This examination of the life and thought of Louis de Bonald (1754-1840), one of the foremost theorists of the French Counterrevolution, challenges the commonly held view that he was a defender of a traditional social order and of a pre-scientific way of thinking. This study shows that Bonald argued on behalf of the idea of the unlimited power of the state over groups and individuals, prefiguring fascism. It demonstrates that his organistic view of society, which he developed in opposition to the Cartesian idea of the subject, placed Bonald within the French social science tradition extending from Saint-Simon to Foucault.
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The Author: David Klinck is an associate professor of History at the University of Windsor. He received his Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Funding by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada for research in France on Louis de Bonald has resulted in the appearance of numerous articles in professional journals.
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