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Bourgeois is a French word, literally meaning "townsman," but now also used as an adjective to mean "of, relating to, or characteristic of the townsman or of the social middle class." It was used widely in that capacity to describe the merchants and other people who made the French Revolution, to distinguish them from the nobles and the clergy.
 Marxist use
Originally, in Marx' thought, "bourgeois" meant "of, relating to, or characteristic of the owners of the means of production", but he already gave it an obviously pejorative use, with "bourgeois ideology" for instance.
But the word was progressively abused since around the Bolshevik Revolution, so that for dogmatic defenders of the USSR, it eventually meant the equivalent of "of, relating to, or characteristic of Satan" what with "bourgeois art", "bourgeois science" and so on, that were repressed by totalitarian rule. Furthermore, being accused of having a "petty-bourgeois mentality" could mean excommunication from communist circles — which often entailed a trip to the gulag or the gallows.
- For many years in the Soviet Union, studying genetics or sociology was verboten, these sciences having been classified as "bourgeois pseudoscience."
- In an hilarious example of the No True Scotsman, Michael Pugliese, of the Organ of Alliance Marxist-Leninist, claimed that Andrea Dworkin (a Jewish lesbian left-anarchist) exhibited a "petty-bourgeois radicalism," and had therefore taken a page right out of the Nazis' book.