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The Organisation Of Generalised Power: A Conceptual Framework For Historical Epochs

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Chapter Summary

The concepts of historical periods used here are constructed in a similar way to those prevalent in the Marxist tradition since its founders, and the periods are linked to a theory of historical development. The words 'feudalism', 'ancien régime' and 'bourgeois society' denote types of ordering of rule and society, the relevant structural features of which were widespread in large parts of Europe at particular times. The concept of 'ancien régime' was coined by activists and champions of the French Revolution to describe what they wanted to abolish. The preconditions for bourgeois revolution are crises of rule in societies of the 'ancien régime' structural type. The promises of bourgeois revolutions have not been redeemed by history. This applies to the contradiction between democracy and capitalism, which was certainly alleviated at certain historical periods, but could never be abolished, and the contradiction also applies to the self-determination of the sovereign people.

Keywords: ancien régime; bourgeois society; capitalism; democracy; feudalism; French revolution; historical periods; Marxist tradition

10.1163/ej.9789004130272.i-803.28
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