Coiner of the word communism.

March 2024 Forums General discussion Coiner of the word communism.

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  • #244541
    Thomas_More
    Participant
    #244542
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    #244606
    ALB
    Keymaster

    In his 1962 book Bonaparte in Egypt J. Christopher Herold wrote:

    “During the voyage to Egypt in 1798. When Bonaparte in his pose as intellectual was holding debates on all kinds of themes, a three-day discussion of property was inspired by Rouseau’s theories about inequality. General Caffarelli maintained that property was only ‘usurpation and theft’, and produced an elaborate blueprint for its abolition.” (p. 53).

    This suggests that Napoleon was aware of the case for “communisme”.

    More on Caffarelli’s views in this article in French entitled “Un socialiste inattendu: Le général Caffarelli du Falga.”

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/40939686

    Maximilien Caffarelli died in 1799 at the age of 43 as a result of a wound sustained in the campaign.

    (Thanks to the late comrade Jack Bradley who gave me a note in this years ago.)

    #244757
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Thanks for this.

    Just as utopian thinkers were anticipating socialism (communism) in the 18th century, they were simultaneously anticipating Darwin.
    Not just, obviously, Erasmus Darwin and Buffon, but also Rousseau, at the beginning of his Discourse on Inequality, and Restif, in his The Flying Man. In the latter work, Restif proposes the opposite to violent colonisation, namely mutual aid and friendship toward newly discovered peoples.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/Y3LBZcw7K1h43KXB7

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Thomas_More.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Thomas_More.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Thomas_More.
    #244762
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    The Discovery of Australasia by a Flying Man.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/rGwp7uD8Lb35Sn9U6

    #244763
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I have now read that article on General Caffarelli and while he is reported as saying “I contend that the laws that sanction property sanction a usurpation, a theft”. But he then went on to say that, as it would be inconvenient to abolish them, the best that could be done would be to modify them to make them less unfair. So Napoleon probably didn’t hear the case for common ownership, after all, at least not from Caffarelli.

    #244764
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Napoleon had overthrown the bourgeois democracy anyway, and made himself military dictator, so why would he be interested in communism?
    He was the enemy of the working class. He crushed the free press, arrested critics, roped young men into his war machine, had thugs sent across borders to seize or murder political opponents. A real hero! Granted, he didn’t execute deserters, just re-drafted them. But the youth of France was collectively in dread of his press gangs.
    No, I don’t think communism would even register on his radar, except to pounce and incarcerate.

    He also re-instituted slavery.
    I remember a humorous scene from an old movie about a slave revolt, whereby one of L’Ouverture’s men is asked to give the password by a Napoleonic sentry. The slave replies, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!” The sentry says “That’s not the password”, to which the slave retorts, “It should be!” and clonks the sentry unconscious. 😀

    Napoleon also banned La Marseillaise, so Tchaikovsky was wrong to include it in his 1812 Overture.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Thomas_More.
    #244768
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Mme. de Stael had to keep fleeing the tyrant from land to land as Bonaparte’s armies marched through Europe.

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