Carrol Cox cbcox at
Wed Aug 23 19:04:11 PDT 2000

John Gulick wrote:

> Going out on a limb -- especially given my paltry knowledge of the topic --
> I wonder if any scholar of "politics and culture" (especially in the
> psychoanalytic Marxist tradition) has tried to explore homologies between
> the worldview of animal rights and envrionmental ultras and certain varieties
> of early Twentieth Century French anarcho-syndicalism which shaded into fascism.
> Namely, I'm thinking of Sorel.

There must exist someplace a more or less systematic account of the tendency of most moralistic radical politics to tend towards some sort of caudillismo and authoritarianism. The anarchist or the radical populist (a) operates from a position of philosophical individualism and (b) is possessed with a vision of what should be (rather than with the potential or material necessity of the present to transform itself) -- and when individuals fail to measure up and reject the vision, one (not the only but I think the most common) result is as you describe above. I don't think one needs to invoke psychology of any kind.


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