The verminous petite bourgeoisie

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Ever despised

Dalrymple, son of a communist though apparently never a communist himself, is unable to recall the doctrinal niceties of the British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), though members were, for instance, against Irish nationalism

because they regarded it as a petit bourgeois deviation. No word in their lexicon was as bad as petit bourgeois; it was far worse than…bourgeois or even aristocrat. Petit bourgeois was to bourgeois as rat is to tiger.

Schubert’s Lieder were considered

poor stuff because they were suffused with petit bourgeois pessimism.


was considered the petit bourgeois vice par excellence. Proletarians were by nature optimistic, convinced that…History was on their side…unless they fell under the malign influence of petit bourgeois deviationists and splittists.

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BICO ‘was so small that I suppose that almost any member of it was of cabinet rank. It did, however, have what every Marxist groupuscule needs, namely a “theoretical journal”, in this case a cyclostyled A4 sheet folded and stapled together with other such sheets’

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