Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel

Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel

Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel

Radicalism and the Revolt against Reason: The Social Theories of Georges Sorel

Excerpt

'Overwhelmed by his own works, contemporary man has seldom had less control over the environment into which he is plunged. Neither his concepts, nor his instruments, nor his feelings nor anything in himself is adapted to the world that surrounds him, or is capable of assuring its control. This, no doubt, explains the success of doctrines which proclaim that the world Is absurd and picture man as a solitary, blown upon from all four corners of the earth, whose only possible greatness lies in accepting with iron courage a universe which requires nothing from him and has nothing to give. Powerful expression of impotence, virile witness of decadence, these fin de siècle doctrines have at least the merit of all doctrines of crisis, of making us look at the drama of our condition .' Emmanuel Mounier , QU'EST-CE QUE LE PERSONNALISME?

EMILE ZOLA opened the founding of the Third French Republic with the ringing and familiar cry of evolution and progress: 'Oh! courage, mon siècle! Avance, avance encore.' But at the same time other voices from the world of culture announced a distinctly harsher future. Mallarmé, Baudelaire and Rimbaud spoke of the absurdity and rank sentimentality that lay at the core of Zola's outcry. The mal de siècle presented in a psychological dimension the doom of middle class civilization, and more generally, of all claims of the . . .

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