Page:Georges Sorel, Reflections On Violence (1915).djvu/88

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CHAPTER II

VIOLENCE AND THE DECADENCE OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES

  I. Parliamentarians, who have to inspire fear—Parnell's methods—Casuistry; fundamental identity of the Parliamentary Socialist groups.

 II. Degeneration of the middle class brought about by peace—Marx's conceptions of necessity—Part played by violence in the restoration of former social relationships.

III. Relation between revolution and economic prosperity—The French Revolution—The Christian conquest—Invasion of the Barbarians—Dangers which threaten the world.

I

It is very difficult to understand proletarian violence as long as we think in terms of the ideas disseminated by middle-class philosophers; according to their philosophy, violence is a relic of barbarism which is bound to disappear under the influence of the progress of enlightenment. It is therefore quite natural that Jaurès, who has been brought up on middle-class ideology, should have a profound contempt for people who favour proletarian violence; he is astonished to see educated Socialists hand in hand with the Syndicalists; he wonders by what miracle men who have proved themselves thinkers can accumulate sophistries in order to give a semblance of reason to the dreams of stupid people who are incapable

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