Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The 'Eighteenth Brumaire' of Kim Jong-un . . .

"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 . . . "

". . . Caussidière for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre, the Montagne of 1848 to 1851 for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of . . ."

. . . Kim Jong-un for Kim Il-sung.

Karl Marx himself couldn't have said it any better . . . for he already did say it best in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852). Unfortunately, the farce of this dead suryong tradition up North will play out like a nightmare on the brains of those living there.

For copyright purposes, I should note that the first photo is borrowed from Life Magazine and the second from DPRK State Television.

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At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't the men at the far right of each picture look like the same guy? lol. Maybe all North Koreans just look alike.


At 5:01 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I thought so, too, and that was one of my reasons for selecting these two photos.

Thanks for noticing.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:20 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Arthur Schopenhauer.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...


Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:04 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

it was about the personages of History acting like -- and "as" -- in an Italian Commedia dell'Arte (Harlequin etc.)

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Do you have a citation?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:30 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

A section in The World as Will and Representation, just, I have not my copy of it here.

He basically says that personages keep on playing the same roles (Harlequin, Pulcinella, Colombina...) but each time in a slightly different plot, and each time they don't "remember" to have already passed through the same kind of situations. They re-start from the beginning as if they had never met before, though it is always about the same characters and schemings.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps Marx was also recalling Schopenhauer?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:53 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

You better prevent being listened by Schopenhauer's ghost

Anyway, Schopenhauer did read Hegel, however deeply he despised him. Did Hegel and his followers read Schopenhauer? I can recall only Lukacs' interpretation of Schopenhauer's philosophy, i.e. an interpretation which is bull[out-come].

Well, the Brumaire quote you posted is the most intriguing Marxist sentence I ever happened to read, but in general - imho - Marx was substantially right except that he was completely wrong.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

errata (listened) mentally corrige (listened to)

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Marx was a genius of great insights who failed economics 101.

And I should know -- I also failed that same course.

(Plus, I read almost all of Das Kapital, albeit in English.)

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Tom Ball said...

to take this thread in a far less intellectual direction, when I saw this picture of the "marvelous leader to be" I had to run back and check his bio on (ahem) wikipedia. "He enjoys skiing and basketball and is a fan of Michael Jordan and Jean-Claude Van Damme." Juxtaposed to that picture, that may be the saddest statement I've ever read.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

One is tempted to go and smite the man with a curse: "J.-C. Van Damme you, Mr. Kim!"

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:10 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

We didn't mention George Orwell! See...


At 4:22 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Did Orwell also echo Marx, Hegel, and Schopenhauer on this point about history's comic repetitions?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:38 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Oh, no, the post was only referring to the issue of dictatorship.

Orwell anyway goes much farther than them, dealing with "repetition in tragedy": Big Brother can either exist or not, it won't change a thing.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

In North Korea's case, "Big Brother" looks like "Pig Brother."

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:51 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

"Farce", you said?

Pig Brother...

... is among us!

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

At least these pigs are honest swine.

Jeffery Hodges

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