Marxism at Work: Ideology, Class and French Socialism during the Third Republic

Marxism at Work: Ideology, Class and French Socialism during the Third Republic

by Robert Stuart
     
 

Despite a century of debate and criticism, Marxism as a mass ideological practice has remained an elusive topic. This book examines Marxist socialism as a mode of understanding and self-understanding treasured and transmitted by thousands of anonymous militants. It focuses upon the Parti Ouvrier Francais, the 'Guesdists', an archetypical movement of Marxism's 'Golden… See more details below

Overview

Despite a century of debate and criticism, Marxism as a mass ideological practice has remained an elusive topic. This book examines Marxist socialism as a mode of understanding and self-understanding treasured and transmitted by thousands of anonymous militants. It focuses upon the Parti Ouvrier Francais, the 'Guesdists', an archetypical movement of Marxism's 'Golden Age' before the First World War, the period when Marxist socialism evolved from sect to mass movement. Thousands of French socialists adopted Marxism due to the effectiveness of vulgar Guesdist polemic rather than to Marx's profound theoretical works, and entire communities were converted to an austere but messianic socialism which still affects French politics today. This book traces the doctrine's birth through conflict with liberals, proto-fascists, and anarchists; its 'making' of a working class; its attempted seduction of the middle class; and its confusion before alternative social visions - issues which today still condition the interpretive triumphs and political tragedies of Marxist ideology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521415262
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2004
Pages:
536
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Pt. IIn search of French Marxism
1Ideology, history, and the study of Marxism3
2The Parti Ouvrier Francais: its history and historiography20
3The axioms of class war: class, class consciousness, and class conflict55
Pt. IIThe making of the French working class
4The capitalist mode of production and proletarianisation97
5Unmaking the working class: lumpenproletarians and labour aristocrats127
6A 'class for itself'; trade unions, cooperatives, and the 'labour movement'180
7The bourgeois state versus the proletarian party223
8Reform and revolution252
Pt. IIIHistory and class conflict
9Vampire-Capital: Marxists indict the bourgeoisie295
10Shopkeepers and artisans: the Guesdists and the petite bourgeoisie350
11Aristocrats, peasants and labourers: Marxism and rural society388
12Sales clerks and savants: Marxists encounter the 'new middle class'424
13The proletarian revolution: from pauperisation to Utopia459
Conclusion492
Bibliographical note503
Index509

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