From Pacifism to Trotskyism

A Review of ‘Clarté’. Tome I: 1919–1924, du pacifisme à l’internationalisme prolétarien and ‘Clarté’. Tome II: 1924–1928, du surréalisme au trotskisme by Alain Cuenot

In: Historical Materialism
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The French journal Clarté had its origins in a movement launched just after the end of World War I by Henri Barbusse. It was soon taken over by a group of more radical intellectuals, who were close to the French Communist Party but not under its direct control. The journal combined politics and culture. It attempted to analyse the changing world-conjuncture, and in particular the significance of the defeated revolutions in Germany and China. But it also developed a theory of culture under the influence of the Russian proletcult, Victor Serge, Georges Sorel and surrealism. In 1927, under the influence of Pierre Naville, Clarté broke with the Moscow-dominated Communist Party and became the organ of the French Left Opposition. Cuenot has given a well-researched and balanced account of its development.

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