Few individuals made such an impact on nineteenth-century French politics as Louis-Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881). Political organiser, leader, propagandist and prisoner, Blanqui was arguably the foremost proponent of popular power to emerge after the French Revolution. Practical engagement in all the major uprisings that spanned the course of his life - 1830, 1848, 1870-71 - was accompanied by theoretical reflections on a broad range of issues, from free will and fatalism to public education and individual development. Since his death, however, Blanqui has not been simply overlooked or neglected; his name has widely become synonymous with theoretical misconception and practical misadventure.
Auguste Blanqui and the Politics of Popular Empowerment offers a major re-evaluation of one the most controversial figures in the history of revolutionary politics. The book draws extensively on Blanqui's manuscripts and published works, as well as writings only recently translated into English for the first time. Through a detailed reconstruction and critical analysis of Blanqui's political thought, it challenges the prevailing image of an unthinking insurrectionist and rediscovers a forceful and compelling theory of collective political action and radical social change. It suggests that some of Blanqui's fundamental assumptions - from the insistence on the primacy of subjective determination to the rejection of historical necessity - are still relevant to politics today.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 272
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Karl Marx had much admiration for Auguste Blanqui, whose name he considered as synonimous with revolutionary socialism, and Walter Benjamin celebrated his unique voice of bronze.The remarkable and path-breaking essay by Philippe Le Goff explains why it is so important to reconsider this forgotten figure of the revolutionary tradition, whose contribution to socialist political theory and to an anti-positivist conception of history is still very much relevant. -- Michael Lowy, Emeritus research director, Centre National de la recherche Scientifique, France and author of Young Marx's Theory of Revolution
Is there a future for radical politics? There is no better way to address this question than by revisiting the Auguste Blanqui's thought. This exciting and scholarly study reappraises Blanqui's ideas by attending carefully to his arguments on the priority of political action and the ideals of radical democracy and equality. -- Gary Browning, Professor of Politics, Oxford Brookes University, UK