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New Left Review I/65, January-February 1971

New Left Review

Presentation of Blanqui

The lifetime of Auguste Blanqui (1805–81) coincides with the rise and fall of the secret society as an effective harbinger of socialism. Auguste Blanqui was the son of a low rank imperial official; his first recorded political involvement was in 1827 when he was wounded on the barricades; he subsequently spent more than 30 years of his life in various prisons. ‘Blanquism’ represented the point of merger between revolutionary Jacobinism and the rising working-class movement. Blanqui served his political apprenticeship under the Restoration and the Orleanist monarchy. His most formative political influence was that of Buonarotti, the veteran of Babeuf’s Conspiracy of Equals in 1795. Blanqui’s disciples were the closest allies of Marx in the First International after the Commune, and became instrumental in the introduction of Marxism in France.

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