Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-Politics in Early British Socialism

Overview

Citizens and Saints is a comprehensive study of the profound rupture in the language of reform and revolution which occurred with the rise of socialism. Focusing upon British Owenite socialism, Professor Claeys argues that two schools of political thinking emerged from the 'social' critique of contemporary political radicalism. One, largely identified with Owenite perfectibilism, aimed to transcend existing forms of democracy and to establish more harmonious, less divisive forms of rule. The other, apparently ...

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Overview

Citizens and Saints is a comprehensive study of the profound rupture in the language of reform and revolution which occurred with the rise of socialism. Focusing upon British Owenite socialism, Professor Claeys argues that two schools of political thinking emerged from the 'social' critique of contemporary political radicalism. One, largely identified with Owenite perfectibilism, aimed to transcend existing forms of democracy and to establish more harmonious, less divisive forms of rule. The other, apparently more democratic, aimed to extend popular control of political institutions to economic organisations. Both were sceptical of the 'political' analyses of socioeconomic deprivation proferred by existing radicalism. Such scepticism was to prove crucial to both liberal and socialist political thought, and Professor Claeys shows that such perennial questions as the intrinsically democratic (or otherwise) nature of Marxist socialism can only be understood by reference to the political and intellectual circumstances in which early socialist ideas emerged.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521892766
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/2/2002
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The Roots of Political and Antipolitical Socialism: 1. Republicanism, puritanism and natural jurisprudence; 2. Paternalism and democracy in the politics of Robert Owen; Part II. Social Science, Policy and Economy: 3. The 'eye of the community': social science as communitarian government; 4. 'A mere trifle by comparison': social science, republicanism and political economy; Part III. The Origins of Social Radicalism: 5. Owenism and the emergence of social radicalism, 1820-35; 6. The legitimation of political socialism; 8. Social radicalism, the state and revolution; Bibliography; Index.

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