‘…one of Karl Marx' most profound and most brilliant monographs.’
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
by Karl Marx
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (German: Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon) was an essay written by Karl Marx between December 1851 and March 1852, and originally published in 1852 in Die Revolution, a German monthly magazine published in New York and established by Joseph Weydemeyer. Later English editions, such as an 1869 Hamburg edition, were entitled The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
"The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" is one of Karl Marx' most profound and most brilliant monographs. It may be considered the best work extant on the philosophy of history, with an eye especially upon the history of the Movement of the Proletariat, together with the bourgeois and other manifestations that accompany the same, and the tactics that such conditions dictate.
The recent populist uprising; the more recent "Debs Movement"; the thousand and one utopian and chimerical notions that are flaring up; the capitalist maneuvers; the hopeless, helpless grasping after straws, that characterize the conduct of the bulk of the working class; all of these, together with the empty-headed, ominous figures that are springing into notoriety for a time and have their day, mark the present period of the Labor Movement in the nation a critical one. The best information acquirable, the best mental training obtainable are requisite to steer through the existing chaos that the death-tainted social system of today creates all around us. To aid in this needed information and mental training, this instructive work is now made accessible to English readers, and is commended to the serious study of the serious.
The teachings contained in this work are hung on an episode in recent French history. With some this fact may detract of its value. A pedantic, supercilious notion is extensively abroad among us that we are an "Anglo Saxon" nation; and an equally pedantic, supercilious habit causes many to look to England for inspiration, as from a racial birthplace Nevertheless, for weal or for woe, there is no such thing extant as "Anglo-Saxon"—of all nations, said to be "Anglo-Saxon," in the United States least. What we still have from England, much as appearances may seem to point the other way, is not of our bone-and-marrow, so to speak, but rather partakes of the nature of "importations." We are no more English on account of them than we are Chinese because we all drink tea.