Napolean Bonaparte

Leong Yew, Research Fellow, University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore


Took Destutt de Tracy to task by inverting his original notions about ideology. Here, Napolean was quick to point out that ideology was something that stood in the way of practical action. In other words, ideology was too idealistic and its goals unattainable:

We must lay the blame for the ills that our fair France has suffered on ideology, the shadowy metaphysics.... Indeed, who was it that proclaimed the principle of insurrection to be a duty? Who adulated the people and attributed to it a sovereignty which it was incapable of exercising? Who destroyed respect for and the sanctity of laws by describing them, not as saced principles of justice, but only as the will of an assembly composed of men ignorant of civil, criminal, administrative, political and military law? [quoted in Love: xiv]

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Last Modified: 22 April, 2002