This term derives from Karl Marx’s analysis of the rule of Louis Bonaparte who became Napoleon III after seizing power in France in 1851. In his The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852) Marx argued that the different warring classes were at an impasse with no one class having sufficient strength to gain control of the state. In this situation it was possible for a single individual to grasp control of the executive of the state and to achieve a dictatorship over society as a whole. A Bonapartist state is an exception to the basic Marxist conception of the state as an instrument of class rule in that the state becomes semi-autonomous representing the interests of no single class. However, Louis Bonaparte’s dictatorship did not constitute an entirely independent state with no class connection according to Marx. Marx stated that Bonaparte in some sense represented the largest class in France at the time, the smallholding peasantry, but that this did not mean it was a peasant state. Objectively Bonaparte’s state actually helped the development of capitalism according to Marx, and at the same time also served its own interests. Bonapartism is an important notion in more recent Marxist writings on the state that stress the state’s “relative autonomy,” for example the work of Nicos Poulantzas.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bonapartism — BONAPARTÍSM s.n. 1. Formă de dictatură apărută în Franţa, în timpul lui Napoleon I. 2. Ataşament faţă de bonapartism (1) sau faţă de conducerea lui Napoleon Bonaparte. – Din fr. bonapartisme. Trimis de valeriu, 21.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • Bonapartism — Bo na*part ism, n. The policy of Bonaparte or of the Bonapartes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bonapartism — [bō′nə pärt΄iz΄əm] n. 1. support of the Bonaparte dynasty in France 2. the methods, doctrines, etc. of any military political dictator like Napoleon Bonaparte Bonapartist n. * * * See Bonapartist. * * * …   Universalium

  • Bonapartism — [bō′nə pärt΄iz΄əm] n. 1. support of the Bonaparte dynasty in France 2. the methods, doctrines, etc. of any military political dictator like Napoleon Bonaparte Bonapartist n …   English World dictionary

  • Bonapartism — In French political history, Bonapartism has two meanings. In a strict sense, this term refers to people who aimed to restore the French Empire under the House of Bonaparte, the Corsican family of Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I of France) and his …   Wikipedia

  • Bonapartism —    An ideological tradition of nineteenth century France based on the perpetuation of the ideas and the mythical national status of Napoleon I. Bonapartism attempted simultaneously to represent national glory, preserve the achievements of the… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • bonapartism — |bōnə|pärd.ˌizəm, pȧd.ˌ , ärˌtiz , ȧˌtiz , ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun ( s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: probably from French bonapartisme, from Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon I) died 1821 French emperor + French isme ism 1. : the policy …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bonapartism — noun Date: 1815 1. support of the French emperors Napoleon I, Napoleon III, or their dynasty 2. a political movement associated chiefly with authoritarian rule usually by a military leader ostensibly supported by a popular …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Bonapartism — noun a) The practices of b) A populist alliance between the bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat characterized by strong leadership and conservative nationalism …   Wiktionary

  • Bonapartism — [ bəʊnəpα:tɪz(ə)m] noun attachment to or advocacy of the government and dynasty of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). Derivatives Bonapartist noun & adjective …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”