The Re-Discovery of Marx and the Concept of Alienation
Marxism was slow in coming to France. The intellectual competitors of Marxism, Blanqui's Jacobinism and Proudhon's syndicalism, dominated the French worker's movements well into the twentieth century. Early importations of Marx's thought by Guèsde and Jaurès failed to evoke a wide interest in the theoretical texts of socialism. Between 1929 and 1934 a first group of intellectuals was constituted to study and propagate Marxism. The group consisted of Georges Politzer, Henri Lefebvre, Norbert Gutermann, Georges Friedmann, Pierre Morhange, and Paul Nizan. Closely allied to the Communist Party, this group concerned itself with refuting the dominant philosophical traditions of Cartesian rationalism and Bergsonian vitalism. A second group, clustered around the journal La Pensée, revue du rationalisme moderne, was led by prominent scientists who were Communist Party members: Paul Langevin, Marcel Prenant, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and Henri Wallon.1 Founded in 1939, La Pensée was openly positivist, limiting "dialectical materialism" to a method of research. Leaning heavily on the French Encyclopedist tradition, it advertised Marxism as the only philosophy compatible with scientific ra____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Existential Marxism in Postwar France:From Sartre to Althusser. Contributors: Mark Poster - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 36.
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