Pierre Leroux founded the liberal journal Le Globe in the 1820s, moved briefly into the Saint-Simonian camp, and then emerged as one of the most important, independent and philosophically ambitious Romantic socialists of the period before 1848. This essay examines the conflict that erupted between Leroux and German Left Hegelians when Leroux chose to endorse the Berlin lectures of F. W. J. Schelling in 1841. Whereas German radicals like Marx believed Leroux simply did not understand Schelling, the article argues that Leroux's support of Schelling was consistent with the political project that he had pursued since his break with the Saint-Simonians. Leroux's attempt to create a third-way politics between the “socialisme absolu” of the Saint-Simonians and the “individualité absolu” of liberalism was strongly influenced by his long-standing engagement with Romantic poetics, most importantly with what he called Romanticism's “style symbolique.” The Romantic notion that the symbol is a visible representation of the invisible and fundamentally unrepresentable connected Leroux's aesthetics and his politics, for the symbolic mode suggested a way to think of social relationships without reifying them; the gap between representation and objects such as “individual”, “society”, “humanity”, and “God” seemed to open up a space for artistic and political creativity. This commitment to a politics based on the role of the symbolic created an affinity with Schelling that was not acknowledged in the polemics that followed from Leroux's defense of the Left Hegelians' arch-enemy. Recovering the terms of that affinity casts a new and different light on the intersection of aesthetics and politics in Romanticism, and it illuminates paths in the early history of socialism that later developments closed down.