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Encyclopedia > Georges Sorel

Georges Eugène Sorel (2 November 1847-29 August 1922) was a French philosopher and theorist of revolutionary syndicalism. November 2 is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 59 days remaining. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... August 29 is the 241st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (242nd in leap years), with 124 days remaining. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Revolutions. ... Syndicalism refers to a set of ideas, movements and tendencies which share the avowed aim of transforming capitalist society through action by the working class on the industrial front. ...

Contents


Biography

He was born in Cherbourg, son of a bankrupted wine merchant. He studied in the École Polytechnique in Perpignan. He became chief engineer with the Department of Public Works and retired in 1892. He was active on the side of Dreyfusards during the Dreyfus Affair. Cherbourg is a city of Normandy, in northwestern France, in the Manche département, of which it is a sous_préfecture. ... For other Écoles Polytechniques, see École Polytechnique de Montréal and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. ... Location within France Perpignan (Catalan Perpinyà) is a commune and the préfecture (administrative capital city) of the Pyrénées-Orientales département in southern France, and was the capital of the former province of Roussillon (French Catalonia). ... Look up engineer on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1892 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Sorel had ties of friendship to Antonio Labriola and wrote a preface to the French translation of Labriola's Essays on the Materialist Conception of History. Although Labriola attacked Sorel's work, his books were praised by other Italian thinkers such as Vilfredo Pareto and Benedetto Croce. Antonio Labriola (1843-1904) was an Italian Marxist theoretician. ... Vilfredo Pareto (born July 15, 1848 in France - died August 19, 1923 in Lausanne, Switzerland) made several important contributions to economics, sociology and moral philosophy, especially in the study of income distribution and in the analysis of individuals choices. ... Benedetto Croce (February 25, 1866 - November 20, 1952) was an Italian critic, idealist philosopher, and political figure. ...


Politics

Sorel had been politically monarchist and traditionalist before embracing orthodox Marxism in the 1890s, but throughout his career continued to support values more commonly associated with conservatism. At first he attempted to fill in what he believed were gaps in Marxist theory, but ultimately created an extremely heterodox variation of the ideology. He criticised what he saw as Marx's rationalist and utopian tendencies, believing that at its heart Marxism was a pessimistic and irrationalist philosophy closer in spirit to early Christianity than to the French Revolution. He rejected Marxist theories of historical materialism, dialectical materialism, and internationalism. He did not see Marxism as 'true' in a scientific sense, as orthodox Marxists did; rather, it was 'true' in that it promised a redemptive role for the proletariat within a terminally decadent society. Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy. ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Conservatism is any of a number of political philosophies supporting traditional values or an established social order. ... Marxs view of history, which came to be called the materialist interpretation of history (and which was developed further as the philosophy of dialectical materialism) is certainly influenced by Hegels claim that reality (and history) should be viewed dialectically, through a clash of opposing forces. ... This article is not about continental rationalism. ... See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. ... The philosophical movements of irrationalism and aestheticism were a cultural reaction against positivism that took place during the early twentieth century. ... Beliefs Though enormous diversity exists in the beliefs of those who self-identify as Christian, it is possible to venture general statements which describe the beliefs of a large majority . ... During the French Revolution (1789-1799) democracy and republicanism replaced the absolute monarchy in France, and the French sector of the Roman Catholic Church was forced to undergo radical restructuring. ... Historical materialism (or what Marx himself called the materialist conception of history - materialistische Geschichtsauffassung) is a social theory and an approach to the study of history and sociology, normally considered as the intellectual basis of Marxism. ... It has been suggested that Marxist philosophy of nature be merged into this article or section. ... Internationalism is a political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation between nations for the benefit of all. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ...


Sorel came to favour the anarcho-communism of Bakunin. Like Proudhon, he saw socialism as primarily a moral question. He was also heavily influenced by Henri Bergson who developed the importance of myth and demolished scientific materialism, by the cult of greatness and hatred of mediocrity found in Nietzsche, and by the ability to recognise the corruption of democracy found in liberal conservatives such as Tocqueville, Taine and Renan. Despite his disdain for social democracy, Sorel also held great respect for Eduard Bernstein, and agreed with many of his criticisms of orthodox Marxism. Anarcho-Communism, or Libertarian Communism, is a political ideology related to Libertarian socialism. ... Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Russian — Михаил Александрович Бакунин), (May 30, 1814–June 13, 1876) was a well-known Russian anarchist contemporaneous to Karl Marx. ... Pierre-Joseph Proudhon et ses enfants, Gustave Courbet, 1865. ... The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... Image:Bergson. ... This article primarily focuses on the general concepts of matter and existence. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. ... For otheruses, see Tocqueville (disambiguation) Alexis de Tocqueville (July 29, 1805 - April 16, 1859) was a French political thinker and historian. ... Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (April 21, 1828 - March 5, 1893) was a French critic and historian. ... Ernest Renan (February 28, 1823 – October 12, 1892) was a French philosopher and writer. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ...


Sorel's was a voluntarist Marxism: he rejected those Marxists who believed in inevitable and evolutionary change, emphasising instead the importance of will and preferring direct action. (He may even have coined the phrase, "direct action".) These approaches included general strikes, boycotts, sabotage, and constant disruption of capitalism with the goal being to achieve worker control over the means of production. Sorel's belief in the need for a deliberately-conceived "myth" to sway crowds into concerted action was put into practice by mass fascist movements in the 1920s. The epistemic status of the idea of "myth" is of some importance, and is essentially that of a working hypothesis, with one fundamental peculiarity: it is an hypothesis which we do not judge by its closeness to a "Truth", but by the practical consequences which stem from it. Thus, whether a political myth is of some importance or not must be decided, in Sorel's view, on the basis of its capacity to mobilize human beings into political action; the only possible way for men to ascend to an ethical life filled by the character of the sublime and to achieve deliverance. Sorel believed the "myth" of the general strike would serve to enforce solidarity, class consciousness and revolutionary élan amongst the working-class. The "myth" that the Fascists would appeal to, however, was that of the nation. This article or section should include material from Voluntaryism Voluntarism (lat. ... The grammar in this article needs to be checked. ... George Bush may refer to: People: George W. Bush, George Walker Bush, the 43rd and current President of the United States of America (2001–present) George H. W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States (1989–1993), and father of George W. Bush George P. Bush... A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ... A boycott is a refusal to buy, sell, or otherwise trade with an individual or business who is generally believed by the participants in the boycott to be doing something morally wrong. ... Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction. ... In common usage, the word capitalism means an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, and the investment of capital and the production, distribution and prices of commodities (goods and services) are determined mainly in a free market. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ... Solidarity in sociology refers to the feeling or condition of unity based on common goals, interests, and sympathies among a groups members. ... Class consciousness is a category of Marxist theory, referring to the self-awareness of a social class, its capacity to act in its own rational interests, or measuring the extent to which an individual is conscious of the historical tasks their class (or class allegiance) sets for them. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Fascism (in Italian, fascismo), capitalized, refers to the right-wing authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. ... One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. ...


He echoed the Jacobin tradition in French society that held that the only way for change to occur was through the application of force. Sorel praised Charles Maurras, Action Française and Lenin for attacking bourgeois democracy. At the time of his death, in Boulogne sur Seine, he had an ambivalent attitude about both Fascism and Bolshevism. Whether Sorel is better seen as a left-wing or right-wing thinker is disputed: the Italian Fascists praised him as a forefather but the dictatorial government they established ran contrary to his beliefs, while he was also an important touchstone for Italy's first Communists, who saw Sorel as a theorist of the proletariat. His ideas have contributed significantly to anarchosyndicalism. In the context of the French Revolution, a Jacobin originally meant a member of the Jacobin Club (1789-1794). ... Charles Maurras (April 20, 1868 - November 16, 1952) was a French monarchist poet, critic and leader and principal thinker of the anti-Dreyfusard Action Française movement. ... The Action Française is a French Monarchist movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras. ... Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism. ... Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition... In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics. ... Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Fascism (in Italian, fascismo), capitalized, refers to the right-wing authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. ... This article is about communism as a form of society, as an ideology advocating that form of society, and as a popular movement. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... Anarcho-syndicalist flag. ...


Works

  • Contribution à l'étude profane de la Bible (Paris, 1889)
  • Le Procès de Socrate, Examen critique des thèses socratiques (Paris: Alcan, 1889)
  • Fondements scientifiques de l'entendement (Paris, 1893)
  • La Ruine du monde antique: Conception matérialiste de l'histoire (Paris, 1898)
  • Questions de morale (Paris, 1900)
  • Introduction à l'économie moderne (Paris, 1903)
  • La crise de la pensée catholique (Paris, 1903)
  • Le Système historique de Renan (Paris, 1905-1906)
  • Les préoccupations métaphysiques des physiciens modernes (Paris, 1907)
  • La Décomposition du Marxisme (Paris, 1908); translation as The Decomposition of Marxism by Irving Louis Horowitz in his Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason; The Social Theories of Georges Sorel (Humanities Press, 1961; Southern Illinois University Press, 1968).
  • Les illusions du progrès (1908); Translated as The Illusions of Progress by John and Charlotte Stanley with a foreword by Robert A. Nisbet and an introduction by John Stanley (University of California Press, 1969, ISBN 0520022564)
  • Réflexions sur la violence (1908); translated as Reflections on Violence first authorised translation by T. E. Hulme (B. W. Huebsch, 1914; P. Smith, 1941; AMS Press, 1975, ISBN 0404561659); in an unabridged republication with an introduction by Edward A. Shils, translated by T.E. Hume and J. Roth (The Free Press, 1950; Dover Publications, 2004, ISBN 0486437078, pbk.); edited by Jeremy Jennings (Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 052155117X, hb)
  • La révolution Dreyfusienne (Paris, 1909)
  • Matériaux d'une théorie du prolétariat (Paris, 1919)
  • De l'utilité du pragmatisme (Paris, 1921)
  • Lettres à Paul Delesalle 1914-1921 (Paris, 1947)
  • D'Aristotle à Marx (L'Ancienne et la Nouvelle Metaphysique) (Paris: Marcel Rivière, 1935)
  • From Georges Sorel: Essays in Socialism and Philosophy edited with an introduction by John L. Stanley, translated by John and Charlotte Stanley (Oxford University Press, 1976, ISBN 0195017153; Transaction Books, 1987, ISBN 0887386547, pbk.).
  • From Georges Sorel: Volume 2, Hermeneutics and the Sciences edited by John L. Stanley, translated by John and Charlotte Stanley (Transaction Publishers, 1990, ISBN 0887383041).
  • Commitment and Change: Georges Sorel and the idea of revolution essay and translations by Richard Vernon (University of Toronto Press, 1978, ISBN 0802054005)
  • Social foundations of contemporary economics by translated with an introduction by John L. Stanley from Insegnamenti sociali della economia contemporanea (Transaction Books, 1984, ISBN 0878554823, cloth)

Southern Illinois University is a university in southern Illinois with two institutions and multiple campuses. ... The University of California (UC) is a public university system within the State of California. ... Thomas Ernest Hulme (September 16, 1883 - 28 September 1917) was an English writer, who during his informal tenure from 1909 as critic for The New Age, edited by A. R. Orage, exerted a notable influence on London modernism. ... Dover Publications is a book publisher founded in 1941. ... REDIRECT [1] ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the theory of interpretation and understanding of a text through empirical means. ... Sir Richard Vernon (March 7, 1925 - December 4, 1997) was a British actor. ... Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto (U of T), in Toronto, Ontario, is the largest university in Canada. ...

References

  • Georges Sorel and the sociology of virtue by Arthur L. Greil (University Press of America, 1981, ISBN 0819119881, ISBN 081911989X pbk.)
  • Georges Sorel, Prophet without Honor; A study in anti-intellectualism by Richard D. Humphrey (Harvard University Press, 1951)
  • Georges Sorel: The Character and Development of his Thought by J.R. Jennings; foreword by Theodore Zeldin (St. Martin's Press, 1985, ISBN 0312324588)
  • The Genesis of Georges Sorel : an account of his formative period, followed by a study of his influence by James H. Meisel (G. Wahr Pub. Co., 1951; Greenwood Press, 1982, ISBN 0313236585)
  • Georges Sorel by Larry Portis (Pluto Press, 1980, ISBN 0861043030, pbk.)
  • The Cult of Violence : Sorel and the Sorelians by Jack J. Roth (University of California Press, 1980, ISBN 0520037723
  • Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel by Irving Louis Horowitz. With a translation of his essay on The decomposition of Marxism (Humanities Press, 1961). A later edition contains a preface relating Sorel's theories to American thought in the 1960's (Southern Illinois University Press, 1968).
  • Three against the Third Republic : Sorel, Barrès, and Maurras by Michael Curtis (Princeton University Press, 1959; Greenwood Press, 1976, ISBN 0837190487)
  • The Birth of Fascist Ideology by Zeev Sternhell with Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, (Princeton University Press, 1994; ISBN 0691032890), esp. Chapter 1: Georges Sorel and the Antimaterialist Revision of Marxism
  • Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 edited by Philip Rees, (Simon & Schuster, 1991, ISBN 0130893013)
  • Main Currents of Marxism, vol. 2: The Golden Age by Leszek Kolakowski (Oxford University Press, 1978)

Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... Theodore Zeldin (born 1933 in former British Palestine), a former Dean of St Antonys College, Oxford, is a philosopher, historian, writer and lecturer. ... Headquartered in the legendary Flatiron Building in New York City, St. ... The University of California (UC) is a public university system within the State of California. ... Southern Illinois University is a university in southern Illinois with two institutions and multiple campuses. ... Maurice Barrès (September 22, 1862 - December 4, 1923), French novelist and politician, was born at Charmes-sur-Moselle (Vosges). ... Charles Maurras (April 20, 1868 - November 16, 1952) was a French monarchist poet, critic and leader and principal thinker of the anti-Dreyfusard Action Française movement. ... Princeton University, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. ... Zeev Sternhell is the Léon Blum Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ... Princeton University, located in Princeton, New Jersey, is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. ... Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 is a reference book edited by Philip Rees. ... Philip Rees is an writer and Librarian in charge of acquisitions at the J. B. Morrell Library, University of York. ... Jean-François Millet Le Semeur (The Sower) Simon & Schuster logo, circa 1961. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Photograph of Leszek Kolakowski. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Georges Sorel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1228 words)
Sorel's belief in the need for a deliberately-conceived "myth" to sway crowds into concerted action was put into practice by mass fascist movements in the 1920s.
Sorel believed the "myth" of the general strike would serve to enforce solidarity, class consciousness and revolutionary élan amongst the working-class.
Whether Sorel is better seen as a left-wing or right-wing thinker is disputed: the Italian Fascists praised him as a forefather but the dictatorial government they established ran contrary to his beliefs, while he was also an important touchstone for Italy's first Communists, who saw Sorel as a theorist of the proletariat.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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