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Stray Thread(s)[edit]

18 June 2007: I'm wondering about this line here: "They eventually allied with the kings in uprooting the feudalist system" It makes no sense, the "kings" did not uproot the feudalist system, in fact Louis XVI was opposed to the revolution and capitalist society.

February 6, 2005 I'm confused about why this is a hard word to coming up with a complex definition, the writers of the page contradict themselves:

Example A: "Bourgeois is a classification used in analyzing human societies to describe a class of people who are in the middle class nobility, whose status or power comes from employment, education, and wealth as opposed to aristocratic origin."

- aristocracy IS nobility. There is not a "contrast" between the two, unless perhaps you're trying to make a distinction using nobility in the moral sense. - middle class nobility? There is no such thing. Middle class is *gasp!* MIDDLE. Not upper.

Example B: Despite the many references to bourgeois meaning anything having to do with privilege, which I presume all stem from the original, and in my opinion, incorrect, Marxist context, the article then refers to bourgeoisie as "merchants and traders." In fact, that _is_ the meaning of the word in both French and English. And, as is probably very obvious, merchants and traders are not, socially speaking, classified as members of the aristocracy/nobility/upper class.

It is my understanding, based on personal education and study, that Americans use the word according to its French usage during the French Revolution. I certainly think there should be something about that time frame and the uprising (overthrowing of the nobility -- which was not done by the nobility!). Also, this usage, both French and American English, significantly predates the work of Marx. Certainly Marx's usage was based on something, and I think it stems from, as Mirriam Webster mentions in their dictionary, the idea that the bourgeois were driven by commercial and industrial interests. This makes sense given their livelihood.

Pre March 2005 comments[edit]

This page is inherently incorrect.

Bourgeoisie means MIDDLE class, not upper class. And even in Marx's work, he did not use the term to refer to the upper class, but rather those considered "above" working class, who held traditionally professional jobs, i.e. NOT the upper class, which Marx saw as those in the monarchy/aristocracy/gentry.

  • See note at bottom*

Also, the American usage of "bourgeoisie" and "bourgeoise" certainly does not refer to high society or refinement, but rather, the "middle class masses."

There are middle class workers, and they don't belong to bourgeoisie. Bourgeoisie are bussinesmen, employers, private transporters, and current capitalist class, as far as I'm concerned, and it's sub-divided among upper bourgeoisie, petite bourgeoisie, middle bourgeioisie. But whatever the case, a requirement, for belonging this class, is the private owning of production media or bussiness or enterprises of a certain size, that generates capital, and the chance to invest it. I wouldn't even considere the little merchants or modest shop assistants as a part of bourgeoise class, or if do, they would belong to petite bourgeoise class. DeepQuasar 11:04, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Page needs some spelling and grammar work

"In contemporary Marxist parlance, bourgeoisie refers to those who control corporate institutions through majority share holdings, options, trusts, funds, intermediaries or by making public statements regarding market transactions."

This doesn't make sense. With majority share holdings you might have more control over a public corporation the a minority share holder, but again the amount of people with that type of holding is extremely small (and primarily the companies that are owned in this way have no significant power or influence above other companies in their same market cap). The largest "owner" of the means of production today is CALPERS (the california public retirement system). But besides all this, I don't believe owning stock in a company is an example of "ownership" of the means of production that Marx was talking about. There is much less control in stock ownership then outright ownership. The possible negative effects of capitalism almost assuredly still occour in corporations however, because they have a fiduciary duty to constantly increase profit. Stock ownership though causes a disconnect in this, where now the workers who are being exploited might be the largest percentage owner.

  • Note*

In the French society, Bourgeois and Bourgeoisie implied Middle class, however, in the US system, it'd be the upper class. The time period and social structure of the French society when the term Bourgeoisie was used, applied to the lords, and 'secondary' people of the government. So in America, pretty much the rich people that go to private schools and can get into politics with much more ease. And, if there were masses of the middle class, wouldn't that imply that they were the majority? I don't feel that I should edit your words, but that there are some word choice issues that I notice.

I think its important to distinguish between the 'common' useage of class and Marxian class. Upper middle and lower class really just refer to how much money you got. But thats not marxism. Marx argues quite specifically that class is defined by a relationship to the means of production. Do you own that car plant you work in? No, well your a prole. Own the car plant? Your bourgoise. In terms of the earlier french "middle class" connotation, thats really rooted in the pre-revolutionary arangement of feudalism where the upper class where the lords and aristocracy, an arangement that doesnt really exist in a particularly meaningful way in the modern world. (talk) 05:03, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Common knowledge and respected dictionary definitions say Bourgeoisie is middle class. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dunnbrian9 (talkcontribs) 23:21, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

"Why the revert?"[edit]

Stblbach, why the revert? The change was correct. The entire article is Marxist theory. I have changed it yet again and made another change to try to make it more neutral. Johnwhunt 19:48, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The bourgeoisie is a derisive term from Marxism
To start an article lead sentence with "derisive term", it means the rest of the article needs to support and expand on the idea that bourgeoisie is a pejorative, political and non-neutral term. That would be original research. The article doesnt do that, instead the article simply reports on what Marx said, as it should. In Marxist theory the term is simply a descriptor for a class of people with the pejorative aspect being one facet of his theory. The article is a description of the use of the term in his theory, and the lead paragraph should be a summary of what is contained in the body of the article. If others have called it "derisive" then we can report on that also, with citations and attribution on who (or what partys) said it. I'll await your reply before changing.Stbalbach 22:21, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have eliminated the word "derisive" based on your comments above. Johnwhunt 23:29, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You have more problems than that in your changes. Mikkalai 03:14, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Not only marxism uses this term.
  • "aristocracies" is a correct term it the considered historical context. Mikkalai 03:14, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • What other theories besides Marxism use the term? Johnwhunt 13:26, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
When someone asks you for your sources, or asks you to provide the information behind what you state is true, then responses such as "Look it up on Google," or "it is common knowledge" are self-defeating. Content on Wikipedia is not "commonly accepted knowledge," just because you give your word on it. If so, there would be no need for Wikipedia- the knowledge is already commonly known. Please provide sources, and information, when asked to justify your contentions- it is only academically correct, not to mention polite.§

Went to Google and plowed through the first page of links. All references said it was a Marxist theory term. Are there any other economic theories that use the term? (oh, oh, theories derived from Marxism don't count.) Johnwhunt 21:18, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It is not a solely marxist theory term. Marxist do put a special meaning into it, but don't "own" it. You say you "plowed" thru first page. The columbia reference is among the very top ones (at least in my google report). Did you read it? If you did and you still insist that it says it is a marxist term, then you have serious problems with comprehension. Many sources do say that in modern political theory the notion is a predominately Marxist one, but the word was in use well before Marx was born. 01:46, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

From Columbia Encyclopedia in its entirity:

"(brzhwäz´) (KEY) , originally the name for the inhabitants of walled towns in medieval France; as artisans and craftsmen, the bourgeoisie occupied a socioeconomic position between the peasants and the landlords in the countryside. The term was extended to include the middle class of France and subsequently of other nations. The word bourgeois has also long been used to imply an outlook associated with materialism, narrowness, and lack of culture—these characteristics were early satirized by Molière and have continued to be a subject of literary analysis.

Origins and Rise[edit]

From Columbia Encyclopedia in its entirity (cont.)

The bourgeoisie as a historical phenomenon did not begin to emerge until the development of medieval cities as centers for trade and commerce in Central and Western Europe, beginning in the 11th cent. The bourgeoisie, or merchants and artisans, began to organize themselves into corporations as a result of their conflict with the landed proprietors. At the end of the Middle Ages, under the early national monarchies in Western Europe, the bourgeoisie found it in their interests to support the throne against the feudal disorder of competing local authorities. In England and the Netherlands, the bourgeoisie was the driving force in uprooting feudalism in the late 16th and early 17th cent.

In the 17th and 18th cent., the bourgeoisie supported principles of constitutionality and natural right, against the claims of divine right and against the privileges held by nobles and prelates. The English, American, and French revolutions derived partly from the desire of the bourgeoisie to rid itself of feudal trammels and royal encroachments on personal liberty and on the rights of trade and property. In the 19th cent., the bourgeoisie, triumphantly propounding liberalism, gained political rights as well as religious and civil liberties. Thus modern Western society, in its political and also in its cultural aspects, owes much to bourgeois activities and philosophy.

Subsequent to the Industrial Revolution, the class greatly expanded, and differences within it became more distinct, notably between the high bourgeois (industrialists and bankers) and the petty bourgeois (tradesmen and white-collar workers). By the end of the 19th cent., the capitalists (the original bourgeois) tended to be associated with a widened upper class, while the spread of technology and technical occupations was opening the bourgeoisie to entry from below.

Prof Kouji Miyazaki has written a book on the "Origin of the Rich" investigating the rise of the bourgeosie in Northern France, claiming that they originated when farmers and craftsmen started saving to have prayers said for them post death at churches and monasteries. The funds that they saved for this purpose, were used during their lives as business working capital. --Timtak 05:46, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

In Marxism[edit]

From Columbia Encyclopedia in its entirity (cont.)

Within Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle, the bourgeoisie plays a significant role. By overthrowing the feudal system it is seen as an originally progressive force that later becomes a reactionary force as it tries to prevent the ascendency of the proletariat (wage earners) in order to maintain its own position of predominance. Some writers argue that Marx’s theory fails because he did not foresee the rise of a new, expanded middle class of professionals and managers, which, although they are wage earners, do not fit easily into his definition of the proletariat."

So, let me ask again, what other economic theories not related to Marx use the term as shown in the wiki article?

My problem with the article is that it is not a neutral POV and is almost entirely Marxist political theory. That's alright by me if it is properly designated. Which it is not. So by not being neutral and spouting only Marxist theory, the article becomes propaganda, which is another violation of the wiki rules. Johnwhunt 14:39, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Marxist theory is placed into a separate section, cleary titled "B in MT" I don't see nothing non-neutral. You are free to expand the pre-marxist part. As for your question "what other...", at this point I don't know and don't care. My only point is that you cannot say in the very first sentence of the whole article that it is marxist term and nothing else. Back to your question: again, I don't know about modern theories, but I guess the term was is use during the French Revolution, and I see no reasons why modern theories other than Marxism could not operate with it in non-necessarily marxist sense. Mikkalai 19:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Taken from the article "middle class" in Wikipedia: "For Marxist views on this class, compare bourgeoisie. Note that this is not the same thing asmiddle class." Johnwhunt 17:20, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So what? In marxism theory "B" is a narrowly defined term: class that owns means of production. It may also be used as a derogatory term, just like the way the medical word imbecile is mostly known for most of laymen. Feel free to cover this aspect as well, possibly in a subsection.
I have to agree that the intro to the article is poorly written and misleading, but assigning the word solely to Marxism would make it even worse.Mikkalai 19:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Well, let me give it a shot and let's go from there. Johnwhunt 20:14, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The intro is better IMO, but please restore all Marxist text you deleted. It is an explanation of Marxist POV and of encyclopedic value, even if most people do not agree with it. Please read WP:NPOV policy carefully. Also, I am not going to edit this article, but your text about who uprooted whom and about values will most probably be deleted.
Please never do massive changes on complex and controversial subjects. Work piece by piece, so that people have chance to discuss the value of your contributions. Deleting big chunks without explanations is also a wrong approach. Mikkalai 23:00, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have read the NPOV articles and found nothing to indicate the article as written violates that. I would appreciate your guiding me toward the parts you want me to read, perhaps by posting them here for all to see.

I am not saying the current article violates it. I am saying the previous one did not, despite an exsessive amount of marxism in it. The corresponding section clearly indicates that it describes marxist POV. Mikkalai

I did not reduce the Marxist part of the article because of a dislike of Marxism. I did it because the article is about "Bourgeoisie", not "Marxism". There are significant references to Marxism, Marxist and related theories and writings in the article. The article has five long and two short paraghraphs. Marxism is mentioned in the first (introductory) long paragraph and is the sole subject of two long paragraphs. All of the related topics, the references and the external link are Marxist.

So what? You have no right to cut it away without explanations. And the explanation "it is too much" is inadmissible. Mikkalai 18:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be easier to argue the article is too Marxist than not Marxist enough.

Also, you stated above that the comments concerning "uprooting" and "values" will almost certainly be deleted. Why? They came from Columbia Encyclopedia in the article I posted above. Johnwhunt 18:40, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK. some details. I am not a historian, and as I said, I am not going to significantly edit the article. Also I am not am educator to teach you. But here are two suspicious phrases.
In the late Middle Ages, they supported nobility in uprooting feudalism.
Why would nobility want to uproot feudalism? Nobility fed off feudalism. Mikkalai 18:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Concepts such as personal liberties, religious and civil rights, and the freedom to live and trade all derive from bourgeois philsophies.
Extremely dubious and ungrounded. Mikkalai 18:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
But the bourgeoisie were never without their detractors.
Detractors from what? Bourgeois were normal people. Some good, some bad, some generous, some greedy. Moliere was making fun of them, but others were making fun off puffy aristocrats and arrogant church. All this "trait" section must be presented as a point of view of certain categories of people rather than indisputable facts. Mikkalai 18:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pejorative Meaning[edit]

I don't think it's just communist cultures in which bourgeoisie becomes a pejorative term for wealthy or high class people. I think even here in the states calling someone bourgeoisie is an insult. I'd bet many a fight here in the states got started with someone calling someone else bourgeoisie.
JesseG 01:50, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but that's because in the English-speaking world it is a purely left-wing term for middle class which has almost entirely pejorative usage. It's only function is to serve as an insult. English speaking non-socialists don't need the word as we are happy to use "middle class". Twittenham 09:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I asked for an example of a language where bourgeios is not pejorative. I know for a fact that it is in mine. Prezen 11:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a very Marxist-centred article. The fact is that not only that Right or Conservative political wings in Common Law and English-speaking countries never use the term, but mainstream political debate as evidenced by national newspapers and news programmes, NEVER use the term to describe current events. The term 'bourgeoisie' may have a living meaning in France, but in English-speaking countries it is purely a theoretical term which brings with it the heavy baggage of political slant. The term is used to catorgorise and collectivise individuals so that they can be critically analysed using Marxist precepts. This fact is not sufficiently stressed in this article. Cacadores (talk) 22:35, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, if you go into the extreme fringe right, you will find some who use the term very disdainfully, because they aspire to bring back the aristocracy, and disdain their own usually middle-class roots. (talk) 20:10, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Definition of Bourgeoisie[edit]

Bourgeoisie: Originally named for the inhabitants of walled lawns in medieval France. As artisan and craftsmen, they occupied a socialeconomic level between peasants and rural land workers.

Sorry, the above was atrocious. I hope I preserved the original person's intent.

I think our entire definition is wrong. The bourgeoisie != capitalists. The communist manifesto refers to the bourgeoisie as a parasitical class yet capitalists are actually tasked with the role of maintaining, allocating and increasing capital.

The bourgeoisie are actually highly promiscuous and incestuous professional breeders. They will sleep with the wives and daughters of the capitalists just like they will with the wives and daughters of the proletarians. They do not work for a living.

When the communist manifesto talks about the bourgeoisie creating society (using women as "instruments of production") in its own image and creating the modern proletariat it is actually talking about breeding them. i.e. the modern proletariat is the genetic offspring of the bourgeoisie.

The "weapons" with which they will bring capitalism to the ground are their penises.

" The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations;"

The wife of the proletariat is adulterous with a member of the bourgeois. The children of the proletariat are not his genetic offspring. They are products of paternity fraud.

" modern industry labor, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests. "

All these systems protect and are fronts for bourgeois interests. e.g. the family courts —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


How is it hard for a native English speaker to pronounce 'bourgeois' or 'bourgeoisie'?

It's not. Still most people pronounce it incorrectly due to the spelling, Burg-ee-oys is how most people try to say it. Bourgeoisdude 18:46, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I have never had problems, nor have most of the other native speakers of English I know, in pronouncing the word correctly. This entry seems rather unsubstantiated editorial, and so should be removed. The rest of the passage "it is not used as often in politics in English speaking countries as in other Western ones, and is not in common use in the United States. From the late nineteenth century through the Great Depression, the pronunciation "bushwah" was used in political satire portraying radical leftists. Critic H. L. Mencken coined the portmanteau "booboisie" to label middle America, which he viewed as conventional and unintellectual" seems to be more an under-handed diatribe against anglophones than a useful exploration of the orgin of the word as the section heading implies. It should also be removed. Kemet 16 March 2006
"I have never had problems, nor have most of the other native speakers of English I know, in pronouncing the word correctly. This entry seems rather unsubstantiated editorial, and so should be removed." I think the issue is just in the way the sentence is worded; all the phonetic sounds in the word exist in english, but as Bourgeoisdude said, it's just people that have no experience with french letter combinations (or just french in general) would naturally prounounce it 'boor-gee-oy-see' (or some similar variant). I don't believe it doesn't really need to be removed, but instead reworded.--Charibdis 04:18, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I for one looked up the word here to see how it was pronounced :)

I always thought it was "boo-zhwah-ZEE"

Awesimo 00:44, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

In re "all the phonetic sounds in the word exist in english", all except the French "r" sound. Can Anglophones hear the difference between trois and toi? Jack Waugh 14:44, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Introductory paragraph needs to get to the point[edit]

"Bourgeoisie is a French word." I'm not an expert on this subject, but I think we can do better than that. After reading the whole first paragraph, the reader still hasn't been told what bourgeois is. Maybe someone more familiar with the subject could summarise the meaning in a few concise sentences and replace that as the introductory paragraph. The etymology maybe could be placed elsewhere in the article. A Pattern O 19:43, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I really like the last sentence, should we use it for the introduction instead of the conclusion? "According to these interpretations, the bourgeoisie is composed of any individuals who have exclusive control over the means of production, regardless whether this control comes in the form of private ownership or state power." ~Freddie
Freddie: you are simply applying Marxist categorisations when the ideal is to remove political bias from the descriptions used here. Cacadores (talk) 23:02, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


The 2nd paragraph of the etymology section is false. Both M-W and AHD gives the etymology of the French word as from (Late) Latin burgus, from Germanic *burgs , "hill-fort", cf. borough. --Salleman 12:34, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

POV notice[edit]

I have added some comments on usage to the opening paragraph, which sounded like it came straight out of a left wing textbook, but I am still not happy with the article, which does not really really recognise that in the English-speaking world the term is highly rhetorical and just not used by most people. Twittenham 09:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

The bias in the article begins with the first reference justifying the definition of the term. It's from a 'Marxist Encyclopedia'! Cacadores (talk) 22:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

"It is interesting to find out how much wealth he created for himself by this theory." Was removed for obvious POV. Source if you've found this in a source somewhere. Otherwise, who finds it interesting, and why? Sources on this, otherwise it comes across as POV.

Still no neutral POV. This page is straight Marxism from top to bottom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

The Beat[edit]

The person who wrote this article needs to reconsider the mindset of Karl Marx when he founded Communism. He was not lenient toward the upper class, so then why would Bourgeoisie be preoccupied with property values and other affairs that are adherently connected with the upper class? Think this over. You guys are retarded. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC).

Non-workers, not middle-class[edit]

Bourgeoisie simply refers to those in the class spectrum who don't work (unlike the proletariat), and do not wield any political or military power. And personally, I don't see why members of the bourgeoisie have to get so indignant about the word, considering how there are so many insults that they have made for the workers.

Basically, the Bourgeoisie/Proletariat scheme has nothing to do with the Rich/Middle-class/Poor scheme, as there can be poor Bourgeoisie and rich Proletarians. But for the most part, due to our class system, a great majority of the Proletariat are poor and most of the Bourgeoisie are rich. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

Well, then we have a concurring voice that Bourgeoisie is a slur word in Marxist parlance. Prezen 06:39, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
not necessairly. I think what anon was attempting to point out is that the Marxist concept of 'Bourgeoisie' has more to do with ownership of the means of production- with being a Businessman- than it has to do with how wealthy you are. For example, somone starting a company could be called Bourgeoisie, even if his income was quite low (as income often is in the begining.) Luke S. Crawford 01:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
They don't work in physical terms, by using or requiring physical strengh to develop their usual function or job. Maybe they do are the whole day making calcules, bussiness or managing enterprise and overviewing/controlling employees, tasks, production rythm, etc., either directly or indirectly, but from above to below. That's what they most often do, since it's the basis of their material conditions, their economy and lifestyle. That is actually what makes them 'bourgeoisie'. DeepQuasar 11:13, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
It is absolutely a slur word and I use it quite frequently --Kelt65 18:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

This anon's definition sounds right to me; I've always been taught that this is the Marxist use of the term. However, that doesn't mean that the article has to reflect that POV (see POV tag section above). Nyttend 12:05, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Correct. The bourgeoisie belongs to a different typology than upper/middle/lower class. It would be best to separate different analysises in different sections, and not clutter the intro that much. --LC 19:00, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with what other people have said that this article focusses almost entirely on Marxism when before the 19th century this word had a lot less to do with class in that sense and more to do with a legal status that you could acquire by occupying certain professions in a town. A lawyer or a doctor or a government official could be a bourgeois, not just a merchant. The status of bourgeois was just as much part of the society of privilege and order as someone who had noble privilege. (talk) 14:01, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

The debate is becoming circular. The term is defined according to Marxist precepts and then justified on the talk page by reference to Marxist political categories. 'Ownership of the means of Production; and 'the workers' are Maxist political categorisations too. Therefore this article is being used to present Marxist definitions as fact. Someone needs to be bold here and yank this article out of the grip of the dead hand of Marxist theory and into the light of changing practical language usage. Because the main problem is language: by using a French word that is seldon used by English native-speakers, English-speaking Marxists have petrified the definition, taken control of the concept it purports to describe and finessed the doubtfulness of its social reality.Cacadores (talk) 22:54, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Clarification on 'bourgeois' vs 'bourgeoisie'[edit]

What is the difference between bourgeois (bor-zwha) and bourgeoisie (bor-zwaa-zee )? Wikipedia redirects 'bourgeois' to this article and gives both pronunciations, but does not explain why there are two spellings/pronunciations for this word. Is it singular/plural, masculine/feminine, etc? Overlook1977 14:22, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Further research suggests 'bourgeois' is an adjective and 'bourgeoisie' is a noun. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on this topic can clarify this on the main article? Overlook1977 15:03, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Bourgeois is both an adjetive and the singular noun of bourgeoisie. ( 22:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC))

I don't think anyone would refer to the Bourgeoisie in the singular form, rather than "he is Bourgeois" more likely is "he is a member of the bourgeoisie". Therefore I agree with first definition: Bourgeois - adjective Bourgeoisie - Proper noun

Bourgeois is an adjective, it can also be a kind of noun in the sense of "he is a bourgeois"/"she is a bourgeoise" eg. "A bourgeois of Paris..." It's not a singular noun of bourgeoisie, but more the nominal form of the adjective - the same way you can be "noble" and also be "a noble". (talk) 14:07, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed art definition[edit]

Hello all. I've just removed the following sentence from the intro:

", but in English-speaking countries usage of the word as a term of art is associated with those with socialist or anti-capitalist political leanings."

It's not cited and doesn't make sense. Since when has bourgeois art meant anti-capitalist? Dissident members of the bourgeoisie may have adopted anti-capitalist attitudes (Marx being one of them), but its by no means a definition of the term. DionysosProteus 12:31, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Ah, 'term of art' doesn't actually have anything to do with what you might find in an art museum. The phrase 'term of art' means that the word has specific meanings in a particular context, i.e., it's jargon. For example, most of the terms that non-lawyers refer to as 'legalese' are formally called 'terms of art'.

Check this page for more info- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Added control of means of coercion, further discussion needed[edit]

Added reference to control of armed forces. Definitely lacking throughout the article. Although Marx and Engels were primarily concerned with developing the economics and philosophical sides of communism, they also acknowledged that the political superstructure was an extension of the bourgeoisie's control of the economy. This was particularly evident in their works after the failure of the French proletariat in 1848. See "The Class Struggle in France, 1848 to 1850" ( and "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" ( —Preceding unsigned comment added by Njfuller (talkcontribs) 05:25, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


This article is completely reference less. The {{Fact}} tags will only highlight this situation. No negatives present. Please tell me what is so bad about the tag. It can only help. Moreover this is such an important term. The better to call attention to its woeful OR-- (talk) 22:35, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


In Marxist theory the class that in contrast to the ptoletariat or wage earning is primatily concerned with property values.


In Marxist theory the class that in contrast to the ptoletariat or wage earning is primatily concerned with property values. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

This is generally a very poor quality article, it should be rectified. It is a disgrace. This is coming from a historian. I will clean this mess up once my exams are over. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Qwertysocks (talkcontribs) 10:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Bourgeoisie (section)[edit]

This article covers what it needs to cover, I guess, but it reads more like a definition from a Marxist explanation than it does an encyclopedic article. AND IT IS MISSING CITATIONS ESPECIALLY IN THIS SECTION. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Confused sort of[edit]

Is this another name for a prep? --Marshall T. Williams (talk) 02:10, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

World view[edit]

This article does the classic bourgeois thing of claiming the bourgeoisie are of more importance than they actually are. They are not the "new ruling class" or "at the top of the social hierarchy", and especially not in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, or even in the two countries who call themselves Belgium. Even in the US, the military, a fundamentally aristocratic organization, taxes the country like a royal family, or three or four. Apparently Marx was not bright enough to understand this. So I am tempted to remove these statements from the article. DinDraithou (talk) 01:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I eagerly await the citations you intended to present to support your view point, and over come the solidity and extensively cited Marxist view of the bourgeoisie to the point that you can remove the marxist claims from this article.Fifelfoo (talk) 01:35, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
DinDraithou, I take it that you haven't visited any of these countries in the last few centuries? Things have changed since then. DionysosProteus (talk) 01:36, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
All I've just been told is that you two belong to the bourgeoisie, are probably American, and grew up watching television. DinDraithou (talk) 01:46, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, you're bourgeois Brits. DinDraithou (talk) 01:49, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Citations are still needed. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:20, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Apparently you don't understand that whoever grants Knighthoods and maintains a Peerage is still technically in charge. Move to China if you don't like it, and don't try to present your class as princely in a country which still has Princes. It is dishonest. I had to make the edits because the article was expressing aspiration and not reality. DinDraithou (talk) 04:02, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

According to "The rise and fall of Renaissance France, 1483-1610" by Robert Jean Knecht (available on Google books, page 268 and following), historians have generally made the case that the bourgeois were filling in the place of a declining nobility because that claim is quite fruitful in explaining why history happened as it did. However, he argues that the evidence for that assumption is insufficient.

For wikipedia, we could take that as a token summary of a "mainstream" POV and go with DionysusProteus's version, but there would be a case to be made for adding language showing how there's some academic doubt on the facts. Arxack (talk) 04:03, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

There isn't academic doubt on the facts of the transfer of power from an aristocratic class to the bourgeois class. And DinDraithou you are completely wrong in your assessment both of my class origins and current social class. The article describes historical fact. You need it explained more fully? Try reading a book. DionysosProteus (talk) 04:06, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I see... I now understand that DinDraithou thinks that aristocrats are something to be proud of? You gotta be kidding me? Try familiarising yourself with the article at parasite. DionysosProteus (talk) 04:17, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Foolish move and you've just lost all academic credibility. To Arxack, thanks and I agree with your suggestion. A change of language with a little doubt thrown in is all their otherwise well written article, which they so stoutly defend, needs. France it seems is the biggest social suicide case in Western Europe, after Ireland and Germany. They still have bitterly sniping factions in Paris. DinDraithou (talk) 04:28, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
You're claiming credibility? Spouting that nonsense? Recently arrived from the feudal era have we? DionysosProteus (talk) 04:49, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
The academic "doubt" appears to be expressed in an article whose subject is the Renaissance. This article explicitly discusses the 19th century. As such, it doesn't look like that one may be used to make the claims of academic doubt that you are suggesting. DionysosProteus (talk) 05:59, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Arxack, I'm fairly new to Wikipedia and don't know what to do or how to deal with the uninformed or uniformable. There is a class issue here and a lack of understanding. DinDraithou (talk) 06:13, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

As far as I can see, the only class issue is that you strongly believe in the importance of the aristocracy while most other wikipedians do not. It's certainly not a problem that you think that, but it's a problem if that's the central theme of all your editing.

I would say the real problem is that you take your claims to be self-evident. Dionysos Proteus isn't being all that nice, but you must sort out his real point from the random insults. If you want to argue about the sociology or history of nobility, that's also wonderful, but you should do that by becoming a historian or sociologist and publishing books and articles which other people can consider and respond to. Wikipedia is meant to reflect and report the common views from those sources, not to be such a source itself.

I find things on wikipedia which are wrong (or at least not 100% for-sure true) all the time. But why should anybody take my word for it? I have to respond with citations of facts or wikipedia guidelines to show them why I think things should be my way, and I often find that I'm wrong.

So it's hard for you to call Dionysos "uninformable" when you really haven't tried to inform him why you think you're right. Instead of arguing from scratch, use Google, JSTOR, or get out a book, to show why you are right and he's wrong. If you try that, I suspect he will respond by saying "Jee, you're right" or "Well actually, if you look at this other source, you'll see that's not quite true" rather than just making fun of you.

I'm hardly the most experienced person around, but if you want to learn more about what wikipedia does and doesn't do, I suggest you start here. You will want to pay THOROUGH attention to the section on truth and verifiability.

Good luck in future editing, and I truly hope you aren't scared off by all this. Arxack (talk) 06:38, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Well it's a bit much and cyber-parental, which always makes the writer feel in the know. I asked you to deal with the problem but instead you've remade a cyber-foe and said nothing relevant. Well done. DinDraithou (talk) 06:47, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I can't imagine how "I'm hardly the most experienced person around" makes me sound 'in the know.' What were you asking me to do? Agree with you when you still haven't provided any reason? There's no reason to be cyber-foes, and I apologize if you think I insulted you. Arxack (talk) 06:50, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Class minded, you appealed to the majority of wikipedians: irrelevant nobodies. They aren't concerned with this article. Now I can't trust you to be objective. Sorry. DinDraithou (talk) 06:59, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Anyway what we have here is an emotional argument (miscommunications) and not an issue. All we're doing is trashing the Talk page and we should stop and refocus on the language problem. DinDraithou (talk) 07:22, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Military-industrial complex[edit]

Military-industrial complex. Discuss. Should it be included? See also? This is what I was describing in the United States. It involves industry but isn't a bourgeoisie-related phenomenon. DinDraithou (talk) 21:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

No, to quote you just there "It involves industry but isn't a bourgeoisie-related phenomenon". Fifelfoo (talk) 04:43, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Globalise (2009)[edit]

Can the editor responsible for tagging this article for globalisation come forward and outline the issues? Fifelfoo (talk) 00:46, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Sure. See Since the term originates in France, I think the article should include French perspectives, and some translation from the French article. Notice how they cover La bourgeoisie dans le reste du monde. DinDraithou (talk) 02:22, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
The history of the bourgeoisie in the United States differs from that of the European bourgeoisie in several ways: its recency, associated with the history of the country itself; the relative absence of gravity in the sociological history of the United States, by its nature as a "pioneer society"; democracy and economic rules of the country, which from the first time, promote mobility socialen 1; the importance, from the earliest times also, paid employment, highlighted by Alexis de Tocqueville. [ > google translate]
Is a long way from the tripe on the page.Fifelfoo (talk) 20:40, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

In American film[edit]

I'll concede that there are inclusion but not factual problems with the following line: "Recent examples of bourgeois stereotypes in American entertainment are The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Game, in which the wealthy characters are still fundamentally middle class, although this is not a view present in the films". DinDraithou (talk) 17:41, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Stereotypes in the United States[edit]

Dear DinDraithou, Thank you kindly for your civilised engagement. I think, the problem with these films that your point out are actually a useful illustration of a wider problem that I see in the section on " stereotypes in the US". While I agree that there is a point for making a link to issues of middle classes (including perception) to Bourgeoisie, I found it difficult to see a sound case being made in this section. Instead we find new terms being introduced, without any definition (eg "haute bourgeoisie", "bourgeois social networks") mixed with a stream of rather generic statements: "Classic bourgeois occupations include..." or "Physicians and psychiatrists, however, are considered bourgeois". At the moment, judging from the existing "material", we supposedly are merely in a position to develop two paragraphs (the most!) stating that bourgeois is nowadays often associated with middle-class and its values in the US. Everything else sounds high speculative and unsubstantiated if not something else in Anglo-Saxon. Yours Mootros (talk) 09:12, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, but you made the choice to fully merge the lighter-hearted Bourgeois personality where the text was more appropriate. Perhaps that article should be restored. DinDraithou (talk) 19:51, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, lets expand some of lighter-hearted aspects, especially in the popular culture section. Best, of course, with some citation. Mootros (talk) 14:31, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Well my fears have been realized. I think we might need to recreate the lighter-hearted article and leave the club here doing what they're used to. Significant expansion in the spare and rather Marxism weighted environment of this article may not be possible. The fact that Marxism is so so serious and idealogical means its presence and theft of the term may not allow for much of anything light-hearted, making it look "improper". Ideally there would be a separate article for the Bourgeoisie in Marxism and then we could expand this article to our hearts content, but I don't think it will happen. DinDraithou (talk) 15:05, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
For one, the US middle classes have no connection with the historical French "bourgeoisie", or any other burger-ist cultural mentality; they're products of capitalism's hunger for professionality. Also, learn how to selectively undo. Fifelfoo (talk) 20:28, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
The section was, on edit, OR shit refuse from someone with a wank fest inordinate love for the military. Deletion was correct the first time around. The verifiable content is miniscule. Fifelfoo (talk) 20:36, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
struck and rephrased some commentary Fifelfoo (talk) 00:49, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Dear user:Fifelfoo, please use language that is more appropriate for this discussion forum. Thank you kindly for your consideration. Yours, Mootros (talk) 19:31, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


watsup bros —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)


probably should merge if you ask me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

make distinction between haute bourgeoise & petit bourgeoise[edit]

In Marx's thinking there were 2 distinct economic divisions between the two sorts of bourgeoisie:

haute bourgeoise: – capitalists who possess sufficient economic power over the means of production to render a surplus which can be reinvested to expand their wealth.

petit bourgeoise: – skilled tradespeople who do not possess sufficient economic power to render enough of a surplus to increase their holdings, but own enough property to avoid being themselves exploited, exploiting others to tread water & sustain an elevated standard of living above their employees. They were considered by Marx to be notable for their haute bourgeoisie pretensions: property, art, exotica etc. wishing to socially consider themselves to be of a different class to the workers, aspiring to the status of haute bourgeoisie. (and hence a particularly reprehensible proponent of the class system, often displaying culpable vulgarity in their base desire for refinement as the trappings of wealth).


Neither of these are in the traditional sense aristocracy, since the preceding medieval concept of aristocracy relies on the concept of divine right, military power, direct taxation/tithing of fiefs etc.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Bishopdante (talkcontribs) 03:41, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

In a totally secular & capitalistic society, the upper class are the haute bourgeoisie, and the middle class are the petit bourgeoisie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bishopdante (talkcontribs) 03:39, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Merge from History of the bourgeoisie[edit]

  • Merge The subject is misscoped and also erroneously stated as having arisen in the 17th and 18th century in the merge from, dunno about here, apparently confounding capitalism with the bourgeoisie whose origins would more properly be in the 13 or 14th century. Other than that didn't look into it, but seems like it should be merged here and also maybe some mention of Fukyama, the socialist state experiments, their devolution, etc. (talk) 16:46, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
done. (talk) 23:17, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The End of History[edit]

I retitled the tagged § ("Political triumph and social decline in the 20th century") to its current title, so it can be properly reworked. First, the bourgeois can be identified by elimination: by the classes and political tendencies opposed to or separate from it, the underclasses and those seeking to overthrow capitalism (some of whom may be more or less bourgeois themselves and the rule of the bourgeoisie has the greater antagonism of the petty bourgeoisie to the haute bourgeoisie as its main battle¹, the conflict between the whole bourgeois class and the rest of society is itself a non-starter), the latter identified as its rule. So the content of the section would recount the role of the class in 20th century, how it sees itself as the end of historical development and the impasse it finds itself in in the early 21st century. Also that this class formation existed before capitalism and seems to reform itself even in presumptive worker states would seem to indicate that it could also survive the elimination of capitalism generally. Something about its (or some ideal of it) absorption of all the other classes as said end could also be said. Lycurgus (talk) 13:00, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

¹For "proles" read the global masses, "party": the global bourgeoisie, inner party: the professional classes, BB: the billionaires.


This sentence does not make sense: Something or someone is described in the as bourgeois it generally lacks authenticity, is superficial, and/or is counterrevolutionary.

Nantucketnoon (talk) 06:34, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Communism Means a Classless Society[edit]

I have deleted this sentence from paragraph one:

"However, the social class that owns the means of production in a communist society is not bourgeoisie."

In a communist society there are no social classes; by definition, no social class owns the means of production. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pakaal (talkcontribs) 22:26, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

'In a communist society there are no social classes; by definition, no social class owns the means of production' Pakaal, we've had Communist countries. When the Communist political elite can order the products of production for their privite use; free dachas, free food, free travel, free limousines, free holidays etc, then the difference between 'own' and 'control' becomes mute. Lenin tried factory democracy, found it damaged production and banned it. Moreover, if Leninist Russia was not 'Communist', then Communist society never existed and these ruminations should be placed back where they came from: back in the world of pipe dreams a work-shy Marx created for himself at the British Library. If we voice them in the article, we should continue to remind readers that we are describing Marxist theory, not fact. Cacadores (talk) 23:19, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Artists or artisans?[edit]

In the etymology section the bourgeoisie are described as "artists and the craftsmen," while in the history section they are described as "tradesmen, artists, merchants, et alii." I'm not sure if "artist" was exactly a separate profession in those days. Some of the greatest renaissance-era painters such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci started out as apprentice goldsmiths at age seven, because goldsmith was one of the types of craftsmen that did painting. I suspect that what was meant was artisan, which means craftsman. The main difference is that craftsman carries the connotation of master craftsman, while artisan implies the more ordinary sort of craftsman. Similarly, tradesman were considered members of the artisan class. I think what we should be getting as is something like "merchants and craftsman," as both of those terms combined are broad enough to encompass business (merchants) and industry (craftsmen). In other words, we don't need to go into that much detail, especially if we're not getting the details right. Also, et alii seems excessively formal for the Wikipedia, or is it just me? Zyxwv99 (talk) 02:07, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Dear Zyxwv99:
The point is that, despite their specific occupations and trades, they were BUSINESSMEN, thus the necessary et alii is comprehensive, precisely to include the pertinent fine distinctions that you have cogently noted; from our 21st-century perspective, businessmen are businessmen, thus the detailed exposition.
Thanks for the observation. (talk) 03:07, 26 May 2012 (UTC)


You guys have really bought into this stuff, haven't you? Toe the line, and the next thing you know, you are shocked, suffering in a Koryma prison and wondering what the fuck happened.

as an insult[edit]

I was called bourgois yesterday, clearly as an insult - but having read the article I'm no wiser as to my crime - and philospophy still bores me. Could someone do a short section on what is being wrong with a member of the capital owning classes? as I think that;s what they meant? It does seem to be a word used by 'social liberals', the leftwing and BBC journalistsAlice-edmund (talk) 09:21, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it's very much an insult. The article on Ayn Rand actually says she was born into a "Jewish bourgeois family", and that's been in the article for some time. I'm amazed that a phrase with such heavy overtones of derogative has managed to stay in an article that's being violently fought over all the time by Rand's supporters and detractors - you'd think those two words with their suggestions of, like, "tight-fisted, narrow-minded Jews" would have got kicked out before the digital ink had dried under them. ;) (talk) 02:27, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Alice-edmund: Two possible answers: 1) Marxists and the like think that a "capital owning class" is a bad thing, which oppresses the workers. See the section on the "The Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie" for a bit on what Marxists think of them. 2) Separate from Marxism, the term has developed implications or stereotypes of being pretentious, materialistic, out-of-touch with ordinary people, overly concerned with things that [the person insulting you thinks] are unimportant, etc. See the section on "Bourgeois culture". Without knowing the context, I can't say which of these two the person was accusing you of. I expect Rand and her followers wouldn't think there was anything wrong with being "bourgeois" Iapetus (talk) 12:30, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

This article needs to be split[edit]

It looks like the Marxists have written up a well-detailed article of their conception of the Bourgeoisie. However the name is this article is "Bourgeoisie" not "Marxist conception of the Bourgeoisie". People come to this article looking for information about actual members of the urban middle-class, rather than boogeymen. I don't see any mentions of the Hanseatic League or German town law, and very little discussion of guilds. Basically this article is misnamed and this has prevented the creation of an article that fits the name.

The Marxist stuff should be split to another article. This article should have no more than 5%, perhaps 10% Marxist stuff, with links to the Marxist article.

The concept of the bourgeoisie was DEVELOPED by Marxism. It has all the right to stay where it is. SpaceMilk (talk) 20:17, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

What was that quotation from?[edit]

Something to the effect of "Working class grandparents, bourgeoisie children, degenerate grandchildren". Someone HAS to have heard of this. Its right on the tip of my tongue. --RThompson82 (talk) 08:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Moliére's picture[edit]

Is using the picture from a satirical comedy on the Bourgeois really a NPOV stance to take? Sure someone must have a better image to use than that, which actually reflects the Bourgeois rather than being a snipe at it?

And no, I don't know how to do that myself - I'm not techy enough. LeapUK (talk) 19:31, 10 June 2016 (UTC)