By William H Sewell Jr.
This e-book reports the robust rhetoric of the nice pamphlet and the bright yet enigmatic considered its writer. William H. Sewell’s insightful research unearths the basic function performed via the recent discourse of political financial system in Sieyes’s concept and uncovers the options through which this talented rhetorician won the assent of his meant readers—educated and filthy rich bourgeois who felt excluded through the the Aristocracy within the hierarchical social order of the outdated regime. He additionally probes the contradictions and incoherencies of the pamphlet’s hugely polished textual content to bare fissures that stretch to the middle of Sieyes’s thought—and to the center of the progressive venture itself.
Combining thoughts of highbrow background and literary research with a deep knowing of French social and political background, Sewell not just models an illuminating portrait of an important political rfile, yet outlines a clean standpoint at the background of progressive political culture.
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Additional resources for A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbé Sieyes and What is the Third Estate?
He was the incarnation of the bourgeoisie and it is in this that his historical greatness resides. "34 This recourse to an essentially mystical notion of Sieyes as somehow incarnating the bourgeoisie is emblematic of the fundamental flaw in Lefebvre's overall interpretation. His argument that the French Revolution was a bourgeois revolution was ultimately tautological. As in the passage quoted above, the interest or the will of the bourgeoisie is not identified separately from what the Revolution accomplished.
Sieyes was not very active in the Convention, which quickly became involved in fierce partisan battles. Although he was closer to the moderate Girondin faction than to the radical Montagnards, he voted for the death of the king in December 1792. During the ensuing period of the Terror, Sieyes said and did little. " Sieyes reemerged as a significant political actor during the constitutional debates that followed the execution of Robespierre in thermidor 1794. Chastened by the experience of the Terror, Sieyes, who had begun by emphasizing the supreme power of the legislature, now argued above all for the importance of limiting the power of the state and protecting individual liberty.
Bcedin, Sieyes, pp. 53-54, quoting AN, 284 AP 2. Introduction 13 the church inspired a passionate outcry. The young Sieyes, the notice says, could not help groaning about his youth so cruelly sacrificed, about so many tyrannical bonds that would strangle his sad future .... And how can we fail to pity that multitude of tender children ... No sooner have these innocent creatures begun to count among the beings capable of cultivation than barbarous but widely applauded cares, aided by paternal prejudices, tear them pitilessly out of their natural courses, elevating them it is said: but in fact sacrificing them, without regard for wisdom, to an inhuman, sepulchral system, where the most miserable of teachers make a study of torturing them physically and morally, in order to fashion them, to tame them into the service of I know not what chimeras.
A Rhetoric of Bourgeois Revolution: The Abbé Sieyes and What is the Third Estate? by William H Sewell Jr.