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Revolutionary Tigers: Revolutions were made in this era in France, The United States and Haiti—and cats did their part in each. Haitian rebel leader Toussaint Louverture ordered his troops to “fight like tigers,” while French Jacobin Maximilien Robespierre was described by friends and enemies alike as possessing “a general aspect of that of a cat....” Walter Benjamin’s conception of history as a clash of past in present in feline form, what he calls a tigersprung (tiger’s leap). The French and American were the great bourgeois revolutions, of course, and they gave rise to the class for whom Marx saves some his most cutting, and sometimes most feline words.

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