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PIERRE LEROUX (1798-1871)

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 485 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PIERRE LEROUX (1798-1871), French philosopher and economist, was born at Bercy near Paris on the 7th of April 1798, the son of an artisan. His education was interrupted by the death of his father, which compelled him to support his mother and family. Having worked first as a mason and then as a compositor, he joined P. Dubois in the foundation of Le Globe which became in 1831 the official organ of the Saint-Simonian community, of which he became a prominent member. In November of the same year, when Enfantin preached the en-franchisement of women and the functions of the couple-prase, Leroux separated himself from the sect. In 1838, with J. Regnaud, who had seceded with him, he founded the Encyclopedie nouvelle (eds. 1838-1841). Amongst the articles which he inserted in it were De l'egalite and Refutation de l'eclectisme, which afterwards appeared as separate works. In 184o he published his treatise De l'humanite (2nd ed. 1845), which contains the fullest exposition of his system, and was regarded as the philosophical manifesto of the Humanitarians. In 1841 he established the Revue independante, with the aid of George Sand, over whom he had great influence. Her Spiridion, which was dedicated to him, Sept cordes de la lyre, Consuelo, and La Comtesse de Rudolstadt, were written under the Humanitarian inspiration. In 1843 he established at Boussac (Creuse) a printing association organized according to his systematic ideas, and founded the Revue sociale. After the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 he was elected to the Constituent Assembly, and in 1849 to the Legislative Assembly, but his speeches on behalf of the extreme socialist wing were of so abstract and mystical a character that they had no effect. After the coup d'etat of 1851 he settled with his family in Jersey, where he pursued agricultural experiments and wrote his socialist poem La Greve de Samarez. On the definitive amnesty of 1869 he returned to Paris, where he died in April 1871, during the Commune. The writings of Leroux have no permanent significance in the history of thought. He was the propagandist of sentiments and aspirations rather than the expounder of a systematic theory. He has, indeed, a system, but it is a singular medley of doctrines borrowed, not only from Saint-Simonian, but from Pythagorean and Buddhistic sources. In philosophy his fundamental principle is that of what he calls the " triad "—a triplicity which he finds to pervade all things, which in God is " power, intelligence and love," in man " sensation, sentiment and knowledge." His religious doctrine is Pantheistic; and, rejecting the belief in a future life as commonly conceived, he substitutes for it a theory of metempsychosis. In social economy his views are very vague; he preserves the family, country and property, but finds in all three, as they now are, a despotism which must be eliminated. He imagines certain combinations by which this triple tyranny can be abolished, but his solution seems to require the creation of families without heads, countries without governments and property without rights of possession. In politics he advocates absolute equality—a democracy pushed to anarchy. See Raillard, Pierre Leroux et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1899) ; Thomas, Pierre Leroux: sa vie, son oeuvre, sa doctrine (Paris, 1904) ; L. Rey-baud, Etudes sur les reformateurs et socialistes modernes; article in R. H. Inglis Palgrave's Dictionary of Pol. Econ. LEROY-BEAULIEU, HENRI JEAN BAPTISTE ANATOLE (1842- ), French publicist, was born at Lisieux, on the 12th of February 1842. In 1866 he published Une troupe de comediens, and afterwards Essai sur la reslauration de nos monuments hisloriqucs devant fart et devant le budget, which deals particularly with the restoration of the cathedral of Evreux. He visited Russia in order to collect documents on the political and economic organization of the Slav nations, and on his return published in the Revue des deux mondes (1882-1889) a series of articles, which appeared shortly afterwards in book form under the title L' Empire des tsars et les Russes (4th ed., revised in 3 vols., 1897-1898). The work entitled Un empercur, un roi, un pape, une restauralion, published in 1879, was an analysis and criticism of the politics of the Second Empire. Un homme d'etat russe (1884) gave the history of the emancipation of the serfs by Alexander II. Other works are Les Catholiques liberaux, l'eglise et le liberalisme (1890), La Papaute, le socialisme et la democracie (1892), Les Juifs et l'antisemitisme; Israel chez les nations (1893), Les Armeniens et la question armenienne (1896), L'Antisemitisme (1897), Etudes russes et europeennes (1897). These writings, mainly collections of articles and lectures intended for the general public, display enlightened views and wide information. In 188= Leroy-Beaulieu was elected professor of contemporary history and eastern affairs at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, becoming director of this institution on the death of Albert Sorel in 2906, and in 1887 he became a member of the Academic des Sciences Morales et Politiques. Two of Leroy-Beaulicu's works have been translated into English one as the Empire of the Tsars and the Russians, by L. A. Regozin (New York, 1893-1896), and another as Papacy, Socialism, Democracy, by B. L. O'Donnell (1892). See W. E. H. Lecky, Historical and Political Essays (1908). LEROY-BEAULIEU, PIERRE PAUL (1843- ), French economist, brother of the preceding, was born at Saumur on the 9th of December 1843, and educated in Paris at the Lycee Bonaparte and the Ecole de Droit. He afterwards studied at Bonn and Berlin, and on his return to Paris began to write for Le Temps, Revue nationale and Revue contemporaine. In 1867 he won a prize offered by the Academy of Moral Science with an essay entitled " L'Iniluence de 1'etat moral et'intellectuel des populations ouvrieres sur le taux des salaires." In 1870 he gained three prizes for essays on " La Colonization chez les peuples modernes," " L'Administration en France et en Angleterre," and " L'Impot foncier et ses consequences economiques." In 1872 Leroy-Beaulieu became professor of finance at the newly-founded Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, and in 188o he succeeded his father-in-law, Michel Chevalier, in the chair of political economy in the College de France. Several of his works have made their mark beyond the borders of his own country. Among these may be mentioned his Recherches economiques, historiques et siatistiques sur les guerres contemporaines, a series of studies published between 1863 and 1869, in which he calculated the loss of men and capital caused by the great European conflicts. Other works by him are—La Question monnaie au dix-neuvieme siecle (1861), Le Travail des femmes au dix-neuvieme siecle (1873), Traite de la science des finances (1877), Essai sur la repartition des richesses (1882), L'Algerie et la Tunisie (1888), Precis d'economie politique (1888), and L'Etat moderne et ses fonctions (1889). He also founded in 1873 the Economiste frangais, oh the model of the English Economist. Leroy-Beaulieu may be regarded as the leading representative in France of orthodox political economy, and the most pronounced opponent of protectionist and collectivist doctrines.
End of Article: PIERRE LEROUX (1798-1871)
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