ABSTRACT

This chapter explores one revolutionary philosopher's account of how mankind might, at last, overcome its historical fragmentation and embrace a common programme for pursuing its collective interests. It intends to inspire the leaders of the French Revolution to represent the wider world, in their deliberations. It also hopes to convince the people's of the world, to endorse the leaders of the French Revolution as their representatives and to embrace the Revolutionary cause as that of humanity as a whole. The figure whose writings provide the focus of the discussion was known to contemporaries by the adopted name Volney. Volney developed an increasingly ambivalent relationship with the course of the French Revolution; he rejected the Terror and was disturbed by his nation's bellicose foreign conduct, but he was one of its major intellectual exports. In the years before his disappointment Volney was, amongst all the philosophers of the French Revolution, one of the strongest advocates for its global significance.