T Nation

Is the Pursuit of Muscle Inherently Bourgeois?


One member of this forum complained about how bourgeois PWI is. But isn't this life pursuit for muscle just inherently bourgeois by nature?

what do you guys think?


Well I am the poster who said this place is "the burgeoise fanclub", so I guess this is directed at me.

I would say that the search for muscle and strenght aint burgeoise, but rather human. Regardless of wich
period of the history we live in the image of a strong and muscular humanbeing stays strong, be it feudalism,
capitalism or socialism. Remember that the soviet union where big on olympic lifting and they where as anti-burgeoise you can get.

Also when socialists like me says burgeoise, we are refering to the capitalist elite, not the middleclass( petit burgeoise ) or average behavior.

ps. The anti-carb hysteria is a bit petit-burgeoise btw.


it was your post, but i did not want to single you out. I was hoping for a wider discussion . . . perhaps im just stating the obvious.

im talking about a bourgeois mentality.

the soviet union might have committed resources to glorify the state, but the soviet athletes usually had a bourgeois mentality, in that they got special privileges for doing well. those privileges often were their motivation.

in general, i think that the persuit of muscle takes a bourgeois mentality. you get gains or setbacks largely based on your commitment and self discipline. its also often done for selfish reasons like "looking good naked." Furthermore, according to my eco-nut friends, it also takes a willingness to hoard and use more than your fair share of the earths resources in terms of things like protein and other supplements.


Well then you are talking about something totally different, but if we want this discussion to get
serious, we should then define what "burgeois mentallity" is. I am actually not shure what you mean by that :slight_smile:


Yeah, but what kind of access would the non olympic athlete have to a gym?


bourgeois mentality relates to the habits of the bourgeois. its described in books like "we the living" and by authors like Émile Zola? It deals with aspects of the middle class like a desire to elevate themselves socially and economically, wanting luxury items, hoarding food, and acts of general selfishness.

i agree its sort of a vague term.


Petite burgeoise?


So, in your world view, anyone who leverages their ability, resources and intelligence through hard work for improvement is somehow supposed to cast in a negative light?

This is the most retarded connotation ever presented.

In your explanation of your world view in this thread, we would all still be living in caves, gathering bugs for lunch and hoping for a big game kill now and then.

I'll take my burgeoise and shit on your low flying existance all day long and I will win every time, based on your own philosophy.

Your shit is weak and will never be actualized on any significant scale.

Burgeoise FTW.



i didnt come up with the term petit burgeoise and for your information its a rather common term to
describe the middleclass, but offcourse its also used to describe typically middleclass behaviour.

So I dont get why you react as you do.

ps. the lowcarb thing was a joke, thing you should be able to handle that.


I know you didn't make it up but you believe in it. It's a weak philosophy that will never work because it goes against the grain of nature.

The condescension towards applying talent, intelligence and luck for improvement is just plain silly.


Where do you take from my first post in this thread that I am condecending towards intelligence, talent and improvement?

Burgeoise are reffering to a class, not abilitys.

Maybe a consensus on the meaning of the word should be established before you accuse me of hating on intelligence.. why on earth would I hate on intelligence. Thats ridiculos.

Its the same as saying that if you use the word proletariat in a condecending way, you are hating on hard work and skill, it doesnt make sense to say that.

And if you by "my philosopy" are reffering to socialism, well then I am not going to go into a pissing match about why it goes against nature. I would disagree with you after that discussion anyway, so no point taking it.


There is no such thing as a "bourgeois mentality". The term bourgeois was made up to divide people and create a class conflict from which the Communist revolution could be launched.


Actually the term existed before modern day socialist ideology existed. The burgeoise are originally a term to describe the middleclass in the feudal system. After the feudal system faided away capitalism took over, a part of that class became the new upperclass on the expence of the old aristocracy. Those who still where like original burgeoise where therefor called petit burgeoise( this could be a socialist invention, but I dont know for sure ) to differensiat beetwen the capitalist elite and the middleclass.

When it comes to if there is something called a burgeoise mentality I dont know, but today it is a part of our vocabulary, but I think that people mean different things when using that term, just look at this thread, we havent come to a consesus of what burgeoise mentality really is yet.

In my country burgeoise is often used as a synonym for the liberalist school of ideas or it is used as a synonym for the capitalist upperclass. Many norwegian rightwing politicans call themself burgeoise politicians.


It's still a made up term and it only serves to divide people.


Like made up terms like aristocracy and commoners where created in the feudal era to divide people, for as we know there where nothing in reality that divided a tenant from a baron by itself.( Sarcasm )

The term is not dividing anybody, whats divides the upper from the lower class exist regardless of that term or not. If we didnt have class antagonism we wouldnt have politics.
Even you must admitt that there are wery real things that divides some people from other people, or do you believe we live in a classless society now.


A class that is who they are because they capitalize on their own personal talents.


Probably many talented people in that class, but I would say there is also a lot of talented people in the working class. So its not whats defines either of them as a class.
It boils downs to who owns means of production outside of theire own laobur. The burgeoise is the property holding class, while the workers are property less class. You will probably find both nice people and assholes in both classes and people who works hard in both. Or will you like to contradict that and say that all workers are without talent, work ethics etc. Or do you agree with me on this?


Class antagonism is always based on a false dichotomy. There are no such boundaries dividing man except the ones in our imaginations that we impose on ourselves.


Then I guess we disagree fundamentally on this issue liftic and maybe we should stop this before it evolves into an semantic argument where we recycle our arguments over and over again. Dont see point with that.

One final question: What about those you call "our overlords" doesnt they constitute a form of upper class from your point of wiew?


Yes, this is one that does exist and can only exist by threat of violence. There are those who are politically connected and those who are not.

For example, welfare recipients (corporate welfare as well as social welfare) are politically connected and are protected at the expense of those who never receive it.


The Soviet Union was big on lifting as a sport and to support performance in other sports. But bodybuilding (growth of muscles for aesthetic reasons and/or for its own sake) was illegal.