Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Sorel restates and endorses Tocqueville

Previously, 1, 2:

Tocqueville had observed that, since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the administrative institutions of France having changed very little, revolutions had no longer produced any very great upheavals. Socialist financiers have not read Tocqueville but they understand instinctively that the preservation of a highly centralized, very authoritarian and very democratic State puts immense resources at their disposal and protects them from proletarian revolution. The transformations which their friends, the parliamentary socialists, may carry out will always be of a very limited scope and it will always be possible, thanks to the State, to correct any imprudence they may commit.

George Sorel, Reflections on Violence, Ed. Jeremy Jennings: Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2004) p. 155.

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