Blanquists


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Blanquists

 

partisans of L. A. Blanqui’s views and tactics. During the Revolution of 1848 the Blanquists took the most radical position, but after Blanqui’s arrest in May 1848 their influence declined. In the last years of the Second Empire and especially after the revolution of Sept. 4, 1870, the Blanquists’ role in the revolutionary movement increased. At the time of the Paris Commune of 1871 the Blanquists were part of the “majority” of the Commune council. While arguing for the need of more resolute revolutionary measures, they nonetheless underestimated the importance of socialist economic reforms. After the suppression of the Commune, the Blanquists (É. Vaillant and others) joined the First International and played an active role during the last phase of its existence. They supported the fight of K. Marx and his partisans against anarcho-Bakuninist and reformist elements. At the same time, however, they tried to impose on the International their voluntaristic tactics and an orientation toward an immediate socialist coup d’etat, which was resolutely rejected by K. Marx and F. Engels. Engels saw in the Blanquists’ desire “to jump over several intermediate stations and compromises” an attempt to pose their own impatience as a theoretical argument (K. Marx and F. Engels, Works, 2nd ed., vol. 18, pp. 515–16). Disagreeing with the decision to transfer the General Council from London to New York (1872), the Blanquists left the International and formed the group called the Revolutionary Commune. When some Communards returned to France in 1880 after an amnesty, they set up a Blanquist organization, the Central Revolutionary Committee. While the French Blanquists accepted some propositions of Marxism, they could not at once overcome the ideological heritage of Blanquism and for a long time remained a separate group in the French Socialist movement; this group opposed the Marxist wing of the movement on a number of questions of program and tactics. At the time of Boulangism a split took place among the Blanquists: one part of them, headed by Vaillant, fought against the Boulangists and associated with the Workers’ Party of J. Guesde. Another group (E. Granger and E. Roche) formed a bloc with the Boulangists, left the Central Revolutionary Committee, and soon broke up. The Blanquists and the Guesdists together sharply condemned A. Millerand, who entered the bourgeois government (1899). In 1901 the Blanquists and the Guesdists united with the Socialist Party of France. With the formation of the unified French Socialist Party (1905), the Blanquists virtually dissolved in its reformist majority. During World War I the Blanquists adopted a chauvinist policy of national defense. With the death of Vaillant (1915), the Blanquist current ceased to exist.

REFERENCES

Da Costa, C. Les Blanquistes. Paris, 1912.
Dommanget, M. Edouard Vaillant. Paris, 1956.

V. M. DALIN

References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, the Internationalists had to work with the neo-Jacobins, the Blanquists, and republicans of various hues.
Many of The Blanquists, named after Louis Auguste Blanqui, were socialists who advocated the seizure of power by a small, secretive, and uncompromising group of revolutionaries.