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Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear – From Absolutism to Neo-Conservatism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservatism

Marc Mulholland


In 1842, the German poet, Henrich Heine, wrote that the bourgeoisie, ‘obsessed by a nightmare apprehension of disaster’ and ‘an instinctive dread of communism’, were driven against their better instincts into tolerating absolutist government. Theirs was a ‘politics … motivated by fear’. Over the next 150 years, the middle classes were repeatedly accused by radicals of betraying liberty for fear of ‘red revolution’. The failure of the revolutions of 1848, conservative nationalism from the 1860s, fascist victories in the first half of the twentieth‐century, and repression of national liberation ... More

Keywords: bourgeoisie, capitalism, revolution, liberalism, constitutionalism, absolutism, neoconservatism, socialism, Marx, Communism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199653577
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653577.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marc Mulholland, author
College and University Fellow, Faculty of History, Oxford