SOCIETY want to be an organic whole of which "individuals must be mere members." But the individual rebels against total absorption into the whole, writes Georg Simmel in The Sociology of Georg Simmel translated and edited by Kurt. H Wolf.
The individual strives to be rounded out in himself, not merely to help round out society.This conflict between the whole and the individual is insoluble. The individual's striving for wholeness appears as egoism, compared to the altruism of serving society. But society itself "is an egoism that does violence to the individual". Thus comes freedom, to referee a boundary both for society and for the individual. The 18th century and the 19th century offered different ways in which freedom could be understood and implemented.
"[S]ocialism" does not refer to the suspension of freedom. Rather, socialism suspends only that which, at any given degree of freedom, becomes the means for suppressing the freedom of some in favor of others. This means private property.There is an "antimony between freedom and equality" that only Goethe seems to have seen.
Equality, he said, demands submission to a general norm; freedom "strives toward the unconditional." "Legislators or revolutionaries," he pointed out, "who promise at the same time equality and freedom are fantasts or charlatans."How then did the 18th century not grasp this problem? It is because of Kant, who posited an abstract and idealistic ego which is really identical in every man. And then there is Kant's categorical imperative:
Act in such a way that the principle governing your will could at the same time be valid as the principle of a general legislation.The 18th century "based equality upon freedom, and freedom upon equality."
The important point no longer was the fact that he was a free individual as such, but that he was this specific, irreplaceable, given individual...Simmel summarizes all this in a majestic paragraph that still resonates unabated with us a century later.
This new individualism might be called qualitative, in contrast with the quantitative individualism of the eighteenth century... At any rate, Romanticism perhaps was the broadest channel through which it reached the consciousness of the nineteenth century.
[T]he doctrine of freedom and equality is the foundation of free competition; while the doctrine of differentiated personality is the basis of the division of labor. Eighteenth-century liberalism put the individual on his own feet: in the nineteenth, he was allowed to go as far as they would carry him. According to the new theory the natural order of things saw to it that the unlimited competition of all resulted in the harmony of all interests, that the unrestricted striving after individual advantages resulted in the optimum welfare of the whole.Simmel looks to a higher form in which the two ideas of "personality as such and of unique personality as such, are not the last words of individualism."
IF we think of humans as social animals, then our social actions can be considered as a deadly serious part of being human. But Georg Simmel in a chapter on "Sociability" in The Sociology of Georg Simmel looks at social relations without a purpose, occasions when humans gather in social gatherings that have no purpose other than sociability. Simmel analyzes this sort of social interaction as ...
WHEN we talk about human individuals, it is easy to think that we are talking about isolated humans in their non-social activities. We think that, of course, because a century and a half of left-wing thought is founded on that assumption, that individuals acting as individuals are not really social. But Georg Simmel in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, discussing "The Social and the Individual ...
I first encountered the name Georg Simmel in Jerry Muller's The Mind and the Market. I wrote about him in 2008 here. Simmel recognized that 19th century technologies "made for less labor in the household." This caused unease among middle-class women, who now sought activity outside the home. Obviously, Simmel wrote, the public sphere, the world outside the home, in the short term would still ...
THE FINAL PROBLEM for all political and religious movements is what to do after you get to the Promised Land. You’ve defeated the enemy, you’ve conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. What next?
What’s next is that the soldiers of the revolution should get a job, get married, and start a family. And forget all about millennial hope.
But usually they don’t. Instead they get angry.
That’s why blacks rioted in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of ...
Everyone that has half a brain understands that the foundations are shaking. ...
THE GREAT EVENT of the second millennium was the rise of the world-historical middle class.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up
rather than learns... Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
mysql close 0