The Revolutionary Theories of Louis Auguste Blanqui

The Revolutionary Theories of Louis Auguste Blanqui

The Revolutionary Theories of Louis Auguste Blanqui

The Revolutionary Theories of Louis Auguste Blanqui

Excerpt

IN THE POPULAR mind, politics and philosophy are antithetical. Presumably, the political world is one of vigorous and purposeful action in which avowed altruism is usually perverted by personal and class ambitions. The philosopher, on the other hand, pursues his disinterested quest for truth in a world of quiet contemplation, disassociated from the everyday sufferings and needs of men.

Yet upon reflection it should be easy to grasp the historical importance of the relationship between so-called "abstract" ideas and political action. Not only are all political creeds based either consciously or implicitly on assumptions of knowledge, being, and human nature, but philosophers consciously fashion ideological ammunition for the conflicts of class and party. The devastating volleys of Voltaire are answered by the batteries of Burke and De Maistre.

In the nineteenth century, political leaders themselves were forced again and again to erect and defend a philosophic system in order to establish the validity of their political programs. In modern radical politics, and especially in the struggles about, against, and around Marxism, a continuous and bitter polemic over the most abstract philosophic concepts has gone hand in hand with conflicts in the political sphere. Driven by similar motives and influences Blanqui made an effort to erect a philosophic foundation and buttress for his political values, which he . . .

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