Louis Blanc's Organization of Labor (1840)
Louis Blanc was born in Madrid, Spain on October 29, 1811, while his father was holding the post of inspector-general of finance under Joseph Bonaparte. In 1813, when the regime collapsed, the Blanc family returned to France, where Blanc would attend Rodez, a very conservative institution. Rodez was Catholic and classical. The students were taught to hate all forms of revolutions. Blanc evidently bought in to these because in such a conservative school he won awards for his oratory skills and the school would only listen to one view. He did not like the overthrowing of Charles X in England because of his lessons at Rodez. After graduating from Rodez in 1830, he worked as a tutor in Arras, an industrial city in northern France. It was here that he started to communicate with members of the working class and his political views changed. By talking to the workers, Blanc gained confidence in them and their ability to absorb political ideas and control themselves. He kept these ideas with him when he moved to Paris and founded the Revue du progres in 1839. In 1840, he published in his new journal his study on L'Organisation du travail (The Organization of Labor). The principles found in this famous essay form the key to Louis Blanc's political ideas and subsequent career. His ideas were to create a more practical form of socialism that could work in France and through Europe. Three revolutionary socialist ideas found in L'Organisation du travail clearly illustrate the changes he wanted to make to French Socialist ideas. His first new idea was the eradication of competition in places of work such as factories and printing establishments, where a large number of his countrymen worked. He attributes all the evils that afflict society to the pressure of competition, whereby the weaker are driven to the wall. In the essay, he says:
"A contractor needs a laborer: three apply: 'How much do you ask for your work?" Three...
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