Georges Sorel and the Myth of Violence: From Syndicalism to Fascism

  • Wilfried Röhrich


Wyndham Lewis believed himself to be justified in saying: ‘Georges Sorel is the key to all contemporary political thought’.1 This dictum appears extreme and yet it contains a grain of truth. After all, Sorel did provide very disparate movements of his day with stirring slogans — albeit frequently unintentionally. And it was no accident that prominent leaders of these movements referred to him time and again. What they most often resorted to was his myth of violence. Two historic movements, in particular, made use of this idea, and Sorel’s interpreters have dubbed him more than once the metaphysician of revolutionary Syndicalism and the pioneer of Fascism. Yet, possibly the most important trait of his intellectual attitude — his revolutionary conservatism — was brought out only rarely.


Trade Union Labour Movement Class Struggle Parliamentary Democracy General Strike 
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Copyright information

© Wolfgang J. Mommsen and Gerhard Hirschfeld 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilfried Röhrich

There are no affiliations available

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