Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 4, No. 2/3


Violent Myths: The Post-Western Irrationalism of Georges Sorel

Thomas Martin

Abstract: Georges Sorel is a much-misunderstood figure in the history of political thought.  How could the same philosopher be an intellectual forbear of both twentieth-century anarchism and fascism?  Anarchists today are beginning to face up to the fact that we share some common ground with the most destructive anti-libertarian movements of our time.  But it is they, not we, who misinterpret and misuse that intellectual heritage.  Sorelís unique ideas, in particular his explorations of myth and violence, have been turned to terrible usesóbut this could have happened only within the framework of a warped and malignant Western culture.