The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living,' wrote Karl Marx in 'The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte'.
Ideological conflict over the relative autonomy of the state and capital has been raging since Marx's own time, when, for instance, he attempted to theorize that very tension in The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte.
Synopsis: Karl Marx famously wrote in The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon that history repeats itself, "first as tragedy, then as farce." The Cold War waged between the United States and Soviet Union from 1945 until the latter's dissolution in 1991 was a great tragedy, resulting in millions of civilian deaths in proxy wars, and a destructive arms race that diverted money from social spending and nearly led to nuclear annihilation.
We should resist the temptation to over-interpret Trump's election as an American Eighteenth Brumaire
In this and many other respects, Thompson owed a clear debt to Karl Marx, most particularly to Marx's insistence, in his 1852 essay "The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte," that "[m]en make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past" (89).
Now that democracy has become figurable only as representative democracy, Marx's words in the Eighteenth Brumaire
about the French peasantry ('they cannot represent themselves ...
Commending the grubbing of the revolutionary old mole in The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx tacitly promotes an art of dirt alongside a practice of the dig.
deeply unknowable and mysterious" (9)- "Figures in the mist" is the title Simpson gives to his third chapter, which he devotes to close-grained analyses of (among other texts) "Poor Susan" and the discharged soldier episode of The Prelude 4: there he draws on both Giorgio Agamben's discussions (in The Coming Community) of the refugee as modern everyman and Marx's discussion (in The Eighteenth Brumaire
) of the "lumpenproletariat" ("the fund from which the capitalist economy selects and discards according to its needs" ) so as to trace the anxious self-reflexivity that colors Wordsworth's depictions of homelessness.
Borrowing from Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Bonaparte as elaborated in Walter Benjamin's theory of history, we may say that "the specters of history" in Fellini's Roma come back like a Freudian return of the repressed, yet all dressed up in self-parading garb.
In that regard, Marx, and particularly the Marx of Eighteenth Brumaire
, remains (paradoxically) the exemplary figure.
Taking his cue from Karl Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire
of Louis Napoleon, in which Marx claimed that history repeats itself, but the second time around turns tragedy into farce, white asked who chooses these modes of tragedy and farce, is it history, revealing its true shape, or is it the historian who must have a story to tell and can only do so in the forms provided by culture?