Dissent breaks from tradition by learning from it, not dispensing with it. Dissent is, to that degree, traditional. Revolutionaries are always students first – Gramsci, Marx, Ho Chi Minh, Cabral – scouring old texts for new directions, resisting the neologisms and oracular leaps of the intrepid inventors of utopia among their impatient contemporaries. An example would be Lucien Goldmann’s The Hidden God (Le Dieu Caché, 1956). A Romanian student of Lukács based in France, Goldmann wrote this study – half of which is dedicated to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal – in order to forge alternatives to Althusserian structuralism. He set out to show the limits of the mechanistic rationalism of Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibnitz that were, he lamented, alive and well in the vaunted dissidence of late twentieth-century France. But only ‘vaunted’ since that earlier scientism of the seventeenth-century rationalists had in its time, according to Goldmann, ‘filled older ethical and Christian forms with an amoral and irreligious substance’, and jettisoned the ‘closely connected idea of the community and the universe […] replac[ing] them by the totally different concepts of the isolated individual and of infinite space’ (2016, 29). Goldmann’s critique was prescient, and it holds today.