Contra le 18 brumaire

To protest against nobility on the grounds of exclusion was to beat against an open door. Which is why the historian seeks in vain for some putative revolutionary class-let us call them the bourgeoisie-thwarted in upward social mobility, and bent on the destruction  of  the  privileged orders. In 1789 there would indeed be such a group but their  most significant and powerful members would  come  not from  outside  but  from  the  inside of the nobility and the clergy. And they were not the product of an “aristocratic reaction” but its exact opposite: an aristocratic modernization.