Sunday, February 1, 2009

Was the 1848 revolution in Paris a proletarian revolution?

Marx himself and Marxist historians argue the 1848 revolution in Paris was a proletarian revolution. Was it? Was there a working class movement in France in 1848?

I would say that the 1848 revolution in France was definitely a proletarian revolution, but it was not the global proletarian coup de etat or the working classes easy take-over of centralized management. The 1848 revolution was, after all, a class war to an extent, and when the working men and women take up arms against their bourgeoisie oppressors, I would certainly say that there is a proletarian uprising. As to a working class movement, there were definitely elements within the rebellious factions that were fighting/rioting with a pro-working class agenda, but I think that in the end, any working class movement was mainly in the minds of the rank and file of the revolution. As always, it was primarily the laborers that did the fighting but the professionals and intellectuals that did most of the deliberating afterwards. The initial radicalism of the revolution got watered down after the overly-romantic period wore off, and once again the business of actually writing a constitution that provides liberty, justice, and happiness proved to be a little difficult.


The Captain said...

I completely agree with that. I feel like the revolution in France in 1848 was a complete class war. The working class against the bourgiosie/proleritats. But why were the workers so angry again? Was it just because of those National workshops??

Cote Laramie said...

Good point; there is a difference between A proletarian revolution and THE proletarian revolution (as Marx indicated).