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[25] Socialism and Utopianism.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

Radicalism and Socialism - movements that dominated 19 c came from 2 causes - 1. Heritage of englightment, philosophes, Fr.. Rev (ideas put forth) - 2. Consequences of industrialization and results of industrial revolution Englightemnt: - Go back to newton - Comprehensible universe, application of scientific method - W. World saw 2 laws: (1) laws of physics that drives the universe (2) mutable, changeable law - The more we can bring human law and absolute law together - Rousseau - social contract - attacked john locke’s assertion that enjoyment of private property is a natural right of humanity --> right to lives, freedom, property is natural - Rousseu argued that much of malcontent in society came from desire of those who own proper- ty who wanted to protect it form those who don’t have - Private property = pervesion of natural law - Role of great massive humanity exercising natural right on own behalf - only traditional proper- ty-owning classes having responsibility of rulership over others = these operate against human law - Those laws decreed/enacted against human law (ownershop of property) = should be disobeyed - Ownership of property = gives too much privilege to those who own property, goes against nat- ural law, therefore it’s bad - Rep. Of people - should dispossess those who own property - Bourgeoisie - Fr.. Rev. Of 1789 - really only wanted to displace the nobility; they still wanted private property - right to own property is a right of all citizens - Liberty, equality, fraternity = poor burned documents of oppression - Radicalism - Restructuring, reorganizing society - Ropespierre during the Terror - tried to reorganize society - Convept of property won out? - Because it failed with Napoleon - there were still others who wanted to push it to its political extreme - radical revoltuion - those who believed that you had to compelety destroy the founda- tions and rebuild something completely new --> only way to solve problem - Francois (Gracchus) Babeuf (1760-1797) - Society had to be completely egalitarian for it to work -- everyone had to be equal - You need a structure -- interpretation of rousseau - began to live ideals - Changed name to Gracchus - All men and women should have absolute, imposed, equality (rousseau: we should force people to be free) - Manifesto of Equals - Many followers: those who were committed to ideals of ropespierre - Fall of revlition - powers of property was too great => engage in violence; the terror didn’t work; we need more terror - Continuous revolution - Immediate expropriation of all property, even inheritances -- dictatorship from the poor - Directory = wanted order and stability; babeuf and followers were arrested - In england, ripples of revolutionary ideas spread everywhere (not just post-rev france) - Application and extension of Fr.. Rev to own countries - Extension of englighenment ideas - In england - as soon as people w/o property engage in radical activities/follow radical leaders = authorites act (those who had property - leaders - were ok and weren’t arrested) William Godwin (1756-1836) - grew up in calvinist society - Gave calvinist sermons from place to place - One day, he was stopped by a radical atheist -- radical convinced him that God got in the way; reason is the only way - Became a preacher for reason - Produces link with utopians -- propagandists - Threw out all traditions of the community in which he was born - Seen as spiritual father of anarchy - Reading rousseau - became convinced that mankind is innately perfectable but aren’t perfect b/c society is corrupt - Argues such basic familart things as: religion, freedom of will, - Bring a sinner into your house and will get better - Highest happiness is promoting happiness of the group, even sacrificing yourself for the happi- ness of the group - Hated legal, binding contracts
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