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.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Weber: Defining the Bourgeois

As might be expected, Max Weber turns up a fair bit in my book. Weber explicitly thought of himself as "a member of the bourgeois class", ""educated in their views and ideals". He asked Robert Michels to consider him a "class-conscious bourgeois".

What Weber meant by 'bourgeois' was pretty complex. In one context, however, he defined the 'positively privilged classes' as 'entrepeneurs, managers and members of the various professions "with sought after expertise or privileged education" (e.g. lawyers, scientists, physicians and artists), as well as, in rare cases, highly skilled workers who are not easily replacable.' [From Wolfgang J. Mommsen, The Political and Social Theory of Max Weber: Collected Essays (Polity Press: Cambridge, 1989), pp. 53, 64.]

As it turns out, this isn't so far from my own definition of the bourgeoisie. However, as I argue that there is - more or less - a fundamental (if relational) economic basis for bourgeois class interests and attitudes, I don't primarily use Weber's typology with its emphasis on multi-valency. I discuss my 'definition' of the bourgeoisie in the introduction to the book, already available here [PDF].

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