3.27.2017 Doc of the Day

1. Geronimo, 1906.
2. Heinrich Mann, 1921.
3. Karl Mannheim, 1954.

4. Adrienne Rich, 2006.

CC BY-SA by jwyg
CC BY-SA by jwyg
Numero Uno“About the time of the massacre of “Kaskiyeh” (1858) we heard that some white men were measuring land to the south of us.  In company with a number of other warriors I went to visit them.  We could not understand them very well, for we had no interpreter, but we made a treaty with them by shaking hands and promising to be brothers.  Then we made our camp near their camp, and they came to trade with us.  We gave them buckskin, blankets, and ponies in exchange for shirts and provisions.  We also brought them game, for which they gave us some money.  We did not know the value of this money, but we kept it and later learned from the Navajo Indians that it was very valuable.

Every day they measured land with curious instruments and put down marks which we could not understand.  They were good men, and we were sorry when they had gone on into the west.  They were not soldiers.  These were the first white men I ever saw.

About ten years later some more white men came.  These were all warriors.  They made their camp on the Gila River south of Hot Springs.  At first they were friendly and we did not dislike them, but they were not as good as those who came first.

After about a year some trouble arose between them and the Indians, and I took the warpath as a warrior, not as a chief.[24] I had not been wronged, but some of my people had been, and I fought with my tribe; for the soldiers and not the Indians were at fault.

Not long after this some of the officers of the United States troops invited our[Pg 115] leaders to hold a conference at Apache Pass (Fort Bowie). Just before noon the Indians were shown into a tent and told that they would be given something to eat. When in the tent they were[25] attacked by soldiers. Our chief, Mangus-Colorado, and several other warriors, by cutting through the tent, escaped; but most of the warriors were killed or captured. Among the Bedonkohe Apaches killed at this time were Sanza, Kladetahe, Niyokahe, and Gopi. After this treachery the Indians went back to the mountains and left the[Pg 116] fort entirely alone. I do not think that the agent had anything to do with planning this, for he had always treated us well. I believe it was entirely planned by the soldiers.

From[26] the very first the soldiers sent out to our western country, and the officers in charge of them, did not hesitate to wrong the Indians. They never explained to the Government when an Indian was wronged, but always reported the misdeeds of the Indians. Much that was done by mean white men was reported at Washington as the deeds of my people.

The Indians always tried to live peaceably with the white soldiers and settlers. One day during the time that the soldiers were stationed at Apache Pass I made a treaty with the post. This was done by shaking hands and promising to be brothers. Cochise and Mangus-Colorado did likewise.[Pg 117] I do not know the name of the officer in command, but this was the first regiment that ever came to Apache Pass. This treaty was made about a year before we were attacked in a tent, as above related. In a few days after the attack at Apache Pass we organized in the mountains and returned to fight the soldiers. There were two tribes—the Bedonkohe and the Chokonen Apaches, both commanded by Cochise. After a few days’ skirmishing we attacked a freight train that was coming in with supplies for the Fort. We killed some of the men and captured the others. These prisoners our chief offered to trade for the Indians whom the soldiers had captured at the massacre in the tent. This the officers refused, so we killed our prisoners, disbanded, and went into hiding in the mountains. Of those who took part in this affair I am the only one now living.

In a few days troops were sent out to search for us, but as we were disbanded, it was, of course, impossible for them to locate any hostile camp.  During the time they were searching for us many of our warriors (who were thought by the soldiers to be peaceable Indians) talked to the officers and men, advising them where they might find the camp they sought, and while they searched we watched them from our hiding places and laughed at their failures.

After this trouble all of the Indians agreed not to be friendly with the white men any more.  There was no general engagement, but a long struggle followed.  Sometimes we attacked the white men—sometimes they attacked us.  First a few Indians would be killed and then a few soldiers.  I think the killing was about equal on each side.  The number killed in these troubles did not amount to much, but this treachery on the part of the soldiers had angered the Indians and revived memories of other wrongs, so that we never again trusted the United States troops. …

Perhaps the greatest wrong ever done to the Indians was the treatment received by our tribe from the United States troops about 1863.  The chief of our tribe, Mangus-Colorado, went to make a treaty of peace for our people with the white settlement at Apache Tejo, New Mexico.  It had been reported to us that the white men in this settlement were more friendly and more reliable than those in Arizona, that they would live up to their treaties and would not wrong the Indians.

Mangus-Colorado, with three other warriors, went to Apache Tejo and held a council with these citizens and soldiers. They told him that if he would come with his tribe and live near them, they would issue to him, from the Government, blankets, flour, [Pg 120]provisions, beef, and all manner of supplies. Our chief promised to return to Apache Tejo within two weeks. When he came back to our settlement he assembled the whole tribe in council. I did not believe that the people at Apache Tejo would do as they said and therefore I opposed the plan, but it was decided that with part of the tribe Mangus-Colorado should return to Apache Tejo and receive an issue of rations and supplies. If they were as represented, and if these white men would keep the treaty faithfully, the remainder of the tribe would join him and we would make our permanent home at Apache Tejo. I was to remain in charge of that portion of the tribe which stayed in Arizona. We gave almost all of our arms and ammunition to the party going to Apache Tejo, so that in case there should be treachery they would be prepared for any surprise. Mangus-Colorado and about half of our people went to New Mexico, happy that now they had found white men[Pg 121] who would be kind to them, and with whom they could live in peace and plenty.

No word ever came to us from them. From other sources, however, we heard that they had been treacherously[27] captured and slain. In this dilemma we did not know just exactly what to do, but fearing that the troops who had captured them would attack us, we retreated into the mountains near Apache Pass.

During the weeks that followed the departure of our people we had been in suspense, and failing to provide more supplies, had exhausted all of our store of provisions. This was another reason for moving camp. On this retreat, while passing through the mountains, we discovered four men with a herd of cattle. Two of the men were in front in a buggy and two were behind on[Pg 122] horseback. We killed all four, but did not scalp them; they were not warriors. We drove the cattle back into the mountains, made a camp, and began to kill the cattle and pack the meat.

Before we had finished this work we were surprised and attacked by United States troops, who killed in all seven Indians—one warrior, three women, and three children. The Government troops were mounted and so were we, but we were poorly armed, having given most of our weapons to the division of our tribe that had gone to Apache Tejo, so we fought mainly with spears, bows, and arrows. At first I had a spear, a bow, and a few arrows; but in a short time my spear and all my arrows were gone. Once I was surrounded, but by dodging from side to side of my horse as he ran I escaped. It was necessary during this fight for many of the warriors to leave their horses and escape on foot. But my horse was trained to come at call, and as soon as I reached a safe place,[Pg 123] if not too closely pursued, I would call him to me.[28] During this fight we scattered in all directions and two days laterreassembled at our appointed place of rendezvous, about fifty miles from the scene of this battle.

About ten days later the same United States troops attacked our new camp at sunrise. The fight lasted all day, but our arrows and spears were all gone before ten o’clock, and for the remainder of the day we had only rocks and clubs with which to fight. We could do little damage with these weapons, and at night we moved our camp about four miles back into the mountains where it would be hard for the cavalry to follow us. The next day our scouts, who had been left behind to observe the movements of the soldiers, returned, saying that the troops had gone back toward San Carlos Reservation.

A few days after this we were again attacked by another company of United[Pg 124] States troops. Just before this fight we had been joined by a band of Chokonen Indians under Cochise, who took command of both divisions. We were repulsed, and decided to disband.

After we had disbanded our tribe the Bedonkohe Apaches reassembled near their old camp vainly waiting for the return of Mangus-Colorado and our kinsmen.  No tidings came save that they had all been treacherously slain.  Then a council was held, and as it was believed that Mangus-Colorado was dead, I was elected Tribal Chief.

For a long time we had no trouble with anyone.  It was more than a year after I had been made Tribal Chief that United States troops surprised and attacked our camp.  They killed seven children, five women, and four warriors, captured all our supplies, blankets, horses, and clothing, and destroyed our tepees.  We had nothing left; winter was beginning, and it was the coldest winter I ever knew.  After the soldiers withdrew I took three warriors and trailed them.  Their trail led back toward San Carlos. …

While returning from trailing the Government troops we saw two men, a Mexican and a white man, and shot them off their horses.  With these two horses we returned and moved our camp.  My people were suffering much and it was deemed advisable to go where we could get more provisions.  Game was scarce in our range then, and since I had been Tribal Chief I had not asked for rations from the Government, nor did I care to do so, but we did not wish to starve.

We had heard that Chief Victoria of the Chihenne (Oje Caliente) Apaches was holding a council with the white men near Hot Springs in New Mexico, and that he had plenty of provisions.  We had always been on friendly terms with this tribe, and Victoria was especially kind to my people.  With the help of the two horses we had captured, to carry our sick with us, we went to Hot Springs.  We easily found Victoria and his band, and they gave us supplies for the winter.  We stayed with them for about a year, and during this stay we had perfect peace.  We had not the least trouble with Mexicans, white men, or Indians.  When we had stayed as long as we should, and had again accumulated some supplies, we decided to leave Victoria’s band.  When I told him that we were going to leave he said that we should have a feast and dance before we separated.

The festivities were held about two miles above Hot Springs, and lasted for four days. There were about four hundred Indians at this celebration. I do not think we ever spent a more pleasant time than upon this occasion. No one ever treated our tribe more kindly than Victoria and his band. We[Pg 128] are still proud to say that he and his people were our friends.

When I went to Apache Pass (Fort Bowie) I found General Howard[30] in command, and made a treaty with him. This treaty lasted until long after General Howard had left our country. He always kept his word with us and treated us as brothers. We never had so good a friend among the United States officers as General Howard. We could have lived forever at peace with him. If there is any pure, honest white man in the United States army, that man is General Howard. All the Indians respect him, and even to this day frequently talk of the happy times when General Howard was in command of our Post. After he went away he placed an agent at Apache Pass who [Pg 129]issued to us from the Government clothing, rations, and supplies, as General Howard directed. When beef was issued to the Indians I got twelve steers for my tribe, and Cochise got twelve steers for his tribe. Rations were issued about once a month, but if we ran out we only had to ask and we were supplied. Now, as prisoners of war in this Reservation, we do not get such good rations.[31]

Out on the prairie away from Apache Pass a man kept a store and saloon.  Some time after General Howard went away a band of outlawed Indians killed this man, and took away many of the supplies from his store.  On the very next day after this some Indians at the Post were drunk on ’tiswin,’ which they had made from corn.  They fought among themselves and four of them were killed.  There had been quarrels and feuds among them for some time, and after this trouble we deemed it impossible to keep the different bands together in peace.  Therefore we separated, each leader taking his own band.  Some of them went to San Carlos and some to Old Mexico, but I took my tribe back to Hot Springs and rejoined Victoria’s band.”  Geronimo, Geronimo’s Story of His Life; Chapter XIII, “Coming of the White Man,” Chapter XIV, “Greatest of Wrongs,” Chapter XV, “Removals,” 1906


Numero Dos“DIEDERICH HESSLING was a dreamy, delicate child, frightened of everything, and troubled with constant earache.  In winter he hated to leave the warm room, and in summer the narrow garden, which smelt of rags from the paper factory, and whose laburnum and elder-trees were overshadowed by the wooden roofs of the old houses.  Diederich was often terribly afraid
when he raised his eyes from his story book, his beloved fairy
tales.  A toad half as big as himself had been plainly sitting
on the seat beside him!  Or over there against the wall a
gnome, sunk to his waist in the ground, was staring at him!
His father was even more terrible than the gnome and the
toad, and moreover he was compelled to love him.  Diederich
did love him.  Whenever he had pilfered, or told a lie, he
would come cringing shyly like a dog to his father’s desk, until
Herr Hessling noticed that something was wrong and took his
stick from the wall.  Diederich’s submissiveness and confidence
were shaken by doubts so long as any misdeed remained un-
discovered.  Once when his father, who had a stiff leg, fell
downstairs the boy clapped his hands madly and then ran
away at full speed.


The workmen used to laugh when he passed the workshops
after having been punished, crying loudly, his face swollen
with tears.  Then Diederich would stamp his feet and put out
his tongue at them.  He would say to himself: ‘I have got a
beating, but from my papa.  You would be glad to be beaten
by him, but you are not good enough for that.’

He moved amongst the men like a capricious potentate.

Sometimes he would threaten to tell his father that they were
bringing in beer, and at others he would coquettishly allow
them to wheedle out of him the hour when Herr Hessling was
expected to return.  They were on their guard against the
boss; he knew them, for he had been a workman himself.  He
had been a vat-man in the old mills where every sheet of paper
was made by hand.  During that time he had served in all the
wars, and after the last one, when everybody made money, he
was able to buy a paper machine.  His plant consisted of one
cylinder machine and one cutter.  He himself counted the
sheets.  He kept his eye on the buttons which were taken from
the rags.  His little son often used to accept a few from the
women, on condition that he did not tell on those who took
some away with them.  One day he had collected so many that
he got the idea of exchanging them with the grocer for sweets.
He succeeded but in the evening Diederich knelt in his bed
and, as he swallowed the last piece of barley sugar, he prayed to
Almighty God to leave the crime undetected.  He nevertheless
allowed it to leak out.  His father had always used the stick
methodically, his weather-beaten face reflecting an old soldier’s
sense of honour and duty.  This time his hand trembled and
a tear rolled down, trickling over the wrinkles, onto one side of
his grey upturned moustache.  ‘My son is a thief,’ he said
breathlessly, in a hushed voice, and he stared at the child as
if he were a suspicious intruder.  ‘You lie and you steal.  All
you have to do now is to commit a murder.”‘

Frau Hessling tried to compel Diederich to fall on his knees
before his father and beg his pardon, because his father had
wept on his account.  Diederich’s instinct, however, warned
him that this would only have made his father more angry.
Hessling had no sympathy whatever with his wife’s sentimental
manner.  She was spoiling the child for life.  Besides he had
caught her lying just like little Diederich.  No wonder, for she
read novels!  By Saturday night her week’s work was often
not completed.  She gossiped with the servant instead of exert-
ing herself. . . . And even then Hessling did not know that
his wife also pilfered, just like the child.  At table she did not
dare to eat enough and she crept surreptitiously to the cup-
board.  Had she dared to go into the workshop she would also
have stolen buttons.

She prayed with the child “from the heart,” and not accord-
ing to the prescribed forms, and that always brought a flush
to her face. She used to beat him also and gave him thorough
thrashings, consumed with a desire for revenge. On such oc-
casions she was frequently in the wrong, and then Diederich
threatened to complain to his father. He would pretend to go
into the office and, hiding somewhere behind a wall, would re-
joice at her terror. He exploited his mother’s tender moods,
but felt no respect for her. Her resemblance to himself made
that impossible, for he had no self-respect. The consequence
was that he went through life with a conscience too uneasy to
withstand the scrutiny of God.

Nevertheless mother and son spent twilight hours over-
flowing with sentiment. From festive occasions they jointly
extracted the last drop of emotion by means of singing, piano-
playing and story-telling. When Diederich began to have
doubts about the Christ Child he let his mother persuade him
to go on believing a little while longer, and thereby he felt re-
lieved, faithful and good. He also believed obstinately in a
ghost up in the Castle, and his father, who would not hear of
such a thing, seemed too proud, and almost deserving of pun-
ishment. His mother nourished him with fairy tales. She
shared with him her fear of the new, animated streets, and of
the tramway which crossed them and took him past the city
wall towards the Castle, where they enjoyed delightful thrills.
At the corner of Meisestrasse you had to pass a policeman,
who could take you off to prison if he liked. Diederich’s heart
beat nervously. How gladly he would have made a detour!
But then the policeman would have noticed his uneasy con-
science and have seized him. It was much better to prove that
one felt pure and innocent so with trembling voice Diederich
asked the policeman the time.

After so many fearful powers, to which he was subjected; his
father, God, the ghost of the Castle and the police; after the
chimney-sweep, who could slip him right up through the flue
until he, too, was quite black, and the doctor, who could paint
his throat and shake him when he cried after all these powers,
Diederich now fell under the sway of one even more terrible,
which swallowed you up completely the school. Diederich
went there howling, and because he wanted to howl he could
not give even the answers which he knew. Gradually he learnt
how to exploit this tendency to cry whenever he had not learnt
his lessons, for all his fears did not make him more indus-
trious or less dreamy. And thus, until the teachers saw through
the trick, he was able to avoid many of the evil consequences
of his idleness. The first teacher who saw through it, at once
earned his wholehearted respect. He suddenly stopped crying
and gazed at him over the arm which he was holding bent in
front of his face, full of timid devotion. Hejwas always obe-
dient and docile with the strict teachers. On the good-natured
ones he played little tricks, which could with difficulty be
proved against him and about which he did not boast. With
much greater satisfaction he bragged of getting bad marks
and great punishments. At table he would say: “To-day Herr
Behnke flogged three of us again.” And to the question:
Whom? “I was one of them.”

Diederich was so constituted that he was delighted to be-
long to an impersonal entity, to this immovable, inhumanly in-
MJ ^ Different, mechanical organisation which was the college. He
was proud of this power, this grim power, which he felt, if
only through suffering. On the headmaster’s birthday flowers
were placed on the desk and the blackboard. Diederich ac-
tually decorated the cane.

In the course of the years two catastrophes, which befell the
all-powerful, filled him with a holy and wonderful horror. An
assistant master was called down in front of the class by the
principal and dismissed. A senior master became insane. On
these occasions still higher powers, the principal and the luna-
tic asylum, made fearful havoc of those who had hitherto
wielded so much power. From beneath, insignificant but un-
harmed, one could raise one’s eyes to these victims, and draw
from their fate a lesson which rendered one’s own lot more
easy. In relation to his younger sisters Diederich replaced the
power which held him in its mechanism. He made them take
dictation, and deliberately make more mistakes than they nat-
urally would, so that he could make furious corrections with
red ink, and administer punishment. His punishments were
cruel. The little ones cried and then Diederich had to humble
himself in order that they should not betray him.

He had no need of human beings in order to imitate the
powers that be. Animals, and even inanimate objects, were
sufficient. He would stand at the rail of the paper-making
machine and watch the cylinder sorting out the rags. “So that
one is gone! Look out, now, you blackguards!” Diederich
would mutter, and his pale eyes glared. Suddenly he stepped
back, almost falling into the tub of chlorine. A workman’s
footsteps had interrupted his vicious enjoyment.

Only after he received the punishment did he feel really big and sure of his position. He hardly ever resisted
evil. At most he would beg a comrade: “Don’t hit me on the
back, that’s dangerous.” It was not that he was lacking in
any sense of his rights and any love of his own advantage.
/’I6ut Diederich held that the blows which he received brought
x no practical profit to the striker and no real loss to himself.
These purely ideal values seemed to him far less serious than
the cream puff which the head waiter at the Netziger Hof
had long since promised him, but had never produced. Many
times Diederich wended his way, with earnest gait, up Meise-
strasse to the market place, and called upon his swallow-tailed
friend to deliver the goods. One day, however, when the
waiter denied all knowledge of his promise, Diederich declared,
as he stamped his foot in genuine indignation: “This is really
too much of a good thing. If you don’t give me it immediately,
I’ll report you to the boss!” Thereupon George laughed and
brought him the cream puff.

That was a tangible success. Unfortunately Diederich could
enjoy it only in haste and fear, for he was afraid that Wolf-
gang Buck, who was waiting outside, would come in on him
and demand the share which had been promised to him. Mean-
while he found time to wipe his mouth clean, and at the door he
broke out into violent abuse of George, whom he called a
swindler who had no cream puffs at all. Diederich’s sense of
justice, which had just manifested itself so effectively to his
own advantage, did not respond to the claims of his friend,
who could not, at the same time, be altogether ignored. Wolf-
gang’s father was much too important a personage for that.
Old Herr Buck did not wear a stiff collar, but a white silk
neckcloth, on which his great curly white beard rested. How
slowly and majestically he tapped the pavement with his gold-
topped walking-stick! He wore a silk hat, too, and the tails
of his dress coat often peeped out under his overcoat, even in
the middle of the day! For he went to public meetings, and
looked after the affairs of the whole city. Looking at the
bathing establishment, the prison and all the public institu-
tions, Diederich used to think: “That belongs to Herr Buck.”
He must be tremendously wealthy and powerful. All the men,
including Herr Hessling, took off their hats most respectfully
to him. To deprive his son of something by force was a deed
whose dangerous consequences could not be foretold. In or-
der not to be utterly crushed by the mighty powers, whom he
so profoundly respected, Diederich had to go quietly and craft-
ily to work.

Only once did it happen, when he was in the Lower Third
form, that Diederich forgot all prudence, acted blindly and be-
came himself an oppressor, drunk with victory. As was the
usual and approved custom, he had bullied the only Jew in his
class, but then he proceeded to an unfamiliar manifestation.
Out of the blocks which were used for drawing he built a
cross on the desk and forced the Jew onto his knees before it.
He held him tight, in spite of his resistance; he was strong!
What made Diederich strong was the applause of the by-
standers, the crowd whose arms helped him, the overwhelming
majority within the building and in the world outside. He was
acting on behalf of the whole Christian community of Netzig.
How splendid it was to share responsibility, and to feel the
sensation of collective consciousness.

When the first flush of intoxication had waned, it is true, a
certain fear took its place, but all his courage returned to
Diederich when he saw the face of the first master he met.
It was so full of embarrassed good will. Others openly showed
their approval. Diederich smiled up at them with an air of
shy understanding. Things were easier for him after that.
The class could not refuse to honour one who enjoyed the
favour of the headmaster. Under him Diederich rose to the
head of the class and secretly acted as monitor. At least, he
laid claim, later on, to the latter of these honours also. He was
a good friend to all, laughed when they planned their escapades,
an unreserved and hearty laugh, as befitted an earnest youth
who could yet understand frivolity and then, during the
lunch hour, when he brought his notebook to the professor, he
reported everything. He also reported the nicknames of the
teachers and the rebellious speeches which had been made
against them. In repeating these things his voice trembled
with something of the voluptuous terror which he had experi-
enced as he listened to them with half-closed eyes. Whenever
there was any disparaging comment on the ruling powers he
had a guilty feeling of relief, as if something deep down in him-
self, like a kind of hatred, had hastily and furtively satisfied
its hunger.  (Snitch)ing on his comrades he atoned for his own
guilty impulses.

For the most part he had no personal feeling against the
pupils whose advancement was checked by his activities. He
acted as the conscientious instrument of dire necessity. After-
wards he could go to the culprit and quite honestly sympathise
with him. Once he was instrumental in catching some one
who had been suspected of copying. With the knowledge of
the teacher, Diederich gave him a mathematical problem, the
working out of which was deliberately wrong, while the final
result was correct. That evening, after the cheater had been
exposed, some of the students were sitting in the garden of a
restaurant outside the gate singing, as they were allowed to
do after gymnasium. Diederich had taken a seat beside his
victim. Once, when they had emptied their glasses he slipped
his right hand into that of his companion, gazed trustfully into
his eyes, and began all alone to sing in a bass voice that quiv-
ered with emotion:

“Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit. . . .”

For the rest, with increasing school experience he could make
a good show in most subjects, without going beyond what was
required of him in any one, or learning anything in the world
which was not prescribed in the programme. German com-
position was his most difficult subject, and any one who ex-
celled at it inspired him with an inexplicable mistrust.

Since he had been promoted to the highest class his matricu-
lation was certain, and his father and teachers felt that he
ought to continue his studies. Old Hessling, having marched
through the Brandenburger Tor in 1866 and 1871, decided to
send Diederich to Berlin.

As he did not care to venture far from the neighbourhood
of Friederichstrasse he rented a room up in Tieckstrasse, so
that he had only to walk straight down and could not miss the
University. As he had nothing else to do, he went there twice
a day, and in the intervals he often wept from homesickness.

He wrote a letter to his father and mother thanking them for
his happy childhood. He seldom went out unless he had to.
He scarcely dared to eat; he was afraid to spend his money
before the end of the month, and he would constantly feel his
pocket to see if it was still there.

Lonely as he felt, he still did not go to Blucherstrasse with
his father’s letter to Herr Goppel, the cellulose manufacturer,
who came from Netzig and also did business with Hessling.
He overcame his shyness on the fourth Sunday, and hardly
had the stout red-faced man, whom he had so often seen in his
father’s office, waddled up to meet him than Diederich won-
dered why he had not come sooner. Herr Goppel immediately
asked after everybody in Netzig, but especially old Buck.
Although his beard was now grey he still respected old Buck as
he had done when he was a boy like Diederich, only it was for
different reasons. He took off his hat to such a man, one of
those whom the German people should esteem more highly than
certain persons whose favountej^medy was blood and iron, for
which the nation had to pay so dearly. Old Buck was a Forty
Eighter, and had actually been condemned to death. “It is
to such people as old Buck,” said Herr Goppel, “that we owe
the privilege of sitting here as free men.” And, as he opened
another bottle of beer: “nowadays we are expected to let our-
selves be trampled on with jackboots. . . .”

Herr Goppel confessed himself a liberal opponent of Bis-
marck’s. Diederich agreed with everything that Goppel said:
he had no opinion to offer about the Chancellor, the young Em-
peror and freedom. Then he became uncomfortable, for a
young girl had come into the room, and at the first glance her
elegance and beauty frightened him.

“My daughter Agnes,” said Herr Goppel.

A lanky youth, in his flowing frock-coat, Diederich stood
there, blushing furiously. The girl gave him her hand. No
doubt she wanted to be polite, but what could one say to her?
Diederich said yes, when she asked him if he liked Berlin; and
when she asked if he had been to the theatre yet, he said no.
He was perspiring with nervousness, and was firmly convinced
that his departure was the only thing which would really in-
terest the young lady. But how could he get out of the place?
Fortunately a third party stepped into the breach, a burly crea-
ture named Mahlmann, who spoke with a loud Mecklenburg
accent, seemed to be a student of engineering and to be a lodger
at G6ppel’s. He reminded Fraulein Agnes of a walk they had
arranged to take. Diederich was invited to accompany them.
In dismay he pleaded the excuse of an acquaintance who was
waiting for him outside and went off at once. “Thank God,”
he thought, “she has some one,” but the thought hurt him.

Herr Goppel opened the door for him in the dark hall and
asked if his friend was also new to Berlin. Diederich lied, say-
ing his friend was from Berlin. “For if neither of you know
the city you will take the wrong bus. No doubt you have
often lost yourself already in Berlin.” When Diederich ad-
mitted it, Herr Goppel seemed satisfied. “Here it is not like in
Netzig; you can walk about for half a day. Just fancy when
you come from Tieckstrasse here to the Halle Gate you have
walked as far as three times through the whole of Netzig. . . .
Well now, next Sunday you must come to lunch.”

Diederich promised to go. When the time came he would
have preferred not to, he went only out of fear of his father.
This time he had to undergo a tete-a-tete with the young lady.
Diederich behaved as if absorbed in his own affairs and under
no obligation to entertain her. She began again to speak about
the theatre, but he interrupted her gruffly, saying he had no
time for such things. Oh yes, her father had told her that Herr
Hessling was studying chemistry.

“Yes. As a matter of fact that is the only science which
can justify its existence,” Diederich asserted, without exactly
knowing what put that idea into his head.

tulein Goppel let her bag fall, but he stooped so reluc-
tantly that she had picked it up before he could get to it. In
spite of that, she thanked him softly and almost shyly. Died-
erich was annoyed. “These coquettish women are horrible,”
he reflected. She was looking for something in her bag.

“Now I have lost it I mean my sticking-plaster. It is
bleeding again.”

She unwound her handkerchief from her finger. It looked
so much like snow that Diederich thought that the blood on
it would sink in.

“I have some plaster,” he said with a bow.

He seized her finger, and before she could wipe off the blood,
he licked it.

“What on earth are you doing?”

He himself was startled, and wrinkling his brow solemnly he
said: “Oh, as a chemist I have to do worse things than that.”

She smiled. “Oh yes, of course, you are a sort of doctor.
. . . How well you do it,” she remarked as she watched him
sticking on the plaster.

“There,” he said, pushing her hand away and moving back.
The air seemed to have become close and he thought: “If it
were only possible to avoid touching her skin. It is so disgust-
ingly soft.” Agnes stared over his head. After a time she
tried again: “Haven’t we got common relations in Netzig?”
She compelled him to go over a few families with her and they
discovered a cousin.

“Your mother is still living, isn’t she? You should be glad
of that. Mine is long since dead. I don’t suppose I shall live
long either. One has premonitions” and she smiled sadly
and apologetically.

Silently Diederich resolved that this sentimentality was ri-
diculous. Another long interval, and as they both hastened
to speak, the gentleman from Mecklenburg arrived. He
squeezed Diederich’s hand so hard that the latter winced, and
at the same time he looked into his face with a smile of tri-
umph. He drew a chair unconcernedly close to Agnes ‘s knee,
and with an air of proprietorship began talking animatedly
about all sorts of things which concerned only the two of them.
Diederich was left to himself and he discovered that Agnes was
not so terrible, when he could contemplate her undisturbed.
She wasn’t really pretty; her aquiline nose was too small, and
freckles were plainly visible on its narrow bridge. Her light
brown eyes were too close together, and they blinked when she
looked at any one. Her lips were too thin, as indeed her whole
face was. “If she had not that mass of reddish brown hair
over her forehead and that white complexion. . . .” He noted,
too, with satisfaction that the nail of the finger which he had
licked was not quite clean.

Herr Goppel came in with his three sisters, one of whom was
accompanied by her husband and children. Her father and
her aunts threw their arms round Agnes and kissed her fer-
vently, but with solemn composure. The girl was taller and
slimmer than any of them, and as they hung about her narrow
shoulders she looked down on them with an air of distraction.
The only kiss which she returned, slowly and seriously, was her
father’s. As Diederich watched this he could see in the bright
sunlight the pale blue veins in her temples overshadowed by
auburn hair.

It fell to him to take one of the aunts into the dining-room.
The man from Mecklenburg had taken Agnes’s arm. The silk
Sunday dresses rustled round the family table, while the gentle-
men took precautions not to crush the tails of their frock-coats.
While the gentlemen rubbed their hands in anticipation and
cleared their throats, the soup was brought in.

Diederich sat at some distance from Agnes, and he could not
see her unless he bent forward which he carefully refrained
from doing. As his neighbour left him in peace, he ate vast
quantities of roast veal and cauliflower. The food was the
subject of detailed conversation and he was called upon to tes-
tify to its excellence. Agnes was warned not to eat the salad,
she was advised to take a little red wine, and she was requested
to state whether she had worn her goloshes that morning.

Turning to Diederich Herr Goppel related how he and his sis-
ters somehow or other had got separated in Friederichstrasse,
and had not found one another until they were in the bus.
“That’s the sort of thing that would never happen in
Netzig,” he cried triumphantly to the whole table. Mahlmann
and Agnes spoke of a concert to which they said they must go,
and they were sure papa would let them. Herr Goppel mildly
objected and the aunts supported him in chorus. Agnes should
go to bed early and soon go for a change of air; she had over-
exerted herself in the winter. She denied it. “You never let
me go outside the door. You are terrible.”

Diederich secretly took her part. He was swept by a wave
of chivalry: He would have liked to make it possible for her
to do everything she wished, to be happy and to owe her hap-
piness to him. . . . Then Herr Goppel asked him if he would
like to go to the concert. “I don’t know/’ he said indifferently,
looking at Agnes who leaned forward. “What sort of a con-
cert is it? I go only to concerts where I can get beer.”

“Quite right,” said Herr Goppel’s brother-in-law.

Agnes had shrunk back, and Diederich regretted his state-

They were all looking forward to the custard but it did not
come. Herr Goppel advised his daughter just to have a look.
Before she could push away her plate Diederich had jumped
up, hurling his chair against the wall, and rushed to the door.
“Mary! the custard!” he bawled. Blushing, and without dar-
ing to look any one in the face, he returned to his seat, but he
saw only too clearly how they smiled at one another. Mahl-
mann actually snorted contemptuously. With forced hearti-
ness the brother-in-law said: “Always polite; as a gentleman
should be.” Herr Goppel smiled affectionately at Agnes, who
did not raise her eyes from her plate. Diederich pressed his
knees against the leaf of the table until it shook. He thought:
“My God, my God, if only I hadn’t done that!”

When they wished each other “gesegnete Mahlzeit” he shook
hands with everybody except Agnes, to whom he bowed awk-
wardly. In the drawing-room at coffee he carefully chose a
seat where he was screened by Mahlmann’s broad back. One
of the aunts tried to take possession of him.

“What are you studying, may I ask, young man?” she said.


“Oh, I see, physics?”

“No, chemistry.”

“Oh, I see.”

Auspiciously as she had begun, she could not get any fur-
ther. To himself Diederich described her as a silly goose.
The whole company was impossible. In moody hostility he
looked on until the last relative had departed. Agnes and her
father had seen them out, and Herr Goppel returned to the
room and found the young man, to his astonishment, still sit-
ting there alone. He maintained a puzzled silence and once
dived his hand into his pocket. When Diederich said good-
bye of his own accord, without trying to borrow money, Goppel
displayed the utmost amiability. “I’ll say good-bye to my
daughter for you,” said he, and when they got to the door he
added, after a certain hesitation: “Come again next Sunday,
won’t you?”

Diederich absolutely determined never to put his foot in the
house again. Nevertheless, he neglected everything for days
afterwards to search the town for a place where he could buy
Agnes a ticket for the concert. He had to find out beforehand
from the posters the name of the virtuoso whom Agnes had
mentioned. Was that he? hadn’t the name sounded something
like that? Diederich decided, but he opened his eyes in horror
when he discovered that it cost four marks fifty. All that good
money to hear a man make music! Once he had paid and got
out into the street, he became indignant at the swindle. Then
he recollected that it was all for Agnes and his indignation sub-
sided. He went on his way through the crowd feeling more
and more mellow and happy. It was the first time he had ever
spent money on another human being.

He put the ticket in an envelope, without any covering mes-
sage, and, in order not to give himself away, he inscribed the
address in the best copper-plate style. While he was standing
at the letter-box Mahlmann came up and laughed derisively.
Diederich felt that he was discovered and looked earnestly at
the hand which he had just withdrawn from the box. But
Mahlmann merely announced his intention of having a look at
Diederich’s quarters. He found that the place looked as if it
belonged to an elderly lady. Diederich had actually brought
the coffee pot from home! Diederich was hot with shame.
When Mahlmann contemptuously opened and shut his chem-
istry books Diederich was ashamed of the subject he was
studying. The man from Mecklenburg plumped down on the
sofa and asked: “What do you think of the little Goppel girl?
Nice kid, isn’t she? Oh, look at him blushing again! Why
don’t you go after her? I am willing to retire, if it is any
satisfaction to you, I have fifteen other strings to my bow.”

Diederich made a gesture of indifference:

“I tell you she is worth while, if I am any judge of women.
That red hair! and did you ever notice how she looks at you
when she thinks you can’t see her?”

“Not at me,” said Diederich even more indifferently. “I
don’t care a damn about it anyhow.”

“So much the worse for you!” Mahlmann laughed boister-
ously. Then he proposed that they should take a stroll, which
degenerated into a round of the bars. By the time the street
lamps were lit they were both drunk. Later on, in Leipziger-
strasse without any provocation, Mahlmann gave Diederich a
tremendous box on the ear. “Oh,” he said, “you have an in-
fernal .” He was afraid to say “cheek.” “All right, old

chap, amongst friends, no harm meant,” cried the Mecklen-
burger, clapping him on the shoulder. And finally he touched

Diederich for his last ten marks. . . . Four days later he
found him, weak from hunger, and magnanimously shared with
him three marks from what he had meanwhile borrowed else-
where. On Sunday at Goppel’s where Diederich would per-
haps not have gone if his stomach had not been so empty
Mahlmann explained that Hessling had squandered all his
money and would have to eat his fill that day. Herr Goppel
and his brother-in-law laughed knowingly, but Deiderich would
rather never have been born than meet the sad, inquiring eyes
of Agnes. She despised him. In desperation he consoled him-
self with the thought: “She always did. What does it mat-
ter?” Then she asked if it was he who had sent the concert
ticket. Every one turned to look at him.

“Nonsense! Why on earth should I have done that?” he
returned, so gruffly that they all believed him. Agnes hesi-
tated a little before turning away. Mahlmann offered the
ladies sugar-almonds and placed what was left in front of
Agnes. Diederich took no notice of her, and ate even more
than on the previous occasion. Why not, since they all thought
he had come there for no other reason? When some one pro-
posed that they should go out to Griinewald for their coffee,
Diederich invented another engagement. He even added: with
“some one whom I cannot possibly keep waiting.” Herr Goppel
placed his closed hand on his shoulder, smiled at him, with his
head a little on one side, and said in an undertone: “Of course
you know the invitation includes you.” But Diederich indig-
nantly assured him that had nothing to do with it. “Well, in
any case you will come again whenever you feel inclined.”
Goppel concluded, and Agnes nodded. She appeared to wish
to say something, but Diederich would not wait. He wan-
dered about for the rest of the day in a state of self-com-
placent grief, like one who has achieved a great sacrifice. In
the evening he sat in an overcrowded beer-room, with his head
in his hands, and wagged his head at his solitary glass from
time to time, as if he now understood the ways of destiny.

What was he to do against the masterly manner in which
Mahlmann accepted his loans? On Sunday the Mecklenbur-
ger had brought a bouquet for Agnes, though Diederich, who
came with empty hands, might have said: “That is really from
me.” Instead of that he was silent, and was more incensed
against Agnes than against Mahlmann. The latter commanded
his admiration when he ran at night after some passer-by and
knocked in his hat although Diederich was by no means blind
to the warning which this procedure contained for himself.

At the end of the month he received for his birthday an un-
expected sum of money which his mother had saved up for him,
and he arrived at GoppeFs with a bouquet, not so large as to
give himself away, or to challenge Mahlmann. As she took it
the girl’s face wore an embarrassed expression, and Diederich’s
smile was both shy and condescending. That Sunday seemed
to him unusually gay and the proposal that they should go
to the Zoological Gardens did not surprise him.

The company set out, after Mahlmann had counted them:
Eleven persons. Like Gb’ppePs sisters, all the women they met
were dressed quite differently than on week-days, as if they
belonged to-day to a higher class, or had come into a legacy.
The men wore frock coats, only a few with dark trousers like
Diederich, but many had straw hats. The side streets were
broad, uniform and empty, not a soul was to be seen, nor any
of the usual refuse. In one, however, a group of little girls
in white dresses, and black stockings, bedecked with ribbons
were singing shrilly and dancing in a ring. Immediately af-
terwards, in the main thoroughfare, they came on perspiring
matrons storming a bus, and the faces of the shop assistants,
who struggled ruthlessly with them for seats, looked so pale
beside -their strong red cheeks that one would have thought
they were going to faint. Every one pushed forward, every
one rushed to the one goal where pleasure would begin. On
every face was plainly written: “Come on, we have worked

Diederich became the complete city man for the benefit of
the ladies. He captured several seats for them in the tram.
One gentleman was on the point of taking the seat when Died-
erich prevented him by stamping heavily on his foot. “Clumsy
fool!” he cried and Diederich answered in appropriate terms.
Then it turned out that Herr Goppel knew him, and scarcely
had they been introduced when both exhibited the most courtly
manners. Neither would sit down lest the other should have
to stand.

When they sat down at table in the Zoological Gardens Die-
derich succeeded in getting beside Agnes why was everything
going so well to-day? and when she proposed to go and look
at the animals immediately after they had had their coffee, he
enthusiastically seconded the proposal. He felt wonderfully
enterprising. The ladies turned back at the narrow passage
between the cages of the wild animals. Diederich offered to
accompany Agnes. “Then you’d better take me with you,”
said Mahlmann. “If a bar really did break ”

“Then it would not be you who would put it back into its
place,” retorted Agnes, as she entered, while Mahlmann burst
out laughing. Diederich went after her. He was afraid of the
animals who bounded towards him on both sides, without a
sound but the noise of their breathing which he felt upon him.
And he was afraid of the young girl whose perfume drew him
on. When they had gone some distance she turned round and
said, “I hate people who boast.”

“Really?” Diederich asked, joyfully moved.

“You are actually nice to-day,” said Agnes; and he: “I
always want to be nice.”

“Really?” and her voice trembled slightly. They looked
at one another, each with an expression suggesting that they
had not deserved all this. The girl said complainingly:

“I can’t stand the horrible smell of these animals.” Then
they went back.

Mahlmann greeted them. “I was curious to see if you were
going to give us the slip.” Then he took Diederich aside.
“Well, how did you find her? Did you get on all right?
Didn’t I tell you that no great arts are required?”

Diederich made no reply.

‘I suppose you made a good beginning?  Now let me tell
you this: I shall be only two more terms in Berlin, then you
can take her on after I am gone, but meanwhile, hands off
my little friend!’  As he said this, his small head looked ma-
licious on his immense body.

Diederich was dismissed.  He had received a terrible fright
and did not again venture in Agnes’s neighbourhood.  She did
not pay much attention to Mahlmann, but shouted over her
shoulder: ‘Father! it is beautiful to-day and I really feel well.’

Herr Goppel took her arm between his two hands, as if he
were going to squeeze it tight, but he scarcely touched it.  His
colourless eyes laughed and filled with tears.  When the fam-
ily had taken its departure, he called his daughter and the two
young men, and declared that this was a day which must be
celebrated;  they would go along down Unter den Linden and
afterwards get something to eat.”  Heinrich Mann, The Patrioteer; authorized translation of Ernest Boyd, 1921 

Pixabay Image 1913385

Numero Tres1. The Sociological Concept of Thought

This book is concerned with the problem of how men actually think. The aim of these studies is to investigate not how thinking appears in textbooks on logic, but how it really functions in public life and in politics as an instrument of collective action.

Philosophers have too long concerned themselves with their own thinking. When they wrote of thought, they had in mind primarily their own history, the history of philosophy, or quite special f ields of knowledge, such as mathematics or physics. This type of thinking is applicable only under quite special circumstances, and what can be learned by analysing it is not directly transferable to other spheres of life. Even when it is applicable, it refers only to a specific dimension of existence which does not suffice for living human beings who are seeking to comprehend and to mould their world.

Meanwhile, acting men have, for better or for worse, proceeded to develop a variety of methods for the experiential and intellec- tual penetration of the world in which they live, which have never been analysed with the same precision as the so-cal led exact modes of knowing. When, however, any human activity I continues over a long period without being subjected to intellectual control or criticism, it tends to get out of hand.

Hence it is to be regarded as one of the anomalies of our time that those methods of thought by means of which we arrive at our most crucial decisions, and through which we seek to diagnose and guide our political and social destiny, have remained unrecognized and therefore inaccessible to intellectual control and self-criticism. This anomaly becomes all the more monstrous when we call to mind that in modem times much more depends on the correct thinking through of a situation than was the case in earlier societies. The significance of social knowledge grows proportionately with the increasing necessity of regulatory intervention in the social process. This so-called pre-scientific inexact mode of thought, however (which, paradoxically, the logicians and philosophers also use when they have to make practical decisions), is not to be understood solely by the use of logical analysis. It constitutes a complex v/hich cannot be readily detached either from the psychological roots of the emotional and vital impulses which underlie it or from the situation in which it arises and which it seeks to solve.

It is the most essential task of this book to work out a suitable method for the description and analysis of this type of thought and its changes, and to formulate those problems connected with it which will both do justice to its unique character and prepare the way for its critical understanding. The method which we will seek to present is that of the sociology of knowledge.

The principal thesis of the sociology of knowledge is that there are modes of thought which cannot be adequately understood as long as their social origins are obscured. It is indeed true that only the individual is capable of thinking. There is no such metaphysical entity as a group mind which thinks over and above the heads of individuals, or whose ideas the individual merely reproduces. Nevertheless it would be false to deduce from this that all the ideas and sentiments which (appear in life can) be adequately explained solely on the basis of his own life- experience.

Just as it would be incorrect to attempt to derive a language merely from observing a single individual, who speaks not a language of his own but rather that of his contemporaries and pre- decessors who have prepared the path for him, so it is incorrect to explain the totality of an outlook^nly with reference to its genesis in the mind of the individual. /Only in a quite limited sense does the single individual create outoT himself the mode of speech ”tuid of thought we attribute to him. He speaks the language of his group ; he thinks in the manner in which his group thinks^ He finds at his disposal only certain words and their meanings. These not only determine to a large extent the avenues of approach to the surrounding world, but they also show at the same time from which angle and in which context of activity objects have hitherto been perceptible and accessible to the group or the individual.

The first point which we now have to emphasize is that the approach of the sociology of knowledge intentionally does not start with the single individual and his thinking in order then to proceed directly in the manner of the philosopher to the abstract heights of ” thought as such “. Rather, the sociology of knowledge seeks to comprehend thought in the concrete setting of an historical-social situation out of which individual’s differentiated thought only very gradually emerges: Thus, it is not men in general who think, or even isolated individuals who do the thinking, but men in certain groups who have developed, a particular style of thought in an endless series of responses to certain typical situations characterizing their common position.

Strictly speaking it is incorrect to say that the single individual thinks. Rather it is more correct to insist that he participates in thinking) further what other men have thought before him. He finds liiimself in an inherited situation with patterns of thought which are appropriate to this situation and attempts to elaborate further the inherited modes of response or to sub- stitute j3|iiei:sJQr. them .in order to deal more adequately. with, the^ . jiewxh^Uenges which have arisen out of the shifts and changes irk .^^ — ^fcr his situation. Every individual is therefore in a two-fold sense predetermined by the fact of growing up in a society : on the one /hand he finds a ready-made situation and on the other he /finds in that situation preformed patterns of thought and of conduct.

The second feature characterizing the method of the sociology of knowledge is that it does not sever the concretely existing modes of thought from the context of collective action through which we first discover the world in an intellectual sense. Men living in groups do not merely coexist physically as discrete individuals. They do not confront the objects of the world from the abstract levels of a contemplating mind as such, nor do they do so exclusively as solitary beings. (On the contrary they act with and against one another in diversely organized groups, and while doing so they think with and against one another. These personsr bound together into groups, strive in accordance with the character and position of the groups to whicYi they belong tOy change the surrounding world of nature and society or attempt to maintain it in a given condition.) It is the direction of this will to change or to maintain, of this collective activity, which produces the guiding thread for the emergence of their problems, their concepts, and their forms of thought, (jn accord -with the particular context of collective activity in which they partici- pate, men always tend to. see the world which surrounds them differently^ Just as pure logical analysis has severed individual thought front its group situation, so it also separated thought from action. It did this on the tacit assumption that those inherent connections which always exist in reality between thought on the one hand, and group and activity on the other, are either insignifi- cant for ” correct ” thinking or can be detached from these foundations without any resultant difficulties. But the fact that one ignores something by no means puts an end to its existence. Nor can anyone who has not first given himself whole-heartedly to the exact observation of the wealth of forms in which men really think decide a priori whether this severance from the social situation and context of activity is always realizable. Nor indeed can it be determined offhand that such a complete dichotomy is fully desirable precisely in the interest of objective factual knowledge.

It may be that, in certain spheres of knowledge, it is the impulse to act which first makes the objects of the world accessible to the acting subject, and it may be further that it is this factor which determines the selection of those elements of reality which enter into thought. And it is not inconceivable that if this volitional factor were entirely excluded (in so far as such a thing is possible), the concrete content would completely disappear from the concepts, and the organizing principle which first makes possible an inteUigent statement of the problem would be lost. But this is not to say that in those domains where attachment to the group and orientation towards action seem to be an essential element in the situation, every possibility of intellectual, critical self-control is futile. Perhaps it is precisely when the hitherto concealed dependence of thought on group existence and its rootedness in action becomes visible that it really becomes possible for the first time, through becoming aware of them, to attain a new mode of control over previously uncontrolled factors in thought.

This brings us to the central problem of the book. These remarks should make it clear that a preoccupation with these problems and their solution will furnish a foundation for the social sciences and answer the question as to the possibility of the scientific guidance of political life. It is, of course, true that in the social sciences, as elsewhere, the ultimate criterion of truth or falsity is to be found in the investigation of the object, and the sociology of knowledge is no substitute for this. (In no case is) the examina- tion of the object … an isolated act; it takes place in a (matrix or millieu) which is coloured bv values and collective-unconscious, volitional impulses. In the social sciences it is this intellectual interest, oriented in a matrix of collective activity, which provides not only the general questions, but the concrete hypotheses for research and the thought-models for the ordering of experience. Only as we succeed in bringing into the area of conscious and explicit observation the various points of departure and of approach to the facts which are current in scientific as well as popular discussion, can we hope, in the course of time, to control the unconscious motivations and presuppositions which, in the last analysis, have brought these modes of thought into existence…

2. The Contemporary Predicament of Thought

It is by no means an accident that the problem of the social and activistic roots of thinking has emerged in our generation. Nor is it accidental that the unconscious, which has hitherto motivated our thought and activity, has been gradually raised to the level of awareness and thereby made accessible to control. It would be a failure to recognize its relevance to our own plight if we did not see that it is a specific social situation which has impelled us to reflect about the social roots of our knowledge. It is one of the fundamental insights of the sociology of knowledge n that the process by which collective-unconscious motives become y^ conscious cannot operate in every epoch, but only in a quite specinc situation. This situation is sociologically determinable. One can point out with relative precision the factors which ar e ^ _inevitably forcing more and more p ersons to reflect not merel y about the thmgs ot the woria. put aooui thmk mg itself and even here not so much about truth in Itselt. as apout tne aiarmmg f act that the saj p*^ wnHrl rar| fip near differently to different observers.

It is clear that such problems can become general only in a n””^\ y age in which disagreement is more rnnsnini niT^ than a yr^pment. J One turns from the direct observation of things to the considera- tion of ways of thinking only when the possibility of the direct and continuous elaboration of concepts concerning things and – situations has collapsed in the face of a multiplicity of funda- mentally divergent definitions. Now we are enabled to designate more precisely than a general and formal analysis makes possible, exactly in which social and intellectual situation such a shift of attention from things to divergent opinions and from there to the unconscious motives of thought must necessarily occur. …

As long as the same meanings of words, the same ways of deducing ideas, are inculcated from childhood on into every member of the group, divergent thought- processes cannot exist in that society. Even a gradual modifica- tion in ways of thinking (where it should happen to arise), does not become perceptible to the members of a group who live in a stable situation as long as the tempo in the adaptations of ways of thinking to new problems is so slow that it extends over several generations. In such a case, one and the same generation in the course of its own life span can scarcely become aware that a change is taking place.

But in addition to the general dynamics of the historical process, factors of quite another sort must enter before the multiplicity of the ways of thinking will become noticeable and emerge as a theme for reflection. Thus it is primarily the intensification of social mobility which destroys the earlier illusion, prevalent in a static society, that an idea can change, but thought remains eternally the same. And what is more, the two forms of social mobility, horizontal and vertical, operate in different ways to reveal this multiplicity of styles of thought. Horizontal mobility (movement from one position to another or from one country to another without changing social status) shows us that different peoples think differently. As long, however, as the traditions of one’s national and local group remain unbroken, one remains so attached to its customary ways of thinking that the ways of thinking which are perceived in other groups are regarded as curiosities, errors, ambiguities, or heresies. At this stage one does not doubt either the correctness of one’s own traditions of thought or the unity and uniformity of thought in general. Only when horizontal mobility is amplified by intensive vertical mobility, i.e. rapid movement between strata, with a sense of social ascent and descent, is the belief in the general and eternal validity of one’s own mobility is the decisive factor in making persons uncertain and sceptical of their traditional view of the world. It is, of course, true that even in static societies with very slight vertical mobility, different strata within the same society have had different ways of experiencing the world. It is the merit of Max Weber ^ to have clearly shown in his sociology of religion how often the same religion is variously experienced by peasants, artisans, merchants, nobles, and intellectuals. In a society organized along the lines of closed castes or ranks the comparative absence of vertical mobility served either to isolate from each other the divergent world-views or if, for example, they experienced a common religion, according to their different contexts of life, they inter- preted it in a different way. This accounts for the fact that the diversity of modes of thought of different castes did not converge in one and the same mind and hence could not become a problem. From a sociolopcal point nf vipw fhp d^rkivp ^h^l^^ re takes p lace when that siage of historical development is reached in which the previously isolated strata begin to communicate with one another a nd a certain social circulation sets in. …

In a well stabilized society the mere infiltration of the modes of ^ thought of the lower strata into the higher would not mean very much since the bare perception by the dominant group of possible variations in thinking would not result in their being intellectually shaken. As long as a society is stabilized on the basis of authority . and social prestige is accorded only to the achievements of th e u pper straium. this class has little cause to call into nnp,stinn it s own social existence and the value of its achievements , j A part from a considerable social ascent, it is not until we hav^ g eneral (lemnrrat iyatmn that thp rise of the lower strata allp ws t heir thinking to acquire nnblic significance.^ This process of • democratization first makes it possible for the ways of thinking: of the lower strata, which formerly had no public … position to confront. … Thus, for example, in our own time, pragmatism, as will be seen later, when viewed sociologically, constitutes the legitimation of a technique of thinking and of an epistemology which has elevated the criteria of everyday experience to the level of ‘academic’ discussion. … And now, too, for the first time these ideas and modes of thought are capable of impelling the person who thinks within their framework to subject the objects of his world to a fundamental questioning. It is with this clashing of modes of thought, each of which has the same claims to representational validity, that for the first time there is rendered possible the emergence of the question which is so fateful, but also so fundamental in the history of thought, namely, how it is possible that identical human thought-processes concerned with the same world produce divergent conceptions of that world. And from this point it is only a step further to ask : Is it not possible that the thought- processes which are involved here are not at all identical ? May it not be found, when one has examined all the possibilities of human thought, that there are numerous alternative paths which can be followed ?

Was it not this process of social ascent which in the Athenian democracy called forth the first great surge of scepticism in the history of Occidental thought ? Were not the Sophists of the Greek Enlightenment the expression of an attitude of doubt which arose essentially out of the fact that in their thinking about every object, two modes of explanation collided ? On the one hand was the m5H:hology which was the way of thinking of a dominant nobility already doomed to decline. On the other hand was the more analytical habit of thought of an urban artisan lower stratum, which was in the process of moving upwards. Inasmuch as these two forms of interpreting the world converged in the thought of the Sophists, and since for every moral decision there were available at least two standards, and for every cosmic and social happening at least two explanations, it is no wonder that they had a sceptical notion of the value of human thought. It is therefore pointless to censure them in schoolmaster fashion for having been sceptics in their epistemological efforts. They simply had the courage to express what every person who was really characteristic of the epoch felt, namely, that the previous unambiguity of norms and interpretations had been shattered, and that a satisfactory solution was to be found only in a thoroughgoing questioning and thinking through of the contradictions. This general uncertainty was by no means a symptom of a world doomed to general decay, but it was rather the beginning of a wholesome process which marked a crisis leading to recovery. Was it not, furthermore, the great virtue of Socrates that he had the courage to descend into the abyss of this scepticism ? Was he not originally also a Sophist who took up the technique of raising questions and then raising further questions, and made it his own ? And did he not overcome the crisis by questioning even more radically than the Sophists and thus arrive at an intellectual resting-point which, at least for the mentality of that epoch, showed itself to be a reliable foundation ? It is interesting to observe that thereby the world of norms and of being came to occupy the central place in his inquiry. Furthermore, he was at least as intensively concerned with the question as to how individuals are able to think of and judge the same facts in different ways as he was with the facts themselves. Even at this stage in the history of thought it becomes apparent that in various periods the problems of thinking can be solved not solely by preoccupation with the object but rather only through dis- covering why opinions concerning them really differ.

In addition to those social factors which account for the early unity and subsequent multiplicity in the dominant forms of thought, another important factor should be mentioned. In_ ^ >. e very society there are social groups whose special task it is to \ i provide an in terpretation of the world for that society. We call t hese the ‘ ‘ intelligentsia ”. The more static a society is. the more likely is it that this stratum will acquire a”well-defined status or the position of a caste in that society. Thus the magicians, “the BrahfninB, the medieval clergy are to be regarded as intellectual strata, each of which in its society enjoyed a mono- polistic control over the moulding of that society’s world-view, and over either the reconstruction or the reconciliation of the differences in the naively formed world-views of the other strata. The sermon, the confession, the lesson, are, in this sense, means by which reconciliation of the different conceptions of the world takes place at less sophisticated levels of social development. This i nteUectual_stratum. organized as a caste and m ono polizi ng the right to preach, /feach,’ and interpret the world is conditioned t)y the förce’of two seetal factofs^ The~more it makes itself the exponent of a thoroughly or ganized collectivity (e.g. the Church), the more its thinking tends towards ‘ scholasti cism “. It must give~lL dogmatically bmding force to modes of” thought which formerly were valid only for a sect and thereby s ancti on the ontology and e pistemology – implicit in this mode of though t. The necessity of having to present a unified front to outsiders compels this transition. The same result may also be brought about by the possibility that the concentration of power within the social structure will be so pronounced that uniformity of thought and experience can be imposed upon the members of at least one’s own caste with greater success than heretofore.

The second characteristic of this monopolistic type of thought is its relative remoteness from the open conflicts of everyday life ; hence it is also ” scholastic ” in this sense, i.e. academic and life- » less. This type of thought does not arise primarily from the struggle with concrete problems of life nor from trial and error, nor from experiences in mastering nature and society, but rather much more from its own need for systematization, which always refers the facts which emerge in the religious as well as in other spheres of life back to given traditional and intellec- tually uncontrolled premises. The antagonisms which emerge in these discussions do not embody the conflict of various modes of experience so much as various positions of power within the same social structure, which have at the time identified them- selves with the different possible interpretations of the dogmatized traditional ” truth “. The dogmatic content of the premises with which these divergent groups start and which this thought then seeks in different ways to justify turns out for the most part to be a matter of accident, if judged by the criteria of factual evidence. It is completely arbitrary in so far as it depends upon which sect happens to be successful, in accordance with historical- political destiny, in making its own intellectual and experiential traditions the traditions of the entire clerical caste of the church. From a sociological point of view the decisive fact of moder n t ijnes. in contrast with the situation during the Middle Ages , i s that this monopoly of the ecclesiastical interpretation of the world which was held by the priestly caste is broken, and in Tl ie ^ place ot a closed and tnoro ughly organized stratum of intellectual s, a Iree mieillggUtSlä fl S.^ arisen . Its cJiiet charactenstic is tllat iny lllWt;a,ylfiyly recruited Irom constantly varying social strata and life-situations, and that its mode of thought is no longer subject to regulation by a caste-like organization. D uf; to, the absence of a social organization of their own, the intellectuals have allowed those ways of thinking and experiencing to get a hearing which openly competed with one another in the larger world of the other strata. When one considers further that with the renunciation Of the monopoHstic privileges of a caste type of existence, free competition began to dominate the modes of intellectual production, one understands why, to the extent that they were in competition, the intellectuals adopted in an ever more pronounced fashion the most various modes of thought and experience available in society and played them off against one another. They did this inasmuch as they had to compete for the favour of a public which, unUke the public of the clergy, was no longer accessible to them without their own efforts. This competition for the favour of various public groups was accentuated because the distinctive modes of experiencing and thinking of each attained increasing public expression and validity.

In this process the intellectual’s illusion that there is only one way of thinking disappears. The intellectual is now no longer, as formerly, a member of a caste or rank whose scholastic manner of thought represents for him thought as such. In_this relatively simple process is to be sought the explanation for the fact that t he fund ame ntal questioning of thought in modem times does | n oi begin until tne collapse ol tne intellectual monopoly of t he clergy. The almost unanimously accepted world-view wnicn had been artificially maintained fell apart the moment the socially monopolistic position of its producers was destroyed. With the . liberation of the intellectuals from the rigorous organization of the church, other ways of interpreting the world were increcis* ingly recognized.

The disruption of the intellectual monopoly of the church brought about a sudden flowering of an unexampled intellectual richness. But at the same time we must attribute to the organiza- tional disintegration of the unitary church the fact that the belief in the unity and eternal nature of thought, which had persisted since classical antiquity, was again shaken. The origins of the profound disquietude of the present day reach back to this period, even though in most recent times additional causes of a quite .different nature have entered into the process. OutjDHhis first upsurge of the profound disquietude- of modern inan there emerged those fundamentally new modes of thought and investiga- tion, the epTstemological, the psychological, and the socIöTögical, without which to-day we could not even formulate our problem. For this reason we will attempt in the next section to show, in its main lines at least, how the many forms of questioning and investigation available to us arose from this unitary social situation. …

3. The Origin of the Modern Epistemological,

Psychological, and Sociological, Points of View

Epistemology was the first significant philosophical product of the breakdown of the unitary world-view with which the modern era was ushered in. In this instance, as in antiquity, it was the first reflection of the unrest which emerged from the fact that those thinkers who were penetrating to the very founda- tions of thought were discovering not only numerous world-views but also numerous ontological orders. Epistemology sought to eliminate this uncertainty bj^ taking its point of departure not from a dogmatically taught thenrv nf evistenrp T\nr- frcj^ pi a^world-order which was validated by a higher type of knowledge . but from an analysis of the knowing supfett . »«- ‘ ^ _All_epistemological speculation ig’iöfiented within the polarity oXobiect and subjecfT^Eiffier it starfs’wifh theWorld of objects, which in one way or another it dogmatically presupposes as familiar to ail, and with this as a basis explains the position, of the subject in this world-order, deriving therefrom his cognitive powers ; or else it starts with the subject as the immediate and unquestioned datum and seeks to derive from him the possibility of valid knowledge. In periods in which the objective world-view remains more or less unshaken, and in epochs which succeed in presenting one unambiguously perceivable world- order, there exists the tendency to base the existence of the know- ing human subject and his intellectual capacities on objective factors. Thus in the Middle Ages, which not only believed in an unambiguous world-order but which also thought that it knew the ” existential value ” to be attributed to every object in the hierarchy of things, there prevailed an explanation of the value of human edacities and thought which was based on the world of objects. Byt-afl£rJhe_bi£akdown which we described, the conception of order in the world of o^B]ecfs~whTCK~’had been guaranteed by the dominance of the church became problematical, and there remained no alternative but to turn about and to take the opposite road, and, with the subject as the pointof departure, to determine the nature and the value of the human cognitive act, attempting thereby to find an anchorage for objective existence in the knowing suhject.

Although precursors for this tendency are already to be found in medieval thought, it fully emerged for the first time in the rationalistic current of French and (German philosophy from Descartes through Leibnitz to Kant on the one hand, and in the more psychologically oriented epistemology of Hobbes, Locke, ^Berkeley, and Hume on the other. This Wcis above all else the v meaning of Descartes’ intellectual experiment, of the exemplary struggle in which he attempted to question all traditional theories in order, finally, to arrive at the no longer questionable cogito ergo sum. This was the only point from which he could again undertake anew to lay the foundations for a world-view. AU these attempts presuppose the more or less explicit con- sideration that the subject is more immediately accessible to us -than the object which has become too ambiguous as a result of the many divergent interpretations to which it has been subjected. For this reason we must, wherever possible, empiri- cally reconstruct the genesis of thought in the subject which is more accessible to our control. In the mere preference for the empirical observations and genetic ‘ criteria which gradually became supreme, the will to the destruction of the authoritarian principle was revealed in operation. It represents a centrifugal tendency in opposition to the church as the official interpreter of the universe. Only that has vahdity which I can control in K /^^ r my own perception, which is corroborated in my own experimental ^j. — V activity, or which I myself can produce or at least conceptually construct äs producible.

Consequently, in place of the traditional, ecclesiastically , ^ guaranteed story of creation, there emerged a conception of the j i formation of the world, the various parts of which are subject j | to intellectual control. This conceptual model of the producibility of the world- view from the cognitive act led to the solution of the epistemological problem. It was hoped that through insight into r/ the origins of cognitive representation one could arrive at some 1 notion of the role and significance of the subject for the act of ^ \ knowing and of the truth-value of human knowledge in general. ~^ It was indeed appreciated that this circuitous approach through ■ the subject was a substitute and a makeshift in the absence of anything better. A complete solution of the problem would be possible only if an extra-human and infallible mind were to render a judgment about the value of our thinking. But precisely this method had failed in the past, because the farther one progressed in the criticism of earlier theories, the more clear did it become that those philosophies which made the most absolute claims were the most likely to fall into easily perceivable self-deceptions. Hence, the method which meanwhile had proved itself the most suitable one in the natural orientation to the world and in the natural sciences, namely the empirical method, came to be preferred.

When, in the course of development, the philological and his- torical sciences were elaborated, the possibility arose in the analysis of thought of also drawing upon the historically evolving conceptions of the world and of understanding this wealth of philosophical and religious world-views in terms of the genetic process through which they had come into existence. Thus thought came to be examined at very different levels of its development and in quite different historical situations. It became evident that much more could be said about the manner in which the structure of the subject influenced his world-view when one made use of animal psychology, child psychology, the psychology of language, the psychology of primitive peoples, and the psychology of intellectual history than when one set about it with a purely speculative analysis of the achievements of a transcendent subject.

The epistemological recourse to the subject rendered possible in this way the emergence of a psychology which became ever more precise, including a psychology of thought which, as we have indicated above, broke up into numerous fields of specialization. However, the more precise this empirical psychology became, the greater the appreciation of the scope of empirical observation, the more evident it became that the subject was by no means such a safe point of departure for the attainment of a new con- ception of the world as had previously been assumed. It is indeed true, in a certain sense, that inner experience is more immediately given than external experience, and that the inner connection between experiences can be more surely comprehended, if, among other things, one is able to have a sympathetic under- standing of the motivations which produce certain actions. However, it was nonetheless clear that one could not entirely avoid the risks involved in an ontology. The psyche, too, with all its inwardly immediately perceivable experiences is a segment of reality. … The type of psychology which connected the Middle Ages with modem times, and which drew its contents from the self-observa- tion of the religious man, does indeed still operate with certain concepts rich with content which evidence t he conti nuing influence of a religious ontology of the soul. We are thinking, in this” connection, of psychology as it has grown out of the inner struggle over the choice between good and evil, which was now conceived of as occurring in the subject. Such a psychology was developed in the conflicts of conscience and in the scepticism of men like Pascal and Montaigne down to Kierkegaard. Here we still find, pregnant with meaning, certain_orientational concepts of an ontological sort such as despair, sin, salvation, and loneli- ness, which derive a certain richness from experience because every experience, which from its very beginning, is directed towards a religious goal, has its concrete content. Nonetheless these experiences, too, with the passage of time became more bare of content, thinner, and more formal as in the outer world their original frame of reference, their religious ontology, became enfeebled. A socie^j’ in which diverse groups can no longer agree on t he mea ning of God, Life, and Man, will be equally unable to decide unanimously what is ta be understood by sm, despair, , ^ ‘ salvation, or loneliness. Recourse to the subject along these lines *’ provided no real assistance. Only he who immerses himself in his own self in such a manner that he does not destroy all of the elements of personal meaning and of value is in a position to find answers to questions that involve meaning. In the mean- time, however, as a result of this radical formalization, scientific psychic inward observation took on new forms. Fundamentally this psychic inward observation involved the same process which characterized the experiencing and thinking through of the objects of the external world. Such meaning-giving interpreta- tions with qualitatively rich contents (as, for instance, sin, despair, loneliness, Christian love) were replaced by formalized entities such as the feeling of anxiety, the perception of inner I s conflict, the experiencing of isolation, and the ” libido “. These latter sought to apply interpretive schemes derived from mechanics to the inner experience of man. The aim here was not so much to comprehend as precisely as possible the inner con- tentual richness of experiences as they coexist in the individual and together operate towards the achievement of a meaningful goal ; the attempt was rather to exclude all distinctive elements in experience from the content in order that, wherever possible. …

Or else the category of function was employed in the sense that single phenomena were interpreted from the point of view of their role in the formal functioning of the whole psychic mechanism, as, for instance, that when mental conflicts are interpreted, as, basically, the result of two unintegrated contradictory tendencies in the psychic sphere, they are the expressions of the subject’s maladjustment. Their function is to compel the subject to reorganize his process of adaptation and to arrive at a new equilibrium. …

The interconnections of meaning which were in this procedure
heuristically excluded (in the interests of scientific simplification) so that formal and easily definable entities could be arrived at, are not recaptured by a mere further perfection of formalization through the discovery of correlations and functions. It may indeed be necessary, for the sake of the precise observability of the formal sequence of experiences, to discard the concrete contents of experiences and values. …

Although we may know a great deal about the conditions under which conflicts arise, we may still know nothing about the inner situation of having human beings, and how, when their values are shattered, they lose their bearings and strive again to find
themselves. Just as the most exact theory of cause and function does not answer the question as to who I actually am, what I actually am, or what it means to be a human being, so, there can never arise out of it that interpretation of one’s self and the world demanded by even the simplest action based on some evaluative decision. …

At this point we encounter the paradox that this extrapolation
of the formalized elements by means of general mechanics and
the theory of function originally arose to help men in their activities to attain their goals more easily. The world of things and of the mind was mechanistically and functionally examined in order, through comparative analysis, to arrive at its ultimate constituent elements, and then to regroup them in accord with the goal of activity when the analytical procedure was first used. …

This may account for the deeper truth of the regulation that heads of ministries in parliamentary states must not be chosen from the ranks of the administrative staff, but rather from among the political leaders. The administrative bureaucrat, like every specialist and expert, inclines to lose sight of the context of his action and the end goal. It is assumed here that he who embodies the freely formed integration of the collective will in public life, the political leader, can integrate the available means which are necessary for the actions in question in a more organic fashion than the administrative expert who in questions of policy has been deliberately neutralized. …

It may be true or false when one group calls another heretics, and as such struggles against them, but it is only through this, definition that the struggle is a social situation. It may be true or false that a group struggles only to realize a fascist or a communist society, but it is only by means of this meaning-giving, evaluating definition that events pro- duce a situation where activity and counteractivity are distinguish- able, and the totality of events are articulated into a process. The juxtaposition ex post facto of elements voided of meaningful content does not bring home the unity of conduct. As a result of the extensive exclusion of meaningful elements from psycho- logical theory, it becomes more and more evident that inl psychology, too, psychic situations, to say nothing of inner lifej histories, cannot be perceived without meaningful context. Furthermore, from a purely fnnr.tinnalist point of view, the^ derivation of our meanings, whether thev be true or fals e. plays an indispensable role, nameiv. it soHalizpt; pv^ntg fpr _a roup. ” We belong to a gr oup not only becaiT^p wp arp horn in^r| , it. not mereiv De^aSs^^r^yCTSss io belong to it. nnr finally because we give it our loyalty and allepjiance. but primarily because we see the world and certain things m the world the wav i t does (i.e. in terms ot the meanings ol the ^roup ^”•’ f|]iQg*^i’-‘n) Un every concept, in every concrete meaning, there is contained ^ a crystallization of the experiences of a certain group/ When| someone says ” kingdom “, he is using the term in the sense in which it has meaning for a certain group. Another for whom the kingdom is only an organization, as for instance an administra- tive organization such as is involved in a postal system, is not participating in those collective actions of the group in which the former meaning is taken for granted. In every concept, however, there is not only a fixation of individuals with reference to .a definite group of a certain kind and its action, b ut every s ource from which we derive meaning and interpretation acts also as a stabilizing factor on the possibilities of experiencing and knowing objects with reference to the central goal of action which directs us.The world of external objects and of psychic experience appears ( to be in a continuous flux. Verbs are more adequate symbols for this situation than nouns. ^ The fact that we give names to things which are in flux implies inevitably a certain stabilization oriented along the lines of collective activity. The -derivation of our meanings emphasizes and stabilizes that aspect of things which is relevant to activity and covers up, in the interest of collective action, the perpetually fluid process underlying all things. It excludes other configurational organizations of the data which tend in different directions. Every concept represents a sort of taboo against other possible sources of meaning — simplifying and unifying the manifoldness of life for the sake of .action.

It is not improbable that the formalizing and functionalizing view of things became possible in our time only because the previously dominant taboos, which made man impervious to meanings derived from other sources, were already losing their force after the breakdown of the intellectual monopoly of the church. The opportunity gradually arose under these circum- stances for every oppositional group openly to-reveal to the world those contradictory meanings which corresponded to their own peculiarly conceived understanding of the world. What was a king for one was a tyrant for another. It has already been pointed out, however, that too many conflicting sources from which meanings with regard to a given object are derived in the same society leads in the end to the dissolution of every system of meaning. In such a society, internally divided with regard to any concrete system of meaning, consensus can be established only with reference to the formalized elements of the objects (e.g. the definition of monarch which asserts : ” The monarch , is he who in the eyes of a majority of persons in a country legally / possesses the right of exercising absolute power “). Jin this and similar definitions everything substantial, every evaluation for which a consensus can no longer be found, is reinterpreted in functional terms.

Returning then to our discussion of the origins of modern psychology with the subject as the point of departure, it is now ‘ clear that the original difficulty, which was to have been solved through recourse to and concentration on the subject, was not thereby obviated. Jt is true that much that is new was discovered b-V the new empirical methods. Thev enabled us to gain insigh t into the psychic prenesis of many cultural phenomena, but the answers which were broup[ht forward deflected our at<;ention \x ^m tne tunciamehtal question concerning the existence of mind in the order of reality. Especiall y ^yp«^ thp nnify nf fV|p mjnr| as well as that of the person lost through the functionalization a nd mechanization of psychic phenomena. A psychology with – l.R”^”,’ nvit ^ pgy^hp ^^pnnt taU e the pla ce of a n onto logy. SucIT a ^^ psychology was itself the outcome of the fact that men were attempting to think in the framework of categories which strove to negate every evaluation, every trace of common meaning, or of total configuration. What may be valuable for a specialized discipline as a research hypothesis may, however, be fatal for the conduct of human beings. The uncertainty which arises from relying upon scientific psychology in practical life becomes recurrently obvious as soon as the pedagogue or the political \ leader turns to it for guidance. The impression which he gets upon such an occasion is that psychology exists in another world and records its observations for citizens living in some society other than our own. This form of modem man’s experience, which because of^ a highly differentiated division of labour tends towards directionlessness, finds its counterpart in the rootlessness of a psychology with whose categories not even the simplest life-process can be thought through. That this psychology actually constitutes a trained incapacity to deal with problems of the mind accounts for the fact that it oi^rs no foothold to living human beings in their daily life. … athought-model (that) is not, as was originally supposed, confined to the world of mechanical objects. The mechanistic thought-madel represents primarily a kind of first approximation to objects in general. Here the aim is not the exact comprehension of qualitive pecuharities and unique constellations, but rather the determination of the most obvious regularities and principles of order obtaining between formalized simplified elements. We have traced out this last -mentioned method in detail and seen how the mechanistic method, in spite of the concrete achieve- / ments for which we are indebted to it, has, from the point of /view of life-orientation and conduct, contributed very much to the general insecurity of modem man. …

I do not believe, however, that this point holds for all intellectual accomplishments. I believe that from the stand- point of strict interpretation, we are infinitely enriched when we attempt to understand the biblical sentence, ” The last shall be first,” as the psychic expression of the revolt of oppressed strata. I believe that we shall understand it better if, as Nietzsche and others have indicated in various ways, we consider and become aware of the significance of resentment in the formation of moral judgments. In this case, for example, one could say in the case of Christianity, it was resentment which gave the lower strata courage to emancipate themselves, at least psychically, from the domination of an unjust system of values and to set up their own in opposition to it. We do not intend to raise the question here whether with the aid of this psychological-genetic analysis which deals with the value- generating function of resentment we can decide whether the Christians or the Roman ruling classes were in the right. In any case, through this analysis we are led more deeply into the comprehension of the meaning of the sentence. It is not irrelevant for an understanding of it to know that the phrase was not uttered by anybody in general and was not addressed to men in general, but rather that it has a real appeal only for those who, like the Christians, are in some manner oppressed and who, at the same time, under the impulse of resentment, wish to free themselves from prevailing injustices. Xhe inter connection bet>veen psychic genesis, the motivation which leads to meaning, and the meaning itself is, in the case just cited, different from that which exists in the Pythagorean propositions. The specially concocted examples which logicians adduce may under certain circumstances make one unreceptive to the deepest differences between one meaning and another and may lead to generalizations which obscure relevant relationships. …

It should be noted how the genetic point of view emphasizes inter dependence in contrast with the mechanistic approach which (hurts) itself with the atomization of the elements of experience. … There was, however, from the very beginning a «wo-fold’ limit to this concept of psychic genesis as it gradually developed and penetrated into the cultural sciences (such as the history of religions, literary history, art history, etc.) ; and this limit threatened in time to become a definite restriction on the value of this approach.

In most cases the genesis of a meaning Has been sought m the individual context of experience rather than in its collective context. Thus, for example, if one had before one some idea (let us take the above-mentioned case of the transformation of a hierarchy of moral values as it is expressed in the sentence : ” The last shall be first “) and wished to explain it genetically, one would fasten upon the individual biography of the author and attempt to understand the idea exclusively on the basis of the special events and motivations of the author’s personal history. Now it is clear that very much can be done with this method, for just as the experiences that truly motivate me have their original source and locus in my own life-history, just so the author’s life-history is the locus of his experiences. But it is also clear that while it may be sufficient for the genetic explanation of a quite special individual mode of behaviour to go back to the early period of an individual’s history (as would, for instance, be done by psycho-analysis to explain the symptoms of later developments in character from the experiences of early childhood), for a mode of behaviour of social significance, such, as the transvaluation of values which transforms the whole system of life of a society in all its ramifications, preoccupation with the purely individual life-history and its analysis is not sufficient. The transvaluation, as indicated in the sentence above, has its roots basically in a group situation in which hundreds and thousands of persons, each in his own way, participate in the overthrow of the existing society. Each of these persons prepares and executes this transvaluation in the sense that he acts in a new way in a whole complex of life- situations which impinge upon him. …
The Action of the isolated and self-sufficient individual under- lies in various forms the individualistic epistemology and genetic psychology. Epistemology operated with this isolated and self- sufficient individual as if from the very first he possessed in essence all the capacities characteristic of human beings, including that of pure knowledge, and as if he produced his knowledge of the world from within himself alone, through mere juxta- position with the external world. Similarly in the individualistic developmental psychology, the individual^ passes of necessity through certain stages of development in the course of which the external physical and social environment have no other function than to release these preformed capacities of the individual. Both of these theories grew out of the soil of an exaggerated theoretical individualism (such as was to be found in the period of the Renaissance and of individuahstic hberalism) which could have been produced only in a social situation in which the original connection between individual and group had been lost sight of. Frequently in such social situations the observer loses sight of the role of society in the moulding of the individual to the extent that he derives most of the traits, which are evidently only possible as the result of a common life and the interaction between individuals, from the original nature of the individual or from the germ plasm. (We attack this fiction not from some ultimate philosophical point of view but because it simply draws incorrect data into the picture of the genesis of knowledge and experience.) …

The degree in which the individualistic conception of the problem of knowledge gives a false picture of collective knowing corresponds to what would occur if the technique, mode of work, and productivity of an internally highly specialized factory of 2,000 workers were thought of as if each of the 2,000 workers worked in a separate cubicle, performed the same operations for himself at the same time and turned out each individual product from beginning to end by himself. Actually, of course, the workers do not do the same thing in parallel fashion but rather, through a division of functions, they collectively bring the total product into existence.

Let us ask ourselves for a moment what is lacking in the older theory in the instance of this individualistic re-interpretation of a process of collective work and achievement. In the first place^the framework which, in a real division of labour, determines the character of the work of every individual from the chairman of the board of directors down to the very last apprentice and which integrates in an intelligent manner the nature of each partial product turned out by the individual worker, is simply overlooked. …

There is nothing more futile than to suppose that the contrast between the individualistic and the sociological points of view is the same as that between the ” great personality ” and the ” mass “. There is nothing in_the sociological approach that would exclude its concern with the description of the significance of the great personality in the social process. The real distinction is that the individualistic point of view is in most cases unable to see the significance of various forms of social life for the development of individual capacities, while the sociological viewpoint seeks from the very beginning to interpret individual activity in all spheres within the context of group experience. …

That the epistemological and psychological analysis of the genesis of ideas came only belatedly upon the social factor in knowledge has its explanation in the fact that both these disciplines had their rise in the period of the individualistic form of society. They acquired the framework of their problems in periods of quite radical individualism and subjectivism,_in the epoch of the disintegrating medieval social order, and ill the liberal beginnings of the bourgeois-capitalistic era. In these periods, those who concerned themselves with these problems, the intellectuals and the well-to-do educated persons in bourgeois society, found themselves in circumstances in which the original interconnectedness of the social order must of necessity have been largely invisible to them. They could, therefore, in all good faith, present knowledge and experience as typically individualistic phenomena. Especially since they had in mind only that segment of reality which concerned the dominant minorities and which was characterized by the competition of individuals, social happenings could appear as though autono- mous individuals suppHed from within themselves the initiative for acting and knowing. Seen from this segment, society appeared as if it were only an incalculably complex multiplicity of spontaneous individual acts of doing and knowing. This extremely individualistic character does not even hold for the so-called liberal social structure as a whole, inasmuch as here too the relatively free initiative of Jeading Jndividuals both in acting and knowing is directed and guided by the circumstances of social life and by the tasks which they present. (Thus here, too, we find a hidden social interconnection underlying individual initiative.) …

It would do violence to the historical facts to regard this excep- tional condition as if it were the axiomatic characteristic of the psychology of thought and of epistemology. We will not succeed in attaining an adequate psychology and theory of knowledge as a whole as long as our epistemology fails, from the very beginning, to recognize the social character of knowing, and fails to regard individualized thinking only as an exceptional instance.

In this case, too, it is obviously no accident that the sociological standpoint was added to the others only at a relatively advanced date. Nor is it by chance that the outlook which brings together the social and the cognitive spheres emerges in a time in which the greatest exertion of mankind once more consists in the attempt to counteract the tendency of an individualistic undirected society, which is verging toward anarchy, with a more organic type of social order. In such a situation there must arise a general sense of interdependence — of the interdependence which binds the single experience to the stream of experience of single individuals and these in turn to the fabric of the wider community of experience and activity .\ Thus, the newly arising theory oi knowledp^e ton is an attempt to take account ol the rnnte rlnp<;<; of knowledge in the social texture. In it a new sort of life- o rientation is at work, seeking to stay the alienatiop and disorganization which arose out of the exaggeration of th e individualistic and mechanistic attitude. The epistemological , We have sought to present them so that they would appear as parts of a unitary situation, emerging one after the other in a necessary sequence and reciprocally penetrating one another. In this form they provide the basis of the reflections recorded in this volume. …

4. Control of the Collective Unconscious as a Problem

of our Age

The emergence of the problem of the multiplicity of thought- styles which have appeared in the course of scientific develop- ment and the perceptibility of collective-unconscious motives hitherto hidden, is only one aspect of the prevalence of the intellectual restiveness which characterizes our age. In spite of the democratic diffusion of knowledge, the philosophical, psychological, and sociological problems which we presented above have been confined to a relatively small intellectual minority. This intellectual unrest came gradually to be regarded by them as their own professional privilege, and might have been considered as the private preoccupation of these groups had not all strata, with the growth of democracy, been drawn into the political and philosophical discussion.

The preceding exposition has already shown, however, that the roots of the discussion carried on by the intellectuals reached deeply into the situation of society as a whole. In many respects their problems were nothing else than the sublimated intensifica- tion and rational refinement of a social and intellectual crisis which at bottom embraced the entire society. …

When many churches took the place of one doctrinal system guaranteed by revelation with the aid of which everything essential in an agrarian-static world could be explained — ^wfeen_many small se^ts arose where there had formerly been a world religion, the minds of simple men were seized by tensions similar to those which the intellectuals experienced on the philosophical level in terms the co-existence of numerous theories of reality and of knowledge.

At the beginning of modem times, the Protestant movement set up in the place of revealed salvation, guaranteed by the objective institution of the Church, the notion of the subjective certainty of salvation. It was assumed in the light of this doctrine that , each person should decide according to his own subjective con- science whether his conduct was pleasing to God and conducive ! to salvation. …

Nor was it conducive to the public belief in an objective world- order when most pohtical states in the period of enlightened absolutism attempted to weaken the Church by means which they had taken over from the Church itself, namely, through attempting to _r£place-^an objective interpretation of the world . guaranteed by the Church, by one guaranteed by the State, j In doing this, it advanced the cause of the Enlightenment which at the same time was one of the weapons of the rising bourgeoisie. Both the modern state and the bourgeoisie achieved success in the measure that the rationalistic naturalistic view of the world increasingly displaced the religious one. This took place, how- ever, without the permeation into the broadest strata of that fullness of knowledge required for rational thinking. Further- more, this diffusion of the rationalistic world-view was realized without the strata involved in it being brought into a social position which would have allowed an individualization of the forms of living and thinking.

Without, however, a social life-situation compelling and tending i ( toward individualization, a mode of life which is devoid of collec- ^^ive myths is scarcely bearable. Th e merchanL -the entrepreneur, the intellectual, each in his own way occupies_a-4)ö«tion which requires rational decisions concerning the tasks setby everyday life. In arriving at these decisions, it is alwaysTTScessary for the individual to free his judgments from those of others and to think through certain issues in a rational way from the point of view of his own interests. This is not true for peasants of the older type nor for the recently emerged mass of subordinate white-collar workers who hold positions requiring little initiative, and no foresight of a speculative kind. Their modes of behaviour are regulated to a certain extent on the basis of myths, traditions or mass-faith in a leader. Men who in their everyday life are not trained by occupations which impel toward individualization always to make their own decisions, to know from their own personal point of view what ^is^ wrong and what is right, who from this point on never have occasion to analyse situations into their elements and who, further, fail to develop a self-conscious- ness in themselves which will stand firm even when the individual is cut off from the mode of judgment peculiar to his group and must think for himself — such individuals will not be in a position, even in the religious sphere, to bear up under such severe inner crises as scepticisrqL Life in terms of an inner balance which must be ever won anew is the essentially novel element which modem man, at the level of individualization, must elaborate for himself if he is to live on the basis of the rationality of the Enlightenment.. A society which in its division of labour and functional differentia- tion cannot offer to each individual a set of problems and fields of operation in which full initiative and individual judgment / can be exercised, also cannot realize a thorough-going individualis- tic and rationalistic Weltanschauung which can aspire to become an effective social reality.

Although it would be false to believe — as intellectuals easily tend to do — that the centuries of the Enlightenmen t actually changed the populace^ in a fundamental way, smce religion even though weakened lived on as ritual, cult, devotion, and ecstatic modes of experience, nonetheless their impact was sufficiently strong to shatter to a large extent the religious world-view. [The forms of thought characteristic of industrial society gradually impenetrated into those areas which had any contact whatever with industry and sooner or later undermined one element after another of the religious explanation of the world. …

We can well dispense with sketching in detail the picture of how, with increasing democratization, not only the state but also political parties sttove to provide their conflicts with philosophical foundation and systematization. First liberalism, then haltingly following its example conservatism, and finally socialism made of its pohtical aims a philosophical credo, a world- view with well estc(!blished methods of thought and prescribed conclusions. Thus to the split in. the religious world- view was_added the fractionalization of political outlooks. But whereas the churches and sects conducted their battles with diverse irrational articles of faith and developed the rational element in the last analysis only for the members of the clergy and the narrow stratum of lay intellectuals, the emergent political parties incorporated rational and if possible scientific arguments into their systems of thought to a much greater degree and attributed much more importance to them. This was due in part to their later appearance in history in a period in which science as such was accorded a greater social esteem and in part to the method by which they recruited their functionaries, since in the beginning, at least, these were chosen lar gely f rom the ranks of the above-mentioned emancipated intellectuals^ It was in- accord with the needs of an industrial society and öTEnese intellectual strata for them fo base their collective actions not on a frank enunciation of their creed but rather on a rationally justifiable system of ideas.

The result of this amalgamation of politics and scientific thought was that gradually every type of politics, at least in the forms in which it offered itself for acceptance, was given a scientific tinge and every type of scientific attitude in its turn came to bear a political colouration.

This amalgamation had its negative as well as its positive effects. It so facilitated the diffusion of scientific ideas that ever broader strata in the whole of their political existence had to seek theoretical justifications for their positions. They learned thereby — even though frequently in a very propagandistic manner — to think about society and politics with the categories of scientific analysis. It was also helpful to political and social science in that it gained a concrete grip on reality and in so doing gave itself a theme for stating its problems, which furnished a continu- ous link between it and that field of reality within which it had to operate, namely, society. …

Political discussion therefore penetrates more profoundly into the existential foundation of thinking than the kind of discussion which thinks only in terms of a few selected ” points of view ” and considers only the ” theoretical relevance” of an argument. Political conflict, since it is fro m the very b eginning a ra tionalized form nf the stmgrpjp fnr snHal predominance, attacks the social status of the opponent, his Public prestige, an d his .sei f-r on fid en re. . It is difficult to decide in this case whether the sublimation or substitution of discussion for the older weapons of conflict, the direct use of force and oppression, really constituted a fundamental improvement in human life. Physical repression is, it is true, harder to bear externally, but the will to psychic annihilation, which took its place in many instances, is perhaps even more unbearable. It is therefore no wonder that particularly in this sphere every theoretical refutation was gradually transformed into a much more fundamental attack on the whole life-situation of the opponent, and with the destruction of his theories one hoped also to undermine his social position. Further, it is not surprising that in this conflict, in which from the very start one paid atten- tion not only to what a person said but also the group for which he was the spokesman and with what action in view he set forth his arguments, one viewed thought in connection with the mode of existence to which it was bound. It is_ true that thought has always been the expression of group life and group action (except for highly academic thinking which for a time was able to insulate itself from active life). But the difference was either that in religious conflicts, theoretical issues were not of primary signifi- cance or that in analysing their adversaries, men did not get to an analysis of their adversaries’ groups because, as we have seen, the social elements in intellectual phenomena had not become visible to the thinkers of an individualistic epoch. …

The discovery of the social-situational roots of thought at first, therefore, took the form of unmasking. In addition to the gradual dissolution of the unitary objective world-view, which to the simple man in the street took the form of a plurality of divergent conceptions of the world, and to the intellectuals presented itself as the irreconcilable plurality of thought-styles, , there entered into the public mind the tendency to unmask / the unconscious situational motivations in group thinkingr— This final intensification of the intellectual crisis can be characterized by two slogan -like concepts ” ideology and utopia ” which because of their symbolic significance- have been chosen as the title for this book.

The concept ” ideology ” reflects the one discovery which emerged from political conflict, namely, that ruling groups can in their thinking become so intensively interest-bound to a situation that they are simply no longer able to see certain facts which would undermine their sense of domination y There is implicit in the word ” ideology ” the insight that in certain situations the collective unconscious of certain groups obscures the real condition of society both to itself and to others and thereby stabilizes it.

The concept of Utopian thinking reflects the opposite dis- covery of the political struggle, namely that certaifi’oppfesse^ groups are intellectually so strongly interested in the destruction and transformation of a given condition of society that they unwittingly see only those elements in the situation which tend to negate it. Their thinking is incapable of correctly diagnosing an existing condition of society. They are not at all concerned with what really exists ; rather in their thinking they already seek to change the situation that exists. Their thought is never a diagnosis of the situation ; it can be used only as a direction for action. In the Utopian mentality, the collective unconscious, is guided by wishful representation and the will to action, hides certain aspects of reality. It turns its back on everything which would shake its beUef or paralyse its desire to change things. The collective unconscious and the activity impelled by it serve to disguise certain aspects of social reality from two directions. It is possible, furthermore, as we have seen above, – to designate specifically the source and direction of the distortion. , , It is the task of this volume to trace out, in the tw6 directions indicated, the most significant phases in the emergence of this discovery of the role of the unconscious as it appears in the history of ideology and Utopia. At this point we are concerned only with delineating that state of mind which followed upon these insights since it is characteristic of the situation from which this book came forth.

At first those parties which possessed the new ” intellectual weapons “, the unmasking of the unconscious, had a terrific advantage over their adversaries. …(even causing) terror and awaken(ing) in the person using the weapon a feeling of marvelous superiority . It was at the same time the dawning of a level of consciousness which mankind had hitherto always hidden from itself with the greatest tenacity. Nor was it by chance that this invasion of the unconscious was dared only by the attacker while the attacked was doubly overwhelmed — first, through the laying bare of the unconscious itself and then, in addition to this, through the fact that the unconscious was laid bare and pushed into prominence in a spirit of enmity. For it is clear that it makes a considerable difference whether the uncon- scious is dealt with for purposes of aiding and curing or for the purpose of unmasking. …The process of exposing the problematic elements in thought which had been latent since the collapse of the Middle Ages culminated at last in the collapse of confidence in thought in general. There is nothing accidental butrather more of the inevitable in the fact that more and more people took flight into scepticism or irrationalism.

Two powerful currents flow together here and reinforce one another with an overwhelming pressure f one, the disappearance of a unitary intellectual world with fixed values and norms ; and, ty/ef,the sudden surge of the hitherto hidden unconscious into the bright daylight of consciousness. Man’s thought had from time immemorial appeared to him as a segment of his spiritual existence and not simply as a discrete objective fact. Reorientation had in the past frequently meant a change in man himself. In these earlier periods it was mostly a case of slow shifts in values and norms, of a gradual transformation of the frame of reference from which men’s actions derived their ultimate orientation. But in modem times it is a much more “profoundly disorganizing affair. The resort to the unconscious tended to dig up the soil out of which the varying points of views emerged. The roots from which human thought had hitherto derived its nourishment were exposed. Gradually it becomes clear to all of us that we cannot go on living in the same way once we know about our unconscious- motives as we did when we were ignorant of them. What we now experience is more than a new idea, and the questions we raise constitute more than a new problem. What we are concerned with here is the elemental perplexity of our time, which can be epitomized in the symptomatic question ” How is it possible for man to continue to think and live in a time when the problems of ideology and Utopia are being radically raised and thought through in all their implications ? ”

It is possible, of course (to posit the) existence of collective-unconscious motivations recognized simply by hiding these processes from ourselves. One can take flight into a supra-temporal logic and assert that truth as if it is unsullied and has neither a plurality of forms nor any connec – tion with unconscious motivations. But in a world in which the problem is not just an interesting subject for discussion but rather an inner perplexity, someone will soon come forth who will insist against these views that ” our problem is not truth as such ; it is our thinking as we find it in its rootedness in action in the social situation, in unconscious motivations. Show us how we can advance from our concrete perceptions to your absolute definitions. Do not speak of truth as such but show us the way in which our statements, stemming from our social existence, can be translated into a sphere in which the partisan- ship, the fragmentariness of human vision, can be transcended, in which the social origin and the dominance of the unconscious in thinking will lead to controlled observations rather than to chaos “. The absoluteness of thought is not attained by warranting, through a general principle, that one has it or by proceeding to label some particular limited viewpoint (usually one’s own) as supra-partisan and authoritative.

Nor are we aided when we are directed to a few propositions in which the content is so formal and abstract (e.g. in mathematics, geometry, and pure economics) that in fact they seem to be completely detached from the thinking social individual. … The battle rages concerning those propositions in which every concept Is meaningfully oriented from the first, in which we use words like conflict, breakdown, alienation, insurrection, resentment — words which do not reduce complex situations for the sake of an externalizing, formal description without ever being able to build them up again and which would lose their content if their orientation, their evaluative elements, were dropped out.

We have already shown elsewhere that the development of modem science led to the growth of a technique of thought by means of which all that was only meaningfully intelligible was excluded. Behaviourism has pushed to the foreground this tendency towards concentration on entirely externally perceivable reactions, and has sought to construct a world of facts in which there will exist only measurable data, only correlations between series of factors in which the degree of probability of modes of behaviour in certain situations will be predictable. It is possible, and even probable, that sociology must pass through this stage in which its contents will undergo a mechanistic dehumanization and formalization, just as psychology did, so that out of devotion to an ideal of narrow exactitude nothing will remain except statistical data, tests, surveys, etc., and in the end every significant formulation of a problem will be excluded. All that can be said here is that this reduction of everything to a measurable or inventory-like describability is pignificant as a serious attempt to determine what is unambiguously ascertainable and, further, to think through what becomes of our psychic and social world when it is restricted to purely externally measurable relationships. There can no longer be any doub t t hat no real penetration into social rpalifv is nossil^le through thi s approach. Let us take for example the relatively simple ph^Köhienon denoted by the term ” situation “. What is left of it, or is it even at all intelligible when it is reduced to an external constellation of various reciprocally related but only externally visible patterns of behaviour ? It is clear, on the other hand, that a human situation is characterizable only when one has also taken into account those conceptions which the partici- pants have of it, how they experience their tensions in this situation and how they react to the tensions so conceived. Or, let us take some milieu ; for instance, the milieu in which a certain family exists. Are not the norms which prevail in this family, and which are intelligible only through meaningful interpretation, at least as much a part of the milieu as the land- scape or the furniture of the household ? Still further, must not this same family, other things being equal, be considered as a completely different milieu (e.g. from the point of the training of the children) if its norms have changed ? If we wish to com- prehend such a concrete phenomenon as a situation or the forma- tive content of a milieu, the purely mechanistic scheme of approach will never suffice and there must be introduced in addition concepts adequate for the understanding of meaningful and non-mensurative elements.

But it would be false to assume that the relations between these elements are less clear and less precisely perceivable than those that obtain between purely measurable phenomena. Quite on the contrary, the reciprocal interdependence of the elements making up an event is much more intimately comprehensible than that of strictly external formalized elements. Here that approach which, following Dilthey, I should like to designate as the understanding of the primary interdependence of experience {das verstehende Erfassen des ,, ursprünglichen Lebenszusammen- hanges ” ^) comes into its own. In this approach, by use of the technique_of understanding, the reciprocal functional interpenetration of psychic experiences and social situations becomes immediately intelligible. We are confronted here with a realm of existence in which the emergence of psychic reactions from within becomes evident of necessity and is not comprehensible merely as is an external causality, according to the degree of probability of its frequency.

Let us take certain of the observations which sociology has worked up by the use of the method of understanding and consider the nature of its scientific evidence. When one has stated concerning the ethics of the earliest Christian communities, that it was primarily intelligible in terms of the resentment of oppressed strata, and when others have added that this ethical outlook was entirely unpolitical because it corresponded to the mentality of that stratum which had as yet no real aspirations to rule (“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar ‘s”), and when it has been said further that this ethic is not a tribal ethic but a world ethic, since it arose from the soil of the already disintegrated tribal structure of the Roman Empire, it is clear that these interconnections between social situations on the one hand and psychic-ethical modes of behaviour on the other are not, it is true, measurable but can none the less be much more intensively penetrated in their essential character than if coefficients of correlation were established between the various factors.  The Interconnections are evident because_we_have used an understanding approach to those primary interdependences of experience from which these norms arose.

It has become clear that the principal propositions of the social sciences are neither mechanistically external nor formal, nor do they represent purely quantitative correlations but rather situational diagnoses in which we use, by and large, the same concrete concepts and thought -models which were created for activistic purposes in real life. It is clear, furthermore, ^; that every social science diagnosis is closely connected with the  evaluations and unconscious orientations of the observer and that the critical self-clarification of the social sciences is intimately bound up with the critical self-clarification of our orientation in the everyday world. An observer who is not fundamentally interested in the social roots of the changing ethics of the period in which he himself lives, who does not think through the problems of social life in terms of the tensions between social strata, and who has not also discovered the fruitful aspect of resentment in his own experience, will never be in a position to see that phase of Christian ethics described above, to say nothing of being able to understand it. … would be totally inconceivable. The more closely one examines the word ” resentment ” the more clear it becomes that this apparently non-evaluative descriptive term for an attitude is replete with evaluations. If these evaluations are left out, the idea loses its concreteness. Furthermore, if the thinker had no interest in reconstructing the feeling of resentment, the tension which permeated the above-described situation of early Christianity would be entirely inaccessible to him. Thus here, too, the purposefully oriented will is the source of the understanding of the situation. ‘

In order to work in the social sciences one must participate in the social process, but this participation in collective-uncon- scious striving in no wise signifies that the persons participating in it falsify the facts or see them incorrectly. Indeed, on the contrary, participation in the living context of social life is a presupposition of the understanding of the inner nature of this living context. The type of participation which the thinker I enjoys determines how he shall formulate his problems. The \ disregard of qualitative elements and the complete restraint \of the will does not constitute objectivity but is instead the Inegation of the essential quality of the object.

But, at the same time, the reverse the greater the bias, the greater the objectivity, is not true. In this sphere there obtains a peculiar inner dynamic of modes of behaviour in which, through the retention of the elan politique, this elan subjects itself to an intellectual control. There is a point at which the elan politique collides with something, whereupon it is thrown back upon itself and begins to subject itself to critical control. There is a point where the movement of life itself, especially in its greatest crisis, elevates itself above itself and becomes aware of its own limits. This is the point where the political problem-complex of ideology and Utopia becomes the concern of the sociology of knowledge, and where the scepticism and relativism arising out of the mutual destruction and devalution of divergent political aims becomes a means of salvation. For this relativism and scepticism compel self-criticism and self-control and lead to a new conception of objectivity.

What seems to be so unbearable in life itself, namely, to continue to live with the unconscious uncovered, is the historical prerequisite of scientific critical self-awareness. In personal life, too, self-control and self-correction develop only when in our originally blind vital forward drive we come upon an obstacle which throws us back upon ourselves. In the course of this collision with other possible forms of existence, the peculiarity of our own mode of life becomes apparent to us. Even in our personal life we become masters of ourselves only when the unconscious motivations which formerly existed behind our backs suddenly come into our field of vision and thereby become accessible to conscious control. …

This structure, in accordance with which self-clarification makes possible the extension of our knowledge of the world about us, obtains not only for individual self-knowledge but is also the criterion of group self-clarification. Although here, too, it should again be emphasized that only individuals are capable of self- clarification (there is no such thing as a ‘folk mind’ and … . (n)othing is simpler than to maintain that a certain type of thinking is feudal, bourgeois or proletarian, liberal, socialistic, or conservative, as long as there is no analytical method for demonstrating it and no criteria have been adduced which will provide a control over the demonstration. Hence the chief task in the present stage of research is to elaborate and concretize the hypotheses involved in such a way that they can be made the basis of inductive studies. At the same time, the segments of reality with which we deal must be analysed into factors in a much more exact manner than we have been accustomed to do in the past. Our aim then is, first, to refine the analysis of meaning in the sphere of thought so thoroughly that grossly undifferentiated terms and concepts will be supplanted by increasingly exact and detailed characterizations of the various thought-styles; and, second, to perfect the technique of reconstructing social history to such an extent that, instead of scattered isolated facts, one will be able to perceive the social structure as a whole, i.e. the web of interacting social forces from which have arisen the various modes of observing and thinking through the existing realities that presented themselves at different times.” Karl Mannheim, Ideology & Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge; Introduction, “The Preliminary Approach to the Problem,” 1936

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Numero Cuatro“In ‘The Defence of Poetry,’ (in) 1821, Shelley claimed that ‘poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.’  This has been taken to suggest that simply by virtue of composing verse, poets exert some exemplary moral power – in a vague unthreatening way.  In fact, in his earlier political essay, ‘A Philosophic View of Reform,’ Shelley had written that ‘Poets and philosophers are the unacknowledged’ etc.  The philosophers he was talking about were revolutionary-minded: Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Voltaire, Mary Wollstonecraft.And Shelley was, no mistake, out to change the legislation of his time.  For him there was no contradiction between poetry, political philosophy, and active confrontation with illegitimate authority.  For him, art bore an integral relationship to the ‘struggle between Revolution and Oppression.’  His ‘West Wind’ was the ‘trumpet of a prophecy,’ driving ‘dead thoughts … like withered leaves, to quicken a new birth.’

I’m both a poet and one of the ‘everybodies’ of my country.  I live with manipulated fear, ignorance, cultural confusion and social antagonism huddling together on the faultline of an empire.  I hope never to idealise poetry – it has suffered enough from that.  Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy.  Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard.  There is no universal Poetry, anyway, only poetries and poetics, and the streaming, intertwining histories to which they belong.  There is room, indeed necessity, for both Neruda and César Valléjo, for Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alfonsina Storni, for both Ezra Pound and Nelly Sachs.  Poetries are no more pure and simple than human histories are pure and simple.  And there are colonised poetics and resilient poetics, transmissions across frontiers not easily traced.

Walt Whitman never separated his poetry from his vision of American democracy. Late in life he called “poetic lore … a conversation overheard in the dusk, from speakers far or hid, of which we get only a few broken murmurs” – the obscurity, we might think now, of democracy itself. But also of those “dark times” in and about which Bertolt Brecht assured us there would be songs.

Poetry has been charged with “aestheticizing,” thus being complicit in, the violent realities of power, of practices like collective punishment, torture, rape and genocide. This accusation was famously invoked in Adorno’s “after the Holocaust lyric poetry is impossible” – which he later retracted and which a succession of Jewish poets have in their practice rejected.

But if poetry had gone mute after every genocide in history, there would be no poetry left in the world. If to “aestheticize” is to glide across brutality and cruelty, treat them merely as dramatic occasions for the artist rather than structures of power to be described and dismantled – much hangs on that word “merely”. Opportunism isn’t the same as committed attention. But we can also define the “aesthetic”, not as a privileged and sequestered rendering of human suffering, but as news of an awareness, a resistance, which totalising systems want to quell: art reaching into us for what’s still passionate, still unintimidated, still unquenched.

Poetry has been written-off on other counts: it’s not a mass-market “product”, it doesn’t get sold on airport newsstands or in supermarket aisles; it’s too “difficult” for the average mind; it’s too elite, but the wealthy don’t bid for it at Sotheby’s; it is, in short, redundant. This might be called the free-market critique of poetry.

There’s actually an odd correlation between these ideas: poetry is either inadequate, even immoral, in the face of human suffering, or it’s unprofitable, hence useless.  Either way, poets are advised to hang our heads or fold our tents.  Yet in fact, throughout the world, transfusions of poetic language can and do quite literally keep bodies and souls together – and more.

Critical discourse about poetry has said little about the daily conditions of our material existence, past and present: how they imprint the life of the feelings, of involuntary human responses – how we glimpse a blur of smoke in the air, look at a pair of shoes in a shop window, or a group of men on a street-corner, how we hear rain on the roof or music on the radio upstairs, how we meet or avoid the eyes of a neighbour or a stranger.  That pressure bends our angle of vision whether we recognise it or not.  A great many well-wrought, banal poems, like a great many essays on poetry and poetics, are written as if such pressures didn’t exist. But this only reveals their existence.

But when poetry lays its hand on our shoulder we are, to an almost physical degree, touched and moved.  The imagination’s roads open before us, giving the lie to that brute dictum, ‘There is no alternative.’

Of course, like the consciousness behind it, behind any art, a poem can be deep or shallow, glib or visionary, prescient or stuck in an already lagging trendiness.  What’s pushing the grammar and syntax, the sounds, the images – is it the constriction of literalism, fundamentalism, professionalism – a stunted language?  Or is it the great muscle of metaphor, drawing strength from resemblance in difference?  Poetry has the capacity to remind us of something we are forbidden to see.  A forgotten future: a still uncreated site whose moral architecture is founded not on ownership and dispossession, the subjection of women, outcast and tribe, but on the continuous redefining of freedom – that word now held under house arrest by the rhetoric of the ‘free’ market.  This on-going future, written-off over and over, is still within view.  All over the world its paths are being rediscovered and reinvented.

There is always that in poetry which will not be grasped, which cannot be described, which survives our ardent attention, our critical theories, our late-night arguments.  There is always (I am quoting the poet/translator Américo Ferrari) ‘an unspeakable where, perhaps, the nucleus of the living relation between the poem and the world resides.'”  Adrienne Rich, “Legislators of the World;” The Guardian, 2006