[Marxism] Marxism as Fascism

wrobert at uci.edu wrobert at uci.edu
Mon Oct 17 12:21:51 MDT 2005

      Syndicalism also comes out of a reaction to the bureaucratic
reformism that was being advocated within the Second International
at the time.  It was the almost inevitable response to the almost
Kantian mechanistic belief in progress that was held by many of the
key figures in that structure.  I think that that linkage with the
workers' movement should also be remembered.  The Sorel book is
really odd.  It combines militant Marxism (Sorel remained a marxist,
and was an advocate of the the Bolshevik revolution), really odd
religious interpretation, and was engaged in a specific reading of
Gustav LeBon's The Crowd (the last is a bit more speculative,
although it was an important work of the period.)  There are very
interesting moments in the work, and genuinely disturbing ones.  I
think that Sorel's influence on Gramsci was a bit more long lasting
than implied here.  I think you can even see it in the prison

                                 robert wood

> I don't believe that I have read that book.  Certainly, in terms
> of the genesis of fascist ideology, the Sorelians played
> a role with their Nietzschean/Bergsonian emphasis on
> the importance of myth and of will in promoting social
> change and in their rejection of classical historical
> materialism.  There was by the early 1900s considerable
> disillusionment with the kind of historical determinism
> that was prevalent within the Second International.
> Sorellianism was one manifestation of this.  Sorel's
> own political flip-flops between the extreme left and
> the extreme right are well known.  I don't think that
> it has ever been much of a secret concerning
> Mussolini's intellectual debt to Sorel.  In fact I think
> he acknowledged his indebtedness to Sorel any
> number of times. On the other hand it should be
> noted that not everyone who was influenced by
> this current ended up as a fascist. Antonio Gramsci
> swam in this current too but he ended up as a
> founder and leading savant of the PCI.

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