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Radicalism & Socialism/ Marx & Marxism

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University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

HIS109 th Feb. 14 , 2011 Radicalism & Socialism Elements that helped define European civilization that separates it from other societies in terms of depth & size in organizations that we call radical Political movements that exist to this day we associate with those that began in th the 19 century What were the circumstances that gave rise to these “schisms?” Movements that dominated the 19 century came from: 1) heritage of the 18 century Enlightenment, & 2) consequences of industrialization Enlightenment: structuring of a comprehensible universe definition of Newton’s laws & physics showed that there were laws that were absolute & immutable, & those that are mutable that we can change to make lives on earth better Most radical of the 18 century thinkers was Rousseau Locke natural right of humanity to life & liberty Rousseau, Social Contract: much of the misery that resulted in society came from private property, and the desire of those that owned property to protect it from those that did not; land ownership could not be a natural, inalienable right, ownership of private property is a diversion from natural law Also says that the role of the great mass of society to exercise their right to legislate on their own behalf, went against traditional notion that those who own property who legislate ( legislate against the natural will to ensure that their monopoly on land will be protected) By definition are oppressive, should be disobeyed, & undone by force if necessary land owners against the natural law & general will of people Initial revolution of France did not address these issues (were landowning Bourgeoisie) They did not want to interfere with rights to land ownership (private property entrenched in the constitution) Call for liberty, fraternity, & equality led the peasants to revolt against what they believed to be the instruments of their oppression Concept of private property was already being assaulted during the French Revolution Radicalism: argues for the restructuring & reorganizing of society from the roots up leaving nothing of the traditional order Terror: had to have a certain amount of property to vote There were still disciples of Robespierre & radicalism during the Napoleonic era Intellectual radicals wanted complete fundamental rebuilding Francois (Gracchus) Babeuf (1760-1797) Preached a doctrine that society had to be completely egalitarian if we were to return to natural way of life Had to be a structure for this, put this forward in an interpretation of the Social Contract All men & women should enjoy exact imposed equality in all things put forward in his Manifesto of the conspiracy of equals Followers were lower class Parisians who had been ruined by experiments of the government brought these people high hopes, then the fall of the Jacobins demonstrated that property ownership were too great Manifesto a call to continuous revolution Immediate appropriation of property, leadership from the lower classes of Paris Directory wanted order & a return to stability England Ripples of revolutionary ideas slipped into every corner of European society Groups of radicals emerged that adopted a logical extension of the French revolution to their own nation As soon as people without property entered this radical arena then the authority acted, leaders were not incarcerated but rather the unskilled workers Radicalism was championed in England William Godwin (1756-1836) Connected to the Romantic Movement desire to create a new world Was a disciple of the Enlightenment God was not the answer, God got in the way; the solution was reason Embraced Enlightenment & reason Link to the utopian generations Threw out the traditions of the society in which he was bon, those which he thought restrained imagination Father of anarchism attack on any form of restriction Believed mankind perfectible & inherently good Religion used to ensure obedience Sins of other shouldn’t be punished, but rehabilitated (take away prisons) Morally good was that which promised the good of the group highest happiness is promoting the happiness of the group No need for government or religion Hated legal binding contracts, saw any contractual agreement slavery (especially that of marriage) Private property is ok, nothing wrong with having it, however its distribution must be left to the discretion of the group Any accumulation of property is unnatural Reason will drive us all to reach these conclusions, when we all become rational we will no longer need government or religion Anarchy ideal form of society application of 18 century ideas to the 19 century Utopians Industrial Revolution shifted the ground under those who owned property Utopian idealists not just a fantasy Who was to say that this rate of increase would not go on? Idea that technology would save us, & that reason would save us Current misery transitional, could cure the social problems of society that resulted from the unequal distribution of goods Robert Owen (d.1859) Cotton owner in England, had a guilt complex because he became so rich Created non-profit stores for workers in his mills Other mill owners thought he was a lunatic Founded co-operative communities in the US of equals was a disaster Henri de Saint-Simon (d.1825) During the revolution decided he would give up his titles, defined himself not of aristocratic blood, but of the aristocratic mind Called for a new structural organization of society in which those who produced the most would get the most awards Application of new forms of technology would increase productivity, keep his utopia growing & becoming richer The richer he became the more that could be distributed Disciples advocated the abolition of private property, redistribution of wealth Quasi religious common was built in the 1920s by one of his followers Significant because his followers take up a belief that controlling industry controls the distribution of wealth Charles Fourier (d. 1837) Didn’t accept the notion that technology would increase production of society Division of labour was the nature of the problem, argued that the alienation of toil in the industrial society was a curse Solve problems by producing new means of production, & reorganizing the factory system creating a concubine system (1620 people optimum amount of workers) Co
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