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.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Parliamentarianism and Taxation

If bourgeois liberals never thought in terms of 'taking over' the state (still less 'smashing' it), why did they expect governments to concede a constitutionalism that paid due regard to civil society? Well, because governments want and need money. As Thomas Paine aptly said, parliamentary government "is the most productive machine of taxation ever invented". [Rights of Man, quoted in Gareth Stedman Jones, An End to Poverty? A Historical Debate (London: Profile, 2004), p. 22.] I go on about this in my book quite a lot. Rough conclusion: if there ever was such a thing as 'bourgeois revolution', it meant the tax-state conceding parliamentarianism (for its own ends) in the context of an economy based upon general commodification.

Here's a song mentioning Thomas Paine!

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