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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The 18th Brumaire

 Napoleon On the 18th Brumaire

On  the 18th Brumaire - according to the French Republican Calendar - Napoleon overthrew the French Directory and replaced it with his Consulate. It was a coup d'etat, and it began his dictatorship.

What we witness today is a coup d'etat in a vacuum... in reverse! By abdicating it responsibilities and beseeching the Senate and the White House to come up with a deal to soften the fall from the fiscal cliff, the House of Representatives has overthrown itself, and asked a whole group of "Napoleons" to take over its role in government!

We are suddenly mindful of Karl Marx, who wrote The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon in 1852,  an account of the 1851 coup by Napoleon's nephew, which begins with:
"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."
As noted yesterday, the abdication of responsibility by the Congress in the Gulf of Tonkin resolution led to the tragedy of Vietnam.

Today we witness the farce of the House of Representatives and its right wing in their inability to formulate any sane policy beyond sound bytes.

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