To Sorel, the integrity and intellectualism of Marxism was decomposing, and the “heroic proletariat” appeared to have been either non-existent or shown to be as “much corrupted by utilitarianism as the bourgeoisie. According to Sorel, the power of democratic-republican governments was debasing the revolutionary initiative of the worker class which forced him to search for other alternatives, including a nationalism, but one devoid of any monarchism. In order to resolve this crisis of socialism, Sorel turned toward an anti-democratic socialism that encompasses a radical nationalism, while still holding to his support of worker-owned factories, but under a heretic Marxism divested of its “materialistic and rationalistic essence.
In 1909, Sorel published an article in Enrico Leone's Il Divenire sociale, an influential journal of revolutionary syndicalism in Italy, which was later reprinted and championed by Charles Maurras in the L’Action française entitled “Antiparliamentary Socialist. Sorel was not the first to drift towards nationalism and syndicalism. During the years of 1902 to 1910 a cadre of Italian revolutionary syndicalists had embarked on a mission to combine Italian nationalism with syndicalism. They were later to become “founders of the Fascist movement,” and “held key posts” in Mussolini's regime. Generally, Italian syndicalism finally coalesced into national syndicalism during World War I and the months following the 1918 armistice.
Maurras welcomed Sorel's support in that they both were concerned over French socialism reaching the path of no return in its rush towards “democratization,” coalescing into a formidable Social Democracy movement. To Maurras, the purity of socialism had to abstain from being captured by seduction of democracy, declaring that “socialism liberated from the democratic and cosmopolitan element fits nationalism well as a well made glove fits a beautiful hand. But such thoughts were not unusual for many European socialists during this period, such as Philippe Buchez and Ferdinand Lassalle who “despised democracy and exalted the nation. Due to his aversion to democracy, Sorel and the syndicalists rejected political parties and democratic institutions as well as the “Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat, but remained dutiful to Karl Marx’s opposition to democracy and elections. Earlier, Marx had confessed that his revolutionary activities in the Revolution of 1848 was “nothing but a plan of war against democracy.”
In an attempt to save Marxism, Sorel gravitated towards the creation of a synthesis of populism and nationalism that also included “the crudest of anti-Semitism. By this time, Sorel and other syndicalists concluded that proletarian violence was ineffectual since the “proletariat was incapable of fulfilling its revolutionary role, an assessment that persuaded many to see the nation-state as the best means by which to establish a proletarian-based society, which later congealed into the fascist concept of proletarian nationalism.
Many revolutionary syndicalists followed Sorel and his Sorelian socialism towards the allure of a radical nationalism after he praised Maurras and displayed his sympathies for French integral nationalism in 1909. The appeal that Charles Maurras presented was his nationalistic approach against bourgeois democracy, the Enlightenment, and “its liberalism, its individualism, and its conception of society as an aggregate of individuals.” This trend continued and by 1911, revolutionary syndicalists had acknowledged that two important antirational political currents had come together, forging “a new nationalism and revolutionary socialism.” This coalescence finally surfaced as a major facet of Italian Fascism, where Mussolini himself confessed: “What I am, I owe to Sorel.” The Israeli historian Zeev Sternhell, considered a leading expert on fascism, asserted that this integration of syndicalism with unpatriotic nationalism was a factor in why “Italian revolutionary syndicalism became the backbone of fascist ideology.”