My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.

This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism.
Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.

The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]

However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.

This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.

You can see book details at the
OUP website.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Croce on the Great Divide

Bennedetto Croce was perhaps the major avowedly liberal historian of the first half of the twentieth century. In his History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Storia d'Europa nel secolo decimonono - lectures delivered in 1931), Croce argued that 'communism' emerged in the 1830s amongst intellectuals, as a reaction to the strains and horrors of early industrialisation. 'Socialists' and 'Social Democrats' favoured universal suffrage as a means of promoting the interests of the proletariat. This, however, only served to infect democracy with communistic tendencies. Thus, fatefully, liberalism and democracy were driven apart.

"The terms had changed. It was no longer a struggle between liberalism and absolutism, but one between liberalism and democracy, from its moderate to extreme and socialist form.  This struggle … was the truly present and progressive struggle in the nineteenth century." [Croce, Nineteenth Century, trans Henry Furst, London, 1934].

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