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Karlo rather than Groucho Marx for once

Posted by Helen Monday, November 07, 2011

Of course, many of us recall what Karl Marx said at the beginning of The Eighteenth of Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (I must admit to finding it quite useful when I was doing history O level): History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

Actually, that is a meaningless statement for if the first event, the tragedy, is history repeating itself, then there must have been an even earlier one. In his view Napoleon I was the tragedy and Napoleon III, the farce. But what came before that?

However, there is no getting away from the fact that all historical parallels one can draw for present events in Greece and Italy show the situation up as farce. For the time being, anyway.

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