Insurrection, Utopianism, and Socialism

Jeremy Jennings

in Revolution and the Republic

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780198203131
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728587 | DOI:
Insurrection, Utopianism, and Socialism

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The subject matter of this chapter is socialist thought in France from the Revolution of 1789 to the collapse of Soviet totalitarianism. Beginning with a discussion of the Comtean concerns with the condition of the workers, it next looks at the insurrectionary tradition associated with Jacobinism and Babeuf. It continues this discussion with an examination of the utopianism of Cabet, the state socialism of Louis Blanc, and the introduction of Marxism in France. The chapter then analyses the writings of socialists who tended to be hostile to reliance upon the State as a mechanism of working-class emancipation. This discussion looks at the work of Fourier and those of his disciples such as Considérant, Proudhon, and the later anarcho-syndicalist movement associated with the ideas of Georges Sorel. It concludes by assessing the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution and the ‘Soviet myth’ upon socialism in France

Keywords: utopianism; socialism; Jacobinism; Babeuf; Cabet; Fourier; Proudhon; anarcho-syndicalism; Bolshevik Revolution; Soviet myth

Chapter.  28126 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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