The contradictions of the bourgeoisie

Following the 1905 revolution, Lenin observes concerning the bourgeoisie:

In every country the bourgeoisie inevitably devises two systems of rule, two methods of fighting for its interests and of maintaining its domination, and these methods at times succeed each other and at times are interwoven in various combinations. The first of these is the method of force, the method which rejects all concessions to the labour movement, the method of supporting all the old and obsolete institutions, the method of irreconcilably rejecting reforms … The second is the method of “liberalism”, of steps towards the development of political rights, towards reforms, concessions, and so forth. The bourgeoisie passes from one method to the other not because of the malicious intent of individuals, and not accidentally, but owing to the fundamentally contradictory nature of its own position (1910: Collected Works, vol. 16, p. 350).

Or to put it succinctly:

Scratch a liberal bourgeois and you will find a police sergeant in a brand-new uniform.

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