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Old November 4th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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Did the French Revolution influence Communism?


Both started with revolution against absolutist monarchies, were anti-aristocratic and atheistic, involved terror and imperial expansion, and resulted in large alliances to combat them.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #2

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That sounds circumstantial at best.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #3

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How successful was the French revolution in the long run, sure they have a republic now but that was because they could not choose a replacement for Napoleon III from the competing Royalist claims. So at first sight it hardly seems to be a blueprint for a successful
revolution.

Revolutions are by their very nature violent and prone to factionalism. The crushing of counter revolutionary forces is a necessary first step and that requires a degree of bloodshed.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 12:39 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
Both started with revolution against absolutist monarchies, were anti-aristocratic and atheistic, involved terror and imperial expansion, and resulted in large alliances to combat them.
According to Marxist thought the French Revolution was the point where Europe went from being a feudal society to a bourgeois society since according to them it was a revolution of the bourgeoisie, not the of the people.

This was a necessary step in the long evolution towards a communist society, since a bourgeois society would turn into an capitalistic industrial society with a majority of workers that would eventually make their own revolution and create the preferred communist society.

So while they did not support the ideals of the French Revolution they did approve of the event for their own reasons.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #5
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Actually some of the French revolutionay parties were somewhat proto-Communist and left-wing oriented, at least for that times standard. I think of the "sansculotte" and of the Jacobins.

I heard somewhere that Marxist intellectuals Always saw deep similarities between the two revolutions, but French historian Francois Furet contrasted this interpretation. I also heard somewhere that the Bolsheviks saw themeselves as the Marxist version of the French revolution. But in the end I' not sure.

Last edited by Lm1985; November 5th, 2013 at 02:20 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 01:57 AM   #6
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According to Marxist thought the French Revolution was the point where Europe went from being a feudal society to a bourgeois society since according to them it was a revolution of the bourgeoisie, not the of the people.

This was a necessary step in the long evolution towards a communist society, since a bourgeois society would turn into an capitalistic industrial society with a majority of workers that would eventually make their own revolution and create the preferred communist society.

So while they did not support the ideals of the French Revolution they did approve of the event for their own reasons.

Gudenrath


I agree with this point. It influenced them in they sense that there was a precedent for getting rid of the monarchy but their ultimate goal was different.

Last edited by Eamonn10; November 5th, 2013 at 02:00 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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The Communist propaganda and ideology always have given the French revolution as an example of human achievement. Strange, but there was not any criticism against it, specially against Robesbier and the "ultras".

Lenin and others give it as an example of "revolutionary situation" and "revolutionary heroism"...
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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB View Post
The Communist propaganda and ideology always have given the French revolution as an example of human achievement. Strange, but there was not any criticism against it, specially against Robesbier and the "ultras".

Lenin and others give it as an example of "revolutionary situation" and "revolutionary heroism"...
Of course you get a quite different picture if you read the numerous writings of Marx and Engels on the subject. They wrote quite a lot about it (and other revolutions that had occurred in the first half of the 19th century).
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Old November 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Lm1985 View Post
Actually some of the French revolutionay parties were somewhat proto-Communist and left-wing oriented, at least for that times standard. I think of the "sansculotte" and of the Jacobins.
The actual ideological proto-communists in the lot (in the sense that they believed in abolishment of private ownership and collectivisation of funds and dictatorship of the proletariat) people like François Noël Babeuf or Anacharsis Cloots, didn't have much influence on events and was relatively quickly outmanuevered and eventually killed.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #10

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Among Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the Jacobins were held in high regard and every attempt was to be made to prevent a "Thermidor" within the Russian Revolution(although Trotsky would later claim that happened under Stalin).
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