[Tönnies boek werd voor het eerst gepubliceerd in 1887 en werd na een aantal decennia een klassiek werk op het terrein van de sociale en politieke filosofie. Het boek vergelijkt alle mogelijke facetten van twee maatschappijvormen, een die bestaat uit kleinschalige, organische, informele, op familie en buurt gebaseerde gemeenschappen en een die gevormd wordt door een grootschalige, kunstmatig geconstrueerde, op concurrentie en markteconomie gebaseerde samenleving. Dat idee is voor allerlei mensen ook vandaag de dag inspirerend, maar die mensen zullen weinig hebben aan dit boek en kunnen beter Schumacher en zo gaan lezen. Tönnies boek is namelijk echt ontzettend gedateerd. Waar het gaat om de 'Gemeinschaft'/ 'community' schrijft hij vanuit waarden en normen over gezin, man en vrouw, ouders en kind, en zo verder die totaal conservatief zijn. Zie hieronder. Waar het gaat om de 'Gesellschaft' / 'civil society' geeft hij kritiekloos allerlei opvattingen van Hobbes tot Marx weer zonder een echte analyse te maken. Het enige dat steeds duidelijk wordt is dat hij een groot heimwee had naar een kleinschalige wereld.]
[Ik heb de Engelse versie van het boek gelezen. De Duitse bestaat wel digitaal, maar werd niet ge-OCR-ed, zodat je geen citaten kunt kopiëren. Bovendien heeft de Engelse vertaling korte metten gemaakt met de vreselijk lange Duitse zinnen van Tönnies, en dat is wel prettig.]
Waarom Tönnies als socioloog toch op zijn plaats is in deze serie over politiek denken.
"... in relating political behaviour to psychology, social structure, economic processes, natural history, law, religion and language, Tönnies was recognisably engaging in an exercise pursued over many earlier generations by philosophers who had written conjointly about both society and politics, from Plato and Aristotle through to Hegel and J. S. Mill. Like them he sought to explain political structures, not as idiosyncratic historical accidents, but as phenomena and fields of meaning visibly or invisibly linked to all aspects of human life. And like them he was concerned not just with analysing specific institutions but with devising a general logic and methodology for the social and moral sciences."(ix-x)
[Hoe kun je anders naar politiek kijken dan in samenhang met alle aspecten van het alledaagse leven van mensen? Dat is immers het enige dat echt van belang is.]
"Without denying Tönnies his reputation as one of the three ‘founding fathers’ (along with Durkheim and Weber) of European sociology, there is therefore every reason to include his work in a library of volumes on the history of political thought."(x)
"His intimate friend over many years was a fellow Schleswigian, Friedrich Paulsen, who was to become a professor at Berlin; but Paulsen’s influence carried Tönnies, initially at least, not in the direction of the culture of his homeland, but towards the social-democratic politics of Ferdinand Lassalle, the seventeenth-century scientific revolution, and the epistemological theories of Hume and Kant. Between 1878 and 1914 Tönnies paid many visits to England and in 1905 spent several months in the United States of America; and although he was horrified by the conjunction of plutocracy, poverty and political hypocrisy that he found in those countries, he was nevertheless to become a warm admirer of their constitutional liberties. Much of his professional life was to be spent in Kiel, at the centre of one of Germany’s most heavily urbanised industrial heartlands."(xii)
Tönnies bestudeerde Thomas Hobbes uitvoerig, maar maakte er geen Habilitationsschrift van.
"Tönnies was already studying Adam Smith, Ricardo and Marx (as exemplars of a particular strand of enlightenment thought) during his fruitful trip to England in 1878. The following winter a growing interest in Hobbes’s political ideas led him into ‘rationalistic natural law’ and the writings of Pufendorf, Rousseau and Kant – which in turn led him on to modern Roman law, to the ‘historical’ reaction of Savigny, Gierke and Maine, and to the rising tide of contemporary writing (American and antipodean as well as European) on anthropology, ethnology and sociology. From the late 1870s he was also working on Spinoza, from whom he derived many of the ideas about will, nature and sense experience that were to become central to his own understanding of human behaviour. In the sphere of politics, he was irritated by the continual debates on ‘individualism versus collectivism’ that dominated much popular discussion of the 1880s and revolved around an antithesis of a merely ideological kind which he regarded as trite and misleading. Out of this powerful cocktail came the ‘sketch’ of Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft – counterposing two fundamentally contrasting models of human social organisation – which Tönnies presented to the philosophy department at Kiel as part of his Habilitation process in 1881."(xiii-xiv)
In 1887 publiceerde hij de eerste editie van Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, maar er volgden er nog zeven tijdens zijn leven, de laatste nog vlak voor zijn dood in 1935.
"Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft was and remained a work of precocious immaturity. Immensely ambitious in scope, inspired by a comprehensive vision of a common human destiny, and steeped in erudition from many disciplines, it was nevertheless frequently tortuous and obscure in the exposition and knitting together of its central arguments."(xv)
[Na het boek gelezen te hebben, kan ik zeggen dat ik dat met Harris eens ben.]
Hierna vat Harris het boek samen.
"Few theorists of society have been more omnivorous in their reading than Tönnies, and none more ambitious in their attempts to synthesise many different disciplines. The text and successive introductions to Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft listed the contemporary theorists to whom he felt particularly indebted. Pride of place was given in the first edition to Sir Henry Maine, Otto Gierke and Karl Marx, while warm mention was made of August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Albert Schaeffle and Adolph Wagner. Other nineteenth-century authors cited included the anthropologists Bachhofen and Morgan, the legal theorists Savigny and Ihering, the economic historians Rodbertus and Roscher, and the English psycho-physiologists, Romanes and G. H. Lewes. For guidance on scientific method Tönnies looked back to earlier theorists, particularly Hobbes, Spinoza and Hume; and on ethical issues he referred frequently to classical writers, among them Aristotle, Plato, Cicero and Seneca. There were traces of many other influences not mentioned by name, among them Nietzsche, Clerk Maxwell’s Matter and Motion, and the Lamarckian school of evolutionary biology. An important influence not specifically cited in Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft but acknowledged by Tönnies elsewhere was the political scientist, Lorenz von Stein, whom he saw as an important transmitter of Hobbesian thought, and as one of the first to identify ‘Society’ as a major new socio-cultural phenomenon of the early nineteenth century. An important background source was Theodor Mommsen’s 1870 edition of Justinian’s Digest, which used the Latin terms ‘communio’ (Gemeinschaft) and ‘societas’ (Gesellschaft) to distinguish collective from individual property ownership under Roman law in a way that exactly corresponded with Tönnies’s own usage. And the fact that Tönnies was so closely acquainted with many Roman law sources and texts suggests that a hidden backcloth to his work was the impassioned debate on the proposed codification of German law that was taking place in academic and political circles throughout the 1880s. Another key authority was the Scottish enlightenment theorist Adam Ferguson, whose dualistic vision of ‘civil society’ – as both the prerequisite of peace and prosperity and the harbinger of psychic atomism, corruption and moral decline – closely prefigured Tönnies’s own characterisation of large-scale Gesellschaft."(xxi-xxii)
"One of these [verschillen met Marx, ondanks dankbaar gebruik van veel van zijn werk - GdG] was Tönnies’s deep scepticism about how far the ‘contradictions’ of global capitalism could conceivably be resolved by so blunt an instrument as proletarian revolution. Another was that, despite his criticism of the nostalgia of Gierke, Tönnies himself was to spend much of his life actively fostering ‘communitarian’ developments within market Society – through the Ethical Culture movement, consumer and producer co-operatives, and ‘guild socialism’ (all of them, by Marx’s standards, mere tinkering with Utopia)."(xxiv)
[Tönnies was dus niet bepaald revolutionair ingesteld. Zijn insteek doet hooguit denken aan het religieus socialisme zoals in die jaren bij veel Duitsers te vinden was - denk aan Bloch. Als je verderop leest hoe zijn waarden en normen zijn ten aanzien van man en vrouw, ouders en kind, gezin, opleiding, etc. dan zie je conservatisme en geen progressieve ideeën. ]
"When it first appeared in 1887 Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft was largely ignored by the academic philosophers to whom it was primarily addressed. It sold only a few hundred copies and singularly failed to secure for Tönnies the university professorship to which he aspired. His hopes of such a post were further undermined by the Prussian government’s disapproval of his support for the 1890s’ Ethical Culture movement and his supposed links with the Social Democratic party (although Tönnies in fact disliked many features of Lassallean ‘state socialism’ and was eventually to join the SPD only as an act of personal defiance against Nazism in 1932)."(xxvii)
Het boek had in feite pas succes na WO I.
"In this respect, Tönnies’s application of ideal types to real historical settings anticipated and closely resembled the methodology later developed by his famous contemporary Max Weber. The affinity with Weber was also apparent in his insistence that interpreting empirical data logically required the prior adoption of certain analytical categories, in a manner suggested by Kant. Thus in analysing social and political phenomena both abstract reasoning and the ‘stuff’ of everyday history were, in Tönnies’s view, not mutually contradictory but necessary and complementary."(xxviii)
Over de 'strijd' tussen rationalisme en empirisme in de 19e eeuw en de noodzaak voor Tönnies om daar een standpunt over in te nemen.
"All science, and thus all philosophy that takes the form of science, is rationalistic. Its objects are matters of thought – mental constructions. But all philosophy, and thus all science that takes the form of philosophy, is experiential; meaning that all ‘being’ must be seen as dynamic, and all existence as subject to movement and change; while ‘not-being’ or nothingness must also be seen as part of true reality, hence in a thoroughly dialectical manner. The empirical and the dialectical methods require and complement one another. Both are concerned simply with tendencies which meet, struggle and combine, but ultimately can be understood only as psychological realities – indeed, are familiar to us as such."(9)
"My study attempts both to encompass the jurisprudential and economic approaches and to keep them subordinate. But I have been able to do this only sketchily, like many other things. The complexities of my subject are overwhelming. Relevant structures of thought must be examined to see, not so much whether they are correct, as whether they are fitted to the task. This, however, can only be proved by the exposition which I am about to offer, and I hope that I shall be up to it. I will not be held responsible for erroneous interpretations nor for crackpot practical applications. People who are not used to thinking conceptually should refrain from passing judgement in such matters. But this sort of restraint is no more to be expected than any other kind in the present day and age."(11)
Beschrijving van auteurs en studies die hem beïnvloedden: August Comte, Herbert Spencer, A. Schaefle, A. Wagner, Sir. Henri Maine, Otto Gierke, Karl Marx. Over die laatste:
"I am happy to draw attention to his name, since he has never been forgiven, even by clever people, for the allegedly utopian fantasy which [in reality] he took pride in demolishing completely. (The fact that a thinker has taken part in active workers' movements is no concern of his critics; if they think that was immoral, who pokes his nose into their immoral acts?)"(12-13)
"The wills of human beings interact in many different ways. Every such relationship is reciprocal – on the one side active or assertive, on the other passive or acquiescent. These interactions are of such a kind that they tend either to support the mental and physical well-being of the other party or to destroy them – they are either positive or negative. My theory will concentrate on investigating only relationships that are based on positive mutual affirmation. Every relationship of this kind involves some kind of balance between unity and diversity. This consists of mutual encouragement and the sharing of burdens and achievements, which can be seen as expressions of people’s energies and wills. The social group brought into existence by this positive relationship, envisaged as functioning both inwardly and outwardly as a unified living entity, is known by some collective term such as a union, fraternity or association. The relationship itself, and the social bond that stems from it, may be conceived either as having real organic life, and that is the essence of Community [Gemeinschaft]; or else as a purely mechanical construction, existing in the mind, and that is what we think of as Society [Gesellschaft]."(17)
[Is het in feite al niet fundamenteel verkeerd om je alleen te concentreren op de positieve kant van relaties tussen mensen en daar de gemeenschap uit af te leiden? Die wederzijdse bevestiging en ondersteuning in een gemeenschap is prachtig, maar er is ook altijd afgunst, agressie, onbegrip, egocentrisme in de relaties tussen mensen. Dat maakt die gemeenschap die Tönnies als uitgangspunt neemt al meteen een onrealistische abstractie.]
"In Gemeinschaft we are united from the moment of our birth with our own folk for better or for worse."(18)
[Maar waar komt dat 'worse' dan vandaan als er alleen sprake is van 'positive mutual affirmation' in een gemeenschap? Verderop heeft hij het over "the disputes and quarrels that are bound to occur wherever people live together. Continuous proximity and frequency of contact imply not just mutual encouragement and support but also the possibility, indeed probability, of some degree of restriction and negativity; and only as long as the positive side predominates can a relationship claim to display genuine community."(30) Met andere woorden: ook in de gemeensschap is er niet voortdurend sprake van een positieve harmonie. Het is natuurlijk een zwakke oplossing om dan ineens te onderscheiden tussen een 'genuine community' en andere gemeenschappen.]
"Community [Gemeinschaft] is old, Society [Gesellschaft] is new, both as an entity and as a term."(19)
"Community means genuine, enduring life together, whereas Society is a transient and superficial thing. Thus Gemeinschaft must be understood as a living organism in its own right, while Gesellschaft is a mechanical aggregate and artefact."(19)
"In tune with the argument so far, the theory of Gemeinschaft is based on the idea that in the original or natural state there is a complete unity of human wills. This sense of unity is maintained even when people become separated. It takes various forms, depending on how far the relationship between differently situated individuals is predetermined and ‘given’. The common root of these relationships is the all-embracing character of the sub-conscious, ‘vegetative’ life that stems from birth: human wills, each one housed in a physical body, are related to one another by descent and kinship; they remain united, or become so out of necessity. This direct mutual affirmation is found in its most intense form in three types of relationships: namely, (1) that between a mother and her child; (2) that between a man and a woman as a couple, as this term is understood in its natural or biological sense; and (3) that between those who recognise each other as brothers and sisters, i.e. offspring at least of the same mother. While the seed of Gemeinschaft, or the bias of human minds towards it, is to be seen in any relationship of kinsfolk, these three are of special importance as containing the seeds which are strongest and most readily nurtured. Each of them is significant in it own special way."(22)
[Mensen vormen in eerste instantie een gemeenschap door geboorte en afkomst. De relaties tussen moeder en kind, man en vrouw, broers en zussen met name zijn volgens Tönnies met name vol van 'positive mutual affirmation'. Dat is een ergerlijk ideaalbeeld van de werkelijkheid, lijkt me, en dan ook nog een cultureel bepaald ideaalbeeld: moeder heeft een instinctieve band met het kind en voedt het kind op, relaties tussen vader en kind zijn secundair en zwakker en minder intens, allerlei andere mogelijke gezinssituaties zoals met adoptiekinderen worden niet gezien. Ook is het gebaseerd op wat is, niet op wat zou kunnen zijn, zoals een woongroep of commune met vrijere relaties.]
"The sexual instinct does not make permanent co-habitation necessary; to begin with it leads less to equal partnership than to one-sided subjugation of the woman, who, being by nature weaker, can be reduced to slavery and a mere object of possession. Thus the relationship between a married couple, regarded independently of family networks and related social forces, must be maintained chiefly by accommodation to each other, if the relationship is to be moulded into one of permanent mutual affirmation. Contributory factors already mentioned understandably play their part here, particularly the relation with children they have produced together, as well as the sharing of household and possessions."(23)
"Thus fatherhood is the clearest foundation for the concept of authority within the community. This authority is not, however, to be used for the advantage of the authority-holder, but to complete his part in procreation by seeing to his offspring’s training and education and sharing with them his own experience of life. The growing children will gradually respond to this and a genuinely mutual relationship will develop. The first-born son has a natural advantage here; he stands nearest to his father and steps into his place as the father grows older. The full authority of the father is implicitly passed on to the first- born right from his birth, and so the idea of life being constantly renewed is exemplified in the uninterrupted succession of fathers and sons. We know that this pattern of inheritance is not the original one, since patriarchy seems to have been preceded by matriarchy and rule by the mother’s brother. But masculine domination at work and in battle proved stronger, and through marriage the fact of paternity became established as a certainty; thus paternal authority has become the universal pattern for civilisation. Even where collateral succession (the system of 'Tanistry') takes precedence over primogeniture, this indicates the continued power of a previous generation – the brother who succeeds takes his right not from his brother but from their common father."(25)
"The difference between the sexes as regards their physical strength is expressed in the division of labour. In defence of their common property it falls to the wife to take charge of valued possessions and to the man to ward off enemy attacks. His job is to hunt for food, hers to preserve and prepare it. Where any other work is required, and where younger or weaker members of the family are to be trained up for it, we can usually expect and find that the man’s energies will be turned outwards to fighting and to training his sons, while the wife’s will be directed to domestic life and the female children. True assistance and promotion of each other’s interests are to be found in their purest form among siblings, because they are usually directed towards communal working together. Apart from sex differences, distinctions of intellectual ability will emerge most powerfully here, as has already been mentioned. This will depend on whether planning and brain-work are needed, or execution and manual labour – the former implying some form of leadership, the latter obedience and willingness to follow. It has to be recognised that all such distinctions work in accordance with nature, despite the fact that these basic tendencies, like any others, can be modified, cancelled out or reversed."(25-26)
"These relationships in general show how human wills mutually direct and assist one another, so as to maintain a balance of power. (...) And, particularly within these organic kin-based relationships, the stronger party feels an instinctive, spontaneous tenderness towards the weak, a desire to help and protect, which is bound up with pride of possession and the enjoyment of his own power."(26-27)
"I shall use the terms rank or authority for any superior power which is exercised for the benefit of inferiors or in accordance with their will and therefore accepted by them. Three kinds of such authority can be distinguished: the authority of age, the authority of physical strength, and the authority of wisdom or intellect. These are united in the authority which belongs to the father at the head of his family, protecting, supporting and leading them. The menacing aspect of such power arouses fear among lesser folk, and this might mean only avoidance and rejection, were it not mingled with some degree of admiration. But graciousness and good will generate a desire to pay homage, and when this predominates it gives rise to a feeling of reverence or respect. Where there is a decisive difference in power, reciprocal sentiments of affection and reverence, or, in a lower degree, benevolence and deference, stand as the twin pillars that form the very foundations of Gemeinschaft."(27)
"Community by blood, indicating primal unity of existence, develops more specifically into community of place, which is expressed first of all as living in close proximity to one another. This in turn becomes community of spirit, working together for the same end and purpose."(27)
[Om even duidelijk te maken dat Tönnies schrijft vanuit een conservatieve mentaliteit en daarbij horende verzameling van waarden en normen. Hij lijkt zich op geen enkele manier bewust te zijn van de historische betrekkelijkheid van die verzameling waarden en normen die in bovenstaande teksten te vinden is. Bovendien is het harmoniedenken: elk conflict, misbruik van macht of wat ook lijkt niet te bestaan. Niet erg realistisch.]
"Wherever human beings are bound together in an organic fashion by their inclination and common consent, Community of one kind or another exists. Either the earlier type contains the nucleus of the later one, or the later one will have developed a relative independence from the earlier. We can regard (1) kinship, (2) neighbourhood, and (3) friendship or comradeship, as perfectly intelligible ways of describing those three original types.
(1) The home is both the physical location and, so to speak, the living body of kinship.(...)
(2) Neighbourhood is the general character of life together in a village. The closeness of the dwellings, the common fields, even the way the holdings run alongside each other, cause the people to meet and get used to each other and to develop intimate acquaintance. It becomes necessary to share work, organisation and forms of administration.(...)
(3) Friendship or comradeship is formed independently of kinship and neighbourhood, being conditioned by and resulting from similarity of work or opinion. It grows most easily where people share the same or a similar calling or craft. But such a tie must be formed and fostered through easy and frequent meeting, which is most likely to happen within a town."(28)
"Within the bonds of kinship all natural authority is summed up in the authority of the father. The idea of paternal authority also survives in the office of prince or ruler, even where the basis of the relationship is essentially one of neighbourhood. In this case it is determined more by power and might than by age and paternity – as can be seen quite clearly in the influence of a lord over his people, of a squire over his tenants, or of a patron over his clients. Lastly, in the context of comradeship or friendship – in the form of common devotion to the same profession or craft – such fatherly authority will be expressed as that of the master-craftsman over his lads, apprentices and pupils."(30)
[Tönnies kan zich blijkbaar niet eens voorstellen dat vrouwen de baas zijn, hij herhaalt braaf hoe het historisch was en blaast dat vervolgens op tot universele proporties.]
"Reciprocal binding sentiment as the peculiar will of a community is what we shall call mutual understanding or consensus."(32)
"Mutual understanding rests upon intimate knowledge of one another, reflecting the direct interest of one being in the life of another and willingness to share in his or her joys and sorrows. Such understanding becomes more likely, the greater the similarity of background and experience, or the more people’s natural dispositions, characters, and ways of thinking resemble or complement each other.
The true organ of mutual understanding, its means of development, is language itself. In gestures and sounds we convey and receive expressions of pain and pleasure, fear and desire, and all other feelings and emotions."(33)
"Mutual understanding or sympathy is the simplest expression for the inner reality of all genuine co-existence, where people live and work together. In the first and most general sense this applies to domestic life. Since the core of this life is represented by the union and unity of man and wife for the purpose of producing and rearing offspring, marriage as a lasting relationship is the outstanding example of this basic meaning."(34)
"Community life means mutual possession and enjoyment, and possession and enjoyment of goods held in common."(36)
"And we forget that living together is a primal fact of nature; it is isolation, not co-operation, that needs to be explained."(38)
"We may thus assume that in any links between town and country a spirit of brotherly sharing and cheerful giving lives on to some extent. Such a relationship is regarded as good and right; it is maintained by many ties of kinship and friendship quite apart from the business of exchanging goods, and people share the common centres of marketplaces and shrines. This spirit survives in spite of a natural desire to hang on to one’s own and acquire as much as possible of other people’s goods."(42)
"The theory of Gesellschaft takes as its starting point a group of people who, as in Gemeinschaft, live peacefully alongside one another, but in this case without being essentially united – indeed, on the contrary, they are here essentially detached. In Gemeinschaft they stay together in spite of everything that separates them; in Gesellschaft they remain separate in spite of everything that unites them. As a result, there are no activities taking place which are derived from an a priori and pre-determined unity and which therefore express the will and spirit of this unity through any individual who performs them. Nothing happens in Gesellschaft that is more important for the individual’s wider group than it is for himself. On the contrary, everyone is out for himself alone and living in a state of tension against everyone else. The various spheres of power and activity are sharply demarcated, so that everyone resists contact with others and excludes them from his own spheres, regarding any such overtures as hostile. Such a negative attitude is the normal and basic way in which these power-conscious people relate to one another, and it is characteristic of Gesellschaft at any given moment in time. Nobody wants to do anything for anyone else, nobody wants to yield or give anything unless he gets something in return that he regards as at least an equal trade-off."(52)
[Nou, dat is wel erg gemakkelijk tegenover elkaar gezet. Ik geloof hoe dan ook al niet zo in dit soort dichotomieën. De 'Gesellschaft' wordt bovendien geschilderd vanuit het perspectief van Hobbes en andere klassieke liberalen als een strijd van individu tegen individu, van allen tegen allen. Wat dan vervolgens volgt is een markteconomische invulling van zo'n samenleving. Nogal eenzijdig en bijzonder kritiekloos, vind ik.]
"The answer is this: as will be demonstrated, all goods are assumed to be separate from each other, and so are their owners. Whatever anyone has and enjoys, he has and enjoys to the exclusion of all others – in fact, there is no such thing as a ‘common good’. Such a thing can only exist by means of a fiction on the part of the individuals concerned."(53)
Er is alleen maar sprake van transactie, participaties in ondernemingen en zo verder. Eenheid tussen mensen is hier niet meer dan een filosofische constructie van een 'fictitious social will'. Tönnies beschrijft nu een abstracte waardetheorie op de manier van Marx.
"For a thing to have any value in market Society it is only necessary that it should be possessed by one party to the exclusion of others, and that it should be desired by some of the excluded. All its other characteristics are completely irrelevant. The fact that it has a certain amount of value at no time implies that it is endowed with an equal amount of utility.
Value is an objective quality, just as length is for the senses of sight and touch, or weight for the sense of touch and use of muscles. Value functions in just this way for the mind, as it seeks to comprehend the working of ‘Society’. The mind examines things and tests them to see whether they can be produced quickly or will require a lot of time, whether they can be supplied easily or cost a lot of trouble. It measures the possibility of producing them against the practicality, and decides whether it is feasible to go ahead. This is the sole criterion of value – subjective for the rational person involved in an exchange, objective for the overall commercial exchange system."(55)
"Gesellschaft may therefore be imagined as consisting of separate individuals who en masse work on behalf of Society in general, while appearing to work for themselves, and who are working for themselves while appearing to work for Society. By a constantly repeated process of functional division and rational choice the individual is finally reduced to starkly equal, simple, elementary units of labour, like atoms. The total output of Society is composed of such atoms, to which each individual contributes. Then by exchange everyone gets rid of items of value not useful to himself in order to acquire those which are. In the course of this investigation we shall eventually demonstrate how the actual structure of the Gesellschaft type of society is related to this idea."(56-57)
[Dit zit vol met oude economische ideeën uit de 19e eeuw en eerder, Hobbes, Adam Smith, het klassieke liberalisme, Marx, en zo. Alsof we allemaal individuele kopers zijn op één grote markt en als individu rationele beslissingen nemen over wat we kopen en verkopen, contracten sluiten met anderen, geld uitwisselen, leningen en leners, natuurrecht en conventie en zo verder. Het is een onzinnige abstractie. Zo werkt het in de praktijk helemaal niet.]
"The true nature of Gesellschaft transactions emerges most clearly when money is sold for credit, since both parties desire only money and need nothing else."(61)
[Yeah, right ...]
"Through convention and natural law Gesellschaft thus forms a single aggregate, and must be understood as a mass or multitude of natural and artificial individuals. Their wills and spheres of interest interact with each other in manifold different ways, yet they remain independent of one another and lacking in deep intimacy. A general picture now emerges of what may be called 'Civil Society' or Society based on general commercial exchange."(63-64)
"In this view of Society all basic or natural relations between people become replaced by abstraction. The possibility of relationship within market Society can be stripped down to a heap of individuals who are capable of doing and promising anything. Society as a totality, covered by a conventional system of rules, is therefore in theory unlimited. It is constantly breaking through boundaries of all kinds, both existing ones and those that may arise. Every person in it seeks his own advantage and acknowledges others only as long as they help to further his own ends. The relationship of all to all, both before and outside convention and contract, can be seen as potential enmity or latent war – against which all those willed agreements stand out like so many pacts and peace treaties."(64-65)
"All conventional sociability may be understood as analogous to the exchange of material goods. The primary rule is politeness, an exchange of words and courtesies where everyone appears to be concerned for everyone else and to be esteeming each other as equals. In fact everyone is thinking of himself and trying to push his own importance and advantages at the expense of all the rest. For any favour which one person renders to another he expects, even demands, an equivalent in return."(65)
"Furthermore Gesellschaft, in what we might call its moral aspects, is very closely linked to the state. This latter aspect has not been relevant for our study up till now, since the economic aspects of Society must be regarded as having priority."(66)
[Het is alsof ik Marx lees. Ik vind het niet erg interessant, omdat het uitgangspunt verkeerd is: een samenleving is niet alleen een economisch geheel, etc. etc.]
[Het is mij een raadsel waarom er nu ineens over de 'menselijke wil' geschreven moet worden. En dan nog wel over twee soorten:]
"Each represents a coherent whole which integrates many different kinds of feelings, instincts and desires. In the first case the integration must be seen as natural and spontaneous, whereas in the second it is abstract and artificial. The first sort of human will is what I shall call Wesenwille [i.e ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ or ‘essential’ will]; the second I shall call Kürwille [i.e. will that involves calculation, arbitrary freedom and rational choice]."(95)
"Natural or essential will is the psychological equivalent of the human body; it is the unifying principle of life, conceived of as the pattern of material reality to which thinking itself belongs (quatenus sub attributo cogitationis concipitur). It involves ‘thinking’ in the sense that the organism contains certain cells in the forebrain which, when stimulated, cause the psychological activities that we interpret as thought (of which the speech faculty is undoubtedly a part). By contrast, rational or arbitrary or calculating will is a product of thought itself, and comes into being only through the agency of its author – the person doing the thinking – although its existence may be recognised and acknowledged as such by other people. Both of these very different concepts of will have this in common – they are seen as causing or predisposing a person to act."(95-96)
[Lekker vaag dus. De natuurlijke wil komt voort uit de biologische grondslag voor willen waaronder denken van de ene kant; en de rationele of willekeurige of berekenende wil is het resultaat van dat willen / denken. Beide zijn nodig om te handelen. Ik vind het allemaal niet interessant.]
"And of course, the cardinal virtue is energy – energy in the form of strength in deeds and strength of will. In the field of action it expresses itself particularly as valour or bravery, in the world of work as industriousness (or seriousness, keenness, conscientiousness). Such virtues thus correspond to the notions of passion, courage and creative capacity. While these virtues can of course be confined to a meaning which classifies the will as natural force or innate endowment (albeit with so many different applications), they can also be viewed as special examples of reasonable will, and of the basic principles of human labour, practice and creative endeavour."(113)
[Het is inmiddels nog steeds niet duidelijk waarom dat hele vehaal over de natuurlijke en de rationele wil verteld wordt. De ene zijstraat na de andere wordt bewandeld. Vrijheid, handelen, liefde, techniek, alles komt aan bod. Maar waarom blijft totaal onhelder.]
"Natural will is itself the embodiment of artistic spirit. It develops out of its own self, continually replenishing itself with new material which it shapes into new forms. It also creates complicated structures of images and thoughts, words and propositions, that express judgements, inspirations, intentions and designs. All this flows from the imagination, from a great ocean of sentiments and sensations. Wherever creative activity freezes into mere logical thinking, abstract and general repetitive brainwork takes the place of all specialised, concrete, qualified skills. This happens naturally even without the dilution and atrophy of such skills by the use of instruments and tools. But as these become entirely governed by utility and purpose, they increasingly conform to and constitute the arbitrary will and become ‘abstract-human’ instead of ‘concrete-human’ products."(148)
"If we try to classify recognisable human qualities in these terms, a superficial glance suggests the following points. The first thing that strikes us, in broad outlines, is the psychological contrast between the sexes. It is a stale cliché, but all the more important because it is dredged up out of general experience, that women are mostly led by their feelings, while men follow their reason. Men are more ‘prudent’. They alone have the capacity for calculation, cool (abstract) thought, deliberation, strategic thinking and logic. As a rule, women are not much good at these things. They are thus lacking in the basic prerequisite of calculative will.(...) Now the role of the male is more active not only among human beings, but certainly among other mammals, and in all cases where the female has to devote a large part of her time and attention to her brood. The male is then responsible for providing food and for fighting, especially when he has to attack and plunder or even kill his rivals in order to acquire a mate."(152)
"The male is obliged to exercise this far-sightedness, because he is responsible for leadership and organisation, at least in all activities relating to the outside world. This comes naturally to him, above all because he is the tough guy and fighter; but also because he is swifter and more agile, whereas the woman by comparison is sedentary and awkward."(153-154)
"Women and children belong together because they have the same mentality and understand each other easily. Children are simple and guileless, they live in the present, confirmed in their way of life and in their simple occupations by nature, home and the will of those who love them and care for them."(158)
"Conscience, on the other hand, appears at its simplest and most profound as shame or modesty, a reluctance to do or say certain things, a vexation with oneself after some disagreeable occurrence, and possibly even against others whose behaviour can be identified with one’s own. As repugnance or embarrassment it is rather like fear, whilst in the shape of vexation or indignation it is akin to anger: it is always a mixture of these two emotions, whichever order they may follow. Modesty is particularly linked to covering up, concealment, and secrecy; to embarrassment in the face of nakedness and public exposure; and is therefore closely related to sexual, marital and domestic life. It is a quality associated with women, especially maidens, children and even young men, and regarded as a virtue in them, because it is normal and fitting for them to live in small groups in a dependent, respectful and unassuming relationship with husband, mother, father or teacher.
But the lord and master going out into the street and market-place, into public life and the wider world, must overcome this modesty to some degree or transform it into something quite different. Shame is a force constantly emanating from natural will, which restricts and prevents a man from going where other drives might lead him."(162)
"The difference between the male and female sex has the same significance: women are believing, men are unbelieving. And certainly we shall find a similar contrast between the different generations. Innocence and devoutness belong to childhood, and continue to lodge in the contemplative, poetic, feeling for nature found in the adolescent. The mature man is more inclined to scepticism and scientific thought, although the meditative, philosophical older man sometimes returns to the serenity and submissive trustfulness of childhood when he finds his heart renewed in his grandchildren."(165)
[Opnieuw de aloude vooroordelen over mannen en vrouwen en kinderen, over oud en jong, over het 'gewone volk' en mensen met een opleiding, deze keer gebaseerd op een biologie en psychologie van de wil die even gedateerd is. Waarschijnlijk is het wel een geode beschrijving van hoe men indertijd met elkaar omging en over dit soort zaken dacht. Ik betwijfel of Tönnies nog een bijdrage kan leveren aan het hedendaagse denken. Ik vermoed van niet. Vooral niet omdat hij dit alles nu gaat koppelen aan gemeenschap en samenleving:]
"From all this discussion it emerges that natural will contains the preconditions for Community, whereas arbitrary rational will gives rise to market Society. And consequently the sphere of life and work in the close-knit community is especially suitable for women, even essential for them. The natural place for their activity is the home and not the market-place, their own or a friend’s living-room and not the street. In the village the household is independent and strong; and in the town too the burgher household keeps going and cultivates its own peculiar attractiveness. But in the city it becomes sterile, narrow, and empty, and is reduced to being a mere lodging-house, the likes of which can be had anywhere for any period of time in return for money. It is nothing but a shelter for those travelling through the world.
Staying at home is as natural for women as travelling is unbecoming, according to traditional popular sentiment."(165-166)
"We can understand from this how unappealing trade must be to the female nature. The business-woman, not an uncommon sight in the town life of earlier times, stepped outside of her legally prescibed natural sphere to ‘come of age’, to be the first emancipated woman. Commerce can, of course, like any other occupation, be carried out honestly and conscientiously. But the more it is pursued with calculation and on a grand scale, the more it leads to the use of deception and lies as effective means to achieve higher profits or to cover losses. The out-and-out desire to become rich makes the merchant ruthless and turns him into the type of egocentric, self-willed individual who sees all his fellow men, apart from his closest friends, only as instruments for his purposes; he is the very embodiment of the inhabitant of Gesellschaft. The very language he uses expressses in the clearest possible way the presence of rational will. He chooses words that are calculated for their effect; even truthful words, if they prove inadequate, are soon turned into lies to make them more effective. That sort of lie is regarded as permissible in business; it is not seen as deception, because it is not intended to sell the commodity above its value, simply to stimulate buying. But in the system of commerce many carefully studied words, though not actually lies, have none the less become essentially untruths, because the words have lost their qualities and, as can happen with anything, have been degraded into mere quantities of applied means. Thus in a broader sense the lie becomes a characteristic element of free commercial society."(169)
"Trade first and then industrial employment have recruited woman into the struggle for basic survival. It is evident that the freedom and independence acquired by the woman worker as a party to contracts and as a possessor of money have demanded and encouraged a development of her consciousness so that she has to think in a thoroughly calculating manner. Woman becomes enlightened, cold-hearted, self-conscious. Nothing is more alien and terrible to her basic nature which, despite all the process of continually acquired modifications, is inborn. And nothing perhaps is more characteristic and significant for the construction of mass commercial Society and the dissolution of community life. Through this development 'individualism', the underlying principle of Gesellschaft, comes into its own."(170)
Het menselijke zelf is organisch verbonden met de natuurlijke wil en omvat zelf ook weer onderdelen waarmee het een organische eenheid vormt. Daartegenover de persoon:
"The person or ‘subject’ of arbitrary will, being himself a creation of arbitrary will, has a merely accidental (unum per accidens), mechanical identity. That is to say, arbitrary will itself possesses reality and coherence for the person concerned only through its relation to possible consequences. Thus the concept of the ‘person’ is simply a fiction, or (more concretely) an invention of scientific thought; it is designed to give some kind of coherent foundation to such an artificial construction and to impose order on the complex interaction of force, power and means. This foundation is merely pieced together by the process of thought out of a multitude of separate possible acts, wherever these can be seen as having some kind of unity."(182)
"Within the system of thought in which it is situated, the ‘person’ will desire and do all manner of possible things, and must be thought of as the agent of genuinely voluntary acts, pursuing real ends and having real means at its disposal. If we are thinking of a human being, the person must either be an actual man, or it must be a group of people who think, desire and act like him, pursuing aims and employing means on his behalf. It may be a single person or a group, for the many can think together as one and 'formulate' their rational intentions. (1) They may deliberate together, with one or another expressing his opinion about what he wants and thinks that all the others should want. This stimulates the others and gets them thinking, so that they advocate the same thing or something similar, or perhaps they speak against it. (2) They may reach a decision, with all of them – or at least as many as wish to do so – declaring by certain words or signs that they want or do not want, approve or reject, some course of action (those who remain indifferent forgoing their power of their own free will). As every voice or every rational mind is considered to be of equal weight, either a stalemate is reached and no decision is made, or else a majority emerges on one side or the other, for yes or no. This always means a positive decision, whether the advice or suggestion is accepted or rejected."(183)
"And as natural persons all human beings are equal to each other. Each has as his birthright unlimited freedom to define whatever goals he likes and to use whatever means he can to achieve them. Every man is his own master, nobody is anybody else’s master. They are absolutely independent of one another."(184)
"Every relationship within Gemeinschaft resembles, in the root or kernel of its being, the prototype from which individual selves (or ‘souls’ as we may loosely call them) and their freedom are derived. By contrast, every relationship in Gesellschaft represents the latent possibility of [the emergence of] an artificial superior person, who will have command over a certain quota of means and resources; indeed Society itself is thought to need such a body in order to function as an effective whole. In general terms Gemeinschaft is made up of the union of natural wills, while Gesellschaft is made up of the union of rational, arbitrary wills."(186)
"On the basis of this distinction we have two diametrically opposed systems of law: one in which people are related to each other as natural members of a whole, and one in which as individuals they are entirely independent of one another and enter into relationships only of their own free will. In practical jurisprudence, particularly the Roman-modern school, which is a science based on the recognition and validation of law as understood in Gesellschaft, the first system survives under the name of family law, an area in which a fully ‘legal’ characterisation of the basic relationships involved is lacking. This is in clear contrast to the other quite different body of the law which relates to commercial obligation. For it is here that a precisely mathematical and rational ‘mechanics of law’ is possible."(187)
[Het viel te verwachten dat Tönnies dat soort lijnen zou trekken. Maar ik vind het erg kunstmatig om in dit soort dichotomieën te blijven hangen. Bovendien worden ze gevuld met zaken die inmiddels volkomen achterhaald zijn. Ik vind dit boek bijzonder gedateerd. Nog wat citaten over co-operaties:]
"During recent decades co-operative associations consisting mainly of people without property have gained considerable influence and recognition, first for purchasing goods collectively and then themselves producing things of practical value for their own needs. In Germany these associations are called guilds or co-operatives, although they are known elsewhere by other names. Many small groups of this sort are coming together as co-operatives for wholesale purchase and even for mass production. The legal form of these co-operatives is based on limited liability and thus follows the pattern of the joint-stock company. Yet it is clear that a principle of communitarian-style economy has acquired a new lease of life. In a form adapted to the living conditions of mass commercial society, it is capable of development of the highest significance. This 'antipodean' movement (as Staudinger calls it) is of great interest for the pure theory of social life as well. A renewal of family life and other forms of community, in conjunction with a deeper under- standing of its nature and way of life, may be able to take root here, if anywhere. Since this book was written the moral necessity of such a renewal has impressed itself more and more upon the consciousness of those who have shown themselves capable of making clear and unbiased judgements about trends in modern society."(209-210)
[Ook zo'n juridische benadering van een samenleving vind ik ondergeschikt aan allerlei andere zaken. Waarom zo veel aandacht voor theorieën op dit punt? En waarschijnlijk zijn ze eveneens totaal verouderd. Natuurrecht? Wetten die verankerd zijn in de natuur? Kom nou.]
"The universal occurrence of marriage among human beings means two things: firstly, that such sexually based living together between men and women is generally going to occur anyway; and secondly, that each people or nation, or even each city, expresses this universal idea in a particular way and attaches certain conditions to marriage that make it valid according to its own will and law."(216)
"Incest likewise is forbidden in ‘common law’ as an abomination; extra-marital relations of other sorts are seen as an evil in sacred law chiefly because of their undesirable consequences. For natural law is also holy law – it is God’s law, and comes under the control of the priesthood."(217)
"Social concord allows an order and harmony, contained in its very nature and inner core, to develop as the form and content of community life, so that every member does what is right for him, what he must or is obliged to do; each of them enjoys what is his own, and what is right and proper for him to enjoy. This means that concord is part of the instinctive, animal nature of man; it therefore precedes all human culture or history and for its development needs only unhindered growth, which requires no more than favourable external conditions – though these may also depend, of course, on historical circumstances. By contrast, the inner character of social mores can be understood only in terms of the developed mental capacities of human beings and the work which they do."(227)
[Wanneer je dan terugdenkt aan al die klassieke waarden en normen die Tönnies beschreef en hoe hij die koppelt aan sociale orde, nou, dan weet je wel hoe die orde er uit ziet. Vrouwen zijn dan van nature ondergeschikt aan mannen en zo verder. Geeuw ... ]
"We have on offer two contrasting systems of collective social order. One is based essentially on concord, on the fundamental harmony of wills, and is developed and cultivated by religion and custom. The other is based on convention, on a convergence or pooling of rational desires; it is guaranteed and protected by political legislation, while its policies and their ratification are derived from public opinion.
Furthermore, there are two contrasting legal systems. The first is a mutually binding system of positive law, of enforceable norms regulating the relationships of individuals one with another. It has its roots in family life and its concrete embodiment in the ownership of land. Its forms are basically determined by custom, which religion consecrates and transfigures, if not as divine will then as the will of wise rulers who interpret the divine will in trying to adapt and improve those forms. The second system is also a system of positive law which is devoted to upholding the separate identities of rational individuals in the midst of all their combinations and entanglements. It has its natural basis in the formal regulation of trade and similar business but attains superior validity and binding force only through the sovereign will and power of the state. Law of this kind becomes one of the most important instruments of policy; it is used to sustain, restrain or encourage social trends, and is publicly contested or upheld by public doctrine and public opinion, through which it is altered to become stricter or more lenient.
Finally we must add the two contrasting conceptions of morality as a purely intellectual or non-material system of rules for living together. On the one side morality is essentially an expression and organ of religious ideas and forces, causally linked to the conditions and realities of custom and family spirit. On the other side it is entirely the product and tool of public opinion, and refers to all relations arising out of general social intercourse based on contracts and from political striving and ambition."(247-248)
"The core of social existence and social purpose consists of concord, custom and religion. If circumstances are favourable, highly complex modes and forms of these develop in the course of life, so that every independent human being (and every social group) absorbs a certain amount of them into his own way of thinking and behaving."(248)
"Finally, as a result of these changes and as a reaction to them, a complete bouleversement takes place in intellectual life. Originally rooted entirely in the imagination, it now becomes dependent on systematic thought. Once belief in invisible beings, spirits and gods formed the focal point; now it is the study of observable natural phenomena. Religion, which has its roots in the life of the people and is still intertwined with it, has to yield its position of leadership to science, which derives from a sharpened consciousness that belongs to the educated and is far above the heads of common folk. Religion is directly and quintessentially moral, because it is most intimately concerned with the physical–spiritual bond that links generations of mankind together. Science acquires moral content only by examining the laws of human co-existence and attempting to deduce rules for a system based on reason and private rational choice. The cast of mind of the individual becomes gradually less and less informed by religion and more and more by science. On the basis of research that has been accumulated through centuries of exhaustive study, we shall try to identify the inter-relationship of these tremendous contrasts and movements as we find it in history and at the present time. As a preliminary, however, a few scattered comments may serve to clarify the underlying principles."(251)
"To conclude our overall assessment; we have two contrasting epochs in the grand overall development of civilisation: an epoch of market-based civil Society follows an epoch of close-knit Community. Community is signified through its social will as concord, custom and religion; Society is signified through its social will as convention, policy and public opinion. These concepts correspond to certain types of external social arrangements, which I shall identify in the following tables:
A. Community [Gemeinschaft]
1. Family life concord. Man is involved in this with all his being. Its core is the tribe, nation or common people.
2. Village life custom (traditional morality). Man is involved here with all his heart and soul. Its core is the commonwealth.
3. Town life religion. Man is involved in this with his entire conscience. Its core is the Church.
B. Society [Gesellschaft]
1. Big city life convention. This is based on the individual human being with all his ambitions. Its core is competitive market Society in its most basic form.
2. National lifepolitics and policy. This is based on man’s collective calculations. Its core is the State.
3. Cosmopolitan lifepublic opinion. This is determined by man’s consciousness. Its core is the republic of letters.
Each of these categories is closely bound up with a predominant occupational sphere and a predominant mental outlook, which may be paired together as follows:
1. Domestic economy and household management: based on liking or preference, i.e., the love of nurturing, creating and preserving. The norms for this are set by sympathy and mutual understanding.
2. Agriculture: based on routine and habits, i.e. on regularly repeated tasks. The extent of working co-operation is revealed in custom.
3. Art and craft: based on memories, i.e. of teaching received and rules absorbed, and of original ideas. The minds of the artists and craftsmen are united in a belief in their work.
1. Commerce: based on foresight: i.e. attention, comparison and calculation are the basic conditions for all business. Trade is the essence of rational action. Contract is the custom and creed of commerce.
2. Industry: based on decisions: i.e. rational productive deployment of capital and sale of labour. Regulations rule the factory.
3. Science and learning: based on conceptual thought, as is self-evident. From hypotheses it develops its own laws and presents its facts and theories, which pass into literature and the press, and thus into public opinion."(258)
"The whole movement, from its first appearance and through all its sub- sequent stages, can also be understood as a transition from original, simple, family-based communism, and the small-town individualism that stems from it – through to an absolutely detached cosmopolitan and universalist individualism and to the state-based and international socialism generated by it. Socialism is already latent in the very concept of Gesellschaft, although it begins only in the form of practical links between all the forces of capitalism and the state, which is specifically employed by them to maintain and advance the commercial order. Gradually, however, it turns into attempts to impose centralised control on business and on labour itself through the mechanism of the state – which, if they were to succeed, would put an end to the whole of competitive market society and its civilisation."(260)