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Theory and Practice

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Abstract

If an equal society, based on democracy and plenty, was the goal, how was that goal to be reached? Rose argued that ‘Babeuf began as a practical revolutionary and ended as a Utopian dreamer’; and claimed that the conspiracy was: ‘the most extreme reaction of traditional classes during the revolution against the challenge of accelerating capitalism, rather than … the harbinger of a new, progressive, socialist economic order.’1 There is quite a lot of evidence to the contrary. Utopian dreamers were not seen as much of a threat, either before or after 1789, and they were not usually put to death. What gave Babeuf his specific place in the history of socialism was precisely his concern to unite theory and practice.

Keywords

Traditional Classis Unskilled Worker Wage Labour Class Struggle Skilled Artisan 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 6.
    G. Rudé, The Crowd in the French Revolution (Oxford, 1967), p. 17.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    M. Slavin, The French Revolution in Miniature (Princeton, 1984), p. 40.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    H. Burstin, ‘Les citoyens de quarante sous’, AHRF 251 (1983), p. 111.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    M. Sonenscher, Work and Wages (Cambridge, 1989), p. 102;Google Scholar
  5. W. H. Sewell, Work and Revolution in France (Cambridge, 1980), p. 40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 12.
    H. Burstin, ‘Le faubourg Saint-Marcel à l’époque révolutionnaire’, AHRF 231 (1978), p. 123.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    R. Monnier, ‘Les classes laborieuses du faubourg Saint-Antoine’, AHRF 235 (1979), pp. 119–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 34.
    K.D. Tønnesson, ‘The Babouvists — From Utopian to Practical Socialism’, Past and Present 22 (1962), pp. 65–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Ian H. Birchall 1997

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