Marxism and National Identity

Socialism, Nationalism, and National Socialism during the French Fin de Siècle

By Robert Stuart

Subjects: Marxism
Series: SUNY series in National Identities
Paperback : 9780791466704, 315 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791466698, 315 pages, January 2006

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Table of contents

1. “For Us the World!”: The Guesdists against the Nation
2. “Dupes of Patriotism”: Nationalism as Bourgeois Hegemony
3. “National Economics”: Protection, Migrant Labor, and French Marxism
4. “Proletarian Patriotism”: The Guesdists and the Nationalist Temptation
5. “Savage, Brutal, and Bestial Mentalities”: The Guesdists and Racism
6. “A Class of Madmen”: Marxists Confront National Socialism
Appendix A: Ideology and Terminology
Appendix B: Bibliographical Note

Provides the first sustained analysis of the collision between Marxism and nationalism in France at the time of the Dreyfus affair.


Post-Marxists argue that nationalism is the black hole into which Marxism has collapsed at today's "end of history. " Robert Stuart analyzes the origins of this implosion, revealing a shattering collision between Marxist socialism and national identity in France at the close of the nineteenth century. During the time of the Boulanger crisis and the Dreyfus affair, nationalist mobs roamed the streets chanting "France for the French!" while socialist militants marshaled proletarians for world revolution. This is the first study to focus on those militants as they struggled to reconcile Marxism's two national agendas: the cosmopolitan conviction that "workingmen have no country," on the one hand, and the patriotic assumption that the working class alone represents national authenticity, on the other. Anti-Semitism posed a particular problem for such socialists, not least because so many workers had succumbed to racist temptation. In analyzing the resultant encounter between France's anti-Semites and the Marxist Left, Stuart addresses the vexed issue of Marxism's involvement with political anti-Semitism.

Robert Stuart is Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Australia and the author of Marxism at Work: Ideology, Class, and French Socialism during the Third Republic.