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NCJ Number: 63533 Find in a Library
Title: LEGACY OF GEORGES SOREL - MARXISM, VIOLENCE, FASCISM
Journal: ENCOUNTER  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1970)  Pages:47-60
Author(s): J L TALMON
Corporate Author: Encounter Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Encounter Ltd
London, WC2N 4FS, England
Type: Biography
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THIS BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY EXAMINES THE LIFE, WRITINGS, AND BELIEFS OF GEORGES SOREL, THAT THROUGH VIOLENCE CAN BE SEEN THE IDEOLOGICAL BASES FOR CURRENT TOTALITARIAN TERRORIST REGIMES OF BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT.
Abstract: BORN IN 1847 IN FRANCE, SOREL OBSERVED AND EXPERIENCED THE PERIOD OF FRENCH NATIONAL SELF-QUESTIONING DURING THE LATTER PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY. HIS EARLIEST BOOKS EXEMPLIFIED HIS PREOCCUPATION WITH THE PHENOMENA OF INTEGRATION, DISINTEGRATION, DECADENCE, AND REBIRTH, AND BY THE EARLY 1890'S, HE WAS A MARXIST. HIS INVOLVEMENT IN THE DREYFUS AFFAIR AND HIS OPPOSITION TO BERNSTEIN'S REVISIONIST DENUNCIATION OF REVOLUTION LED TO HIS CONCLUSION THAT SUSTAINED ACTION, OFTEN ACCOMPANIED BY ACTS OF VIOLENCE, WAS NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE THE PROLETARIAT'S AIMS. HE REJECTED ALL PREVIOUS FORMS OF SOCIALISM, THE LEGITIMACY OF DEMOCRATIC POLITICS OR PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS, AND 18TH CENTURY TRADITIONS OF OPTIMISM AND BELIEF IN PROGRESS, SUBSTITUTING FOR THEM HIS OWN BELIEFS IN STRUGGLE AND WAR. HE ARGUED FOR CLASS WAR CULMINATING IN A GENERAL STRIKE WHICH WOULD SIGNIFY THE TRIUMPH OF VIOLENCE AND WHICH WOULD CONTRAST WITH THE SUBTLE FORCE BY WHICH SOREL BELIEVED BOURGEOIS REGIMES MAINTAINED CONTROL. THE TYPE OF SOCIETY THAT WOULD EMERGE FROM THE GENERAL STRIKE WAS UNDEFINED, HOWEVER. IN HIS EMPHASIS ON ELITISM, SOREL COMES CLOSER TO FASCISM THAN TO MARXIST OR SOCIALIST VALUES, AND VALOIS USED SOREL'S WRITINGS AS THE BASES FOR DEVELOPING HIS OWN FACIST PHILOSOPHY, ESPECIALLY HIS ANTISEMITISM. SOREL'S WRITINGS THEREFORE DEMONSTRATE THE EVOLUTION OF SYNDICALIST SOCIALISM TOWARD PROFASCISM AND JUSTIFICATION OF VIOLENCE. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Marxism; Political influences; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Theory; Violence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63533

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