Dynamics of the Counter-culture

Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture Series book series (FPSC)


During the life of the Fifth Republic in France the discussion of charisma has been largely situated in a presidential context, and while its analysis has moved on from the Weberian notion of charisma as a seductive legitimation of the state’s monopoly of violence,1 it has tended to focus on the exceptional qualities of the charismatic leader rather than the given social structure that is conducive to the deployment of that charisma. When surveying the heyday of the PCF, it is possible to perceive a hierarchy of relations in which a charismatic general secretary, Thorez, exercised his influence over a party which itself deployed a charismatic influence over France. The Communist mobilisation in the Resistance tapped a collective sensibility among the French people to the charismatic profile of their nation internationally. The fight against Nazi barbarism was a fight for the kind of fundamental humanist values that the Revolution of 1789 had proclaimed universally, and by distinguishing themselves in that struggle the Communists were endowed with a charisma that was not so much a power in terms of what the party could impose, but the strength of an appeal to a sense of identity,2 or co-identity, between the PCF and France.


Communist Party Charismatic Leader Legislative Election Cent Share Popular Front 
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Copyright information

© Gino G. Raymond 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolEngland

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