification in which he eventually came to believe himself. Disguised, however, the dubious-looking corpse was taken away from Paris; the regiments, whose suffrage had become more democratic, were exiled from France to Algiers, the restive commanders sent to the penal barracks; Finally, the press was systematically withdrawn from the barracks and from the barracks in contact with the citizens.

We are at a critical juncture in the history of the French National Guard. In 1830 the ruin of the restoration was decided. Under Louis Philippe, all riots in which the National Guard sided with the troops failed. In February 1848, when she was passive in the face of the uprising and doubtful of Luís Filipe herself, she was lost. So the conviction was rooted that neither a revolution nor the army could succeed against the National Guard. Such was the army's superstitious belief in bourgeois omnipotence. The days of June 1548, when the entire National Guard, together with the regular troops, crushed the rebellion confirmed the superstition. After the Bonaparte government came into office, the position of the National Guard declined somewhat due to the unconstitutional unification of its command with the command of the First Military Division in the person of Changarnier.

Just as the command of the National Guard appeared here only as an attribution to the military commander-in-chief, so the Guard itself appeared only as an appendage to the regular troops. Finally, on June 13, the National Guard was dissolved, not only by its partial dissolution, which from that point on was cyclical in all points of France, leaving only the remnants of what it had been. The June 13 demonstration was primarily a National Guard demonstration. It is true that they did not carry their weapons, but they wore their uniforms against the army - and the talisman was precisely in those uniforms. The army then learned that this uniform was nothing more than a woolen rag, like any other. The spell is broken. In the days of June 1848 the bourgeoisie and small business owners in the National Guard joined with the army against the proletariat; On June 13, 1849, the bourgeoisie ordered the dissolution of the National Guard of Small Merchants; On December 2, 1851, the National Guard of the Bourgeoisie itself disappeared, and Bonaparte testified to this when he later signed the decree dissolving it. Thus the bourgeoisie itself had its last weapon against the army from the moment when the petty merchant class no longer positioned themselves as vassals at the rear, but as rebels at the front; indeed he was obliged to do so, just as he was obliged to destroy with his own hands all his defenses against absolutism as soon as it became absolute.

Meanwhile the party of Order was celebrating the regaining of a power which had seemed lost in 1848, was freed from its fetters in 1849 and rediscovered through abuse of the Republic and the Constitution; by the curse of all revolutions, future, present, and past, including those made by their own leaders; and finally in laws that gagged the press, destroyed association rights and regulated the local stage as an organic institution. The National Assembly then adjourned from mid-August to mid-October, having set up a Standing Commission for his absence. During this holiday, the Loyalists intrigued Ems; the Orleanists with Claremont; Bonaparte through princely excursions; the departmental councilors in conferences on constitutional revision; -Occurrences, all of which are regularly repeated in the periodic holidays of the National Assembly and which I will only deal with when they have become events. Note here that the National Assembly was unwise to disappear from the scene for long periods, leaving a single figure at the head of the Republic, however unfortunate he was - that of Louis Bonaparte - while, to public scandal, the Party del Orden split into its own royalist components, which pursued their conflicting aspirations after the Restoration. Much as during these holidays the muddled noise of Parliament had died down and its body dissolved in the nation, it was unequivocally evident that only one thing was wanting to complete the true figure of the Republic: to make the holidays of the National Assembly permanent, and its inscription - "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" - to be replaced with the unequivocal words "Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery".


The National Assembly met again in mid-October. On November 1, Bonaparte surprised him with a message announcing the dismissal of the Barrot-Falloux ministry and the creation of a new one. Lackeys were never removed from the service with less ceremony than Bonaparte, his ministers. The kicks, which were eventually sent to the National Assembly, were meanwhile received by Barrot & Company.

Barrot's ministry, as we have seen, was made up of Legitimists and Orleanists; it was a Ministry of the Party of Order. Bonaparte needed this ministry to dissolve the Republican Constituent Assembly, conduct the campaign against Rome, and smash the Democratic Party. Apparently he ducked behind this ministry, handing over the reins to the Party of Order and adopting the modest mask donned by the superintendent in charge of newspapers under Louis-Philippe: the mask of the "homme de paille". ". . . [#1 straw man] Now he took off his mask, no longer the curtain of light to hide behind, but the Iron Mask that prevented him from showing his own face. He had the Barrot Ministry created to dissolve the Republican National Assembly on behalf of the Order party; now he has refused to declare his own name independent of the Order party parliament.

There was no lack of plausible excuses for this dismissal. The Barrot Ministry had even neglected the forms of decency that would have enabled the President of the Republic to act as a power alongside the National Assembly. For example, during the National Assembly recess, Bonaparte published a letter to Edgar Ney in which he appeared to disapprove of the pope's liberal stance, just as he published a letter in opposition to the Constituent Assembly in which he appeared to disapprove of the pope's liberal stance he praised Oudinot for his attack on the Roman Republic; When the National Assembly was to vote on the budget for the Roman expedition, Victor Hugo put this letter up for debate out of mock liberalism; the Party of Order drowned this idea in Bonaparte's exclamations of contempt and disbelief, as if Bonaparte's ideas could have no political weight; - and none of the ministers took up the challenge for him. On another occasion, Barrot, with his well-known hollow pathos, uttered words of outrage from the Assembly's rostrum at what he believed to be "heinous machinations" taking place near the President. Finally, while the Ministry obtained from the National Assembly a widow's pension for the Duchess of Orleans, it rejected all requests for Civilista's promotion to President; The great idea that she was destined to restore the Empire was always complemented by the other, namely that the French people were destined to pay their debts.

The Barrot-Falloux Ministry was the first and last parliamentary ministry created by Bonaparte. Therefore, his resignation marks a crucial phase. With the ministry, the Party of Order irretrievably lost a position that was indispensable for the maintenance of the parliamentary regime, the executive. It is easy to understand that in a country like France, where the executive has an army of more than half a million holders, and consequently constantly maintains a great mass of interests and stocks in the most complete dependence upon itself; where government surrounds, controls, regulates, monitors and guards society from its most powerful acts in national life to its most insignificant movements; from their life together to the private life of each one; where this body of parasites, through such extraordinary centralization, acquires an omnipresence and omniscience, an accelerated capacity for movement and speed, which finds only an analogy in the helpless lack of self-confidence, in the unrestrained weakness of the social body itself; In the country the National Assembly lost all real influence with the control of the ministerial posts; unless it simplifies administration at the same time; if possible, reduce the army of officers; and finally, it enabled society and public opinion to set up their own organs independent of state censorship. But the material interests of the French bourgeoisie are intimately linked to the maintenance of such a large and complex machine of government. There the bourgeoisie creates its own superfluous membership; and it provides in government wages what it cannot pocket in profits, interest, rent and fees. On the other hand, his political interests force him daily to increase the power of repression, ie the media and government personnel; at the same time, he is forced to wage a non-stop war against public opinion and, suspiciously, to paralyze and paralyze the independent organs of society, so long as he does not amputate them entirely. Thus the French bourgeoisie, by its own class attitude, was compelled on the one hand to destroy the conditions of all parliamentary power, including its own, and on the other hand to make the executive power, hostile to it, irresistible. .

The new ministry was called Ministry d'Hautpoul. It's not as if Generald'Hautpoul won the post of prime minister. With Barrot, Bonaparte abolished that dignity which, of course, condemned the President of the Republic to legal nullity of a constitutional nature, also a constitutional king, without throne and crown, without scepter and sword, without irresponsibility, without property ... immortal of the highest state dignity and, what was most uncomfortable, without a civil list. The Ministry d'Hautpoul had only one man of parliamentary reputation, the Jew Fould, one of the most notorious members of high finance. I was responsible for the finances. Check Paris stock prices and you will see that from November 1, 1849, French stocks rose and fell with the rise and fall of Bonapartist stocks. Although Bonaparte had found his ally in the stock exchange, he had at the same time taken over the police force by appointing Carlier as prefect of the police.

But the consequences of the change of minister could only be seen in the course of events. Up until then, Bonaparte had only made one step forward, only to be rejected even more shamelessly. His harsh message was followed by the most obsequious declarations of submission before the National Assembly. Whenever ministers made half-hearted attempts to present their personal hobbies as bills, they themselves seemed reluctant, compelled only by their position, to carry out the comic tasks of which they had been convinced in advance that they would be futile. Every time Bonaparte published his plans behind the backs of his ministers and flaunted his "idees napoleoniennes" [#2 Napoleonic Ideas]. His attempts at usurpation only seemed to be heard so as not to stifle the crooked laughter of his opponents. He deported himself as a despised genius who mistakes the world for a simpleton. He never enjoyed the scorn of all estates more than at this time. The bourgeoisie has never ruled so absolutely; never so proudly flaunted the insignia of sovereignty.

It is not my purpose here to write a history of his legislative activity, which is summarized in two acts sanctioned during this period: the Wine Tax Restoration Act and the Education Suppression of Infidelity Act. While drinking wine was difficult for the French, they were even more lavishly doused with the pure water of life. Although the bourgeoisie declared the old and hated French tariff system to be untouchable in the wine tax law, it tried to secure the old good will of the masses through the laws on education, which made it tolerable. It is amazing to see how the Orléanists, the bourgeois liberals, those ancient apostles of Voltarianism and eclectic philosophy, entrust the supervision of the French intellect to their hereditary enemies, the Jesuits. But although the Orleanists and the Legitimists were at odds on the question of the candidate for the crown, they well understood that their common rule dictated the union of the oppressive means of two different epochs; that the means of subjection of the July Monarchy must be supplemented and strengthened by the means of subjection of the Restoration.

The peasants, betrayed in all their expectations and more than ever crushed by the statutory grain prices on the one hand and the increasing burden of taxes and mortgages on the other, began to agitate in the departments. They were answered by the systematic provocation of school teachers to which the government subdued the clergy; for the systematic provocation of the mayors, to which he subjected the mayors; and through a spy system that everyone was exposed to. In Paris and in the big cities, reaction itself bears the physiognomy of its time; it irritates more than it frightens; in the field he becomes low, whiny, petty, fussy, fussy, in a word, he becomes "gensdarme". It is easy to understand how three years of gendarme rule, sanctified by clerical rule, were destined to demoralize the immature masses.

For all the fervor and declamation that the party of the Order mustered against the minority from the rostrum of the Speakers of the National Assembly, their speech remained monosyllabic, like that of the Christians, whose speech must be: “Yes, yes; no no. It was monosyllabic whether it came from the platform or the press; boring as a riddle whose solution is known in advance. Whether the right to petition or wine tax, freedom of the press or freedom of trade, association or municipal laws, protection of individual freedom or regulation of the economy, the catchphrase returns, the topic is monotonously the same, the verdict is always ready and unchanged: socialism! Even bourgeois liberalism declares itself socialist; Socialist popular education is expressed in the same way; and also the National Socialist financial reform. It was socialist to build a railroad where there was already a canal; and it was a socialist to defend oneself with a stick when attacked with a sword.

This wasn't just lip service, a passing fad, or partisan tactic. The bourgeoisie correctly perceives that all the weapons it has forged against feudalism are turned against it; that all the educational devices he created rebel against his own civilization; that all the gods she created fell away from her. It understands that all of its so-called progressive and civil rights organizations attack and threaten its class rule both at its social base and in its political superstructure - hence it has become "socialist". It is precisely in this threat that he sniffs out and steals the secret of socialism, the meaning and tendency of which he assesses more correctly than appearances, so-called socialism, assess itself and consequently is unable to understand how it is. that the bourgeoisie, when it persistently closes its ears, laments so sentimentally about the sufferings of mankind; or, in Christian style, heralds the millennium and universal brotherhood; speaks humanistically about soul, culture and freedom; or doctrinally combine a system of harmony and well-being for all classes. What the bourgeoisie does not understand, however, is the consequence that its own parliamentary regime, its own political rule, is inevitably doomed to fall under the general prohibition of “socialist”. As long as the rule of the bourgeoisie is not fully organized, until it assumes its purely political character, the contrast with the other classes will not be able to show itself in all its sharpness; and when it emerges, it cannot take the dangerous turn that turns any conflict with government into a conflict with capital. However, when the French bourgeoisie began to perceive a threat to “peace” in every pulse of society, how could it then, at the top of society, claim to defend the insurgent regime, its own regime, the parliamentary regime, which according to the phrase a Of your own speakers, do you live in battle and for battle? The parliamentary regime thrives on discussion, how can it ban discussion? Every individual interest, every isolated social institution, becomes general thought there, treated as a thought: how could any interest or institution claim to be above thought and assert itself as an article of faith? The conflict of the speakers on the platform evokes the conflict of the rioters in the press; the debating club in Parliament is necessarily supplemented by debating clubs in pubs and pubs; Representatives who constantly appeal to popular opinion justify popular opinion by voicing their true opinions in petitions. The parliamentary regime leaves everything to the decision of the majority. How can one expect that the large majorities outside Parliament do not want to decide? If they hear the sound of the violin from above, what else is there to expect that those below should dance?

Thus the bourgeoisie, now pursuing as a socialist what it once celebrated as a liberal, admits that its own interests dictate that it rise above the dangers of self-government; that in order to restore calm to the country, their own bourgeois parliament must first be crushed; that in order to keep his social power intact, his political power must be broken; that the private bourgeois can exploit other classes and enjoy 'property', 'family', 'religion' and 'order' only on condition that his own class be condemned to the same political nullity as the other classes, viz. order to theirs In order to save their wallets, their crowns must be ripped from their heads and at the same time the swords intended to protect them must be hung over their heads like the sword of Damocles.

In the field of general bourgeois interests, the National Assembly proved so sterile that, for example, the debate on the Paris-Avignon railway, opened in the winter of 1850, had not yet reached a vote on December 2, 1851. As a reactionary, the bourgeoisie was afflicted with an incurable sterility .

While Bonaparte's ministry sought to initiate laws in the spirit of the Party of Order, or even to exaggerate their rigor in their application and administration, he in turn sought to gain popularity by childishly silly phrases to show contrast to himself. and the National Assembly, and point to a secret plan, kept secret and only temporarily prevented by circumstances from revealing its hidden treasures to the French people. Of this nature was the suggestion that non-commissioned officers should be given a daily bonus of four soles; as does the proposal for a bank loan with a "word of honor" for the workers. Getting money as a gift and borrowing money: That was the perspective with which he wanted to convince the masses. Gifts and credits: these were limited to the financial fortunes of the slums, both high and low; this was limited to the sources that Bonaparte knew how to set in motion. Pretender has never speculated more foolishly on the monotony of the masses.

Again and again the National Assembly raged at these unmistakable attempts at gaining popularity at his expense, and at the growing danger that this heavily indebted and well-respected adventurer might attempt an act of desperation. The strained relationship between the Order party and the President took an ominous turn when an unforeseen event sadly threw him back into her arms. We refer to the by-elections of March 1850. These elections were held to fill the posts created by arrest and exile in the National Assembly after June 13th. Paris elected only Social Democratic candidates; He even received the most votes for one of the June 1848 insurgents, Deflotte. Thus the small Parisian merchant world, now allied with the proletariat, avenged itself for the defeat of June 13, 1849. It seemed to have disappeared from the battlefield in the hour of danger, only to regain a foothold later. cheap. Opportunity, with greater strength for battle and with a bolder battle cry. One circumstance seemed to increase the danger of this election victory. The army voted in Paris for a June insurrection against Lahitte, Bonaparte's minister, and in the departments mainly for Montagne's candidates, who there too, though not as decisively as in Paris, asserted their advantage over their opponents.

Bonaparte was suddenly faced with the revolution again. As on January 29, 1849, as on June 13, 1849, as on May 10, 1850, he disappeared again behind the Order party. He leaned forward; he shyly apologized; offered to appoint any ministry at the behest of the parliamentary majority; He even begged the leaders of the Orléanist and Legitimist parties - the Thiers, Berryers, Broglies, Moles, the so-called Viscounts for short - to take personal command of the state. The Party of Order did not know how to take advantage of this opportunity that would not return. Instead of boldly usurping the power he had inherited, he did not even compel Bonaparte to reinstate the deposed ministry on November 1st; he was content to humiliate him with his pardon and join Mr. Baroche in the d'Hautpoul ministry. This Barroche had stormed the Bourges Supreme Court as a prosecutor against the May 15 revolutionaries and the June 13 Democrats, both accused of “attacking” the National Assembly. . None of Bonaparte's ministers later contributed to the degradation of the National Assembly; and after December 2, 1851, we find him again as Vice President of the Senate, comfortably stagnant and well paid. He spat in the revolutionaries' soup so that Bonaparte could eat.

For its part, social democracy seemed to seek only pretexts to jeopardize its own victory and weaken its advantage. Vidal, one of the newly elected MPs from Paris, also returned to Strasbourg. He was made to refuse the chair of Paris and accept that of Strasbourg. So instead of giving a definitive character to his victory in the tribunes and thus forcing the Party of Order to contest it immediately in Parliament; the Democratic Party wearyed Paris with a new campaign in March and April; he allowed the sublime passions of the people to be exhausted in this second preliminary election game; she allowed the revolutionary force to saturate itself with constitutional successes and lose breath in petty intrigues, hollow declamations, and fraudulent movements; it gave the bourgeoisie time to pull itself together and finally begin its preparations, it allowed the importance of the March elections to find sentimental toned-down comment in the April elections that followed in Eugene Sue's victory. In a word, he made March 10th an April Fool's joke.

The parliamentary majority recognized their opponent's weakness. Its seventeen mayors - Bonaparte had given him leadership and responsibility for the attack - drafted a new electoral law, the amendment of which was entrusted to Mr. Faucher, who ran for the honour. On May 8, he introduced the new law abolishing universal suffrage; three years of residence in the constituency as an election requirement; and finally, proof of this dependent residence for the worker as a testimony from his employer.

As revolutionary as the Democrats had agitated and marched in during the constitutional struggles, they did it in a constitutional manner now that it was important, armed in hand, to testify to the seriousness of their recent election victories, to preach order, "majestic calm". Legal conduct, that is, blind submission to the will of the counter-revolution revealed as law. During the debate, La Montaña embarrassed the Party of Order by maintaining the dispassionate attitude of the legal hamburger defending the principle of law against revolutionary passions; and to tweet the religious party with the fateful accusation of being revolutionary. The newly elected deputies, too, tried to demonstrate by their decent and considerate behavior what a misjudgment it was to denounce them as anarchists or to declare their election a victory for the revolution. The new electoral law was passed on March 31. The Mountain contented itself with smuggling a protest into the pockets of the Speaker of the Assembly. The election law was followed by a new press law, which completely eliminated the revolutionary press. He deserved his fate. The "Nacional" and the "Presse", two bourgeois bodies, remained the extreme outposts of the revolution after this deluge.

We have seen how the Democratic leaders did everything in March and April to engage the Parisian people in a mock fight and after May 8 did everything to keep them out of a real fight. We must not forget that the year 1850 was one of the brightest years of industrial and commercial prosperity; Consequently, the Parisian proletariat was fully occupied. But the electoral law of May 31, 1850 excluded them from any political participation in power; cut off the very battlefield beneath them; it restored to the workers the pariah status they had before the February Revolution. By allowing themselves to be guided by the Democrats in the face of such an event, forgetting the revolutionary interests of their class for temporary consolation, the workers renounced the honor of being a conquering power; they submitted to their fate; they showed that the defeat of June 1848 had rendered them incapable of resisting for many years, and that the historical process eventually had to pass them over once more. As for the democracy of the small business owners who on June 13 cried, 'If they dared attack universal suffrage. . . like that . . . then we will show who we are!” – Now they consoled themselves with the thought that the counter-revolutionary coup he had given them was not a coup at all and that the law of May 31 was not a law. On May 2, 1852, it was said, all the French would appear on the podium, ticket in one hand, sword in the other. With this prophecy they calmed their hearts. Finally, the army was punished by its superiors in the May and April 1850 elections as they were punished in the May 29, 1849 elections. This time, however, it was said firmly: “The revolution will not deceive us. " . a third time. "

The law of May 31, 1850 was the "coup" of the bourgeoisie. All his earlier conquests about the revolution were temporary: they became uncertain when the National Assembly left the stage; they depended on the possibility of universal suffrage, and the history of elections since 1848 has proved irrefutably that as the present rule of the bourgeoisie strengthened, its moral dominance over the masses waned. Universal suffrage was clearly declared against bourgeois rule on May 10; the bourgeoisie responded by banning universal suffrage. The law of May 31 was then one of the necessities of the class struggle. On the other hand, the Constitution required at least two million votes to validly remove the President of the Republic. If none of the presidential candidates meet this minimum, the National Assembly elects the president from the three candidates with the most votes. When the constituency passed this law, ten million voters were on the electoral roll. In his opinion, therefore, one fifth of the qualified voters was enough for a valid presidential election. The May 31 law eliminated at least three million voters, reduced the number of eligible voters to seven million, and still kept the legal minimum for electing a president at two million. In doing so, he raised the legal minimum from one-fifth to almost one-third of eligible voters, doing everything he could to smuggle the presidential election out of the hands of the people and into the hands of the National Assembly. Thus the Party of Order seemed to have doubly secured its empire with the electoral law of May 31, by placing the election of the National Assembly and the President of the Republic in the care of the stable section of society. .


Fighting between the National Assembly and Bonaparte immediately broke out again as soon as the revolutionary crisis was over and universal suffrage was abolished.

The constitution set Bonaparte's salary at 600,000 francs. Barely six months after taking office, he managed to double this sum: Odillon Barrot had extorted an annual expense allowance of 600,000 francs from the Constituent Assembly for so-called representation expenses. After June 13, Bonaparte hinted at similar requests, to which Barrot was deaf. Now, after May 31, he immediately seized the opportune moment and had his ministers propose a civilian list of three million in the National Assembly. A long adventurous and vagabond career had equipped him with the most sophisticated antennas to sense moments of weakness when he dared extort money from his citizens. He regularly engaged in extortion. With his help and knowledge, the National Assembly had mutilated the people's sovereignty: now he threatened to report his crime to the People's Court if he didn't pull out his pocketbook and buy his silence with three million a year. He had stolen the voting rights of three million French people: for every Frenchman "pulled out of circulation" he demanded one franc "in circulation". He, the chosen one of six million, demanded compensation for the votes later stolen from him. The National Assembly committee dismissed the premature question. The Bonapartist press threatened: Can the National Assembly break with the President of the Republic when it has definitively and fundamentally broken with the masses of the nation? He rejected the annual civil list, but this time awarded a grant of 2,160,000 francs. So he was guilty of the double weakness of giving the money and at the same time showing with his anger that he was doing it against his will. We shall see what Bonaparte used the money for. After this post-party deterioration, which followed the abolition of universal suffrage and in which Bonaparte changed his humble stance of the days of the March and April Crisis to that of defying insolence before the usurping Parliament, the National Assembly was suspended for three months, from August 11th to November 11th. He left in their place an 18-member Standing Committee, which included no Bonapartists but some moderate Republicans. The Standing Commission of 1849 had only Ordersmen and Bonapartists. At that time, however, the party of order declared itself permanently against the revolution; now the parliamentary republic declares itself to the President forever. After the law of May 31, this was the only rival left to face the party of order.

When the National Assembly met again in November 1850, instead of its old skirmishes with the President, a great, stormy struggle, a struggle for life, between the two powers seemed to have become inevitable.

As in 1849, by the holiday of that year the party of the Order had disintegrated into two separate factions, each occupied with their own Restorational intrigues, having been given a new impetus by the death of Louis-Philippe. The loyalist King Henry V even appointed an ordinary ministry, based in Paris, on which the members of the Standing Committee sat. the disposition of the cities which he illuminated with his presence, sometimes secretly, sometimes more openly, publicizing his own restoration plans and winning votes for himself on these excursions, as the great official "Moniteur" and the small "Bonaparte's private". "Moniteurs" were of course forced to celebrate, as triumphal processions were constantly accompanied by members of the "Society of December 10th". organized into secret sections, each section headed by Bonapartist agents, headed by a Bonapartist general. Along the depraved paths of questionable livelihoods and questionable backgrounds, along with the filthy, adventurous scum of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged convicts, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, jugglers, lazzaroni, pickpockets, jugglers, artisans, gamblers, pimps, owners of messy ones Houses, porters, writers, hurdy-gurdy men, rag collectors, scissor grinders, tinkers, beggars, in a word, all that vague, dissolute, and agitated mass which the French call "la Boheme." With this similar element, Bonaparte formed the social capital of the "Society of December 10th", a "charitable association" in that all its members, like Bonaparte himself, felt the need to be kind to themselves at the expense of the working nation. Bonaparte, who is head of the favela proletariat here; that it is only here that he finds plenty of interests that he personally pursues; who recognizes in this waste, waste and annihilation of all classes the only class on which he can rely implicitly; - this is the real Bonaparte, the unqualified Bonaparte. An ancient and cunning, mischievous man, he sees the historical life of nations, their great and public acts, as comedies in the ordinary sense, like a carnival, where the grand costumes, words, and poses serve only as masks for most tricks. irrelevant So on the occasion of his campaign against Strasbourg, when a trained Swiss vulture represented the Napoleonic eagle; so also on the occasion of his attack on Boulogne, when he put some London lackeys in French uniforms: they embodied the army; [#1 Under Louis-Philippe, Bonaparte made two attempts to restore Napoleon's throne: one in October 1836 in an expedition from Switzerland to Strasbourg and another in August 1840 in an expedition from England to Boulogne. ] and so now, in his Society of the 10th of December, he gathers 10,000 idlers to represent the people as Snug the carpenter represents the lion. At a time when the bourgeoisie is putting on even the purest comedy, but in the most solemn manner in the world, without violating the fussy demands of French dramatic etiquette, and partly deceived, partly convinced of the solemnity of their own audiences. Taten, the adventurer who took comedy for comedy's sake, had to win. Only after he had eliminated his solemn opponent, when he himself had seriously assumed his own role as emperor and imagined himself in the Napoleonic mask as the real Napoleon, only then did he become the victim of his own peculiar conception of history. - the serious clown. . , which no longer takes history for comedy but instead takes comedy for history. What the national workshops were to the socialist workers, what the “gardes mobiles” were to the bourgeois republicans, the “Society of December 10” was to Bonaparte, a partisan war power peculiar to him. On his travels, sections of society crowded together on the tracks improvised an audience for him, showing public enthusiasm, shouting "Vive l'Empereur", insulting and beating the innkeepers, all of course under the protection of the police. . On the way back to Paris, this mob formed his vanguard, preventing or dispersing counter-demonstrations. The "Society of December 10" was his, it was his work, his own idea. Whatever else he appropriates, the power of circumstances places in his hands; whatever he does, or circumstances do it for him, or is content to copy the actions of others, but in front of the citizens with the official phrases about "order", "religion", "family", "property" and behind posing himself, the secret society of skipjacks and hackers, the society of disorder, prostitution and robbery, is Bonaparte himself as the original author; and the history of the "December 10 Society" is its own history. Now it happened that representatives of the Party of Order occasionally forced their way into the Decembrist clubs. No longer. Police Commissioner Yon, who had been assigned to the National Assembly and charged with ensuring its security, informed the Standing Committee, according to a certain Alais, that a Decembrist section had decided to assassinate General Changarnier and de Dupin, the President of the National Assembly, and the men had already determined to carry out the decree. One can imagine Mr. Dupin. A parliamentary question on the “December 10 Society”, i. that is, the desecration of the Bonapartist secret world now seemed inevitable. Shortly before the session of the National Assembly, Bonaparte deliberately dissolved his Society, of course only on paper. At the end of 1851 the police prefect Carlier tried in vain in an exhaustive memorial to lead him to the actual dissolution of 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 in this direction shortly after the adjournment of the National Assembly, and he did it with the money he had just extorted from it. Like a fatalist, he lives in the belief that there are certain higher powers that man, especially the soldier, cannot resist. First among these forces he lists cigars and champagne, cold fowl and garlic sausages. In the Elysium quarters, for example, he initially offered the officers and non-commissioned officers cigars and sparkling wine, cold birds and chorizo. On October 3, he repeated this maneuver with troop bases from St. Mauro; and on October 10 the same maneuver again on a larger scale at the Satory Army Parade. The uncle remembered Alexander's campaigns in Asia, the nephew remembered the victories of Bacchus in the same country. Alexander was in fact a demigod; but Bacchus was a full-fledged god and, moreover, the tutelary deity of the "December 10 Society".

After the October 3 review, the Standing Committee invited War Minister d'Hautpoul to attend. He promised that such infractions of discipline should not be repeated. We have seen Bonaparte keep d'Hautpoul's word on October 10th. In both reviews, Changarnier had commanded as Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Paris. He, at the same time a member of the Standing Committee, head of the National Guard, the “savior” of January 29 and June 13, the “society guardian”, candidate of the party of the order for the office of president, the monk suspicious of two monarchies, he confessed never his obsequiousness to the Secretary of War, always openly scoffed at the republican constitution, and pursued Bonaparte with equivocally distinguished protection. Now he became eager for discipline against Bonaparte. Meanwhile, on October 10, part of the cavalry shouted: “Long live Napoleon! Vivent les saucissons;"[#2 Long live Napoleon! Long live the sausages!] Changarnier made sure that at least the infantry advancing under the command of his friend Neumeyer maintained icy silence. As punishment, the Minister of War, at Bonaparte's behest, relieved General Neumeyer of his post in Paris on the pretext of making him Commander-in-Chief of the XIV and XV. to make a military division. Neumeyer refused the deal and consequently had to resign. For his part, Changarnier issued a cable on November 2 prohibiting the troops from surrendering to any kind of shouting or political demonstrations under arms. Newspapers dedicated to the interests of the Élysée attacked Changarnier; the Order's party newspapers attacked Bonaparte; the Standing Commission frequently held secret sessions, at which it was repeatedly suggested that the homeland be declared in danger; the army seemed divided into two hostile camps, with two hostile general staffs; one in the Élysée where Bonaparte resided, the other in the Tuileries where Changarnier resided. All the battle bell seemed to ring was the convocation of the National Assembly. The French public saw the clash between Bonaparte and Changarnier in the light of the English journalist, who characterized it with the following words: "The young political servants of France are cleaning the shiny lava of the revolution with old mops and scolding each other for doing their homework."

Meanwhile Bonaparte hastened to depose the War Minister d'Hautpoul; send it upside down to Algiers; and appoint General Schramm as Minister of War in his place. On November 12 he sent a message of American exclusivity to the National Assembly, overloaded with detail, soaked in order, thirsty for reconciliation, resigned to the Constitution, dealing with anything and everything but not the burning issues of the moment. As if in passing, he dropped the words that according to the express provisions of the Constitution, only the President has the army. The message ended with the following strong protests:

“France demands peace above all. . . Bound only by an oath, I will keep the narrow boundaries he has set for me. . . Like me, elected by the people and owing my power to them alone, I will always submit to their legally expressed will. If at this session it decides to revise the constitution, a constitutional convention will decide the position of the executive branch. If he does not do this, the people will solemnly announce their decision in 1852. But whatever solution the future holds, let us conclude to the end that passion, surprise or violence will never decide the fate of a great nation. . . What strikes me most is not who will rule France in 1852, but how to spend the time available to make the lull pass without excitement or disturbance. I opened my heart to you directly, you will respond to my openness with your trust, my good efforts with your cooperation. God will do the rest."

The honorable, hypocritically moderate and virtuous language of the bourgeoisie reveals its deep meaning in the mouth of the self-proclaimed ruler of the "December 10 Society" and Hero of the Holy Cross. Maurand Satory.

The burgraves of the party of order did not allow themselves to be fooled for a moment by the trust that this blossom deserved. They were long oaths; Veterans and virtuosos of perjury were among them. However, the step over the army did not escape them. They noted with annoyance that, notwithstanding its long enumeration of recently promulgated laws, the Embassy approved with feigned silence that most important of all, the Electoral Act, and moreover, unless the Constitution was revised, had left the election of the President, in 1852, through the people. The electoral law was a shackle for the Party of Order, preventing them from going and now safely attacking. In addition, Bonaparte had personally sacrificed the scapegoats on the altar of the fatherland with the official dissolution of the "Society of December 10" and the resignation of Minister of War d'Hautpoul. He had eliminated the expected collision. After all, the party of the order itself anxiously tried to avoid any decisive conflict with the executive, weakening and weakening it. Fearful of losing his gains in the revolution, he let his rivals reap the rewards. “France demands peace above all”, with this language the party of order had apostrophized the revolution since February; With this language Bonaparte now apostrophized the message of the party of Order: "France demands above all peace." Bonaparte committed acts aimed at usurpation, but the party of Order committed a "disturbance of the peace", raised the cry and declared them hypochronic. The stuffing sausages stopped when no one was talking about them; — Above all, France demands “peace”. Consequently, Bonaparte demanded that he be left alone; and the parliamentary party was paralyzed by a double fear: the fear of resuming revolutionary disturbance of the peace, and the fear of appearing in the eyes of its own class, the bourgeoisie, as a disturber of the peace. Since France demanded peace above all, the party of Order did not dare to reply “war” after Bonaparte had said “peace” in his message. The public, who had promised themselves the pleasure of seeing great scenes of scandal at the opening of the National Assembly, were disappointed in their expectations. The opposition deputies, who demanded the submission of the Standing Commission's minutes on October's events, were defeated. Any discussion that could have given rise to this was avoided as a matter of principle. The work of the National Assembly in November and December 1850 was without interest.

Finally, at the end of December, a guerrilla war began over certain parliamentary prerogatives. The movement sank into the quagmire of pettiness in the prerogative of the two powers, because the bourgeoisie had put an end to the class struggle by abolishing universal suffrage.

A guilty verdict had been obtained against Mauguin, one of the representatives. Questioned by the President of the Court, Justice Minister Rouher stated that the arrest warrant had to be issued immediately. Because of this, Manguin was thrown into debtor's prison. The National Assembly was irritated when they learned of the "assassination". Not only did he order his immediate release, he had his own Greffier forcibly removed him from Clichy that same night. However, to protect his belief in the "sanctity of private property" and also with the idea of ​​opening an asylum for troubled mountaineers if necessary, he stated that the arrest of a debt commissioner was permissible with his prior approval. . He forgot to order that the President could also be arrested for debt. With his act, he erased the last semblance of sanctity that surrounded the limbs of his own body.

It should be remembered that, based on the testimony of a certain Allais, Commissioner of Police Yon had accused part of the Decembrists of conspiring to murder Dupin and Changarnier. In this sense, the Quaestors already proposed at the first session that Parliament organize its own police force, financed from the private budget of the National Assembly itself and completely independent of the police prefects. The Minister of the Interior, Baroche, protested against this invasion of his reserves. A tenuous compromise ensued whereby the Assembly Police Commissioner would be paid from his private budget and made conditional on the appointment and dismissal of his own investigators, but only after prior consultation with the Home Secretary. Meanwhile, Allais was prosecuted by the government. In court it was easy to present her testimony in the light of mystification and ridicule it through the mouth of the State Department Dupin, Changarnier, Yon along with the entire National Assembly. Then, on December 29, Minister Baroche wrote a letter to Dupin demanding Yon's resignation. The National Assembly Committee decides to keep Yon in office; The National Assembly, appalled by its own violence in the Mauguin case and accustomed to getting two punches every time it dodges the executive, does not endorse the decision. He dismisses Yon as a reward for his zeal in office and deprives himself of a parliamentary prerogative, essential in the face of a person who does not decide by night to execute by day, but decides by day and executes by night.

We have seen the National Assembly avoid and refuse to engage in a struggle with the executive during the months of November and December, under great and severe provocation. Now we see him forced to accept it on the smallest of occasions. In Mauguin's case, she affirms in principle the responsibility of an agent in prison for debt, but reserves the power to apply the principle only to agents she dislikes, and we see her fighting with the minister for that infamous privilege of justice. Instead of using the alleged assassination to launch an investigation into the "December 10 Society" and hopelessly exposing Bonaparte to France and his true form as the head of the proletariat in the Paris slums, he lets the clash sink in. to a point where the only issue is between her and the Home Secretary. Who is responsible for appointing and removing a police chief? So we see the party of order during this whole time forced by its ambiguous position to wear down its conflict with the executive in petty disputes over competences, in chicanery, in trifles, in border disputes and to transform the most outdated questions into the form of the substance of its activity. He dares not accept the clash at a time when principles are at stake, when the executive branch has truly gone white and when the cause of the National Assembly is the cause of the nation. With that he would have given the nation a marching order; and he feared nothing so much as that the nation should move. Therefore, on such occasions, she rejects the footsteps of the mountain and proceeds with the agenda. Once the question has lost all its meaning, the executive calmly awaits the moment when it can revisit it on small and insignificant occasions; if the topic is only of local parliamentary interest, so to speak. Then the suppressed courage of the party of order breaks through, then the curtain is pulled from the stage, then they denounce the president, then they declare the republic endangered - but then their whole pathos seems obsolete and the cause of the fight hypocritical pretext, or it's worth it himself not. The parliamentary storm turns into a teapot storm, the quarrel into an intrigue, the argument into a scandal. While the revolutionary classes laugh with derisive laughter at the humiliation of the National Assembly - they are, of course, as enthusiastic about the prerogatives of Parliament as this body is about public liberties - the bourgeoisie outside Parliament does not understand like the bourgeoisie inside Parliament understands its Wasting time on such trifles and jeopardizing the peace through such pathetic rivalries with the President. He is fascinated by a strategy that makes peace at the very moment everyone expects a fight and strikes at the very moment everyone thinks the peace is over.

On December 20, Pascal Duprat questioned the Minister of the Interior about the "gold bar lottery". This lottery was a "daughter of Elysium"; Bonaparte gave birth together with his faithful; and Police Prefect Carlier had taken them under his official protection, even though French law banned all lotteries except charitable gambling. Seven million one-franc bills, and the proceeds are said to be sending Parisian bums to California. Golden dreams would replace the socialist dreams of the Parisian proletariat; the tempting prospect of a prize would replace the doctrinal right to work. Of course, in the gleam of California bullion, the workers of Paris did not recognize the dull francs that had been ripped from their pockets. Overall, however, the scheme was an open fraud. The vagabonds who wanted to pan for gold in California without bothering to leave Paris were Bonaparte himself and his round table of hopeless bankrupts. The three million approved by the National Assembly were embezzled; The treasury had to be replenished one way or another. In vain Bonaparte opened a national subscription, at the head of which he himself appeared with a large sum, for the establishment of the so-called "cites ouvrieres". your own actions; and since this, of course, never happened, speculation on socialist castles in the air fell to the ground. Gold bullion performed better. Bonaparte and his associates were not satisfied with pocketing part of the surplus of seven million in addition to the bullion to be withdrawn; they fabricated fake tickets; they sold, only from number 10, fifteen to twenty lots, a financial operation very much in the spirit of the "December 10 Society"! The National Assembly did not have before it the fictitious President of the Republic, but Bonaparte himself. Here he could catch him in the act, not contrary to the Constitution but to the Criminal Code. When the National Assembly approved the agenda before Duprat's interpellation, it was not only because Girardin's request to declare itself "satisfied" reminded the party of its own systematic corruption: the bourgeoisie, especially the bloated bourgeoisie, a statesman complements his practical lowliness theoretical pomp. As a statesman, like the government that faces him, he becomes a superior being who can only be fought in a higher and loftier way.

Bonaparte - who as "Bohemian", princely proletarian of the slums, had the advantage over the petty bourgeois of being able to continue the struggle after the assembly itself had led him with its own hands over the slippery slope of the military banquets, magazines that "Society of the 10th .December” and finally the penal code – now saw the time to switch from the apparent defensive to the offensive. He cared little for the intermittent and petty defeats of the Attorney General, the War Secretary, the Navy Secretary, the Treasury Secretary, at which the National Assembly grunted in disgust. Not only did it prevent ministers from resigning, thereby recognizing the subordination of the executive to parliament; now he could achieve what he had begun during the National Assembly recess, the separation of the Assembly's military power: the removal of Changarnier.

An Élysée newspaper published during the month of May an order apparently addressed to the First Military Division, and therefore from Changarnier, advising officers not to accept traitors into their own ranks in the event of an uprising. . to overthrow them on the spot and to deny troops to the National Assembly when it needs them. On January 3, 1851, the cabinet was challenged by this arrangement. The cabinet demands that the case be dealt with for three months, then a week and finally only twenty-four hours. The assembly orders an immediate statement. Changarnier stands up and declares that this order never existed; He adds that he would always rush to respond to calls from the National Assembly and that they could count on him in the event of a collision. The assembly received his statements with inexpressible applause and expressed their confidence in him. So he gave up his own powers; he commanded his own impotence and the omnipotence of the army, entrusting himself to the private protection of a general. But the general, for his part, errs when he puts at the disposal of the Assembly and against Bonaparte a power which he has only as a fief of the same Bonaparte, and when he, for his part, expects the protection of this Parliament, his protégé, himself necessarily. of protection But Changarnier believes in the mysterious power with which the bourgeoisie has endowed him since January 1849. Together with the other government powers, it is considered a third power. He shares the belief of all other heroes, or rather saints, of the time, whose greatness consists only in their own party's interested good opinion of them, and who are reduced to everyday figures as soon as circumstances call for action... miracles. . Indeed, infidelity is the mortal enemy of these so-called heroes and true saints. Hence his virtuous and proud indignation at half-hearted pranksters and mockers.

That same night the ministers were called to Elisha; Bonaparte urges Changarnier's dismissal; five ministers refuse to sign the order; the “Moniteur” announces a ministerial crisis; and the Order party threatens to form a parliamentary army under the command of Changarnier. The party of order had constitutional power here. He had only to elect Changarnier President of the National Assembly to commandeer the forces necessary for his own security. He was able to do so with more confidence as Changarnier was still in command of the army and the Paris National Guard and along with the army awaited enlistment. The Bonapartist press did not even dare to question the National Assembly's right to direct troop requisitions; legal scruples that under the circumstances promised no success. The army is likely to obey orders from the National Assembly, considering Bonaparte had to search Paris for eight days to find two generals - Baraguay d'Hilliers and St Jean d'Angley - who agreed to take Changamier's rifle to sign command. However, it is more than doubtful that the party of order would have found the necessary votes for such a decision in its own ranks and in parliament, when one considers that eight days later 286 votes were denied, and so only in December 1851, the last one decisive hour, the mountain rejected a similar proposal. The burgraves, however, might have succeeded in leading the bulk of their party to a heroic deed of feeling safe behind a forest of bayonets and accepting the services of the army that stood abandoned in their camp. On the night of January 6, the gentlemen Burgraves went to the Élysée with the aim of persuading Bonaparte, through words and political considerations, to drop the charges against Changarnier. Whoever we need to convince, we recognize as the owner of the situation. Bonaparte, feeling safe in this step, appointed a new ministry on January 12, in which the heads of the old one, Fould and Baroche, remained. St. Jean d'Angley becomes Secretary of War; the "Moniteur" announces the modification of the Changarnier Decree; His command is split between Baraguayd'Hilliers, who receives the First Division, and Perrot, who is in charge of the National Guard. The "bastion of society" is rejected; and although no dog is barking for the event, stock markets are rising.

By repelling the army, which placed itself at its disposal in the person of Changarnier and irrevocably rose up against the President, the Party of Order declared that the bourgeoisie had lost its vocation to rule. There was no longer a parliamentary ministry. Having also lost control of the Army and National Guard, what instrument of violence was left for the National Assembly to maintain both Parliament's usurped power over the people and its constitutional power over the President? none. All that remains is to invoke peaceful principles, which were only ever declared as "general rules" in order to dictate them to third parties and only allow them more freedom of movement. With Changarnier's deposition and the transfer of military power to Bonaparte, the first part of the period under consideration, the period of struggle between the party of Order and the executive, ends. War between the two powers is now openly declared; it is carried out openly; but only after the Order party had lost their arms and soldiers. With no ministry, no army, no people, no support from public opinion; since its electoral law of May 31, no longer representative of the sovereign nation with no eyes, no ears, no teeth, no everything, the National Assembly had gradually become the French parliament of yore, which must leave and regulate everything to the government for surly “ post festum” protests. [#4 After the deed is done; after the event.]

The Party of Order received the new ministry with a storm of indignation. General Bedeau recalled the Standing Committee's leniency during the holidays and the excessive caution with which it refrained from publishing its minutes. Now the Minister of the Interior himself insists on the publication of this protocol, which, of course, has now become as obscure as stagnant water, does not reveal any new facts and falls without the slightest effect on the blasphemous public. At Remusat's suggestion, the National Assembly withdraws its commissions and appoints a "Commission for Extraordinary Measures". Paris is even less out of the rut of its day-to-day routine, as this is the time of year when businesses are booming, factories are busy, grain prices are low, groceries are plentiful, and savings banks are taking new deposits daily. The "extraordinary measures" so vigorously announced by Parliament disappeared in a motion of no confidence in the ministry on January 18, without even mentioning the name of General Changarnier. The Party of Order was forced to frame its motion in such a way as to guarantee Republican votes, since of all the acts of the Ministry it approved only of Changarnier's dismissal, while the Party of Order could not actually condemn the other acts it dictates itself have. The January 18 motion of no confidence was decided by 415 votes to 286. So it was carried out by a coalition of die-hard Loyalists and Orleanists with the pure Republicans and the mountain. In so doing he revealed that in his disputes with Bonaparte not only the ministry, not only the army, but also his independent parliamentary majority; that a group of deputies had left their camp, out of fanatical zeal for unity, fear of arguments, weariness, family considerations about the salary of relatives in office, speculation about vacancies in the ministry (Odillon Barrot) or out of this absolute selfishness that always makes the average bourgeois inclined sacrificing the interests of his class to this or that private motive. From the outset, the Bonapartist representatives belonged to the Party of Order only in the fight against the revolution. The leader of the Catholic party, Montalembert, was already exerting his influence over Bonaparte's balance and despairing of the vitality of the parliamentary party. openly declare themselves Republicans; admit that his heart preferred royalty, but his head preferred publicity; that their parliamentary republic was the only possible form of bourgeois rule. In the eyes of the bourgeois class itself, they were forced to brand the plans for restoration, which they tirelessly pursued behind the back of Parliament, as an intrigue that was as dangerous as it was pointless.

The January 18 motion of no confidence concerned ministers, not the president. But it wasn't the Ministry, it was the President who deposed Changarier. Should the Party of Order accuse Bonaparte itself? Because of his desire for restoration? These just added yours. Because of his conspiracy in military magazines and the “December 10 Society”? They had long since buried these matters under simple trade orders. By deposing the hero on January 29 and June 13 of the man who, in May 1850, threatened to burn Paris from all four sides in the event of an uprising? Their mountain allies and Cavaignac would not even allow them to comfort the fallen Bullet of Society with an official testimony of their condolences. They themselves could not deny the President the constitutional right to depose a general. They only attacked him for exercising his constitutional rights outside of Parliament. Hadn't they themselves consistently made unconstitutional use of their parliamentary prerogatives, in particular by abolishing universal suffrage? Accordingly, they were reminded to act solely within parliamentary boundaries. In fact, this peculiar disease, a disease that has been raging across the continent since 1848, has required the “parliamentary idiot” that traps those infected in an imaginary world, robbing them of all sense, memory, understanding. from the harsh world outside; - demanded this "parliamentary bullshit" so that the party of Order, which with its own hands had destroyed all the conditions of parliamentary power and had to destroy them in the struggle with the other classes, would continue to consider their parliamentary victories as victories, and imagine , You beat the President by beating his ministers. They only gave him an opportunity to once again humiliate the National Assembly in the eyes of the nation. On January 20, the "Moniteur" announced that the resignation of the entire ministry had been accepted. Under the pretext that none of the parliamentary parties already had a majority - as the vote of the 18th Transitional Ministry called, of which not a single member was a member of Parliament - completely unknown and insignificant people; a ministry of mere clerks and secretaries. The Order party could now play with these dolls; the executive no longer considered it desirable to be seriously represented in the National Assembly. By this act Bonaparte more securely concentrated all executive power in his own person; the more superfluous his ministers became, the more leeway he had to exploit him for his purposes.

The Party of Order, now an ally of the mountain, retaliated by rejecting the proposal for a presidential appropriation of 1,800,000 francs that the head of the Society of December 10 had forced his ministerial secretaries to submit to the assembly. This time, a majority of almost 102 votes won, as a further 27 votes had been cast since January 18: the dissolution of the party of order was progressing. At the same time, lest anyone be mistaken about the importance of their coalition with the mountain, the Order party declined to even consider a motion signed by 189 mountain members for a general amnesty for political criminals. It was enough for the Minister of the Interior, a certain Baisse, to explain that national calm was only apparent, that deep turmoil reigned secretly, omnipresent societies were secretly organized, democratic newspapers were preparing to reappear, departmental reports were unfavorable, refugees from Geneva were conspired from Lyon across the south of France, France was on the brink of an industrial and commercial crisis, the manufacturers in Roubaix were working fewer hours, the prisoners on Belle Isle had rioted; it was intended to evoke the "Red Specter" to make the Party of Order reject without discussion a motion that would have garnered enormous popularity in the National Assembly and thrown Bonaparte back into its arms. Instead of letting the executive cower from further unrest, the Party of Order should have given space to the class struggle to ensure the executive's dependence on itself. But he didn't feel up to the task of playing with fire.

Meanwhile, the so-called Transitional Ministry languished until mid-April. Bonaparte tired and deceived the National Assembly with ever new constellations of ministers. Now he seemed determined to form a republican cabinet with Lamartine and Billault; then Parliamentarians, with the inevitable Odillon Barrot, whose name should never be missing when a naïve is needed; then another Loyalist with Batismenil and Lenoist d'Azy; and again, Orleanist, with Malleville. By thus creating strained relations between the various factions of the Party of Order, and alarming them all with the prospect of a republican cabinet and the inevitable restoration of universal suffrage, Bonaparte convinces the bourgeoisie at the same time that theirs are becoming sincere attempts at a parliamentary ministry were frustrated by the irreconcilable antagonism of the royalist factions. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie, ever louder in its calls for "strong government" and finding it less and less forgivable to leave France "unmanaged" when a general commercial crisis seemed to be underway, and to promote socialism in the cities. , as well as the ruinously low grain prices in the districts. Trade became more and more monotonous; unemployed hands increased noticeably; in Paris at least 10,000 workers were left without bread; in Rouen, Mulhouse, Lyons, Roubaix, Tourcoign, St. Etienue, Elbeuf, etc., numerous factories remained idle. Under these circumstances, Bonaparte could dare, on April 11, to restore the ministry of January 18; Messrs. Rouher, Fould, Baroche, etc., reinforced by Mr. León Faucher, whom the Constituent Assembly in its last few days had unanimously voted, with the exception of five ministerial votes, a vote of no confidence for the dissemination of false telegraphs. Thus, on January 18th, the National Assembly had won a victory over the Ministry, fighting Bonaparte for three months, all so that on April 11th Fould and Baroche could take the place of the Puritan Faucher as third in their ranks. Ministers League. .

In November 1849 Bonaparte opted for an anti-parliamentary, in January 1851 for an extra-parliamentary, on April 11 he felt strong enough to form an anti-parliamentary ministry that would harmoniously unite the votes of no confidence of both assemblies .- the constituent and the legislative, the republican and the monarchical. This ministerial advance was a thermometer by which Parliament could gauge the decreasing temperature of its own life. By the end of April, this had subsided to such an extent that Persigny was able to invite Changarnier to the President's camp for a personal meeting. Bonaparte, he assured Changarnier, considered the influence of the National Assembly completely annihilated, and the proclamation was already ready, to be published after the coup d'état, which was constantly being considered but accidentally postponed again. Changarnier communicated this announcement of his death to the leaders of the Order's party; but who would believe that a bed bug bite can kill? Parliament, however defeated, however distraught, however stained with death, could not bring itself to see the duel with the grotesque head of the "December 10 Society" as anything other than a duel with a bug. But Bonaparte answered him Party of Order, as Agesilaus replied to King Agis: “To you I look like an ant; but one day it will be a lion.”


The coalition with La Montaña and the staunch Republicans into which the Party of Order was forced in its fruitless efforts to retain ownership of the armed forces and regain supreme control of the executive branch clearly showed that it had lost its majority. The calendar and the clock gave the signal of their complete dissolution only on May 29th. The last year of the life of the National Assembly began on May 29th. Now he had to decide whether to leave the constitution unchanged or revise it. But a revision of the constitution meant not only the definitive dominance of the bourgeoisie, small business democracy, proletarian democracy or anarchy, the parliamentary republic or Bonaparte, but also Orléans or the Bourbons! the bone of contention around which the conflict of interest that was dividing the Party of Order into warring factions would erupt in open fire. The religious party was a combination of heterogeneous social substances. The subject of the review raised a political temperature in which the product was reduced to its original components.

The Bonapartists' interest in the revision was simple: their primary concern was to abolish Article 45, which prohibited Bonaparte's re-election and extension of his term. The position of the Republicans seemed no less simple; they rejected any revision, seeing in it only a general conspiracy against the Republic; With a quarter of the votes in the National Assembly, and the constitution requiring a three-quarters majority to review and convene a Consultative Convention, they had only to count their own votes to be sure of victory. In fact, they were sure of it.

In view of these clear positions, the religious party ran into irreconcilable contradictions. If he voted against the revision, he would endanger the "status quo", leaving Bonaparte with only one way out: that of violence and France falling victim to revolutionary anarchy on May 2, 1852, at the moment of the election a president whose authority had ended; with a parliament that the party no longer owned and with a people that wanted to win it back. If he had constitutionally voted for revision, he knew he had voted in vain and would constitutionally have to submit to a Republican veto. If he unconstitutionally declared the duty of simple majority, he could only hope to control the revolution if he submitted unconditionally to executive rule: then he made Bonaparte master of the constitution, of revision and of himself. A partial revision only, which extended the presidential term, opened the way to imperial usurpation; a general revision that ended the republic's existence threw dynastic claims into an inevitable conflict: the terms of a Bourbon and an Orleanist restoration were not only different but mutually exclusive.

The parliamentary republic was more than a neutral ground on which the two factions of the French bourgeoisie - the Loyalists and the Orléanists, the big landowners and the industrialists - could settle on an equal footing. Their common class interest could dominate the claims of their separate factions as well as of all other classes in society. As monarchists, they reverted to their earlier antagonism in the struggle for the supremacy of land or money; and the supreme expression of this antagonism, its personification, was the two kings themselves, their dynasties. Hence the resistance of the Order party to the withdrawal of the Bourbons.

In 1849, 1850 and 1851 the Orleanist representatives of Cretona periodically applied for the repeal of the decree of banishment against the royal families; regularly Parliament presented the spectacle of an assembly of royalists obstinately shutting the door by which they could return to their exiled kings. Richard III murdered Henry VI. with the remark that he is too good for this world and belongs in heaven. They declared France was too bad to get its kings back. Forced by the force of circumstance, they became republicans and repeatedly sanctioned the popular mandate that banished their kings from France.

The revision of the constitution, and the circumstances which compelled its consideration, immediately made insecure not only the republic itself, but also the joint rule of the two bourgeois factions; and, with the possibility of monarchy, revived both the rivalry of interests which alternated between these two factions, and the struggle for the supremacy of one over the other. Diplomats of the Order's party believed that the so-called amalgamation of the Royalist parties and their respective dynasties could mitigate the struggle to unify the two dynasties. But the true fusion of the Restoration with the July Monarchy was the parliamentary republic, in which the Orléanist and legitimist colors dissolved and the bourgeois genre disappeared into the bourgeois plane, into the bourgeois genre. Now, however, the plan was to make a Legitimist out of the Orleanist and an Orleanist out of the Legitimist. The royalty that embodied their antagonism 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 achieve what only the abolition of two monarchies could and achieved. That was the philosopher's stone, and the doctors racked their brains to discover it. As if the legitimate monarchy could be the monarchy of the industrial bourgeoisie, or the bourgeois monarchy the monarchy of the hereditary gentry! As if land ownership and industry could fraternize under the same crown, where the crown could only fall on one head, the elder brother's head or the younger brother's head! As if industry could negotiate on an equal footing with landed property unless landed property decides to become industrial. When Henry V died tomorrow, the Count of Paris would not become King of the Legitimists unless he ceased to be King of the Orleanists. But the Fusionist philosophers, who grew stronger when the subject of revision arose, who supplied themselves with a day organ in the Assemblee Nationale, which is just now (February 1852) again in operation, they all explained the difficulty by the opposition and rivalries between the two dynasties. Attempts to reconcile the Orleans family with Henry V had begun since the death of Louis-Philippe, but like all these dynastic intrigues they continued only during the holidays of the National Assembly, between the acts, behind the scenes, more like a sentimental one Cocktail with the old superstition as a serious matter, they were now elevated by the party of order to the dignity of a major state affair and performed on the public stage instead of in the amateur theater as before. to Claremont, from Claremont to Paris. The Duke of Chambord issues a manifesto in which he does not announce his restoration but the "national" one, "with the help of all members of his family". The oleanist Salvandy throws himself at the feet of Henry V. The legitimist leaders Berryer, Benoit d'Azy and St. Louis. Priest travels to Claremont to persuade the Orleans; but in vain. The fusionists learned too late that the interests of the two bourgeois factions do not lose exclusivity or gain flexibility when they hone the interests of the two royal houses in the form of family interests. When Henry V recognized the Count of Paris as his successor - the only success the merger could at best achieve - the House of Orleans acquired no rights which Henry V had not already secured by his sterility; but on the other hand she lost all the claims she had won with the July Revolution. He renounced his original claims, the full title which he had wrested from the elder branch of the Bourbons in nearly a century of struggle; he changed his historical prerogative, the prerogative of his pedigree. to nothing but the resignation of the House of Orleans, its legitimistic resignation, a penitent return of Protestants to the established Catholic Church; from the throne on which he was born. The former Orleanist ministers, Guizot, Duchatel, etc., who also went to Claremont to advocate the merger, represented in fact only the nervous reaction of the July Monarchy; Desperation, both in the civic realm and in the realm of the citizen; the superstitious belief in legitimacy as the last enchantment against lawlessness. In his mind they were intermediaries between Orléans and Bourbon, nothing more than renegade Orléanists, and as such they were received by the Prince of Joinville. The male and warlike part of the Orléanists, on the other hand - Thiers, Baze, etc. merging the resignation of the House of Orléans, on the contrary, fully corresponded to the tradition of their ancestors of first recognizing the republic and waiting until circumstances allowed the transformation of the presidential chair into a throne. Started as a rumour, the public's curiosity was kept in suspense and, a few months later, after being dismissed by critics, was publicly proclaimed in September.

Thus the attempt at a monarchical fusion between the Orleanists and the Legitimists not only failed, but also shattered their parliamentary fusion, the republican form they had in common, and broke the party of order into its original components. But as the gulf widened between Venice and Claremont, the further they grew apart, and the greater the progress of the Joinville agitation, the more active and serious became the negotiations between Faucher, Bonaparte's minister, and his followers.

The dissolution of the Order's party outgrew its original elements. Each of the two major factions in turn disintegrated into new fragments. It was as if all the old political nuances that had once fought and huddled in either circle—either the Loyalists or the Orléanists—like dried infusoria had thawed on contact with water; as if they had regained enough vitality to form their own groups and assert their own antagonisms. The Legitimists dreamed that they were again in the midst of the fighting between the Tuileries and the Pavilion of Marsan, between Villele and Polignac; the Orléanists revived the heyday of tournaments between Guizot, Mole, Broglie, Thiers and Odillon Barrot.

This part of the Order party - eager for a revision of the Constitution but at odds over the scope of the revision - consisted of the loyalists of Berryer and Falloux and those of Laroche Jacquelein, united with the jaded Orléanists of Mole, Broglie, Montalembert and Odillón Barrot with the Bonapartist representatives in the following vague and vague motion:

"In order to restore the nation to the full exercise of its sovereignty, the undersigned MPs propose that the constitution be revised."

At the same time, however, they unanimously declared, through their spokesman Tocqueville, that the National Assembly had no right to propose the abolition of the republic, a right conferred only by a constitutional convention. Moreover, the Constitution can only be reviewed "legally", that is, only if a three-fourths majority decides to review it, as the Constitution requires. After a stormy six-day debate, the revision was rejected on July 19, as expected. 446 votes were cast in his favour, against 278. The determined Oleanistas, Thiers, Changarnier, etc. voted with the Republicans and La Montaña.

Thus, the majority of Parliament ruled against the constitution, while the constitution itself ruled in favor of the minority and their decision was binding. But hadn't the party of Order subordinated the constitution to the parliamentary majority on May 31, 1850, and on June 13, 1849? Wasn't the entire republic based on the subordination of constitutional articles to majority decisions in parliament? Didn't they leave the Old Testament law faith to the democrats and punish the democrats for it? At that time, however, revision meant no more than the continuation of presidential power, just as maintaining the constitution meant no more than deposing Bonaparte. Parliament ruled in favour, but the Constitution ruled against Parliament. Accordingly, he acted both in the interests of Parliament in breaking the Constitution and in the interests of the Constitution in expelling Parliament.

Parliament declared the constitution, and with it its own government, to be "out of reach of the majority"; By his decision, he repealed the constitution and continued the power of the President, immediately declaring that as long as he existed he could neither live nor die. The feet of those who were to bury him stood at the door. While the question of revision was being debated, Bonaparte removed the indecisive General Baraguay d'Hilliers from command of the First Military Division and appointed General Magnan, conqueror of Lyons, in his place; the hero of the December voyages, one of his own creatures, who had already compromised something in his favor under Louis-Philippe on the occasion of the Boulogne expedition.

With its revision decision, the religious party showed that it knew neither how to rule nor how to obey; neither how to live nor how to die; neither how to preserve the republic, nor how to overthrow it; neither how to keep the constitution nor how to dispose of it; neither how to cooperate with the President nor how to break with him. Then from which quadrant did he look for the solution of all existing perplexities? From the calendar, from the course of events. He was unable to control events. He therefore called on events to take over his authority, and also the power to which he had ceded attribute after attribute in his struggle with the people, until at last he was powerless. In order for the executive to formulate its campaign plan against him more freely, strengthen its means of attack, choose its instruments, strengthen its positions, the Party of Order decided, even at this critical moment, to step down from the stage and three months, from August 10 to November 4.

Not only did the Parliamentary Party disintegrate into its two major factions, not only did each of them disintegrate, but the Party of Order inside Parliament was at odds with the Party of Order outside Parliament. The learned orators and writers of the bourgeoisie, their tribunes and their press, in a word, the ideologues of the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie itself, the representatives and representatives, distanced themselves and no longer understood each other.

The provincial Loyalists, with their narrow minds and boundless enthusiasm, accused their Parliamentary leaders, Berryer and Falloux, of deserting to the Bonapartist camp and defecting from Henry V. [Arms] believed in the Fall but not in diplomacy.

More fateful and complete, though different, was the break between the commercial bourgeoisie and its politicians. He deceived them, not by falling away from their principles like the legitimists, but on the contrary by clinging to principles that had become useless.

I have already indicated that since Fould's entry into the ministry, that part of the commercial bourgeoisie which benefited most during the reign of Louis-Philippe, namely the financial aristocracy, became Bonapartists. Fould not only represented Bonaparte's interests in the stock exchange, but also the interests of the stock exchange before Bonaparte. An excerpt from the London Economist, the European organ of the financial aristocracy, described the attitude of this class in the most damning way. especially to rest. The President explains it in his message to the Legislative Assembly; it has an echo in the gallery; it says in the newspapers; it is proclaimed from the pulpit; It is evident in the sensitivity of public funds to the slightest prospect of disturbance, and in their steadfastness at the moment when it is established that the executive branch far surpasses in wisdom and power the ex-partisan officials of any previous government.

In its issue of November 29, 1851, the "Economist" editorially stated: "The President is now recognized as the guardian of order in all the stock exchanges of Europe." Therefore, the financial aristocracy condemned the parliamentary dispute between the party of order and the executive as a "disorder" and hailed every victory of the president over his supposed representatives as a "victory of order". However, “financial aristocracy” does not mean only the big bond dealers and speculators in government bonds, whose interests and those of the government can easily be understood as overlapping. The entire modern money market, the entire banking system is closely intertwined with public credit. Some of your business capital must be invested in interest-bearing government bonds that are easily converted into cash; their deposits, d. that is, the capital placed at their disposal and distributed by them among merchants and industrial concerns comes in part from dividends on government bonds. The entire money market along with the priests of this market is an integral part of this "financial aristocracy" in all times when governmental stability for them is synonymous with "Moses and his prophets". This is true even before things are as they are now, when every flood threatens to wash away the old governments themselves.

But even the industrial bourgeoisie, in their fanaticism about order, was irritated by the disputes between the parliamentary party of order and the executive. Thiers, Anglas, Sainte Beuve, etc., following their vote on 18 January to exonerate Changarnier, received public reproaches from their constituencies based in the industrial districts, who described their coalition with the Berg as an act of humiliation and high treason to the cause of order. While the boastful, annoying, and petty intrigues that manifested the struggle of the Party of Order with the President of the Republic deserve no better reception, this bourgeois party, which expects from its representatives the passage of military power unopposed from its own hands, deserves it Putting Parliament in the hands of an adventurous hypocrite is not worth the intrigue wasted on his behalf. It turned out that the struggle to protect their public interests, their class interests, their political power, as a disturbance of their private affairs, only annoyed and disgusted them.

Almost without exception, bourgeois dignitaries from provincial towns, magistrates, commercial magistrates, etc., received Bonaparte everywhere on his excursions in the most submissive manner, even when, as at Dijon, he attacked the National Assembly and especially the party. order without reservation.

Since business was still active in early 1851, the merchant bourgeoisie attacked all parliamentary disputes to keep business from losing control. The businessmen apathetic, from the end of February 1851 the bourgeoisie accused the parliamentary struggles of being the cause of the strike and called for silence so that the businessmen could reactivate themselves. Discussions about the revision came at just the wrong time. Faced with the question of whether it should be the existing form of government, the bourgeoisie felt all the more justified in demanding that its representatives end these nagging provisional arrangements and that the "status quo" be maintained. unchallenged By the abolition of the provisional I understood its permanence, the indefinite postponement of the moment when a final decision had to be made. The "status quo" could only be maintained in two ways: either by extending Bonaparte's term in office, or by his constitutional resignation and the election of Cavaignac. Part of the bourgeoisie preferred the latter solution and did not know what better advice to give to its representatives than to keep quiet in order to avoid the conflagration. If his representatives did not speak, they argued, Bonaparte would not act. They wanted an ostrich parliament that hides its head so as not to be seen. Another section of the bourgeoisie preferred that once Bonaparte was in the presidential chair, he remained in the presidential chair so that everything could continue to function as before. They were outraged that their parliament had not openly violated the constitution and resigned without further ado. The general councils of the departments, those provisional bodies representing the bourgeoisie, which had been suspended since August 25 during the recess of the National Assembly, voted almost unanimously in favor of the revision, i.e. against parliament, and in favor of Bonaparte.

Even more clearly than in the confrontation with its parliamentary representatives, the bourgeoisie showed its anger at its literary representatives, its own press. The verdicts of the bourgeois juries, which handed down excessive fines and shameful prison sentences for every attack by the bourgeois press on the usurpative tendencies of Bonaparte, for every attempt by the press to defend the political rights of the bourgeoisie against the executive, gave not a single result in France, but quite a result Europe in amazement.

If, on the one hand, as I have indicated, the parliamentary Party of Order has been instructed to keep the peace by crying out for peace; and declaring the political rule of the bourgeoisie incompatible with the security and existence of the bourgeoisie, in struggle with the other classes of society, they destroy with their own hands all the conditions of their own parliamentary regime; on the other hand, the mass of the bourgeoisie outside Parliament urged Bonaparte - with his subservience to the President, with his insults to Parliament, with the brutal treatment of his own press - to suppress and destroy their organs of speech and writing, their politicians and their literati, its forum of speakers and its press, so that it may safely pursue its own private activities under the protection of a strong and unhindered government. He stated unequivocally that he longed to get rid of his own political government in order to escape the difficulties and dangers of governing.

And this bourgeoisie, which had rebelled even against the parliamentary and literary struggle for the supremacy of its own class, which had betrayed its leaders in this struggle, now has the gall to blame the proletariat for not having fought in a bloody battle has come to his defense . , in the fight for life! Those bourgeois who at every step sacrificed their common class interests to narrow and dirty private interests, and demanded a similar sacrifice of their own representatives, now lament that the proletariat has sacrificed its political idea to its own material interests! This bourgeois class now adopts the attitude of a pure soul, misunderstood and abandoned at a critical moment by the proletariat, betrayed by the socialists. And his cry finds a general echo in the bourgeois world. Of course I don't mean the German crossroads politicians and similar fools. I refer, for example, to the "Economist", which on November 29, 1851, four days before the "coup d'etat", declared Bonaparte "guardian of order" and Thiers and Berryer "anarchists". . ., and already on December 27, 1851, after Bonaparte had silenced these very anarchists, he shouted the betrayal of ability, knowledge, discipline, spiritual influence, intellectual resources committed by “ignorant, inexperienced and stupid proletarians and the morale "weight of the middle and upper ranks". The stupid, ignorant and contemptible masses were none other than the bourgeoisie itself.

Indeed, France had; it experienced a kind of commercial crisis in 1851. At the end of February there was a fall in exports from 1850; in March, business collapsed and factories were closed; in April the situation of the industrial departments seemed as hopeless as in the days of February; business has not picked up yet in May; as late as June 28, the reports of the Banque de France revealed the paralysis of production by an enormous increase in deposits and a similar decrease in loans in bills of exchange; business did not improve steadily until mid-october. The French bourgeoisie explained this stagnation of business on purely political grounds; he attributed the bad times to the struggles between Parliament and the Executive, the uncertainty of a provisional form of government, the alarming prospects of May 2, 1852. I will not deny that all these causes some branches of industry in Paris and in Paris depressed departments. In any case, this influence of political circumstances was only local and insignificant. Does it need more evidence than that the business revival happened at the precise moment when the political situation was deteriorating, when the political horizon was darkening and lightning from the Elysée was expected anytime: mid-October? ? Moreover, the French bourgeois, whose "skills, knowledge, intellectual influence and intellectual resources" reach no further than his nose, could have kept his nose on the matter of his own commercial policy throughout the duration of the London Industrial Exhibition. Misery. . At the same time that factories were closing in France, commercial bankruptcies broke out in England. While the industrial panic in France peaked in April and May, the commercial panic in England peaked in April and May. Like the French, the English wool industry suffered, and like the French, English silk manufacture suffered. English cotton mills continued to work, but not with the same profits as in 1849 and 1850. The only difference was that the crisis in France was industrial and in England commercial; that while in France the factories were paralyzed, in England they were expanding, but under less favorable circumstances than in previous years; that in France exports and in England imports suffered the hardest blows. The common cause, which, incidentally, should not be sought within the confines of French political horizons, was obvious. The years 1849 and 1850 were years of greater material prosperity and overproduction, which did not manifest themselves until 1851. This was particularly encouraged early in 1851 by the prospect of the Industrial Exhibition; and as special causes there were, first, the failure of the cotton crops of 1850 and 1851; second, the certainty of an unexpectedly large cotton crop: first the rise, then the sudden fall; finally fluctuations in the cotton market. The raw silk harvest in France was below average. After all, the production of woolen goods had experienced such an increase since 1849 that wool production could not keep up and the price of the raw material rose far disproportionately to the price of the manufactured goods. So here we have the raw material for three basic elements, a triple material for an economic crisis. Apart from these particular circumstances, the seeming crisis of 1851 was finally no more than the halt that overproduction and speculation regularly make throughout the industrial cycle, before mustering all the strength to run feverishly the last stretch and arrive back at its starting point: the general economic crisis. At such intervals in commercial history commercial bankruptcies break out in England, while in France industry itself comes to a standstill, partly because it is being held back by the competition of the English, who at such moments become irresistible in all markets, preferring, as a luxury industry, to a commercial freeze is affected. In addition to the general crisis, France is experiencing its own national crises, which, however, are determined and conditioned much more by the general situation on the world market than by local French influences. It will not be without interest to contrast the prejudice of the French bourgeois with the judgment of the English bourgeois. One of Liverpool's largest firms, in its annual trade report for 1851, writes: 'Few years have more completely disappointed the expectations originally entertained than the year just past; Instead of the great prosperity that was universally expected, it turned out to be one of the most disheartening years of the last quarter century. Of course, this only applies to the commercial classes, not the industrial classes. And yet, at the beginning of the year, there were reasons to draw the opposite conclusion; supplies were scarce, capital plentiful, supplies cheap, a prosperous autumn assured, uninterrupted peace on the Continent, and no political or financial troubles at home; indeed, never have the wings of commerce been so free. . . . What is the reason for this unfavorable result? We believe in excessive import and export trade. If our own dealers don't control their activities, nothing can keep us going except a panic every three years.

Now imagine the French bourgeois in the midst of this corporate panic, his trade-sick brain tortured, buzzed and drugged by rumors of a “coup d'état” and the restoration of universal suffrage; with the struggle between the legislature and the executive; with the war of the Fronde between Orléanists and Legitimists; with communist conspiracies in southern France; with alleged jacqueries [peasant uprisings No. 2] in the departments of Nièvre and Cher; with the announcements of the various presidential candidates; with “social solutions” sold by newspapers; with Republicans threatening to defend the Constitution and universal suffrage guns in hand; with the gospels, so the emigre heroes “in partibus”, who announced the end of the world for May 2nd – just imagine, and you will understand, how the bourgeoisie was in this unspeakable and noisy tangle of amalgamation, revision, prorogation , constitution, conspiracy, coalition, emigration, usurpation and revolution, blurts it out in his parliamentary republic: "A frightened end is better than an endless terror."

Bonaparte understood this cry. His insight was sharpened by the growing apprehension of the creditor class, who saw the movement of the stars as a protest against their earthly commandments with each sunset on May 2, 1852, as payday drew near. They became real astrologers. The National Assembly dashed Bonaparte's hope of a constitutional extension of his term; the candidacy of the Prince of Joinville brooked no hesitation.

If ever an event cast its shadow before it happened, it was Bonaparte's "coup." Already on January 29, 1849, barely a month after his election, he had made a proposal to Changarnier in this regard. His own prime minister. Odillon Barrot secretly revealed the "coup" scheme in 1849 and Thiers openly in the winter of 1850. In May 1851, Persigny again tried to get Changarnier involved in the 'putsch', and the newspaper 'Missager del'Assemblee' published this conversation. At every parliamentary storm, the Bonapartist newspapers threatened a "coup d'etat," and as the crisis approached, their tone became louder. At the nightly orgies that Bonaparte staged with a mob of men and women, each time midnight approached and copious libations loosened tongues and warmed the spirits of the revelers, the "putsch" was decided for the following morning. Swords were drawn, glasses rattled, representatives were thrown from windows, the imperial mantle fell from Bonaparte's shoulders, until the next morning he expelled the spirit again and a stunned Paris learned of the danger he was running from less mysterious and indiscreet Vestal Virgins. . he had escaped once again. During the months of September and October, rumors of a coup d'etat accumulated. At the same time, the shadow took on color, like a confused daguerreotype. Follow the September and October editions of Europe's daily press and you'll find articles like this verbatim:

“Rumours of a coup are sweeping Paris. The capital, it is said, must be filled with troops overnight, and the next morning decrees will be issued dissolving the National Assembly, besieging the Seine department, restoring universal suffrage and appealing to the people. There are rumors that Bonaparte is looking for ministers to carry out these illegal decrees."

The journalistic correspondence that spread this news always ended ominously with "postponed." The "coup" was always Bonaparte's obsession. With this idea he set foot on French soil again. She owned him so completely that he constantly cheated and babbled on her. He was so weak that he kept giving up. The shadow of the "coup" had become such a familiar specter to Parisians that when it finally appeared in person, they could not believe it. ', another imprudent surprise by the National Assembly that led to the success of the 'coup'. When it succeeded, despite its indiscretion and foresight, it was a necessary and inevitable result of the preceding development.

On October 10 Bonaparte announced to his ministers his decision to restore universal suffrage; on the 16th they handed in their resignation; On the 26th Paris learned of the formation of the Thorigny ministry. Police Prefect Carlier was replaced by Maupas at the same time; and the head of the First Magnan Military Division, concentrated the most reliable regiments in the capital. On November 4, the National Assembly resumed its sessions. All he had to do was repeat in a brief recapitulation the path he had taken and show that he had not been buried until after his death. The first position he lost in the struggle with the executive branch was that of ministry. He had to solemnly admit this loss and accept the Thorigny Ministry as genuine, which was nothing more than a farce. The Standing Committee greeted Mr Giraud with a laugh as he introduced himself on behalf of the new ministers. Such a weak ministry for such a strong measure as restoring universal suffrage! But the point was to do nothing, everything, against Parliament.

On the same day it reopened, the National Assembly received Bonaparte's message calling for the restoration of universal suffrage and the repeal of the May 31, 1850 law. On the same day, his ministers presented a corresponding decree. The Assembly promptly rejected the ministers' emergency motion, but overturned the law itself on November 13 by a vote of 355 to 348. he admitted once again that he had severed the muscles connecting the parliamentary head to the body of the nation.

While the executive appealed to the people through its motion for the restoration of universal suffrage from the National Assembly, the legislature appealed to the army through its "Quaestors' Law". to build a parliamentary army. Thus is called the arbiter of the army between himself and the people, between himself and Bonaparte; With this recognition of the army as the decisive power in the state, the National Assembly had to admit that it had long since renounced any claim to supremacy. By debating the right to commandeer troops rather than withdraw them outright, he betrayed his own doubts about his own power. By subsequently rejecting the "Quaestor's Law", he publicly confessed his impotence. The bill passed with a minority of 108 votes; Therefore, the mountain had cast the deciding vote. Now he found himself in the position of Buridan's ass, not really between two hay sacks, forced to decide what was more attractive, but between two punches, forced to decide what was more attractive. difficult; Fear of Changarnier on the one hand, fear of Bonaparte on the other. It must be admitted that the position was not heroic.

On November 18, a reform of the law on local elections, approved by the Order's party, was proposed in the sense that one year's residence would be sufficient instead of three years. The amendment was lost on a single vote, but that vote, as it soon turned out, was a mistake. Due to divisions within its own hostile factions, the Party of Order had long since lost its independent parliamentary majority. Now it was clear that there was no longer a majority in Parliament. The National Assembly had become powerless to decide at all. Its atomic parts were no longer held together by a cohesive force; he had breathed his last, he was dead.

Finally, the masses of the bourgeoisie outside Parliament solemnly reaffirmed their break with the bourgeoisie inside Parliament a few days before the catastrophe. Thiers, as a parliamentary hero, patently stricken with this incurable disease - parliamentary idiocy - together with the Council of State after the death of Parliament, generated a new parliamentary intrigue in the form of a "law of accountability" which sought to block the president within the walls the Constitution. Just as Bonaparte enchanted the fishmongers like a second Massaniello on September 15th at the laying of the foundation stone of the Paris market - although admittedly a fishmonger was equal to seventeen burgraves of royal power- . ; the same thing that excited the lieutenants being treated at Elysium after the introduction of the "Questors' Project"; - so now, on November 25, he took the industrial bourgeoisie gathered in the circus to receive from his hands the prize medals awarded at the London Industrial Exhibition. I reproduce here the typical part of his speech from the Journal des Debats:

"With such unexpected successes, I am justified in repeating how great the French Republic would be if it could pursue its true interests and reform its institutions instead of being constantly hunted down by demagogues on one side and the other. , due to monarchic hallucinations. (Loud, stormy, sustained applause from all parts of the amphitheater.) Monarchic hallucinations prevent any progress and any serious branch of industry. Instead of progress we only have struggle. Men who were previously the staunchest defenders of authority and royal prerogatives become adherents of a convention which has no other purpose than to weaken an authority born of universal suffrage. (Loud and sustained applause.) We see the men who suffered most from, and complained about, the revolution building a new one with the sole aim of thwarting the will of the nation. . .. I promise you peace for the future.” (Bravo! Bravo! Stormy Bravo.)

So the industrial bourgeoisie shouted its obsequious "Bravo!" until the "coup d'état" of December 2nd, the destruction of Parliament, the overthrow of its own rule, the dictatorship of Bonaparte. The rear guard of the applause of November 25th was answered by the thunder of cannons of December 4th, and Mr. Sallandrouze, who had applauded loudest, was destroyed by most of the bombs.

Cromwell, when he dissolved the Long Parliament, stood alone in his midst, raised the vigil that the body should not last a minute beyond the term he had appointed, and expelled each member individually with good-natured, cheerful insults. Napoleon, smaller than his model, at least entered the legislature on the 18th of Brumaire and read out his death sentence, albeit in a trembling voice. The second Bonaparte, who was also in possession of a very different executive power from Cromwell or Napoleon, did not look for his model in the annals of world history, but in the annals of the "December 10 Society". Annals of Criminal Justice. He robs the Bank of France of twenty-five million francs; he buys General Magnan for a million and the soldiers for fifteen francs and a drink each; he comes secretly with his accomplices like a thief in the night; he has raided the homes of the most dangerous leaders in Parliament; Cavalignac, Lamorciere, Leflo, Changarnier, Charras, Thiers, Baze, etc., taken from their beds; the most important places in Paris, including the Parliament building, occupied by troops; and next morning loud placards were hung on all the walls announcing the dissolution of the National Assembly and the Council of State, the restoration of universal suffrage, and the state of siege of the Seine department. He also presented a forged document in the “Moniteur” shortly thereafter, according to which influential names in parliament had gathered around him in a national committee.

With the cries of "Long live the Republic!", the wretched Parliament, which gathers in the Mayor's building of the tenth arrondissement and is made up mainly of Legitimists and Orleanists, decides to depose Bonaparte; he makes a vain speech to the yawning crowd gathered in front of the building and is finally dragged first to Orsay barracks under the escort of African snipers, then loaded into convict wagons and transported to the prisons of Mazas, Ham and Vincennes. Thus ended the Party of Order, the Legislative Assembly, and the February Revolution.

Before we rush to the end, let's briefly summarize his action plan:

I.—First period. February 24 to May 4, 1848. February Period. foreword. Universal Brotherhood Fraud.

II.—Second period. Period in which the Republic is constituted and the National Constituent Assembly.

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

2. June 25 to December 10, 1848. Dictatorship of pure bourgeois Republicans. drafting of the constitution. Paris is under siege. The bourgeois dictatorship is overthrown on December 10th when Bonaparte is elected president.

3. December 20, 1848 to May 20, 1849. Constituent Assembly struggles with Bonaparte and the united party of the Order. Death of the Constituent Assembly. Fall of the republican bourgeoisie.

III. – Third period. Period of constitutional republic and national legislative assembly.

1. May 29 to June 13, 1849. Struggle of the small merchants, the bourgeoisie, with the bourgeoisie and with Bonaparte. Defeat of the democracy of small traders.

2. June 13, 1849 to May 1850. Parliamentary dictatorship of the party of the Order. He ends his reign with the abolition of universal suffrage, but loses his parliamentary office.

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

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

B. January 12 to April 11, 1851. Parliament undergoes attempts to regain administrative power. The Party of Order loses its independent parliamentary majority. His coalition with the Republicans and Mt.

w. April 11 to October 9, 1851. Attempts at review, merging, and enlargement. The party of order dissolves into its component parts. The gulf between the bourgeois parliament and press on the one hand and the bourgeois masses on the other is becoming permanent.

D. October 9 to December 2, 1851. Open breach between Parliament and Executive. She wrote her own death sentence and, abandoned by her own class, succumbed to the army and every other class. Fall of the parliamentary regime and rule of the bourgeoisie. Bonaparte's triumph. Parody of the imperialist restoration.


The Social Republic appeared as a simple phrase, as a prophecy on the threshold of the February Revolution; it was drowned in the blood of the Parisian proletariat in the days of 1848, but it hovers like a specter through the later acts of the drama. Next bends the Democratic Republic; it goes in ruins on June 13, 1849 with its runaway small merchants; but as he flees, he sprinkles behind him the most boastful announcements of what he intends to do. The parliamentary republic then appropriated the whole stage together with the bourgeoisie; live your life to the fullest extent of your being; but on December 2nd, 1851, they buried him under the cries of terror of the allied monarchists: "Long live the Republic!"

The French bourgeoisie rose up against the rule of the working proletariat; it brought to power the proletariat of the slums, with the head of the 'December 10 Society' at its head. He kept France in breathless fear of the possible terror of the "Redarchy"; Bonaparte dismissed the prospect when, on December 4, he had leading citizens of Boulevard Montmartre and Boulevard des Italiens shot from their windows by the grog-inspired "Order Army". .” He made the apotheosis of the saber; now the saber commands. He destroyed the revolutionary press; now his own press has been destroyed. He placed public gatherings under police surveillance; now their own rooms are subject to police inspection. disbanded the Democratic National Guard; now his own National Guard was disbanded. He introduced the state of siege; now he himself is subject to it. He replaced juries with military commissions; now military commissions are replacing their own juries. He subordinated popular education to the interests of pastors; Transport Ordered Without Trial; now he is being transported himself without trial. He suppressed every movement in society with physical violence; now every movement of your own kind is stifled by physical force. Thrilled by the sack of gold, she rebelled against her own political leaders and writers; now her political leaders and writers are discarded, but the golden witch is plundered after the bourgeoisie is muzzled and her pen broken. The bourgeoisie tirelessly cried out to the revolution, in the language of Saint Orsenio to the Christians: "Fuge, Tace, Quiesce!" — flee, be still, submit! —; Bonaparte shouts at the bourgeoisie: "Fuge, Tace, Oniesce!" Flee, be still, submit!

The French bourgeoisie had long since solved Napoleon's dilemma: "Dans cinquante ans l'Europe will be republicaine or cosaque." [#2 Cossack Republic.] NoCirce has twisted the masterpiece of the bourgeois republic into a monstrosity with evil spells. This republic has lost nothing but the appearance of decency. Today's France was already ready within the parliamentary republic. All it took was a bayonet strike, and the bubble burst and the monster came into view.

Why didn't the Parisian proletariat rise up after December 2nd?

The downfall of the bourgeoisie had just been proclaimed; the decree is not yet enforced. Any serious uprising by the proletariat would have immediately revived this bourgeoisie, led to its reconciliation with the army and inflicted a second June defeat on the workers.

On December 4th the proletariat was incited to fight by the gentlemen burghers and small traders. In the afternoon of that day, several National Guard legions pledged to appear on the battlefield, armed and uniformed. This happened because Messrs. Bourgeois & Small-Traders learned that Bonaparte, in one of his Decrees of December 2, had abolished secret ballots and ordered them to write the words "yes" and "no" after their names in the official bulletin . record. Bonaparte was shocked at the position taken on December 4th. That night he had posters hung in all corners of Paris announcing the reintroduction of secret ballots. Bourgeois & small traders felt they had made their point. Those who were absent the next morning were the teachers. citizen and small trader.

On the night of December 1-2, Bonaparte's attack deprived the Paris proletariat of its leaders and barricade chiefs. An army without officers, unwilling to fight under the banner of the Montagnards according to the memories of June 1848 and 1849 and May 1850, left to its vanguard, the secret societies, the task of saving the insurgent honor of Paris, which the bourgeoisie had made . . They were so obedient to the soldiers that Bonaparte later justified disarming the National Guard, fearing the anarchists would use their arms against them.

"C'est Ic triomphe complete et definitive du Socialism!" This is how he characterized Guizot on December 2nd. But although the fall of the parliamentary republic carried with it the germ of the triumph of the proletarian revolution, its immediate and tangible result was the triumph of Bonaparte over parliament, of the executive over the legislature, of non-judgmental violence over the violence of judgments. . . . In Parliament, the nation elevated its collective will to the dignity of law, that is, it elevated the law of the ruling class to the dignity of its collective will. Before the executive branch, the nation renounces its own will and submits to the commands of a stranger to authority. Unlike the legislature, the executive expresses the heteronomy of the nation as opposed to its autonomy. Thus France seems to have escaped the despotism of a class to fall into the despotism of an individual under authority, that of an individual without authority. The fighting seems to have calmed down enough that all classes are equally powerless on their knees. and also seedlings.

Nevertheless, the revolution is underway. He's still on his way through purgatory. He approaches his work methodically: by December 2, 1851, he had completed half of his program; now he is completing the other half. First he matures the power of the legislature to its full maturity so that he can overthrow it. This now accomplished, the revolution proceeds to bring executive power to the same maturity; reduce that power to its purest expression; it isolates him; it presents him as the sole object of reproach in order to concentrate all revolutionary forces of destruction against him. When the revolution has completed this second part of its preliminary programme, Europe will jump out of its chair and exclaim, "Well done old mole!"

The executive branch, with its vast bureaucratic and military organization; with its vast and artificial apparatus of government—an army of officers, half a million men, together with a force of another million men; this hideous body of parasites, which coils like a snake around French society and clogs every pore, arose in the age of absolute monarchy together with the decline of feudalism, which it hastened. The princely privileges of lords and cities became so many attributes of executive power; feudal dignitaries to salaried officials; and the tangled array of conflicting medieval rulers, in the well-regulated plane of government work is compartmentalized and centralized like a factory. The first French Revolution, whose task it was to abolish all special local, territorial, urban and provincial privileges with the aim of establishing the civic unity of the nation, pursued the development of what the absolute monarchy had begun: the work of the Centralization, along with rank, attributes, and servants of government. Napoleon completed this government machine. The Legitimists and the July Monarchy would contribute nothing except a greater division of labor, which grew as the division and division of labor created within bourgeois society new groups and interests, or, as they say, new material for the administration of government. Every common interest, in turn, was immediately eliminated from society, opposed to it as a higher collective interest, snatched from the individual activity of society members and made the subject of state administration, bridges, construction, schools and the common property of a society. Village community, railways, national assets and the National University of France. Finally, in the fight against the revolution, the parliamentary republic found itself compelled to use repressive measures to strengthen resources and centralize government. Each flip instead of breaking brought this machine to greater perfection. The factions, which took turns fighting for dominance, regarded possession of this vast governmental structure as the main prize of their victory.

Under absolute monarchy, however, it was only the means by which the first revolution, and under Napoleon, prepared the way for class rule by the bourgeoisie; under the Restoration, under Louis Philippe, and under the parliamentary republic, it was the instrument of the ruling class, zealous as that class fought for autocracy. Only with the advent of the second Bonaparte does government appear to have become fully independent. The machinery of government is now so well armed against the Society that the head of the December 10th Society considers himself good enough to run it; A soldier of fortune coming from abroad is raised on his shield by a drunken soldier, bought with drinks and sausages and pelted with soup forever. Hence the shy despair, the sense of crushing humiliation and degradation that oppresses France's breast and suffocates her. She feels dishonored.

And yet the French government is not in limbo. Bonaparte represents an economic class and the most numerous in the Commonwealth of France: the small farmers. [#4 The first French Revolution distributed most of the territory of France, then in the hands of feudal lords, in small chunks among the peasants of the country. This piece of land created the class of French planters.]

As the Bourbons were the dynasty of the big landowners, like the Orléans the dynasty of money, so the Bonapartes are the dynasty of the peasants, that is, of the French masses. Not Bonaparte, who threw himself at the feet of the bourgeois parliament, but Bonaparte, who swept away the bourgeois parliament, is the chosen one of this peasant class. For three years, the cities managed to falsify the meaning of the December 10 elections and trick the peasant into restoring the empire. The election of December 10, 1848 only took place with the "coup d'état" of December 2, 1851.

The landowners are an immense mass, whose individual members live in identical conditions, but without building up multiple relationships with one another. Their mode of production isolates them from each other instead of bringing them into a mutual relationship. This isolation is encouraged by the poor media in France, coupled with the poverty of the peasants themselves. Their field of production, the small piece of land each farms, allows no division of labor or opportunity for the application of science; in other words, it excludes the diversity of development, the diversity of talent, and the luxury of social relationships. Each farming family is almost self-sufficient; it itself produces most of what it consumes; and he earns his living more from nature than from society. We distributed the land to the farmer and his family; next to this other distributed piece of land, another farmer and another family. Such a group forms a village; a group of cities forms a department. The great mass of the French nation, then, is the simple sum of equal quantities, just as a sack of potatoes makes up a sack of potatoes. To the extent that millions of families live under economic conditions which separate their way of life, their interests and their culture from, and render them hostile to, the other classes, they form one class; Insofar as there is only a local connection between these peasants, a connection which prevents the individuality and exclusiveness of their interests from producing among them any unit of interest, national association, and political organization, they form no class. assert their class interests in their own name, whether through a parliament or a congress. They cannot represent each other, they must be represented themselves. Their representative must appear contemporaneously with their Lord, as authority over them, as unlimited governmental power protecting them from above, giving them rain and sun. Thus the political influence of the ejidatario finds its maximum expression in an executive power that subjects the community to its own autocratic will.

Historical lore led to a superstition among French peasants that a man named Napoleon would restore them all manner of glory. Now an individual emerges posing as this man because he is following the "Napoleon Code" which stipulates that "La recherche dela paternite est interdite" [#5 Determining paternity is prohibited]. Napoleon's name. [#6 L.N. Bonaparte is said to have been an illegitimate child.] After twenty years of wandering and a series of grotesque adventures, the myth is confirmed and this man becomes Emperor of the French. The ingrained thought of the nephew comes true because it coincides with the ingrained thought of the most numerous class among the French.

"But," you will ask me, "what about the peasant uprisings in half of France, the army raids on the peasants, the mass arrests and transports of peasants?"

In fact, France had not seen such persecutions of the peasant for his demagogic machinations since Louis XIV.

But this must be well understood: the Bonaparte dynasty does not represent the revolutionary, it represents the conservative peasant; it does not depict the peasant pushing his small piece of land beyond his own economic conditions; rather, it represents who would confirm those terms; does not represent the peasants who, thanks to their own energy, want to overthrow the old order together with the cities, but on the contrary, the peasants who, trapped in the old order, strive to do so and see themselves and their attacks saved and favored by the spirit of the empire; it does not represent the intelligence but the superstition of the peasant; not your judgement, but your prejudice; not your future but your past; not your modern Cevennes; [#7 The Cevennes were the scene of the most numerous revolutionary risings of the landed class.] but their modern Vendée. [#8 The Vendée was the scene of sustained uprisings by the reactionary peasant class during the first revolution.]

The three-year strict rule of the parliamentary republic freed some of the French planters from the Napoleonic illusion and, if only superficially; it had revolutionized them. However, the bourgeoisie violently repulsed them every time they set out. Under the parliamentary republic, modernity struggled against the traditional consciousness of the French peasant. The process continued in the form of a constant struggle between school teachers and pastors; - The bourgeoisie overthrew the school teachers. For the first time, the farmer sought an independent position in the country's government; this was manifested in the protracted conflicts of mayors with mayors; the bourgeoisie deposed the mayors. Finally, during the period of the parliamentary republic, the peasants of various localities rose up against their own product, the army; - The bourgeoisie punishes them with states of siege and executions. ' about the 'disgusting crowd' which he believed betrayed him to Bonaparte. She herself forcibly strengthened the imperialism of the peasant class; He firmly held to the conditions that formed the cradle of this peasant religion. In fact, the bourgeoisie has every reason to fear the stupidity of the masses as long as they remain conservative; and their intelligence - that's how they become revolutionaries.

During the revolts that followed the coup d'etat, some French landowners protested, arms in hand, against the same vote of December 10, 1848. Since 1848, the school had sharpened its judgments. But they bonded with the underworld of history, and history has kept them true to their word. Moreover, the majority of this population was still so prejudiced that they openly voted for Bonaparte only in the "redder" departments. The National Assembly, as it thought, prevented this population from going; the peasants now broke the shackles which the cities had imposed on the will of the districts. In some places they even indulged in the grotesque hallucination of a "convention together with a Napoleon".

After the first revolution made the serfs free proprietors, Napoleon determined and regulated the conditions under which they could freely exploit the lands of France that had just fallen into their hands and atone for youthful possessiveness. But what now weighs on the French peasant is the same piece of land, it is the division of the land, the form of ownership that Napoleon consolidated. These are the material conditions that transformed the French feudal peasant into a small farmer or crofter and Napoleon into an emperor. Two generations sufficed to produce the inevitable result: the progressive deterioration of agriculture and the progressive taxation of farmers. , became the law of their slavery and impoverishment throughout the century. Well, this same law is the first of the "Napoleonic ideas" that the second Bonaparte had to defend. If you still share with the peasants the illusion of looking for the cause of their demise not in the system of small plots themselves, but outside the system, under the influence of secondary conditions, then your experiments must burst like soap bubbles against the earth grain Modern production system.

The economic development of the subdivision system fundamentally changed the relationship of the peasant to the other classes of society. Under Napoleon, the division of arable land into small plots complemented free competition and the incipient large-scale production of rural towns. The peasant class was the ubiquitous protest against the later overthrown landed gentry. The roots that the system of peasant property put down in the soil of France deprived feudalism of any footing. Its borders formed the natural support of the bourgeoisie against all the attacks of the old masters. But throughout the 19th century the usurer of the city replaced the feudal lord, the mortgage replaced the feudal rights formerly ceded to land, bourgeois capital replaced the landed aristocracy. The old parcels are now just a pretext that allows the capitalist class to extract profit, interest and rent from farmland and let the peasants themselves take care of lowering their wages. The mortgage debts which weigh on the soil of France require the French peasantry to pay an interest equal to the annual interest on the entire British national debt. the introglodytes of the French nation. Sixteen million peasants (including women and children), houses in cottages, most with one room, some with two, and the few, most favored, with three. Windows are to a house what the five senses are to the mind. The bourgeois social order, which at the beginning of the century placed the state as guardian of the newly introduced distribution and fructified with laurels, has become a vampire, sucking the blood of the heart and brain itself, and throwing it to death, the pot of capital of the alchemist. The "Code of Napoleon" is now just the code of enforcement, sheriff's sales and tax increases. To the four million (including children, etc.) poor officials, vagabonds, criminals and prostitutes that France counts, we must add five million souls hanging over the abyss of life and or on pilgrimage in their own country, or moving with theirs rags and their children from the country to the cities and from the cities to the country. Consequently, the interests of the landowners are no longer in harmony, as they were under Napoleon, but in conflict with the interests of the bourgeoisie, ie capital; They find their natural allies and leaders in the urban proletariat, whose mission is to overthrow the bourgeois social order. But the "strong and unlimited government" - and this is the second of the "Napoleonic ideas" which the second Napoleon must carry out - has as its mission the vigorous defense of the same "material" social order, a "material order". ” that it provides the watchword in Bonaparte's proclamations against the rebellious peasants.

The farmer is taxed together with the mortgage that the developer imposes on the farmer's property. Taxation is the lifeblood of the bureaucracy, the army, the clergy and the court, in short, the entire executive apparatus. Strong government and high taxes are identical. The property system, wrapped in the distribution system, lends itself inherently to the basis of a powerful and numerous bureaucracy: it creates an equal level of conditions and people over the whole surface of the country; it permits, therefore, the exercise of a unified influence upon all parts of this unified mass from a high center downwards: it abolishes the aristocratic gradations between the popular masses and the government; therefore calls on all parties for direct intervention by the government and its immediate bodies; and finally it produces a surplus of unemployed population that finds no place in either the countryside or the towns, who consequently, as a kind of dignified handout, snatch away public offices and create new jobs. With the new markets he opened with his bayonet and with the plundering of the continent, Napoleon gave back to the peasants, with interest, the taxes they had been deprived of. These taxes were then a spur to peasant industry, while now, on the contrary, they deprive its industry of its last livelihood and completely undermine its ability to resist poverty. that "Napoleonic idea" which above all answers the demands of the second Bonaparte. How else when he is forced to create an artificial class alongside the real classes of society for whom maintaining their own regime must be a matter of knife and fork? Therefore, one of his first financial operations was to raise the salaries of civil servants to the previous level and to create new insurance schemes.

Another "Napoleonic idea" is the government of pastors as an instrument of government. But while the newborn part was inherently religious in harmony with society, in its dependence on the forces of nature, and in its submission to the authority protecting it from above, the debtor part, on the contrary, was at odds with society's authority, and about Pushed beyond its own narrow limits, it naturally becomes irreligious. The sky was a fine gift for the narrow strip of newly conquered land, still more so for the weather; however, it becomes an insult when imposed on the farmer as a substitute for pocket money. So the pastor appears only as the anointed bloodhound of the earthly police, another "Napoleonic idea". The campaign against Rome will then take place in France, but in the opposite direction to that of M. de Montalembert.

Finally, the culmination of the "Napoleonic ideas" is the dominance of the army. The army was the "point of honor" of the landowners: they themselves became lords, defended their newly established foreign lands, glorified their newly won nationality, plundered and revolutionized the world. The uniform was his state attire; War was his poetry; the parcel, extended and rounded in his imagination, was home; and patriotism became the ideal form of ownership. But the enemy against whom the French landowner must now defend his property are not the Cossacks, but bailiffs and tax collectors. The property is no longer in the so-called homeland, but in the mortgage register. The army itself is no longer the flower of the peasant youth, it is the flower of the bog of the proletariat of the peasant districts. a substitute for Napoleon. They now perform their heroic deeds in raids against farmers and in the service of the police; - and if the internal contradictions of its own system make the head of the "Society of December 10" cross the French border, after a few bandit attacks, this army will not heap laurels, but only heavy blows.

It is obvious that all "Napoleonic ideas" are ideas of the underdeveloped and young population; they are nonsense to the multitude that now survive. It's just the hallucinations of their deadly struggle; Words became hollow sentences, ghostly phantoms. But this imperial travesty was necessary to free the masses of the French nation from the weight of tradition and to sharpen the opposition between government and society. As the subdivision continues to deteriorate, the governmental structure established there is collapsing. The centralization of government demanded by modern society is only emerging on the ruins of the military and bureaucratic machinery of government forged in opposition to feudalism.

The situation of the French peasant class solves for us the riddle of the general elections of December 20th and 21st, which brought the second Bonaparte to the head of Sinai, not to receive laws but to make them.

The bourgeoisie now clearly had no choice but to choose Bonaparte. When the Puritans at the Council of Constance bemoaned the sinful lives of the popes and bemoaned the need for moral reform, Cardinal d'Ailly thundered in their face: "Only the devil in his own person can save the Catholic Church now, and you need angels .” Thus the French bourgeoisie cried out after the “coup”: “Only the head of the 'December 10 Society' can now save bourgeois society, only theft can save property, only perjury of religion, only The Bastard Family, only disorderly ones Order!

As the autocratic executive, Bonaparte fulfills his mission of guaranteeing “bourgeois order”. But the strength of this bourgeois order lies in the middle class. He feels like a representative of the bourgeoisie and issues his decrees accordingly. However, it is only something because it has broken the political power of this class and is breaking it every day. In this way he sees himself as an opponent of the political and literary power of the bourgeoisie. But by protecting his material, he once again feeds his political power. Consequently, the cause must be kept alive, but the result, wherever it appears, disappears. But this procedure is impossible without slight confusions of cause and effect, since in their mutual action and reaction both lose their distinguishing marks. Then new decrees that blur the line. In addition, Bonaparte felt vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie as the representative of the peasantry and of the people in general, who within bourgeois society had to make the lower classes of society happy. Instead, new decrees designed to exploit the "true socialists" along with their governmental wisdom. Above all, Bonaparte sees himself as the head of the "December 10 Society", representative of the proletariat of the slums, to which he himself, his immediate entourage, his government and his army belong, whose main aim is to be good to you. yourself and get California treasury bills. And he reaffirms his leadership of the “December 10 Society” with decrees, without decrees and in spite of the decrees.

This contradictory mission of man explains the contradictions of his own government and this confused groping which seeks to win now this class, now that, now to humiliate, and in the end antagonizes all classes; whose real insecurity makes an utterly comical contrast to the imperious and categorical style of government action much copied from Tío.

Industry and commerce, i.e. medium-sized businesses, must thrive in a greenhouse under "strong government". Loans for various railway concessions. But the Bonapartist proletariat in the slums must enrich itself. There is speculation in railway concessions in Bourseby the Initiated; but no capital accrues to the railroads. The bank then agrees to advance the railway shares; but the bank itself must be tapped; therefore it must be persuaded; is exempt from the obligation to publish its reports on a weekly basis. Then follows a lion contract between the bank and the government. The city must be occupied: public works are ordered; but public works raise the tax rates for the people; then you cut taxes by attacking government bondholders by taking five percent "income" [No. 9 The name of the French government bonds] four and a half makes. However, it is necessary to start tipping the middle class again: to do this, the tax on wine will be doubled for individuals who buy it retail and halved for the middle class who drink it wholesale. True labor organizations dissolve, but future miracles are promised to come from organizing. You have to help the peasants: mortgage banks are set up to promote debt; of the landowner and the concentration of property, but again these banks are used primarily to extract money from the confiscated possessions of the House of Orleans; no capitalist will listen to this scheme, which incidentally is not mentioned in the decree; the mortgage bank remains a mere decree, etc., etc.

Bonaparte wants to appear as the patriarchal benefactor of all classes, but he cannot give to anyone without taking from others. Just as it was said of the Duke of Guise at the time of the Fronde that he was the most agreeable man in France because he had turned all his property into debts to his Parisians, so Napoleon wanted to be the most agreeable man in France and would turn all the property and all the work of France into a personal bond to him. He would like to steal all of France in order to give France away, yes, in order to be able to buy France back with French money; Society of December 10 "You must buy what will be yours. All state institutions, the Senate, the State Council, the Legislature, the Legion of Honor, Military Orders, Public Baths, Public Buildings, Railways, the General Staff of the National Guard, except for the Bases, the confiscated assets of the Chamber of Orleans - all become institutions of buying and selling. Every position in the army and in the governmental apparatus becomes purchasing power. However, the most important thing in this process, in which France has returned to itself, are the percentages, which, in the transmission, fall into the hands of the chief and the members of the “Society of December 10.” The jokes with which the Countess de L., deMorny's lover, characterized the confiscations of Orléanist property: “C'est le premier vol de l'aigle", [#10 "It is the eagle's first flight", say the French "vol" means both predation and flight.] suits any fight of the eagle , who is more of a crow. in which he could live for many years: "Tu fai conto soprai beni, bisogna prima far il conto sopra gli anni". [#11 "You count your fortune, you must count the years you have left."] To keep the years safe, they are counted in minutes. A troop of comrades of whom the best one can say is that one does not know where they come from, a noisy and restless “bohemian”, rapacious, in clothes galloping along with the same grotesque dignity Soulonque [#12 Soulonque was the black emperor of the short-lived black empire of Haiti.] Imperial dignitaries filled the court, occupied the ministries, and sided with the head of government and the army. One can imagine this upper layer of "December 10 Society" by considering Veron Crevel [#13 Crevel is a Balzac character inspired by Dr. Veron, the proprietor of the newspaper "Constitutional", regarded as a kind of dissolute bourgeois from Paris.] is his moralizer and Granier de Cassagnac his thinker. When Guizot, Minister at the time, used this Granier in a dark blade against the dynastic opposition, he used to praise him with the words: "C'est le roi des droles". [#14 "He's the king of clowns."] It would be a mistake to go back to the times of the Regency or of Louis XV. to remember. for the court and team of Louis Bonaparte: "The French often had an administration of lords, but never an administration of entertaining men." [#15 Madame de Girardin.]

Beset by the conflicting demands of his situation and forced, like a juggler, by constant surprises to keep the public eye on himself as Napoleon's surrogate, compelled to give a sort of "coup d'état" every day on a small scale, disturbs Bonaparte the entire bourgeois social system; it addresses all that seemed untouched by the 1848 revolution; it makes one group of people patient with revolution and another eager for it; it itself produces anarchy in the name of order, de-sanctifies the entire apparatus of government, profanes it, renders it both repugnant and ridiculous. In Paris he rehearsed the cult of the Holy Coat of Arms of Trier with the cult of the Napoleonic Imperial Coat. But when the imperial mantle has finally fallen from Louis Bonaparte's shoulders, so will the iron statue of Napoleon from the top of the Vendôme Column. [#16 A prophecy that was literally fulfilled a few years later, after Bonaparte's coronation as emperor. By order of Emperor Louis Napoleon, the military statue of Napoleon that originally stood over the Vendôme was torn down and replaced with one of Napoleon's earliest imperial regalia.]


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