chapter  4
10 Pages

History and Histrionics: The Role of Violence

Toendowradicalpoliticalphilosophieswithspeculativecontent aloneistomissthepointofpopularresponsetoradicalappeals.They relypreciselyonthedegreetowhichradicalsolutionsseemdictated bysocialconflicts.Inseveralfundamentalways,therefore,Sorelunderstoodneitherthesourcesofhumanactionnorthedirectivevalue ofhistoricalknowledge.Theaprioricertificationofthetheoryof violenceisduetoSorel'sunwillingnesstoadmitthatviolenceis neithertheonlysourceofhistoricalmovement,nornecessarilythat formofchangesanctionedbyempiricalhistory.