Radicalism and the Revolt Against Reason is a work that continues to have a steady and large scale impact on political and social theory fifty years since its first appearance. A study of how radical thought modifies its actions and ideologies in a time of unrealized and frustrated expectations, the focus is on Georges Sorel and the Europe of the fin de siècle, a time when socialist revolution was forcefully set aside by liberal reform. In a technique that presaged contemporary period, radical demands did not simply dissolve or disappear, they profoundly changed emphasis from the impersonal forces of history to highly personal forces of individual will. This edition includes a substantial brand new introduction by the author.
Part I: Preliminary Observations on the Revolt Against Reason Part II: Men and Movements in Fin de Siècle France 1. Charles Péguy: The Unity of Revelation and Revolution 2. Fernand Pelloutier: Irrational State Against Rational Man 3. Henri Bergson: The Liberation of Will from Intelligence Part III: State, Society and Socialism 1. The Magical Force of the State 2. Socialism and the Future of State Authority 3. Democracy and the Role of Coercion in Human Affairs 4. Bureaucracy and Mass Politics Part IV: Sacred and Secular History 1. From Factual History to the Philosophy of History 2. From the Philosophy of History to History as Myth 3. Illusion and Reality in Human Progress 4. History and Histrionics: The Role of Violence Part V: The Role of Violence 1. Political Mythology and the Higher Truths 2. Science and the Inhibition of Social Activity 3. The Heroism and Virility of Sublimity Part VI: The Agonies of Pragmatic Socialism1. From Political Sociology to the Sociology of Politics 2. Sorel and the Dilemma of Authoritarian Politics 3. The Paradox of Power and the Collapse of Pragmatic Socialism