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.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Engels and Defencism

Further to my earlier post, Frederick Engels in the 1890s argued - according to W. B. Gallie - that German Social Democrats (i.e. socialists) in the Reichstag 'should not vote against defence credits so long as Russia continued to disarm' [my emphasis]. He argued (in a series of articles from 1893, 'Can Europe Disarm?'), that socialists should demand immediate military reform to convert the army to a militia model on Swiss lines, capable of defending the country, but ill-adapted to attack. Such reform was possible before socialist revolution. [See W. B. Gallie, Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (Cambridge, 1978), P. 94.]

So Engels certainly believed in national self-defence (at least for Germany).

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