Pierre Leroux

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leroux, Pierre


Born Apr. 17, 1797, in Bercy, near Paris; died Apr. 11, 1871, in Paris. French philosopher and utopian socialist. One of the founders of Christian socialism.

Leroux was born into a petit bourgeois family. He became a typographical worker. In 1824 he founded the journal Le Globe, which in 1830 became the organ of the followers of Saint-Simon. During the Revolution of 1848–49, Leroux was a member of the constituent and, subsequently, the legislative assembly.

Leroux considered himself a successor to Saint-Simon. He believed that Saint-Simon’s achievement, and his own principal task, was the creation of a science of the “order and organization” of society. According to Leroux, the final goal of human development is equality. Modern society is sharply divided into the third estate and the proletariat, which, according to Leroux, includes the poor and peasant laborers and is striving for unification. Moral transformation is the fundamental condition for social transformation. In the future society, the tyranny of the family, state, and property will be replaced by the complete emancipation of women, self-administration of communes, and eradication of poverty. In the early 1830’s, Leroux introduced the term “socialism.” Leroux’s ideas influenced Lamennais and Hugo and were popular in Russia in the 1840’s.


Réfutation de l’éclecticisme. Paris, 1841.
De l’Humanit é, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Paris, 1845.
Discours sur la situation actuelle de la société et de l’esprit humain, vols. 1–2. Boussac, 1847.
Du Christianisme et de son origine démocratique. Boussac, 1848.
De la Ploutocratie. Boussac, 1848.
De l’Égalité. Boussac, 1848.
Job. Paris, 1866.
Malthus et les économistes, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1897.


Volgin, V. P. “P. Leru: odin iz epigonov sen-simonizma.” In Iz istoriiobshchestvennykh dvizhenii i mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii. Moscow, 1957.
Mougin, H. P. Leroux. Paris, 1938.
Evans, D. Le Socialisme romantique: P. Leroux et ses contemporains. Paris, 1948.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The second flowed from his reading of Pierre Leroux, in whose "doctrine of communion" Brownson found crucial language for working out a philosophy, theology, and social theory rooted in "a sense of the community of humanity" (104-5, 110).