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The French Counterrevolutionary Theorist Louis de Bonald (1754-1840)


David Klinck

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.