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Georges Sorel

Post by GF on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:23 pm

What is your opinion on him?
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by AlbertCurtis on Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:00 pm

Actually I had not known he existed until now; thanks for that. Very Happy

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by GF on Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:19 pm

AlbertCurtis wrote:Actually I had not known he existed until now; thanks for that. Very Happy

Ha, you're welcome. Smile
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:07 am

http://www.oswaldmosley.com/georges-sorel.htm

Georges Sorel


Georges Sorel was born in Normandy in 1847 and, after receiving a private education there, attended the Ecole Polytechnique, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. He entered the civil service as an engineer and retired after the requisite twenty-five years, then promptly took up writing, and through innumerable books, established his place as a major social critic. The most famous and most extreme advocate of syndicalism, Georges Sorel's passion for revolutionary activity in place of rational discourse made him most influential in shaping the direction of fascism, especially in Mussolini's Italy.

Georges Sorel stated his theory of "social myths" most clearly in a letter to Daniel Halevy in 1907. .....Men who are participating in a great social movement always picture their coming action as a battle in which their cause is certain to triumph. These constructions, knowledge of which is so important for historians, I propose to call myths; the syndicalist "general strike" and Marx's catastrophic revolution are such myths. As remarkable examples of such myths, I have given those which were constructed by primitive Christianity, by the Reformation, by the Revolution and by the followers of Mazzini. I now wish to show that we should not attempt to analyze such groups of images in the way that we analyze a thing into its elements, but that they must be taken as a whole, as historical forces, and that we should be especially careful not to make any comparison between accomplished fact and the picture people had formed for themselves before action.

I could have given one more example which is perhaps still more striking: Catholics have never been discouraged even in the hardest trials, because they have always pictured the history of the Church as a series of battles between Satan and the hierarchy supported by Christ; every new difficulty which arises is only an episode in a war which must finally end in the victory of Catholicism.

In employing the term myth I believed that I had made a happy choice, because I thus put myself in a position to refuse any discussion whatever with the people who wish to submit the idea of a general strike to a detailed criticism, and who accumulate objections against its practical possibility. It appears, on the contrary, that I had made a most unfortunate choice, for while some told me that myths were only suitable to a primitive state of society, others imagined that I thought the modern world might be moved by illusions analogous in nature to those which Renan thought might usefully replace religion. But there has been a worse misunderstanding than this even, for it has been asserted that my theory of myths was only a kind of lawyer's plea, a falsification of the real opinions of the revolutionaries, the sophistry of an intellectual.

If this were true, I should not have been exactly fortunate, for I have always tried to escape the influence of that intellectual philosophy, which seems to me a great hindrance to the historian who allows himself to be dominated by it.

In can understand the fear that this myth of the general strike inspires in many worthy progressives, on account of its character of infinity, the world of today is very much inclined to return to the opinions of the ancients and to subordinate ethics to the smooth working of public affairs, which results in a definition of virtue as the golden mean; as long as socialism remains a doctrine expressed only in words, it is very easy to deflect it towards this doctrine of the golden mean; but this transformation is manifestly impossible when the myth of the "general strike" is introduced, as this implies an absolute revolution. You know as well as I do that all that is best in the modern mind is derived from this "torment of the infinite"; you are not one of those people who look upon the tricks by means of which readers can be deceived by words, as happy discoveries. That is why you will not condemn me for having attached great worth to a myth which gives to socialism such high moral value and such great sincerity. It is because the theory of myths tends to produce such fine results that so many seek to refute it....

As long as there are no myths accepted by the masses, one may go on talking of revolts indefinitely, without ever provoking any revolutionary movement; this is what gives such importance to the general strike and renders it so odious to socialists who are afraid of a revolution....

The revolutionary myths which exist at the present time are almost free from any such mixture; by means of them it is possible to understand the activity, the feelings and the ideas of the masses preparing themselves to enter on a decisive struggle: the myths are not descriptions of things, but expressions of a determination to act. A Utopia is...and intellectual product; it is the work of theorists who, after observing and discussing the known facts, seek to establish a model to which they can compare existing society in order to estimate the amount of good and evil it contains. It is a combination of imaginary institutions having sufficient analogies to real institutions for the jurist to be able to reason about them; it is a construction which can be taken to pieces, and certain parts of it have been shaped in such a way that they can...be fitted into approaching legislation. While contemporary myths lead men to prepare themselves for a combat which will destroy the existing state of things, the effect of Utopias has always been to direct men's minds towards reforms which can be brought about by patching up the existing system; it is not surprising, then, that so many makers of Utopias were able to develop into able statesmen when they had acquired a greater experience of political life.

A myth cannot be refuted, since it is, at bottom, identical with the conviction of a group, being the expression of these convictions in the language of movement; and it is, in consequence, unanalyzable into parts which could be placed on the plane of historical descriptions. A Utopia, on the other hand, can be discussed like any other social constitution; the spontaneous movements it presupposes can be compared with the movements actually observed in the course of history, and we can in this way evaluate its verisimilitude; it is possible to refute Utopias by showing that the economic system on which they have been made to rest is incompatible with the necessary conditions of modern production.

For a long time Socialism was scarcely anything but a Utopia; the Marxists were right in claiming for their master the honor of bringing about a change in this state of things; Socialism has now become the preparation of the masses employed in great industries for the suppression of the State and property; and it is no longer necessary, therefore, to discuss how men must organize themselves in order to enjoy future happiness; everything is reduced to the revolutionary apprenticeship of the proletariat. Unfortunately Marx was not acquainted with facts which have now become familiar to us; we know better than he did what strikes are, because we have been able to observe economic conflict of considerable extent and duration; the myth of the "general strike" has become popular, and is now firmly established in the minds of the workers; we possess ideas about violence that it would have been difficult for him to have formed; we can then complete his doctrine, instead of making commentaries on his text, as his unfortunate disciples have done for so long.

In this way Utopias tend to disappear completely from Socialism; Socialism has no longer any need to concern itself with the organization of industry since capitalism does that....

People who are living in this world of "myths," are secure from all refutation; this has led many to assert that Socialism is a kind of religion. For a long time people have been struck by the fact that religious convictions are unaffected by criticism, and from that they have concluded that everything which claims to be beyond science must be a religion. It has been observed also that Christianity tends at the present day to be less a system of dogmas than a Christian life, i.e., moral reform penetrating to the roots of one's being; consequently, new analogy has been discovered between religion and the revolutionary Socialism which aims at the apprenticeship, preparation, and even reconstruction of the individual -- a gigantic task....

...by the side of Utopias there have always been myths capable of urging on the workers to revolt. For a long time these myths were founded on the legends of the Revolution, and they preserved all their value as long as these legends remained unshaken. Today the confidence of the Socialists is greater than ever since the myth of the general strike dominates all the truly working-class movement. No failure proves anything against Socialism since the latter has become a work of preparation (for revolution); if they are checked, it merely proves that the apprenticeship has been insufficient; they must set to work again with more courage, persistence, and confidence than before; their experience of labor has taught workmen that it is by means of patient apprenticeship that a man may become a true comrade, and it is also the only way of becoming a true revolutionary. (July 15, 1907)
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Mojave on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:46 am

Very Illuminating.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:47 pm

As said in a discussion with 'Godfaesten'. Georges Sorel could be argued as the father of revolutionary syndicalism, however it is the duty of children to advance a fathers position. Therefore it is incumbent on us the Revolutionary Syndicalist Front to go beyond his ideas and advance them into a new century.
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Georges Sorel book

Post by Ernst Niekisch II on Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:59 pm

I can't post the link here as I am new member who can't post for 7 days any link, so you can find his most important book at Arktos Publishing website.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:19 pm

Ernst Niekisch II wrote:I can't post the link here as I am new member who can't post for 7 days any link, so you can find his most important book at Arktos Publishing website.

Along with many reactionary tracts.
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:04 pm

Isakenaz wrote:Along with many reactionary tracts.

I noticed that as well. It's a very odd bookstore, having titles by revolutionaries like Sorel and Gramsci alongside rubbish from the likes of Evola.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:04 am

Celtiberian wrote:I noticed that as well. It's a very odd bookstore, having titles by revolutionaries like Sorel and Gramsci alongside rubbish from the likes of Evola.

I think its a case of whose needs they are catering for, there are quite a few people out there who like to think of themselves as left-wing nationalists, but in reality are just another group of reactionary running dogs, seeing class-colaboratianism as somehow revolutionary. Bang Head
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Ernst Niekisch II on Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:41 pm

Can I ask why is Evola rubbish in your opinion ? How many of his books did you actually read if I may ask you ? Person you quote - Kai Murros, did read and study Evola .

In connection with that - left and right as they did exist and appear in 20th century do not exist anymore as such. Failed totalitarian ideologies such as Fascism, Nazism, Communism and old style state and real Socialism are long gone. Therefore reading Evola is something what would definitely help as he was as an author and writer above usual mundane politics and as well mundane New Age spirituality.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:47 am

Evola's writings have continued to have an influence both within occult intellectual circles and in European far-right politics. He is widely translated in French, Spanish and partly in German. Amongst those he has influenced are Miguel Serrano, Savitri Devi, GRECE, the Movimento sociale italiano (MSI), Falange Espanola, Gaston Armand Amaudruz's Nouvel Ordre Européen, Guillaume Faye, Pino Rauti's Ordine Nuovo, Alain de Benoist, Michael Moynihan, Giorgio Freda, the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei) and Forza Nuova. Giorgio Almirante referred to him as "our Marcuse—only better." According to one leader of the neofascist and terrorist Ordine Nuovo, "Our work since 1953 has been to transpose Evola’s teachings into direct political action." The now defunct French fascist group Troisième Voie was also inspired by Evola. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Evola

Okay from wikipedia, often an arguable source, but the list of Evola inspired groups reads like a 'who's-who of fascism which is a good reason for dismissing him as a bourgeois, fascist, religious crank.
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Ernst Niekisch II on Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:30 pm

Isakenaz wrote: Okay from wikipedia, often an arguable source, but the list of Evola inspired groups reads like a 'who's-who of fascism which is a good reason for dismissing him as a bourgeois, fascist, religious crank.

You know what destroyed socialism in my country between all else included ? Narrow minded people with blank statements and hidden personal agendas.
When you just take a look at the certain lists of Marx and Lenin inspired groups and organizations reads like a 'who's-who of totalitarianism and terrorism.
Hence it depends what certain people with certain mindset see and try to take out (and justify) of certain authors and their works.
Same is with Georges Sorel, Pareto, Carl Schmitt, Gramsci etc. List is long.
Problem for some is as well the language barrier. Certain people talk and read in only one language so their mindset and the way how they see the world works accordingly.
I won't add anything further as it is pointless to continue this as this is thread about Sorel and not Evola.
Let us open the thread on Evola so you can discuss about his works and his insignificance. I have read his works and articles in: English, German, Serbian, Italian and French languages.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:42 am

Ernst Niekisch II wrote:How many of his books did you actually read if I may ask you ?

I've read enough about Evola's philosophy to know that it would be a complete waste of valuable time to read entire books consisting of his inane metaphysical ramblings. In the interest of not going into too much detail on this topic, I'll simply say that any educated person who seriously doubts Darwinian evolution, and even goes so far as to long for a return to feudalism—as Evola did—should be looked upon with pity, not admiration.

Having read several articles and books by contemporary thinkers influenced by Evola (Sunić, de Benoist, et al.) has left me confident enough to conclusively state that there isn't anything particularly valuable to learn from "radical traditionalists" or the so-called "New Right."

Person you quote - Kai Murros, did read and study Evola .

And exactly what were the conclusions Mr. Murros reached from this alleged study of Evola's work? Surely they couldn't have been positive, for Evola's worldview was at odds with what Murros's advocates in The Revolution and How to Do It in a Modern Society. Moreover, just because I quote Murros approvingly in my signature doesn't suggest I agree with every position the man holds.

In connection with that - left and right as they did exist and appear in 20th century do not exist anymore as such. Failed totalitarian ideologies such as Fascism, Nazism, Communism and old style state and real Socialism are long gone. Therefore reading Evola is something what would definitely help as he was as an author and writer above usual mundane politics and as well mundane New Age spirituality.

There were plenty of reasons why fascism, Nazism, and state socialism failed, and we needn't delve into Evola's writings to discover what they were.

You know what destroyed socialism in my country between all else included ? Narrow minded people with blank statements and hidden personal agendas.

It would be helpful to know precisely which country it is that you come from. Nevertheless, I'm going to presume (based off the list of languages you claim to be fluent in) that you're Serbian, in which case I would contend that Western interference, ethnic tensions, and crippling authoritarianism is what ultimately "destroyed socialism" in your country. Dictatorships enable there to be men capable of pursuing "hidden person agendas" without restraint—the same could and would transpire in Evola's desired monarchical order as well.

Problem for some is as well the language barrier. Certain people talk and read in only one language so their mindset and the way how they see the world works accordingly.

I fail to see why being fluent in only one language is a handicap which somehow prevents one from being able to view the world in a variety of ways. My family immigrated to the United States from Europe and their being bilingual has done absolutely nothing to allow them to view the world any differently than I.

I won't add anything further as it is pointless to continue this as this is thread about Sorel and not Evola. Let us open the thread on Evola so you can discuss about his works and his insignificance.

Agreed. It's best to keep this thread about Sorel. If anyone should have an interest in discussing Evola's work further, they're perfectly free to start a thread on the subject.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Ernst Niekisch II on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:19 am

Please just kindly erase my membership from this Forum. Adieu.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Isakenaz on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:50 am

Ernst Niekisch II wrote:Please just kindly erase my membership from this Forum. Adieu.

Okay, bye then.
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Pantheon Rising on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Ernst Niekisch was the founder of National Bolshevism. I don't understand modern day NazBols... why bother sticking up for a philosopher who advocates a return to feudalism when you identify with a movement that overthrew a monarchy?? Question

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:50 am

Pantheon Rising wrote:Ernst Niekisch was the founder of National Bolshevism. I don't understand modern day NazBols... why bother sticking up for a philosopher who advocates a return to feudalism when you identify with a movement that overthrew a monarchy?? Question

I was perplexed to find an individual using the screen name 'Ernst Niekisch II' defending the work of Julius Evola as well. To my knowledge, despite being loosely associated with the Weimar era Conservative Revolutionary movement, Niekisch's particular strand of National Bolshevism didn't contain any elements which could be considered reminiscent of Evola's philosophy.

There are quite a few contemporary National Revolutionaries (e.g., Strasserists, National Bolsheviks, National-Anarchists, etc.) who claim to be influenced by certain aspects of Evola's metaphysics. Otto Strasser, for example, often emphasized the existence of a "natural aristocracy" in society, and perhaps modern advocates of Strasserism are fond of Evola's elitist doctrine for this reason, I really don't know. Regardless, it's absolutely absurd for a socialist to find anything even remotely illuminating in Evola's philosophy—Evola's worldview could only truly resonate with a monarchist of the most reactionary persuasion (hence why Jonathan Bowden celebrates Evola as having been "the world's most right-wing thinker.")

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by TheocWulf on Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:39 pm

Celtiberian wrote:I was perplexed to find an individual using the screen name 'Ernst Niekisch II' defending the work of Julius Evola as well. To my knowledge, despite being loosely associated with the Weimar era Conservative Revolutionary movement, Niekisch's particular strand of National Bolshevism didn't contain any elements which could be considered reminiscent of Evola's philosophy.

There are quite a few contemporary National Revolutionaries (e.g., Strasserists, National Bolsheviks, National-Anarchists, etc.) who claim to be influenced by certain aspects of Evola's metaphysics. Otto Strasser, for example, often emphasized the existence of a "natural aristocracy" in society, and perhaps modern advocates of Strasserism are fond of Evola's elitist doctrine for this reason, I really don't know. Regardless, it's absolutely absurd for a socialist to find anything even remotely illuminating in Evola's philosophy—Evola's worldview could only truly resonate with a monarchist of the most reactionary persuasion (hence why Jonathan Bowden celebrates Evola as having been "the world's most right-wing thinker.")

Well My understanding is Strasser was not defending the aristocracy in any way as he belivedt heriditary titles should be abolished and there land should be disributed among the Folk allowing everybody in the countryside to have a plot of land.Now as for those in the Citys he belived that there should be officers and NCOs of industry and in a similar way to the armed forces (at the soldier/ junior officer level) these posistions would be based on merit,hard work,skill and education (vocational and non vocational).He also belived that the leaders of the country would almost be modern day knights in the sense that they followed a code that protected those under them (the soldiers NCOs and junior officers of Industry/agrculture) and an oath to serve those who put them in that posistion (the state).

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Celtiberian on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:13 am

TheocWulf wrote:Well My understanding is Strasser was not defending the aristocracy in any way as he belivedt heriditary titles should be abolished and there land should be disributed among the Folk allowing everybody in the countryside to have a plot of land.Now as for those in the Citys he belived that there should be officers and NCOs of industry and in a similar way to the armed forces (at the soldier/ junior officer level) these posistions would be based on merit,hard work,skill and education (vocational and non vocational).He also belived that the leaders of the country would almost be modern day knights in the sense that they followed a code that protected those under them (the soldiers NCOs and junior officers of Industry/agrculture) and an oath to serve those who put them in that posistion (the state).

I realize that Otto Strasser opposed the aristocracy, but the socialist order he favored was hierarchical and heavily stratified nonetheless. His emphasis on rewarding the so-called "natural aristocracy" is why I feel certain advocates of his ideology find value in some of Evola's theories.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by TheocWulf on Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:03 am

Celtiberian wrote:I realize that Otto Strasser opposed the aristocracy, but the socialist order he favored was hierarchical and heavily stratified nonetheless. His emphasis on rewarding the so-called "natural aristocracy" is why I feel certain advocates of his ideology find value in some of Evola's theories.

Fair one some do but I doubt the man himself would have thaught much of Evola and his writeings and I know I certainly dont.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Iron Vanguard on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:35 pm

Monsieur Sorel was actually something of a national syndicalist. He supported nationalist groups, was anti-individualist, and believed in the rebirth of French national values through his particular brand of syndicalism, which is quite similar to mine. he also believed in integralism and the resurrection of the petite-bourgeoisie as an ally of his ideology.
So as a whole, i almost (note the almost) universally agree with him.

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Re: Georges Sorel

Post by Celtiberian on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:47 pm

Iron Vanguard wrote:he also believed in integralism and the resurrection of the petite-bourgeoisie as an ally of his ideology.
So as a whole, i almost (note the almost) universally agree with him.

So your brand of syndicalism features class collaborationist elements? Also, can you point out where Sorel wrote that he viewed the petite bourgeoisie as "allies" of syndicalism?

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