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26 May 2019


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Love the title of the episode.


"We're keeping it to half an hour now"
Exactly one episode later: 31:44

I'm not complaining, but take care of yourself.

Daniel Ostrowski

You got the details a bit wrong with the "first time as tragedy, second time as farce" quote. The original line is Hegel, not Engels, and all he says is that history repeats itself - Marx added the rest.

Christopher Monsour

Why the OFK recommendation? Don't get me wrong--it's a fun book (series), but I was hoping the podcast would somehow relate it to Marx and Engels.

Also, I wanted to express support for everyone who is saying that the Chinese Revolution is by far the most important revolution to cover next. Probably the three revolutions most important to an understanding of our post Cold War world are the American, the French, and the Chinese.


It's not Engles who says history repeats itself twice. It's Hegel. Here is the quote from Marx's 18th Brumaire: "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[66] for the Montagne of 1793 to 1795, the nephew for the uncle. And the same caricature occurs in the circumstances of the second edition of the Eighteenth Brumaire."

Mike D

If you're wondering about the "First as tragedy, then as farce" line, Marx was repurposing language from a letter Engels sent him in Dec 1851 (with permission of course).

The letter is here: https://marxists.catbull.com/archive/marx/works/1851/letters/51_12_03.htm

The relevant section: “But, after what we saw yesterday, there can be no counting on the peuple, and it really seems as though old Hegel, in the guise of the World Spirit, were directing history from the grave and, with the greatest conscientiousness, causing everything to be re-enacted twice over, once as grand tragedy and the second time as rotten farce, Caussidière for Danton, L. Blanc for Robespierre, Barthélemy for Saint-Just, Flocon for Carnot, and the moon-calf together with the first available dozen debt-encumbered lieutenants for the little corporal and his band of marshals. Thus the 18th Brumaire would already be upon us.“


Michael Ocana

I am loving how the threads of previous revolution series are coming together here. Like a master with a tapestry.

Engels as the rebel scion of a rich capitalist family providing resources for Marx's master plan to bring down the capitalists is priceless. I imagine him writing him checks from the richly appointed office of his bourgeois household.

Marx as the grumpy alienated intellectual scribbling notes in the London public library while his family suffers the consequences of his failed aspirations... such a dark and compelling narrative!

Also I echo the vote for Chinese Revolution... and add votes for the Iranian and Egyptian... although I realize this is all too much to ask for before the release of Citizen Lafayette... So I also vote to extend Revolutions on past that deadline!

Lord Basileus Penda III of Eris

Please cover the Chinese(1912-1956), German(1919), Iranian, Russian (1991), Hungarian (both),Cambodian, Portuguese, indonesian ,and colour revolutions.

Zac Black

Not that I object, per se, but am I the only one who finds it slightly perverse to open an episode about Marx and Engels with an advertisement?

John R Poole

Nah. Marx published newspapers. You know they had advertising. Socialists have to eat to.

Daniel Ostrowski

So long as you're spreading the word about his life and thought, I'm sure Marx wouldn't mind too much if you make a little profit from it.


I’m a late arrival to the great work of Mike Duncan, but it’s been great pleasure to hear Rome and Revolutions presented in such a fascinating way. As a professional historian, I really wish my colleagues would learn from Mike how to make history interesting!

I’m also sad to hear the Revolutions podcast is ending. I’d like to make two suggestions after the Russian Revolution is eventually done:

- The Irish Revolution. Since Ireland has cropped up so much in the English and French Revolutions, surely these guys deserve a break! Also, many revolutionary leaders disguised themselves and went drinking with English soldiers so they could spy on the English. Gutsy stuff!

- The Greek Revolution. Casting off 400 years of Ottoman oppression, in the name of ideas from Europe which Europeans borrowed from the Ancient Greeks, which has a nice cadence to it. Plus, it also means introducing Lord Byron, who is a fantastic figure: from bears to his hilarious ode to Lord Castlereigh!

In any case, keep up the astounding work!

Adam F.

Great episode. I'm still rooting for the Spanish Revolution 1936-1939.

Michael Ocana


Let's start a petition.

jk... sort of.

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