Fifteen Saint- Simonian Infl uence
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Fifteen Saint- Simonian Infl uence book
It is not easy today to appreciate the immense stir which the Saint-Simonian movement caused for a couple of years, not only in France, but throughout Europe, or to gauge the extent of the infl uence which the doctrine has exercised. But there can be little doubt that this infl uence was far greater than is commonly realised. If one were to judge that infl uence by the frequency with which the Saint-Simonians were mentioned in the literature of the time, it would seem that their celebrity was as short-lived as it was great. We must not forget, however, that in its later years the school had covered itself with ridicule by its pseudo-religious harlequinades and its various escapades and follies, and that in consequence many men who had absorbed most of its social and philosophical teaching might well have been ashamed to admit their association with the cranks of Ménilmontant and the men who went to the East in search of the femme libre. It was only natural that people should come to treat their Saint-Simonian period as a youthful folly of which they did not wish to boast. But that did not mean that the ideas they had then absorbed did not continue to operate in and through them, and a careful investigation, which has yet to be undertaken, would probably show how surprisingly wide that infl uence has extended.