Georges Sorel

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Georges Eugène Sorel was a French philosopher, political theorist, historian, and later journalist. He has inspired theories and movements grouped under the name of Sorelianism. His social and political philosophy owed much to his reading of Proudhon, Karl Marx, Giambattista Vico, Henri Bergson, and later William James. His notion of the power of myth in collective agency inspired socialists, anarchists, Marxists, and Fascists. Together with his defense of violence, the power of myth is the contribution for which he is most often remembered. Politically he moved from his early conservative positions towards Marxism, social-democracy, and eventually syndicalism. Between 1909 and 1910 he was marginally involved with Charles Maurras' Action Française, and between 1911 and 1913 he wrote for the politically transversal L'Indépendance, established together with Edouard Berth, one of Sorel's main disciples, and Georges Valois, closer to Maurrassian circles.